Friday, December 26, 2014

Top 10 Tips for Restaurant Survival

To lose weight people assume that they have to avoid going out with friends and loved ones because it usually involves going out to eat. This might be true if you are on a diet, but anyone that has experienced a weight loss and maintained it can tell you that losing weight wasn't about dieting but a lifestyle change. It's about continuously making healthier options but when you make not so healthy choices do it in moderation. 

So in short there is no reason to run and hide from going out to eat (on occasion) if you know how to do it right. Here are my top 10 restaurant survival tips:




1. Look at the menu before you go. Being prepared before you go to a restaurant is always a great way to stay on track. Knowing what the healthy options are and planning on what you will eat will make it easier to stick to your lifestyle change and be less tempted to order what someone else is. Some restaurants even have lighter meal ideas on their menus or at least online.

2. Have it your way. That saying isn't just for Burger King. All restaurants will accommodate within reason. Don't feel bad about having them hold, add, or substitute anything. 

3. Choose chicken or fish over beef. By choosing poultry or fish you are usually going to consume less fat and calories, but this tip goes hand in hand with the next one...

4. Choose grilled or baked over fried. Too many calories and fat can be added to a meal if it's fried. In most cases it's better to get a leaner piece of steak then a friend chicken sandwich. 

5. Choose veggies for one of your sides and eat them first. By making sure that you get your vegetables in first it will help you fill up faster and have less room for things like desert. 

6. Skip the bread basket or limit yourself to one. You can still have carbs and be healthy but a lot of mindless eating can be done with the bread basket. Those calories can add up fast especially if you are smothering that roll in butter. So limit yourself to just one or skip it all together if you can.

7. Get the dressing/sauce on the side. Most restaurants will already bring you the sauce and dressing on the side but it's better to ask just in case. This way you can control how much goes on your food so you can still get a little for taste but not have your food smothered.

8. Hold the salt. When you can ask for less seasoning or no salt. With the amount of sodium in restaurant dishes, a lot of water weight can be gained and make you feel sluggish for days

9. Keep portions in mind. There are too many restaurants that have huge portions that are double the size of what they should be. You want to keep in mind exactly how much you are eating. This is why I love doing tip #10. 

10. Get a to go box with your meal. By asking for a to go box with your meal you are able to put half of your meal away so you don't consume two meals worth of food. Out of sight out of mind, right?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

To post or not to post, that is the question...

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and soon we will be entertaining family members and making memories.

Although I am looking forward to the next few days it has been a struggle getting there. This year I  just feel so unprepared for Christmas. It seems that time has flown by and I have been moving through sand when it comes to accomplishing anything. 

Maybe it's the stress of school, the recent medical issues, or all of life's stresses that have caused this season to be so unproductive. To be honest it was exceptionally hard to hear that I might have trouble conceiving another child. This news was especially hard to hear since my husband and I were planning on having a child in the near future. I have been debating for awhile about even posting this; but I figured with how open and honest my group participants and followers are I should open up a little more. 

Luckily some of the recent test results have come back better than anticipated and it seems that I need to do a lot of de-stressing and internal healing to ensure I am healthy to carry a child. I am just hoping and praying that my blood work on Friday goes well and I get some even better news. Confirmation that everything will be ok would be the best gift I could get this year. Regardless of how the next test results come back, I have decided to take certain steps to better my health both physically and mentally.

These steps are just part of my bigger picture for 2015. I want to make sure that this coming year is my healthiest and most productive year yet. To help me reach these goals I have decided to do what a lot of the top performers in Beachbody do and that is to create a vision board.  It seems silly to think about doing a vision board, but it seems to work. Some of the most successful people that I know are very proactive about putting together a vision board. It's like a blue print for the future. I will be sharing my vision board with everyone later this week and I am excited to hear what is on yours. 

On Facebook I will now be starting a free private group that will focus on creating and reaching 2015 goals. This group will also begin January 5th, but will be on a separate board from the New Year New You Challenge Group. If you are interested in joining this free Big Goals Big Year Group please send me an e-mail (resolutionslimdown@gmail.com) or simply send me a friends request on my private account and private message me that your are interested. To add me on Facebook click HERE.

I will be sharing some of my Christmas Spirit on my fanpage (Facebook.com/ResolutionSlimDown), but will post another blog this weekend with a recap. Until then I wish each and everyone of you a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Upcoming Challenge Groups & 21 Day Fix Approved Strawberry Milkshake

We are fast approaching the New Year and I am beyond excited to see where 2015 will take us. Starting January 5th I will be starting a New Year - New Year Challenge Group for a small group of women looking to get fit. This group will not only focus on simple nutrition and fitness but also on personal goal development. One of the best ways to accomplish your hopes, dreams, and wishes is to have the right mind set and tools to develop yourself and help you reach your goals. There will be weekly discussions and daily checkins/recipes/support. 

I only have 2 more spots open for this group and I am expecting them to go quick. If you are interested in joining this group please e-mail me at: resolutionslimdown@gmail.com and reserve your spot now. I will also only be taking on 5 more 1 on 1 clients for January. Please feel free to contact me about any questions you might have in regards to the challenge groups or 1 on 1 support. 

Other then prepping for my 2015 groups I have come up with some more yummy 21 Day Fix Recipes and I am looking forward to sharing them with all of you! I don't know what I can say other then THANK YOU to everyone who has offered support and suggestions for this blog. I encourage everyone to e-mail me with anything so I can better serve my audience. Also don't forget to follow my blog which you can do so by entering your e-mail address on the right. 

Finally... what everyone has been waiting on, here is this week's Fix Approved Recipe:

21 Day Fix Strawberry Milkshake

1 purple, 1 red, 1 yellow, & 2 tsp from coffee section

Ingredients
  • 1 purple container of partially thawed frozen strawberries
  • 1 red container of plain Greek or regular yogurt
  • 1 cup milk (almond, coconut, or 1% cow)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 2 tsp of honey (or organic sugar)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

It isn't the Holidays Without a Little Hot Cocoa

This weekend was fun and full of Christmas cheer even though the weather felt like we should be closer to seeing the Easter Bunny then St Nick. Since it was so nice out I figured we would make a trip an hour north to see the Lights Before Christmas at the local Zoo. I should have known that was going to be a bad idea since everyone and their brother had the same thing on their mind. Unfortunately after sitting in dead traffic for over 20 minutes, just 5 minutes from the zoo, we made it there only to be turned away because the parking lot was full. Luckily my little one was ok with visiting a local outdoor mall for some grub at her favorite restaurant and a horse and carriage ride down the main strip. After meeting the horse Katie we went into Hallmark where she picked out her yearly ornament and we drove around looking at lights. Even though the evening didn't turned out as planned it still turned into a fun memory making evening. 

Getting into the Christmas spirit more I decided there must be a way I could have Hot Cocoa on the fix. Although I wouldn't recommend doing this all the time, on occasion it is more then ok to enjoy a little holiday fun when it comes to food. So a quick search through a lot of "clean" recipes for hot cocoa I found one from the website cleanmama.net that fits into the fix. 

21 Day Fix Hot Cocoa Mix
This recipe yields 32 servings. 1 serving = 2 tablespoons

1 yellow, 2 tsp (coffee section); 1 serving is 

Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups of organic sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of unsweetened cocoa
  • 3 teaspoons of sea salt
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the above ingredients into a bowl and whisk until blended well. Store in a air tight container to keep fresh for later use.
  2. To make one serving boil one cup of nonfat or 1% milk. Poor into mug and then slowly stir in 2 tablespoons of the hot cocoa mix. Enjoy

Monday, December 8, 2014

Who Says You Can't Have Your Cake and Eat it Too?

It's only been a little over a week since the Hot for the Holidays group started back up and I am beyond elated to see how far my group has come on their weight loss goals. Even though the fattest holiday of the season has past everyone in my group has managed to stay on point with their goals while still enjoying their favorite holiday treats. It just goes to show that with the general 80/20 rule and keeping moderation in mind you can really transform you body while not depriving yourself. 

With that said there are only a couple more weeks until Christmas is here and then we will be celebrating the start of another year. On Instagram I posted about my January 5th Challenge Group, A New You for a New Year, that will begin January 5th. I have decided that this group will not only focus on getting you bikini ready for the summer but also on personal development by focusing on positive self talk and creating and focusing on personal goals. There are only a couple of spots left for this small group so if you are interested please send me an e-mail (resolutionslimdown@gmail.com) with the subject New You for a New Year. 

This week's Recipe...

Chocolate Shakeology Mug Cake
Serves 1: 1 Red, 1 Yellow, and 2 tsp from Coffee Section

Ingredients
  • 1 scoop of chocolate shakeology
  • 2 Tbsp of coconut flour or almond flour
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/3 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1-2 tsp of organic sugar 
  • a sprinkle of baking powder
  • a splash of vanilla
Instructions
  1. In a coffee mug place all ingredients and mix well.
  2. Cook on high in microwave for about 60 seconds and then mix
  3. Place back in the microwave and cook for another 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Enjoy!

Monday, December 1, 2014

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It's hard to believe that November has come and gone already. December is already here and Christmas will be here before we know it. This four day weekend was much needed and allowed me to catch up and spend time with my family. The holiday was nice and relaxing and even was Black Friday. Unlike most people who run out before the roosters crow, I was still snug in my bed catching Zs. Once I got up I decided to do my shopping online and found some excellent deals! No lines, no crowds, and I accomplished more in a matter of 30 minutes then I would have shopping in a few hours. 

By getting it all done in the morning I was able to spend some one on one time with my little girl. I figured a quick trip to a nearby city would be fun so we could go to her favorite restaurant and see the new Penguins of Madagascar movie. In all honesty the new Penguin movie was pretty cute and I would recommend to go see it with your little ones! 

Besides spending time with my loved ones this weekend, I was also able to come up with another 21 Day Fix recipe. I had been craving potato soup and figured there must be a way to make it Fixed Friendly. So I tweaked my traditional potato soup recipe and this is what I came up with: 

21 Day Fix Potato Soup
Serves 2. Each serving consists of: 1 Green, 1 yellow, 1 Blue, 1 tsp

Ingredients
  • 1 medium potato, peeled
  • 1 green container of cauliflower
  • 2 blue containers of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 tsp of olive oil (or organic butter)
  • 1 cup low sodium organic chicken broth
  • Water
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut your medium potato into tiny pinches (as big as you want in your soup). 
  2. In a medium pot add the chicken broth, 1/2 cup of water, diced potato, and cauliflower. Brin to a medium boil and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. 
  3. Once the potatoes and cauliflower are cooked take out half of the potatoes and place in bowl to the side. 
  4. Take the broth and remaining potatoes and cauliflower and place it in a blend. Add a cup of hot water and blend until smooth. 
  5. Once blended smooth place the mixture back into pot and put on low heat. Add cheese and stir until cheese is mixed well and add in remaining potato chunks. 
  6. Add sea salt and pepper to taste, serve, and enjoy. 


Monday, November 24, 2014

Winter Staples - Yummy 21 Day Fix Tomato Soup!

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is this week! Just yesterday it seemed like summer had finally arrived and now across the US we are experiencing snow, ice, and a lot cold weather. Although I absolutely love the Holidays and the family time I get this time of year I could really do without the weather! There is just something about a chilly house that makes me want to do nothing more then lay around the house in sweats and not work out. 

Even though I would rather do nothing more then stay cozy on the couch I have managed to stay motivated and have kept up with my workouts. I have got to say a lot of it has to do with the progress I am seeing in my body and the small gains I have seen through using Pump. Who knew that a girl like myself so against weight lifting would fall in love with it!

Besides staying on track with my workouts I have also been keeping up with my flex dieting and 21 Day Fix plan. Through experience I have realized that it is the right combination of exercise and diet that retrieves the best results. With the cold weather I have noticed that I have been wanting to eat more "comfort" foods especially soups. One of my winter staples (besides chili) has been tomato soup. Luckily after a lot of research I found a recipe online that I made a few tweaks to and it is Fix Approved. I found this recipe on FineCooking.com. To view the original recipe simply click HERE

21 Day Fix Tomato Soup
makes 8 servings and each serving counts as: 1 Green, 2 tsp (+ 1 tsp from coffee section)

Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp organic butter (yes it is allowed on the fix! See Autumn's video below)
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 2 Tbsp wheat flour (can omit for any other fix approved flour)
  • 2 cups organic, low sodium chicken broth
  • 28-oz can of whole peeled plum tomatoes (puree)
  • 1 1/2 tsp organic sugar
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3 tbsp of basil, chives, and dill mixture 
Instructions
  1. In a dutch oven heat the oil and butter over medium heat until the butter melts. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft but now browned, about 8 minutes. Add the four and stir to coat the onion and garlic. 
  2. Add the broth, tomatoes, sugar, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat while stirring the mixture to make sure that the flour is not sticking to the bottom of the plan. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes. 
  3. Discard the thyme sprig. Let cool and then puree in two or three batches in a bender or food processor. Rinse the pot and return the soup to the pot and season more with salt and pepper if desired. Keep warm and serve. 
As mentioned above in the recipe, YES butter is allowed in the 21 Day Fix even though it is not mentioned in the books (at least the original books released for the 21 Day Fix).  Organic chicken broth (low sodium) is also allowed. If you check out Autumn's videos on YouTube you gives you better insight into the Fix and offers some great recipe ideas as well. If you want to watch the video where autumn talks about butter you can watch it below!


Sunday, November 16, 2014

21 Day Fix Approved Condiments!

I apologize for not posting last week but it was just one of those weeks you feel really drained. Too tell you the truth I completely underestimated the toll a trip down to South Carolina and back within one weekend would take on me. Pretty much the rest of the week I spent trying to catch up and energize myself. Although the trip was well worth it since I got to see a close friend of mine, it is definitely a trip I will only make again if I am staying for more then just a short weekend. 

Finally towards the end of this week I caught up and am finally not feeling so exhausted. This weekend I was also able to get back on track with my workouts and healthy eating. I will admit that going off of the fix for a week and then going back on did make me realize how much I miss certain foods like condiments. With that said it made me think as to why we can't create a balance and come up with some more flavorful toppings for our food. So this weekend I scoured the internet and found some recipes for homemade condiments that were either already fixed approved or close enough that I could alter them for the 21 Day Fix. 

The first recipe I found was from FoodNetwork.com for a Caesar Dressing. The only thing I switched out was mayo for plain greek yogurt:


Caesar Salad Dressing
1 teaspoon

Ingredients
  • 6 gloves of garlic, mashed and minced
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly grated parmesan
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Combine garlic, mustard, vinegar, and two pinches of salt into a blender and mix well. Add in greek yogurt and parmesan and mix well. Add pepper to taste if desired. 

~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~

When I was looking through the Beachbody website and saw a 21 Day Fix approved Ketchup recipe I got really excited - especially after I saw that it counts as 1 green!

Just keep in mind this recipe makes 10 servings (about 2 tbsp each). Original Recipe

Ketchup
1 green (2 tbsp)

Ingredients
1 (15oz) can of organic tomato sauce no salt or sugar added
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of coconut sugar (or pure maple sugar)

Directions
  1. Heat all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil while stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. Place into container and chill for at least 2 hours. 
~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~

Another recipe I found on the Beachbody site was Ranch, which tends to be a food staple here in Ohio for some. Original Recipe

Ranch Dressing
1/2 blue (Recipe makes 5 servings, about 2 tablespoons each)

Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup non-fat plain greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup of low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon of ranch seasoning
Directions
  1. Combine yogurt, buttermilk, and seasoning in a bowl and mix well. Serve & enjoy!
~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~

The final condiment recipe I found that is 21 Day Fixed approved is BBQ sauce. I found this recipe on CleanEatingOnline.com. Original Recipe


BBQ Sauce
1 orange container

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar 
  • 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of worcestershire sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1 tsp of onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp of sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
Directions
  1. In a medium sauce pan whisk together 1/2 cup of water, tomato paste, vinegar, maple syrup, worcestershire sauce, garlic, onion powder, salt, and pepper flakes. 
  2. Bring sauce to a boil on medium high heat and continue to boil for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in oil. 



Monday, November 3, 2014

Pumping Some Iron...

Last week an extra early Christmas gift came in the mail for me. Since the Les Mills Pump set was on sale and I have been wanting it for a very long time my husband decided to be extra sweet and bought it for me. The best part is, he didn't even make me wait until Christmas to open it! So last Tuesday I started Pump and I have got to say that I am in LOVE with the results I am seeing already. 

I knew that lifting weights was the key to reaching my next fitness goal but I wasn't quite sure about how I wanted to start my resistance training. The rep effects within Les Mills really gets a good burn going and the program has so many modifications that anyone can get started on this program. Pump has me more then excited to see where I will be in 90 days :)

To keep on target with my goals I also need to make sure that I am getting proper nutrition. I will continue to follow the 21 Day Fix meal plan but I have decided to mix it up and start to play around with flex dieting. Although I will be starting flex dieting, more Fix recipes/meal ideas will keep on coming each week. Instead of posting the meals on Sundays I have decided that Monday nights actually fit my schedule better so I will continue to post weekly on Monday night from now on.

This weekend I wasn't in much of a mood for cooking large meals so I decided to be lazy and create a 21 Day Fix approved pizza. This recipe can be so versatile and you can mix it up a lot!

21 Day Fix Pizza

1 yellow, 1 purple, 1 blue

Ingredients
  • 1 whole wheat sandwich thin (you can also mix this up with flatbread, a tortilla shell, or any type of whole wheat approved yellow. What's great is you can even omit yellow all together and make your own cauliflower crust!)
  • 1/4 cup of pizza sauce (purple - or make your own sauce and count it as a green)
  • 1 blue container of mozzarella (or whatever cheese you prefer)
  • OPTIONAL: Add veggies for a green, or even chicken, turkey sausage, or lean ground hamburger for a red!
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  2. On a nonstick baking sheet place each half of the sandwich, top with sauce, cheese, and toppings if desired.
  3. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Trick r Treat fun plus 21 Day Fix Fruit Salsa & Cinnamon Chips Recipe

Trick 'r Treat was this weekend... and that only means one thing; Temptation is EVERYWHERE!!
The fall and Halloween are and always will be my favorite time of the year, but it is also one of the hardest seasons for me. Being a past binge eater it is extremely difficult to not go back to my old ways, especially when I am surrounded by candy. There's candy at work, candy at home, and candy
lining the isles of every grocery store I visit.

And I will be honest there were a few times in the last few weeks I haven't been on my best behavior BUT I am sticking to my guns and haven't binged! Sometimes you just have to look at all the positives you have accomplished and not focus on the few negatives that have happened. When you focus on the negative it will make you feel bad and discourage you from future success. So whether you have given into a little bit of temptation or were able to completely forfeit all seasonal temptation go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back! You deserve it either way. 

Even though I did cheat a few times, I have been good today and plan on staying good. My next accountability group on Facebook will be a FREE Hot for the Holidays group that will begin November 3rd. I have decided that this group will focus on flexible eating and include accountability for workouts and avoiding holiday binges. There will also be a few prizes involved as well! 

This group will be small so if you are interested in joining please send me an e-mail (resolutionslimdown@gmail.com), or you can always connect with me on Facebook!


All this talk about the holidays and treats got me thinking about this amazing fruit salsa and cinnamon sugar tortilla chips that I made a few Thanksgivings ago. Since I obviously cannot eat the original recipe and stick to my meal plan I decided to remake that recipe and make it 21 Day Fix Approved. 

21 Day Fix Fruit Salsa & Cinnamon Chips

21 day fix recipe, fruit salsa and cinnamon chips1 yellow, 1 purple, 1 tsp (oils), and 2 tsps (coffee section)

Ingredients
1 6inch whole wheat tortilla shell
1/2 small gala apple
1/2 purple container of frozen strawberries (partially thawed)
1 tsp of coconut oil
2 tsps of raw sugar (coffee section, max amount for day)
Cinnamon to taste (Free)

Directions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  2. Put your teaspoon of coconut oil in a small dish and melt it in the microwave (should only take a few seconds).
  3. In a small dish place one of your teaspoons of raw sugar and sprinkle some cinnamon in until you get a nice even mixture of cinnamon to sugar. Place bowl to the side.
  4. Take the tortilla shell and put it on a cutting board. Brush some of the coconut oil onto the tortilla shell until it has a slight coating over the whole shell. Then sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture over the tortilla shell. 
  5. Cut the tortilla into small triangles (chips), and then transfer the chips over to a non-stick baking sheet. 
  6. Place in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes. 
  7. While the chips are baking take your partially thawed strawberries and blend them and also dice up your apple into small pieces. Put the diced apples and blended strawberries into a small bowl. Sprinkle over your last teaspoon of sugar and mix. Put the bowl to the side
  8. Once the chips are done, let them cool and then enjoy!



Sunday, October 19, 2014

Meet Dottie!

This last week we introduced a new member to the Armour family. After a quick trip to a local animal shelter we brought home a cute and lovable beagle by the name of Dottie. She is one of the sweetest dogs you could meet and it has made my daughter happier then I can put into words to have an animal companion that is her best friend now.  The only thing that saddened me about going to the shelter was seeing so many puppies homeless. I am such a softie when it comes to animals.

Besides introducing a new member into our family, this week seems to have flown by. Between getting my car worked on, gymnastics for the little one, and finishing up my first 8 week class of the semester it's no wonder that this week has gone by so fast. I do have to say that turning in my last assignment today for my business communications class was a nice touch to the week. I am now officially finished with the class and can say I am now only 3 classes away from graduation! woo-hoo!! My next 8 week class begins tomorrow and I can't wait to get through it and bring on the holidays. 

This weekend I also took the time and found a yummy fall recipe that is fixed approved. It seems that I am still stuck on my pumpkin kick :)

Beachbody's Pumpkin Protein Muffins



Total Time: 28 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: 18 min.
Yield: 12 servings, 1 muffin each = 1/2 red & 1/2 blue/orange

Ingredients:
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • ¼ cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 large banana, cut into chunks
  • ½ cup all-natural almond butter
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 scoops Beachbody Whey Protein Powder, Vanilla flavor, or equivalent (I use Vanilla Shakeology)
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
  • 1 dash ground nutmeg

Preparation:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Prepare twelve muffin cups by lining with muffin papers or coating with spray.
  3. Place egg, egg white, pumpkin, banana, almond butter, and maple syrup in blender; cover. Blend for 30 seconds.
  4. Add Protein Powder, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg; cover. Blend until smooth.
  5. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups.
  6. Bake 16 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown and tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Transfer muffins to rack; cool.
images from beachbody website: http://www.teambeachbody.com/teambeachbodyblog/nutrition/pumpkin-protein-muffins

Sunday, October 5, 2014

We have barely started October and already I had to turn my heater on! Northwest Ohio got a bit chilly this weekend and I even saw a few snowflakes on Saturday! Luckily it was just a few and not enough to say it snowed, but the idea that there were a few flakes that hit the ground is kind of upsetting. I truly LOVE fall but I absolutely HATE what follows. The idea of skipping fall and possibly going straight into winter scares me. I am definitely not keen on the whole winter thing. Luckily the temps should pick up a little this week I am just hoping that by the time trick r treat rolls around it will warm up so the kids don't freeze to death. 

Although it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas with the few flakes in the air I got to decorate the house a bit for fall. I wasn't about to let jack frost steal my thunder so I lit a few pumpkin spiced candles and set the mood for fall indoors. Looking for some fall inspiration I also stumbled upon this Apple Harvest Muffin recipe and I think I am in LOVE <3 . Best part is it can fit into the 21 Day Fix!

Apple Harvest Muffins

Total Time: 28 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: 18 min.
Yield: 12 servings, 1 muffin each

Ingredients:
  • Nonstick cooking spray (optional)
  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup wheat bran (or oat bran)
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ cup apple butter, no sugar added
  • ½ cup low-fat buttermilk (or nonfat plain yogurt)2 large egg whites
  • 1 medium apple, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • ½ cup chopped pitted prunes
Preparation:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Prepare twelve muffin cups by lining with muffin papers or coating with spray.
  3. Combine flour, bran, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl; mix well. Set aside.
  4. Combine apple butter, buttermilk, and egg whites in a large bowl; mix well.
  5. Add flour mixture to apple butter mixture; mix until just blended.
  6. Add apples and prunes; mix until just blended.
  7. Divide batter among twelve prepared muffin cups.
  8. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown and tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Transfer muffins to rack; cool.
For the full nutritional values and information please visit Beachbody's website: 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My Fab Fit Fun Fall Box is Here!!

After a very busy day I rushed home to finish up a homework assignment and as I pulling into the drive way I realized that my Fall Fab Fit Fun Box was sitting on my front porch! Once I finished my assignment, helped my daughter with her homework, and the did my typical mom stuff (making dinner, cleaning, and etc) I was finally able to open my FFF box! 

Below is a quick video that shows you everything I got in this box. Again I am happy with all the goodies that I got and can't wait to try out my new & very cute apron. My all time favorite item out of this box was the thank you cards with wax and stamp. I just love the idea of sending a hand written card and sealing it. The only item that I didn't care for were the pretzels. I found them a bit too spicy for me which hardly ever happens. There just wasn't much of a flavor besides spice. Another items that I loved was the lip gloss which completely made up for the after taste from the pretzels. All and all it was a great box, and I can't wait to see what comes in my winter box! 


If you are wanting to purchase your own FabFitFun box simply click on this link:  http://vip.fff.me/7SlhS?s=e

Monday, September 29, 2014

Am I Crazy or Just Fit?

I'll be honest and admit it... I'm not a runner. I have never been able to get into running and for some reason my arches kill me when I do. However there was something almost satisfying about completing my first 5K this weekend. Although I had to take a few breaks here and there and walk I was able to run my first 5K. To be honest I was going to just walk the whole thing and go home and workout, but something in my head was pushing me and it's like I had to prove it to myself that I was able to do it.

Even though I hated every minute that I ran, it was completely out-weighed by the high I experienced crossing the finish line. That small high of accomplishment was overwhelmingly addicting that I have decided to sign up for another 5K in October. This is all funny to me since at one time in my life I would have laughed at (and called anyone a liar) if they said I would willingly run a 5K. I have realized that the fitter I become the more addicting it is. Sure there are days (a lot of them sometimes) where I REALLY don't want to workout, but I do it. Even on days I plan to skip I almost feel like I am missing something until I finally workout. 

Other then participating in the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure I spent a good deal of my time finishing up a school project and spending time with my family. Meal prepping went to the wayside Sunday so I have spent a good deal of my time tonight catching up and getting my food ready for the week. Not having anything ready for today made me realize how much prepping food once a week helps me stay on track. If you're not already prepping meals I would highly recommend starting, since it makes staying on track a million times easier! This weekend I will write a blog on some pointers for prepping food and give you a peak at how I plan my meals out. 

Since I didn't post a recipe this weekend I figured I would do it tonight. In preparation for my run I carbed it out the night before and had some 21 Day Fix approved mac and cheese.

21 Day Fix Mac n Cheese
1 yellow, 1 blue

21 day fix mac n cheeseIngredients
  • 1 yellow container of whole wheat macaroni noodles
  • 1 blue container of extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2-4 tablespoons of reduced-sodium chicken broth (Free)
Directions
  1. Boil and drain your macaroni noodles
  2. Put your macaroni noodles back in the sauce pan and add 2 to 4 tablespoons of chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and add in your cheese. Stir until creamy. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Another Weekend Gone... & 21 Day Fix Banana Pancakes!


Just as soon as the weekend is here it is gone again. I cherish the time I get to spend with my family on the weekends, but now we are winding down for the evening and getting ready for another busy week! There is so much to do this coming week I am almost exhausted just thinking about it! Between running around for girl scouts, gymnastics, the Susan G Komen Race For the Cure, family get togethers, on top of my regular work schedule and school assignments I am sure this week will fly by before my eyes. It seems like the busier I am the faster my time goes. 


I am just glad I got another lazy weekend in before this week approaches. Although I say lazy I did manage to get all my workouts in and stay on track with my healthy eating. I even came up with a new banana pancake recipe for the 21 Day Fix! I wasn't sure about making these since I am not that big on pancakes (I know I'm crazy, who doesn't love pancakes?) but these were pretty awesome and really easy to make!

Banana Pancakes

Serves 1 (makes two pancakes); 1 Red, 1 Yellow, 1 Purple, 1 tsp from coffee section

Ingredients


  • 1 Banana 
  • 1 yellow container of quick oats
  • 2 eggs (I removed one of the yolks)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla 
  • 1 tsp of purple maple syrup (coffee section)
  • Cinnamon to Taste

Directions

  1. Place all of your ingredients in a blender and mix well. 
  2. Let the batter sit for 4 or so minutes just so it can thicken a little. 
  3. Spray a medium skillet with a little non stick cooking spray and cook each pancake on medium low heat until both sides are golden brown. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Change Your Life and Contribute to a Great Cause

So Beachbody just made some BIG announcements and I couldn't help but share them with all of you! First as you all know I am impatiently waiting on the release of P90 this coming Tuesday, September 23rd! Well Beachbody not only announced that the challenge pack will go on sale starting on day one for only $170! That's a $70 savings! BUT Beachbody also announced that for the first 50,000  sold they will donate $5 per challenge pack to Wounded Warrior! The possibility that such a great organization could have a quarter of a million dollars donated to them has me pretty excited! In the spirit of giving I have decided that for any challenge pack (P90 or other) purchased through me I will double Beachbody's donation to Wounded Warrior!


Anyways... the announcements don't stop there! Beachbody has also announced that they will be releasing two new programs in the near future. The two programs are Insanity Max: 30 and (drum roll please)... 21 Day Fix Extreme!! The preview for the 21 Day Fix Extreme has me pretty pumped!! I am already in love with the original 21 Day Fix program and can't wait to get my hands on this new addition. The planned release for Insanity is December but it looks like we will have to wait until February for the release of 21 Day Fix Extreme :(

To hold us over though they have release a pretty awesome trailer for the 21 Day Fix Extreme, which I have posted below!


If your interested in purchasing a challenge pack from me please shoot me an e-mail at resolutionslimdown@gmail.com or simply click on my Fitness Store tab at the top. Just make sure that when you go to check out and create your Beachbody account (at the bottom of the checkout screen) it has my name listed:


If you already have an Independent Beachbody Coach and have either tried to contact them for info/help and they have have not responded to you or if you would just like to have me as your personal Beachbody coach all you have to do to switch over is e-mail Coach Relations at coachrelations@teambeachbody.com with the Subject Title: Coach Change Request and simply copy and paste the following information:

To Whom, it Concerns,
I would like to change my beachbody coach effective immediatey to:
Name: Ashley Armour / Coac ID #: 337607 / Email Address: resolutionslimdown@gmail.com

XO Ashley

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Comfort Food Meets 21 Day Fix - Hello Lasagna!

This weekend was nice and relaxing. Didn’t do much of anything which was a nice change. No homework deadlines and no running around trying to get stuff done. I was able to get my workouts in bright and early and not have to worry about doing them at night. This has created a new goal for me. This week I am going to try to get up even earlier and push play before I get ready for work. Granted I have never been much of a morning person but I am going to give it a shot. It never hurts to try right?

Besides getting my early morning workouts in I was also able to create a 21 Day Fix friendly version of Lasagna. Unfortunately I didn’t get to take a picture of it baked since I kind of dove right in. I just couldn’t help it since it looked so yummy! If there is a recipe you would like me to re-do for The Fix, always feel free to contact me!

21 Day Fix Lasagna 

You can make this two different ways below is for anyone who wants to use noodles for a yellow container. However you can make it with spaghetti squash instead by swapping 2 yellow for 2 green. If you only want to have one green container per serving when using spaghetti squash just remove the spinach. 

(Makes 2 Servings)
Per serving: 1 Yellow, 1 blue, 1.25 red, 1 green, 1 purple 

  • 2 yellow containers of whole wheat lasagna noodles (or any whole wheat noodles you desire; I used macaroni noodles since it’s what I had on hand
  • 1 red container of cooked lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
  • 1 red container of ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 loosely packed green containers of spinach
  • fresh chopped parsley 
  • 2 blue containers of mozzarella
  • 2 purple containers of organic marinara sauce

Directions


  1. Preheat your oven for 375 degrees
  2. While your oven is preheating start to boil your noodles and in a ball add in your ricotta and egg. Chop up your spinach and add it in with the ricotta along with your parsley. Place this bowl to the side
  3. Mix in your marinara sauce and lean ground beef in a separate bowl. 
  4. In a small pan (I used a thin 7 1/2 by 9 1/2 pyrex dish) put a small amount of the sauce at the bottom. Add half of your noodles, then 1/2 ricotta, and 1 blue container of mozzarella. You will want to layer again putting your sauce, noodles, ricotta, and top off with the remaining ricotta. 
  5. Bake for approximately 25 - 35 minutes until the cheese has browned a little on top. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Feeling Festively Fallish

After a few hot days I woke up to a nice cool day that has me impatiently awaiting for falls arrival. There is just something I love so much about fall. My husband on the other hand hates it. He always tells me that he doesn’t like it because everything is dying and it reminds him that soon winter will be here. Although I am definitely NOT a fan of winter I always look forward to this time of year. 

I love the weather because generally it’s not too hot or not too cold. Cool enough to wear jeans and a sweatshirt and have your windows open in your house and feel the cool fresh air blow through the house. I love pumpkins not only to decorate with but how there is just about anything that comes in either a pumpkin scent or flavor. I love the warm festive colors that not only we decorate our homes in but that nature decorates itself in. The list continues to go on and it gives me a very homey feeling and makes me feel some how closer to my family. 

This truly is my favorite time of the year and I can’t wait to celebrate it with my family with get-togethers, trick-r-treating with Chloe, pumpkin farm trips, and just genially spending time with my loved ones. I am curious as to what every one else’s favorite time of year is and why. Please share what makes you love your favorite season below. 


Before I end this post I do want to share a very festive recipe I stumbled across on Beachbody’s blog. It completely fits my fall theme and has me excited since it fits my 21 Day Fix meal plan (1 yellow):


Pumpkin Spice Latte



Total Time: 10 min
Prep Time: 5 min
Cooking Time: 5 min
Yield: 1 Serving

Ingredients

  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 Tbsp. pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup brewed black coffee or 1 shot espresson
  • 1 dash ground nutmeg (to taste; optional)

Preparation 

  1. Heat milk, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and extract in medium saucepan over medium heat; cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until mixture is hot, but not boiling. It is ready when there are many small bubbles on the sides of the saucepan.
  2. Remove from heat; mix vigorously with a whisk until frothy.
  3. Pour coffee or espresso into serving mug; top with milk mixture.
  4. Top with nutmeg if desired.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Ooey Gooey Yummy-ness..Chocolate Chip Shakeology Cookies

It’s official the weekend is over with…insert sad music. 

Although I am sad to see the weekend go I will admit that I am pretty excited to get this week started at work since it’s the kick off of our Slim Down Challenge. Being in charge of the employee activities is pretty awesome especially since I get to blend my real job with my love of helping others get healthy! The best part about this activity at work is seeing how many people are interested in this event.  It’s always awesome when you get to mix work with something you love so much!

Any-who.. the main reason why I jumped on here before I called it a night was to post about my Shakeology Cookie Recipe. I know I mentioned no-bake cookies but when my husband came home with chocolate chip cookies I decided that I had to make my own or else I would find myself face first in the bag of yummy-ness filled with too much sugar, fat, and calories. 


It took awhile but I figured out how to swap some not so healthy ingredients out and came up with my own:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour (or oat flour)
  • 2 scoops of vanilla Shakeology
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/3 cup of applesauce
  • 1/3 cup of honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate mini chocolate chips

Directions 

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combined the flour, shakeology, salt, and baking soda; mix well and set it aside
  2. In another bowl combine the applesauce, honey, egg, and vanilla extract and mix it all together.
  3. Once you have the liquids mixed together add the liquid mixture into the bowl with the flour mixture. 
  4. Stir in your chocolate chips.
  5. Take a tablespoon and drop the cookies on a non-stick pan. I would also recommend spraying the cookie sheet with a little coconut non-stick spray if you have it. 
  6. Bake for approximately 8 to 10 minutes or until done. Cool and Enjoy!

One cookie = 111 calories and 2.3 grams of protein. These cookies can also be swapped out for a yellow container on the 21 Day Fix in place of the double chocolate cookies. 

For future reference you can find this recipe on both the recipe tab and the shakeology recipe tab. 

Better Late then Never

This weekend was full of fun, food, and family; and it’s hard to believe the three day weekend is almost over with. I figured with the extra day I would be able to accomplish a lot more, but I over estimated my abilities. I did however get most of my recipes done this weekend and ended up posting them last last night (sorry had to watch my Falling Skies season finale!, yes I know I am such a Nerd)

There were a few recipes that I promised though that I didn’t post. I made the homemade wheat bread but I wasn’t a fan so I figured it’s better to post no recipe then a bad recipe! So I will be re-working  the wheat bread recipe until I get it right and post it at a later time. I also never got to make my protein no-bake cookies, but I am hoping I can do that today and post it later tonight.

Although I didn’t get to post everything as planned I did get to post the following 21 day fix recipes: chicken parmesan, french fries, berry greek yogurt, apple desert, and I added on buffalo chicken wrap. I am pretty excited that I am able to share my 21 Day Fix recipes with everyone. This is such a great program and as long as you know all your options you can make with the approved foods you will never feel deprived! 




Again I am always open to ideas and if there is a recipe that you would like me to re-work for the Fix always feel free to e-mail me! 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Always Make Time for the Most Important Things in Life

It’s kind of a late night post but it was a very busy day! I was able to accomplish a lot around the house this morning and I was also able to get an awesome workout in by doing Turbo Fire 55 EZ. It’s been a while since I have done 55 EZ that I forgot how much fun it is! 



This afternoon I took my daughter into town with me for a quick little mommy-daughter date before getting groceries. Chloe told me she wanted to get her hair cut just like mine so we stopped by one of the hair salons and got her an angled bob. It’s so cute that she wanted to look just like her momma :) . 



After she was done getting her haircut we stopped by Justice to look at some clothes for her and then went over to Claire’s to get some jewelry. She ended up deciding she didn’t want to get any jewelry and got another cat stuffed animal to add to her collection. I on the other hand found two rings I fell in love with and bought them both. Luckily for me it was buy one get one 50% off. 




We finished off the afternoon with getting two cookies from Great American Cookies before we headed off to Kroger to pick up groceries. I gotta say this mom-daughter day was extremely over due and it was nice just going out and bonding. Time has flown by so fast with her and I need to make sure to carve out more time for days like this. Before I know it she will be off to college and have no time for her Mom. 


Friday, August 29, 2014

MyDay Friday...Bring on the weekend!!

It’s finally FRIDAY! Yay!! And the best part about that is it’s a 3 day weekend! Heck yeah! Don’t get me wrong I love my job, but every once and awhile I like to just chill out with my family and relax. There is almost a sense of calm I feel when I know that I don’t have deadlines to focus on for an extra day and I get to just rest and relax with my family.

Today just happens to be my rest / cheat day as well. I know a lot of people tend to have their cheat days on Sundays and refer to them as “Sunday Funday” but I refer to my Fridays as “MyDay Friday”. Tomorrow I will be back at the grind again and I have some pretty yummy yet healthy recipes planned for this weekend. So instead of just posting one recipe this weekend my plan is to post at least 7 so I can get my recipe page filled up with some yummy goodness faster! 

So far this is what I have planned for my baking/cooking agenda this weekend: no-bake Shakeology cookies, 21 day fix apple bake, 21 day fix strawberry yogurt, mexican chicken, and homemade whole wheat bread. 

I know you’re probably thinking, “Wait I thought you said 7 recipes? That’s only 5!” 

Don’t worry I know how to count :) … This week I also made a few recipes that I plan on posting. Those recipes included: 21 Day Fix chicken parmesan and 21 day fix oven baked fries; which I will be posting this weekend as well! 

Happy Friday everyone!


~If there is a recipe you would like me to re-work for the 21 Day Fix I am open to suggestions! Just comment below or e-mail me with ideas and I can always add those recipes onto my list.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

It's Finally Here! What all I got in my FabFitFun box...

Today my FabFitFun Box finally came in! I know ... it hasn't even been a week since I ordered it, BUT it seemed like an eternity. Before I got around to opening my box I of course had to get stuff done like my homework that was due at 7 and make dinner with my fam. (Which BTW it was super delicious. I will posting a yummy 21 Day Fix - Chicken Parmesan Recipe this weekend!).

Anyways.. Here is what I got in my FabFitFun Summer Box:

Sonya Dakar Flash Facial: Retail $95
pur~lisse pur~protect SPF 30: Retail $55
Thursday-Friday Away Mini Clutch/Makeup Bag: Retail $35
Balanced Guru No Frizz Oil: Retail $25
FabFitFun Water Infuser BPA-free Water Bottle: Retail $15
Zoya Nail Polish: Retail $9
KISSTIXX Lip Balm: Retail $5.99
POPchips: Retail $1.29
Skintimate Shave Gel: Retail $1.99
Always Xtra Protection Long Daily Liners: $1.50
Slimfast Have Your Cake... Meal Bar $1

GRAND TOTAL: $245.77


Keep in mind that I paid less then $50 to join this club! Pretty much a $200 savings!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

To Binge or Not to Binge... That is Not the Question

Sometimes stress can get the best of us…and tonight is one of those nights for me. My daughter came home with a TON of homework tonight so I spent pretty much my whole evening arguing with her about doing it. There were a million other things I would have rather been doing but I spent my night stressing because she wasn’t getting it done on time and it was taking more time away from me getting my homework done too. 

Yep, that’s right my homework too.. My fall semester just started yesterday as well and I already need to have two chapters read and two assignments done by TOMORROW. Eeek! I thought this degree program was supposed to be geared towards working adults! Its nights like these I cannot wait until I am done with my bachelors! I just have to consistently remind myself that it’s “only 4 more classes!”. Just 4 more classes and then I will be done with school and I will finally be able to take a break and enjoy my time with my family more! 

But until that day comes, when there is no more school, it’s moments like these that it’s hard to not go out to the kitchen and devour the yummy moose tracks ice cream that I know is out in the freezer or to go binge on the chocolate chip cookies I know are in the cabinet. Whenever I’m stressed I always want to turn to food. It’s a built in reaction that I still fight to this day, but luckily I have not caved and have learned to some-what control it. Instead of caving I learned to take short little breaks for myself like right now. Instead of chowing down on that yummy ice cream with the cookies on top ;) I am sitting at my computer writing this quick blog until I spend the next 25 minutes doing some T-25. 

It’s because I am able to refocus myself that I am able to over come my compulsion to binge eat. I distract myself with things like blogs, helping others, and improving my overall fitness level. I drive myself daily to a better version of me and have learned that it’s ok to be a little selfish and take some time to work on myself for once.  


So my message is to all those moms out there who work and/or go to school and are raising their families… just hang tight, keep focused, and always set some time aside for you and your health. Remember that we cannot take good care of our loved ones if we are not taking good care of ourselves - both physically and emotionally.