Eating Clean: Getting Started

Friday, January 23, 2015

I hope you are here because you are ready to make some changes to your diet. Figuring out what to eat was such a challenge for me when I started my fitness journey. I can attest to just how overwhelming it is (It can be so intimidating that you might be tempted to throw your hands in the air & quit. Trust me, I've been there! )

This book changed my life lol
Breath easy... I have some tips to help you make this a smooth transition

What is Clean Eating?

The approach is eat cleaning is a lifestyle that focuses on eating whole foods, in their natural state. (Think about what your great great grandparents ate. Cheetos were not part of their diet lol) 

Some basic principles to follow: 

The DO List
  • Eat 6 small meals a day
  • Eat Breakfast within an hour of waking up
  • Eat a combination of lean protein, complex carbs & healthy fat at every meal
  • Drink Plenty of Water (Rule of Thumb: Your body weight divided by two will give you an idea of how many ounces to drink a day)
  • Plan and prepare your meals ahead of time
  • Adhere to proper portion sizes
What to AVOID:
  • Avoid all processed foods (especially white flour and sugar)
  • Avoid chemically charged foods. If you can't read the ingredients on the label, eliminate it. You are not a science project ;)
  • Avoid all preservatives and artificial sugars
  • Avoid sugar loaded beverages. If you are addicted to soda, transition to sparkling water. Over time, your taste buds change I promise
  • Limit (or avoid) alcohol intake. 
  • Avoid Fast Food
  • Avoid calorie dense, nutritional void foods. 

When making changes, it can feel like... "Well heck! What CAN I eat?"
Don't worry. You have free reign on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, protein and healthy fats (like yummy avocado).
There is such a wide variety available to you, but it might not be familiar territory yet. That's ok. We'll get you there!

This is your chance to branch out, try new recipes, and maybe you'll discover you love something. For the longest time, I thought sweet potatoes were disgusting. I don't know if it was the color...or because I've only seen them at Thanksgiving...I but LOVEEE them now. So be open-minded in this process. 

You should NOT feel hungry or deprived.  If you are eating correct portions, you will feel satisfied (not full) after eating and you'll be moderately hungry before it is time for you to eat again.
You might experience sugar cravings at first, but these will dissipate over a few weeks.

Remember, it's ok to treat yourself on occasion. Just be mindful that it is a treat meal...not an entire treat day or week. What helps me stay on track is planning my treats.
If I know we have Date Night on Friday, I will save my treat until then. Mentally I have something to look forward to!  Make it part of your prep & keep things in moderation. If you choose to have some cake, don't eat the whole cake. 

Getting Started

  1. Load up on fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. If you are looking for convenience, I love frozen foods (NOT Healthy Choice frozen meals! lol) What I mean is...Costco sells an amazing variety of frozen chicken, veggies and fruits. Pro Tip: Always check the label to make sure they are adding an ingredients. If you buy frozen broccoli, make sure the label only says "broccoli". Frozen fruits often have sugar added so opt for the package without sugar. 
  2. Clean out your fridge and pantry. You might discover you have a lot of expired items lurking in your pantry. Purge all of those and start checking labels.
    Foods that contain ingredients that are not “clean” or that you cannot pronounce, need to go. You can throw them out or donate them (you can even take them to work). 
  3. Make a grocery list. I like to plan my meals ahead so I can buy in bulk for the week or month. For example, pantry items like quinoa or rice can be purchased in bulk to save you time and money on your next trip.
    Build up your spice variety as you go. Spices can be expensive but they go a long way so maybe just get a few each trip.
     Here is a great shipping list for beginners.
  4. Schedule your Shopping & Prep Day Don’t under estimate how much time it takes to prep food. Try and get your grocery shopping done early in the day and get right to prep when you get home. I like to buy lots of veggies for stir fries and do all the chopping on Sunday. If you have ever made fajitas or stir fry, you know that it takes about 30 minutes just to cut up all the veggies. That is a lot of time to spend during the week after a long day at work. Having meals ready to 'Heat 'N Eat" has saved me on many occasions especially when I worked a long, stressful job before becoming a Beachbody Coach.
    I prefer to cook my chicken in bulk. If you make a batch of it on Sunday, you can use it for salads, wraps, etc throughout the week.
    (Note: To preserve freshness, I cook meat on Sundays and Wednesday. You can also freeze foods (even your chopped veggies) to ensure great taste when you're ready to cook)
    You can also make a large batch of quinoa or rice to use throughout the week.
  5. Pack your Meals. If you work out of the home (or you are always on the go), I love Tosca Reno's method of packing a cooler! You can store your meals for the day alone with some ice packs. It makes your food accesible and limits your (ahem...excuses) for not eating healthy. 
  6. Be patient with yourself. It's a lot to take in. If you feel overwhelmed, make one new adjustment per week. Slowly eliminate foods that are on the no-no list and start adding new foods into your diet. Start with substitutions like greek yogurt in place of sour cream or mayonnaise and cut out the soda and fast food. This is your lifestyle so you need to change it at your own speed. Some people are able to do this in one fail swoop and others need baby step their way along. Small changes are still changes so you will be on the right track.
You've got this! While it might feel intimidating now, you will adjust and it will become second nature. Eating clean is a lifestyle change- not a diet that you stick to for a couple weeks. SIDE NOTE: People who are very accustomed to processed foods have a difficult time with (i.e., don’t like the taste of) the natural flavors of real food. They will say "I don't like vegetables or anything that is healthy."

Don't despair! Over time, your taste change and your body will start to crave the good stuff!  

Once you get acclimated you will feel so great that you can't imagine eating processed foods that make you feel sluggish!
Figure out what works best for YOU. This is not a one size fits all.  I used to hate going to the grocery store or stepping food in the kitchen...but now that I know what to's actually become enjoyable (and there is a certain pleasure in knowing you are taking care of your body).

You'll do great!!

Check out recipes and grocery list ideas

Getting Started: How to Go Gluten Free without buying a Ticket to the Overwhelm Train

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

On Nov. 23, 2014, I was diagnosed with an AutoImmune Thyroid Disease called Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.  For those of you who aren't calendar wizards, that was the day before Thanksgiving. My doctor sat me down and told me I would now have to take about 17 supplements, completely cut out soy, and avoid any/all gluten because it was poison for my body. The day before Thanksgiving!There goes just about every delicious traditional dish...

I sat there in a bit of disbelief... I am the girl who really pays attention to what she eats... who works out regularly... who talks to others about the importance of health & fitness.
How I did develop a disease that zaps my energy, causes mental fog, moodiness, memory loss, bloating, insomnia (the list goes on! haha Read more about my diagnosis here

I was sad...and even more so mad! I loved gluten! All of my favorite foods: pizza, cookie dough ice cream, saltine crackers, BREAD, ALL contain gluten. I would go grocery shopping, see the Gluten Free section, and feel sad for those people...and now I am one of them (omgosh karma)!

The "Five Stages of Gluten Grief" were very real for me 

  • Denial - No way! This doesn't happen to me- I eat healthy foods! GF is a marketing ploy
  • Anger & Overwhelm - This is bull crap and Gluten Free Foods suck butt. I don't even know where to start. This sucks. 
  • Rationalizing - What if I just eat ONE GF meal a day? What's the harm? It's less than I was eating before. 
  • Depression - My life is never going to be the same. Going out to eat is going to be awful- I'm just going to stay home forever. 
  • Acceptance - Ok, Im hungry. I better figure this out. 
I am not a Gluten Free expert. In fact, I just got started 8 weeks ago...but here's what I can tell you.
  • That massive feeling of overwhelm will fade and go away. 
  • You must become the master of your well-being. That means learning why it's good to ditch the gluten, paying attention to how foods make you feel, and adjusting your diet accordingly. 
  • Once you cut out gluten, you will wonder why it took you so long because you feel AMAZING

Getting Started: 

Get Your Education:

My first week Gluten Free was a joke. I found reasons why it was ok to eat gluten ...until I did a little reading....
Several studies show a strong link between AITD (both Hashimoto’s and Graves’) and gluten intolerance.What explains the connection? It’s a case of mistaken identity. The molecular structure of gliadin, the protein portion of gluten, closely resembles that of the thyroid gland. When gliadin breaches the protective barrier of the gut, and enters the bloodstream, the immune system tags it for destruction. These antibodies to gliadin also cause the body to attack thyroid tissue. This means if you have AITD and you eat foods containing gluten, your immune system will attack your thyroid

Even worse, the immune response to gluten can last up to 6 months each time you eat it. This explains why it is critical to eliminate gluten completely from your diet if you have AITD. There’s no “80/20″ rule when it comes to gluten. Being “mostly” gluten-free isn’t going to cut it. If you’re gluten intolerant, you have to be 100% gluten-free to prevent immune destruction of your thyroid. (source
YIKES! I don't want my body to attack itself! 

Remember WHY you are doing this:

You are going to be tested and tempted. It's not going to be easy. In fact, it can be downright tough.
The first time you go out to eat with family or friends... the bread basket is on the table, someone orders your favorite (gluten laden dish), and you really just want to forget your body is it's own worst enemy lol

After experiencing "life after gluten" I will tell's not even tempting to go back. Bloating, causes, stomach cramps and pain...not worth it! Trouble losing weight...trouble remembering things...trouble with anxiety, depression, mood swings...Not worth it.

And what scares me the most...remember how I shared that your immune system will attack your thyroid because it mistakes it for gluten? If that continues to happen, then eventually your thyroid will be so damaged that it stops functioning..and you will have to be on medication for the rest of your life.

That's more than enough reason to pass on the bread!

Quit Gluten Cold Turkey

Just stop! If temptation is in front of me, I am GREAT at coming up with "reasons" why I can have "just a little."
When I started P90X, one thing that really helped me was to clear any temptation out of the house. Out of sight, out of mind.
Clear out your fridge, pantry, cabinets or anywhere gluten might be lurking. Give the food to friends or neighbors.
Create a CLEAN SLATE in your kitchen!

Read, Research and Reward!

Purchase a book (or two) to read up on Gluten and a cookbook to give you ideas!  I don't know what I would do with my cookbooks

I started with The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook to focus on eliminating triggers from my diet and healing my body. I love this book because she gives recipes AND two months of meal plans 

The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook: An Allergen-Free Approach to Managing Chronic Illness

Before you go out to eat, Google is your friend! Research the restaurants and menu!
Not every server will be knowledgeable about gluten free options (although many restaurants have now Gluten Free menus)
Here is an awesome resource with over 200 restaurants!

Reward yourself with a fun and delicious gluten free snack like these: Coconut Macaroons

Experiment & have fun Creating NEW favorites that are GF friendly!

There are so many options with gluten free breads, rice noodles, zucchini pasta, the options are endless!

I did have to get used to new tastes. Cauliflower pizza doesn't taste like traditional pizza...but omgosh's amazing! Recipe: 
Best Cauliflower Pizza Ever

Hmm, that looks Pinteresting! 

Pinterest is LITERALLY an endless source of Paleo and gluten-free recipes.
Pin recipes that sound appealing and don't be afraid to branch out. You might surprise yourself.  

Shop Around: What is the best grocery store to fit your needs?

Your local grocery stores might be different. Even stores in the same chain but different locations might be more accommodating. We have a store that is about 1 mile away- which is great for the basics. But I usually end up driving 15-20 min for my weekly shopping.
Almost every grocery store will have SOME gluten-free items. But I like to go where I find the best selection.

There is no shame in your Google game

I can't even tell you how many times I have googled, "Is there gluten in _____?"

This stuff is confusing and when you are just starting kinda feels like... well what the heck CAN I eat???
But over time, you will adjust (I pinky swear). You have an advantage...gluten free information and options are becoming more available and prevalent every day.

I invite you to join my Gluten Free group on Facebook where we are all learning, sharing and on this journey together!
I promise if you keep it simple, keep reading and learning, and continue to have an overmind, you can become completely Gluten Free without buying a ticket on the Overwhelm train lol

For more info, visit my Thyroid Page

Picmonkey Tutorial: Selective Color on Black & White Picture

Friday, January 16, 2015

Another Picmonkey tutorial for you guys! Ever see a fun picture that is black & white with a fun pop of color? It's actually very simple to create on a free photo editing site Picmonkey (Note: Picmonkey is free, but to use most of the fun features, it's worth the $34/year upgrade)

Step 1: Select and upload your picture on picmonkey.

Step 2: On the left bar, you will see a wand with sparkles.  That section is called "Effects"

Step 3: Find and select the Black & White effect.

Step 4:  See that little "Paint" popup box? Click "Original", set your brush size, and paint in your color with your mouse.
Pro Tips: Use a large brush for large areas (duh). Use a smaller size (AND zoom in) for the smaller, more detailed areas.

Step 5: Save & marvel at your photo editing skills 

Like this tutorial? Follow me! hehe Comment below & make sure you check out my other picmonkey tutorials.

More PicMonkey Photo Tutorials

21 Day Fix Extreme

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The 21 Day Fix EXTREME is coming! 
 Seriously, how cool is Beachbody? For achieving Elite, they not only sent us this AMAZING personalized roses...but I also got a SNEAK PEEK exclusive dvd of the new 21 Day Fix Extreme workout that is coming out in Feb 2015. 

How hard could it be? :P
 Pre & Post workout selfie! Dirty 30 Extreme
Autumn's first program, The 21 Day Fix, is targeted to beginner & intermediate exercises.
One of my favorite workouts from 21DF is called "Dirty 30"

4 rounds of fat-burning exercises including sumo squats, close leg squats, alternate shoulder raises, some ab work.

21 Day Fix EXTREME:  All new workouts coming out in Feb 2015! This is all about increased intensity & getting shredded. Designed for athletes and people who have completed multiple rounds of the 21DF or other extreme programs like the P90X series or Insanity. 

Dirty 30 Extreme steps it up a notch. You need two pairs of weight (light and heavy). There are 3 Rounds plus 1 mini bonus round and all of the moves focus on Shoulders, Arms and your core (you will work your back and arms a little as well). I loved that she incorporated some balance moves to really burn your booty.

It might just be more- but Autumn looks more tight and toned than ever before. It's EXTREMELY motivating to watch her (helloo ABs!)
You only get 10 sec breaks between rounds to grab your water. By the end you are sweating and the post workout stretch is absolute heaven. 

What’s Included in the 21 Day Fix Extreme?

  • 7 brand new, intense 30-minute workouts
  • Every workout will require weights or resistance bands (I recommend 3-15 lbs) 
  • 21 Day Countdown to Competition menu plan for EXTREME results
  • Perfectly portions containers for the workouts

While we are waiting for the new workout to be released, start your journey with Beachbody's best seller:

(Order the 21 Day Fix here or the Challenge Pack here)

Check out a sneak peek of the new 21 Day Fix Extreme here

GirlBoss Dynasty: #Project Freedom Identify the Top 10 Qualities of Your Ideal Coach

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Ok FREEDOM SEEKERS!! This lesson is all about taking a HARD Look at not only what we WANT ...but what we are GIVING and projecting!

You joined this training to set steps in motion that will allow you to live your life by DESIGN!
If you find yourself saying, “I HOPE I achieve Diamond...Star Diamond…” Remind yourself that “hope” is not a strategy.

You need 1) A Goal 2) A plan 3) Consistent daily activity to get the results that I KNOW you can all achieve!

How do you find/attract those ELUSIVE business building coaches and build a strong team that will continue to flourish?

It all starts with you...

Make a list of the TOP 10 QUALITIES your IDEAL COACH would have. (Take some time to think about this... What are the things you believe are needed in a TOP COACH?

(List them on a sheet of paper or type them below).

IMAGINE you sign a ROCKSTAR coach up...How do you describe them (visionary, imaginative, loyal, supportive, honest, family focused...etc..) ?

Now, think about your DREAM team.
I want you to close your eyes and imagine logging into your COO. Your volume is OFF the charts!! You have coaches rank advancing each week! Your team is FLOURISHING and growing faster than you ever imagined!


What do they need? What are they looking for in YOU? List 10 qualities your team NEEDS in a leader (it's ok to repeat some of the qualities from list one)

ACTION STEP #3: Here's the hard part....take a good HONEST look over your list and rate yourself from 1-10 in each quality. This activity was a MAJOR wakeup call to me when I did it!
Post your list and scores below (If you did it on paper, feel free to post a picture of your list below!)
:::SELF REFLECTION::: How can you increase your scores

Thanks for sticking with me!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Out running around, finalizing some last deets for our event with Carl & Autumn and I was just thinking...

WOW, I made Beachbody's ELITE rank (Top 0.05% of the company!) for the 3rd year in a row! 2014 was unequivocally my most challenging year health wise. It zapped my energy, my mojo, my fun loving attitude... and I felt guilty about signing up coaches because I couldn't build a strong bond with them ... I felt withdrawn and honestly...depressed on many occasions.

I offer a heartfelt apology to ALL of my 2014 coaches and customer thank you for your patience and believing in with during such a trying time.
In many ways, last year was incredible...but when you know in your heart that your potential is so much greater... It stings. I only helped a FRACTION of the people I am capable of helping and I refuse to slow down when I KNOW so many others are in the same place I was 4 years ago (unfulfilled, lacking confidence, overworked, stressed out and barely making ends meet)

My focus this year is to rebuild my health while inspiring others to find answers for their loss of energy and mojo.
I'm committed to #projectfreedom
- helping others define their version of freedom and set actions in motion to achieve it

And ...I'm going to have FUN doing it My Life is about balance- laughter - love - and achieving my TRUE purpose brings me joy beyond measure

If you're joining me on this crazy Beachbody ride, BUCKLE UP because I'm ready to run 

#girlboss Dynasty

Sunday, January 4, 2015

It's cool to be kind. It's cool to be weird. It's cool to be polite with good manners. It's cool to believe in the beauty of your dreams. It's cool to be secure with yourself. It's cool to just Go For it!

The world is yours for the taking #girlboss

Create a Vision: Gratitude Intentions

Thursday, January 1, 2015


I have a little assignment for you's called {Gratitude Intentions}

Visualize what you want to accomplish in 2015...what inspires you to move forward? What would your IDEAL life look like?
Imagine we are 365 days in the future! Write yourself a letter about what you have achieved as though it has ALREADY happened.

Ex: I am able to stay at home with my family. We are going on a family vacation for the first time in years! I am in the best shape of my life & have regained my confidence! I bought a new car! I am able to provide for my family without the stress of overdrawing my bank account. I helped 50 women transform their lives this year!

This works for a few reasons:
1. By associating your desires with things that have already come to pass, you’re making them feel much more likely and believable. Great for your subconscious!
2. You’re sending a powerful message to the Universe about what you want in your life and your positive expectations (the Universe loves clarity and positive energy).
3. On the not-so-great days, which are bond to happen, pull out your letter and get re-inspired! Remember why you are doing this!

Dream big and imagine your best life. Dig deep - what would be inspiring beyond belief!

Stay clear and focused about where you are going so nothing deters. Obstacles don't mean you give up on your just means you have to find the deter

Visualize, stay consistent and enjoy the journey !

Can't wait to see your letters!