Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Preparing for Refeed Day with Chocolate Chickpea Brownies!! (Gluten Free)



If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that today I get to reward 6 weeks worth of hard work with a day in carb heaven! But don’t worry— it’s a “refeed,” not a “cheat.” What does that mean exactly? Well, for myself and my challengers in my group, we are replenishing our tired muscles today with some targeted dirty #carbs. Not only is this a great mental break for ya, since we’ve been sticking to our program so diligently, but it’s also a chance to restore all that glycogen in our depleted muscles! The goal? And amazing #legday tomorrow and renewed energy and endurance. Even better? We’ll repeat this refeed every 2 weeks from now on for the rest of our 80 days!!




These are also a dessert that any of my challengers can have up to 3 times a week in our regular fitness challenge groups (I believe in moderation, balance and clean eating-- NOT DEPRIVATION)! If you want to chat with me more about gettin into our next challenge group, where I share tons of meal plans and recipes like these, and work towards your fitness goals with amazing community and support, please REACH OUT to me! We'll set up a time to chat on the phone, or communicate via email or text, whatever is easiest for you, and find out the best plan for YOU moving forward with your fitness!



Fixate Chickpea Chocolate Brownies 

Ingredients:

1 (15 oz) can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans.  Rinsed and drained.
1/4 cup of butter (or extra virgin coconut oil)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup of maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 pinch sea salt
1/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 9×9 inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Place chickpeas, butter, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a food processor; cover.  Blend until smooth.
Add chocolate chips; mix by hand until blended.
Evenly spread batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of brownies comes out clean.



Cut into 16 squares., 4x4.  One serving (on my plan, 1 yellow!) is one amazing, rich and delicious brownie! Protip? Freeze the leftovers for later (which was my plan, I swear, until my family wouldn't leave them the heck alone!). I hope you enjoy these, and as always, let me know what you think! Now, about that workout...

Live healthy, live happy. Love, Amanda

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Self-Care Sunday

It’s the end of week two of my new fitness program, and not only am I feeling good, but I’m seeing my clients get amazing results already. It’s incredibly rewarding, and I can’t wait to see where we end up at the end of this 80 days! Today is day 14 of 80, Sunday, and Sunday is all about self-care in my house.  (If you want to learn more about what we’re doing and find out about joining us, email me here!)

So, what is self-care? It may sound a little hokey, but I promise you, if you can make this a regular part of your life, it will have a noticeable benefit over time. Self-care takes on many forms, but basically it means doing things for your overall wellness that benefit your body, mind, and spirit. As a mother and someone who works in healthcare, I know all too well the pitfalls of taking care of everyone else before yourself. It was a huge component in my weight gain and one of the hardest lessons to learn: I needed to start taking better care of myself.

At first, that was the workout. A half an hour a day, but one of the best habits I ever started. Next was my overall nutrition- and boy did that need an overhaul. Learning to fuel my body right and feed my family better (by incorporating Shakeology Daily and implementing a clean-eating lifestyle) has benefited all of us immensely. I have two happy, healthy kids who more often than not will choose healthy choices before junk (ok, maybe not the little one! He has a sweet tooth!), and even my husband lost 30 pounds I didn’t know he needed to lose! As wonderful as that all is, it’s not all. That’s the physical.

Self care is about the rest of it. The emotional. The mental game. The spiritual. And yes, even a little bit of the physical. What self-care is will vary from person to person. For instance, curling up for 15 minutes with a totally ridiculous romance novel or a murder-mystery novel with a hot cup of coffee or tea sounds like heaven to me! To my husband, that would feel like a punishment. It may take a little playing around with to find what’s right, and it also may vary from day to day. It can be as simple as taking 5 minutes to put lotion on (touching your body is healing, and moisturizing your skin is important and often overlooked) to going in for an hour massage.

Need some ideas for starting your self-care routine? Here’s a few tips to get you started!
1. Yes, I know it feels selfish, but NO, it isn’t. If you don’t take care of you, you’re no good to anybody else. Remember that.

2. Make a plan for when it will happen, and put it on your calendar just like you would a dentist appointment (hey, that’s self-care too! Healthy teeth are important!). I try and do
Self-care on Sunday not because it is alliterative, but because my plumber husband usuallyhas Sunday off! It’s easier to take an hour for yourself if you have help. And yes, it’s OK to ask for help.

3. If this is totally foreign to you, or if you have family members who are going to fight this (they may not understand how important it is), I recommend starting small. Pick one thing you can incorporate a week. The next week, maybe 2, and so on. Talk to the people in your life you may need to help you (such as your spouse or mom or neighbor to watch the children) and explain it to them. If people know something is important to you and understand, they are generally more supportive. Bonus tip?  You can even consider trading time with a friend to make it happen!

Ok, on to the ideas! Remember, self-care varies for EVERYONE, but here’s just a fraction of a list of my favorites:

Read a book for 15 minutes, preferably outside.
Meditate for at least 5 minutes first thing in the morning.
Spend 5 minutes speaking out loud positive affirmations to yourself.
Take a bubble bath.
Take an Epsom Salt bath.
Take a nap (with no alarm).
Do a workout (you knew this would make the list).
Get a pedicure or give yourself one.
Get a manicure (or do it yourself).
Give yourself a facial.
Get a massage.
Put your favorite lotion on.
Diffuse your favorite oils.
Turn off all electronics/phones/tv and play your favorite music for your mood.
Take a walk outside.
Sit in the sun for 15 minutes with your eyes closed and just breathe.
Take 5 minutes to stretch when you wake up.
Listen to a guided meditation podcast.
Do yoga.
Make your favorite tea.
Take yourself out for a coffee date... alone.
Take 10 extra minutes to get ready.
Do your hair.
Put on makeup.
Wear an outfit that makes you feel good.
Do more yoga. ;)

That should be enough to get you started! If you have more questions about self-care, message me! I’d love to help you! The best part of my current fitness  program is that self-care is PRESCRIBEDeaxh week, and the support of my challenge group is keeping us all on track to do it! I’ve been documenting each day’s challenges, successes, workouts and meals on my YouTube channel and Facebook, so you can always follow my journey there! Whatever you do, I hope you are living healthy and living happy. Love, Amanda

Friday, December 15, 2017

A Healthy Take on Broccoli Beef


For once, I don’t have much to say about the creation of this recipe, because it is one of the few on this blog that isn’t original! 😂 This recipe is 100% shoplifted from one of my favorite sources, the Beachbody on Demand Blog. Talk about a treasure trove of recipes! 


If you’re wanting a change up from your normal dinner  routine, this might be one you want to check out. Some ginger and coconut oil go a long way towards this healthier version of your typical Chinese-food-Court dish, with way more flavor and flair! It’s a hit with my kiddos (tolerable by my broccoli-hating husband), and a huge win for me.

Ingredients:
¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
6 Tbsp. water, divided use
2 Tbsp. corn starch, divided use
1 Tbsp. raw honey
1 lb. raw top sirloin beef, trimmed of fat and sliced into ½-inch thick pieces
1 tsp. coconut oil
4 cups broccoli florets
2 medium bell peppers, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 thin slice fresh ginger, peeled, finely chopped

Preparation:
1. Combine soy sauce, 4 Tbsp. water, 1 Tbsp. corn starch, and honey in a small bowl; mix well. Set aside.
2. Combine remaining 1 Tbsp. cornstarch and 2 Tbsp. water in a large bowl; mix well. Add beef. Toss gently to coat.
3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
4. Add beef; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes, or until cooked through and no longer pink. Remove from skillet, keep warm.

5. Add broccoli, bell pepper, garlic, and ginger to skillet; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes. Place broccoli mixture in beef bowl.
6. Add soy sauce mixture to skillet; cook, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat for 30 seconds, or until thickened.
7. Return beef and broccoli mixture to skillet; cook, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until well mixed and heated through.

As always, if you decide to make it, I hope you’ll share some feedback with me! I always love to hear from you. This January’s fitness group is filling up now, so if you want a plan with a purpose, message me soon! Happy, healthy holidays to you and your family! Love, Amanda