Thursday, October 23, 2014

A New Mancave must have!

Three kids, a picky husband and one tired mom.

Eating dinner out can be a little bit of a challenge for us. There are a few places we like as a family, a few places the kids like that is only a mom treat, and a few that they like to go with Dad.  That said we really do not eat out often, I direct you back to the first line.

One Day last weekend however, the girls and I went for a quick dinner out while the boys where at Console Energy Center cheering on the Penguins.

We tried a new flat bread that looked really yummy. My oldest said I bet we can make this..... hmmmmm I thought ya, we probably can.

So my next trip to Costco they happened to have NAAN bread. Not necessarily the cleanest choice, but its also not pizza so we gave it a try.

A few Ingredients that we usually have on hand that you would need for this:

Chicken - chopped into bite size pieces.
 I usually buy 1 Rotisserie Chicken per week, cut up and use it for a few different meals/lunches a week. Its just one of the ways I make meal prep easier.  I have a great recipe for Clean Chicken salad that everyone loves maybe I'll share next week.

Spinach - Big bag of organic Spinach - give it a quick chop so when you bit into it you are not getting a string of spinach hanging out of your mouth.

Homemade Balsamic Dressing - so easy and yummy and you know that the ingredients are fresh and healthy.

Shredded Cheese -

The how to:

Drizzle the balsamic dressing in a saute pan, toss in the amount of spinach you think you need then double it! Spinach cooks down quite a bit so i always end up needing to double or triple the amount i think I need.

Drizzle more balsamic on each flat bread (make it look pretty, restaurant style, this always makes my kids like things I make a little more.)

Load on the chopped chicken, sauteed spinach and a sprinkle of shredded cheese turn your oven to 350 and place them on a pizza pan in the oven for 15-minutes or under the broiler if you like things a little crispy.
I suggest making extra, as I did so that if you happen to work late you can come home and have one for snack, although don't plan on it, because i tried this last night (yep I was eating, snacking late, but its just so yummy I really wanted it) as I was taking one bite other people realized there was one remaining flat bread and it was quickly stolen from me.

So like I said, Kid tested husband approved, even in the man-cave!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Power of a simple smile.

The end of last week quickly went downhill and became crazy.

We have worked hard to create calm in our home this fall. It has seemed to really benefit everyone. Sometimes though things just spiral and there is nothing you can do.

Sick Kids. Two parents with abnormal work schedules (not a typical 9-5 in our house) an emergent trip to the dentist, sick pets. None of these things were catastrophic, just challenging.

Then Friday arrived and my kids were looking forward to seeing cousins at a Birthday party. Visiting family requires planning as neither Mr. Mancave or myself are from the Pittsburgh area. I prepped planned and was ready to roll. Two happy kids in tow ready to party with their cousins.  Jumped on the turnpike and drove happily along for maybe 10 minutes then everyone fell asleep.  Then about 5 minutes later, Traffic....Completely.....Stopped.....Moving..... and stayed that way for over an hour.

Both kids were asleep so I took this time to listen to some Beachbody Podcasts focusing on how I can be a better coach at helping people achieve their goals. Focusing outward on others really helped to keep me calm and besides sleeping kids, it was like a mommy time out that I hadn't planned on that day.

Then one by one the kids woke up, and we were still sitting at least moving slowly by that point. Kids trapped in a car excited to be somewhere that we were now an hour late for and it was clear we wouldn't get there anytime soon.  I stayed calm so guess what, so did they, My  nine year old son and three year old daughter stuck in a car barely going 5mph, they were happy. Singing even. I couldn't believe it. Even when the semi wouldn't let me merge and I really felt the road rage building I just let it go.... (no frozen reference intended! ).

Eventually we did arrive and as we exited the turnpike (if you do not live on the east- we pay to drive on the freeway- that's an entirely different post in itself!) and I payed the toll (no I do not have EZ Pass not sure why really we just don't!)  I smiled and handed over my ticket and money, for most people that would have been that, however as my husband and kids will embarrassingly tell you (thanks Dad for passing on this trait! )  the conversation didn't end there, I SIMPLY SMILED and said "HI" truly that's all I said. To which the woman who apparently had not encountered a friendly person in quite some time (construction, accidents and a 9mile back up of traffic prior to that exit) She looked at me and my kids and said " Why in the world are you so smiling after sitting in that mess?" To which I just simply responded, "Why Not?"  She continued the brief conversation and said "God bless you and your children you made my day!" Simply because I smiled while I handed her two quarters.

2.5yrs ago I might not have been able to add value to her day. Was I a cranky mean person? No, but I did (and still do just a little less I hope)  have the tendency to let circumstances drive  my emotions, choices and time management.  So this journey for me has been so much more then weight loss and getting fit, and that simple 45 second conversation just but it all into perspective for me.

Do you need a smile today? or to find a way to find the positive where you are today? Lets chat!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Workout Wednesday - Beachbody and Tony Hortons new P90 !

There has been quite a bit of talk about the New P90, from Tony Horton. You might know him as the creator of the 10 minute trainer, P90X, P90X2 and P90X3.

So Why P90?  He had already created the world class fitness programs.  But how many of you were/are intimidated by the X meaning Extreme? Maybe your not ready or not interested in an extreme fitness program. 

Then P90 was created for you! 

NO Matter your age or ability level you can complete P90. The program is a 90 day home fitness program that will gradually increase as you get stronger. You do not have to go to the extreme in order obtain extreme results! 

Why P90? 

Tony eases you into a variety of strength and stability moves that works the back shoulders chest triceps and biceps and legs, all while strengthening and flattening your abs.  There are 10 new workoouts in three phases! My experience with P90X was that by about day 45, I was seeing amazing changes in my body!  So I expect P90 to do the same and cannot wait to get started! 

Short for time? Me too! 
Although I love love loved the results from P90X,  I really struggles with the hour long workouts finding the time was a challenge. 
Not so for P90! 

The workouts are from 25minutes to 45 minutes long! Totally doable in a busy crazy life! 

Along with the 10 workouts, P90 also comes with a few things to make sure you are successful! 

Simple Kitchen Nutrition guide, no calorie counting just the basics! 
A resistance band, no weights needed! 
4 Step Power Plan 
6 day shred and 
The 90 day workout Calendar, which is really key, the workouts are setup to to get the most for the time you are putting working your muscles at the right time in the program is crucial to success! 

Think you don't have enough space? You only need enough space to step side to side, and guess what I completed P90x in our townhouse living room! 

These are all amazing parts of the P90 program that Beachbody has put together with Tony Horton! But not my favorite part. 

Being the daughter of a Vietnam Vet, and supporter of the Military I am proud to say that Beachbody is Also, supporting our troops and will donate $5 on the first 50,000 P90 Challenge Pack units to Wounded Warriors (through October 31st, 2014). To find out more about Wounded Warriors or to donate directly, visit:

So that's it for Workout Wednesday!  Have questions? Ready to join the next Challenge group on October 27th? 

Fill out the form below ! 

P90 90-Day Body Transformation for Everyone

So that's it for Workout Wednesday!  Have questions? Ready to join the next Challenge group on October 27th? 

Fill out the form below ! 

There are tons of Wufoo features to help make your forms awesome.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Shakeology Sunrise!

The weather changed here quickly this weekend, making everyone really want to stay snuggled in under the warm blankets this morning.

Even a friend at my son's school was telling him to wake up as I dropped him of this morning.  I could have easily plopped myself on my couch with a warm cup of coffee and not worked or worked out this morning.

Instead I picked up my favorite Shakeology recipe and just got going.  I'm not sure about you but food for me and my family growing up was always about celebrating something or just a way to spend time together by going somewhere to try something new or just for the social event of eating out.

I remember going to get an Orange Julius with my parents and grandparents as a child and it was the only one in our area in Southern California and it was also at least in my memory the only ice skating rink I had ever been to prior to moving east!  So anytime I have ever had one of those drinks it brings back memories.

So you can imagine my amazement when I first started drinking Vegan Tropical Strawberry shakeology and my first thought of the flavor was of family memories. Yumm!

 Heres my recipe:

1 scoop or packet of Vegan Tropical STrawberry
1/2 banana
splash of oj
splash of almond coconut milk

 Try having a case of the mondays after drinking this ! Its not going to be possible! especially if it can bring you back to a special place in time!

Do you think you might want to try a little bit of this sunshine ?  Fill out the Application below and I will get back to you and tell you how!

There are tons of Wufoo features to help make your forms awesome.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Road to Beachbody..... (My story part 2)

After barely surviving high school with any sense of self worth. I moved away to college, continued running, even in the cold of Ohio determined to keep up my new healthy life. Stayed with my vegetarian lifestyle, that is until I met Mr. Mancave.  Possibly the original meat and potatoes man!  He  humored me during our courtship (why does that word sound so funny). Fast forward to marriage and our first pregnancy with the now teenage one.  We worked ward hard to stay active,  beautiful trails near our apartment we walked, I paid attention to nutrition and Mr mancave actually lost weight as I was gaining.

The pregnancy was relatively uneventful until the delivery and  postpartum. Complications occurred because of  missed diagnosis of toxemia and I ended back in the hospital with a 10 day old baby fighting for me life. This left me so puffy and swollen from all the water retention its difficult for me to look at old pictures from our baby shower because I look so terrible and sick.

We started rollerblading , running, hiking and just generally being healthy.  Health issues started popping up for me here and there but I was young and didn't pay much attention to them. They were "girl issues " I was certain everyone had them....   Plus we were young and had time.... nothing but time....  Forgetting that the last thing the Doctor said to us as I finally went home to our baby girl was that it may be difficult for us to become pregnant again because of all the complications.

Two years later however we were ready. Ready to expand our family ready to face our fears, which ended up being more real then we knew what to do with. I was eventually Diagnosed with Asherman's Syndrome and The next 6 years were spent in doctors offices,  surgery (7 in 5years) and reading about or attempting every diet or pill or homeopathic remedy (before it was the thing to do that it is now) that had even the smallest percentage of success in achieving pregnancy.

Nothing worked.

The cycle of hating my body continued. I felt like less of a woman, less of a wife, even yes less of a mother. The number of times people said to me oh it must be so easy, or oh you just have one? everytime I heard those words I questioned my value.

So decided to start crossing things off of my bucket list, and train to run a marathon. My body could not have babies, so I was going to do something that all my friends that were having babies could not do. Run, slowly, for a very, very long time. I started training in August to run the Florida Disney Marathon that January 2007.  The day I did my first 20 mile run and finished, very very slowly. I cried, no bawled hysterically. It was the first time in years I felt like my body was doing something I wanted it to do.  I completed Disney that January and Cleveland in May I finally felt like I had a little bit of control and maybe even just a little hope returned.

We decided to try and see what else the doctors had in store for us, just one more time and we were pregnant that July.

This is probably where the story really begins.....

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Busy Kitchen Must Haves! (IMHO)


How do ya'll read that anyway ? Humble or Honest ? Hmmmm... I say humble just the little bit of sarcasm I have inherited from the Mancave side of the family after all these years.....


Over the course of our life together I have pretty much always had a non-traditional work schedule (read not a 9-5er) So I have always relied heavily on kitchen tools to make home cooked meals pretty much always.

These are my top three!  To make busy kitchens function and bring everyone together (even if everyone is eating at different times ) and make sure we are eating as healthy as possible trying to stay as close as possible to the eat clean rule of 80/20.

#1 Crock pot - With a timer! These are pretty much a no brainer married or not most woman receive one as some sort of housewarming gift after the age of 20.  Throw in all the ingredients, put a timer on for the day and go! Your house smells amazing when you return home in the evening and your family thinks you are some sort of superhero!

Even if the only thing you put in the Crock pot is your lean meat for the evening meal - you then only need 20-30minutes to make your side dishes.

#2 Rice Cooker - This was something I stumbled upon as a young wife/mother, my grandmother passed away and while cleaning out her New York City Apartment we came across multiple rice cookers. I kept one, my mom kept one, and I will never live another day without one. In fact - that one finally gave out in the midst of cooking a few years ago on a weekend, Mr Mancave was on his way home from Baseball with K man and I nicely requested they stop immediately to purchase a new one!

Why a Rice cooker you ask ? Brown Rice, Quinoa, oatmeal all easily cooked in a rice cooker both that I have owned also came with a steamer tray so you put the Quinoa in the bottom with the liquid of your choosing, place the steamer tray on top with the veggies of your choosing the veggies steam nicely and guess what all those nutrients from steaming are also now in your Rice, Quinoa and your kids (or husbands) don't know a thing!

#3 Magic Bullet (blender) - Yes yes, there are large expensive blenders being demonstrated everywhere and they are awesome. I really do just love the compact size for so many reason!

  I can blend my shakeology in the cup I will drink from.
Dressing can be made easily and then put a lid on to save the rest for another use.
Great for making Spinach pesto - which my kids love (and husband) and they have no clue they are eating spinach!

So Those are my favorite must haves in a busy kitchen! Next week I'll post my favorite quick recipes for each one!   Now drop me a message and tell me what are your must haves in your kitchen?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Calling All Gym Rats!

Yes you over there! Reading my daily at home workout posts on facebook thinking, yuck I'm never working out at home, I love my gym routine.

Congrats! I'm totally jealous. I love the idea of the gym but I'm really so self conscious when I'm there. Am I alone in the??

So today is not about the workouts. Today is about how to make what is working for your routine even better!

Getting to the gym whatever time of day, not matter your lifestyle is all about Scheduling, right?

I've been there. I 've been a single woman, making time in a busy work/social schedule, then I was a young married/working mom and hitting the gym was like date night for my husband and I in our early years of marriage.

We loved our gym routine! However meals, and planning and energy where always on my mind. If you go early in the morning before work you want to eat after, but what do you have time for ?
If you work from home at hit at lunch time you have lost your lunch break. Then you have the evening routine, and I don't know about you but filling my belly in the evening after a workout just never worked for me, and my crazy stomach!

This is where Shakeology comes in for me! Grab a packet, water and shaker cup, shake it and go! The nights that I coach gymnastics this is my go to dinner! It keeps me full and I know I am getting all the nutrition I need for the day. Plus my cravings for sweets has really diminished!

Then you have the energy issue, some days we just drag right? But you really want to kill it in the gym today!

Thats where E&E Beachbody's Energy and Endurance formula comes in !

"improve your energy, endurance, strength, and focus with this  pre-workout drink. Its proprietary blend of advanced nitric oxide boosters, amino acids, natural energizers, electrolytes, and essential B vitamins can help you power through and maximize your workouts.*"

"Fuel up your workouts for faster results!
This powerful supplement is scientifically formulated to help improve your energy, endurance, strength, and focus, so you can maximize every minute of your Beachbody® workout and get your best results.*
E&E Energy and Endurance will help you:*"

Thinking one of these 2 might help you reach the level you want in your gym workouts?
Check these out! Friend me on facebook and lets chat!