Turbofire Days 12-37 & The Benefits of Parsely!

Have you ever just craved a eggs & veggies so bad that you wake up, make them and think, “What so now you are a health nut?”

I do this all the time. When I was “dieting” in high school, my go to breakfast was one egg and two egg white scrambled with a piece of bacon and some vegetable stir-fried. To this day, I crave it!! Now instead of just cabbage, broccoli, peppers or onions, I use a variety of ingredients. I LOVE my honeymoon omelettes that consist of bacon, peppers, onions, & mushrooms, but I branch out from leeks, beets, turnips, bok choy, sweet potatoes, and any other unlikely combination you can think of. I usually cut cheese out of the equation and save it for my daughter (it’s her favorite food.)

Who else isn't ready to let go of Valentine's Day? www.hhmomma.com

This AM, I had scrambled eggs with on piece of bacon, some chopped leek, mini peppers, and zucchini! Breakfast Idea - Leek, peppers and zucchini stir-fry with scrambled eggs!!Who else isn't ready to let go of Valentine's Day? www.hhmomma.com

For a couple weeks I am really going to do some CLEAN meals. For lunch I had 4 oz chicken breast and some broccolini with sauteed zucchini and cherry tomatoes.

Health Benefits of Parsley - Do you add parsley to everything too? hhmomma.com

After I sat down to eat, I looked at my meals and thought, “Hey, let’s jazz this up.” I chopped up some fresh parsley and VOILA!

Health Benefits of Parsley - Do you add parsley to everything too? hhmomma.com

Just two tablespoons of parsley has over 130% of your DRI of Vitamin K! It’s saturated with Vitamin A & C, as well as folate and iron. It has plenty of antioxidants too! It’s a bitter flavored plant so it enhances savory flavors of meats. I add parsley to everything. It also extracts toxins, metals, and radicals out of your system sort of like a cleanse. When you are at the grocery store, grab a bunch – or better yet, plant some in your garden this year! I know I will be!

When I am at my computer, I sit for hours going through my social medias and writing on my blog. So, on day 12 I decided that I needed a break from sitting and more ACTIVITY! I thought about vlogging but I don’t know if I am ready or even technically capable of doing so lol! Instead, I’m going to take chunks at time a week to detail my weeks rather than days. Instead of listing my foods and all that on my blog, I show everything on my instagram and myfitnesspal.

Eat Better Feel Better. A motivational Fitness Journal Blog. LOVE her life!

One week ago I shared my 4 week progress! Time has gone by so quickly I am shocked at how my progress my body is showing! I am NOT losing pounds but I AM losing inches and I LOVE IT!

My weekends are always the busiest. I do all of my Shopping & Meal Prep on Saturday & Sunday. I love the weekends because my husband is home to help with the kids, but also because they are the days I enjoy the most.

Mondays are my check in days. I weigh and measure then make sure I post and update and record everything. We also usually Spaghetti for dinner with a salad and sometimes garlic bread.

Tuesday are my cleaning days. When I clean I workout! SQUATS and LUNGES into each room! After I complete a task I do 20 push ups, jumping jacks or just what ever I feel like! My daughter and I have been blasting FROZEN soundtrack and dancing all over the place!

Wednesday is Hump Day – Seafood and Water day!

Thursdays are my kids’ activity days. They have dance and swim lessons, plus we go to the park and run around.

Fridays are Flex Fridays!

Then the weekend starts it all over again!

Last week was a tad bit of a set back for me. My sister went into labor so our endorphins were really flying! I didn’t have time to work out some of the days, plus with all the family time I either over ate on peanut butter, missed my Shakeology, or didn’t watch my proportions. I haven’t gained weight, but the set back has left me with indigestion and NO energy. I spoke with my coach about whether I should back track and redo a week to fix the problem. But she gave me the best advise I could have given my self  – and this is why I believe EVERYONE needs someone’s help.

“I want you to keep moving forward. Never look back and NEVER have regrets. They won’t make you happy. In the end if you feel like you need to add an extra week go for it.”

I LOVE HER! Seriously, you can’t get much more positive and still progress. No matter what I choose, this isn’t a diet – it’s my life style!

I have family coming into town tonight, so instead of thinking,

“Oh, man, I’m going to be eating out and being around unhealthy eating patterns, so screw it.”

I am thinking,

“Hey I can use this opportunity to really shine and show how healthy I can be and maybe – just maybe – my example will rub off on my family.”

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Southwestern Chicken Meal Prep

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Fail to plan – plan to fail!

I live by that phrase.
When I don’t’ meal prep, my family just grabs food and gobbles it down. Order and structure is a must in my home. One of my favorite meal prep solutions is to cook a huge batch of chicken. Each week I prep a different flavor chicken or other meat.
This week my chicken is southwestern chicken bites.

Southwest Chicken
3 lb chicken
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp coriander
2 tbsp chili powder
Salt/Pepper optional
1 large onion
1 red bell pepper
2 jalapeños, seeds included

I take 3 lbs of raw chicken breasts and dice them into little 1″x1″ cubes. I put them in a bowl, add cumin, coriander, and chili powder then toss it all coating well.
In a sauté pan, I heat up 1 tbsp of olive oil on medium/high heat then sauté onion, bell peppers, and jalapeños until half way cooked. When half way cooked, I add the chicken and cook 5-7 minutes until chicken is cooked completely. Make sure you cook your chicken all the way!
Let the chicken and veggies cool, then refrigerate!
Toss on salads, make a cheesy southwestern pasta bake, or just eat it with some steamed veggies and rice! The possibilities are endless!

Peanut Butter Jar Oatmeal

What is the best part about an empty peanut butter jar?

There is not one?

OH BUT LOOK!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal!

1/2 cup quick oats

1 tsp brown sugar

empty pb jar

1+ cup boiling water

I never waste anything ;)

How important is breakfast?

Start your day out right.

Are you eating breakfast?  Find out why this meal is definitely not the one to skip! hhmomma.com

Too often I get asked why breakfast is important. I know that some people really just aren’t hungry in the mornings so they feel like they don’t need to eat.

Children Breakfast Idea - berries & oatmeal with brown sugar and cranberries... Are you eating breakfast?  Find out why this meal is definitely not the one to skip! hhmomma.com

But listen, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day! I’m not talking about donuts or sugar cereals. I’m talking about HEALTHY breakfasts.

Berry walnut protein oatmeal - Are you eating breakfast?  Find out why this meal is definitely not the one to skip! hhmomma.com

1. It stops your body from breaking down muscle for energy. You won’t be lethargic. Eating breakfast will give you the physical strength you need to move around through out the day. Too tired to have sex at night? Try eating breakfast. (…or make your partner eat breakfast. It could be our little science project.)

2. Breakfasts controls your appetite so you don’t crash diet and eat too much at lunch time and through out the rest of the day.

3. You will perform better at work or in college. Concentrations is improved. Same goes for children. They perform better in the classrooms and recreation areas.

4. Studies have proved that those who eat breakfast weigh less than those who do not. See #2.

5. It will lower your cholesterol. We all have seen the oatmeal and Cheerio’s commercials…

6. Skipping breakfast, or any meal, makes it hard for you to actually intake the daily recommend vitamins and minerals.

Don’t tell me you don’t have time to eat breakfast; it is a lazy man’s excuse. It’s not hard to pre-plan. You can make different meals the night before like overnight oats, chia pudding, peanut butter on toast, make granola & yogurt cups, or even pack a protein shake like Shakeology or Herbalife. Grab a banana if all else fails! If you really are short on time, wake up earlier! 10-15 min is all you need. Eggs literally take a minute and a half to cook.

How to make eggs in the microwave! Are you eating breakfast?  Find out why this meal is definitely not the one to skip! hhmomma.com

You can scramble two eggs in a coffee mug, nuke for one minute then top with some cheese, peppers, onions, mushrooms or what ever you like. Nuke it again for thirty seconds and voila. Eggs in less than two minutes. Grab an orange and your out the door with a healthy meal.

So, to make today short & sweet, Remember to feed your family and your body breakfast.

Surviving College

How to survive college! Every college student must read this! We are poor but happy college students.

Sometimes we struggle with balancing our school work, children, social life, and healthy lifestyles.

What can we do to make this work?

To mold our lives together into perfect working factions?

Although it is tough, we make it work through hard work, dedication, and a constant reminder of happiness! For most of us, college is a time when we finally start our lives as independently as possible. Some of us start later in life but achieve a sense of independence we never knew we were capable of. College is the time when you are finally on your own. You learn to make your own decisions and rules. You guide your life to the destination you desire- even if it is unknown. Living a healthy lifestyle in college does not have to be hard though and it definitely does not require hours of prep and preplanning! The key is to stay organized. Get into the habit of making certain meals on a certain night of the week, going grocery shopping, etc. Start a notebook like mine (see my DIY : Notebook) It’s realistic, small and easy to shove in your purse or backpack.

Eating healthy while at college:
Keep a handful of items ready to go. I usually make a big batch of chicken on Sundays to eat throughout the week. I buy frozen bags of veggies that are microwavable, I have apple fries & peanut butter, which is easy for sharing with a roommate, child or hubby. Find foods that are easy for you and don’t require a lot of preparation!

how to budget in college
Pack little jars, bags or containers of hunger killers the night before. So when you are running late to class the next morning you can grab one and go!
Keep a budget. Since most of us do not have a ton of extra money, limit yourself each week. I have a set grocery list and it is typically $30 per week in food just for me. My children & husband are extra. I choose more whole foods in my diet… Like fresh fruit and veggies, peanut butter, whole wheat pastas, and some snacks.
Limit eating out to only a few times a week. SAVE MONEY!! Don’t go out too often, it is cheaper and healthier to cook for yourself! When you eat out, box half of your meal up and save the other half for the next day. Stretch your dollar!

Replace 1 meal a day with Shakeology. I like mine at lunch. It’ll be your healthiest meal of the day and at $4 a serving, it beats any fast food meal or latte you can buy! Plus it has the nutritional value of eating 5 large salads in one meal! It will increase your energy, decrease cravings, help you lose weight and give you the nutrition you need in one glass. It’s portable, convenient and absolutely tastes amazing!

We have a restaurant called the Pasta Factory. They serve a Bow Tie Chicken Caesar Salad served with a Bread Twist that is to-die-for. I order the full, dressing on the side, no croutons, and add half spinach instead of just romaine… You’ll come to find out I always make my salad bigger by adding more lettuce; what can I say – I’m an herbivore! I, like sooo many people here, can hardly resist a Steak Salad from Cafe Rio. BUT I order no tortilla chips, no rice, extra pico and choose either guacamole or the dressing. Sometimes it’s hard to leave things out, but honestly if you’re only eating half your “restaurant size” meal at a time it’s okay to include all your favorites. Remember proportion sizes!
If you can hold the beast back, invite your friends or family to come over and cook a healthy dinner! That is always fun.
Find healthy options for when you do go out. I’ll post a page on that soon. Most restaurants have side salads, steamed veggies, and whole wheat options. Restaurants over-portion their plates by double if not more! When I eat out with my husband, we get an appetizer and one meal, then split it! If I am with my friends or family and want to take left-overs home for the next day, I order two small appetizers, or one appetizer and a side salad. Even if you just switch the fries for veggies and keep your normal meal the same that is still a healthier option!

how to drink more water, get hydrated fast
Choose water. Wherever you go, order a water, or water with lemon. Skip the soda or whatever else. Tea is okay, but remember caffeine is a stimulant and too much will dehydrate you and also pull calcium out of your bones. Water is the best option there is! I always have at least one of my water bottles with me. Train yourself into making a habit of taking water with you!

Stay active:
A simple way to get in your daily exercise is to walk! Walk around campus between classes and walk to your class. Park far away from your class building to encourage you to walk. Get your blood pumping. Ride your bike to class! Try enrolling in gym class. Most colleges have a gym, some are free with your tuition. Take advantage of this and GO!!! There is always something for everyone!

collegebike
Fit it into your schedule. If you are a morning person or you don’t have classes until the afternoon then go before class! Try BeachBody’s at home DVD programs! T25 is only 25 min long, and their Hip Hop Abs & Turbo Jam spice things up without having to go to the gym. If you prefer your workouts between or after classes then try to make it a habit. Take advantage of your college’s gym. Take a weight training class for credit! Even if you are going to do some yoga and stretch out. Remind yourself how good you feel when you are active.

Staying Smart:
Find a study buddy. Everyone knows that when you study with someone you retain more info, learn things you missed and actually recall the info for the exam. You can study together and even work on homework. You’re less likely to miss deadlines with a study buddy there to help remind you. Sometimes it can be distracting but most of the time it is motivating. Figure out what kind of learner you are do you need to talk it out? Record lectures? Draw pictures & diagrams? Walk around and fiddle? Do what works regardless of what others think.

college studying
GO to class and do your homework.
Find a tutor or talk to your professor if you need help! The more you talk to them, the more get they know you, and the more they can help you! Plus, they are willing to write letters of recommendation for future applications or interviews.
How to maintain a social life:
Get involved, put yourself out there. You’ll meet so many people who will help you determine who you are and where you stand. Figure out which clubs you want to join and join them. Don’t think, just do. But keep your numbers low – it is much better to be highly involved in a few groups rather than not as involved in many groups. Stay close to the members and communicate with them. Organizations are a great way to meet people with similar interests as you.
Find your group of friends. Choose who you want to be like and love them for all their differences. You are who your friends are, so choose wisely. Be the friend you wish you had. You may not get a chance be close with your roommates if they don’t try too… but, honestly, it’s not your problem as long as they pay rent.
If you aren’t into partying it’s okay! You don’t have to party for a good time. Do the things you enjoy. Hiking, biking, art festivals, movies, shopping, reading a book on your bed (join the book club!)
Clarity:
College is stressful. If you are struggling I urge you to seek help! Many colleges offer free counseling if you need to talk to someone! If you are struggling talk to a counselor, a friend, or anyone you trust.
Get involved because being involved helps your mind stay active. Workout! Jump around! Dance! The endorphins will keep depression at bay.

college chair

It is hard being away from everything you miss. Remember that everyone is going through the same feelings and looking for friends as well! Find them and bond. If college is stressful or the workload is too much then consider taking fewer classes. It is better for you to feel organized and understand what you are learning, rather than lolly gagging your way through college for grades. The knowledge you gain will be very important in your career.
Get a notebook and organize your weeks. Help yourself figure out what you need to do for not just you, but for those around you. That way, when your deadlines arrive you aren’t overwhelmed when there is so much to do.
Set time aside everyday for you!
The days before college you were just a kid, now that you’re in college you are grown up playing kid. Make the best of it.
Be safe, and even more importantly, be smart!

Think happy, healthy thoughts!

xo

Step Two – Remember Your Body Is Detoxing

So, I woke up today and felt 10 lbs lighter!

I know it’s not true, but I felt it. You know how sometimes you wake, get ready, put on those jeans that are always so tight, but this day they aren’t – and you get flushed and love yourself?? Then you step on the scale and you weigh more than you did yesterday when you thought you were fat? Yeah today was one of those days. I didn’t step on the scale, but my jeans were still tight. *bummer

There is no miracle pill, magic wrap, or such thing as instant results. It takes time!

No worries, I know everyday is a new day. Soon a week will be over, then two, then a whole month, then six months, then it’ll be Christmas again!

I’ll admit that today was rough. It is always like this for me when I start new workouts or eating plans.

When my body detoxes, I get headaches… :(

It really is no-fun. I don’t typically take medications unless it gets really bad. Obviously, a little detox isn’t horrible, but it’s annoying when your babies are cranky, too. I’ve been drinking glass upon glass of water to make sure dehydration isn’t a factor. It’s not that I feel sick or lethargic – in fact, I have TONS of energy.

My workout was INTENSE! I love TurboJam, so I knew I’d love TurboFire. I was so sore after just the first starter workout – excited for what is to come.

I’m definitely IN LOVE!

I am accountable!

breakfast ideaseasy cheap snacksI like the the taste of mustard on my tuna salad. I used light EVOO mayo.how to stay motivated

Shakeology – chocolateis peanut butter healthyYes, I had PB toast again for a snack… I love pb.everyone loves peanut butterEven my daughter loves pb!
myplateThis was my dinner tonight – steamed squash, pan fried chicken, & stuffed shells. How did your day go?

Always thinking happy, healthy thoughts!

workout hair

xo

Step One: Commit!

I am so excited to add another chapter to my fitness journey! I just received my first challenge pack ever by BeachBody.

how to lose weight fast

Obviously, we all know that in order to become healthier beings, we MUST change. There is no miracle pill, magical wrap or easy way out. But seriously, why does it have to be so hard?

It’s only as hard as we make it. I make everything hard. But not anymore. I am committing to myself that I won’t give up on this. I have tried many workout routines, read hundreds of diet programs, talked to a handfull of trainers – but couldn’t stick with it. I have found my support through my free beachbody coach. I know I can make anything work, even if I don’t do the BeachBody programs or eating plans she is there for me and will help me reach my goals.

I want to do that for you, too!

This is why I am sharing my first fitness journal with you. I am here for you and whatever fitness and health problems you need help with.

TurboFire Program

I am following the program’s workouts just as the calendar provided advises. I am enjoying one Shakeology shake a day at either breakfast or lunch, and then the other days I’ll be having regular meals and snacks. I am going to follow the meal plan as suggested as close as possible. I trust the meal plans because they are created by professionals. There is true Nutrition Science behind it. I know it’ll work for me!

Today is my DAY 1 !!

 

blueberry pb toast stretchnikesfruit & cheese drink yourself skinnybaby zucchini & chicken

 

I know I will succeed!

Think Happy Healthy Thoughts

xo Stephanie

Meal Plans for WIC Mothers

meal plans for wic

I want to tell the story of my dear friend, Natalie Calastro.
Natalie is a caring mother of 5 and the most loving wife I have ever seen. She is a huge inspiration to me. Her patience is unlimited. Her morals are strong and firm. Her children look up to her as she is all they have.
9 months ago, Natalie lost her husband to a texting 17 year old driver. It left her & her children alone and unprepared.

“I urge all families, young and old – large and small families, to prepare for the worst. Grow a food storage, increase investments and savings, and ideally have life insurance.” – Natalie Calastro

Unprepared Natalie had to give up their dream 4 bedroom home, 2011 minivan, flat screen tv’s, computer, and 401k & retirement plans. She had to start over all while mourning her loss.

“The only thing that kept me going and still keeps my hopes up, is the love my family was built on. My family isn’t the only ones who have lost someone to distracted drivers, drunk drivers, or and kind of driving accident, but we are one of the few who didn’t have a back up plan. Because of that, I had to teach my ‘spoiled’ children how to cope with the morning of their father along with the feeling of being ‘deprived’ of the life they knew. I tried to hide it the best I could, but they knew we were struggling.” -Natalie Calastro

At rock bottom, Natalie had to start somewhere in order to build her family’s life back together. In order to get out of debt, she got a full time job, moved in with her mother, sold everything she owned, and walked into the Women Infants & Children program’s office.

“I was very fortunate to have my mother. When I got my full time job, she was more than willing to commit to my children’s full time nanny. I love my mother for all that she is.” -Natalie Calastro

When Natalie got home from the grocery store with three bags of food her children would have to eat for two weeks, she bawled. Overwhelmed, she called me for help. She had no idea how to meal plan, let alone meal plan with the allowed WIC foods. Together we came up with a menu she could easily be comfortable with.

“I want all mothers on WIC to feel good about the foods they feed their family. It’s hard but it is do able. We need to always remember that.
Share my meal plans and my story so that mothers all around know there is hope in all things, that together we can do it!” -Natalie Calastro

WIC foods are very healthy. Healthier than 90% of SAD (Standard American Diet) foods, which makes it a hard transition for some. The concept is basically a whole foods diet.

Foods that are allowed:

whole wheat bread
whole wheat tortillas
oatmeal & cereals
juice
rice
beans
milk
eggs
cheese
tuna
peanut butter
fruits & vegetables

When broken down, meals are very easily created. When I went to her mother’s house to help her create a menu, we included her children. I believe that when we include our children in making their meals, they are more positive about becoming healthy and also more WILLING to actually eat it.

Breakfasts
Natalie’s children love oatmeal, so it helped make things easy for her. The cereals in her brochure didn’t appeal to her children as much as oatmeal did. But they did want more options rather than just oatmeal every morning.
Their Breakfast Choices:
oatmeal fruit smoothies
mini wheat cereal
peanut butter toast
oatmeal
eggs and toast

Lunches
Lunches were easy to plan as well. Her children already went to school with a sack lunch everyday. Packing their lunches were simple since she only had to change up a few ingredients.
Their Lunch Choices:
peanut butter sandwich
cheese & tomato sandwich
peanut butter & tortilla roll up
tuna sandwiches
“chips & dip” homemade chips and peanut butter/apple dip
*all with carrots & celery plus some fruit and their water bottles
-sometimes Natalie will add cheese cubes on the side, jelly or mayo to the sandwiches, or even do turkey sandwiches when she can find ingredients on sale. As WIC does not provide jellies, jams, or luncheon meats

Dinners
Dinners are pretty versatile because she has to buy other meats like chicken and discounted roasts. Her meats are usually the only extra items she has to purchase. Monday’s & Thursdays she try’s to do meatless dinners.
Their Dinner Choices:
Meatless choices:
vegetable bean soup
bean and cheese burritos
grilled cheese sandwiches
BLT minus the B sandwiches
rice and veggie stir fry
green salad with boiled eggs and cheese
pizza toast
Other dinners:
She bakes or roasts a meat and serves with:

bean and rice
green salads
fruit salads
steamed veggies/frozen bags
She’s made my cheesy tuna rice casserole and her children adore it!

Desserts
They don’t really have a lot of desserts in their home anymore. But when they want a little something sweet, they have some oatmeal with added sugar and raisins, apples and peanut butter, more smoothies, and sometimes Natalie can afford some butter and brown sugar for cookies. She doesn’t deprive her children. She gives them what is needed and has to limit the expensive sugary packaged foods. She eats just as they do, no exceptions.

Telling her story and scrutinizing over her meal plan has really made me fortunate for my life and is another reason why I’ll never take the foods I eat for granted. Children are really starving, families truly need help sometimes. The next time you are line behind a WIC mother or family, help them out by having more patience, help them organize their coupons and foods, or just simply smile and tell them they are amazing. We don’t know their story.
We should always be giving back and helping our neighbors and friends. They aren’t asking for it. And that’s exactly why we should help them.

If you are interested in the WIC program, here is the link to take you to their website.

Weekly Menu & Store List

Here to go! Keep it up!

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Weekly Menu & Store List

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Did I deliver, or did I deliver? lol
Next weeks menu & store list is up & running.
Smoothies: recipes to come, but as you know I live an HerbaLIFE- meaning my smoothies have Herbalife formula one as a base. You could just use yogurt or protein powder as your base if you don’t want to go the Herbalife (although, I strongly advise you do use it since it seriously is so good for you.) Message me for more details if you are interested in trying Herbalife out.
Some of my snacks are from naturebox but keep in mind you can adapt the menu into your own personal liking. I love naturebox because they are organic & vegan! Use me as a reference and get $10 off your next box! I got my first box for only $1.97 on Black Friday.
My kids eat the same snacks as I do so I just buy enough for both of us. My husband doesn’t snack (whaa! I know) he loves some of the same healthy foods I do, but generally he’s pickier than I am so most of the time he gets extra potatoes and meat. Bah, men…
If you haven’t noticed, I created a page off the menu called Go To Menus and Store Lists for quick & easy, grab & go!
Print the pages out – Set your printer settings to 2 pages per page or even 4 pages per page. Save a tree!

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