Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Favorite Berry (and veggie and protein) Shake

I know it’s September but it is still in the mid-90s in the Midwest. This strawberry shake is perfectly cool and filling for a snack or meal! 

What you need: 
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup zucchini
  • 1/4 small avocado
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2  serving vanilla protein powder*
  • 1/2 serving unflavored collagen *
What you do:
  1. Put everything into a blender
  2. Blend the junk out of it
  3. Drink it! 
* if it’s a meal...do a full serving 😉

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

E.H. Fitness September 21-Day Wellness Challenge: Carb Cycling

It's almost officially fall...my most favorite time of the year. So let's celebrate with a Wellness Challenge-yay! If you're ready for a way to have more energy, get stronger and eat real food that is simple, supported and without any supplements, I've got one for you. 

If you are ready to take steps to improve metabolism, fit better into your clothes, have more energy and approach food as it is meant to be-for energetic life, then join me in a 21 day wellness challenge. 

The challenge begins Monday, September 9 and ends Sunday, September 29 and is just $29 flat*.

 The program includes:

  • 21 days of clean eating carb-cycling style. Get excited! It's super simple and totally tasty. (Wondering "why carb-cycling"...click here for the benefits)
  • Suggested grocery list 
  • Sample meal plans as well as suggestions for when you eat out . 
  • 21 days of quickie workout options (no more than 30 minutes a day)
  • 21 days of accountability and encouragement and access to a ACE Certified personal trainer and wellness coach.
  • 21 days of a small community of people doing the exact same thing you are, who have the same questions and struggles and we will work through it all together!
  • Most importantly, NO supplements-just real food for real people living real lives.
There's noting to lose, except maybe some inches and a few pounds. There's a lot to gain: body confidence, strength, good digestion, energy and a different way to eating. 

If you're interested, simply e-mail me here and let me know to put you on the list. I will add you to our closed Facebook group where the food lists will be so you can be prepared for day one: Monday, September 9. Also, please feel free to e-mail me with any questions about the challenge-I would love to answer them (erin@ehfitness.com)

*I add you to the group as soon as I receive confirmation of payment via PayPal or Venmo:) 

Monday, August 26, 2019

Easy-Peasy Protein Balls

I love protein balls...and so do my kids...and at tea shops and vegan bakeries, they can be costly for what they are. So a few years ago, my son and I came up with what we thought was the perfect protein ball recipe for home. We haven't deviated very much, but I feel like my daughter and I have recently really nailed it. 

This ball of protein and flavor is delicious and super simple, which means, you can add to it. So take the basic delish recipe and feel free to put nuts in, chia seeds, chocolate, dried fruit, etc.

What you need:

  • Parchment paper lined cookie sheet
  • 1 cup peanut butter (we used raw salted creamy natural peanut butter but almond butter or sunflower butter would be great too)
  • 1/3 cup honey (we used raw organic honey but agave or maple syrup or brown rice syrup will do as well, although you may want to do a bit less)
  • 54 grams of unflavored pea protein powder (we used 2 1/2 of the pea protein from Trader Joes but you can use whatever you want, just make sure it's unsweetened and just protein powder)
  • 1 cup oatmeal (we used gluten free quick oats), ground in a blender to course "flour"
  • 22 chocolate chips
What you do: 

  1. If you have a few minutes, on medium-low heat, combine peanut butter and honey and stir until smooth (be careful, it can burn!). You can skip this step, it will just take a bit longer for all the ingredients to incorporate.
  2. Remove pan from burner and let cool for a minute stirring continuously.
  3. Mix in protein powder and oatmeal in (you get a bit of an arm workout since it gets pretty thick)
  4. Make into tablespoon sized balls (or use a cookie dough scoop if you're lazy...er resourceful... like me).
  5. Top with a chocolate chip (totally optional :) ) 
  6. Refrigerate for around an hour and eat 'em! (they freeze really well too)


Friday, August 16, 2019

20-minute Full Body Workout

Need a quick but butt-kicking workout to do at home, on the road or outside (OR in the gym)? I’ve got you covered. This little diddy works the entire body, boost metabolism and gets you super strong...go slow on those strength moves 🤗

💪  3 minutes walking lunges (try to get to 100!!)
—-repeat the following list 3-4 times—-
💥 10 jump squats
💪  12 slow pushups
💥 25 plank jacks
💪 12 slow dead bugs (each side)
💥 10 burpees 
💪  12 slow tricep dips 
💥 25 jumping jacks
💪 12 slow bird dogs (each side)


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Clean and Creamy Broccoli Soup

I know it's still summer but fall is right around the corner and that means SOUP! I love a creamy soup with a crunchy salad but, alas, I can't eat dairy. So, I made a Creamy Broccoli "Cheese" Soup that is WAY yummy and WAY easy...my two fav food things!

Creamy Broccoli Soup

What you need:
  • 1 cup raw cashews 
  • 4 cups chicken bone broth (or vegetable broth if vegan)
  • 1 large white onion
  • 3 stalks celery,  chopped 
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1.5 TBSP minced garlic 
  • 2 bags of frozen broccoli (feel free to use 6-8 cups fresh, I’m just crunched for time)
  • 1.5 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tap curry powder
  • 1 cup unsweetened original almond milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste!
What you do:
  1. Soak cashews in hot water for 15-30 minutes
  2. Dump everything else into a large stockpot and heat to a boil
  3. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until everything becomes a bit mushy
  4. Remove the stockpot from heat and let cool a while
  5. Using a blender or food processor, add the almond milk and soaked cashews, blend until creamy and silky
  6. Pour the stockpot contents into the cashew “cream” and blend until smooth.
  7. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Carb Cycling...what is it good for?!

Every heard of carb cycling? Nope...it's not a spinning class designed to burn up all your carbs. It's a pattern of eating more carbohydrates (grains, fruit, starchy veggies) on some days and eating less of those foods on other days.

Why would you do that? Well, carb cycling has been shown to have the following benefits:

  1. Preserves muscle 
  2. Helps with muscle recovery
  3. Reduces body fat
  4. Helps metabolism stay high
  5. Allows flexibility and encourages consuming a variety of foods
  6. Can prevent hormonal imbalances
  7. Lessens hunger
  8. Increases energy
And how does it do all that? So....the body loves carbs (so does my mouth and tummy). When we eat carbohydrates, they are stored in the body as glucose which is what our systems use as energy first. When we deplete those glucose levels by limiting our carb intake, our body turns to stored fat in our body for energy. Whoop!

Try it with my in the newest E.H. Fitness 21 Day Wellness Challenge

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

NEW 21 Day Shape-up Challenge to End the Summer with a BANG!

It's almost August...gasp! How did that happen? Well...it did...and if you're feeling less than energetic going into the back-to-school time, I have a solution!

Even though for many people the end of the summer is full of vacations, back to school events, more traffic because...well...school starts the second week in August in many places, it's still a great time to get in shape and feel your best.

I've put together a 21-Day Challenge that is easy to follow, has minimal food prep and fast (and super effective) workouts. Also, we will practice intermittent fasting which will free up more time to enjoy the last weeks of summer! (If you read "fasting" and that scared you...stick with me...they are short daily fasts...not extended fasting times...promise!) 

So if you're ready to:

  • get sugar cravings under control
  • sleep better
  • get stronger without having to step into a gym
  • eat real food to fuel your body
  • decrease body fat
  • reduce inflammation

...join me for E.H. Fitness' newest 21 day challenge...and finish you're summer with a bang!

There are NO supplements, pre-packaged foods to buy or long hours in the gym. Just real food and quick workouts to help increase energy, promote better sleep, decrease anxiety and maybe even shed some body fat.

Here's what you can expect when you sign up:

  • Membership to a private Facebook group with daily encouragement, workouts and tips
  • Suggested food guide and recipes
  • Sample Grocery list
  • Daily workout schedule
  • A private online forum (via FB page) where you can post questions, celebrate your successes (and challenges) as well as get encouragement from a group of people doing the same work.
  • Access to an ACE certified personal trainer and wellness coach with over 10 years of experience
  • NO supplements or gimmicks...just food...the kind you eat out, cook at home or pick up on the go.
  • All for $29 payable via PayPal* or Venmo*
Are you in? Ready to choose to feel better and ditch some unhealthy habits? Ya know...when you feel better you look better...so what's there to lose?

E-mail me @ erin@ehfitness.com me that you are IN.

*as soon as the PayPal or Venmo invoice/request is paid, you will be added to the private Facebook group! :)

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

30 Minute Full Body Workout...with Dumbbells...yay!

Need a quick, intense, full body workout? This one is challenging and can be done with with a single pair of dumbbells. Take or leave the little cardio challenges or do some and rest some or do them all...you get the picture: listen to your body.


What you need: Grab a pair of heavy weights and a mat

What you do: Do 20 seconds of the exercise and then 10 seconds of rest or cardio for a total of 8 times before moving on to the next set of exercises

Set #1: Squats for 20 seconds, jacks for 10 seconds
    (feel free to change up your feet position...you have 8 sets, don't get bored)

Set #2: Push ups for 20 seconds, mountain climbers for 10 seconds
    (change your push-ups to down dog push ups or dive bombs or single leg....the list goes on and on)

Set #3: Squat Curl Press with dumbbells for 20 seconds and jump squats for 10 seconds
    (nothing fancy here...just get the booty low each time!)

Set #4: Single let Dead lift with Row with dumbbells for 20 seconds and butt kicks for 10 seconds
    (alternate legs each set...and if you're feeling off balance, feel free to have both legs on the ground)

Set #5: Bicycle crunches for 20 seconds and toe touches (climb the rope) for 10 seconds
    (flex the feet or point the toes or straighten the legs...challenge yourself. The optional cardio in this set is just more abs...you're welcome)

Set #6: Back extensions for 20 seconds and plank jacks for 10 seconds
    (keep your feet together and think about lifting both chest and knees off the mat)

STRETCH...please :) 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Yoga playlist for relaxation anywhere

This playlist is my go-to guy for any yoga class, but I also use it for deep tissue massage to help me relax, around the house to help me feel more calm and have even fallen asleep to it once or twice. 

Studies have shown that listening to music, can increase dopamine levels so try it out and let me know what you think (that last one Uno is amazing)!



Monday, May 6, 2019

Breakfast for Dinner: grain free pancakes

I know that everyone loves those two ingredient banana and egg on cakes, but I think they just taste like banana...which is totally fine...but sometimes you just need a pancake like pancake. 

These are pretty amazing for grain free anything. Coconut flour is pretty tricky to bake with because it absorbs so much liquid (hence, little bit od coconut flour and lots of eggs). Point being, I didn’t make a mistake in how little “flour” to use :)

What you need

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • Cooking spray or extra oil for cooking 
What you do:
  1. Preheat a skillet on medium low with spray or oil of your choice.
  2. Whisk together all wet ingredients.
  3. Wisk in dry ingredients.
  4. Pour about 1/8 cup for each pancake into the hot skillet
  5. Wait a couple minutes or until you see bubbles forming on the top
  6. Flip for another minute or two
Enjoy with favorite toppings, scrambled eggs and veggies/fruit on the side!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Brand Spankin' New 21-Day Challenge Starts May 1!

I know I’m experiencing a jelly bean and chocolate egg hangover from this weekend...are you? Also, summer is sneaking up and it's good to have some healthy habits formed before the vacations and pool time starts.

If you're ready to increase your health and decrease your body fat with exercise, good sleep, hydration and nutrient dense food, then join me and a small group of others with the same goals and game plan to get right back on track.

You can do anything for 21 days...promise. It may not be easy, but it will be worth it and I'll be right there with you the entire way.

The Summer Shape Up Challenge begins Wednesday, May 1 and ends Tuesday, May 21.

This BRAND SPANKIN' NEW Challenge is all about getting more energy, kicking sugar cravings, sleeping better, getting stronger and shedding a bit of fat in the process.

Here's what you can expect when you sign up:
  • Membership to a private Facebook group with daily encouragement, workouts and tips
  • Suggested food guide and recipes
  • Grocery lists
  • Daily workout schedule
  • A private online forum (via FB page) where you can post questions, celebrate your successes (and challenges) as well as get encouragement from a group of people doing the same work.
  • Access to an ACE certified personal trainer and wellness coach with over 10 years of experience
  • NO supplements or gimmicks...just food...the kind you eat out, cook at home or pick up on the go.
  • All for $29 payable via PayPal*

Are you in? Ready to choose to feel better and ditch some unhealthy habits? Ya know...when you feel better you look better...so what's there to lose?

Click here to e-mail me that you are IN and ready to take control of your health (and the leftover Easter Candy :) .

*as soon as the PayPal invoice is paid, you will be added to the private Facebook group! :)

Monday, April 22, 2019

25 Minute Dumbbell Workout (with cardio :) )

Check it out...do each exercise for 20 seconds before moving on to the next. Then, repeat the list for a total of 6 times...enjoy!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins...just in time for Easter Brunch!

I just ate one of these guys and I can not tell you how amazing these are. I don't eat gluten and dairy because those foods trigger some very scary migraines. So I tend to miss out on cake, cookies, scones, muffins, cinnamon rolls and basically all other amazing baked goods. And I miss them! So when I try out a new recipe and it's like the good ol' gluten-filled version, it really makes my day.

These gluten free lemon poppy seed muffins do not disappoint ( I betcha my family wont even be able to tell they are made with coconut flour).

What you need:

  • 6 eggs (at room temp)
  • 3 lemons juiced (about 5-6 TBSP)
  • Zest of lemons if you want to make them extra tasty
  • 1/2 cup honey 
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil (or ghee if you want a buttery, lactose-free experience)
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour (I buy mine in the bulk section of Sprouts)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1-2 TBSP poppy seeds

What you do:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees
  2. Line a muffin tin with liners or grease generously
  3. In a blender, blend all the wet ingredients and then add the wet ones and poppy seeds
  4. Pour or scoop (about 1/4 cup) into twelve muffin things
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes (until baked through)
  6. ENJOY!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Sausage and Peppers...less than 30 minutes!

Just doing a little bit of meal prep for the next day I don’t have more than 20 minutes to get dinner on the table.

It’s one of my favorites: sausage with peppers and onions over rice. Also, you can cook the sausage, cut it up with the cut up veggies and freeze it for later! 

Totally delicious. 

Plus, today, I had several bell peppers that didn’t have an immediate use but were getting little soft.

To prep, simply... 

☀️cut up a bunch of bell peppers and onions
☀️boil or grill or cook however some Italian sausage
☀️cut those sausages into pieces
☀️throw them all in a freezer bag and save for later in the freezer

When you’re ready to cook...

🙌heat 1/2 cup chicken broth (or bone broth) in a skillet on medium high
🙌add the frozen peppers and sausage
🙌cook until soft and bubbly (about 20 minutes)

Serve over rice or cauliflower rice or, my personal preference, a mix of both 😉.

Monday, April 1, 2019

One Pan Cashew Chicken

Anyone else like to make meals in ONE pan? A single pan means way less clean up and that, to me, is cooking gold.

I grew up on cashew chicken take out...it was always my go-to order and this recipe does not disappoint. It has all the flavors, plus, extra veggies and way less sugar.  PLUS, this is super easy to prep beforehand to make it the easiest throw-together-meal on busy nights.

One Pan Cashew Chicken

What you need:

for the sauce

  • 6 TBSP coconut aminos (of if not on hand, soy sauce)
  • 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 3 TBSP honey
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 TBSP cornstarch
  • water to thin the sauce as needed
for the rest
  • 1 lb chicken breast cut into cubes
  • 1 head cauliflower (I used purple cauliflower for fun)
  • 2 stalked celery, diced
  • 3/4 cup cashews
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Rice or cauliflower rice (or my fav...some of both)
What you do: 

for the sauce
  1. In a bowl, whisk together all the sauce ingredients 
  2. That's it-boom.
for the rest
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Line a sheet pan with foil (for easy clean up) and spray with cooking spray
  3. Toss the chicken with salt, pepper and half the sauce
  4. Spread chicken on prepared sheet pan and cook for 8-10 minutes
  5. Toss cauliflower, celery and cashews in the remaining sauce
  6. Spread evenly around chicken
  7. Cook for an additional 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through
  8. Serve over your choice of rice

Protein and Veggie Quinoa Bowl

I could eat this every single day. No joke. 

Protein Packed Quinoa Bowl

🍲Quinoa cooked in vegetable or chicken broth

🍲Riced cauliflower (lots of it)

🍲Sautéed spinach and kale 

🍲Turkey sausage


🍲Hot sauce or not 🤷‍♀️

This is the best for breakfast, lunch or dinner...or let’s be honest, any darn time of day. 

Monday, March 25, 2019

New E.H. Fitness Spring Fast Challenge: Eat lots of food, gain lots of energy, slow the aging process and maybe even lose bloat and fat!

Are you ready to gain some more energy, not feel starving all the time, plus, detox your body before summer? This 21-Day challenge does it all. And don't worry, you eat food (and lots of it) every single day; don't let the word "FAST" freak you out. During the challenge, we will eat for a certain number of hours each day...which can be flexible to fit all schedules.

Intermittent fasting, or simply eating all of your food during a specified window during a 24 hour period, has been shown to have the following benefits:

  1. Weight loss
  2. Improve muscle strength and workouts 
  3. Normalizes insulin sensitivity
  4. Decreases hunger
  5. Lower triglyceride levels
  6. Help slow the aging process

The challenge starts Monday, April 1 and ends Sunday, April 21 and includes:

  • 21 days of clean eating in specific blocks of time
  • Sample grocery lists
  • Sample meals (make at home, on the go, out to eat)
  • Recipes that are simple but tasty
  • Quickie workouts
  • Accountability and encouragement with access to an ACE certified wellness professional
  • Access to a small group of people doing the exact same thing you are, who have the same questions and struggles and we will all work through them together
  • Most importantly, NO supplements-just real food and an easy to follow schedule, PLUS, you don't have to come to any special classes or appointments, it's all online via private Facebook page just for our little group.
  • All for just $29*
Don't wait until summer to feel and look great. Get ready for the pool, vacations and warm weather by training your body to burn fat fast-this is something you can take into the rest of your life to maintain or reach another goal.

Simply e-mail erin@ehfitness.com to sign up or ask questions!

*I will invoice you via PayPal and add you to the group as soon as I get confirmation of payment :) 

Playlist to get you moving!

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Quickie Body Weight Workout for Energy

Wake up with this quickie-do-anywhere-workout! 

💪 50 jumping jacks
💪 40 bicycle crunches
💪 30 jump squats
💪 20 push ups
💪 10 jump lunges
💪 1 minute plank
☀️☀️☀️repeat 3 times☀️☀️☀️ 

Don’t forget to stretch. And listen to your body. For goodness sake if you can’t or don’t want to jump, don’t! Do the movement without the hop 🤗

Friday, March 15, 2019

Spring Break Workouts

Me pretending to be in the tropics...I’m at a plant store...same thing, right? Going away for spring break? Congrats! I hope you had a grand ol' time. 👈I’m pretending to be on a tropical beach, but really it’s just the greenhouse at my favorite plant place 🤗

 Whether you are heading to the beach or the slopes or somewhere in between, take these simple but tough on-the-road workouts with you so you don't lose all the strength and cardio fitness you've been gaining!

Spring Break Workout #1 
(30 minutes)

Here's the deal: Each Tri-set contains 3 strength moves and 1 cardio burst for a calorie killing, strength gaining circuit workout. Repeat all exercises for 1 minute (except for the cardio-it’s 30 seconds) before moving onto the next exercise in a tri-set and repeat each tri-set three times before moving on to the next. Minimal rest (less than 30 seconds) between sets is encouraged to keep your heart pumping as well as getting the most calorie burn and strength gain throughout your workout. 

Warm up for with 1 minute of jumping jacks and then get started. 

Tri-Set #1

Traveling Lunges: Lunge around the house. Make sure to press through your heel on your way up and keep the knee from coming over the toe.
Push Ups: On your toes or your knees…or even against a counter. Just make sure to keep your abs in tight.
Bicycles: Keep your eyes on the ceiling and never pull your head/neck with your hands. Bring your shoulder towards the opposite knee.
30 second Cardio Burst — Squat Jumps: Explode out of the squat and then land with soft knees.

Tri-Set #2

Tricep Dips: Do these off of a sturdy chair or step. Dip down so that your elbows are at a 90 degree angle. Pull the legs in toward the body to make the dips easier or straighten the legs to make them harder. If you need even more of a challenge, lift a foot off the floor.
Walking planks: Start in plank position on your forearms then stay in plank while pushing your body up to your hands, one arm at a time, and then back down again and repeat until your minute is up!
Back Extensions : Get on your belly with hands and legs extended…lift the chest and legs up off the floor while contracting your lower back and butt. Keep your abdominal muscles tight during this movement and make sure to breathe.
30 second Cardio Burst — Stair runs: Go as fast as you can up and down the stairs (or high knees)

BONUS MOVE: Plank for as long as you can on your forearms.


Spring Break Workout #2
 (20 minutes)

100 jumping jacks
90 bicycle crunches
80 hip bridges
70 squats
60 (second) plank
50 walking lunges
40 bird dogs
    30 jumps
        20 push ups
              10 walking planks 

Spring Break Workout #3
 (15 minutes)

10 jumping jacks
10 jump squats
10 reverse lunges (each side)
100 bicycle crunches
10 mountain climbers
10 v-ups (each side)
1 minute plank
REPEAT 3 TIMES (or more 🤗)

Monday, March 4, 2019

Weeknight Roast

Here in the Kansas City Area it's still 2 degrees as we approach St. Patrick's Day....ugh. I was thinking about what would be yummy and warm and comforting but still be clean and nutritious. Soup is always an option, but since we are experiencing the longest, coldest winter ever, soup isn't that awesome anymore.

 But you know what is always awesome, and I always forget about? Roast. Yep, that big hunk of meat with potatoes and carrots and onions that my Grandma would sometimes make on Sundays. That's the one. I've made it super easy and it is amazing (and the leftovers make a killer base for beef stew :)

What you need:
  • 3-5 lbs beef chuck roast 
  • 1 TBSP olive or avocado oil
  • 6 yellow or white onions
  • 10-15 carrots (if you are short on time, just grab a bag of baby carrots)
  • 1 bag of tiny potatoes (or 3 baking potatoes or the equivalent)
  • Your favorite steak seasoning (mine fav right now is from Q39)
  • 2 TBSP minced garlic
  • 2 cups beef or chicken or vegetable broth (my fav right now is Better than Bullion)
What you do:

  1. Heat oil in skillet
  2. Cut chuck roast into 3 sections and sprinkle or rub the steak seasoning in on all sides
  3. Brown meat on all sides (should take less than 2 minutes....it's just for color)
  4. While meat is browning, cut onions into chuncks
  5. Place 1/2 the onions on the bottom of a slow cooker
  6. Top the onions with the browned meat
  7. Spread garlic on top of meat
  8. Add the rest of the onions on top
  9. Pour the broth over everything 
  10. Cook on low for a few hours...I start mine around 8 or 9 a.m.
  11. Peel the carrots and put the carrots and potatoes in the crockpot about 3-4 hours before you serve it. (make sure you pour some of the juices from the crockpot over the carrots and potatoes
  12. Serve and enjoy!
I hope you love this as much as I do! :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Mango....yes please!

Mango wasn't a fruit on my radar until recently. In fact, I didn't really like it. It was a bit "fuzzy" in it's texture for me. But then, all of a sudden, my sister offered me a disgusting looking piece of dried orange-ish-brown fruit...and because I was super-duper hungry, I took it. My. Mind. Was. Blown. No joke, My head snapped up  "What is THIS!" I asked (overly excitedly). "Oh," said my sister. "It's just unsweetened, unsulfured, dried mango." I was SOLD. Fresh mango, dried mango, freeze dried mango, frozen mango, any kind...I'm in.

With no added sugar, mango has become my go-to sweet treat. Check out its impressive nutrition profile.

Mango is awesome because:
  • Contains over a dozen kinds of antioxidants...yep...those guys that fight against free radical damage that can lead to cancer, diabetes and other illnesses.
  • Boosts immunity with lots of vitamins A, C, E and B
  • Helps with digestive health with lots of fiber and digestive enzymes
  • It's super duper yummy
I did have to do a bit of research on how to tell when/if a mango is ripe, so let me break it down for you in case you don't know either: just like a avocado and peaches, it should have a little softness to it. And it might smell fruity at the stem...that's it!This video is super helpful when cutting up fresh mango. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The missing piece to your health: ZZZZZZzzzzz

For many, it is common sense that to stay healthy and fit you need to have balance and nutritious eating habits as well as an active lifestyle. I think what many of us forget though, is that even if we are the most healthy eaters ever and exercise every day, we can be ruining our hard work and putting our bodies at risk if we don’t get enough sleep.

We need sleep to survive…much like food and water. Sleep expert and President and Medical Director of somniTech, Inc., Dr. Steven Hull, says every person is different in their sleep needs, but the average person should get between 7 and 8 hours at their best. The benefits of sleep are vast and necessary for survival. 

Benefits of Sleep: 
  • Sleep repairs the body 
  • Improves our memory 
  • Keeps your heart healthy 
  • Reduces stress 
  • Helps with your weight loss goals
When we do not get enough sleep (at the very minimum, 6 hours a night) can be tragic to our health. 

Consequences of not sleeping enough:
· Loss of memory
· Decreased alertness
· Increased cholesterol 
· Raised blood pressure
· Increased risk of getting sick due to a weakened immune system
· Decrease of important of leptin (the hormone that tells us we are full) and an increase of ghrelin (the hormone that tells us we are hungry)

According to several studies  sleep (or lack of sleep) has a correlation to obesity and weight gain. 

So what can a person do if they have problems falling asleep or staying asleep like some 50 to 70 million Americans do? Incorporating a few simple changes into your life (especially around bed time) can make a big difference in how easily you fall asleep and stay asleep.

Sleeping Don’ts:

#1 Say good night to caffeine
  • Even if you don’t think that caffeine is effecting your sleep, if you have sleeping problems, try to limit your caffeine to morning times only and Dr. Hull says it is a good rule for everyone to stop any kind of caffeine intake at 2 p.m.
#2 Skip the nightcap
  • Though alcoholic beverages might make us sleepy and some people may doze off after a glass of wine, alcohol interferes with our natural sleep cycle and cause disturbances. So abstain from drinking to for a better night’s sleep.
#3 Don’t exercise to wear yourself out
  • Exercise is a fantastic way to be more energetic and alert not so much to put us to bed. When we exercise is done too close to our bedtime, our bodies will not be ready to slow down, we’ve revved them up and we’ll be up for a few more hours. A great rule of thumb is to make sure that you have at least 4-5 hours before you plan on going to bed.
#4 Turn off the TV and Computers
  • Falling asleep in front of the TV or heading to bed after updating your Facebook page or finishing a presentation for the next day can deter any real attempt at good quality sleep. The lights from computers signal our brains to become alert and late night television is anything but relaxing (think sobering news programs or sit-coms).
#5 Quit midnight snacking
  • Not only does midnight snacking pack on the pounds, but eating refined carbs (bread, cake, cookies, cereal, etc.) or sugary foods put your body into a hormonal rollercoaster keeping you from sleeping through the night. If you have to eat before you go to bed, focus on protein (a few slices of turkey, a small handful of almonds, etc.)
Sleeping Do’s

#1 Relax
  • Relax both physically and mentally. Stress can be one of the major causes of insomnia and disordered sleeping. Try for just a few minutes before you go to be to do some easy breathing exercises or light yoga and stretching.
#2 Make your bedroom a sleep-haven
  • The only two activities that you should do in the bed room are sleep and sex. This will promote a sleeping environment instead of a room that is used for work, TV watching, doing crafts, etc. Being in your bedroom will signal your body that it is time to rest.
#3 Lights out!
  • Making your bedroom dark when you sleep is important. Our bodies are made to sleep when it is dark outside. So if you have a spouse that likes to read late into the night with the light on, or if you work the night shift and have to sleep during the daylight, get yourself a sleep mask to cover the eyes.
#4 Have a bed-time routine
  • Just like you might have a morning routine where you get up, brush your teeth, go to the gym, eat breakfast, take a shower, etc., have a bed-time schedule as well. Maybe have a cup of herbal tea (it’s caffeine free) while reading a book for a few minutes, then brush your teeth, do some light stretching and turn off the lights and close your eyes. All of those things, when you do them every day, will signal your body that it’s time for sleep.
#5 Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day
  • That’s right, every day. Yep, even the weekends. Having a set schedule for when you go to sleep and when you wake up will get your body and mind into a routine so that your internal clock knows when it’s time to go to bed and more importantly, when it is time to wake up (instead of waking up randomly in the middle of the night.

Follow these tips and get a better night’s sleep…your body will thank you!

Friday, February 22, 2019

Just Breathe: the power of the 4-7-8 breathing exercise

Hey there...do you ever feel stressed or anxious? Oh...totally...me neither...haha...HUGE lie. Years ago, I ran across an article by Dr. Andrew Weil that was all about breathing exercises. The one that stuck out most to me was what he termed "a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system." A tranquilizer sounds pretty darn good to me when feeling overwhelmed, anxious or stressed. Especially, one that doesn't have any side effects and that I can "take" anywhere, anytime....because, you know, it's just breathing :)

This relaxation breathing has three simple steps:

  1. Inhale for 4 counts
  2. Hold the breath for 7 counts
  3. Exhale for 8 counts
It's soooo simple, but it really packs a punch...to stress, that is!

Next time you feel triggered, stressed, anxious, or your mind is too busy to sleep, try a few rounds of this...let me know how it goes!

For more information on relaxation breathing techniques, checkout Dr. Weil's fantastic video!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Blender Brownies (no added sugar!)

My sweet friend, Karlie, asked me yesterday about a brownie recipe for the Wellness Challenge I'm leading right now. I was sooooo interested, so I doctored it up a bit, and I'm a fan. These are paleo and Whole30 compliant (just leave out the vanilla) and are dynamite after letting them sit for a few hours or even over night.

What you need:

*2-3 very or over ripe bananas
*1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
*2/3 cup salted almond butter (crunchy or creamy)
*1/2 tsp vanilla (leave out if on Whole30)

What you do: 

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a blender, mash up the bananas and then add the rest of the ingredients and blend until silky smooth
  3. Pour into a silicone pan (or grease a pan with coconut oil)
  4. Back for 15 minutes
  5. Wait for a few hours...I know it's hard, but you will thank me
  6. Enjoy!

If you wanted to make these fluffier, you could totally whip some egg whites and fold those suckers in as well. I think these would be even yummier with banana "ice cream." Enjoy!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Spring Break Shape Up 2019: February 18-March 10

Oh gosh...did you know it's already well into February? Okay, you probably totally knew that, but I'm telling you that, for me, this year is flying by and Spring Break is right around the corner-yasssss....and eeeekkkk...that means shorts, dresses, tank tops and swim suits are right around the corner. Currently, that feels like it will never be warm enough for spring (especially since I just bit it on ice on the driveway and I haven't felt warm in 3 months). But time goes on, folks, and that warm weather is coming-YAY!

So....how are you feeling these days about your health?

Maybe your new years resolution to eat better and exercise took a dive two weeks into January.

Maybe you're overwhelmed with how to reach your health goals because of all the "health noise" on the internet and so you haven't done anything.

Maybe you have been surviving the cold and all the snow days under a blanket with lots and lots of  popcorn, chocolate and a nice glass of wine while binge watching Netflix (that's my deal...do you have a deal too?).

Maybe you're feeling down or lethargic or have tummy problems or aren't fitting into your clothes in a comfy way.

If any of those feel like you right now and you would like to change them with movement, good sleep, hydration and nutrient dense food, then join me and a small group of others with the same goals and game plan to get right back on track. You can do anything for 21 days...promise. It may not be easy, but it will be worth it and I'll be right there with you the entire way.

The Spring Break Shape Up Challenge begins Monday, February 18 and ends Sunday, March 10. This Challenge is all about getting more energy, kicking sugar cravings, sleeping better and shedding a bit of fat in the process.

Here's what you can expect when you sign up:
  • Membership to a private Facebook group with daily encouragement and tips
  • Suggested food guide and recipes
  • Grocery lists
  • Weekly workout schedule
  • A private online forum (via FB page) where you can post questions, celebrate your successes (and challenges) as well as get encouragement from a group of people doing the same work.
  • Access to an ACE certified personal trainer and wellness coach with over 10 years of experience
  • NO supplements or gimmicks...just food...the kind you eat out, cook at home or pick up on the go.
  • All for $29 payable via PayPal*

Are you in? Ready to choose to feel better? Ya know...when you feel better you look better...so what's there to lose?

Click here to e-mail me that you are IN and ready to take control of your health.

*as soon as the PayPal invoice is paid, you will be added to the private Facebook group! :)

Roasted Potatoes with Onions and Peppers

On Christmas morning my mom made roasted potatoes with peppers and onions as part of brunch...and even just thinking about them right now, my mouth is watering. Ever since then, I've been making a big batch each week for, well, whenever I want them. I use them as sides for salmon or hamburgers or under eggs in the morning. I can't tell you how yummy and satisfying they are AND simple to make.

What you need: 
  • Several pounds of white potatoes (my favs are smaller red and gold OR even better, the tiny bite sized kind so you don't have to cut them up)
  • 1-2 large sweet potatoes 
  • 1-2 large yellow onions
  • 4 bell peppers (I like using orange and yellow peppers for this)
  • Avocado oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
What you do:
  • Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees
  • Cut up white potatoes in to medium chunks (or don't if they are the little guys)
  • Peel and cut up sweet potatoes into chunks similar to the other potatoes
  • Cut onions and peppers into chunks (remember they will shrink a bit so you can make them pretty large-time saver!)
  • Toss all potatoes and veggies in enough oil to coat them all slightly
  • Add salt and pepper
  • Spread it all out on a baking sheet
  • Cook those suckers for 20 minutes, then stir, repeat until they are baked to your preference
I like the onions and peppers to be slightly burnt, so I cook mine for a while and then just turn the oven off and let them cool in there. 


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

"Creamy" Hamburger Soup...it's sooooo delicious

So I don't have a photo of this soup....well...I do....but it doesn't look super appetizing...UPDATE:I just made this for the 10th time and took an okay photo... This thick and satisfying soup is loaded with veggies and protein and is just plain good...just ask my kids :)

What you need:
  • 1 pound ground turkey or ground beef
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 TBSP minced garlic
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 8 medium sized red potatoes, diced
  • 1 bag (or about 4 cups) riced cauliflower
  • Salt and pepper to taste
What you do:
  • Brown the meat for about 5 minutes
  • Add the onion, ghee, garlic, carrots and celery and saute with the meat until the onions begin to soften
  • Throw it all in the crockpot and stir in the chicken broth and red potatoes
  • Right before you are ready to serve, cook the cauliflower rice in the microwave for 3 minutes
  • Pour the cooked cauliflower and about 1 cup of the broth from the soup into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy (add more broth if necessary)
  • Stir the cauliflower into the soup
  • Serve!

Saturday, February 9, 2019

5 Reasons to Drink Warm Lemon Water in the Morning

As soon as I get up, I always chug a big glass of water....it gets me that much closer to drinking half my body weight in oz of water a day. But lately, it's been so cold, I've started to drink the water warm and then as the coffee is brewing, I do a mug with some lemon juice. I've see all the stuff before about lemon water and it's benefits, but I kinda forgot about it until our next door neighbor shared his morning routine with me. I thought, "heck...if Jeff is doing this, I can do that!"

I did a little research because, let's be honest, how many of us have even 30 more seconds in our mornings to cut open a lemon and squeeze it into some warm water...not me, my friends. UNLESS it really does something good for my body.

Let me share what I found out about warm lemon water in the mornings:
  • Helps hydrate the body after sleeping (which dehydrates the body)
  • Warm water is more quickly absorbed into the system
  • Warm water wakes up the digestion system (helps you pee and poop)
  • Adding lemon is great because it gives us a boost of Vitamin C...who couldn't use more of that during cold and flu season? 
  • Lemon also helps our liver with detoxification...get that bad stuff out of our system
 And now let me share what I have noticed from drinking warm lemon water personally:
  • It totally aids in digestion
  • I feel a bit more awake (probably because I'm hydrating myself)
  • I have yet to get sick (now I probably will because I just wrote that)
  • My kids do NOT like the taste, so they leave my mug alone-bonus! ⬇️
Worth it? Totally

Also...there are some interesting health rituals around drinking warm water first thing in the morning. Check out this interesting article for more info on drinking warm water.

Friday, February 8, 2019

The Whole30...my thoughts and experience

This January I some people in a class I teach decided to do the Whole30 ..and being super competitive, I took that as a challenge to do it myself. If you aren’t familiar with what “Whole30” is all about, let me break it down for you. 

Basically, you eat:
  • meat (preferably organic)
  • eggs
  • fats like olive oil, coconut oil and avocados
  • nuts
  • fruits
  • veggies
The things off limits:
  • sugars
  • grains (including corn, quinoa, rice, wheat, etc)
  • vegetable oil
  • beans 
  • legumes (including peanuts)
  • alcohol
  • soy
  • dairy
Many people gasp and back away from this “diet” because it’s so restrictive. Totally fine, it’s not for everyone. However, it’s only meant to be for 30 days and it essentially eliminates things that people are sensitive to so that when you begin eating those things you can tell if they do a body good. For all the info, definitely check out Whole30’s website

Now, I have to admit to 2 things.

#1. I have done the Whole30 before and it was fine...but it was also a long time ago before I was dairy and gluten free and it was HARD!

#2. I should say that in January, I did the Whole-ish30. I kept to the food rules like my life depended on it, but I did have some red wine and vodka on the weekends. Judge me if you wish. 

Anyway, I have to say, I feel GREAT! 
  • My sugar cravings are not beasts like they used to be...an apple or some unsweetened dried mango will do the trick. Plus, as an avid chocolate lover and consumer, I’m just not really into anymore...what?!? 
  • I feel like I can really hear my hunger cues. I know when I’m actually hungry and should eat and when I’m just bored or stressed or whatever.
  • I don’t get the mid afternoon blood sugar dip...yay!
  • I don’t have the mid-afternoon bloat...ever! 
So, I feel like I won January in the energy and feeling we’ll department (even if I did have some drinks along the way.)