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Guidelines to Your Fitness Budget: Balancing Your Goals

Guidelines to Your Fitness Budget: Balancing Your Goals

You’ve seen a budget before. You have probably come up with one to make sure you can pay your bills every month. But budgets aren’t always financial. The term “budgeting” is extremely relevant when it comes to your fitness goals and in ultimately determining your level of success. We’re going to talk about the standard “you get out what you put in”, and exactly what that means! But first, let’s start with some TOUGH LOVE!

“You get out what you put in.”

TOUGH LOVE

As coaches, we hear it all the time.. “I had a bad weekend. A bad meal turned into a bad day. I went out drinking. I’m going to be honest, I didn’t feel like working out this week, so I didn’t.” And there is plenty more where that came from. And do you know what our answer is? “That’s ok.” Because it is! We preach balance. Our clients know that we harp on it, but it’s true.

If you are prepping for a contest, or are another type of competitive athlete and you are getting ready for your event, there is less room for error in these instances. But for the typical person who is just looking for a healthier lifestyle, this is nothing more than a minor speed bump. BUT, there can’t be any confusion as to why the scale hasn’t moved or clothes aren’t fitting better. A bad day here or there won’t kill your efforts, but it can be enough to stall them. Even if it’s only one bad day per week and you’re cutting, it could be enough to take you out of that deficit or drastically decrease it. So instead of a little over a pound of weight loss, you could be looking at the same number or maybe down a quarter of a pound.

On the other end of it, let’s say you’re bulking- you drank a little too much on Friday night and you used the weekend to sleep it off. Well it’s a little harder to get to your total daily caloric intake with half the number of meals that you usually eat. So that’s two days at significantly lower numbers, which is probably enough to inhibit an increase in weight.

Again, there’s nothing wrong with this, but you’ll have to curb your expectations as far as progress is concerned. One of my favorite quotes is, “If you do something once in a while, you can expect results once in a while.” I love it. Most people don’t understand the amount of dedication it takes to achieve something that they aren’t used to doing. Furthermore, the more you progress and get closer to an elite level, the more dedication it is going to take to continue to progress.

You can’t bust your ass in the gym and then have a free for all in the kitchen and you can’t spend your life meal prepping then half-ass it in the gym and expect to get great results. It doesn’t work like that. Results are HARD to get. They may come easier to some people, but those people may just be programmed already on how to get this stuff done- making it less effort for them specifically.

Setting Your Budget

Again, we’re not talking about money here. This article isn’t about setting money aside for groceries and your gym membership. We’re talking about time and effort. How much time can you budget to your goals. How many things are you willing to give up in order to achieve them. The higher the number, the better the results. You don’t have to want to be elite. You just have to decide how much you want out of this. And that’s exactly what we’re going to breakdown here.

“Do I really need to bring a scale with me everywhere I go?”

Honestly? Yeah, you do. At least until you’ve memorized what an accurate serving size looks like for all the things you eat regularly. And even after that, if you are really hard-core about this stuff, you will have to continue to weigh your meals out because there’s no way you know what 130g of oats looks like vs 115g. Eyeball it after you learn what it looks like: Good Results. You weight it out at every meal: Great Results.

“I don’t have a set program in the gym, but I know what my body likes.”

Cool, do you remember what you did for every set of every exercise the last week? How about the last month? I can probably stop asking there but I’ll move forward anyway.. How about the last 3-6 months? Do you know exactly how much you’ve progressed in every single lift over this time frame? If you aren’t progressing, you aren’t growing and you’re likely not achieving the adaptations that you’re looking for. If you are, you’re probably not being as efficient as you could be for the amount of time that you’re in the gym.. Or you’ve just started working out and you get to enjoy the amazing responses that your body is going to give you for the first few months! But for most of us, we have to make sure we get everything we work for, so tracking your workouts is a huge tool.

If you go through the motions in the gym (busting your ass, but still untracked), you will get good results. If you track your workouts and plan them out, ensuring your volume has increased and you have progressed, you will get great results.

“I didn’t drink that much, but we got back at like 3 o’clock this morning. I’m pretty beat but I’ll still meet you at the gym at 7.”

I’ll be honest, this was my downfall for a while (college). But I probably wasn’t saying I didn’t drink that much… For whatever reason, I still felt good when I hopped out of bed after a few hours of sleep. Fitness was my religion and I wasn’t going to miss a meal or a workout. Especially not with spring break on the horizon.

But I overlooked how critical sleep was to everything else I was so dedicated to. You don’t grow while you’re lifting. You grow while you’re resting and recovering. Where does most of that take place? Sleep… And the deeper sleep the better. Can you progress off of a limited sleep schedule? Yup.. Results: Good. But get into that sweet spot of 7-9 hours of sleep.. Results: Great.

“I had a family barbecue this weekend.”

This one is easily the most common. Family/friend cookouts/get togethers. It happens all the time. You don’t have to be a party animal for this to be a common occurrence in your life. And this is really what we’re talking about with balancing your lifestyle with fun and fitness. If you aren’t competing and you just love being in shape, isn’t it ok to enjoy the quality time? That’s up for each individual person to debate. But we say yes. Absolutely enjoy it. Life is too short. BUT, if you have a show or competition coming up in two weeks and you’re already cutting it close.. Pack your own damn meals! Haha you can still enjoy the company of others while eating your prep food. Too many people shut themselves out from the world when it comes to crunch time. That’s not very enjoyable. You just need a little self-discipline and to remind yourself of why you started. You are doing something that’s very important to you. That should outweigh the big ass brownie you’re staring at.

Even if you aren’t competing, if you’ve just gotten into a rhythm in your weight loss after a long rut, stick to it! Make some tasty meals to bring with you to keep your progress rolling. We’ve done it.. Your family and friends might throw some playful jabs at you, but you’ll survive, and you’ll have abs to show them at the next one.

Mindful/intuitive eating: Good results. Meal prep: Great results.

Conclusion

So, do you have to be on top of your game all the time? That just depends on where you’re going with this. There are two extremes to every spectrum. The majority of people will find themselves somewhere in between. If you want to be elite, you do need to be at the high-end of the spectrum, on your game all the time. If you are perfectly happy being good, then make good choices most of the time. That’s your balance. That’s your budget. At the end of the day, if you are happy then you already won.

 

Josh Scutnik

SD Evolution

The Nation’s Elite Training Team

Live Happy. Live Healthy. Evolve.

Filtering Through the Miracle Diets: Which Works Best?

Filtering Through the Miracle Diets: Which Works Best?

The Atkins Diet, the South Beach Diet, The Mediterranean Diet, Keto, Paleo… You can probably Google 25 more that will express how THIS diet will change your life. Which diet truly creates the best transformations? Let’s go through a few of the most popular and identify the winner.

The Keto Diet

The low-carb diet. The principle behind the Ketone Diet is getting your body into a state of Ketosis. This is where your body transfers from using carbohydrates as fuel to becoming extremely efficient in using fat for fuel. So how do you get there? The general rule of thumb is keeping your carbohydrates between 30-50 grams.

Basically, when planning your diet, you consume a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, and the remainder of your calories are going to come from fat. You don’t plan out your carbohydrates (you’re trying to eat as few as possible) but you the little bit you take in is coming from your protein or fat source that may have a few grams of carbs in them.

The Paleo Diet

This is sometimes called the new, old diet. It’s a bit of a caveman reference. The idea is that you only consume foods that you could hunt or gather.. These foods include fruits, veggies, meat, seeds, and nuts. The bigger list is of things it doesn’t include. You can’t eat any refined sugars, or anything that has been processed. If we couldn’t eat it 500 years ago, you can’t eat it today. That’s the concept.

The Atkins Diet

This one took the country by storm. I feel like half the books in the nutrition section of Barnes and Noble are all about the Atkins Diet. Created by Dr. Robert Atkins, a cardiologist, it is extremely similar to the Keto Diet in that the number of carbohydrates you consume are drastically reduced. The biggest difference is that the Atkins Diet calculates “net carbs”, or total carbs minus fiber. His idea on that is the foods high in fiber have less of an impact on blood glucose and can be considered “good carbs”.

Do Any of These Offer A Real Advantage?

The short answer? No. Weight loss and weight gain is extremely simple.. Calories in vs Calories out. The math is extremely straight forward. If you consume fewer calories than you expend, then you will lose weight. If your diet is 5 bags of M&Ms and a Snickers Bar per day, but you’re a competitive distance runner, you’re likely to lose weight. You’re also likely to be extremely malnourished and unhealthy, but you’ll lose weight.

“But (insert diet here) worked for me. I lost 40 pounds on it.”

The only advantage a diet offers is if it is easier for you to follow. Can you live on 30g of carbs per day for the rest of your life? Can you avoid bagels or cereal forever? I can’t speak for you. Maybe you can. But I can’t. And I don’t think most of the rest of us can either. But if you can, then yes, one of these diets does carry and advantage… For YOU.

Understanding Your Lifestyle

The only way you can be successful in a transformation is understanding your own lifestyle. Consistency is key to success. If you can’t maintain something, that success will not last. And if it isn’t maintainable, why are you doing it? How fulfilling is it to hold a trophy for a month and then have it taken back? You need to choose a healthy lifestyle that you can sustain. For most people, that just means eating a healthy balance.

I love the 80/20 rule. It’s a pretty good starting point. If you make healthy choices 80% of the time, the 20% of fun foods isn’t going to crush your goals. It’s actually going to help you maintain them because your aren’t restricting yourself. And when you don’t restrict yourself, you tend to have fewer cravings. The bottom line is that if you are eating foods with all the nutrients you need to stay healthy, you can have that bowl of ice cream if it stays within your caloric allowance. If your goal is weight loss and you have 2000 calories for the day and you’ve eaten all your fruits and veggies already but still have 400 calories left over, a few Oreos won’t keep you from losing weight. You’re still in a deficit so you’re still losing weight.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, there is no miracle diet. The only miracle is finding something that you enjoy and are able to sustain. There is no magical food, no magical process, and no overnight transformation. Caloric balance is the determining factor in whether you gain, lose, or maintain your weight. If you can plan out your goals and be consistent, you will have success. We can help with that 🙂

 

Josh Scutnik

SD Evolution

The Nation’s Elite Training Team

Live Happy. Live Healthy. Evolve.

FlapJacked Protein Pancakes

FlapJacked Protein Pancakes

Happy Monday Everyone!

On Friday I got a special delivery: FLAPJACKED Protein Pancakes! I love nothing more than a good pancake for breakfast (or lunch…or dinner) and up until now I have always made my own concoctions which sometimes turned out awesome, yet sometimes were a complete failure ending with batter all over the kitchen and an angry fit girl! I stumbled upon FlapJacked via Instagram and was not only inspired by all of the delicious-looking creations made by their customers, but I was SO excited that someone created a healthy way to enjoy my favorite breakfast food.

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   Packed with 15-17g of Protein a serving (depending on what flavor you get) of these fluffy pieces of heaven is only 200 calories and the best part? No added sugar! In the past I have tried a couple different protein pancake brands that have just not met the needs of my tastebuds so it was safe to say I was skeptical when mixing up the batter to the Cinnamon Apple flavor that I decided to try first. I was definitely impressed with how EASY it was to make these- just add water?! Seriously?? Within 10 minutes my first batch of pancakes was done and the whole house smelled of a delicious cinnamon-apple combo: good sign! I decided to mix a little bit of French Vanilla Casein Protein with water (just enough to make it like a frosting) to add to the top of my pro-pancakes and of course….SPRINKLES! Before I knew it I had a delicious looking stack waiting for me to dive into.

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Now for the important part: How did they taste?

Let’s just say it was love at first bite. These were healthy? I had to re-read the ingredients again just to make sure. The pancakes tasted JUST as amazing as they smelled and satisfied every craving I had. Even Josh approved and he is NOT easy to please when it comes to food. At only 200 calories these make for a great addition to breakfast or even a perfect late-night snack. Tonight I plan on whipping up the Banana Hazelnut flavor so I will let you guys know how that goes!

Check out some more information and order your own bag for only $9.99 at www.flapjacked.com. Let me know what you think of your new favorite breakfast go-to!

 

~Alessandra

10 Ways to Beat the Holiday Bulge: Part 1

10 Ways to Beat the Holiday Bulge: Part 1

Thanksgiving & Christmas have always been my favorite time of the year. This is the first time I will be away from my family for Thanksgiving but I could not be more excited to fly home to CT for 10 days for Christmas! Some of my best memories involve stuffing our Italian faces for Thanksgiving (3 or 4 courses usually!), baking Christmas cookies with my family, and of course enjoying my Grandmama’s world-famous Lasagna while eating Papa’s “Ta-ta’s” aka creamy mashed potatoes for dessert. I know I am the not only one who revolves the holidays around food so with the holidays vastly approaching (although it still feels like summer in San Diego!), I thought it would be a great idea to share simple ways you can stay healthy & happy this holiday season while still enjoying yourself.

The holidays are a time of happiness, sharing & caring. So why not care about something that allows you to be YOU every single day? Your BODY.

Here are 10 steps to a healthier, happier holiday

 

  1. When doing your holiday baking, swap unhealthy oils, butter & more for healthier options! You won’t taste the difference, I promise. Here’s my conversion chart.                healthy baking subs
  2. Practice portion control. We tend to over-eat by consuming extra large portions of our meals. Fill your dish with a balanced combination of protein, carbs & fats then skip out on seconds. There will always be more leftovers later, no need to stuff your stomach to capacity now.
  3. Indulge in your favorite dessert…in moderation. Cookies, cookies & more cookies. My house is filled with hundreds for the entire month of December! Pick a couple of your favorite and call it a day. No need to pig-out on every single dessert in the room.
  4. If you’re hosting a get-together at your own home, guess what? YOU control what types of food you serve. Opt for healthier options of your favorite meals. A healthy sweet potato dish will be just as tasty as one full of unnecessary fats, sugars & sweets. Do your research and check out my Pinterest Board for some ideas (Healthy Recipes)
  5. Make sure you continue to stay hydrated! It is so easy to skip this healthy tip especially when the weather gets cold! This will help flush out toxins and decrease the bloat from the treats you do enjoy.
  6. Fill your plate with equal to or more veggies than whatever else is on it. Many (including myself) tend to jump right to the potatoes, bread, turkey, ham and lasagna leaving no room for our favorite green friends. Don’t skimp on the greens as this will help with digestion.
  7. Get a workout in before the big feast! Head outdoors for a run, hit the gym if it’s open or find an open area in your house to get some plyos in. A 30 minute sweat sesh will make you feel energized and your holiday dinner can be a great refuel!
  8. Take it easy on the alcohol! Since your body can’t metabolize alcohol, everything else you consume while enjoying a drink or two gets put “on hold” until the alcohol is out of your body. Hello easy way to gain fat! Limit yourself to 1-2 drinks and try to avoid those sugary cocktails!
  9. Take a walk post-meal! Ever since I can remember after each round of Thanksgiving dinner my family would go for a walk around my Grandmother’s neighborhood. Not only is this great for digestion (as opposed to getting sucked into the couch) but you will feel so much better!
  10. Finally, don’t get too caught up in the holiday hustle. This is a time you should enjoy with your loved ones so if you end up having a few extra cookies, or too much lasagna…don’t hate yourself for it! You are human AND you know a great personal training company…hint hint 😉 www.sd-evolution.com for training plans!

With these thoughts kept in mind throughout the next two months, you can avoid extra weight-gain, holiday blues & that sick to your stomach feeling after consuming too much.

Remember, life is all about a healthy balance. Find what works for you!

~Alessandra

The Ultimate Guide to Chia & Flax Seed

The Ultimate Guide to Chia & Flax Seed

Yesterday was a total recovery day for me. I spent the evening re-aligning my goals, planning my weekly meals, & of course grocery shopping! I decided to look back on my logs in MyFitnessPal (I have been faithfully keeping track of my workouts and nutrition for a year now!) to see how much my goals have changed. I definitely am fully adapted and happy with clean eating while enjoying my weekly treats. My body has never felt better however I noticed two items that since moving to San Diego I have somehow forgotten about: Chia & Flax Seed.

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My Mom is a personal trainer back in CT so at home I had all of these healthy items readily available without really thinking about it. I used to consume both of these superfoods daily and to be honest, I was only NOW realizing how much of a difference they made in my life. I’m sure you’ve heard of both of these power foods before, but do you really know what they are? Do you know how they can benefit you? Most importantly, do you know how to incorporate them into your daily routine?

Lucky for you I am bringing you the ultimate guide to Chia Seeds & Flax Seed!

Before I tell you what to do with them, it’s SO important to know what exactly each of these dietary staples are.

The Chia Seed is actually a flowering plant from the mint family. (Fun fact: remember the Chia Pet?? Yup that grows from a Chia seed!) Chia means “strength” and contains healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrate & protein. They are an unprocessed whole-grain that the body is able to absorb.

The Flaxseed on the other hand cannot be digested by the human body in its full form so it much be purchased “ground” or done at home before consuming. Also rich in Omega-3’s, both seeds are great sources of fiber.

How can you benefit from taking Chia & Flax daily?

  • Feel fuller longer. Due to the fiber content (both soluble and insoluble), consuming these with a meal will help keep you feeling full and decrease blood sugar spikes.
  • Healthy skin & hair- thanks to the Omega-3’s!
  • Antioxidants- both are full of antioxidants while Flaxseed has more than any other whole food including blueberries!

Although these seeds are tiny, there is no doubt they are a superfood and can be added into the diet in so many ways! Here are my favorite ways to incorporate them:

  • Sprinkle on your  oats, cereal, yogurt or vegetables.
  • Blend in a protein shake or dissolve in a glass of water.
  • Bake in absolutely ANY treat for added nutritional value.

The options are endless when looking for ways to add Chia & Flax into your diet. One serving of each per day is recommended to benefit from these two power foods. I challenge you to pick some up from your local grocery store this week as one easy step to living a healthy lifestyle!

“Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step in your life.”

 

Happy hump day everyone! Only two more days to a well-deserved weekend 🙂

 

~Alessandra

 

How to turn a setback into a comeback

How to turn a setback into a comeback

Hi everyone!

Wow, what a crazy couple of weeks it has been for Josh & I! Last week we had 4 of Josh’s friends visit us here in San Diego, which was such a blast. It was so much fun showing them our favorite spots around our new city. From an 8 mile trek to Potato Chip Rock, to my favorite (yet dangerous) cliff walk through the mountains leading us to Black’s Beach, to some mini-golf and ice cream adventures, safe to say we are WORN OUT.(See the pics below!) Although we kept up with our workouts, we both took breaks from our strict eating habits to enjoy the time with our friends. As much as I enjoyed all of the treats I was craving my chicken and veggies by the end of the week. Funny how that happens!

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One of the last nights I headed out with the girls while Josh and his friends did their thing at the casino. Prior to going out I told myself that I was going to have a good time, enjoy a glass of wine or two and just unwind- something I don’t make time for very often. Although I have given up my crazy party days, the past year I have enjoyed a glass of wine here and there with dinner so I figured tonight wouldn’t be any different. Well….after two glasses of wine I was feeling pretty toasty. Considering that day was a lower-carb day for me, and only eating salad for dinner, I didn’t factor in that two glasses of wine would hit me more than usual. Not only did I begin to hate how I was starting to feel (which also began to ruin a perfectly good girl’s night), but feelings of anxiety started to hit me. I kept thinking of my past and all of the problems and negativity alcohol had caused me. It was like a flashback to college days when I would say or do things that I would never have done if I were sober. This wasn’t me. I fell in love with my body and my mind when I started focusing on fitness and my health. I didn’t need alcohol to have a good time anymore, in fact I would always end up having a better time without it. Even though it was just a couple glasses of wine and I was drinking multiple glasses of water in between, I was not happy with the decision I made that night. Not to mention one of the reasons why I was attracted and ended up falling in love with Josh was because he didn’t drink. After a week out of my element, I let the outside environment get the best of me. I had a setback in my journey and you know what? Right now at this very moment I am GLAD it happened.

Here’s why….

It took this setback to make me realize that I don’t even want or need those few glasses of wine here and there. What was my need for that? I couldn’t think of one besides conforming to what we think as a society as a reward or relaxing. Alcohol has no nutritional value to my body so why ingest it? I dislike how it makes me feel, it consists of empty calories and only brings negativity to me physically and mentally. I have no desire to bring anything but positive vibes into this beautiful life I have created.

With THAT being said, I decided to turn this setback into a comeback. After a Sunday spent resting up my body, today I planned my goals for this week, planned my meals, and everything else I needed to be successful. I set aside my blog topics, responded to client emails and got myself excited to continue being my best self. I have learned so much about myself this past year and although I’m sure there will always be learning, I am starting to realize what’s worth it and what’s not. We are all human, we will make mistakes..that’s life! It’s up to you to realize those mistakes and act on them. Surrounding myself with positive people, being in an uplifting relationship, and taking care of my body while inspiring my mind are always at the top of my to-do list.

 

When life throws you a curveball, it may hit you, but what you do after it does is what matters most.

Happy Monday & continue being YOU

~Alessandra

 

 

Alessandra’s Top 5 Favorite Vegetables and WHY your body needs them

Alessandra’s Top 5 Favorite Vegetables and WHY your body needs them

Growing up I HATED vegetables (along with every other child in America). It wasn’t until my Senior year of college when I started to eat healthy and actually eat vegetables. The fact that I actually enjoyed them came as a shocker to my entire family and even was surprising to myself but I can thank my Dad aka “Chef Frank” for not only making them for me but flavoring them to be healthy and delicious.

Straight from the Center for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) here is why you should be consuming your fruits and vegetables daily:

CDC Fruits and veggies

Today, I consume about 3 cups of veggies per day: I can’t get enough! Not only are they a key component to my clean eating lifestyle, but they regulate my digestive system and most important keep me full between meals. Now I know 3 cups of vegetables sounds like a lot but when you get creative with preparing them, 3 cups really isn’t a lot at all!

Now I know what your next question is….

“How many fruits/veggies per day is the right amount for me?”

Luckily technology is here to help us! While on the CDC website I also discovered a calculator that uses your age, gender, and physical activity level to determine the right amount of daily intake for your body. It is SO important to understand that no individual has the same body. Many clients come to me telling me about their “friend who is on the Paleo diet” or a low-carb diet and lost 35 pounds. My response? Good for them, but you probably won’t have the same results. You are an individual therefore, you need to treat your body as an individual. There is no cookie-cutter diet plan that will guarantee weight-loss for all (although that would be AWESOME and fix the current Obesity epidemic) so you need to figure out what works for you.

Vegetable Daily Intake Calculator

Now that you know how many servings you should be eating per day, let’s talk about our favorite types of veggies!

Top 5 veggies

Although these are what I consider my “Fab Five”, I do eat numerous other types of veggies regularly including Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potatoes, and Kale!

You have all of the tools to incorporate vegetables into your daily routine….so what are you waiting for?? Get to cooking!

~Alessandra

Breakfast Cookies! Yup you heard me

Breakfast Cookies! Yup you heard me

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but do you know why? If we simplify the word, “break” “fast” we can see that it is just that: breaking the fast since your last meal. During the day we usually eat every 3-5 hours so when we hit the sheets at night and depending on your routine, sleep for 7 to 10 to 12 hours, you are throwing your body into a fasting state. This makes breakfast one of the most important meals because your body needs that fuel to get through the day.

Skipping breakfast is bad….really bad!

When you wake up, get ready for you day and run out the door without eating anything, not only are you depriving your body of the fuel and nutrients it needs to function properly, but you are increasing the chances that you are going to eat more later in the day. Your body and brain are still hard at work when you are sleeping. We also know that sleep is essential for muscle recovery, so upon waking up in the morning, your body is completely depleted of glucose (the main fuel for the brain).

Not only are you increasing the risk of improper function that day, but skipping breakfast may also cause an increase in fat gain. This happens due to dropped blood sugar from lack of food, then an immediate spike in insulin when you do eventually eat, storing more fat as a result.

Breakfast options for everyone

My go to breakfast consists of 1 egg, 3 whites, ½ of an avocado, and ½ cup of old-fashioned oats with cinnamon. I definitely feel my best when I consume this filling breakfast as it consists of carbohydrates (brain fuel), protein, and some healthy fats. I believe that balance is key throughout the day and personally this combo makes for an energetic Fit Girl!

Here are some other options you can combine for a world-class breakfast:

~Turkey Bacon

~Greek Yogurt (I like Chobani 0%, or Light and Fit by Dannon)

~Eggs (hard boiled, scrambled, you name it!)

~Oat Bran

~ Berry Smoothie (made with protein powder, berries, almond milk, oats)

~ Breakfast cookies (see below!)

The Ultimate On-the-Go Breakfast Cookie

This “clean” cookie will be sure to get your day started the right way. Simple to make and absolutely delicious!

Recipe

Preheat oven to 350

~1 C Oats

~1/4C Raisins (substitute blueberries,dark chocolate chips)

~1/3C Natural Peanut Butter

~3 Bananas

Mash the bananas and mix thoroughly with the oats. Once blended, mix in the peanut butter and add in the raisins to finish. Using a tablespoon, plop the sticky mixture onto baking sheets and bake for about 10-12 minutes or until bottom is brown. They will be more of a chewy consistency!

This recipe makes about 15-20 cookes depending how large you make them. Store them in the fridge and your breakfast treat is now ready for the week! Fuel those bodies the right way and kick start your day with a filling, delicious meal.

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Where do you want to be 5 years from today?

Where do you want to be 5 years from today?

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I spent an hour this morning reading a book titled, “FIVE” by Dan Zadra. This motivational short novel provided guidance to the question,“Where will you be in five years from today?” which really made me consider and think about where I wanted to be. With graduating college under my belt along with a huge life-changing move across the country, it is safe to say I have been in the post-graduation/pre-get my life started stage. Every day I am constantly trying to make ends meet out here in San Diego, while continuing my healthy lifestyle and positive outlook and let’s face it-it’s not always easy. One of the things I say to myself every morning when I wake up is that today is another day to be grateful, I am alive, more than well, and following my dreams. Taking one day at a time is how I stay stress-free. I constantly blog about following your dreams and creating balance in your life. Not only does this apply to health and fitness, but should apply to numerous aspects of your life including family. romance, career, education, financial and adventure. Below I included an excerpt from the book that illustrates the different “spokes” of your life in which you should create balance and have goals for each. This wheel of life made me realize that I am giving certain areas more focus than others so it was a good way to balance out everything in my life right now!

With these areas of life in mind can you set goals for each one that are achievable in 5 years time? Where do you want to be in your:

  • Career
  • Health
  • Adventure
  • Travel
  • Relationships
  • Family
  • Spiritual
  • Financial
  • Education
  • Recreation
  • Charitable
  • Romance

For each of these write down where you want to be. How can you make your life turn into one of your dreams?

 

 

 

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The next best thing to spaghetti and meatballs

The next best thing to spaghetti and meatballs

Ever since I stopped regularly consuming white-flour products including pasta, bread and everything in between, I noticed my stomach rarely ever gets bloated, I never feel too full from a meal, and I notice higher levels of energy. I’m not saying pasta (whole-grain or not) is bad, but just is not optimal for me. Being a 100% Italian girl, giving up pasta was not an easy decision however it became a lot easier when I discovered Spaghetti Squash. Now if you’re expecting it to taste exactly like a large bowl of spaghetti…get outta here! I think many people have higher hopes for this pasta replacement to taste exactly like the real thing- keep in mind it is a vegetable! There are so many ways to prepare this low-calorie, low-carb treat however my favorite is to top it with tomatoes, spinach and of course lean ground turkey meatballs. This quick, easy to make meal is delicious, satisfying and keeps me full without the “I want to lay on my couch and die for two hours after” feeling! So next time you are craving your favorite Italian dish, or heading to a family event, whip up a big bowl of guilt-free deliciousness to keep that healthy eating on track!

Clean Eating Italian Dream
Ingredients:
▪️1 spaghetti squash
▪️1 can 100% pure Tomato juice
▪️1/2 C grape tomatoes
▪️93% Lean Ground Turkey
▪️1 egg
▪️Mrs.Dash Garlic & Herb Seasoning

Directions

Slice the squash in half and scoop out the seeds/insides.
Sprinkle Mrs. Dash over the top of both halves, cover with plastic wrap.
Pop in microwave for 8-10min or until soft.
Combine turkey, egg and seasoning in a bowl. Roll into 1 inch balls. Sautée on stovetop until browned.
Sautée spinach.
Combine spaghetti squash, spinach, tomatoes, tomato juice in large bowl. Top with meatballs and for extra flavoring add some Parmesan Cheese!

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