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Thirsty Thursday: #CHEATCLEAN Recipes

Welcome back to National Nutrition Month!

What is food if it’s not enjoyable? Well, technically it is fuel, BUT if you don’t enjoy your fuel then you’re not very likely to stick with it right?

So, today I am presenting you with 4 (yeah, I said 4!) #cheatclean recipes to keep you trim and fit, but also satisfied. :) ENJOY your food!

The common ingredients you will need for these recipes are Quest Bars and protein powder. I’ll list what I use, but I always recommend you experiment! All items can be purchased at bodybuilding.com

protein PB cup

1) #CHEATCLEAN Peanut Butter Cups

I’m a Reese’s PB Cup ADDICT! And these come pretty dang close in taste, up my protein, and don’t jack up my hormones with all the sugars. Super easy recipe:

What you will need:

Foil muffin tins and non-stick spray

1 scoop BSN Syntha 6 protein powder in Peanut Butter Cookie mixed with just enough water to make a paste

1 scoop BSN Syntha 6 protein powder in Chocolate Peanut Butter mixed with just enough water to make a paste

What to do:

LIGHTLY spray muffin tins (makes 2 big ones)

place about 1/2 chocolate pb mix into both tins

Place in freezer for about 10 minutes

Place peanut butter cookie mix on top (the whole mix between both cups)

Freeze for 10-15 minutes

Place the remaining chocolate pb mix on top and freeze until done….or in my case, until you just can’t wait any longer.

Peanut Butter yumminess for less than 6 grams of sugar! WINNING!

oreo brownie bites

 

2) #CHEATCLEAN Oreo Brownie Bites

What you will need:

1 Quest nutrition Oreo cookie bar

1 Quest nutrition brownie bar

1 thank you letter, ready to be sent to Quest Nutrition.

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Place a bit of plastic wrap over a plate

Tear both bars into pieces and microwave for 20 seconds

Wrap plastic wrap around Quest bars and SMOOSH

Transfer your smoosh to a small baking dish

Bake for approximately 6 minutes

Cut into squares

Write thank you card.

 

chocolate ice cream

3) #CHEATCLEAN Chocolate Heaven Ice Cream Dream

What you will need:

An ice cream maker…seriously, they’re like $20. Go get one, I’ll wait…..

1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology (I chose this for nutrient density, YOU may use any chocolate protein powder you like….it’s not an anarchy here)

1 scoop Syntha 6 protein in Peanut Butter Cookie

1 spoon natural peanut or almond butter (um, I use BIG spoons for this, but feel free to use a tablespoon)

6 oz unsweetened almond milk

1 zucchini, peeled and chopped (don’t wrinkle your nose at me! just do it…)

What to do:

Put it all into the blender, put the lid on  (DUH) and let it rip!

Pour into ice cream maker

Try not to look too desperate as you stalk ice cream make for the next 10-15 minutes

Enjoy :)

BTW: If you’re totally against modern technology and refuse to purchase an ice cream maker….place in container and freeze for 1-2 hours.

peanut butter stuffed cookie

4) #CHEATCLEAN Peanut Butter Cup Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie (OH….YEAH)

Um, words cannot express how deliciously delightful these are….do NOT share. I warned you :) If you share people will always be at your house…it’s dreadful.

What you will need:

1 Quest Nutrition Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar

1 Quest Nutrition Cravings Peanut Butter Cups Pack (you’ll use 1. feel free to nibble on the other, OR you can make a cookie for a very dear loved one)

an oven…

A phone! So you can take a pic of your cookie and a pic of your hot body and say “HA!” cause you have totally figured it out…

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

SMOOSH halves of the Quest cookie bar and place one on lightly sprayed cookie sheet

Place a peanut butter cup in the middle

Place other SMOOSHED half on top and close up the sides as best you can.

EAT any chocolate pieces that fall off…

Bake for 3-5 minutes

Find a dark corner to indulge your taste buds and have a little party all to yourself…cause we don’t share these.

 

There you have it. 4 awesome recipes that will revolutionize the way you see “diets”. I hate diets. I spit on them…but not after I’ve eaten a cookie cause I don’t waste that stuff.

Open your mind, realize that you are full of AWESOME potential just as you are RIGHT NOW. You don’t need to lose weight or get swole to live to your fullness…start now and it will come. #youareenough

Grace, peace, chocolate and a few lunges,

Michelle

rockin abs

Want abs like these? Head over to the NUTRITION tab to see how you can get in on Nutrition Boot Camp OR personalized nutrition counseling. Have your treats…gain results!

 

Healthy Holiday Recipes!

These 4 recipes will get you started toward healthier holidays!

Remember, portion control is your #1 line of defense :)

 

 

Pumpkin Muffins

¾ cup whole wheat flour

¾ cup oat bran cereal (found over on top of the oatmeal and is super cheap)

½ teaspoon baking soda

1-2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (to your taste)

½ cup natural sugar (sugar in the raw works)

½ teaspoon salt

 

Wet ingredients

1 mashed banana

½ cup kefir (or plain nonfat yogurt will work)

1 egg white + 1 whole egg, beaten

2 tablespoons pumpkin puree (in the can, make sure it says pure pumpkin)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 carrot, peeled and grated

½ cup pitted dates (optional)

½ cup walnuts (optional)

Mix the dry ingredients in 1 bowl, wet in another then gently mix together. Spoon into muffin tins (the silver liners work best) and pop into an oven preheated to 425 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.

 

 

 

Leftover Turkey Soup

 

Post Thanksgiving

2 cups skinless turkey breasts (white meat has less fat than dark meat)

1 cup diced celery

1 diced onion

4 minced garlic cloves

2 chopped sweet potatoes

1 diced sweet pepper (red, yellow, orange)

1 handful chopped cilantro

Dash of sea salt

Pepper to taste

2 Tablespoons chili powder

2 Teaspoons ground ginger

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1-2 cups turkey or chicken broth (no fat)

Water

 

Using a large soup pot, place olive oil, onion, garlic, celery and sweet potatoes and cook until onion becomes transparent in color. Then add the rest of the ingredients, adding enough water to cover; bring to a boil and cook on medium heat until the veggies are cooked through. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 Mexican Soup

6 cups low sodium chicken stock

1 large purple onion

2 red bell peppers, seeded

2 chili peppers, chopped

5 plum tomatoes, chopped

1 cup corn kernels

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 bouillon cubes

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons taco seasoning

1 teaspoon paprika

1 can red kidney beans, rinsed

Throw all ingredients into your Crockpot and cook on medium heat.

 

 

Chili

1 onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound ground turkey breast, lean beef, or bison

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

Dash of cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 poblano pepper

1 green bell pepper

2 cups low sodium chicken stock

1 cup chopped cilantro

1 and ½ teaspoon ground cumin seeds

Ancho chilis

1 can chopped tomatoes

1 can rinsed red kidney beans

 

Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil

Add ground meat and brown

Season with cocoa powder, cayenne and chili powder

Add fresh peppers (poblano, bell etc)

 

In soup pot boil broth or stock

Add chopped cilantro, cumin seed, ancho chile, chopped tomatoes (or paste or sauce)

 

Transfer meat to soup pot and simmer down to your preferred consistency.

Add beans if you want.

 

4th of July Recipes!

Hello and Happy 4th!

This time of year brings loads of family and friend time along with all the fixings (i.e. food!) so here are a few easy recipes for your 4th as well as some tips on staying healthy :)

Do it yourself marinade:

Most bottled marinades contain high fructose corn syrup and loads of preservatives. You can whip up an easy marinade with the simplest of ingredients. Here are 2 of my favorites.

Soak meat in yogurt overnight. I know that sounds really weir BUT the yogurt will tenderize the meat and make it soak up more of your marinade. No yogurt? You can simply use milk with a small squeeze of lemon, about 1/4 wedge.

Marinade 1:

Best for pork/chicken

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

8 chopped rosemary sprigs

6 chopped basil leaves

juice of 1/2 lemon

pinch of salt

pepper

Mix together in bag, thrown in meat and let sit for 4+ hours (can sit overnight)

Marinade 2:

Best for fish

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons dill

juice of 1/2 lemon

juice of 1/2 lime

pinch of salt

pepper

Place fillets in shallow dish, cover with marinade, seal with plastic wrap, let sit for no more than 2 hours

Both of these are super easy marinades. I prefer dry rubs for red meats. You can use a variety of spices including:

  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • cayenne
  • red pepper flakes
  • chili power
  • cocoa power
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • sea salt
  • pepper

Be creative and see what you can come up with for your party.

Tasty Sides:

I know the old standbys are potato salad and coleslaw, but you can save time and calories by thinking outside of the box.

Try serving crudities (small bites of veggies) with a variety of dips. Any mayonnaise based dip can have a healthy twist by switching the mayo for greek yogurt.

Instead of slaw, try a shredded salad. Take romaine, red cabbage, green cabbage, baby spinach, and maybe a spicier green such as arugula. PLace in large bowl and pour a sweet ginger dressing over it.

Ginger Dressing:

1/2 ginger root, peeled and sliced

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon mustard

Place ginger in food processor and pulse until soft, add honey and mustard and blend until creamy.

The Sweets:

It can be so tempting to break out the pies and cookies I know, but have you thought about playing with fruit? Try offering up some fruit skewers this 4th. Simple pile on different in season fruits as though you were making a kabob (by the way, pineapple and peach skewers can be grilled and are delicious at the end of a meal). Kids love these and you can offer up some yogurt based dips to sweeten the deal. If skewers aren’t your thing, try a large fruit salad. Always squeeze a small amount of lemon/lime on your fruit to keep it from browning. You can also mix any fruit into fun popsicles or frozen yogurt for a cooling treat in the middle of Summer.

Staying Safe:

Sun safety is a big concern during these outdoor gatherings, as is bug safety here in the South! Make sure that you and your loved ones are protected by applying sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher every 4 hours, more often if swimming is involved. Most of the spray formulas are easy to use and don’t feel extra greasy. If you cannot tolerate the spray, try a good rub on like Burt’s Bees, which helps with both the sun and the bugs :)

You can get some sun protection from your foods. Try adding in lots of berries, leafy greens and sweet potatoes as these foods have been shown to increase the skins natural sun protection.

For the Adults in the room:

When partaking of the alcoholic beverages, have you ever stopped to think about how much good it could actually be doing you? Well, if you are a beer drinker, try a darker brew. The darker the brew, the higher the antioxidants. Recent studies show that dark brews actually offer several health benefits including boosting antioxidant consumption. If you love the mixed drinks, try to forgo the heavy syrups. Not only do they add calories, but it is in fact the sugar that causes the hangover. Stick with lighter spritzes (white wine and club soda, red wine and cranberry juice, vodka and sparkling water) if you are spending time outside. This will help cool the body. Be aware that alcohol, as well as caffeine, dehydrate. So make sure you are taking it in moderation and chasing it down with water.

However you celebrate and wherever you may be, I hope that you take the time to give thanks for our freedoms this 4th of July.

Stay healthy!

Michelle

Do MORE than Survive this Holiday season

See the source image

 

Before you start clicking away, I GET IT!

We haven’t quite gotten through Thanksgiving and Christmas is already on our doorstep.

The once enthusiastic excitement has given way to overwhelming stress resulting from deadlines, expectations and all those fun family quirks that make each family unique.

Our world is moving at a MUCH faster pace than ever before. We value busyness instead of human contact. We are always on to the next thing. We can barely keep up with technology and those expectations? They keep getting bigger.

Trust me, I know…..

But there are a few ways to actually THRIVE and take back the meaning of the holidays.

Ready to feel BETTER when the New Year hits???

Then let’s get going :)

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1. Have a strategy.

Failure to plan is planning to fail after all. So it is a good idea to make a strategy for your Holidays. Know what you (as a mere mortal) can actually take and accomplish. Know your calendar and make sure you have your priorities straight. I think most people endure undo stress during the season because their priorities are not aligned with their values. For example: my number 1 priority is my family. My family needs time with me. Although my job prefers I work more hours and sell more training, I know that would simply break me down and make me inefficient….at work AND at home. So, I honor my priorities and we all win.

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2. Say NO more often.

Often times during this season we can over commit ourselves because we find it harder to say NO. Saying no to things you truly cannot do, truly HATe, or do not have the time to do, can be the change you need in your routine to eliminate most of your stress. Trust me, the world will NOT stop spinning when you say no. People may get a little upset, but that is because they had already assumed you would say yes, and you know what happens when you assume…:) So, exercise your NO muscles this season. Take a look at your priority list and if something isn’t aligning, knock it off your to-do list by saying the simple word NO.

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3. Make some time to workout during the Holidays.

I’m going to give a little advice with this one: be flexible when it comes to your workout routine. If you normally hit the gym in the evening, maybe try getting a workout in early morning or during lunch. The holiday season is usually jam-packed with parties and festivities and NOBODY like a bah-humbug who complains about missing a workout for a function. Plan ahead and be flexible. Consider shorter workouts OR even combine body parts and shorten your rest periods to speed it up a bit. If you’re struggling to get to the gym as is, don’t set yourself up for failure by expecting too much. Check out my FREE WORKOUTS  that you can do in a faction of the time at home (to be posted on the site in the New YEAR, but click the link to get them now). If all else fails, grab a walk or jog. OR you can join me in a little self challenge I am having for the Holidays: I am committing to a little yoga everyday AND a minimum of 200 kettle bell swings a day. You can break it up however you like. And if you’re unfamiliar with the SWING, click the link to learn more.

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4. Do something GOOD.

There’s a lot that can be said about that feeling during the Holidays that just makes you want to DO GOOD. You can volunteer at a local soup kitchen, adopt an elderly neighbor for the Holidays, collect toys for a toy drive, OR join a local church for plenty of opportunities to DO GOOD. Check your calendar and availability and then find the right fit for you.

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5. Finally, be GRATEFUL.

I know it can be a bit cliché, but digging deep for the things that make you grateful is a great practice in stress relief. Take a moment each day to find ONE thing you are grateful for. It can be family and friends, your job, material blessings, health, or even the fact that your latter didn’t burn your mouth this morning. Gratefulness comes in ALL shapes and sizes, so don’t be afraid to think outside of the box :)

In closing, I really do with you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving and a very Merry Christmas. I hope your hearts get filled with joy this season and I wish you all the best in the New Year.

If this is your first time to the site, feel free to browse around. There are all kinds of recipes and free workouts here to get you through whatever you may be facing. AND stay in touch because there will be some exciting happenings around here in 2018 :)

xoxo,

Michelle

 

How to Avoid Overeating This Christmas

Hello Lovely :)

It’s a rainy Wednesday on my side of the world, but I am enjoying it none the less. I’m finishing off a little protein and some pre-workout pretzels (cause DIETS don’t jive with me)

on-a-diet A little perspective helps ;)

As I’m doing my daily thing, I am reminded of the plague that can entrench all of us this time of year: overeating. It seems to be the bane of our existence on this side of the world (and in other well developed countries), and I get the HOW-TO question with every major holiday.

So, as an early Christmas present to YOU I present my top tips to avoid overeating:

1. Stop overdoing. This may seem odd, but most of our overeating comes from a severely packed schedule. We over commit, rush ourselves and our families from place to place, and leave precious little time for anything other than shopping, errands, cards and wrapping. In my personal opinion that very thing can skew our perception of Christmas altogether and leave us empty and wanting. Now, we are hungry, tired, emotionally drawn out and vulnerable to poor food decisions. The FIX: monitor your time and give yourself permission to not do EVERYTHING. My friend Pamela wrote a fantastic article to help you out here.

stress-free-christmas

2. Make some time to MOVE…..but don’t set crazy expectations. Getting 30 minutes of movement in each day will help to lower cortisol, level blood sugar and improve your outlook on life BUT it needs to be something you enjoy and something that makes you feel good. If your particular brand of workout is more like punishment, then your stress hormones will actually shift into overdrive and you’ll be more likely to over consume the sweets.

3. Realize some treats are OK and expected. Don’t take a one way trip to overindulgence by setting the NO SUGAR standard for the Christmas season. Be realistic and know that there are some treats that you will allow yourself to ENJOY <<<<<<<< the key word there. No guilt, no stress, no punishment.

harry potter sugar Don’t be that person…….

4. Make some alternatives. If you’re in the market for baking goodies or making treats this Christmas, try creating healthier version of the same thing. I adore Lori Harder and she has some awesome Holiday menu items that keep the flavor but in a healthier version. This way you can indulge and enjoy, guilt free.

lori harder

5. Try a little damage control up front. My personal favorite tips are to make sure you get enough protein in the tank, so focus on the turkey OR consider having a whole foods protein shake before a party or get together. Also, I love starting each day with a super simple green shake that packs a serious nutritional punch. I take 8 oz coconut water, 2 oz aloe, a couple handfuls of mixed greens, 1/2 a lemon (juice), 1/2 cucumber and a touch of honey. This sets you up for success first thing.

6. Final thing here, so hang with me! Try to avoid an ONGOING intake of trigger foods. The best way to do this is to not allow it in the house OR use my personal fave and don’t open the bag until Christmas! Treats are cool, but mindless eating doesn’t help anybody. Sugar tends to trigger cravings for more sugar, so try to plan ahead when you know you will indulge.  A great way to squash the sugar bug is with herbal teas. You can try any variety you like, but I prefer peppermint or chocolate hazelnut tea to give my sweet tooth a break.

Christmas sweet tooth

With those tips you should be able to enjoy your Christmas festivities without the ever looming guilt some carry around this time of year. Food should NEVER have that effect on you. Remember, there’s nothing you can do in one day, one week, or even a season that can derail you for good.

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!!!!!

Michelle

Carlson-7825

 

 

Holiday Fat Loss NOW!

A few weeks ago I stated that I would be losing a bit of fat on Instagram…..and it’s in full swing.

SO, I thought it would be helpful for you to see how I go about this and for me to drop some educational bombs on fat loss fundamentals.

Let’s get down to business……

fat-loss_2 She looks thrilled with her apple doesn’t she?

OK, fundamentals FIRST.

  • You MUST obtain a muscle base before fat loss can occur. Don’t try to fast forward this part ok? If you have not been strength training regularly, then earmark what I’m doing here and come back to it in a few months.
  • You still have to eat.
  • Your workouts MUST be intense….not long.
  • Train thoughtfully and recover well.

My own personal goals are pretty easy and pretty cheesy…….I want to fit into jeans :) that’s one of them. Plus, I want to side step the inflammation I deal with and I want to increase my mobility since I have lost quite a bit. The majority of my workouts are based in my home gym, but I’ll give you some workout recommendations at the end of the post. PLUS, I post one of my workouts each week too, so you’re golden.

rockin abs This was  couple of years ago when I was intermittent fasting regularly. I have since put on about 11 pounds of MUSCLE (cue flex) :)

Eating.

I love food. Not in an unhealthy way mind you, I simply love what can happen when you marry the food that works with you and the eating style that works with you.

DISCLAIMER: I am about to tell you the eating style I choose. This is because it has always worked in the past to help me shed unwanted fat (not to be confused with weight) and squashed my inflammation. This is NOT a way of saying everybody should eat this way. Always do your homework before you embark on dietary change. If you have any chronic medical conditions, consult with your physician.

I am a happy intermittent faster. I’ll post more about the ins and outs of that later, but for the purposes of THIS blog I am simply telling you what I do.

I prefer a 16/8 fast, meaning that I fast for 16 hours and feast for 8. Pretty simple. I break my fast at 10 a.m. which is usually when my workout ends, and I have my final meal about 6 p.m. This works really well with my client schedules and responsibilities as well.

What does it mean to fast and feast?

I still drink coffee in the morning with a splash of non-dairy creamer, but stay below 50 calories. I drink 10 grams of BCAA’s while taking Debbie to school and 10 more during my workout. My workout duration is MUCH shorter now, but also more intense. I am using MMA conditioning training to help address imbalances and really tighten up my body. My workout ends around 10 a.m. and I will break my fast with a post-workout meal. That is usually a scoop of whey protein, 1/2 scoop of casein protein, and a piece of fruit. Then I’ll have a larger meal about an hour or so later. Depending on the day, I may have 2-4 more meals varied in size. I am eating intuitively and making sure I am getting my micronutrients in as well as my macronutrients. A breakdown of most meals is on my INSTA account.

More details on all the surrounds IF will be talked about soon.

Wrap a bow on it:

  • Fat loss requires a muscle base and I have spent the last 2 years piling muscle on.
  • I am EATING using intermittent fasting 16/8 protocol and choosing healthy foods even while some treats sneak in.
  • My workouts are shorter and more intense, really focusing on core.
  • I am also recovering smarter, utilizing nutrients as well as foam rolling, trigger point therapy and daily doses of yoga.

Hang with me and watch things change :)

Michelle

OH, side note: I have also ditched dairy and alcohol (during the holidays!!!!) due to the fact that they have been causing slight allergic issues. How can you tell? Pay attention to your food and how you feel!

 

Legs for DAYS workout write up PLUS upcoming challenges

Oh hey!!!!!!!

So, if you follow along on INSTA then you likely know that my regularly scheduled leg day was derailed a bit. I got to think outside the box and play around a bit :)

Before the workout, I feel it is best to explain WHY I do certain things…..you see, I got LEGS. I have big legs and have had them all my life. They gain easily and in order to keep them lean, I have to workout in a specific manner.

legs and glutes leg work Musclemania LEGS Insert leg song of choice here…….

This is the last year of leg changes. My quads are over excited little boogers, so I work the heck out of hammies and glutes, leaving quads alone for the most part. That’s just what works for me!

This workout is minimal equipment and was done in my garage. You can feel free to add a bit to it if you like. You will need a timer of some sort at the end (I prefer Tabata Pro App).

First, warming up is CRITICAL! I use a variety of moves to warm up my hips, hams, glutes, lower AND upper back as well as core work. This will make sure your work environment is safe.

Now, the fun part :) This workout contained 3 distinctive parts.

Round 1: loop or therapy band (a regular exercise band can work, or body weight is you have nothing).

Perform each move 30x with no rest between sets

Lateral walking

Banded squat

Monster Walk

Round 2: you need a heavy dumbbell or kettlebell, bench or raised surface and a band for upper thighs

Perform in a circuit, 4 sets of 15-20 reps each (I used kettlebells, 25-44 pounds)

Sumo squat (4×15)

KB Squat on bench (4×15, butt touches bench)

Banded hip thrust (4×20)

Round 3: the Cinnamon Bun Burner :) You can do this with NO weight, but I used a 25 lb KB

Set timer for 30 seconds of work and 5 seconds of rest, 6 cycles, 5 Tabatas (if you have the app; otherwise you are simply going through the whole thing 5x)

There is NO resting here.

Single leg hip thrust Right

Single leg hip thrust Left

Alternating side to side lunge (sometimes called a sliding lunge)

Single stiff leg dead lift Right

Single stiff leg dead lift Left

Reverse hyperextensions

Do this 30 seconds per move, 5x through for roasty-toasty buns :)

Make sure to refuel afterward (I chose a Len and Larry’s Cookie and some protein) and drink plenty of water.

CHALLENGES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you’re tired of starting over all the time, try the Fall Eating Challenge HERE.

 

Also, follow me on INSTAGRAM and take part in a totally FREE fat loss challenge for the holidays.

I’ve been working tirelessly to pack on muscle and the holidays seem like a great time to lose fat right?????

Really, we all get tight on time during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season….soooooooo, I’ve decided to try something a little out of my box of comfort and see where it can take me. I’ll be experimenting with Intermittent Fasting (which I already do a form of) and HIIT training each day. This will cut my workout time down and allow me to focus on other fun things about the season, like making and eating cookies. Wait, that went south……but we all know I do it. So, you can follow me on INSTA to get my daily workouts, my eating philosophy, my cheater cheater pumpkin eater recipes, AND my world famous, not-spending-my-time-on-this-and-always-in-bad-lighting-PHOTOS!!!!!!

You’re sold right?

The cool thing is we’re all just along for the ride here. Wanna learn the HOW TO of succeeding? Try the eating challenge. Wanna see pics and follow HIITs? Do the INSTA challenge. Wanna be a bad A? Do both :)

Got it?

Let’s get it together!!!!!!!!!

Michelle

FREEKEH Foods Review and Recipe

Over the past few weeks, I have had the chance to review (meaning cook and eat!!!!) the fabulous Freekeh Foods.

Curious as to what Freekeh really is? I’m glad you asked :) Read on for this info straight from the source:

What is Freekeh?

So glad you asked! Freekeh is a process which means “to rub” in Arabic. Freekeh was created by accident nearly 2,000 years ago when a Middle Eastern village was attacked and their crop of young green wheat was set ablaze. Most folks would sulk over their misfortune, but the crafty villagers rubbed off the chaff, cooked it up and “Eureka!” Freekeh was created. We’re proud to offer you this tasty, nutritious ancient grain with a funny name.

whatisfreekeh.jpg

So what do you do with Freekeh?

The question should be… what can’t you do with it? We love it in soups, pilafs, salads, you name it! There really is no wrong way to Freekeh! So go ahead — unleash your imagination and make it your own. Adopt it, fall in love with it.

 

Freekeh truly is one of the most versatile grains I have worked with AND the texture is amazing. I tried two different types (regular and rosemary sage) and was able to find LOADS of recipes on their site.

The family favorite was the Freekeh Jambalaya. We had this after returning from a trip to New Orleans, where we tasted the real deal. The Freekeh Jambalaya was a winner and hit the spot :)

Freekeh is a nutritionist approved way to add more healthy grains to your diet and reap the benefits from fiber, carbs and all natural goodness.

 

Finding my voice in Fitness

I had a major turning point this past week…..I remembered something I had forgotten: my voice.

Oddly enough, I was inspired by fellow blondie, Elle Woods :)

Have you ever had an instance where you forgot your voice?

I have been working and blogging in the fitness industry for over a dozen years, and when you are here for a while you can start to get a muddled voice. You forget what you know and sometimes your beliefs can take a back seat to current trends or stronger personalities.

Sharing your unique voice is what helps others most in the journey of life. I took some time to figure out what my voice truly says and I found out some pretty interesting things along the way…..

Srtong Camp 32 Photo taken at Strong Camp Houston by Paul Buceta

  1. A tight physique isn’t everything. It is my belief that working out for the sake of aesthetics won’t keep you motivated or get you very far. Since trying my hand at competing, this personal belief began to take a back burner. The more I focused on my looks, the worse I felt about myself. I went to the beach for almost a week and never donned a bikini……because I didn’t think I could.
  2. Listening to your body helps….to an extent. I have admittedly become a happy couch potato this summer. We love to watch movies and I have indulged with my family more than I ever have. But you know what? It’s OK. I’m not suffering from heart issues because a small season involved more rest than usual. Do I feel tight and lean? Not in the least…..but I have spent countless hours sitting with my kids talking, movie watching, playing and even planning for the future. I can get abs again, but talking freely with 2 teenagers is a rare treat.
  3. Sometimes, more is just more. I was working out nearly 3 hours a day when summer started. Half of that was heavy-duty lifts, the other half was cardio and yoga. Now, I still do yoga several times per week (at this stage in my life it is a must) but my workouts are home based and a bit shorter. I can get just as much done in a much shorter time frame. Why? Because metabolic conditioning is where I excel…..I just forgot that over this past year because I though I HAD to follow the rules. My workouts now are 25-45 minutes in the gym and consist mostly of kettlebells. The swelling has gone way down in my arms and legs and I’m starting to see definition I thought was lost until I decided to do another competition. This is my voice.
  4. True fitness can fit into any lifestyle. I really don’t believe you have to quit living just to be fit. I still eat chocolate and drink wine. I workout with my daughter by doing NTC workouts OR playing on the Kinect. True fitness isn’t all or nothing, it’s balance.

So, not that I have rediscovered my voice I plan on doing things with it. I plan to help others find their voices and find a fitness program that works with life, not against it.

So, what is your voice? You have something powerful to offer the world……you’re just hiding it :)

Until next time,

Michelle

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Top Blogs I’m Digging Right NOW

Even though I am a blogger (and still finding my blogging path), I still enjoy blogs of other professionals to keep things fresh.

Point: our own perspective is not always the best :)

So, today I am sharing the top blogs I’m reading this summer.

Blog Concept

1. Thrive Personal Fitness. Pamela is a personal friend of mine (and has even blessed us with a contribution HERE) and I really love her fresh, real-life take on fitness. Check her out and sign up for updates.

2. Nutrition Stripped. I JUST came across this via good old Instagram. With the fresh recipes and easy to follow guides, it’s a win for any thoughtful foodie.

3. Do You Yoga. This is a go-to for all things yoga in life, and they manage to keep it upbeat, current and inspirational.

4. One Degree Ministries. I met Tracy through a writers/speaker conference and have loved watching her blog grow and take shape. A great blog for every need in life.

5. Shameless plug. OK, so this is technically my blog :) but it is also the beginnings of a movement to empower women to step into who they were created to be and leave all fear behind. Join us :)

Those should keep you busy for a bit.

Read them on your laptop outside for extra credit and stay tuned for some big changes!