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.

 

Cucumber-Lime Avocado Salad

My husband and I started a tradition when my daughter was born to plant a garden. Each May, together as a family, we plant a small garden that is full of pesticide-free vegetables. My daughter loves cherry tomatoes so our garden is typically overflowing with them. We also have a lot of cucumbers. I decided to try a different twist on a salad and combine cucumbers and avocado. Let’s just say that my daughter went back for seconds and then thirds. I will definitely be making this recipe again!

IMG_7496[1]

INGREDIENTS YOU NEED:

  • Cucumber, diced
  • Avocado, diced
  • Lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • Sea Salt and pepper, to taste

WHAT TO DO:

Toss together the cucumber and avocado in a small bowl. Freshly squeeze the lime  (approximately 1 slice) over the mixture and gently toss. Then add the sea salt and pepper. I used one seedless cucumber and one avocado, which makes enough for 2-3 servings. Enjoy!

This recipe can be adjusted to add cherry tomatoes, onion, or fresh cilantro!

Each serving would equate to 1 green (cucumbers) and 1 blue (avocado). It really depends on how much cucumber and avocado you have included in the recipe. 1 cup of cucumbers is equivalent to 1 green container and 1/3 cup of avocado is equivalent to 1 blue container. Remember with the color coded containers, there is no calorie counting. It truly makes getting healthy simple and easy for anyone to follow for the long-term.

The color coded containers are available for purchase in my fitness shop; separately or with a program.

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

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

I wanted to share a side option that is part of my 22 Minute Hard Corps – week 2 meal plan. I will be the first to admit that I did not think that I would be a Brussels Sprouts fan. I found out last night that I was wrong! I placed two on a plate for my daughter and she even ate them. I say this side dish is a WIN for our family. I hope you enjoy too!

Balsamic Brussels

INGREDIENTS YOU NEED:

  • 1 – 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, washed and halved
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 Teaspoons Olive Oil

WHAT TO DO:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Line baking sheet with foil
  3. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss until the Brussels sprouts are coated
  4. Bake 30 – 40 minutes; stirring frequently (every 10 minutes or so)
  5. Enjoy!

If using the color coded containers then each serving (approximately 5 medium Brussels sprouts) would count 1 green 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!

FIXate Cookbook – Autumn Calabrese

FIXate Cookbook, meal plan, meal prep, Autumn Calabrese, 21 Day Fix, portion control

It is true that to obtain results with our health and fitness goals that we should have these 3 ingredients :

  • Exercise
  • Nutrition
  • Support

You might be skeptical if you have not purchased your own challenge pack from me and started on your journey to health and wellness. It really is that simple to get started and start seeing results!

  1. Exercise– 30 minutes of exercise each day; no guess work…simply PRESS PLAY and follow the program from the comfort of your own home. You might need to modify at first, but that is OK! Strive for progress and not perfection.
  2. Nutrition– Honestly, paying $3.83 for a meal that is full of nutrition is cheap! I understand that finances get in the way, but I guarantee there is always a way to make it work. INVESTING in YOURSELF is so important for you mentally and physically!
  3. Support– On a monthly basis, I run virtual private accountability groups on Facebook as well as offer 1:1 support. I can tell you that the more willing and more committed you are then then the faster you will obtain results with minimum interruption to your busy life.

So what is one of the biggest ingredients that we struggle with most⁉ Typically, it is NUTRITION! Thank goodness that Autumn Calabrese has come out with a new cookbook called FIXate with 101 of her personal recipes! The cookbook is designed to work with the 21 Day Fix color coded containers. FIXate includes different food choices; vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and paleo recipes. Enjoy snacks, desserts, and the occasional cocktail!

There are kids recipes, gluten-free, vegan, paleo, and of course the 21 Day Fix recipes which help identify how many of each color coded portion container. No more asking…What should we have for dinner⁉

YOU are worth it! Start BELIEVING it and take action!

Below are some images of recipes from the FIXate cookbook that I have prepared for my family as part of our weekly meal planning. This cookbook truly makes meal planning less complex! Eating clean does not mean depriving yourself.

FIXate, dinner recipe, chicken stuffed bell peppers

Fixate, dinner recipe, macaroni and cheese, broccoli and chicken

Fixate, Mexican taco meat, dinner recipe
3 green, 1 red, 1/2 purple, and 1 spoon

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

Kung Pao Chickpeas

Kung Pao Chickpeas

This is a great option for a vegetarian meal or even add chicken or broccoli.

INGREDIENTS YOU NEED:

Marinade:

  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 lime, juiced and zested
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Other:

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (1 inch) knob fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes or crushed red pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoon organic coconut oil, melted

Garnish:

  • 1 small bunch green onions, thinly sliced
  • Cashews

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:

1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the marinade. Add the chickpeas to the marinade, and stir well to coat.

2. Cover the chickpeas and allow them to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

3. In a large pan over medium heat, add the coconut oil 1-2 tablespoons, the marinated chickpeas, and the remaining ingredients for the chickpeas.

4. Sauté for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the chickpeas begin to caramelize and brown slightly.

5. Remove from the heat and allow the chickpeas to cool slightly.

6. Serve the warm chickpeas over steamed brown rice, and garnish with cashews and green onions.

7. Enjoy!

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

Garlic Chicken with Spinach over Whole Wheat Pasta

dinner recipe, garlic chicken, spinachWHAT YOU NEED:

-6 garlic cloves, minced-1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (*This doesn’t add spiciness – just the right amount of flavor)

-6 tablespoons olive oil

-2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound) (*Exclude chicken for a vegetarian meal option)

-Salt and pepper to taste

-1 pound penne pasta (*I used angel hair whole wheat pasta.)

-1 (5-ounce) bag baby spinach (*You can always use half a bag if you do not normally eat spinach; I easily adjusted to liking it and so did my daughter!)

-1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried

-6 tablespoons juice from 2 lemons

-1 cup grated parmesan cheese (*optional or use a half cup)

WHAT TO DO:
1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Meanwhile, combine garlic, pepper flakes, and oil in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave until garlic is golden and fragrant; about 1 minute.

2. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces or however you would like. I often prefer to boil the chicken and shred it in advance for the recipes that I will make during the week that require chicken.  Season with salt and pepper. Transfer 1 tablespoon of the garlic/red pepper oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat until oil is rippling. Add chicken and cook until well browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil.

3. Cook pasta accordingly and then drain pasta and return to the pot. Stir in chicken, spinach, basil, lemon juice, Parmesan, and remaining garlic mixture, adding reserved water as needed. Season with salt and pepper.

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

Chicken Quesadillas – Made Your Way

Chicken recipe, Chicken Quesadilla, Chicken lunch recipe, Chicken dinner recipe, 21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme, The Master's Hammer and Chisel

Here is a lunch or dinner option for the entire family. I like this option because you can add few ingredients to a quesadilla for picky eaters (chicken and a little cheese), to sneaking in a few veggies for your kiddos, to an array of veggies added. I often will make these near the end of the week so that I can use up excess ingredients that would go perfect in the quesadilla. Also, instead of a whole wheat soft taco, you can use the same ingredients and place over sautéed spinach.

WHAT YOU NEED:
– Cooked chicken, shredded
– Mushrooms, chopped
– Peppers, chopped (*use whatever you have available)
– Spinach, sautéed (*easier to sneak in the added nutrition for the kids)
– Cherry Tomatoes, sliced
– Whole wheat soft taco

I sautéed the spinach first then proceeded to place a soft taco in the frying pan; layer half of the taco with your ingredients. After a couple minutes or until the ingredients are heated to your liking then fold over the soft taco and you are ready to serve with a side of veggies and a little fruit.

My daughter loves these and it is easy for her to help me make!

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