Sunday, October 25, 2015

All Things Pumpkin: Pumpkin Pie Shakeology

It seems each fall everyone finds a new favorite vegetable, pumpkin.  From Starbucks to Trader Joe's the pumpkin flavored products abound, but if I'm being truthful... most of them just aren't that healthy for you!  That Pumpkin Spice latte is filled with saturated fat and your daily allowance of sugar, so while it might be fine as a treat... skip it as part of your daily routine.  The same goes for all of those pumpkin cookies, candies & ice cream I saw at Trader Joe's over the weekend.You can crack open your own can of pure pumpkin pie puree and make some great things and you'll be getting all the goodness of eating REAL pumpkin.  Not the fake stuff pumped into all of the above products.


So here's my favorite fall-time Shakeology recipe using you guessed it, PUMPKIN!  So here's how to mix it up and yep, you can enjoy this fall treat daily without having to worry about your waist line.


Combine the following in a blender:
-8oz water
-8oz vanilla cashew milk
-1 scoop Vegan Chocolate Shakeology
-1-2 heaping tablespoons of pure pumpkin puree (this depends on how much you LOVE pumpkin)
-1 tsp raw honey (you're allowed up to 1tsp daily on the 21 Day Fix!)
-1/8 tsp cinnamon
-1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice
-6-8 cubes of idea

Blend thoroughly on high for 1-2 minutes until shake is smooth & creamy.  You'll find the pumpkin gives it a very smooth & pudding-like consistency, which makes it filling & delicious!  ENJOY.



21 Day Fix Container Conversion:
1 red... ShakeO is your protein
1/2 green... thanks pumpkin!


Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Healthiest Monte Cristo Sandwich

Have you ever had a real deal Monte Cristo sandwich before?  I have!  And it probably goes down in history as one of the most amazing, rich & decadent sandwiches ever, but that also means I eat it never.  That seems so crazy though, because I do like them... there's just something about turkey & raspberry together, that I decided I would have to remake this sandwich the healthy way.

So here's my take on a much healthier, clean eating version of a Monte Cristo and yes, it's even 21 Day Fix approved.  These were a hit with the whole family too!

21 Day Fix Monte Cristo

Ingredients: 
-1 slice organic whole grain bread (1 yellow)
-organic sliced deli turkey breast (1 red)
-1 thin slice of sharp cheddar cheese (1 blue)
-1 tbsp organic raspberry jam (1/2 purple)
-1tsp organic coconut oil

Directions:
1. Make your sandwich... slice your whole grain bread in half, top each half with raspberry preserves, layer on your red container of turkey and add your slice of cheese.
2. Warm your non-stick skillet and add 1tsp of coconut oil
3.  Add your sandwich when the coconut oil has melted

4.  Brown one side of your sandwich and then flip until cheese has melted in the middle and sandwich is toasty & warm
5.  Cut in half and serve with a small side of raspberry jam, if you wish!

Enjoy!  I hope you love this sandwich as much as me.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Easy Crockpot Salsa Chicken

Crockpot Salsa Chicken is an easy family meal.  I typically make it every other week for family taco night and the leftovers are nice to have on hand for quick & easy snacks or meals.  Follow the recipe below for simple & delicious chicken tacos, salads, wraps & more!

Ingredients:

  • 2lbs chicken breasts or chicken breast tenderloins
  • 16oz jar organic salsa
  • black beans, kale, corn, optional
Directions:

Combine both ingredients into a crockpot and coock on high for 4-6hrs. Once cooked through, let cool and shred with a fork. Then add in black beans, kale, corn, etc... to create a healthy & nutritious meal. It's great for tacos, fajitas or even a salad. You can also freeze it in a large batch or in small portions for easy meal prepping!



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Chocolate Almond Crunch Bars

I love Nestle crunch bars, but let's face it... their calorie count and high sugar content isn't exactly on my healthy eating plan menu. On occasion I like a chocolate sweet treat and these definitely hit the spot. They're SO simple & SO good and I'm promising you... your whole family will love them!


Ingredients:
1/2 cup coconut oil, slightly melted but not hot
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup natural almond butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup puffed quinoa



Directions:
1. Line your pan with parchment
2. Combine all ingredients and stir
3. Pour into pan and freeze for 10 minutes
4. Cut into bars, either makes 24 small bars
5. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge

21 Day Fix Exchange:
1 bar = 1 yellow container




Thursday, March 19, 2015

Bite-Size Chocolate PB Cups

My sweet tooth needs a little chocolate on occasion.  Yes, I do dearly love my daily chocolate shake, but when only one thing will do.... like Reeces PB Cups, these little superfood packed bite-size candies certainly fit the bill with a way more nutrients and a lot less sugar.


Leslie's Bite-Size Chocolate PB Cups

Ingredients:
-1 scoop Chocolate Vegan Shakeology
-3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
-peanut butter or almond butter
-splash of coconut milk, if needed
-1 mixing bowl
-1 silicone mold (I purchased mine at Home Goods)


Directions:
1. Add 1 scoop of Chocolate Vegan Shakeology to your mixing bowl.  Add in 3tbsp of melted coconut oil.
2. Combine with a fork until mixture is crumbly
3. Press 3/4 of the mixture into your silicone mold.  Set into your freezer for 15m to harden.
4. Remove silicone mold from freezer and add a layer of PB onto the hardened mixture.  Set into freezer for 15m to harden.
5. Remove silicone mold from freezer and layer in the last 1/4 of the mixture into the molds.  Press with a spoon, if needed.  Place back into the freezer for a final 10 minutes to set.
6. Eat & enjoy!!

This recipe makes approximately 22 bite-size candies.  Store in the fridge or freezer in an air-tight container.

21 Day Fix Conversion:
2 bite size candies = 1/2 yellow & 1 oil

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Baked Oatmeal Bars

My girls love sweet treats, but I'm always trying to make them healthier.  They come by it honestly.  I love cookies, cupcakes & donuts, but I know I can't be eating that stuff a lot if I want to reach my goals.  Honestly my favorite splurge is after a few weeks of hard work to go on a date with my husband, order a nice steak and have dessert.  It's the perfect portion for me!  But on occasion I make a sweet treat at home for my family.  They love it and the healthier the treat... the less tempted I am by it.  SCORE!
So try these Baked Oatmeal Bars for your family.  I can't wait to hear what you think.  They would work in a pinch for breakfast although I might omit the chocolate chips or would make a pretty delightful after-school snack!

Baked Oatmeal Bars
Ingredients:
3 c. old fashioned oats
1 c. coconut sugar
5½ c. unsweetened coconut milk
½ c. organic peanut butter
3 eggs, beaten
1 c. raisins (or chopped pecans)
1/2 c. dark chocolate chips


Instructions:
1. In a large saucepan, combine oats, coconut sugar, coconut milk, peanut butter, and eggs.
2. Simmer over medium heat 20 minutes, stirring often, until thickened.
3. Stir in raisins.
4. Pour into greased 9x13 inch pan and top with chocolate chips.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until oatmeal is set.
6. Serve warm, makes 18 bars

21 Day Fix Conversion:
2 yellows

Strawberry & Pecan Salad for Two

 Strawberry Pecan Salad for 2! 

This is what Jeff & I are having for dinner tonight along with a filet of salmon & a side of sweet potato.  

Sometimes a simple & easy dinner is in order after a busy Friday!!

 Strawberry Pecan Salad 

Ingredients:
• 6 cups of red romaine
• sprinkle of shaved parmesan cheese
• 4 slices of red onion, halved
• 6 large strawberries, sliced
• 1/4 c. pecans toasted & crushed
• top with homemade dressing: balsamic vinegar, bit of olive oil, sea salt, garlic powder & italian seasoning
• Toss & ENJOY!

21 Day Fix Conversion for the salad:
 2 greens
 1 purple
 1/2 orange
 1/2 blue
 1/2 tsp oil

And of course if you have the salmon that is 1 red and the sweet potato, 1 yellow smile emoticon

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Double Chocolate Banana Cake


 
 Are you ready?! Ready for Double Chocolate Banana Cake?!

I had a bunch of ripe bananas and decided I should make something that my family would LOVE, but that is still pretty healthy!  

INGREDIENTS:
3 medium ripe bananas
¾ cup coconut sugar
½ cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg, lightly beaten.
1 cup flour
½ cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 cup dark chocolate chips
mini chocolate chips for topping - optional

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat an 8x8 square pan with cooking spray.
2. Combine the mashed bananas and sugar into a large mixing bowl and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
3. Add the applesauce, vanilla and egg. Stir to combine.
4. Stir in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add the chocolate chips and pour into the prepared 
baking pan.
5. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips over the top and bake for 25-30 minutes. Makes 16 squares, store in an air-tight container. 

21 Day Fix Conversion:
If you're doing the 21 Day Fix you can have 1 of these and count it as a yellow, ENJOY!

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Starfish Story

“Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.
One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.
As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.
He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"
The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."
"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.
To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."
Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"
At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one.” 


And that's why I'm a Beachbody Coach! I started with the dream & a goal to even be able to help one person... one other mama just like me. Today I know I have helped hundreds. Whether it's one person or hundreds, your actions matter & YOU can make a difference.... ‪#‎everyonematters‬

Friday, February 27, 2015

Four Years Later

Four years later.... WOW.  Is there anything left to say??

Four years ago I would have NEVER told you I would be where I am today. Never. I didn't believe it was possible for me. Yes, I loved my life as a stay at home mama and I knew that's right where I was meant to be, but I can't explain it... I just knew I was meant to do MORE.

So was it just coincidence that I stumbled upon ChaLEAN Extreme & Shakeology, saw it start to change my life & start as coach a month later?!  I like to think there was a greater plan in place all along. Because I don't really believe in luck, I didn't just get lucky in this business. I worked hard for a long time with little to no real traction until something changed.

I had been a coach for nearly a year and a half when an event in my life had me grasping for more. Beyond my girls, beyond this little Beachbody job, beyond my marriage I needed something LARGER THAN LIFE to fill me up. I knew where I was being led. It was that following Sunday when I walked into church for the first time ever with an open heart. The first song started and like a flood the tears began. God had entered my life, my heart, my marriage, my family and for the first time in a very long time I felt complete and a sense of peace I cannot explain. In November 2012 I accepted Jesus as my Savior and gave God complete control of my life. For the first time in my life I had FAITH.

Faith not only in myself, but in my ability to lift up and believe in others. And well, you can see what a little FAITH will do for you, your family and your business.  It's not really a surprise to me what happened over the course of 2013 & 2014 as I let God just take control and use my life & my story to inspire others. I became and "All In" Coach, because I knew that lives could be changed, I knew other moms & women could find themselves again through health & fitness, and I knew other coaches could change their lives with this business if they just had a little FAITH.

This truly is just the continuation of MY story. I feel like this business was designed for me, but was I an instant success? No. Did I make mistakes along the way? Yes. But for once in my life I didn't give up on something because other people were depending on ME.  God doesn’t call the qualified, he QUALIFIES the CALLED.  I had finally found a way to live my passion & purpose and to use my story & my struggle to show someone else it was possible. I feel SO BLESSED to have not only found my passion & my calling, but to have inspired so many others to RE-CLAIM their life, dream a little bigger and pay it forward. So where will I be in another year? Perhaps another 290% raise? Maybe. But I can tell you that wherever I am... it'll be right where He wants me to be!




Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Superfood Chocolate Bar

Gimme all the chocolate!  Seriously I know I can't be the only woman who on occasion needs chocolate to function.  I swear it is a part of our DNA and I am all about satisfying those cravings, so they do not spiral out of control so in comes this super quick & easy to make Superfood Chocolate Bar.  Here's the recipe!


Ingredients:
-Chocolate Vegan Shakeology
-Organic coconut oil
-Peanut Butter or Almond butter, optional
-2 small air-tight containers

Directions:
1. Combine 1 scoop of Chocolate Vegan Shakeology, 1tbsp of melted coconut oil and 2tsp of room temp peanut butter into a pyrex mixing dish.  Mix with a fork until combined and mixture is crumbly.  2. Divide mixture between two air-tight containers and press into the bottom of the container with a spoon.
3. Seal containers and place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
4. Remove from container & enjoy!!!




Makes 2 bars!  Share with a friend or save one by storing it in the fridge for a later chocolate craving date.

21 Day Fix conversion:
1 red
2.5 oils

Please keep in mind these are a TREAT, so do not go eating them daily!

I did it for the shoes

It's true!!  Someone asked me the other day how I'm still going strong on Day 19 with the 21 Day Fix Extreme and I told them I was doing it for the shoes!


I simply told myself that if I completed the full 21 days I could get a new pair of shoes and let's be real... I will work for CUTE shoes!!  And yes, feeling better & fitter is the best perk of all.

So now I just have to decide which pair!! I finish my first round tomorrow... and I'm ordering on Friday.  

So seriously, which color... ivory or nude??



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Zoodles Chicken & Pesto

Dinner inspiration!!

🍅 Zoodles Chicken & Pesto 🍅
➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖

You'll need: 
➖ 2 zucchini
➖ 1 Roma tomato
➖ 2tsp pesto
➖ 4oz grilled chicken 
➖ 1/2 clove garlic
➖ sea salt, pinch
➖ 1tsp Parmesan cheese

Use a Vegetti or spiralizer to turn your zucchini into noodles, zoodles!  Sautée zoodles in a nonstick pan with a bit of non-stick spray.  Once cooked, 3-4 minutes, add 2tsp of pesto, 4oz of grilled chicken, 1 diced Roma tomato, 1/2 clove of minced garlic, and a pinch of sea salt.  Mix together in the pan over heat before plating.  Add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.  ENJOY!!

21 Day Fix Conversion:
1 1/4 green
1 red
1/2 blue
1/2 orange
2tsp oil

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Clean Eating Buffalo Chicken Tenders


If you have a man in your life chances are they love things like wings, beer and pizza.  While some things can be made a little healthier something cannot, so on Super Bowl Sunday I usually make up a few healthy dishes and let the guys still have their beer.  Seems like a wise compromise, right??  I think so!

Well, if you're like me you've had a new recipe just bomb.  Like it was just bad and your whole family refuses to eat it, so I know better now and try out any new recipe well in advance of a big party or get-together like the Super Bowl.

Enter my Clean Eating Buffalo Chicken Tenders!  I made these about three weeks ago on a test run and sure enough, they were a hit.  Jeff was eating them, loved the kick of heat in the sauce and said these were a new favorite!  Well, here's the recipe that will surely please your football crowd this weekend.



Clean Eating Buffalo Chicken Tenders

Ingredients:
-2lbs chicken tenderloins or chicken breasts cut into strips
-1tbsp olive oil
-1tsp paprika
-1tsp garlic powder
-1tsp chili powder
-1/2tsp black pepper
-1 bottle Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Sauce
-sliced carrots & celery, optional

Skinny Blue Cheese Dressing (for dipping, optional)
-1/2c. 0% plain greek yogurt
-splash of white vinegar
-pinch of sea salt
-pinch of garlic powder
-squeeze of fresh lemon
-1tbsp blue cheese crumbles

Directions:

Combine olive oil, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder and black pepper in a medium bowl. Season chicken with spices and toss to evenly coat the chicken.

Heat a griddle or large non-stick pan over medium-high heat.  Add half the chicken and cook until golden, about 3-4 minutes, turn chicken and cook until center is no longer pink. Set aside; repeat with remaining chicken strips.

Pour about 1/2 of the bottle of Frank's Red Hot Buffalo sauce into a medium bowl.

Place cooked chicken strips into the hot sauce and evenly toss to coat entire strip.  Place on a platter to cool.  Serve with celery sticks & carrots, plus skinny blue cheese dressing if desired.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Clean Eating French Dip Sandwiches

It is not always easy as a mom and wife to please both your children and your husband, but these simple sandwiches deliver.  This hearty, healthy and warm sandwich will be a hit in your home on a chilly winter evening.  Serve with a side salad or fresh fruit and you have got a great meal the whole family can dig into!

Clean Eating French Dip Sandwiches

Ingredients

For the beef:
3-4lbs top round roast
2tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1tsp garlic powder
1tbsp Kirkland Organic No-Salt Seasoning
bit of sea salt
bit of black pepper
beef broth

For the onions & peppers:
extra virgin olive oil
2 large yellow onions
2 green bell peppers

For sandwich prep:
1 loaf of sourdough bread
provolone cheese
au jus from the crockpot, add additional worcestershire and sea salt as needed

Directions

First up, haul out your crockpot and turn it on to the warm setting.  Place your roast in the crockpot, top roast with garlic powder, no salt seasoning, sea salt & black pepper.  Add in beef broth to come up both sides of the roast.  Add in 2tbsp worcestershire sauce to the broth. Slice up 1/2 onion and layer on top of the roast.  Let cook on low for 6+ hours.  Beef will be very tender!!  Remove the beef roast from the crockpot and slice the meat.  Now you're ready to make the sandwiches.
                                                     

My favorite bread for a sandwich is sourdough and Boudin's Sourdough, which you can buy at Costco is the best!  No weird ingredients and it toasts fabulous too.  You could use a more traditional french loaf for this recipe as well.

Once you have your toast toasting sauté your onions and peppers in a pan with olive oil.  Cook until tender.
 

Assemble your sandwiches!  Once my bread was slightly toasted, I measured up my 21 Day Fix red container with meat (my protein), topped it with lots of veggies, 1 slice of provolone and the last piece of bread.  I served it with a side of au jus from the crockpot!!


Heaven on sourdough!!

21 Day Fix/Portion Fix Exchange
1 slice sourdough = 1 yellow container
beef roast = 1 red container
onions & peppers = 1/2 green container
1 slice provolone cheese = 1 blue container
olive oil = 1/2 tsp


Sunday, January 11, 2015

My Favorite Soup

In winter in Michigan soup just seems like the perfect comfort food.  It's hearty, it can be healthy and warm.  I always get one complaint from my husband though... soup isn't a filling meal, I am always hungry an hour later.  So I knew I had my work cut out for me.  I was going to have to find and make some soups that nourish even the hungriest guy, my husband.  Oh and of course at my house it's always a bonus if it is a kid-pleaser too.  My girls are picky on occasion, but after one bite they were singing the praises of this soup as well.

Turkey Meatball Tortellini Soup

For the Meatballs:
  • 1 package 93% ground turkey
  • 2 tbsp seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp spinach, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • kosher salt to taste

For the Soup:
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, peeled & chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh garlic
  • 1 carton (4 cups) chicken broth
  • 6 cups water
  • 9 oz refrigerated Butioni spinach cheese tortellini
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups loosely packed baby spinach
  • fresh Parmesan sprinkled on top

Combine the ground turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, spinach, garlic, salt and parmesan cheese. Using your hands, gently mix all the ingredients well until everything is combined. Form small meatballs, about 1 tbsp each or so, you'll get about 20.

In a large nonstick pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat add in olive oil, then add the celery, onion, carrot & garlic. Cover and reduce heat to low and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes until vegetables begin to soften.

Add the chicken broth and increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. When broth boils, season with black pepper to taste. Reduce heat to medium and gently drop in the meatballs. Cook about 4 minutes.

Add the tortellini and simmer until cooked according to package directions, about 7 minutes.  Once cooked add the baby spinach. Stir to combine and serve topped with fresh Parmigiano Reggiano.

Serves 8.  We had this for dinner one night and the leftovers the second night.

Portion Fix Exchange:
1 red container (I measured out my meatballs)
1 yellow containers (I measured out my tortellini)
1 green container
1 blue container
then poured in desired amount of broth

Friday, January 9, 2015

My $23,000 Week, Pinch Me

Seven years ago I made just over $23,000 a year working in marketing and advertising.  My work was fun, but the hours were long and the pay was not good.  There were 200 people who wanted my job. I was replaceable.  Well, after the birth of our first daughter, Audrey, my husband and I took a huge leap of faith and I quit that marketing job to stay home and raise our baby girl.  I was excited, but scared.

I soon learned that motherhood was one of the most rewarding and most thankless jobs out there.  I was so blessed to never miss a moment as Audrey grew up, but this thought lingered in my head... would I someday have to go back to work??  And it scared me.  So in the meantime I dabbled in little projects.  I did some floral design on the side.  I wrote a blog.  I sewed and designed a line of infant & toddler sized hooded towels that were sold in local boutiques.  In a way, I realized a little entrepreneurial spirit was brewing inside of me, but I had no real money to make a go at any of them.

A little over two years later we found out, SURPRISE, we were pregnant with baby #2.  At this point, I almost did not feel ready to be pregnant again.  I felt I was starting this pregnancy at an unhealthy weight.  Were we ready to be a family of 4?  Would this change everything?  Could we afford another baby?

Well, sure enough Finley was born and she was perfect and completed our family.  And once home and happy and healthy I knew it was time to focus a bit on me.  When Finley was 6 months old and a new year had rolled around I officially committed to my own health & fitness journey.  It was time for this mama to do something for herself.  I ordered ChaLEAN Extreme, eventually Shakeology and about five weeks later signed up as a Beachbody Coach.  At the time I had only lost maybe 7 or 8 pounds, but I felt great, more confident than ever before and there was this little voice inside my head saying, "Do it!  Pay it forward!  What's the worst that could happen?  You'd get a discount, help a few friends and hopefully make $100 per week!"

We were a family that was just like so many other American family out there.  We were living paycheck to paycheck.  I sold things on Ebay and Craigslist to pay for Christmas.  We had credit card debt, a student loan, cars that were 10 years old and always needing repairs, and a mortgage that was underwater due to the tanking housing market.  With only my husband working and me staying home with our girls how was I going to help?  Was I going to go back to work full-time?  And when?  Now or once my girls were in school full-time a few years down the road?  All of those thoughts just turned in my head night after night.

So... I went for it!  What did I have to lose?  I was going to become a Beachbody Coach and I was determined to make this work.  If it had changed my life, it could surely help others too.

And well, nearly 4 years later with a team of 4,000 coaches, hundreds of transformation stories, and an income that has created true freedom for my family I guess you could say that one little decision was life changing.

I don't really believe in luck.  I didn't get here by luck.  I got here by hardwork, determination, perseverance and a belief that I could do more & be more.  And along the way I found my faith and I met God.  I never would have believed you if you had said my destiny in life was to be a top Beachbody Coach and help others change their lives, but the way God led me down this path is truly remarkable.  He gave me the light and in turn, helped me SHINE.




Thursday, January 8, 2015

Puerto Rican Daydreamin


It was 1 degree here this morning.  And it felt like -27, so I think it is safe to say I am daydreaming about our upcoming Puerto Rican vacation.  We have fallen in love with Puerto Rico.  It's a quick escape... you can easily fly there from the states and there is no delay in customs, since Puerto Rico is a US territory.

           

We have stayed at a resort once.  We rented a condo on our 2nd trip this past summer and in January we've rented a house!  I think we will eventually buy a place in Puerto Rico, so we've been slowly working our way around the island deciding which spot we love best!  This is a good problem to have!  

And the final bonus, I can run my home-based Beachbody business from Puerto Rico, so I get warm winters in the sunshine and awesome Michigan summers when I return home.  It sounds like the best of both worlds to me.

                                 

Here are a few of our favorite things to do in Puerto Rico:


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Double-Chocolate Black Bean Brownies, oh my

I am not sure I love anything more than I love a chocolate brownie or cake or cookie.  I am human and I am a woman and at this point in my life I refuse to live life depriving myself of certain foods I like.  So... in comes the flour-less double chocolate black bean brownie and yes, they are amazing!!

Here's how to make a pan of your own that the whole family will want to devour too.

                

Ingredients:
  • 1 can organic black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup stevia or xylitol
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut milk (or almond milk)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground coffee
  • 1/2 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips, divided


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Grease a nonstick 8 x 8-inch square baking pan with baking spray and line with parchment paper to prevent sticking.

Blend the black beans, eggs, cocoa powder, stevia, coconut oil, coconut milk, vanilla, baking soda, baking powder and ground coffee in the blender until smooth and pour into a bowl. Fold in 1/4 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips until combined.  Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips evenly over the top of the brownies. 

Bake the brownies for approximately 30 to 32 minutes.  Allow the brownies to cool completely before slicing them into squares.

Makes 12 squares. Top with berries for a delightful dessert!!

If you are following the 21 Day Fix or the Portion Fix the exchange is:
1 serving yellow
1/2 serving purple (for the berries)

ENJOY!


Monday, January 5, 2015

Making time for me

As moms I think we're all guilty.  The kids come first.  Our husbands come first.  Dinner comes first.  Dishes come first.  Laundry comes first.  Cleaning the house comes first.  And basically at the end of the day we realize everything else came first, but us and we are left feeling spent with nothing left for ourselves.  It is a bad position to be in.

So for 2015 I decided I would make a lot more pro-me choices!  My time spent reading, working out or hanging with my family was going to come first.  I've worked really hard on building a business from home over the last 3.5 years and I feel like now I get to make more pro-me choices than ever before.  I've created freedom for my family and this gives us the option to choose more down time, to hire a cleaning person to come more, and for me to stress less.  
                            

I've also committed to reading more in 2015.  It is something I often put on the back burner last year, because I was so busy.  I realize now that's not a very pro-me decision.  And that's not good.  So I am digging into 26 new books this year.  So here's book #2.  I can't wait to "master the money game" for me, my family, my team and my business!

                                                 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

This week's meal plan

Each week I work on making a meal plan that works for me and my family.  I've learned over time that a few things might change here or there... in life I have to be flexible, but I do so much better with a plan, don't you?   I know what to buy, I've got some ideas down for my meals, and one of my goals this year was to try at least one new recipe a week, so you'll notice a few on here!!  I follow the Portion Fix/21 Day Fix meal plan, so you'll find a lot of these recipes very easy to measure with your containers and plug into your 21 Day Fix app.




So this Sunday evening (not shown above) I decided to make something different.  My husband was planning to watch the Lions game and these Skinny Buffalo Chicken Strips sounded FAB.  Audrey and Finley were begging for leftover spaghetti, so I knew it was the perfect opportunity to try something a bit more spicy for Jeff and I.  And..... they were a hit!

Skinny Buffalo Chicken Strips:  Recipe here on SkinnyTaste


Well if you're anything like my family, tomorrow it's back to the real world.  Hubby off to work, children off to school and me... back to working from home with a bit more of a schedule than I've had these past 2 weeks.  Christmas break was fabulous, but I'm ready to get back to some normalcy around here.  Enjoy your first official full-week in the New Year, make it healthy!!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Gratitude and a little pale pink

I know it is easy to get so caught up in the busyness of life that we often forget the good or amazing when something negative happens.  I found this little journal at TJ Maxx yesterday and I plan to use it to record something I am grateful for each day.  It has 365 entries and today I am already onto day 3.  I think this will be an amazing memento to look back at when 2015 is over.


In other news I am kind of obsessed with light pink right now.  I was getting dressed for our date night last night and I could not help but pair up everything pale pink in my closet with my skinny jeans.  

Here's how to get the look...
Pale pink scarf: similar HERE, pale pink lace top: DKNY, similar HERE & HERE, faux-fur brown boots, BareTracks, rose gold necklace: Mythologie, similar HERE

And a few beauty faves shown:  
Vinylux nail polish in Grapefruit Sparkle
Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara:  Ulta
Oh My Gorgeous rollerball perfume: Soma
Urban Decay Naked Ulta Nourishing lip gloss in Naked:  Ulta

Today I am grateful for my new little book, pale pink, getting glam & date nights.


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Fitness & Fashion

I'd like to think fitness & fashion go together like milk & cookies.  Or like weights & cardio.  Or Chanel & fabulous.  But seriously, when I'm working out hard on my fitness goals part of me is thinking, "I'm doing this to feel great in anything I want to wear!" and the other part of me is thinking about the goal, "Leslie, when you hit that fitness or health goal, get those shoes girl!"

I mean, wouldn't you work a little harder if you could reward yourself with something pretty?!  Maybe it's just me, but I've learned I'll work harder for a new handbag than for a cookie any day.

Here are a few outfits on my fitness wish list....


Funky workout leggings: San Diego Fit, similar HERE

 Printed workout tanks: Blogilates & Etsy, similar HERE & HERE

Cozy hoodies with attitude: Etsy, similar HERE, Nike Pro Shorts: HERE 


Shoes that make you think, "Let's go workout!" Nike
My favorite place to shop for discounted or last season Nikes??  6PM

It's true!!

So go on... set a fitness goal and a fashion reward to match.  I can't wait to hear how you work harder to make it happen.