Tuesday, March 31, 2015

21 Day Fix Recipe: Slow-Cooker Creamy Mexican Chicken

I just made this one yesterday for our dinner, and it was DELICIOUS and 100% family-approved! 

I had found a lot of similar recipes online for a dish like this, but they all included cream cheese.  I simply added my own twist, with some extra vegetables, a homemade "taco seasoning", and a little plain Greek yogurt for creaminess. 

Give it a try!  You won't be sorry. 

Easy Slow-Cooked Creamy Mexican Chicken

  • 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts (may be frozen)
  • 15 oz. can black beans, drained
  • 7 oz. canned chopped green chilies
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 bell peppers, chopped
  • 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 red container plain Greek yogurt
  • Fresh cilantro
Add chicken breasts to slow-cooker.  Top with remaining ingredients, except for Greek yogurt and fresh cilantro.

Cook on low for 8 hours, until chicken breasts begin to fall apart easily.

Remove chicken and shred. Add back to crockpot. Add Greek yogurt, cover and continue to cook on low for 30 minutes.  Stir well, top with fresh cilantro.

Serve with tortillas, or over quinoa or rice.  Top with avocado or cheese with your blue container!

(21 Day Fixers:  This makes 6 servings, and each serving counts as 1 red, 1 green, 1/2 a purple, and 1 yellow.  Count additional "yellows" for tortillas and/or rice and quinoa.)

Thanks for reading.  I would love to hear from you in the comments below, if you do try this one! 


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan: 3/30/15 - 4/5/15

Well, here goes Round #2!

(For my Round #1 results -----> click HERE.  I was thrilled with my results!)

I am starting back up with the 21 Day Fix Extreme on Monday March 30th with my new group, so these meals will ALL be made to fit my program.  It will be a little challenging with the Easter holiday in there, but we will all make it work. 

Meal-planning and some preparation will be key!

Weekly Meal Plan: 3/30/15 - 4/5/15

Monday:  Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf (Recipe in the 21 Day Fix Extreme Eating Plan book.)
Tuesday:  Crockpot Mexican Chicken (Recipe in the works, check back on my blog this week!)
Wednesday:  Hearty Beef and Butternut Squash Stew (Recipe in the 21DFX Eating Plan book.)
Thursday:  Leftovers
Friday:  21 Day Fix-Approved Sloppy Joes
Saturday:  Homemade Pizzas (My mom is visiting for the holiday - this is a tradition!)
Sunday:  Easter Sunday

A few extras that I will be prepping to have on-hand this week include:
Gotta' be prepared, in order to be successful!

If YOU would like to participate in one of my monthly 21 Day Fix or 21 Day Fix Extreme online accountability groups, get in touch with me here.

If you give any of these recipes a try, please let me know!  I would love to hear how it went!


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowls

I was inspired by a previous spaghetti squash recipe to create one with a Mexican flair. These Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowls did the trick!  Make it with or without the beans -- depending on whether or not you want the added carbs.

Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowls

21 Day Fix - Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowls
  • 2 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 sweet bell peppers, finely chopped 
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 14 oz. red kidney or black bean beans, drained & rinsed (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 tbsp. diced canned chilies or jalapeños (or to taste)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped + more for garnish
  • 4 blue containers Colby jack or Mexican cheese, shredded & divided
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
    2. Cut squash in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Lay skin side down on a rimmed baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 45 minutes, or until cooked to a touch with a fork.
    3. In the meanwhile, preheat medium skillet on medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Add onion, garlic, bell pepper and sauté for 4 - 5 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add beans, chili powder, chilies/jalapeños, tomato sauce, cilantro and stir.
    4. Remove vegetable mixture to a bowl.  Keep warm.  Cook ground beef or turkey until thoroughly cooked through.  Combine with vegetable mixture.
    5. Remove from heat and add 1/2 of cheese. Stir again.
    6. Remove baked spaghetti squash from the oven and let cool a few minutes.
    7. Carefully remove spaghetti squash strands from the shell, trying to keep the shell intact.
    8. Combine spaghetti squash strands with meat and vegetable mixture.
    9. Fill each "boat" with 1/4 of the vegetable and meat mixture. 
    10. Divide remaining cheese among the 4 "boats", and sprinkle each evenly with cheese.
    11. Bake for additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve hot, garnished with extra cilantro.
    (21 Day Fixers: 1 serving [one "boat"] counts as 2 green, 1 red, and 1 blue. Count 1 yellow if you make these with beans.)

    Enjoy!  Would love your feedback, too.


    Shakeology Sorbet

    I've been asked for this recipe a few times, after sharing the photo in one of my 21 Day Fix Extreme videos!  So, here you go.

    Need a quick and easy dessert while on the 21 Day Fix?  Or, really any time you want to enjoy a dessert without the guilt?  Give this a try! 

    Shakeology Sorbet

    • 1 scoop Strawberry (or Greenberry or Vegan Strawberry Shakeology)
    • 2/3 cup frozen mixed berries 
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk.
    Place berries, Shakeology, and almond milk in blender or food processor; cover.

    Blend until smooth. Place in bowl; cover.

    Freeze for 2 hours, mixing with fork every 30 minutes to break ice crystals. Scoop evenly into two bowls and serve immediately.

    (21 Day Fixers:  This makes one serving and is 1 red, and 1 purple.  I wouldn't even count the almond milk, since it is such a small amount.)

    Let me know if you give this one a try!  Would love to hear about any variations that you come up with!


    Monday, March 23, 2015

    21 Day Fix Extreme FINAL RESULTS - and Review

    I am a 21 Day Fix Extreme GRADUATE!

    No longer a member of the "quitters club".  And, I have to say:  It feels GREAT!  I am thrilled and proud that I stuck with this program for the full 21 days.

    First of all -- a HUGE thank-you to everyone for the support!  My followers, my fitness friends, my accountability group members, and my Coach friends.  Couldn't have done without you ALL.  I am truly grateful and blessed by your friendship. 

    So, about the 21 Day Fix Extreme.  I saw this on a photo recently, and it totally hit home with me: 
    "Systems vs. Goals:  Losing 10 pounds is a goal. Learning to eat right is a system -- and systems ALWAYS trump goals."
    This is so true!  This program is so very well-designed.  If you follow the exercise schedule and follow the nutrition program to a "T" - you WILL see results.  No question about it.  Programs like this are written and designed the way that they are by professionals.  A total solution.  It is a no-brainer. 

    My fabulous online accountability group members are absolute proof of that.  Here is what they had to say this morning!
    • "Down 3.4 pounds and 2 inches."
    • "Down 7.6 pounds, 6 inches gone, pics to come. Not finished, but a heck of a lot closer than I was 3 weeks ago!"
    •  "I am down 5.5 lbs and um- 14 inches....yeah um my middle area was a bit out of shape!"
    • "Down 8.7# and 2.5."

    So, here are my results.  I lost:  6 pounds and 4.5 inches!  In just 21 days.  For me, this is fabulous progress ..... for a few reasons:
    • I lose weight S L O W L Y - I have thyroid issues. I am SO over-the-top happy with my progress!
    • I didn't re-start.  I used my final Insanity Max: 30 stats as my "befores".  There was no big pig-out before starting the program.
    • I wasn't able to complete the last 4 workouts due to a pulled muscle in my upper back, but stuck with my nutrition.
    • I am a former "21 Day Fix failure". I've NEVER been able to stick with the full 21 days before (and I tried 3 times)! I am now a member of the reformed quitters' club.
    • I did NOT deprive myself.  I was generally very full on this nutrition plan.
    • I feel totally fabulous!
    • I am stronger and more lean.
    And, here are the photos for comparison (The sun was a little blinding outside this morning.)!

    And, here is my progress since January 2015 (January 1, 2015 - March 23, 2015).  Hello, "booty lift"!

    Progress, friends.  PROGRESS.

    What's next for me?  Here is what I have planned:  one week of continued recovery of my upper back, with light workouts and continuing to follow the 21 Day Fix eating plan.  This is a LIFESTYLE, not a detox or deprivation diet. 

    I will officially begin the 21 Day Fix Extreme plan again, starting on Monday March 30th, with another fabulous group of amazing friends!  JOIN US! 

    The results from these short groups have been nothing short of AMAZING!  Pounds lost, inches lost, bodies transformed!  The NEXT GROUP begins on MARCH 30TH! 

    In order to learn more, please email me here.  I will be in touch within 24 hours. Thank you!


    Saturday, March 21, 2015

    Weekly Meal Plan: 3/23/15 - 3/29/15

    Well, I'm wrapping up my FINAL week of the 21 Day Fix Extreme!


    While I faced some challenges with a pulled muscle in my upper back, and missed the last 4 workouts because of it ..... I'm proud to say that I finished out the 21 days of the nutrition plan STRONG.  I honestly can't wait to do another round of this program -- in one week! 

    So, this week's meal plan will still follow a 21 Day Fix-style of eating -- as I truly feel that I can eat this way forever --with a few small, planned treats.  Check out my dinners for the coming week below.  All are workable with the Fix eating plan!

    Set your intentions for the week ahead.  People who plan -- Achieve.

    Weekly Meal Plan: 3/23/15 - 3/29/15

    Monday:  Spicy Turkey Taco Burgers
    Tuesday:  Leftovers
    Wednesday:  Skinnytaste's Pasta Fagioli
    Thursday:  Grilled Mediterranean Chicken Salad (seasoning mix from 21 Day Fix guide)
    Friday:  Slow-Cooker Pork Carnitas
    Saturday:  Fend-For-Yourself
    Sunday:  Broiled Fish (what is on sale), Sweet Potatoes, and Roasted Vegetables

    On that note -- once per month, I offer 21 Day Fix online accountability groups. These challenges take place in a secure, 100% private Facebook group.

    The results from these short groups have been nothing short of AMAZING!  Pounds lost, inches lost, bodies transformed!

    In order to learn more about my next online group or how I can help you to reach your fitness goals, please email me here.  I will be in touch within 24 hours. Thank you!

    I would love to hear from you! 


    Monday, March 16, 2015

    Slow-Cooker Pork Carnitas

    This recipe was kid-tested and family-approved.  Just yesterday! 

    I love a recipe that is versatile and easy to throw into the crockpot too.   Mexican-themed meals are also easy to make 21 Day Fix-approved.  Add some vegetables, a tortilla, some fresh salsa and some avocado and you're all set.

    And, if anyone takes my leftovers this week, they're in trouble! 

    21 Day Fix Approved Slow-Cooker Pork Carnitas

    3 lbs. of pork loin
    1-1/2 cup of low-salt organic beef broth (or water)

    Pork Rub:

    • 2 tbsp. chili powder
    • 2 tsp. cumin
    • 2 tsp. onion powder
    • 2 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp. red cayenne pepper
    • 1 tsp. sea salt
    • 1 tsp. dried oregano
    • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    Coat inside of crockpot with nonstick cooking spray.

    Pour broth into the bottom of the crockpot.

    Combine spice ingredients for the rub, and rub all over the pork loin.  Place into the slow-cooker and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours.
    Remove pork loin from slow-cooker and shred.  Return to slow-cooker and stir, to combine with juices.

    Measure out your RED container, and then serve with your favorite toppings, or simply on a salad!



    Saturday, March 14, 2015

    Weekly Meal Plan: 3/16/15 - 3/22/15 AND What's Next?

    Weekly Meal Plan: 3/16/15 - 3/22/15 AND What's Next?

    Well, Week #2 of the 21 Day Fix Extreme has gone without a hitch.  Still digging the workouts, still feeling plenty of soreness, and still thankful to get back to my weights! 

    SO -- what is next?  ANOTHER round of 21 Day Fix Extreme!  Since I've loved the program and have been seeing such GREAT results:  both personally AND from my online accountability group participants!  (If interested, see the details at the end of this post.)

    If you are interested in exactly WHAT I've been eating, in more detail, check out this video that I made.  I talk in more depth about the colored containers and what *I* have been putting in them each day:

    I should win an award from the most awkward YouTube "thumbnails".  Seriously.

    Anyway.  I'm excited!  This week is my FINAL week of the 21 Day Fix Extreme.  My meal plan for the coming week is below, with a few details and links to help you out, too. 


    Monday:  Mini-Meatloaf Mexi-Muffins
    Tuesday:  Leftovers
    Wednesday:  Greek-Spiced Grilled Chicken (Mediterranean seasoning recipe from 21DF book)
    Thursday:  Turkey Meatballs with Marinara and "Zoodles" (Meatball recipe in 21DFX book)
    Friday:  Fend-For-Yourself
    Saturday:  Hot Turkey Sausage with Peppers and Onions
    Sunday:  Fish (or Shrimp) Tacos (modified to fit the plan)

    If you would like to participate in one of my monthly 21 Day Fix or 21 Day Fix Extreme online accountability groups, get in touch with me here.  Don't delay - my next group is filling up FAST!


    Make it a fabulous week, friends!


    Tuesday, March 10, 2015

    Spicy Mexican Shrimp AND my Week 1 Results!

    This recipe was a HUGE hit with the whole family!  We will definitely making this one again.  So easy, and the shrimp have so much taste with this spice combination.  I served this with rice on the side. 

    Want a tip to S T R E T C H your grain serving?  Add cauliflower rice to it!  I did a mixture of cauliflower rice and actual rice.  This dinner (with a side of roasted broccoli) was SO filling. 

    21 Day Fix Spicy Mexican Shrimp

    Spicy Mexican Shrimp
    • 4 red containers of raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
    • 1/2 tsp. cumin
    • 1/2 tsp. paprika
    • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
    • 1 tsp. chili powder
    • 1/4 tsp. red cayenne pepper
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 cup low-sodium, organic chicken broth
    • 1-1/2 tbsp. coconut oil
    Mix spices together.  Coat prepared shrimp with spices and coat thoroughly. 

    Heat coconut oil in a large pan.  When the oil is hot, sauté shrimp until cooked through. 

    Remove cooked shrimp to a plate and cover to keep warm.  Add chicken broth, and use spatula to scrape up cooked bits from the bottom of the pan.  Once broth has reduced just slightly, add shrimp back to pan and heat.

    (21 Day Fixers: This recipe makes 4 servings and each serving of shrimp counts as 1 red and 1 tsp.)

    And, if you've been following my journey with the 21 Day Fix Extreme - here are my Week #1 results in the video below!

    If you would like to participate in one of my monthly 21 Day Fix or 21 Day Fix Extreme online accountability groups, get in touch with me here.

    If you give this recipe a try, please let me know.  I would love to hear how it went!


    Saturday, March 7, 2015

    Weekly Meal Plan -- 3/9/15-3/15/15

    Well, I've wrapped up the first week of 21 Day Fix Extreme!  I have to say -- I love, love, love these workouts!  I have really missed lifting weights, especially with doing Insanity Max: 30.  My body responds so well to weight-lifting and its been great to get back to it.

    I won't really be weighing or measuring myself (I don't think, anyway) until the end of the 21 days - so stay tuned for my results.

    A funny fact for you:  Did you know that I never before made it past Day #5 with the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan?  I was a 21 Day Fix failure! 

    I don't know why - I just had a lot of trouble sticking to the food plan.  And, it wasn't the plan itself -- it was ME.  I just wasn't "ready" .... ready to commit to it 100%.  This time, I am READY.  My accountability group is also helping to keep me strong, along with the help and support of my two wonderful Coach friends who are doing it alongside me.  We message each other frequently during the day!  That accountability and support make all of the difference.  "Build a fortress of accountability."

    You can follow my daily 21 Day Fix Extreme video updates on my Facebook page.

    Weekly Meal Plan -- 3/9/15-3/15/15

    My first week went really well, so I'm excited to be planning out my meals for the second week of this program, using some recipes from my blog.  If you have any questions, please let me know! 

    21 Day Fix Extreme Meal Plan
    Here are some of the recipes that I will be using this week (for dinners at least), from my blog.  Enjoy!

    Monday:  Baked Greek Yogurt Chicken
    Tuesday:  Leftovers
    Wednesday:  Slow-Cooker Pork Chops and Vegetables
    Thursday:  Classic Crockpot Chili
    Friday:  Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats
    Saturday:  Fend-For-Yourself
    Sunday:  Quinoa Turkey Taco Bake

    ALL of these meals are 21-Day Fix compliant.  If you would like to participate in one of my monthly 21 Day Fix or 21 Day Fix Extreme online accountability groups, get in touch with me here.  New group starts SOON!

    If you have any questions about my meal plan or about any of my recipes, please comment below.  I want to hear what you think, if you try any of the recipes.  I want to hear what you're eating this week, too!


    Thursday, March 5, 2015

    Need Something Sweet? Chunky Monkey Parfait

    I NEEDED something sweet today.

    Ever have one of those days?  Maybe it was that the kids had a "snow day" today, so my normal routine was a little off?  Who knows?  It doesn't really matter why.

    But, you can enjoy a treat on the 21 Day Fix Extreme plan! 

    And, so I did. 

    Note: You must serve this in a wine glass.  Just because. 

    Chunky Monkey Parfait

    1 red container Greek yogurt
    2 tsp. nut butter
    1/2 banana
    1 tsp. coconut oil
    Dash of cinnamon
    1 tsp. organic honey
    1-1/2 tbsp. natural unsweetened coconut

    Heat coconut oil in small pan.  Slice banana and sauté in oil and cinnamon for 3-4 minutes.

    Meanwhile, mix Greek yogurt and nut butter thoroughly.  Put into lovely wine glass.  Top with sliced bananas, sprinkle with coconut, and drizzle with honey.

    Heaven in your mouth -- enjoy!

    (Counts as: 1 red, 4 tsp., 1 purple, and 1/2 a blue.)

    Would love to hear from you if you try this! 


    Wednesday, March 4, 2015

    The Scale is a Liar.

    The Scale is a Liar.  A. Big. Fat. Liar.
    I finished sixty days of Insanity Max 30 about five days ago.  Woo hoo!
    And, I subsequently shared my 60-day photos with my online accountability groups.  The positive support and comments I received were overwhelming.  I owe my fitness friends and supporters much gratitude.  Love you all!
    See the joy and excitement in my face above upon completing the sixty days?  I do!
    Sixty days of Insanity Max: 30 -----> behind me. Man, oh, man!   Sweat, tears, and cursing (maybe just a little).
    • Increased strength.
    • Increased confidence.
    • Increased stamina.
    Priceless.  It may not have been always pretty (hardly ever!), but I am proud to say I finished!  
    To be honest?  I wasn't going to share my "before" and "after" photos publicly here in my blog, or on my Facebook page.  It felt humiliating.  And, scary.  And, somehow "icky".
    I read what I wrote above.  And, I see that thrilled look on my face when I finished.  I am PROUD to have completed this program.  It was the hardest program I've done in at least 2 years.  And, I finished it.  I didn't miss one, single workout.  Even with our crazy, hockey-filled lives.  My nutrition was spot-on for about 90% of the program. 
    Do you want to know what held me back from sharing my photos?  (Well, besides the unattractive "before" photo?) 
    I lost one pound.  In 60 days.  One.  Pound.  Yes - you read that right.
    But, you can't always trust the scale. Sometimes, you need to do yourself a favor and not listen to its insidious lies.
    The scale can be a serious and negative addiction.
    Your scale tells you one thing and one thing only -- how much you weigh (at this exact moment, on this planet).
    The scale doesn’t tell you how much fat you have.  The scale can’t tell you if you’ve gained muscle. A pound of muscle is like a brick:  small and compact. A pound of fat is like a fluffy feather pillow:  bulky and lumpy. When you gain muscle and lose fat, your body gets smaller and tighter. Building muscle also makes it possible to drop clothing sizes without a big change in weight. Perhaps after a 60-day program, the scale says you lost 1 pound, which may not sound like much. Right?
    BUT, what if you actually lost 8 pounds of fat and gained 7 pounds of muscle?  Hello?  That's GOLDEN.  That’s a remarkable improvement in your body composition, but you wouldn’t know it if you only used your regular bathroom scale to track your progress.


    The scale also shouldn't dictate how you feel about yourself.  On any given day.  It shouldn't determine whether you  have a negative day or a positive day.  If you are stepping on the scale daily -- STOP.  Especially if it really isn't working for you.  Just think about it.

    SO, in the spirit of being transparent as a Team Beachbody Coach, and admitting that 2014 was the roughest year ever for me, fitness-wise (just due to life circumstances) ....... here I am.  In all of my sports-bra and tight-shorts glory.   Day #1 photos, Day #30 photos, and Day #60 photos. 

    I don't see one pound lost here.  Do you want to know what I see?
    • EIGHT INCHES lost.
    • A tighter and leaner abdomen.
    • Smaller arms.
    • A booty lift.
    • Leaner thighs and hips.
    • A happier, healthier, more fit gal!
    • And, someone who can hang with Shaun T. for 60 days!  Phew.

    If you are interested in Insanity Max 30, or need any sort of fitness or weight-loss help and accountability, OR need help with your addiction to the scale -- please reach out to me here.  I would love to help you walk your journey to a better life.


    Tuesday, March 3, 2015

    Baked Greek Yogurt Chicken

    I have been seeing similar recipes to this, everywhere on Pinterest. 

    So I thought it was time to give it a try -- and "health it up" a bit.  Oh my -- amazingly delicious chicken! 

    It was super-easy to prepare, and it came out perfectly!  Tons of delicious flavor in this chicken and the Parmesan cheese makes it amazing!  Loved it.

    21 Day Fix - Baked Greek Yogurt Chicken


    • 4 small chicken breasts (skinless and boneless)
    • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
    • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
    • 1 tsp. dried parsley
    • 1 tsp. onion powder
    • 1 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
    • Salt and pepper, to taste

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    In a bowl, combine all ingredients except for the chicken breasts. 

    Place the chicken in a baking dish, coated with nonstick cooking spray.  Using a kitchen brush (a spoon will work too), brush the Greek yogurt mixture over the chicken.

    Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through (depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts).


    (21 Day Fixers, each of 4 servings counts as: 1-1/4 red, and 1/2 a blue.)

    If you give this recipe a try, please let me know!  I would love to hear how it went!