Pages in Excellence

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

12 Steps to Fitness

The countdown has begun! We are only a few short days away from 2011. How will you be starting your New Year? Have you made your list of resolutions? I can tell you for sure getting fit and healthy are leading my list. Now that I have the holidays and temptation behind me, I'm ready to start off my New Year with a "can do" attitude!

This weekend I posted a video blog introducing "12 Steps to Fitness." Basically what I am going to do is a weekly series introducing a new challenge each Sunday for us to follow during the coming week. This will be a 12 week series and a step by step approach to help us get Fit and Healthy in 2011. For those of you already on track with your nutrition and fitness regimen, it will be more of a refresher course. But for those who are just starting out and ready to give up your bad habits and trade them in for healthier ones, this will be more of a habit building process to help you make better choices in the upcoming year. Sometimes it is those little changes that lead to huge success.

I know it can be overwhelming once you decide to lose weight or try to change unhealthy habits for good ones. So instead of having to concentrate on all the right things at one time, we are going to master each step one at a time! So you might think of it as climbing a mountain, one rock at a time. Now that doesn't mean you can start off your new fitness regimen with a half-hearted attitude. I still expect you to follow your nutrition and fitness guides that come with your programs. It just means we are going to pay particular attention to key steps each week that will keep your program rocking passed the 90 days! I want to help you be successful by sharing with you some basic steps to keep you on track and focused.

If you haven't already chosen a fitness program, Team Beachbody has a huge assortment of some really good programs for all levels of fitness. If your not quite sure what type of program you might want to try, be sure to check out our comparison chart. This will give you a great overall look at each program and help you align your program with the fitness goals you have in mind. I would be more than happy to answer any questions you might have about the various programs. Simply go to my website and click on the "Contact Me" button and together we'll find a program that's right for you. Even if you aren't sure what you would like to do just yet, I still want you to follow along. The tips and steps I will be sharing with you, will help you breakdown the barriers that are keeping you from reaching your fitness goals. Besides, we are all more likely to achieve our goals when we have someone keeping us accountable. So let's do this together and become each others success partner! I can even coach you for FREE!

As a special bonus, this Friday, December 31, 2010, I am going to post a special video blog on Goal Planning. To help get the most out of the video, I would like you to do a simple brainstorming exercise beforehand. Sometime this week take out a pen, blank sheet of paper and a timer. Find an area in your home or office where you will be completely uninterrupted. Set your timer for 20 minutes. During that 20 minutes I want for you to write down as many things as you can think of that you would like to accomplish during 2011. Go ahead and dream big! Let your heart lead the pen on the paper. Think along the lines of your career, health, fitness, nutrition, relationships, finances, recreation, education, etc. Whatever your heart desires. At the end of the 20 minutes, put your list away. We are going to use this list for a goal planning exercise.  So be sure to bring your list and check out my YouTube channel for details.

Instead of writing down a bunch of resolutions, let's take it one step further and turn them in to goals with an action plan! I want to make 2011 my best year ever! Hope you will join me.

Get Ready to BRING IT!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Merry Christmas everyone! What Christmas would not be complete without the smell of fresh bake goods in the air? We got up this morning and Santa's beautifully gift wrapped treasures were quickly turned to mounds of pretty paper shreddings in an instant. Now while my little guy is playing with his new toys, I'm in the kitchen baking up a batch of chocolaty heaven. Um, I can just smell those tasty treats ready to be had! So I am going to share with you this fabulous recipe!

Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cookies

3/4 cup Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread
1 1/4 cup packed Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Sucanat
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
3 tsp EnerG Egg Replacer
3 tbsp Water
2 1/4 cup Brown Rice Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
12 oz pkg Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 375 ° F. Line 11 X 15 cooking sheet with waxed paper.

In medium bowl cream buttery spread and sugars. Gradually add in vanilla, egg replacer and water. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Blend in with butter mixture and then stir in chocolate chips.

Drop well-rounded walnut size dough balls onto cookie sheet, approximately 2 inches apart. Bake in oven for 6-8 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes before removing with spatula to baking rack. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Place in airtight container and store for later "yummy" attack! Enjoy. Recipe yields approximately 3 dozen cookies!

Special Note: I used brown rice flour because I like that little "snap" on my cookies where the bottom is slightly crispy and the tops are soft and gooey. You can substitute with any variety of gluten-free baking flour for a more traditional type chocolate chip cookie. Gluten Free Essentials has a large assortment of gluten-free products you might want to check out. They even have the Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix for those of you that don't like the fuss. I like to play in the kitchen and create...but this is definitely a time saver option!

Merry Christmas to all!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Chickpea Kale Delight

Last night I found this awesome recipe for the Chickpea lover! This recipe has it all going on for it! And it was easy to prepare and very satisfying. So I thought good things definitely need to be shared.

I served this with Brown Basmati Rice that I picked up from our local Vita Villa Health Foods store. I love this rice. It has a grainy texture and you can see the "green" in it. Brown Basmati rice is a whole grain rice that is produced mostly in Pakistan and the India. It's considered the most flavorful and healthiest of long grain brown rice. It's nutrient dense as the bran and germ are left in it! I buy the organic and always find it to be a delicious complement to my meals.

Nutritional: 1/2 cup serving size
Calories: 102 Carbs: 21.4g Fat: 0.5g Fiber: 1.6g Protein: 3g

To make the rice I used 1 cup of Basmati rice, 2 1/4 cups water and 1 vegetable bouillon cube. I combined all in medium sauce pan and brought to a rapid boil. Reduced heat to simmer for 40 minutes with tight lid - no peeking! Then remove from burner and let set for 5 minutes uncovered before fluffing with a fork...perfect rice every time!

While skimming recipes last night I came across this recipe for a Chickpea Kale Stir-Fry.  I made a few tweaks to make certain all the ingredients were ones that most of us would have on hand. I also cooked with a little water to tender up the chickpeas.  It was truly a delicious dish and the Brown Basmati Rice was the perfect side dish to complete the meal! Hope you guys enjoy this:

Chickpea Kale Delight
3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tsp Chopped Garlic
1/2 cup White Onion
1 15.5 oz. can Chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 cup water
1 bunch Kale (cleaned and chopped in 1 inch pieces)
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 tbsp Lemon Juice

In large deep skillet saute garlic and onion until tender and translucent. Pour in Chickpeas and blend with sauteed vegetables. Add salt and pepper to season. Gradually pour in water cooking on medium heat until all liquid is absorbed, approximately 8-10 minutes. Then add Kale. It will seem like a lot, but it will cook down as it wilts. Continue tossing while cooking to perfectly blend mixture. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until Kale wilts to desired consistency. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and drizzle the lemon juice in. Fold gently and serve hot beside your rice. Perfectly flavorful! 

Nutritional: 1 cup serving size
Calories: 251 Carbs: 37.2g Fat: 9g Fiber: 8.4g Protein: 8.8g


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Your New Year in Fitness

This is that time of the year when we all look back and reflect on the year that has passed. It is when we look at where we were and how far we've come. Some of you are going to feel pretty amazing about the changes you made in your life and some of you might just be ready to put the whole year behind you. Whatever you are feeling, just know that in a few short days we have a brand new horizon dawning...ah the New Year! I'm such a fan of New Year! It is that one wonderful day we all wake up eager to turn the page to a new chapter in our lives...filled with hope, goals and glorious "resolutions."

Wikipedia defines a New Year's Resolution as, "a commitment that an individual makes to a project or the reforming of a habit, often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous." I think that is a pretty fair assessment of what a lot of us will be thinking of when we set out to define our own resolutions for the coming year. So have you given much thought to what you would like the next 365 days to look like?

I'm going out on a limb here, but I'm guessing it is a pretty safe bet a lot of you will probably lead off your list with losing weight or getting into better shape. Holidays usually bring on lots of wonderful gatherings of friends, family and FOOD. Hard as we try, the majority of us are going to be tempted and will probably overindulge. We will feel incredibly guilty for the lapse in our fitness schedules and wish we were better keepers of our time. One excuse will lead to yet a little more procrastination and then BAM! You wake up on New Year's Eve and think, "what are we going to do about this?" Sound familiar?

The good news, you are not alone. It happens to many of us - even those of us that pride ourselves all year long at being the most meticulous planners of our day. Seems like you hit the holiday season and instead of having a 24 hour day to manage, you are faced with trying to fit another 8 hours of activities into that already crammed day planner. So we make choices...some good, some bad and try to balance it all.

For those of you that have mastered the art of the ever so popular "to-do list" Chalene Johnson so fondly reminds us of with her twitter tweets, I admire you and try very hard to emulate your success. They do undoubtedly make your day more productive. However, this time of the year I find my "to-do list" looking a little more like Santa's "naughty and nice" list. You know, kind of like "it would be NICE to do this," and in pops NAUGHTY and my hour workout turns into a Christmas shopping excursion instead. Or my carefully packed lunch is ditched for a not so nutritious cheat meal for the opportunity to catch up with an old friend at a nearby restaurant. Hey, I'm just being real here...I know I'm not alone on this one. The majority of my year, I would make Chalene proud - but this is just a crazy time for me!

To my rescue, comes New Year! Yes, I definitely like "do-overs"! My opportunity to put my world back in kilter and restore hope for my redemption. I plan to be kicking it off, of course, working on my own set of lifestyle changes. The difference this coming year will be my overall expectancy isn't going to be so much focused on weight loss as it will be on just being healthy. Of course, this will include the steps necessary to continue my weight loss journey - just it will be more the byproduct of working on a series of small steps to get me there. Um, and we will be making list! LOL!

Don't worry, I plan very much to share this with you and hopefully a few of you will join me in this journey. Starting January 1st I will be kicking off what I am calling a "12 Steps to Fitness" program. This will include a series of 12 weeks of small lifestyle changes that will hopefully make our New Year more successful as we work on our health and fitness. I will be posting more details in the upcoming days leading up to our kickoff.

So if you are interested in joining me, I definitely welcome your company. There will be fun, accountability  and hopefully a little sharing of motivation and inspiration. There are going to be no special requirements other than you simply show up each day and journal your progress. You will be totally in charge of your fitness and nutrition regimen, whether it be one of the many outstanding Team Beachbody programs offered or something else your heart desires. I will just be here to make suggestions and hopefully become your success partner. All I care is that you make the effort to make the changes necessary to help you live a healthier more productive life! Because that my friends, will ultimately help me achieve my number one resolution and commitment to Team Beachbody as an Independent Team Beachbody Coach: to help others achieve their fitness and nutritional goals so that they might lead healthier more productive lives.

Everybody wins when we work as a team!