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Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

diet tips recipes Jan 09, 2019

Ingredients 

  • 2 lbs chicken breast 
  • 3 bell peppers 
  • 1 onion 
  • Fajita mix (or make your own)

Instructions

  • Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil.
  • Spray with oil. 
  • Slice up everything and spread it in an even layer. 
  • Sprinkle fajita seasoning over everything. 
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 min. 

Eat over greens, rice or in a tortilla. Top with salsa, fat-free cheddar cheese or nonfat Greek yogurt.

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Instant Pot Protein Coconut Rice Pudding

recipes Jan 08, 2019

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1/2 cup sugar (OR 2 tsp liquid Stevia)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1.5 tbsp butter
  • 1 can coconut milk (13.5 oz)
  • 1/4 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

Directions:

  • Put Instant Pot on saute mode, add butter and allow to melt.
  • Add rice and stir to all of the rice is coated
  • Add coconut milk, regular low-fat milk, 1/4 cup shredded coconut, and sugar (or Stevia) and stir.
  • Set to pressure-cook high for 14 minutes, do a quick release.
  • Turn pot off, then hit saute again.
  • Whisk together the evaporated milk and egg in a small bowl.
  • When rice pudding is bubbling, add half of the milk/egg mixture and stir gently to combine.
  • Add remaining 1/4 cup of shredded coconut once mixture is bubbling again, followed by remaining milk/egg mixture.
  • Allow to bubble, stir gently until combined so there is no liquidy egg/milk mixture left
  • Turn pot off and immediately transfer coconut rice pudding to bowls so it...
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What Does it Mean to Be Healthy?

diet tips goals misc Jan 04, 2019

Check out this guest post from Cristina Panagopoulus. If you’re in the Chicago area and want an in-person trainer, be sure to look up Cristina.

What does it mean to be healthy? 

Being healthy is a broad term. There is no "one" way to be healthy BUT there is a way for you to be healthier. I always tell clients that making smaller steps in the right direction can do wonders. For example, if you eat out every day for lunch try bringing your lunch instead. Or perhaps you don't care for vegetables. Start incorporating them week by week. Try something new at the grocery store you don't normally eat. Being healthy, for the most part, is making small steps to living a long life. Make your food instead of buying it pre-made. Eat out once a week. Exercise 4-5 times a week. Eat more vegetables and less processed foods. Taking the steps to change your lifestyle will keep you living a healthy life.

How can people stick to their New Year’s...

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My Top 3 Tips to Get into Competition-Ready Shape

cardio diet tips goals Jan 03, 2019

My Top 3 Tips to Get into Competition-Ready Shape

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to compete in another bodybuilding competition this summer and my ultimate goal is to get my pro card in one of tougher natural federations called the OCB (Organization of Competition Bodies). The OCB only allows competitions who attain their physique without the use of drugs or diuretics. This it what makes this competing with this federation more difficult and more rewarding

I work full-time, manage a family and still find the time/effort to prep for figure competitions. It’s not always easy, but anything worth achieving usually isn’t easy. It’s doable even with a crazy lifestyle.

Tip #1 - Make your goal a top priority and have a deadline.

When I plan to compete, I need to select a federation, date, and location. Normally I try to pick shows that are close to home so there is minimal disruption for my family. That said, I also try to be realistic about how much weight I...

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5 Tips on How to Handle Buffets Without Wrecking Your Diet

diet tips Dec 23, 2018

Have you ever had a work meeting or been on vacation and stuck eating at the proverbial buffet? Maybe you’re at a party, holiday gathering, or other event where eating at a buffet is your only option. Here are five tips to keep your diet on track without making you feel like you’re missing out:

  1. Take an inventory -- Look at your options and visually figure out your plan of attack. Walk along the buffet and see what’s available. You want to stay away from fried foods and heavy creams or sauces as these are very calorie dense foods with little nutritional value. Next you will want to look at the veggie options because they are going to fill you up faster with less calories.
  2. Use a small plate -- Opt to use a dessert plate versus a dinner plate. It will allow you to fill up the plate without feeling like you’re skimping.
  3. Focus on veggies and lean proteins -- You will be able to get the most bang for your buck with vegetables and lean proteins....
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Top 5 Best Snacks for Back-to-Back Meetings

diet tips Dec 07, 2018

Does this sound familiar...stuck in back-to-back meetings from morning until evening? Wondering when you’ll get a chance to eat or even take a bathroom break? I’ve been there and I feel your pain! Be prepared for those crazy marathon meeting days and pack your snacks ahead of time. Here are my top 5 best snacks to keep on hand -- whether it’s your car, your purse or your desk!

  1. Hacked Snacks Protein Bites
  2. Power Crunch Bar
  3. Almonds + Apple
  4. Quest Tortilla Chips
  5. Turkey Lettuce Wrap

You’ll notice that these snacks are low in fat and high in protein. They will help keep you full and are only around 200-250 calories. For #1, #2 and #4, there are a variety of flavors and options.

Keep these on hand whether you’re stuck in the car driving or on a flight delay. When you don’t have options and you’re ravenous, that’s when bad food decisions happen!

What’s your favorite go-to healthy snack to keep on hand?

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How to Reach Your Goals

mindset misc Nov 26, 2018

What does it take to reach your goals? I think there are several important pieces...

1. You need to have a clear vision.

What does your end result look like? Why is this goal important to you? What needs to happen to make it a reality?

2. You need a strategy.

Make sure your goal is SMART -- Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely. Outline each step you need to take to reach your vision. It may take one month, one quarter or one year. It's hard to reach a destination without a map.

3. You need to be consistent.

Aim for progress (not perfection) each and every day. Keep that vision in your mind. Work towards it a little bit every day. 

4. You need accountability.

This one has taken me awhile to realize. Over the last few years (and currently), I've had a figure coach help me prep for competitions. I want to win. Having someone to hold me accountable to this goal has made a world of difference. I've come to realize in order to be successful with any goal I've set out for...

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3 Tips to Survive the Holidays Without Busting Your Scale

diet tips Nov 14, 2018

The holiday season doesn't have to mean you pack on the pounds. Keep your weight in check with these tips:

1. Keep doing your workouts!

The holidays are not the time to stop working out. If anything, you should increase them. In addition to burning more calories, they’re a great stress reliever. If you’re traveling, make sure your hotel has a gym. 

No gym? Bring your own workout...resistance bands, jump rope. Try to get more movement in no matter what. Again, the holidays are not an excuse for your exercise routine to “go on holiday.”

2. Don’t overeat

The holidays do not give you carte blanche to eat everything in sight. Go into parties and events with a game plan. Don’t show up hungry...keep your mouth and hands occupied...chew gum...Try one thing that you really like -- not everything. Keep alcohol to a minimum -- those are empty calories! Do not eat like every day from November through December is a holiday. Cut back during the day if you...

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Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken

recipes Nov 06, 2018

This is my family’s all-time favorite dinner. From my husband to the kids, they request this dish every week. Best of all, it’s ridiculously easy to make, especially with a crockpot.

Ingredients

  • 12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I always throw in a chicken breast or two for myself)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 6 tbsps cider vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp pepper

Instructions

  • Place chicken in crockpot.
  • In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.
  • Pour over chicken.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until chicken is tender.

Serve over rice. I also like to include some broccoli.

 

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3 Post-Vacation Diet Tips to Get You on Track for Summer

diet tips Nov 05, 2018

Had a little too much to eat or drink on Spring Break? Want some post-vacation diet tips to get you on track? I feel ya. I just returned from Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. After five days of eating and drinking without much regard to counting calories and macros, I feel bloated, fluffy and out of shape. Blech. With summer less than two months away, I’m ready to attack my diet and workouts with a vengeance.

You don’t want to crash diet or do two-hour workouts to make up for falling off the wagon. Here are 3 post-vacation diet tips to get you on track:

Post-Vacation Diet Tip #1:
Drink lots of water – In addition to helping you feel full, water will help get rid of bloat and water retention. Drink 8 oz. before every meal and try to consume at least one gallon of water for the day.

Post-Vacation Diet Tip #2:
Return to your usually scheduled workouts – You may be surprised to know that you’re more active on vacation than when...

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