Creating a morning routine

“We first make our habits and then our habits make us.”

Last night the hubs and I were talking about how to make our mornings feel less stressful. We always set our alarm to wake up early to have some time to breathe before the rush of kids, showers and work begins, but every morning we choose those extra few minutes of sleep instead.

We both listen to business podcasts and there is one thing that a lot successful people have in common. They all get up earlier than they have to and they all have a morning routine that they stick to. My ideal morning would start an hour before the kids get up, I’d write for a little bit, get my 30 minute workout in and then have my shake.

In reality I wake up to baby cries and a four year old jumping on me ready for breakfast, playtime, a 5K run…you get the idea. I drag myself out of bed and head straight for my cup of coffee. I know I NEED a little me-time before the day begins, but not sure how to get out my own way and just get up a little earlier!

baby mugging

Do you have a morning routine that works for you? Or does my scenario sound familiar? (Tell me I’m not alone!)

Meal plan of the week – 6/29

healthy meal planI was out of town for a wedding so I’m posting this a little later than I would have liked, but here is this week’s meal plan! Some followers of my Facebook page had shown interest in  my meal plans. Let me know if this is helpful I’ll keep on sharing them!

This particular plan leaves a lot of room for some creativity, because I know everyone has different preferences. For example, there is fish for dinner on Monday night, but I didn’t include what type of fish…just pick something you enjoy! The recipe for the chili is here. And this is the link for the pumpkin protein bars. The rotisserie chicken is referring to the pre-cooked ones you can get at the store! If your grocer doesn’t have them then any chicken will do. I recommend making the pumpkin protein bars ahead of time so they are ready to go! Make sure you are considering how many servings you need based on how many people are in your family when you go grocery shopping. Let me know if you have any questions!!

Easy Bell Pepper Chili

You know a recipe is a hit when your four year old asks, “Mommy, can I have more chili? Because that was yummy!” Chili is one of my favorites to make because you can really get creative! You can add veggies, meats, and make it as hot or as mild as you’d like! This is a simple, kid-friendly version that can be whipped up in no time.

vegetarian chili

Ingredients
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can white kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
8 ounces of frozen bell peppers or 2 fresh, any color
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 TBS oregano
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
pepper, to taste

In a large pot saute the peppers and garlic in the olive oil for a few minutes (if the peppers are fresh saute until soft). Add the rest of the ingredients and let everything simmer on low-medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. I like to serve over a bed of spinach!

Trader Joe’s carries tri-color frozen peppers and I love them. That’s what I use in this recipe!

bell peppersIf you want to add more heat feel free to amp up the seasonings and/or add a jalapeno. My son isn’t a fan…yet 😉 If you cook up this recipe please let me know how you like it.

21 Day Fix
One serving would be 1 cup and I would count it as 1 yellow, 1/2 purple, 1/4 green (if you serve over spinach count that as a green too or you could add more peppers too!)

Grilled Portobello Margarita

grilled portobello

I’m bringing back meatless Mondays! I adopted a veggie-centric diet about five years ago and haven’t looked back. Sometimes people have the idea that a meal without meat will leave you hungry, but that’s just not the case! On Mondays I’ll be sharing delicious vegetarian meals that the whole family will love. This is one of my favorite summertime meals, especially because it incorporates the grill!

Grilled Portobello Margarita
Serves 2

2 Portobellos-stems removed
olive oil-enough for basting, season with fresh or powdered garlic and oregano
mozzarella- fresh/buffalo or shredded
1 ripe tomato
basil for garnish

1. Combine oil, garlic and oregano
2. Heat grill or pan to med-high
3. Brush portobellos with oil mixture
4. Grill mushrooms about 4 minutes per side

Meanwhile slice tomato and cheese.
5. When mushrooms are done, top with cheese and grill ( covered) till cheese melts.
6. Top with tomato and basil.

Notes: You can serve this on top of greens and it’s delicious with a black bean and corn salad on the side.

21 Day Fix (You’ll need to measure per your plan)
Green: Mushrooms, Tomatoes
Blue: Cheese
Tsp: Olive Oil
Free: Basil/Oregano

Our bodies are a gift

bedrest

Our bodies are a gift that we too often take for granted. This picture was taken about a week into my bed rest with the twins last year. I’m smiling on the outside, but on the inside I was feeling something different. After we snapped this pic Cole ran outside to the backyard to enjoy the beautiful day while I reclined deeper into the couch.

Why am I sharing this? Because I don’t want you to take for granted your body’s amazing abilities like I did. Stretch your arms and legs, run or walk, increase your push-ups count or add more weight to your dumbbells. Even if you’ve never worked out in your life, just ask yourself one question. How would you feel if you didn’t have a choice? If you didn’t have the choice whether you could go for a walk or train for a 5K or push play and do a 30 minute workout at home?

Even if you don’t want to or you come up with a million reasons for not working out. Just remember you CAN. You have that freedom of choice, every day. So isn’t it worth it to just do it?

Goal Digger of the Month: Samantha Rockin’ Her Beach Body!

transformation 21 day fix

I’ve decided to do a transformation series on this blog, because these stories inspire me and overload my love tank every single day! Sam was one of my first customers. When we started chatting about her goals she explained to me that she wanted to tone up before her upcoming trip to Florida. Based on her goals and her current routine we hooked her up with Beachbody’s 21 Day Fix EXTREME challenge pack.

If you want to talk about committing to a program….Sam is a PERFECT example of what I mean. This girl knows the nutrition plan front to back, asks questions when she has them, drinks Shakeology daily, and crushes the workouts every. single. day.

Throughout her first round of the program she’d tell me how good she was feeling and that she was loving her results. Still, when she shared this before and after picture I was blown away. I mean, seriously…BEACH BABE, am I right?? She lost 10 pounds and gained lean muscle. You can feel her confidence shining through in that second picture. I also want to share with you that Sam’s journey to health didn’t just start in February. Since June 2013 this inspiring woman has lost 50 pounds. 50 pounds, people! She took the first step, hasn’t looked back, and so can you.

This is a lifestyle change, not a quick fix. Yes, you lose weight and inches, but this is about SO much more than that too. It’s about taking back control of your health with knowledge and workouts that empower you to be the best version of you.

Sam quickly became a coach as soon as she started to feel those waves of change ripple through her. Now she’s helping others along their health and fitness journey. Nothing worth having ever comes easy. Sam WORKS for it. And that’s what makes her success that much sweeter. I couldn’t be more proud to have her in my life or on my team of coaches.

Let Your Light Shine

let your light shine

We all have that voice inside our head that tries to hold us back.

It reminds us of our limitations and tells us to play it safe. It doesn’t want us to make any waves so we keep our real feelings to ourselves. It tells us that if we try then we will fail. That we’re not good enough. Maybe it tell us that if we do something for ourselves that we are being selfish.

That nagging voice won’t go just away, but you can make the choice not to listen to it. Look inward to the centered space inside of you that is pure energy. It’s the source of light that connects all of us. Feel its warmth and its brightness. This light is always there inside of you. Don’t hide it with your fears and doubts.

Today, let your light shine.

Let your limitations melt away because no one but you sets your boundaries. Keep your heart open to being inspired. If something moves you then pay attention to it. Take a few minutes to daydream and let your mind wonder to places it hasn’t been for a while. Where does it take you?

The best gift you can give to yourself is also the best gift you can give to the world. Let your light shine.

“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”
– Nelson Mandela

Yoga Rebels Wated

piyo

I’ve been a yoga girl for over a decade now and it’s helped me on so many different levels. I’m an anxious person…always have been! Even as a kid I’ve always reacted to situations with super strong emotions that easily overwhelmed me. Yoga helps me to calm down, refocus and get centered.

However, something in me has shifted since I endured two months of bed-rest when I was pregnant with the twins. I was stuck on my back for SO long. I couldn’t do all of the things that I loved doing as a stay-at-home mom. I couldn’t grocery shop or cook for my family. I couldn’t run around or swim with my son. I get teary eyed thinking about the nights I spent in the hospital and my son crying to me on Facetime because he wanted mommy home to snuggle with him.

So naturally, once I had the twins it was like this feeling of being released from a cage and now all I want to do is MOVE! I still need flexibility, but I have a really hard time BEING STILL. Kind of important for yoga, right?

Enter PiYo! This exercise program has built a bridge between what I love about Yoga and my need to be constantly moving. Not to mention it’s introduced me to muscles that I never knew I had. It’s a perfect combination of yoga, pilates and cardio.

piyo back

So I’m sending out a call to all my yoga rebels out there! Who wants to add a little PiYo to your practice? Comment below for more details

21 Day Fix Eggplant Parm

I’ve been feeling in a bit of rut lately with cooking, because it feels as though I’ve been making the same things over and over again! So I decided to switch it up today. My favorite meal of ALL TIME is Eggplant Parmesan. I can’t get enough. However, my usual recipe does not fit in the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan. I basically use a half bottle of oil to fry up the eggplant. Right.

I put together a Fix-approved version and it was DELICIOUS. My husband loved it so much that he got bummed out when he back for more and we’d already eaten it all. Here’s what I did.

21 day fix eggplant parm

Slice up your eggplant. Dip it in eggs and place it on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Top with your seasoned breadcrumbs. Bake for about 15-20 minutes depending how thick your slices are. Take it out the oven and use a spatula to move the baked eggplant from the baking sheet to your casserole dish. Pour your sauce over the eggplant. Top it with your cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling. I served mine over a bed of steamed Zoodles.

Ingredients
– 1 large eggplant
– 2 eggs
– Homemade breadcrumbs (2 slices of wheat bread, toasted then crumbled)
– 1 cup of plain tomato sauce
– 1/4 shredded mozzarella cheese
– Salt-free italian seasoning
– Pepper for seasoning

Makes 2 servings (Zoodles not counted): 1 green, 1/2 red, 1 yellow, 1/2 purple, 1/2 blue

Thin Mint Shamrock Shakeology

thin mint shakeology

No visits to McDonalds today for my family! I blended up a batch of chocolate Shakeology today that tastes just like Girl Scout thin mint cookies! I added the recipe on the picture of my little buddy enjoying his St. Patty’s Day shake. I actually used Young Living Peppermint essential oil instead of mint extract, but I know not everyone has that on hand.

Let’s compare, shall we?

McDonald’s Shamrock Shake nutrition facts in a 12-ounce cup:
530 calories
10 g protein
16 g fat
88 g carbs (74g sugars; 0g dietary fiber)
Loaded with artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup, and other ingredients I can’t even pronounce.
Chocolate Shakeology Thin Mints Girl Scout Cookie nutrition facts:
160 calories
18 g protein
4.5 g fat
17 carbs (6g sugars)
…All natural with 70 different ingredients including super fruits and vegetables.
My choice is clear 🙂