My Favorite Exercise is a Mix Between a LUNGE and a CRUNCH – it is called LUNCH Friends!

Life is too short to spend in a constant weight loss battle friends! So many of us want the results and we want to make it easy to reach goals while still living life to the fullest. Simple strategies, right, to be able to rock our favorite outfits while still eating the foods we love, feeling full at every meal, and being satisfied. Do any of the following resonate with you!?

  • Want to lose weight, but don’t like to exercise
  • Exercise, but struggle with nutrition and do not see the weight loss you want
  • Find yourself unable to exercise due to injury/wellness, but want to lose (or maintain) weight through better eating habits
  • Love food, eating big portions, and feeling full
  • Yo-yo dieter, yet want to maintain your lifestyle
  • Want an easy to follow strategy without strict rules – no cutting food groups, counting calories, or eating smaller portions.
  • Struggle with emotional eating
  • Want an option for the entire family without feeling isolated during family or friend gatherings

My hope is that if any of the above are things that you can relate to – that you keep reading and have a desire to try something new! I have tried many nutritional theories in these past 3 years and I am well aware that nutrition is not a one-size fits all. My hope is that if you haven’t found a lifestyle that keeps you healthy and in charge – that this could be a really simple (life changing) option for you!

2B Mindset is the newest video-based program from Beachbody that focuses on nutrition so that you can gain an understanding of food as fuel and not food as comfort. This program is a great way to change your habits without overwhelming you with workouts at the same time. Wait – NO workouts?? You read correctly – any workout is considered “extra credit” because we all know that we cannot out run the fork! You are more than welcome to workout during the program if you would like, but I’m going to help you focus on losing weight happily by taking control of your relationship with food.

2B Mindset coming in May 2018

2B Mindset coming in May 2018

The 2B Mindset was created by Registered Dietician, Ilana Muhlstein MS, RDN. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Maryland. She received her Masters of Science degree in Applied Nutrition from Northeastern University. Ilana Muhlstein sits on the prestigious Executive Leadership Team for the American Heart Association and leads the Bruin Health Improvement Program at ULCA. After years of yo-yo dieting herself, she has developed this simple and practical weight loss solution. Ilana Muhlstein has been working on this program with Beachbody for the past 2 years along with years of research and testing on her own to develop 2B Mindset.

2B Mindset is simplistic and does not require you to count calories, points, measure food, or cut food groups. Refer to the table below for the difference in Portion Control Containers approach and the 2B Mindset. I personally use the portion fix nutritional theory and have had great success with it. I’m looking forward to trying 2B Mindset and further enhancing my understanding of my mindset and how good nutrition positively impacts my thoughts and emotions.

 

PORTION FIX

2B MINDSET

External controls (containers)

Structured

Specific-portion rules

Portioned-eating

Calorie-based

Internal controls (Mindset)

Flexible

Plate-visualization method

Volume-eating of certain foods

Nutritional/behavioral guidelines

The new program will incorporate Shakeology (Regular or Vegan) – a good resource for any 2B Mindset meal in a day. It’s a healthy option that takes the guesswork out of meal planning for those of us who are trying to keep up with life and make healthy choices along the way! There are days that I use the Shakology Boosts in order to get in my greens, improve my digestive health, or need to increase my focus. In addition, the BEACHBARs are a perfect snack. I will be using Daily Sunshine (Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Soy Free, Dairy Free option) for my children and I along with the Shakeology and BEACHBARs for the 2B Mindset. If you have any questions on the products mentioned, please reach out to my via my email below and I would be happy to help you learn more about them.

The 2B Mindset will be available on Beachbody On Demand; however, it is under a separate Nutrition tab within Beachbody On Demand. This program is not included in the standard Beachbody On Demand access membership. A Beachbody On Demand membership is not included with a 2B Mindset standalone purchase. It s also not required that Beachbody On Demand be purchased to access 2B Mindset. Once you purchase 2B Mindset, you will have access to the program forever – no associated continuity or subscription for 2B Mindset.

The 2B Mindset Kit will include:

  • 21 short videos that teach the basic principles of the program – understanding food groups, what to eat and when, tips for a positive mindset, real life strategies for managing any eating situation (eating out at restaurants, vegans/vegetarians, vacation, etc.).
  • 5 videos to help address the most common challenges to losing weight and establishing a healthier relationship with food
  • 15 recipe videos where you learn how to cook easy – delicious and satisfying foods. You can combine these recipes with the existing FIXATE recipes in your toolbox!
  • The Getting Started Guide – step-by-step instructions for putting the program into action
  • My Go-To-Guide – a resource that accompanies the videos, featuring food lists, grocery shopping lists, and more!
  • 2B Mindset Recipes booklet – a collection of Ilana’s favorite healthy meals that can be printed for reference
  • My Tracker – a 90 day journal you can use to track your meals, progress and all the daily inputs that can influence your weight loss journey and success (be ready to track your poop!)
  • A 30 oz water bottle helps you get you drinking more water with some inspirational sayings to keep you on track
  • You will be able to participate in my exclusive May 14, 2018 official test group for 2B Mindset – I’m excited to welcome you to my virtual health and wellness community!

My customers can purchase 2B Mindset Challenge Packs and kits with a 10% discount on a 2 box pack of BEACHBARs (when purchased together). Additionally, my customers who purchase a 2B Mindset Challenge Pack qualify for a discount on a 3 – Day Refresh (when purchased together). I do have a sub-set of customers who enjoy 25% off on their products – this might be an option for you along with consideration of the military waiver!

The 2B Mindset program will be released on May 2, 2018. Please leave your email address in the comments or send an email to Melissa@LLHealthyFit.com (SUBJECT LINE: 2B MINDSET) to get all of the details and be a participant in my official test group starting May 14, 2018. Please consider sharing – I take being a lifestyle coach extremely serious and I know that we all know someone who could use help gaining control of their life – gain back their own identity. I know as a mom of 2, learning to take the time for me has been a process to learn and it started in 2015. The ability to not lose myself in daily life has become a gift that I’m helping others embrace in their own life. Progress not perfection my friend; be kind to yourself as your welcome imperfections and receive support from a community of real – women – who are cultivating your growth!

 

Ham & Veggie Egg Muffins

I’m on a mission to make good use of all the produce in my refrigerator. Also, I was looking for a twist on my Veggie Egg Muffins. Typically, after a holiday gathering, there is excess food. These egg muffins are simple to make and are a great alternative to cereal in the morning when breakfast is often grab and go. You will either see me eating these egg muffins or with my multi-vitamin in hand – Shakeology.

INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED:

  • 10 to 12 eggs
  • 1 cup of cooked ham, cubed (*I used the left over smoked ham from Easter)
  • 1 (10 oz) bag of baby spinach, chopped (*Chop half the bag and use the rest for a salad or another dinner (Wedding Soup – FIXATE) depending on how much spinach you want; only need a couple handfuls, chopped, for the 12 muffins)
  • 5 small to medium mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of mild banana peppers, finely chopped
  • Ground pepper and salt (optional) to taste

Tip: You can add cheese to this recipe. If you use cheese, try to keep cheese to about a 1/4 cup per day for balanced eating.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Lightly coat a twelve-cup muffin tray with spray (*sometimes the ham & veggie egg muffins can stick in the tray)
  3. Place eggs in a large bowl and whisk to blend. Season with pepper and salt, if desired.Ham and Veggie Egg Muffins-2
  4. Add ham, spinach, mushrooms, onions, banana peppers; mix wellham and veggie egg muffins, breakfast, eggs, muffinsHam and Veggie Egg Muffins-3
  5. About a 1/4 cup or more in each muffin cupham and veggie egg muffins, eggs, ham, egg muffins, breakfast
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into center of cups comes out clean. I will place muffin cups on a cooling rack before storing in the refrigerator.Ham and Veggie Egg Muffins-5Ham and Veggie Egg Muffins-7

    Ham and Veggie Egg Muffins-6

    All pictures associated with this blog post are copyrighted by http://www.LLHealthyFit.com

  7. Enjoy!

For the 21 Day Fix, 2 veggie egg muffins would be 1 green container and 1 red container.

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!

Cooking Tip: Crushed Tomatoes

This pantry item is very common; however, the quality can be quite different depending on what brand you buy. Did you know that some brands contain high fructose corn syrup as an ingredient? I went to the pantry this morning to grab a can of crushed tomatoes and that’s when I realized all I had was tomato paste.

I decided to make my own crushed tomatoes with the stem tomatoes that had been sitting on the counter. To make your own crushed tomatoes, you can pulse canned whole tomatoes in a food processor or do what I did – cut the stem tomato in half and then squeeze each half through your hands into a bowl. The skin of the tomato was thick so after squeezing each half of the tomato, I then cubed each half. I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to make my own crushed tomatoes! Each summer, our garden is over flowing with various kinds of tomatoes. I will now be able to have more confidence in the quality of what I’m putting into my dishes.

crushed tomatoes, stem tomatoes, DIYCrushed Tomato - 2Crushed Tomato - 3

Crushed Tomato - 4

Crushed tomatoes were used in my Parmesan Pork Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats (all pictures associated with this blog post are copyrighted by www.LLHealthyFit.com)

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

 

Wedding Soup – FIXATE

I’m always looking for healthy recipes that feed my family. You are probably on the lookout for the same ones; do not take a lot of preparation BUT taste delicious! The extra wedding soup was shared with my parents – which they let me know was excellent. A big thank you to my dad for trying the foods I cook and for being honest with how they taste!

INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 6 cups spinach, cut into bite size pieces (*I lightly packed the measuring cup – added close to 8 cups)
  • 20 Italian meatballs (*If smaller size meatballs – add more to the soup)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 TBSP Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:

  1. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until onion is translucent.
  3. Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
  4. Add broth; bring to a boil.
  5. Add spinach; reduce heat to gently boil; covered, for 10 minutes. I used more than 6 cups of spinach. You could use other greens such as Swiss Chard or Escarole.wedding-soup2
  6. Add meatballs; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. For this recipe, I used frozen meatballs that were baked for approximately 15 minutes in the oven before adding to the soup. I baked the meatballs in the AM and made the soup in the afternoon.
  7. Combine eggs and cheese in a small bowl; mix with a fork to blend. I did add additional Parmesan cheese to the soup when served; 2 TBSP was not enough for my family!
  8. Slowly pour egg mixture into the hot soup, stirring constantly. Gently boil until egg bits are just set (as you stir), about 30 to 60 seconds.
  9. Season with salt and pepper; serve immediately or reduce heat to low to cook more until ready to serve.

Each serving would equate to 2 green and 1 red if following the color coded container system. The recipe makes enough for 6 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!

wedding soup, FIXATE, Clean eating, healthy

Beachbody Health Bet Challenge – Get Paid to Get Healthy

Beachbody Challenge Image

My first virtual accountability group of 2017 kicks off on January 9th; New Year – New YOU! What makes this group even more exciting is that every person who participates in my New Year – New YOU group using the My Challenge Tracker App (the app is free to download on apple and android) has an opportunity to qualify and automatically win an equal share of the $2 million Beachbody Health Bet prize pool. This is the 2nd time that Beachbody has offered the pool prize!

So How Do You Qualify?

Qualifiers must meet all requirements for each of the 4 qualification weeks.

    • Week 1 – January 9 – January 15
    • Week 2 – January 16 – January 22
    • Week 3 – January 23 – January 29
    • Week 4 – January 30 – February 5

Qualification 1

You must be a participant in my New Year – New YOU group on the My Challenge Tracker App by 11:59 PM PT on January 9, 2017. Participants must have a valid First and Last Name, email address, and shipping address associated with their Team Beachbody account by February 6, 2017 in order to be paid out.

Qualification 2

Since you are committed to getting fit…qualification 2 and 3 should be easy! There are 7 Shakeology flavors to choose from and if you have never tried Shakeology before I am here to help you figure out the flavor you like best! I have a lot of recipes to share with you. Here’s the deal…you must log a minimum of 5 Shakeology’s (each accompanied by a Shakeology photo) during each qualification week. The logged photos can be of your Shakeology on its own, your Shakeology preparation on its own, or of you preparing or consuming your Shakeology. Enjoy Shakeology by itself with water, follow a recipe, or create your own beverage or food item of your choice, as long as it’s clear it’s made with Shakeology when you take the photo. All Shakeology’s must be logged by 11:59 PM PT on the last day of each contest week mentioned above.

Qualification 3

Let’s give a SHOUT OUT for those sweaty selfies! Each participant must log a minimum of 3 workouts during each qualification week. All workouts must be logged by 11:59 PM PT on the last day of each contest week mentioned above.

Together we are all stronger!

So who is ready to join in on the FUN!

  • You can win money for checking in daily and logging workouts and Shakeology for the Health Bet Challenge!
  • I can help you stay accountable to the results you want!
  • Challenge Tracker App is helpful for not only tracking your workouts and Shakeology, but your measurements and transformation photos as well as it takes you off of Facebook (we all know can be distracting!)

If you are interested in learning more about this upcoming group, please contact me at Melissa@LLHealthyFit.com or fill at the application on my Get Support page. SPACE IS LIMITED so be sure to reserve your spot today!

Southern Spiced French Toast w/ Bananas & Walnuts

Yesterday my husband and I noticed that the weather seems to be changing and the trees are beginning to lose their leaves! Summer days sure need to last longer here in Pennsylvania. This morning there was a chill in the air and I decided it felt like the perfect morning to try a new recipe with the pumpkin pie spice I purchased last week.

Southern Spiced French Toast with Bananas and Walnuts Picture

INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED:

  • 4 eggs (I use eggs from my parent’s farm.)
  • 1/4 cup milk or unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp or more of vanilla extract
  • 4 slices of whole wheat bread or 2 whole English muffins, split apart
  • 1 large banana
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped (You can substitute for another nut of choice such as pecans.)
  • Maple syrup or syrup of choice

WHAT TO DO:

  1. In a shallow bowl, combine eggs, milk, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract. You will want to stir with a fork or whisk.
  2. Add oil to a medium pan and heat over medium heat.
  3. Soak each slice of bread or English muffin half in the egg mixture; approximately 30 seconds each side. It may take slightly longer when using an English muffin. I substituted 2 English muffins (4 pieces when pulled apart) for sliced bread as I did not have any bread in the pantry!
  4. Place each slice of bread or English muffin half in the pan and cook each side for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown.
  5. Top each with sliced bananas and walnuts. Use syrup sparingly!
  6. There was approximately 3/4 cup of egg mixture left over which I decided to cook the eggs and serve as part of my breakfast.

Here is an example of the Southern Spiced French Toast with Bananas & Walnuts. I used the color coded portion containers, which helps me to keep my nutrition on track! The picture indicates the 21 Day Fix container count. A serving size is 1 slice of bread (1 yellow) so this recipe can feed 3-4 people depending on if the serving size is being followed.

IMG_1614[1]

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 4

Week 3 is complete and week 4 of Country Heat starts tomorrow! Follow me on my Facebook (fb.com/LLHealthyFit.com) and Instagram (MelissaBrown66) for daily pictures and videos. I would like to take time right now to reflect on week 3 as well as share my workout and nutrition plan for week 4 with you.

Workout:

Country Heat Week 3 Picture

I felt much better in week 3 than week 2. Cold is finally leaving my body and my energy levels are back to normal! This mommy doesn’t miss out on her “ME” time even when sick. My kids joined me more than usual this week and that is OK. I improvised some of the moves in the workouts so that I could have my little man on my hip. Squats are always one of my go to moves for substituting one move for another. I always make sure that my baby is safe (head supported) in my arms when I am doing the workout with him. I do have two baby carriers that I use as an option when he wants to be close to me. There is a ton of dancing and giggles even if the workout wasn’t 100% on point. I’m making progress when my feet are moving! Check out the video below from the workout Wild Goose Chase.

My workout schedule for week 4* looks something like this:

Country Heat - Week 4 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. Many of my dinner options are new this week and I will be updating my website with the recipes as I make the meal.

Friday (dinner) and Saturday (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) have not been included on the meal plan for week 4 as we have plans to be with my husband’s family. I accounted for my AM/PM snack ensuring that I have my Shakeology each day. Tips for getting through Friday/Saturday will be shared next week on my website as well as real time in my accountability group. Check out the recipe for Southern Spiced French Toast w/ Bananas & Walnuts; I substituted walnuts for pecans!

Country Heat - Week 4 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 TOMORROW – 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.

Week 3 Country Heat Pictures

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.