Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Simple Chicken Stir-Fry Recipe

I love a good stir-fry! I love how easy and quick it is, as well as how you can pretty much put any meat and vegetable in it and it will probably still end up delicious! As of late, I am partial to using asparagus and mushrooms in my cooking, so I decided to whip up a quick stir-fry with them!

½ cup quinoa
½ cup brown rice
2 cups water
1lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1lb asparagus, trimmed and chopped
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 lime, juiced
2 tbsp Olive Oil

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, garlic, honey, and lime juice. Add the chicken pieces, cover, and marinate at least 3 hours.

2. Put the rice, quinoa, and water together in a pot and bring it to a boil on medium high heat.

3. Once it starts to boil, turn the heat to low and cover, allowing the mixture to simmer until all of the liquid is gone (it usually takes about 20 minutes or so—you may want to start the rice and leave it for about 10 minutes before beginning the other steps).

4. Heat a skillet on medium high heat. Pour 1 tbsp of olive oil in the skillet and allow it to heat through. Add mushrooms and allow them to cook until tender, and then move them to a large bowl or pot (I keep adding to the pot to mix all of the ingredients together).

5. Repeat previous step using asparagus. Heat until they are slightly browned.

6. Pour the chicken and marinade into the skillet. Let the chicken brown evenly on all sides, making sure that the chicken is cooked through.

7. Once the rice and chicken have finished cooking, mix them into the asparagus and mushrooms! J

(Disclaimer: I am a messy cook. Do not judge the state of my kitchen in these pictures please!)

Sunday, August 9, 2015

My #1 Tip for Motivating Yourself to Start Working Out

When I was growing up, I was not an active person in the slightest. I didn’t play sports or work out, I just kind of sat around and did my school work and read. While that did contribute to me being a decently smart person, it did not contribute to my health. I knew I probably should exercise and had the typical teenage self consciousness that led to me being concerned about my weight (although I was skinny), but it still wasn’t enough to do anything about it.

Even in college, when I did start to work out a TINY bit (anything was an improvement from high school), I drank and ate like crap because my parents weren’t around to serve me balanced meals. I gained weight and I knew I would feel better about myself if I lost weight, but it still wasn’t enough to get me in gear.

Once I graduated and started teaching, there were a couple of years there where I still didn’t care enough to actually lose weight. I even had a gym membership! But I complained that I didn’t have time to work out and I didn’t have time to cook meals at home or enough money to buy healthy food. All I did was complain and not doing anything about it. I’ve looked back on that time and thought, “Why didn’t I get off my butt and just DO it?” Now I realize why—it just wasn’t a priority. Work and school were my priorities, and my health was quickly degenerating because of it. I had constant stomach problems (I’ve always had stomach problems, but it had gotten out of control), I was so fatigued and on so many antidepressants that I was basically a zombie, and I was too wrapped up in all of this to be affective at the job that I was doing all of this for! After I realized this, it finally clicked for me… getting healthy and taking care of myself HAD to be a priority, or the rest of my life just wasn’t going to be at its best.

I had found my “WHY”—I wanted to lose weight and get healthy so that I could feel good enough on a regular basis to be the great teacher that I wanted to be! Once I had a “why,” it was easy to make working out, cooking healthy meals, and making better choices a priority!

If you keep making excuses about working out and eating right, STOP. You’re not doing yourself (or anyone around you) any favors.

Ask yourself this question—WHY should getting healthy be a priority and what are you going to do to get there?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Caramel deLites (aka Samoas in my day!) Shakeology Recipe

I LOVE Girl Scout cookies! Pretty much ALL of the flavors too! But my favorite is definitely Caramel deLites--that mix of chocolate, caramel, and coconut is just so amazing I can find myself eating an entire box in one sitting. BUT that wouldn't be a healthy choice, would it? So here is what I do to help myself get my fix, without having to eat a box of cookies! Enjoy! :)

Monday, August 3, 2015

A Fit Girl’s Essential Tools

As someone who works out regularly, I have noticed that, in order to be a really efficient “Fit Girl,” there are a few things that I need to be successful. Now, I want you to know that these may not necessarily be the things that YOU need to be successful, but they are what I’ve found to help me get off my butt and get going.

So, without further ado, here is my list of the five things that are essential to my fit life (click on the photos to see where to purchase):

1. Good Shoes and/or Good Yoga Mat:

When I first started working out, I worked out in some old tennis shoes that I hadn’t invested much money or care into. I didn’t know that certain types of workouts needed certain types of shoes or that you needed to buy tennis shoes based on your feet and how you walk, not on how pretty or flashy they are. As I started to work out more, I started to realize that my legs and feet were hurting pretty often, so I talked to a few fit friends and did a bit of googling and figured out that I needed some better shoes! My best tip in this department is to think about how you walk—do your feet bend in any way (inward or outward when you walk), and where is most of your impact occurring on your foot? Look up shoes that help with the problem that you are having or go to a shoe store and the employees there should be knowledgeable (if they’re not, then go to a better store).

Another problem I also had when I started working out, was slipping on my yoga mat. I do a lot of yoga-based workouts because of my need for low impact and my hand sweat was driving me crazy. Not to mention that all that downward dogging can be a pain on the wrists! If you know you’re going to be investing a lot of time in your practice, get a nice yoga mat! I got one that is extra thick, extra long, and extra grippy and it has worked wonders for me!
2. Proper Hair Accessories
I have very long hair and side bangs. I always have to have some method of holding my bangs back and keeping the rest of my hair off of my neck and out of my face. I see girls in workout videos with their hair down or flopping around and I’m like uhhh no. I won’t even cut my hair short because I know I wouldn’t be able to put it up if I did!

I used to just put my hair in a ponytail and bobby pins and call it a day, but now that I’m doing more intense workouts like Insanity Max 30 (which involves a lot of jumping around), my ponytail comes out! I not only have a lot of hair, but I have very smooth hair that doesn’t like to actually stay in my ponytail holder! I have now started to put it in a tight bun on top of my head and it seems to work!

What I also do it use a headband to secure my bangs. Since I’m moving around a lot, NO headband will stay in place (again, smooth hair), so I have started putting a couple bobby pins in my hair to attach the headband too it and it works perfectly!

When I find a better solution to the hair problem, I’ll be sure to let you know! J

3. Cute Fitness Clothes

It’s funny—now that I don’t work out in a gym, I like to wear cuter workout clothes than I did before. I guess when I went to the gym, I thought I would be judged for wearing tank tops with cute little fitness sayings on them, but now that I’m in my living room, I don’t have to worry about that! Having cute fitness clothes on (really, shopping for cute fitness clothes) motivates me because I feel better about myself in them! I also like that I can look in the mirror, see my corny quote on my shirt, and get a quick motivation!

Here are a few of my favorites!


4. Dry Shampoo

I HATE washing my hair! There is just so much of it and then I have to dry it and UGH. I just don’t like dealing with it very often! Plus, I’ve been really trying to work on making my hair healthier by not putting it through the stress of washing and drying quite as often and it’s working (with the help of Shakeology). But, I do have a daytime job and can’t be going through life looking like a greasy mess all the time (only some of the time…), so I have started using dry shampoo and it works wonders on me.

Here is my personal favorite:

This particular kind is great because it neutralizes your “hair” smell without it smelling like perfume. It’s also great because it’s a powder (the spray kind makes my hair look greasier) and the way that you put it on is by squeezing the bottle and it kind of PUFFs out. It’s nice! I just “spray” it all over my roots, let it sit for a minute or two, rub it in, then comb and brush it out! It’s great! J

5. Motivational Support

This is the MOST important thing a fit girl can have in her tool belt! There is nothing like people motivating you or complimenting you to help keep you consistent on your path to a healthy lifestyle! That’s what I love about being a Beachbody coach… I have a great opportunity to support someone new every day and their success makes me feel like I am doing something great with my free time!

What are your essentials in your “fit life”? I’d love to know them! Comment below or fill out the contact form at the bottom of the page and email me! J

Monday, July 27, 2015

How I Afford Shakeology Every Month

I am in debt. I’m not afraid to say it. I am in debt and most of it is because of my choices. Between a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree, I have over $40,000 in student loan debt. I have a few medical bills that have either not been paid or are very very very slowly being paid, in tiny increments.  I also like to shop.

I am telling you this because I am not only trying to pay my normal monthly bills (rent, utilities, etc.), I am also striving to pay off some of my debt, so I am living off even less than I normally would. That being said, I am still paying for Shakeology! I recently did a vlog about what is so awesome about Shakeology (if you don’t know how awesome it is, you should gocheck it out) and it made me think about the number one objection I get to Shakeology: “I can’t afford it.” I know that there are people out there who definitely cannot afford Shakeology because their income isn’t enough or because they have children that need to be taken care of on a smaller income—that’s not who I’m talking about. With my own income, I couldn’t afford Shakeology at first, not because of my income but because of the lifestyle I was living within my income. In order for me to be able to order my Shakeology every month and continue improving my health, I had to change a couple of the things I was doing each month…

So, here are my tips for being able to afford Shakeology:

1. MEAL PLAN!! I used to go to the grocery store each week and spend well over $100 on God knows what (for just myself, mind you), and then feel like I had nothing to eat. Then I’d usually go out to eat because I didn’t have anything sensible in my pantry anyway. Since I’ve started meal planning, I go to the grocery store with an exact grocery list (and do not stray from it, because that will lead to cheating on my meal plan). This cut out about $100 a month alone!

2. FREEZE meals ahead of time! There are always nights where I am just not going to be able to cook. I’m already pretty good about eating last night’s leftovers, but there are usually days where I still have leftovers on top of that. Freezing meals keeps me from buying prepackaged frozen meals or making a surprise run to McDonald’s. It’s also nice because, when I’m meal planning, there ends up being a day or two the following week where I don’t need to buy dinner food because it’s already in the freezer!

3. EAT LESS MEAT. I am trying to now cook one dish (which will last me at least two nights, if not more) that does not contain meat. Meat can add up and usually dishes taste just as good without it!

4. BUY IN BULK, when possible. I don’t recommend buying produce in bulk (unless you have a large family), because it will go bad before you can eat it all. But think about what you can buy in bulk—meat (you can save a few dollars a pound this way), rice, and household items. Meat can be frozen (just separate it out into the amounts you would cook with) and toilet paper can be stored somewhere.

5. USE COUPONS, when possible. Eating clean does make couponing a little less thrilling (I never see coupons for produce or meat, although it can go on sale), but think about the things you use that you can get coupons for: toilet paper, paper towels, shaving cream, razors, toothpaste, dog/cat food, diapers, etc. Coupon disclaimer: don’t just buy something because you have a coupon. I seek out coupons for specific things, and only use those coupons. Also, do some math—is it more economical to get the store brand?

6. MAKE YOUR OWN. I’ve seen all of these recipes on Pinterest lately on how to make your own laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, and household cleaners. At first I was a little skeptical (there is just something about the smell of Gain that keeps me coming back for more), but then I thought about how much money I probably waste on things I could make myself.

7. TRIM your bills. What can you get rid of? In the last few months, I have cancelled my cable (didn’t watch it—Netflix is all I need in my life), cancelled Audible (I don’t have time to listen to it anyway), and cancelled my Sirius XM (I usually listen to iTunes). I also try to do small things towards my electricity bill like only using cold water to wash clothes (warm water is reserved for sheets and towels only), unplugging things that are not being used (does the Keurig really need to be on all day if you’re only using it in the morning?), adjusting the AC by a degree or two when I’ll be out all day or by a few degrees if I’m going on a trip, and closing all of the blinds and curtains on particularly hot or cold days so the AC doesn’t have to work hard (the heater doesn’t work too hard in my apartment… this is North Carolina, so the AC runs constant!).

8. BECOME A COACH! Coaches get a 25% discount on all Beachbody products, including Shakeology. You don’t even have to do anything! You could be a “coach,” not actually coach anyone, and get a discount. OR you could be a coach, help at least 3 people a month, and that usually make you enough for your Beachbody income to pay for your Shakeology!

9. If you’re not into coaching, become a Team Beachbody Club Member! For $38.87 every 3 months ($2.99 a week basically), you get access to Beachbody on Demand AND you get 10% off Beachbody products!

Other crazy things I do to try to help make money:

10. Annual YARD SALE! Some of my friends and I get together in the summer and have a big yard sale together. I go through my whole apartment and I am ruthless, making piles of tons of stuff I just haven’t used in a while. Then I price things to SELL. Want a beach chair for $2? I’m your girl!

11. SELL YOUR STUFF! Even when it’s not yard sale time, I am constantly trying to purge. Do you have books that have been sitting on your shelf for years, like you are actually going to read them a second time? Take them to a second-hand bookstore and make a few bucks. Do you have a bunch of clothes that you are now too skinny to wear because you’ve been working out and drinking Shakeology and now your clothes are too big? Take them to a consignment shop! That necklace your ex-boyfriend gave you? He’s an idiot, therefore you don’t need to hang on to it—put that thing on eBay! There’s usually a community Facebook page where you can also post things for sale! You can also sell clothes to places like Plato’s Closet or Once Upon a Child.

12. USE YOUR SKILLS! I’m a teacher, so I will occasionally tutor kids and make some extra cash. If you’re crafty, you could open up an Etsy shop. Dog sitting? Monogramming things for people? Think about something you’re good at and do some side work!

Mini-tips for getting some extra cash each month for some superfood nutrition (aka Shakeology):
-Make a budget and stick to it. I currently use the Expense app and it’s great.
-Quit buying useless stuff. No, you don’t need another candle or body wash.
-Don’t be a brand snob. Walmart’s ziploc bags hold just as well as the other ones.
-Shop at cheap stores and figure out what’s cheapest where. I like Aldi for produce because it is CHEAP, but I can honestly get meat cheaper at Food Lion or Walmart.
-Drive as little as possible. If you can carpool, DO IT.
-Try to get creative about hanging out with your friends. My friends and I seem to gravitate towards expensive things—eating out, shopping trips, painting pottery, etc. But we’re all strapped for cash, so we know it’s got to stop! When you want to hang out with friends, see if there are some other options—going to someone’s pool together, movie night in someone’s living room, buy some cheap canvases and borrow some paint from a crafty friend and follow a YouTube painting tutorial together, work out together, walk your dogs together or talk your dogs on a dog park date, or have a (healthy food) potluck!
-Never buy books. That is what the library is for! If there is something you really really really want to read and they just don’t have it at your library, post on FB that you’re looking for the book and if anyone has it, can you borrow it? Last summer, some fellow teachers and I would get together every couple of weeks and swap books so that we could read lots of popular books, without having to pay for them all! If you can’t find the book within your circle of friends at all, don’t go to Barnes and Noble; get it on eBay or Amazon. I am amazed at how overpriced Barnes and Noble can be and even more amazed that people actually shop there!

Do you have any great money-saving tips to help people afford Shakeology? I’d love to hear about them—please share in the comments or email me at

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Summer in a Glass Shakeology Recipe

Don't you love summer? I know I do!! I think one of the best parts of summer is the fact that my favorite fruit, watermelon, is in season! I LOVE watermelon!!! Lately I've been thinking about how I could combine my vanilla Shakeology with watermelon and I think I have found the perfect combination of flavors!

1/2 cup watermelon
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
4 oz. almond milk (or 8-12 oz, just don't add water)
8 oz. water
1 scoop vanilla Shakeology
4-6 ice cubes

Put it all in the blender and enjoy, preferably next to a pool! ;)