Recipes

Pumpkin Spice EVERYTHING

The leaves are changing, the mornings are crisp, and the infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte has returned to all the Starbucks around the world. If the loads of sugar doesn’t scare you check out some other scary ingredients.

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I am a recovering PSL lover.  When I gave up the sugar laden chemical $h*T storm drinks I also gave up the PSL.  But I have a wonderful healthy replacement!!!

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Pumpkin Spice Latte

1 Scoop Vanilla Shakeology

1 Shot Espresso
1 Cup unsweetened Almond Milk
1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree
1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

For best taste blend with one cup ice. Enjoy!

Get your sample of Vanilla Shakeology

pumpkin-smoothie

Health

7 Signs You Need a Detox

Today I started cleanse/detox to get me back on track and clear out some bloat using a 3 Day Refresh.  A detox isn’t necessary all the time but here are some signs you may need one.  I have been suffering from some nasty patchy skin and severe belly bloat.  For me the 3 Day Refresh will help me get back on track and clean out my system.

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Are you suffering from any of these signs?

1. Low Energy/Fatigued

With the inundation of energy drinks and the steady popularity of caffeinated beverages you’d think we were all suffering from low energy.

But making up for the lack of energy with stimulants like caffeine and taurine does more damage in the long run. After the pick-me-up there is often an energy crash that leaves you feeling worse than when you started.   Additionally these energy drinks and stimulants take a serious toll on your liver, further exacerbating the problem and sending you into a low-energy spiral.

How a Detox Helps: A detox can help you flush out the things that are preventing you from feeling energetic and having a pep in your step.

2. Constipated

Chronic constipation is a sign that something isn’t right in your digestive system. If you’ve tried increasing your fiber intake and adjusting your diet with limited results, it could be your body telling you that it needs a cleansing. Frequent Indigestion is also a common sign.

If you’ve accumulated years of waste in your bowels and colon, including impacted fecal matter and more, constipation could be just one symptom of a larger, more pressing problem.

How a Detox Helps: A colon cleanse is the order of the day if you’ve been battling with bouts of constipation. An effective colon cleanse will not only clear your colon of any stored up fecal matter, but will cleanse your digestive tract as well, improving your digestive health along the way.

3. Brain Fog/Unable to Focus

There are several energy drinks on the market claiming to improve focus.  If you consistently find that in your natural state you lack the ability to focus and find yourself adrift in a mental fog, your body could be screaming at your to detoxify it, and this is its cry for help.

Once you free yourself of toxins in the form of candida, heavy metals, and more, you’d be surprised how much better you’re able to focus, stay on task, and get things done.

How a Detox Helps: A detox helps get rid of the toxins that are preventing your brain from firing on all cylinders.

4. Overweight/Trouble Losing Weight

If you’re not at your ideal weight even after several earnest attempts at weight loss, it could be that you were fighting an uphill battle thanks to all of the toxins in your body. Or if you are trying to drop those last few pounds but just cannot break through the plateau.

When you detox the body you are bringing things back to square one rather than starting at a disadvantage. It not only helps the body shed body waste and lose weight as a byproduct of doing the detox, it sets the stage for healthy weight loss with the adoption of a better diet and a more active lifestyle.

How a Detox Helps: A detox cleans the slate if you will, and allows you to start fresh rather than swimming upstream by trying to be healthy while still having plenty of stored up toxins.

5. Trouble Sleeping

An excessive amount of toxins can keep you up at night, tossing and turning as your natural cycle is disrupted. Melatonin signals the body for sleep, but an excessively toxic body can reduce the amount of melatonin that is released, and cause a domino effect when it comes to getting natural, restful sleep.

Try a detox before resorting to sleep aids, which will only prolong the problem.

How a Detox Helps: A detox helps you by restoring your body to a more natural state. You can then be more apt to follow the patterns of the circadian rhythm, getting tired at appropriate times at night thanks to melatonin released by the body, and waking up with the birds feeling refreshed and recharged.

full body detox juice

6. Unexplained Soreness/Stiffness

Do you wake up in the morning feeling sore and stiff even though you didn’t do anything the previous day to justify feeling that way?

When you have toxins in the body that need to come out you are more likely to suffer from inflammation, because many of the foods and beverages that cause toxicity also lead to inflammation.

If you’ve never done a detox to flush these toxins from the body, they build up over the years and can lead to premature and undue soreness and stiffness in the body.

How a Detox Helps: A detox can help reduce excessive inflammation, which in turn helps to soothe the aches and pains brought on by too much inflammation in the body.

7. Skin Problems/Allergic Reactions

You may have noticed that your skin has been having issues, and nothing that you’ve tried has been able to fix it.

A topical treatment isn’t going to help if the cause of your skin problem is excessive toxicity in the body. It’s time to get to the root cause and follow a proven detox program that lists skin conditions as one of the symptoms it can relieve.

How a Detox Helps: A detox works at the source of the problem, ridding the body of toxins that can lead to rashes, outbreaks, and allergic reactions on the skin, as well as sneezing, coughing, and asthmatic conditions.

Learn more about cleansing your system with the 3 Day Refresh.

Here’s how to get your hands on the 3 Day Refresh for yourself. There’s 2 options…

1. The 3 Day Refresh Kit | The option comes with the all that you need for your 3 days + 3 servings of vegan Shakeology (1 for each day)

2. 3 Day Refresh CHALLENGE PACK | This option gives you an entire month of Shakeology so that you can keep up the healthy habits after your refresh is done. And it’s priced at a big discount! Booyah! You get the entire 3 Day Refresh Kit plus a month supply of Shakeology so that after you finish your 3 day refresh you can sustain the healthy habits and hopefully continue your amazing results!

Recipes

Beans, Beans, the magical fruit….the more you eat, the more you cannot believe this is a brownie!!

When I first heard of Black Bean Brownies I was convinced that it was some kind of code language for pot brownies that I wasn’t hip to in my mid-30 lingo.  Then they started to pop up in my Pinterest feed on nearly a daily basis, clearly my entire social network was not a bunch of pot heads, and if they were they were finding some amazing ways to disguise their vices.  Upon further investigation I found these little black beans to be the key to AMAZING super moist brownies!!

As I have been focusing on removing the junk (artificial flavor, preservatives and added sugar) from my diet one thing that continued to go missing was my delicious ooey-gooey brownie.  I love the idea of substituting the black bean for the flour and upping the ante on the fiber intake!  Serious double win in my opinion!!  So here you go….after several attemps and modifications this is my new fave recipe for Black Bean Brownies.

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1 15 oz can low sodium black beans

3 tablespoons coconut oil

4 stevia packets or 3 tablespoons raw honey

4 1/2 tablespoons Extra Dark Special Cocoa powder

2 large eggs

dash cinnamon

dash sea salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1tsp baking powder

optional extras: unsweetened coconut flakes, walnuts, mini choco chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Drain and rinse black beans.  Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor with exception of extras.  Process until well combined.  Fold in extras.  I added walnuts to the ones in the picture after spooned into cupcake liners.  Line cupcake tin with liners and fill each 1/2 full.  Bake approx 20 minutes or until toothpick comes clean.

Let cool.  Top with greek yogurt and berries for a yummy and nutritious alternative to the box brownies.

Health

Stop Eating Less and Drop Fat!

Drop Fat and Inches by Eating More!

Does your head spin when you try to figure out what to eat and how much?  Have you ever gone a little insane counting calories and grams of fat and carbs and weighing out every morsel of food that passed your lips?  Chances are that if you are struggling with weight loss like I did for nearly my entire adult life you really need to simplify your approach and just focus on the quality of your foods.  The best foods in combination with the best portions will help you get results you have been chasing with super low calorie diets that haven’t worked.  Depriving ourselves is not sustainable and it isn’t healthy. 

You can’t lose weight without watching portion size and removing the junk from your food. The surprising thing about this though is that you may need to eat more throughout the day, but of the right foods. Rather than skipping meals and then binging at the next meal, it’s really a matter of spacing out your eating to keep your body and metabolism fueled all day long. So while it’s true that there can be too much of a good thing, it’s all about refocusing on eating more of the right foods but ensuring proper amounts all day long.

Here’s how to eat more of the right foods and how to balance out your portions. These are tips that I use to help others gain control of their health and live happier healthier lives.  It isn’t some magic pill but simple principles and focusing on quality.

  1. Replace Your Bad Habits: Have you ever heard it takes 21 days to learn a new habit.  This is very true.  Don’t expect to suddenly wake up tomorrow and know exactly what to eat, when to eat, and how much if today you are used to meals from a box or the freezer. Know that you will not make healthy changes overnight, so do not beat yourself up if it takes you some time.  But that being said, you also cannot get lazy about it.  You must actively participate in the process of learning healthy habits for them to become second nature.  The average time to create a good habit is about 3 weeks or 21 days. So give yourself this time, allow yourself to transition and embrace the change, and commit to it as your body gets used to powerful and nutritious foods.images
  2. Learn portions: Yes portion and quantity does matter and so you need to learn what a serving of chicken or whole wheat bread.  This is not something to leave to your “eyeball estimation” when you are new to portion control.  Find a system and learn the system.  Then once you know it go back every once in a while and check your portions. IMG_7642-e1412249212215  
  3. Quality is Queen: If it is labelled “Low Fat” “Diet” “Snack Pack” “Natural” or “Low Calorie” it likely means devoid of nutritional value.   Processed foods, fast foods, fried foods, and even “diet foods” will only harm your body not help it. Artificial preservatives, flavors, colors, added sugars and chemicals found if processed foods only slow your body down.  They are not proper fuel and your body many times doesn’t know what to do with it and it is stored in fat cells.  YUCK!  When you focus on whole foods that come from the ground (veggies, fruits, nuts, grains) or eat something that grows in the ground (grass fed patured meats and fish) your body will respond amazingly!  You are now giving it the fuel it knows how to manage and it will boost your metabolism.  Once you get rid of the wrong foods and really welcome in the right ones, you can enjoy healthy eating in a whole new exciting way.2014-07-22 17.14.03-2
  4. Mini-Size my meals: By tossing out the window 3 meals a day and fueling your body with 5-6 mini meals you will keep your metabolism buzzing right along all day.  If you aim for 3 hour in between eating your body will turn into a calorie busting machine.  You will have more energy, you close will start to fit differently and you have more clarity of mind.  The first thing that is impacted by blood sugar drop is our thought process.  I don’t know about you but I like to think clearly all day long, not just 3 times a day.  
  5. Hydration is Happiness:  I remember learning that the human body is made up of 75% water in 3rd grade.  I remember thinking WOW!  How am I not slushing around non stop, but that is how my brain worked as a kid.  So if we are three quarters water it is very important that we are replenishing our system throughout the day for proper function.  The best rule of thumb is to take your body weight, divide by 2 and this is how many ounces you should drink throughout the day.  It is also best to “wake up” your metabolism first thing in the morning with a glass.  So for a 150lb woman that would equate to 75 ounces.  If you do intense exercise add 8 ounces for every hour you exercise to compensate for sweat. facts_chart

Changing the way that you eat and keeping yourself fueled like this will not only help you to lose weight, but also to feel more satisfied all day long—and that’s what it means to manage your portions, eat better foods, and to get healthier through all of this in the meantime!

If this makes a lot of sense to you and you want to give portion control eating a try, I have just the group for you! We start in just a few weeks, so let me know if you are interested by filling out the application for my Portion Control Challenge HERE

My Journey

Countdown to Cancun

I am headed to the Moon Palace Resort in Cancun for an all inclusive vacation from Team Beachbody that I earned through my work last year helping others get fit.  I am over the top excited but just last week it really sunk in. HOLY CRAP!!  You will have to wear a swimsuit, A LOT!!  With just 28 days to touchdown in Cancun I embarked on the Countdown to Competition plan from 21 Day Fix Extreme.

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I was honestly hoping to shed some bloat and trim up a little to squeeze into a one piece.  But after just 7 days, no kidding 7 days!!!  I am thinking a bikini just might be in the cards for me.

The plan isn’t easy, it requires some major discipline and planning.  But if there is anything that I excel at it is planning and execution, especially when it comes to food.  I am a foodie at heart and I love being creative and planning out my meals. So this fit perfectly with my lifestyle, plus the hubby is currently deployed so I wouldn’t be needing to prepare a separate meal to support his 6’4″ body as well.

So what am I eating?  Here is a quick rundown of my day….yes I am eating every 2hrs (I have to set a timer on my phone to remind me to eat)

Breakfast:  8 egg whites with Pepper, onions, and mushrooms & salt free seasoning

Snack: Isopure Protein

Lunch: Spinach salad with assorted veggies and grilled chicken topped with vinegar and coconut oil, Baked Sweet potato

Snack: Shakeology with Almond Butter blended with ice and water

Dinner:  Baked Fish (Cod, Salmon, or Tilapia) and steamed veggies & salt free seasoning

Snack: 2 hard boiled eggs

At least 1 gallon of water throughout the day

Not glamorous or fancy but it is really doing the job. I am alternating my days with two basic meal structures so I don’t get too bored with my food.  But what is great is I have prepared all my food for the week on Sunday and have it ready to go so I don’t have any excuses to reach for something not on the plan.  I have all my veggies, and protein portioned out into little baggies so I can just grab and go.

Why am I not talking about my crazy intense workouts or how many calories I am burning?  Now you may have heard that abs are made in the kitchen and this is so true!!  You cannot neglect your attention to your nutrition and expect results.  Nutrition accounts for 80% of your transformation and your fitness or workouts are only 20%   But if you are wondering I am doing 30 minute workouts from 21 Day Fix Extreme and walking in the afternoons with my daughters.  The latter is really more of a relaxation for me, I get to listen to my audio books and just push a stroller.

So check out my first 7 day results!

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I am over the top excited to see what I can accomplish in the next couple weeks as we prep for our vacation to Cancun!!  I may just be able to rock a bikini without feeling bloated and too Fat Girl but more Fit Momma!

Want more info on 21 Day Fix Extreme? Check out this quick video

Recipes

21 Day Fix Snickerdoodle Smoothie

Hands down one of my favorite cookies of all times is the Snickerdoodle, especially fresh out of the oven when they are still soft.  Sadly the sugar, butter, and flour don’t quite fit into the healthy lifestyle and 21 Day Fix Meal plan.  So I created a 21 Day Fix Extreme meal plan approved version to satisfy my sweet tooth and keep me on track.  The best part it is made with Shakeology so I know that I am getting the best possible nutrition in one glass and I don’t have to stress about it throwing my blood sugar all out of whack.

Snickerdoodle Smoothi

This is the perfect post workout smoothie to help with muscle recovery and it tastes amazing!!

Nutritional Info:  Calories 199, Fat 7.4g, Carbs 18.2, Protein 18.3

Recipes

Crazy Easy Almond Butter

As a family we made the switch to Almond Butter a while ago but I had treated the delicious and nutritious treat like it is pure gold.  Honestly, I would sneak it when the kids were not watching because I didn’t want to have to share the teeny tiny amount that we had that cost us a week’s salary to purchase.  Ok so I know I am being dramatic but I really did secretly eat the stuff because I didn’t want to share.

My favorite almond butter was always the fresh ground we would get at Whole Paycheck, ahum I mean Whole Foods.  You could seriously taste the freshness and for that reason we paid $7/lb for the buttery gold.  I don’t know if I got sick of giving up other foods so I could afford to feed my almond butter habit or if I finally decided to not be so stubborn and share my almond butter with the kids.  Either way I knew if that little machine at Whole Foods was all that was in between me and almond butter I surely could manage to find a way to make it at home.  Enter my awesome KitchenAid Food Processor!

Now if you put Almond Butter on the delicious pedestal like I do you are going to have a Homer Simpson “Doh” moment when I show you how simple it is to make at home.

First gather either raw or roasted almonds, I prefer to buy raw then roast them a few hours prior to making my almond butter. Just pop 2 cups raw almonds into an oven at 300 for 10 minutes.  Let them cool down before you start making magic happen

2 Cups Fresh Roasted Almonds
2 Cups Fresh Roasted Almonds

Next you need a heavy-duty food processor or blender.  I prefer my food processor because it is easy to use, has a powerful motor that has yet to overheat, and get’s the job done in less than 10 minutes.

The magical KitchenAid food processor
The magical KitchenAid food processor

Add you almonds with your sharpest blade and turn on.  It will be loud at first, but that only lasts a few moments as the almonds start to break down.

Ear Plugs might be required
Ear Plugs might be required

Watch the magic
Watch the magic

As the almonds start to break down they will start to stick to the sides.  Just scrape it down every minute or so and keep pressing on…

Scrape down the sides
Scrape down the sides

Keep Going....
Keep Going….

The oils in the almonds will start to be released as the friction heats up the almonds and they are broken down.  It will start to ball up into a dough, don’t stop yet!  Break it down and keep going….

Keep Going....
Keep Going….

At about 8 minutes of processing you get a smooth and creamy Almond Butter to rival that from Whole Foods magic machine2015-03-05 12.11.35

Place in a small container and store in your fridge or pantry for a week or two, if it lasts that long.

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You can now enjoy delicious and nutrition buttery Almond gold at home.  Add it to greek yogurt, your smoothies, top apple slices, or eat it straight of the spoon if you want.   I have found the best place to get almonds is Costco, online, or Winco.  Enjoy!!

Recipes

21 Day Fix Crepes

I am on day 4 of my 21 Day Fix Extreme and I already am missing my giant veggie loaded salads.  I decided I would swap my veggies in my morning egg for my lunch.  So I was stuck, what can I do for breakfast now?!  I still wanted my eggs for my filling boost of protein after my morning workouts.  The first thing that came to mind was CREPES!!    One problem typical crepes have lots of butter, milk, flour and eggs.  I decided I was going to attempt this 21 Day Fix approved concoction anyways.  The outcome…..AMAZING!!!

21 Day Fix Crepe
21 Day Fix Crepe

Ingredients 

  • 1 tsp vanilla Shakeology
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 Red Container Egg Whites
  • 1 stevia packet
  • 1/2 banana (1 Purple)
  • 1 tsp natural unsalted peanut butter
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • dash of cinnamon

Directions: 

Heat a small non stick skillet over medium high heat.  Add 1/2 tsp to pan.

Blend eggs, shakeology, stevia and vanilla until frothy and has lots of bubbles

Pour 1/2 of the egg mix into pan.  Decrease heat to medium.  When the crepe starts to pull away from the edges (about 2 minutes) carefully flip with large spatula.  Cook another 30 sec to 1 minute until browned.

Make your second crepe.

Top with peanut butter, sliced banana and a dash of cinnamon.  ENJOY!!

Your Fix container count :1 Purple, 1 Red, 2 tsp

Want more info on 21 Day Fix and to join my next online accountability group find me on Facebook or Get more info HERE.

Fitness

Ready to go EXTREME with your Fitness?

What can you accomplish in just 21 Days?  Could you dedicate and commit to an easy to follow nutrition plan?  Could you commit to intense 30 minute workouts?  Could you commit to changing your body? Can you commit to changing your life?71e379fc-8061-4962-9dc4-2dd6c3769f05

If you have a short amount of time and need to see some serious results 21 Day Fix Extreme is the program for you.  This is not a starter program, not for the faint of heart or those new to fitness.  This is for people who are already on their fitness and health journey and are ready to take it to the next level to get seriously shredded!  This breakthrough 21day fitness and nutrition program combines simple portion control, clean eating, and extreme 30-minute workouts to deliver a body that is hard, lean, and defined.1e1025ed-16eb-4f39-9370-3f912e6dd0c1

For your nutrition, you’ll not only be practicing portion control—you’ll be eating ONLY clean foods. No treats. No cheats. No excuses. Plus, you’ll get Autumn’s all-new 21 Day Fix EXTREME recipes to help you achieve your very best results.  Plus you will also get  the Countdown to Competition: Autumn’s own competition nutrition plan for getting stage-ready and ripped in 21 days.

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Aside from amazing results driving workouts and easy to follow nutrition plan you will also get a chance to participate in a private accountability group.  This is where the magic happens.  As your coach I will give you daily motivation and accountability to keep you on track and sticking with the program so you can get the best results possible.

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To join my next accountability group and get more informationfor 21 Day Fix Extreme apply HERE today!

Fitness

Insanity vs Insanity Max :30

When I first decided I would give Insanity Max :30 a try I felt my palms get a little sweaty. To understand why we need to go back 6 months to my adventure with the original Insanity program.

In June 2014 I decided I was ready to take on Shaun T’s Insanity program. I had completed P90X3, Body Beast, Turbo Fire and Focus T25. I was physically in the best condition of my life. I had lost 112lbs and went from a size 18/20 to size 4. I started with a bang in week 1, I lost 3lbs! BOOM this was going to be awesome! Or so I thought…. The workouts were definitely intense, long and pushed my body to Insanity. I have long battled poor knees due to years of obesity and prior injuries, but I was modifying jumps as needed to lessen the impact. In my effort to save my knees I let my form get sloppy and into he midst of week 4 (halfway finished) I blew out my back and pulled a hamstring. BOO!
Thus ending my attempt at Insanity. So now you understand my sweaty palms and fear when Insanity Max :30 was announced.

I honestly thought “No way, not for me” and I totally wrote it off as beyond my abilities. Then as more started coming in about the program I started to get more and more curious. Things like “On screen low impact modifier,” “go to YOUR max”, “no matter where you start you can improve”, “only 30 minutes.”

Then the test group results started rolling in and I was sold! My fellow coaches were getting mind blowing results in just the first 30 days by following the modifier and they were starting at a variety of fitness levels. Some even admitted to only following the nutrition plan 80% of the time! What!?! I can totally do this!

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Last week our workout arrived and to say the least “I am in LOVE!” After doing 3 of the month 1 workouts I am so pumped I didn’t let my hesitation and initial fear stop me. The moves are fun and challenging and the 30 minutes blow by so quickly. I am a huge fan of the on screen modifier too. When you start your workout you can select to view the low impact (not low intensity) modifier at all times. If you have ever done a workout with modifier you know that until you have etched a few times you can get lost if the camera isn’t on them.

Is it easy? Heck NO! But don’t let the fear of getting sweaty and Maxing out at 4:00min, 6:00min, or 15:00min stop you! You will max out or reach the point where your form is going to be compromised. You take a break, shake it off, write down your time, and get back into the workout. That Max Out time will improve! You will see results in your first week and you will be hooked like me. Admit it results are addicting!

If you want to start with me after the New Year in my 60 day test group I promise you will find a new healthier version of yourself. If you don’t you can use the no hassle money back guarantee.

Learn More!

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