Plans for the New Year?

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I don’t mean New Year’s Eve…I’m talking about after the ball drops. What next?

If you’re like just about everyone else on the planet, you’re thinking about what you can do this year to make your life better. And if you’re like 99% of those people, “health and/or fitness” is probably near the very top of your list! Am I right?

Now you need a plan. Because the problem with New Year’s resolutions is that it’s one thing to think about what you want to do, it’s another thing to write it down and start to plan HOW you’ll get there…. and then begin to execute that plan! Most of us get stuck in the thought process, and never turn our goals into action!

Not you…not this year! 2016 is your year to make it happen! And I’ve got options…but you’ll have to hurry!

The new year is RIGHT around the corner. 2015 is in the books. We’re putting this year behind us, for better or worse, and focusing on a year full of opportunities! Imagine what you can accomplish in the next 366 days! (LEAP YEAR BABY!)

I’ve made it my job to help people find success in programs that can be done at home, on your time – no need for a pricey gym membership or fancy equipment.

So here’s what I have going in January:

OPTION #1

Starting January 4th: The Master’s Hammer & Chisel VIP Test Group

This group is for anyone who wants to join me for 60 days, following this new strength training program that is already getting some AMAZING results!

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Act fast to take advantage of the sale prices when you purchase the Challenge Pack (with Shakeology) or the Performance Pack (with pre-workout “Energize” and post-workout “Recovery” supplement formulas). You’ll save about $80 with these bundles AND you’ll also get 30 days FREE access to Beachbody on Demand, a free bonus workout plus discount shipping.

Check out this quick video for more information:

 

See the links below to order or learn more!

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OPTION #2

Starting January 4th: Fit & Lean in 2016

This 21 day group is for ANYONE doing any program! Most participants will be using the 21 Day Fix, because…IT IS PROVEN to work time and time again! Women who follow this program generally lose up to 3-5 pounds per week. You’ll get a simple meal plan, which includes handy, color-coded portion control containers (no counting points or calories! If it fits, you can eat it!). *There’s even a container for wine and chocolate! 🙂 Combine that with daily 30 minute workouts and you get results like this!

Michelle_C_resultsCheck out the links below!

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And finally…OPTION #3

Starting January 1st! Step into 2016!

This free group is for anyone who has some step goals for the new year! (using FitBit, VivoFit, Apple Watch, etc. to track)

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Click HERE to join!

 

So…what’s it going to be? Pick an option and let’s resolve to reach our goals in 2016!

 

 

April Fools Day Dinner Fake-Out!

I’ve already been sprayed in the face twice at my kitchen sink and there are booby-traps all over my house. And it’s all my fault! I’ve pulled some good pranks on my kids over the years! Once, when my husband was traveling for work, I made an entire ‘fake Daddy’ and propped him up at the kitchen table, holding a newspaper. When the kids ran around to hug him, they stopped dead in their tracks! Daddy’s head was made of newspaper! BAHAHAHA! There have been frozen bowls of cereal, taped up computer mice, and lots of other hijinks! And now they think it’s pretty fun to ‘get me’!

Well….it’s payback time!

I’ve actually done this one with my kids before, and it’s always good for a laugh! 🙂

Kids: “Mom, what’s for dinner?”

Mom: “Cupcakes and french fries!”

Kids: “Mom has lost her marbles…AGAIN!”

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“Cupcakes” (Individual Turkey Meatloafs)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound 93%-lean ground turkey
  • 1 medium zucchini, shredded
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup uncooked old-fashioned oats
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce or ketchup w/honey (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Generously spray a nonstick muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. Gently mix turkey, zucchini, onion, bell pepper, oatmeal, egg, Worcestershire, mustard, pepper and salt in a large bowl, preferably with your hands, without overworking. Equally divide the mixture among the muffin cups. Spread barbecue sauce or ketchup w/honey on top of each loaf, if using.
  3. Bake until the meatloaves are cooked through or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 165 degrees F, about 25 minutes. Let the loaves stand in the pan for 5 minutes before serving.

 

“Frosting” (Mashed Cauliflower)

*Recipe from SkinnyMs.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/4 cup skim or reduced fat milk, unsweetened nondairy milk, or 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS

Boil a large pot of salted water. Add cauliflower and cook until very tender, about 10 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, in a separate saute pan, warm olive oil over medium-low heat, add garlic and saute for about 30 seconds, or until the garlic is golden and fragrant. Remove from the heat.

Mash with a potato masher in a large bowl. For a smoother mashed cauliflower, use an immersion or hand blender to puree, or puree it in the food processor. While mixing, slowly add in the milk until the desired consistency is achieved. Mix in the salt and pepper and the minced garlic with the olive oil. Serve.

Mashed cauliflower can be topped with chopped scallions if desired.

*Use a little food coloring if desired!

“French Fries” (Cinnamon Apples)

Simply cut up a couple of apples. Use a fancy slicer if you have one! Toss with a dash of cinnamon and serve with a side of strawberry or raspberry preserves!

Want more healthy, family-friendly recipes and meal plan ideas? Check out my FREE Weekly Meal plan!

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Busy Mom Nutrition Tip – Healthy Alternatives

I don’t think I’ve ever tried posting a Vlog! But I’m going for it today!

If you’re having trouble convincing your kids to get on-board with healthier eating…I get it! Been there. Done that! My kids did not react well when I told them I would no longer be buying hot dogs or chicken nuggets at the store. That’s not to say that they will never eat them again. I am all for special occasion allowances. However, I just don’t add these items to my grocery list anymore!

I’ve found ways to substitute healthier alternatives, for the foods that they love. And of course, it’s a work in progress! We are always looking for new foods to try! The wonderful thing is that the kids are so much more aware of the foods that they eat. They read labels just like I do! And that makes my heart go pitter-pat!

So here is my vlog! What do you think?

This is one of the examples from the video:yogurt_compare

Which yogurt would you pick? Carrageenan is an ingredient that you will find in some yogurts, soy milk, ice cream, etc. It’s added to make foods thicker, creamier and to create a ‘fuller’ feeling to low-fat foods. The problem is that carrageenan could be causing inflammation, gut irritation and even cancer. Beginning in the 1960s, researchers started linking the ingredient to gastrointestinal disease in lab animals, including ulcerative colitis, intestinal lesions, and colon cancer.

Make sure you scan your labels! If you see the “c” word…RUN!

 

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Easiest Peasiest Homemade *Slow Cooker* Chicken Soup

Do you ever get a hankering for some homemade chicken soup, but you just don’t have the time? VOILA! I’ve got the answer, and I found it by accident! That is usually how I get my best ideas…accidentally. 🙂

I started out this recipe as something totally different, and then halfway through decided it would be chicken soup. And it was so easy! The kids and the husband ALL loved it – there was some definite bowl-licking going on!

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And so…here’s what you do.

Ingredients

  • 2 lb. Chicken Thighs OR breasts
  • ½ T. sea salt
  • ¼ t. Pepper
  • 1 t. poultry seasoning
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 5 C. Chicken Broth
  • 1 C. chopped carrots
  • 1 C. chopped celery
  • 1 C. chopped onion
  • 2 ½ C. wide egg noodles *optional (to keep the carbs down use kale instead! apx 4 cups, stems removed and chopped)
  • Additional Salt and Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken in the bottom of a crock pot. Sprinkle the salt and pepper and poultry seasoning over the chicken.
  2. Pour the chicken broth into the crock pot.
  3. Cook the chicken on high for 4 hours.
  4. After 4 hours the chicken should be very tender. Remove the chicken from the crock pot and place in a bowl.
  5. At this point, if you desire, you can strain the broth in the crock pot through a fine mesh sieve(if you want a broth free from any debris left from the chicken). Add the broth back to the crock pot after straining.
  6. Turn heat back to high.
  7. Lightly shred the chicken cover and refrigerate.
  8. Add the carrots, onions, and celery to the broth and cook on high for 2 hours.
  9. In the last 30-40 minutes of cooking, add the noodles OR kale to the soup. *Adjust time as needed to make sure noodles/kale are cooked and tender.
  10. Check the seasonings and add more salt or pepper as necessary.
  11. Add the chicken to the soup and allow to reheat for about 10 minutes.
  12. Enjoy!

 

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Plans for Weekly Meal Plans

So I’ve heard from enough people that they’d be interested in my weekly meal plans, that I’ve decided to start sharing them again. I’m starting with this one here, but I’ll be sending a weekly newsletter, available for FREE if you’d like to receive it every weekend, in time for shopping and planning for the week ahead. Just provide your information below, and you will receive next week’s meal plan via email.

I am a believer in a 5 dinner plan for the week. I have a list of typical breakfasts, lunches and snacks that I almost always eat from, and that just leaves dinners. I have found that we really only need FIVE dinner plans, leaving room for one night of leftovers and one night that is a flex night – either a date night, dinner out, dinner at a friend’s house, etc. There is almost always SOMETHING that comes up like that. So plan for 5 meals, and I think you’ll find that will be enough for the whole week!

Do some weekend meal prepping, for quick and easy breakfast, lunches and snacks that you can grab and GO!

Click HERE for this weeks meal plan.

 

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Better Late than Never!

I did the meal plan! I swear! But I got caught up in all of the Father’s Day festivities yesterday, and just didn’t find a minute to post about it!

I had a couple of splurges over the weekend, just keepin’ it real! We went out for ice cream, and I used to always say, “No thank you”. But my kids began to hate that about me. They wanted to see me enjoying a dish of ice cream as much as they were. And so I decided, that since we go rather infrequently, it’s o.k. to have a scoop or two here and there. And for me I know that it’s not a slippery slope. I like ice cream, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not a ticket to nutrition disaster for me. Now french fries on the other hand…that’s going to be a problem. Therefore, I tend to avoid that temptation all-together!

Anyway…I digress. The point of my splurge admission, is that I’m looking forward to a week of planned meals and staying on track nutritionally. So far, I’m off to a great start! 🙂 And I’m going to need it, because I also just started the second phase of Insanity. Today was the first workout of that madness, and OMG! Have you ever had to crawl to your water bottle?!

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Click here to print and link to recipes.

Can’t Live Without It!

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Ever since my friend Carin suggested that I share my meal plan with my challenge groups, it’s become something I do that keeps me sane (at least partially). Last week I accidentally took a vacation from my meal plan and felt LOST without it! What’s for dinner? I DON’T KNOW!!! With the meal plan, it just forces me to think and plan ahead. I love that I can hang it on the frig and then everyone knows what’s for dinner, without even asking me. Even better is that I know what’s for dinner, so there’s no need for that 5:00 scramble through the kitchen searching high and low for some ingredients to throw together and call “dinner”. Oye! I hate that! Usually while you’re doing that, you’re starving and searching for things to munch on while you’re searching for dinner ingredients, and it’s all just a big mess!

So I’m happy to report that I’m back in action this week! I’ve got the meals all planned. I’m grocery shopping today to make sure I have everything I’ll need for the week, and life is good. (Deep breath…)

Here is what’s cookin’ this week. 🙂

 

Another Sunday, Another Meal Plan

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I have a little bit of ADD. Seriously…don’t we all? I sat down to do my meal plan, got about 20 minutes into it, and found myself making turkey meatloaf muffins and cleaning the kitchen. I like to start a project, and then start 3 more projects in the meantime. I’m not sure why that is, but it is. I will go to do a load of laundry. On the way to the laundry room, I’ll get sidetracked by a library book that should have been returned weeks ago! I’ll pick that up and go to put it in my bag, so that I won’t forget, and notice my checkbook. Oops, forgot to write that check for gymnastics class. Looking for a pen, I see the phone. First I’ll call my mom back and see what she wanted. While I’m talking, I’ll walk around and put the kids’ toys away that they left out all over the house. I’ll walk up to their bedrooms and notice my laptop that they swiped from me. I’ll carry that downstairs and remember I was looking for a pen. I’ll go get a pen and see the dogs bowl is empty…better feed him. Go get the dog food and see the laundry basket that I set in front of the washer 2 hours ago. And that’s how it goes most days. It’s a wonder I get anything done at all!

But I DID get my meal plan done for the week! So at least there’s that!

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Another Meal Plan! Is it Sunday Already?!

This weekend, in a nutshell, was AWESOME! Super Saturday was 10 tons of fun! I got in killer workout with my childhood BFF Jenelle Summers. And after that workout, we all got to do a preview of Shaun T’s new program, coming out this summer, Focus T-25! It was simple yet intense! Basic moves are combined to create a heart-pumping cardio workout for the full 25 minutes…no breaks! The craziest move was 1-armed burpees! Not a surprise from the creator of Insanity, I guess! 🙂 I give it 2 thumbs up! If you’d like to be notified when it comes out and is available to purchase, provide your email below and I’ll let you know!

So without further ado…here is this weeks meal plan.

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Meal Plan and Happy Thought

First my happy thought: I’m so lucky to have such an awesome family! I got to hang out with some cool aunts, uncles and cousins today, when we all got together to celebrate my Grandma’s 85th birthday! Several of them joined me right after the new year, in a challenge group. They are still going strong, working out, eating healthy foods and reporting daily. And I finally saw them IN PERSON today, for the first time since Christmas! Although now they are down 15-25 pounds and dozens of inches EACH! Better than that were the smiles on their faces when they talked about their progress and how happy they are with what they’ve accomplished! What fun! I’ve been smiling all day! 😀

And now my meal plan for the week. This is helping me be accountable so much! I’m hoping that it helps some of you, too! 🙂

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Click here to print and view recipe links.