Chicken Noodle Soup – FIXATE

On Saturday, my daughter and I sat down together to come up with the meal plan for the week. Looking through the pictures from the FIXATE cookbook she immediately pointed to the soups. Chicken noodle soup was her choice and we decided to make it today. Perfect for a chilly day and this recipe does not take much effort to prepare, but tastes delicious – a win for this momma. We set aside approximately 10 minutes in the morning to cut up the carrots, onions, and celery. The chicken for this meal was frozen so we placed water in a pot and boiled the chicken on medium to low heat. Once cooked, the chicken was shredded with a fork. The extra shredded chicken will be used for chicken fajitas later in the week!

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INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cups celery,  sliced (about 4 medium stalks)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups chicken, cooked & shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, sliced (about 3 medium)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups pasta
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:

  1. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and celery; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until onion is translucent.
  3. Add broth, pasta, chicken*, carrots, oregano, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil for about 10 minutes. *I like to prepare chicken in advance for the week by boiling in water. Once chicken is cooked – shred chicken with a fork. For the chicken soup recipe, I cut up all of my vegetables and boiled the chicken in the morning. Late in the afternoon, I prepared the chicken noodle soup per the recipe.
  4. Reduce heat to low and allow to cook for another 10 minutes.
  5. Add cilantro before serving.

Each serving would equate to 2 green, 1 1/2 yellow, and 1 red if following the color coded container system. The recipe makes enough for 4 servings.

The color coded containers and the FIXATE cookbook are available for purchase in my fitness shop.

For more tips, support, recipes, meal planning, and other health and wellness assistance, please apply here by completing my get support form!

fixate, 21 day fix approved, chicken noodle soup

Country Heat – Week 3

Week 2 is a wrap and week 3 of Country Heat started this morning! So stay tuned for all the updates and videos on my Facebook (fb.com/LLHealthyFit.com) and Instagram (MelissaBrown66). I would like to take time right now to reflect on week 2 as well as share my workout and nutrition plan for week 3 with you. Remember this is a process of changing old habits and replacing them with new ones. It is not always going to feel seamless!

Workout:

Week 2 was the first time that Dance Conditioning was on my workout schedule. This is a nice mix of dance cardio and traditional moves such as abs, lunges, and bridges. Every routine has me sweating and looking forward to the next! These workouts are my ‘ME’ time and life sure seemed more stressful than usual last week. The added stress did not allow my immune system to stay on point. The result was a cold and very tight neck muscles. I would catch myself often clenching my jaw and it took a few days until I could relax. Here are things I do to combat a cold and to feel like myself again:

Ways to Overcome Cold

I’m looking forward to week 3 and being able to breathe easier during my workouts without this cold! My workout schedule for week 3* looks something like this:

Country Heat - Week 3 Schedule

*I follow the Country Heat Deluxe workout calendar versus the basic.

Meal Plan:

Calorie range 1,200 to 1,499 – Plan A per the Country Heat calculation in the nutrition guide that comes with the program. I love the meal plan because it uses the color coded portion control container system developed by Autumn Calabrese. Shakeology comes in 7 different flavors. I alternate usually between two different flavors for my meal plan. Be sure to search my site for recipes to include in your meal plan.

Here are some tips this week if you are finding it difficult with nutrition/meal preparation:

  1. Carve Time Out To Develop Meal Plan: Pick a day of the week (weekend or week day) to determine the food items that are going to be part of your meal plan broken out into breakfast, AM snack, lunch, PM snack, and dinner. You can find me developing my meal plan on either a Sunday or Monday. The day can fluctuate based on your schedule, but it is important to set time aside each week.
  2. Meal Preparation: There are certain tasks that you can do in advance to make preparing food less time consuming on you. So you developed a meal plan, used the meal plan to make a grocery list, and shopped…now what! There are certain tasks based on your meal plan that can be done in advance for the week ahead.
    • Portion out snacks into containers or zip lock bags. This way they are available for a quick grab and go or can easily be placed in a cooler bag for wherever the day takes you.
    • Broil chicken or brown ground meat; store in an air tight container.
    • Chop vegetables; store in an air tight container together or separate by vegetable type.
  3. Set Goals: Ask yourself what you would like to accomplish this week? These goals should be specific to what you are going through and make the time frame achievable. Be sure that these goals are visible to you! WRITE THEM DOWN! Here are some example goals that I use for my nutrition:
    • I will drink 1/2 by body weight in ounces of water this week.
    • I will measure my food in the portion control color coded containers this week…let’s face it…we can become relaxed and get off course. Back to the basics helps me refocus.
    • I will take 15 minutes every single day to clear my mind this week. I like to break this 15 minutes up into 3 mini mind breaks! I’m not looking at my phone or checking email.

Country Heat - Week 3 Meal Plan

If you would like to join my Back to School – Back to You accountability group there is still time. We kick things off on August 22. If you have been thinking about making a change or if you are like me and let the summer fun in the sun get the best of you…do not just give up. The time is now to jump back on the horse and JOIN ME! You always find time for the things you want the most…why not make your health and wellness a priority?!

If you do not currently work with a Coach, please make sure to make me your FREE coach here.

 

Country Heat – Week 2

Well I officially finished my first week of Country Heat! So here is an honest review of my first week as well as my plan for week 2. Tomorrow starts week 2 so stay tuned for all the updates and videos on my Facebook (fb.com/LLHealthyFit.com) and Instagram (MelissaBrown66).

Workout:

The workout calendar is 6 days a week. There are 2 new workout routines each week to learn; the same workout routine for 2 days in a row and then alternate on days 5 and 6. For week 1, the first workout was Country Swing. I am still shocked at how much I sweat during the workout and was sore in my core and legs. Giddy Up was the second workout and there were some moves such as Wonky Feet that caused me to try and try again! Again, the focus was on my abs and lower body during this workout. The Country Music in the background of the workout makes the time go fast and before I know it…I’m dripping sweat!!

My workout schedule for week 2* looks something like this:

Country Heat - Week 2 Schedule

*I follow the Country Heat Deluxe workout calendar versus the basic.

Meal Plan:

Calorie range 1,200 to 1,499 – Plan A per the Country Heat calculation in the nutrition guide that comes with the program. I love the meal plan because it uses the color coded portion control container system developed by Autumn Calabrese. Shakeology comes in 7 different flavors. I alternate usually between two different flavors for my meal plan. Be sure to search my site for recipes to include in your meal plan.

Below is my meal plan for the upcoming week if you would like to check out what I will be eating. Meal planning can seem complicated so my best piece of advice is to KEEP IT SIMPLE and DO NOT OVER THINK. Try your best to not worry about complex recipes as I have found recipes with a few ingredients allow the meal planning process and grocery shopping to go smoother. I’m a big advocate to use what you already have in your pantry or refrigerator before buying more groceries.

Nutrition is extremely important to your success and people often give up on meal planning before even trying. Please take time to read through the nutrition guide that comes with your fitness program rather than jumping into the exercises without ever reading the nutrition guide. If you are finding it difficult or really are not sure how to start, then please ask. There are meal plans on my site that you can look at for guidance and then start substituting food items I have for food items you enjoy (i.e., a vegetable for another vegetable your family will eat). I started meal planning where my dinner options were a piece of chicken breast (1 red), brown rice or quinoa (1 yellow), and green beans (1 green). The more complex you make this process the harder it is to learn how to eat healthy and in the proper portions. Your goal is to eat 5-6 small meals a day to keep your metabolism up. Your food is your fuel.

I have been asked if I stick to my meal plan 100%. Most often I do stick to my meal plan; however, there are times where I will swap my AM snack and breakfast. This is completely okay! The whole point to this journey is progress not perfection. Let’s make this meal plan happen!!

There are tracking sheets on the Team Beachbody website so that you can check off the boxes when you eat the color coded containers throughout the day. This way you will visually be able to see that you are eating balanced meals throughout the day.

Country Heat - Week 2 Meal Plan

If you would like to join my Back to School – Back to You accountability group there is still time. We kick things off on August 22. If you have been thinking about making a change or if you are like me and let the summer fun in the sun get the best of you…do not just give up. The time is now to jump back on the horse and JOIN ME! You always find time for the things you want the most…why not make your health and wellness a priority?!

If you do not currently work with a Coach, please make sure to make me your FREE coach here.

Country Heat Image.jpeg

Stuffed Peppers – FIXATE style

Stuffed Peppers

INGREDIENTS YOU NEED:

  • 4 medium bell peppers, cut in half with seeds removed (or 8 medium bell peppers, tops cut off with seeds removed)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 to 1/2 pounds of meat (grass-fed beef, locally raised chicken, etc.)
  • 1 tsp ground chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa or brown rice
  • 1 (15 oz) can of black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 TBSP fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup of shredded Monterey jack cheese

WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO DO:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Place bell peppers, skin side down, in a large baking dish; set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add onion; cook for 4 to 5 minutes stirring frequently or until onion is translucent.
  5. Add garlic; cook for 1 minute
  6. Add meat of choice, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper; cook for 5 minutes stirring frequently or until meat is no longer pink.
  7. Add tomato sauce, quinoa or brown rice, black beans, and lime juice. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until heated through.
  8. Add a heaping 1/2 cup of meat mixture to each pepper half; cover light with foil.
  9. Bake for 35 minutes or until peppers are tender; remove foil.
  10. Top each pepper evenly with cheese and bake for 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  11. Enjoy!

Serve sprinkled with fresh cilantro, salsa, or even red hot (if desired).

For more tips, support, recipes, meal planning, and other health and wellness assistance, please apply here by completing my get support form!

21 day fix portion for this recipe is 1 green container, 1 yellow, 1 red, and 1 blue. The color coded containers are available for purchase in my fitness shop.

Turkey & Sweet Potato Hash over Zoodles

Day 1 of the Country Heat meal plan included the Turkey & Sweet Potato Hash over Zoodles. I have to say that this recipe was enjoyed by my family. It made good use of items from our garden; yellow zucchini and green pepper. I used ground pork instead of turkey for the recipe. I attempt to use what I have in our freezer before buying more ingredients!

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INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1-2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled & chopped
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt, dash
  • Pepper, dash
  • 2-3 medium zucchini (*made into zoodles)

WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO DO:

  1. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, green pepper, and sweet potatoes; cook for 8-10 minutes stirring frequently or until onion is translucent and sweet potato is tender-crisp.
  3. Add turkey; cook for 5 to 6 minutes stirring frequently or until turkey is cooked through and sweet potato is soft.
  4. Add garlic and thyme. Season with salt (optional) and pepper. Cook for approximately 1 minute.
  5. Serve over zucchini zoodles. I cooked the zucchini zoodles (separately) in a medium skillet over medium heat with a little olive oil until tender-crisp; approximately 8-10 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!

This recipe makes 3-4 servings. For the 21 Day Fix, each serving is equivalent to 1 green container, 1 yellow container, 1 red container, and 1 spoon. The color coded containers are available for purchase in my fitness shop.

For more tips, support, recipes, meal planning, and other health and wellness assistance, please apply here by completing my get support form!

 

Country Heat – Week 1

Country Heat - Facebook Cover

Country Heat is for customers with a beginner or intermediate fitness level who are looking to lose weight and get in shape with a fun, dance cardio workout program paired with an easy portion-control nutrition plan. Each Country Heat workout is 30 minutes or less with no complicated moves. I just wrapped up the 21 Day Fix Extreme program and Country Heat caught my interest as it is a break from lifting weights. I’m blown away how something so fun can leave me dripping in sweat! A bonus is that the workouts are to the hottest country music around! My official launch challenge group starts tomorrow August 1st. Spaces are limited and there is still time to join! The cool thing is that when the Country Heat & Shakeology Challenge Pack is purchased, customers have a free 30 day trial to the club membership so that they can start streaming their Country Heat workouts on Beachbody On Demand. *Please just make sure that I am your coach before you make your purchase.

1.  EMAIL me at Melissa@LLHealthyFit.com with your order confirmation # and let me know that you would like to be in the Country Heat Test group.

2.  Make sure we are connected on Facebook by messaging me on

3.  Lets get this party started!  I’m so excited!

Workout:

The workout calendar is 6 days a week. There are 2 new workout routines each week to learn; the same workout routine for 2 days in a row and then alternate on days 5 and 6.

My workout schedule for week 1* looks something like this:

Country Heat - Week 1 Schedule

*I will be following the Country Heat Deluxe workout calendar versus the basic.

Nutrition:

In the nutrition guide there is a formula that you can use to figure out your calorie range and your nutrition category. There are 4 different plans to choose from based on your weight and goals. Your food is broken down by 7 groups:

  • Veggies
  • Fruits
  • Proteins
  • Carbohydrates
  • Healthy Fats
  • Seeds & Dressings
  • Oils & Nut Butters
Country Heat Portion Control Containers.jpeg

The secret to success is in the nutrition!

 

I love that for each group there is a list of foods along with serving sizes for each food. So your goal is to choose from each list and put together your meals each week! If you are new to meal planning, please do not stress. I am here to help you! I always say to keep it simple, repeat meals that you enjoy, and do not over complicate things. Once you get the hang of the meal planning and preparation then you can start to change up the recipes.

Meal Plan:

Calorie range 1,200 to 1,499 – Plan A per the Country Heat calculation in the nutrition guide that comes with the program. Shakeology comes in 7 different flavors. I alternate usually between two different flavors for my meal plan. Be sure to search my site for recipes to include in your meal plan.

Country Heat - Week 1 Meal Plan

If you would like to join my Back to School – Back to You accountability group there is still time. We kick things off on August 22. If you have been thinking about making a change or if you are like me and let the summer fun in the sun get the best of you…do not just give up. The time is now to jump back on the horse and JOIN ME! You always find time for the things you want the most…why not make your health and wellness a priority?!

If you do not currently work with a Coach, please make sure to make me your FREE coach here.

Chili Chicken, Spinach & Brown Rice Casserole

I’m a working mom with two little ones at home. I know eating healthy can seem like a challenge, but I’m here to give you assurance that there are meals that can be prepared with little preparation. I enjoy this recipe since it serves as both dinner and then lunch the following day. Also, I can sneak in my workout while the meal bakes in the oven!
Chili Chicken, Spinach and Rice Casserole
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED:

– 1 cup brown rice, cooked
– 3 cups cooked chicken, diced or shredded (*Feel free to use another meat of choice or no meat at all.)
– 14 oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
– 3 cups or more of spinach, chopped
– 1/2 cup cilantro + more for garnish, chopped
– 1/2 cup green onions + more for garnish, chopped (*I used a white onion since I did not have green onions.)
– 1 cup salsa
– 1 cup tomato sauce
– 2 TSP chili powder
– 2 TSP cumin
– 1 TBSP garlic powder
– 3 cups of cheese (*I used the Mexican blend; however, use any cheese of your choice.)

WHAT TO DO:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Cook brown rice as per package instructions and add to a large mixing bowl along with spinach and mix to combine. You need the brown rice to be hot so it cooks down and reduces the size of the spinach. Saves you the extra step of sautéing.

3. Add remaining ingredients, reserving 1.5 cup cheese for topping, and mix well to combine. Transfer mixture to a baking dish and press on it gently to flatten.

4. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake for 30 minutes uncovered.

5. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with additional cilantro and onions.

6. Enjoy!

For more tips, support, recipes, meal planning, and other health and wellness assistance, please apply here by completing my get support form!

Fajita-Stuffed Chicken

I’m on a mission to use ingredients that I have in the house before going grocery shopping again! It can be easy to fall into a pattern of weekly grocery shopping without emptying the freezer/refrigerator/pantry of the items previously bought. This is also a great way to rid the house of not so clean eating items without throwing away. Make use of the groceries you already bought and replace with healthier choices the next time. This is the time of year my family plants a garden. I’m looking forward to fresh vegetables that I know have not been sprayed with pesticides.

Fajita-stuffed Chicken is what I decided to make the other night. My husband including my daughter loved this meal. It was simple to make and this meal could be prepped a day in advance so that all you have to do is cook it the next day. Feel free to spice it up by adding jalapeños.

INGREDIENTS YOU NEED:

  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Orange Pepper
  • 1/2 Large White Onion
  • Salt/Pepper (*I used 1 tsp of pepper only)
  • 4 oz. Cream Cheese (*You could attempt to substitute with Greek Yogurt like FAGE)
  • 1/2 cup of Cheddar Cheese
  • 3 Chicken Breasts
  • 2 tsp each of sea salt, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder

WHAT TO DO:

  1. Heat Olive Oil in a pan over medium heat. Add orange peppers, onion, and pepper; sauté.IMG_5957.JPG
  2. In a medium bowl, combine sautéed peppers and onion with cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Mix well.
  3. In a zip lock bag or bowl, combine seas salt and remaining seasonings. Add chicken breasts to the bag and toss.
  4. Place chicken breasts on a cutting board and slice to create a pocket and add fajita mixture.IMG_5958.JPG
  5. Cook over medium heat (*approximately 5 minutes on each side; time may vary depending on thickness of the chicken breast).
  6. Enjoy!

You can serve this meal over spinach or with a vegetable of your choice. I used sugar snap peas and watermelon since this is what we had in the refrigerator.

Tip: Since grilling season is right around the corner, the chicken could be cooked on the grill. Be sure to use aluminum foil sprayed with non-stick cooking spray to place the chicken on so that when the cheese melts it does not make a mess on your grill.

For more tips, support, recipes, meal planning, and other health and wellness assistance, please apply here by completing my get support form!

Balsamic Glazed Salmon

I never had much interest for salmon until my husband went fishing in Alaska. The views in Alaska sure are breathtaking compared to what I am used to in Pennsylvania! The wild salmon that he had caught was shipped home for all of us to enjoy. Salmon is one of our favorite meals to eat as a family whether smoked, grilled, or baked.

Last year we were craving wild caught salmon and decided to order from a fishery in Alaska; J-Dock Seafood Company in Seward, Alaska. They are a family owned and operated fish processing company and fresh Alaska seafood market. The salmon that we purchased was caught fresh and shipped to us FedEx Priority Overnight. For more information, visit the website for J-Dock Seafood Company.

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The recipe below is a different option from my Grilled Salmon Salad which uses a marinade. I wanted an option that had a balsamic flavor and that did not require advanced prep work on nights where dinner needs to be quick and easy.

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INGREDIENTS YOU NEED:

  • 1 Tablespoon of butter (*I use Earth Balance brand; non-GMO, vegan, etc.)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon white cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon honey (*I prefer to use honey bought from a local farm.)
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons of Dijon mustard (*I used Spicey Brown Mustard as that was the only mustard I had in the pantry.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon oregano (*fresh or dried)
  • Salmon fillets

WHAT TO DO:

  1. Add butter and garlic to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat; stir garlic until soft (about 3 minutes). Mix in white cooking wine, honey, balsamic vinegar, mustard, and some salt/pepper. Simmer, uncovered (about 3 minutes) or until slightly thickened.
  2. Arrange salmon fillets on foil-lined baking sheet. I use cooking spray on the aluminum foil so the fillets do not stick.
  3. Brush salmon fillets with balsamic glaze and sprinkle with oregano. *A tip is to use a fork to put holes in the salmon fillets so that the balsamic glaze can soak into the salmon.
  4. Bake in oven for 12 to 14 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Salmon should flake easily with a fork.
  5. Brush salmon fillets with remaining glaze and use a spatula to transfer salmon fillets to a plate (leaving the skin behind on the foil).
  6. Enjoy!

A side of veggies goes great with the Salmon fillets. Any extra salmon can be used to make a salad for lunch the next day.

For more tips, support, recipes, meal planning, and other health and wellness assistance, please apply here by completing my get support form!

Parmesan Chicken Bites

parmesan chicken, kid approved, chicken recipe, dinner recipe

Here is an alternative to store bought chicken nuggets. It is a recipe that my daughter enjoys helping us prepare!

INGREDIENTS YOU NEED:

  • Olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 pound chicken breast cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup Panko crumbs whole wheat
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves, optional

WHAT TO DO:

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.

2. Season uncooked chicken with salt and pepper, to taste.

3. In a large bowl, combine Panko, Parmesan, garlic powder, and paprika.

4. Working in batches, dip uncooked chicken into flour, next egg, and then in the Panko mixture, pressing to coat.

5. Add chicken to the skillet (*start with a few until you have the cooking down) and cook until evenly golden and crispy, about 3-4 minutes or until cooked all the way through. Toss frequently or turn.

6. Serve immediately, garnished with Parmesan and parsley, if desired. This recipe goes great with a vegetable of choice and even a little macaroni and cheese for a child.

7. Enjoy!

For more tips, support, recipes, meal planning, and other health and wellness assistance, please apply here by completing my get support form!