Hey!! Don’t be a crap factory!!!
Let me explain before you stop reading...HA!!
I’m reading a book right now and he’s talking about gratitude. About how sometimes no matter how good God is to you, the voices inside our heads will spin it to make it seem like our lives are the worst. The negative overwhelms the positive and we’re always discouraged or discontent.
For ex: you get a huge raise at work and someone congratulates you but all you can focus on is how big your tax bill will be...you can’t even allow yourself to be excited.
Another example: you miss your flight and have to take a later one...instead of finding the positive in your circumstance (aka more time to read or work on a project) you complain, whine and let your anger steal your joy.
Another ex: you’re up late with a crying baby, complaining in your head....and you’ve forgotten that you once prayed for that baby. Someone else would love to have that crying baby....and you’re here complaining about a BLESSING that you asked me for.
I know we ALL have examples in our lives like this. Where we turn into a crap factory...no matter what goes in, crap (aka discouragement, fear, insecurity etc) comes out...but guess what???
There’s a FIX!!
It all has the power to reinterpret the circumstances in our lives and INTERRUPT the crap.
Replace the discontent and negative thoughts with GRATEFUL and thankful thoughts and your entire perspective can change. Is this easy?? Sure. But it’s also not. Haha!! It takes work. Intention. Remembering that you have the power to change your perspective in the midst of that discouraging chatter will kill it off little by little over time!!!
So try it. I dare ya. Even better, fill your heart with praise and gratitude FIRST and the crap factory won’t even be able to open for business!!!
I love a good peanut curry.....if we go out for thai food we typically get a couple dishes to share and the panang curry is almost always the one we choose! Dan recreated it the other night at home and it was probably the BEST peanut curry he's ever made!!! So obviously....I had to share the recipe with you guys!!
I know it's been a while since we last posted a blog but I'd LOVE to get back into blogging/sending out a newsletter. Would you guys find value in that?? What would you want us to post more about?
Quick update on our life....
1 year ago we moved out of our RV and into a house....and now we've moved back into the RV!🤣🤷🏼♀️
I had been praying for a while...asking God to show us whether we should keep the rv or continue to try and sell it...if we lived in it (instead of the house we were living in) we could drastically use our income in different ways!! i.e save, pay off all of our debt and more!
Anyway we’d been looking at monthly RV spots around Austin and they were all booked solid and had a waiting list for long term spots....but the other day we found a park just 15 min west of my sister’s house. We emailed them and they had availability starting in October! I had this random idea (aka not a coincidence...total God thing) to ask if they needed a camp host and they said they were actually looking for one!! We’d get our monthly spot paid for...plus utilities. We’ll do maintenance/greet guests and check them in, 4 hrs a day, 5 days a week....and we’d get paid for that too!
Anyway. We met with them and she texted that same night saying they wanted to offer us the position😱
This seems to be a huge answer to prayer....BUT it’s also a huge change for us! There are some downsides but also a lot of upsides.
So basically the last couple of days have been a bit overwhelming trying to decide if we should do it or not....praying, talking, crunching numbers etc....and we decided to do it! 🙌🏼🙌🏼SOOO....now the packing, downsizing, selling of things, simplifying begins! So thankful that we’ve done this before so we know what to expect!
I love the quote:
“I’m not sure what the future holds but I know who holds the future”.
Have you ever had a big decision to make?? What was it and how’d you do it??
2 questions I asked myself: “does this decision and life change bring us closer to God? And “Does it bring us closer to the purposes He has for us?” Moving forward into the unknown is scary. But I also know that when we live such a safe life with no risk taking and no faith, the enemy loves it. God provides opportunities that will stretch us, mature us and challenge us and we GET to choose. I always want to be OPEN to the crazy changes and possibilities He has for us!
OK....now the recipe to the BEST VEGGIE PEANUT CURRY of all time!!
1 tbsp coconut oil
3 cups broccoli
1 cup green beans
1 can drained chickpeas
1-2 cups broth
1/2 c peanut butter
1/4 c curry powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 c fish sauce
1/4-1/3 c Soy Sauce (we use gluten free soy sauce or tamari)
1 can full fat coconut milk
Salt & pepper to taste
Cook onion and carrot for 5 minutes in coconut oil. Add everything but the broccoli and green beans and bring it to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes. Add broccoli and green beans and simmer on low for another 10 minutes.
Top with cilantro and/or hot sauce and ENJOY!!!!
We love breakfast....it's one of our favorite meals of the day....but sometimes we just want something quick and delicious without a lot of extra work!
These egg muffins take about 20-30 min to prep on the weekend and you'll have delicious breakfasts the rest of the week!
8 eggs plus 2 cartons of egg whites (give me all the protein!!)
8 strips of bacon (precooked ahead of time)
About a lb of broccoli (was frozen so we steamed ahead of time)
2 bell peppers chopped up
Whatever spices you want. We just did salt and pepper. But cilantro would be good in them and top with salsa!
Whisk up eggs and egg whites....dump into muffin tin...add accessories and bake at 400 for 15 min (or til done obviously!)
Stop focusing on weight loss. Focus more on improving your OVERALL HEALTH!! Oh and guess what??? Health and hunger do NOT go hand in hand!!!
If you need to use baby steps, DO IT.....just start somewhere. And for goodness sake, stop dieting!!!
Seriously. Don't be afraid to eat. Just start eating real food...actually eating more vegetables than you do processed carbs and sweets. Four+ servings a day is my goal...along with 4+ servings of protein and I weave in good carbs 3-4x a day. Get rid of the 100 calorie packs....the packaged foods that seem healthy but they're simply marketing ploys. Look at LABELS and don’t consume things with tons of sugar all the time. A couple times a week maybe, but those things are TREATS.
Drink more water. MOVE your body daily. Think positive thoughts and just focus more on LOVING YOURSELF!
There's nothing more painful than seeing someone starving and hangry...killing themselves with exercise they don't enjoy....thinking they can't have treats or the things they love....and giving up after a week or two.
There's a better way. I promise.
Weight loss and getting healthy is just like driving....if you ever get lost or veer off the road, just make a U-turn and head back in the right direction!!
Makes sense right?? Or would you just light the car on fire and say screw it?
The funny thing is, that’s what most people do!!! They “mess up”...and then just throw their hands up in defeat.
Don’t be most people.
If you ate too much junk yesterday....or drank too much this weekend or skipped your workout...or whatever....just make a U-turn or a course correct today!
Here are a few tips!
One of the big things that separates a good meal from a great meal is a sauce! If you like to eat out at nice restaurants like we do, that is something that they all have in common, a fantastic sauce pairing that goes along with the main course.
It can provide a balance of flavors, it can tie a dish together, and it can provide a needed level of moisture/fat with a leaner cut of meat. After years of watching cooking shows and a little experimentation myself I've learned some basics in sauce making and how to combine flavors. If you are novice learning some basic skills in this world will certainly help.
Here is a link to an article talking about the 5 French Mother Sauces. Might sound a little fancy but most sauces that exist in the world are a spinoff of these base sauces. From this you can play with flavors that pair with your main dish. Another thing I would recommend is a book that I pull out on occasion, The Flavor Bible.
This book is fantastic in that it allows you to look up a food, say pork, then it gives you a list of other foods, veggies, and spices that pair well with it. So combine that with the basics of how to make a sauce and you are pretty much set!
The cool thing about The Flavor Bible is that it highlights the ingredients that work best. For this Bacon Apple Butter, I knew we were making pork so take a look at pairings above...
What is a Beachbar?
A place that serves fruity cocktails that have umbrellas in them... No but I do like that kind of Beach Bar too!
Beachbody recently launched an all new snack bar to their line of nutritionals and supplements to help promote healthy eating. Somehow their marketing department landed on "Beachbar" as the winner for what they would call it. Not the most clever but oh well as long as it tastes good and has quality ingredients I guess I could care less what they call it.
So I wanted to share a little bit about this bar;
What It Is and What It Isn't
I would call Beachbar a snack bar. The term protein bar gets thrown around way too loosely in the nutrition world out there. In my opinion in order to qualify as a protein bar the bar would have to get a majority of it's calories from protein. Very few bars on the market are a true protein bar. If you are curious to start doing math, a gram of protein and carbohyrdrate both have 4 calories, and a gram of fat has 9 calories. With 10 grams of protein in each bar it get's roughly 26% of it's total calories from protein. That leaves 74% to come from fat and carbs. Overall I would consider it is a balanced macronutrient bar.
This bar is made from whole foods with no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. That's a win in my book and something I definitely look for in other bars that I've consumed in the past.
It is a snack, not a meal! At only 150 calories you likely wouldn't want to replace a meal with solely 1 bar. With the protein and fiber content it will for sure stave off some hunger for a while. When I sampled it, it was good enough to hold me over between breakfast and a late lunch.
The Nutrition Facts
At this point they only have 2 flavors, I have no idea if they will release more in the future. However I did participate in a poll that asked me what kind of flavors I would enjoy if they added others, so that's promising!
Facts are facts so they don't need a whole lot of explaining. As I mentioned above they are pretty balanced from a macronutrient standpoint. The are pretty low in sugar for a snack bar. They are a decent source of protein and fiber. They are low in sodium. They are also lower in vitamins and minerals which is pretty much the norm for this kind of bar.
Let's see what's in them...
Peanut Butter Chocolate Ingredients: Peanuts, Cocoa Whey Crisps (Whey Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate, Tapioca Starch, Cocoa Powder [Processed with Alkali]), Isomalto-oligosaccharides (Prebiotic Fiber from Tapioca), Chocolate Coating (Cane Sugar, Palm Kernel Oil, Cocoa Powder, Sunflower Lecithin, Salt), Pea Crisps (Pea Protein, Rice Starch), Pea Protein, Chocolate Chips (Cane Sugar, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter), Cane Sugar, Vegetable Glycerin, Tapioca Syrup, Sunflower Oil, Sunflower Lecithin, Pomegranate Juice Concentrate, Himalayan Pink Salt, Natural Flavors, Almonds, Stevia Leaf Extract, Mixed Tocopherols (Mixed Tocopherols, Sunflower Oil) to preserve freshness
Chocolate Cherry Almond Ingredients: Almonds, Cocoa Whey Crisps (Whey Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate, Tapioca Starch, Cocoa Powder [Processed with Alkali]), Isomalto-oligosaccharides (Prebiotic Fiber from Tapioca), Chocolate Coating (Cane Sugar, Palm Kernel Oil, Cocoa Powder, Sunflower Lecithin, Salt), Pea Protein, Chocolate Chips (Cane Sugar, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter), Dried Cherries, Cane Sugar, Vegetable Glycerin, Tapioca Syrup, Sunflower Oil, Sunflower Lecithin, Pomegranate Juice Concentrate, Natural Flavors, Himalayan Pink Salt, Stevia Leaf Extract, Mixed Tocopherols (Mixed Tocopherols, Sunflower Oil) to preserve freshness
A few more ingredients than a Larabar, or Rx Bar but let's take a look at what they all are and what their purpose is and how they can affect you.
Peanuts and Almonds: If you have nut allergies these bars aren't for you. Both of these ingredients provide some of the total protein in the bar plus a majority of the fat content. It's nice to see that they are the main ingredient rather than some obscure ingredient. Good Ingredient!
Whey Crisps: These are a blend of a few ingredients to give the bars a bit of texture and another source of protein. Whey comes from milk, so if you have allergies, steer clear. If you just have an intolerance I doubt the level of lactose in these is significant enough to affect you but consult your physician if you are concerned. Overall I believe these add to the value of the bar by upping the protein content. Good Ingredient!
Isomalto-oligosaccharides: This would be one of those things that if you follow the rule, if you can't pronounce it, don't eat it. Well I could help you pronouce but that will take too long so let me just say this is actually a pretty good ingredient to include in the bar. Essentially it is a fiber that helps with satiety, improves your gut health, and improves your digestion and it is derived from plants. If you want to read more on it, this was a pretty easy to read article that cited some scientific studies. Good Ingredient!
Chocolate Coating: We love chocolate! We believe in moderation and if you choose the right kind it can actually be good for you. I wrote a whole other article on that, Let's Talk Chocolate! The ingredients in the chocolate coating are... ok! I wouldn't consider this healthy chocolate but looking back to the nutrition facts you are getting very little sugar overall so the serving size of chocolate would have minimal effect if any negative health consequences. It's more here for taste then anything. I do like that they sourced a chocolate made with sunflower lecithin versus the soy version, so that's a bonus. Neutral Ingredient.
Pea Protein and Crisps: These things are there to help with the protein content. They are further down the ingredient list likely because too much of them would likely negatively affect the taste of the bar. Good ingredient!
Chocolate Chips: Same thoughts here as the chocolate coating for the most part. Slightly better but still likely not a healthy chocolate. Neutral Ingredient.
Sweeteners (Vegetable Glycerin, Cane Sugar, Dried Cherries, Pomegranate Extract, Stevia Leaf Extract): I figured I would lump all these together rather than address them individually. Overall there is a total of 5 grams of sugar in this whole bar. Some of that comes with the chocolate ingredients listed above, some because of these ingredients. Overall I wouldn't be concerned with 5 grams of sugar in this bar. The cherries and pomegranate extract do bring along some good phytonutrients and antioxidants along for the ride so that is a positive. I know some are turned off by the stevia aftertaste, but having tried these bars I didn't notice any of that. Vegetable glycerin was a new one to me so I had to look that up. Essentially that is a plant based sugar alcohol likely made from palm or coconut. Browsing a few articles it doesn't appear to have any negative health effects other than it's potential as a laxative in HIGH doses, but you aren't getting that in this bar. This bar did get a low glycemic certification also which would suggest it has minimal impact on a healthy person's blood sugar levels. If you have blood sugar issues like diabetes you may want to consult your physician. Neutral Ingredient.
Sunflower Oil and Sunflower Lecithin: I would say there is nothing good or bad about these items. They help create the texture of the bar. There isn't anything inherently bad with them or good with them. Since they are at the end of the ingredient list, I wouldn't worry about them. Neutral Ingredient
Natural Flavors: Oh that elusive word you see on so many labels. What does it really mean. Well good news the FDA does regulate the use of it so it isn't a catch all for all the chemical crap. Here is there definition, “the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.” Knowing Beachbody's track record with the ingredients that it puts in it's other supplements I doubt anything shady goes into this bar as a natural flavor. It would be great if they could make this bar taste good without this but I guess it isn't a deal breaker for me. Neutral Ingredient.
Himalayan Pink Salt: Salt makes things taste good! At 85-90 mg of sodium I wouldn't worry about it and at least they got it from a good source. Good Ingredient!
Mixed Tocopherols: This is a natural antioxidant/preservative that is derived from sunflower seeds. Let's be honest this is a packaged food and they want it to last longer than a week on a shelf, a warehouse, or shipping truck so some sort of preservative is needed. There is some mixed messages I got this ingredient whether it is good or bad for an individual. There were some studies published on Pubmed that said it was completely safe for human consumption. There were some animal studies that suggested it may raise the risk of cancer, at least in mice. I like always like to think of the quote, "The Dose Makes the Poison." Beings there isn't definitive human studies from what I found, I would say that the small amount in these bars would have no negative health impact on a person. If you are concerned I suggest you do your own research. Neutral Ingredient.
So those are the ingredients, sorry I wrote so much but if you are thorough enough to search out information on these bars you are likely the kind of person that wants all the information and not just the cherry-picked data that has a marketing slant to it.
Overall I would say this food is neither a health food nor a unhealthy food. It's calories come from quality sources. Is it better than a Snickers, yes! Is it as good as bowl of broccoli, no! So it really depends on how you use it and what it displaces in your diet whether or not it would improve your health. I think it would be a quality snack for most. Personally I really like that they kept it gluten and soy free too!
What Does It Cost?
Affordability... we know your money doesn't grow on trees and neither do Beachbars...well the almonds in them do, so... I'll be honest these aren't the cheapest bar on the market but they certainly aren't the most expensive either.
Beachbars will be sold in packs of 15 and retail for $39.80 or $2.65 per bar. That price puts it on the higher end compared to other snack bars but pretty close to most protein bars.
How Does it Compare To Other Bars?
There are hundreds of other bars on the market and a lot of different ways you can compare them. I thought this graphic highlighted a few key pieces and how the Beachbar stacks up against some of the more popular snack bars.
It's lower in sugar, higher in protein and fiber! Basically what that means is that it isn't going to spike your blood sugar as much as others. It will also likely keep you full longer due to the slower digesting protein and fiber elements. Which means if if you are trying to lose weight, you won't be hangry in between meals if you use a bar like this to tide you over.
How Can You Add This Into Your Daily Meal Plan
As I've eluded to already, this bar is going to be best be used as a snack substitute. It could replace other bars that you've maybe used. It could replace a trail mix that you used to snack on. It could replace the chocolate chip scone from Starbucks, please don't eat those everyday!
If you've never been a snacker you could also use it as an experiment and add it in to your morning or afternoon and see how you feel. Some people do just fine without snacks and can keep portion sizes in control. Some need that little shot of food to keep their energy levels up.
I could certainly see us eating this when we travel as a convenient snack that tastes great, doesn't take any prep work, and will satisfy our hunger. I could also see them used as a great pre-workout snack. Combine it with some Energize and you are fueled up for a workout with a decent shot of protein and carbs to get you through it.
If you are a diehard Beachbody person and using the containers a Beachbar will count as a 1/2 a red and 1/2 yellow container, just FYI.
Hope that information has helped you learn more about these bars. If you have any questions by all means reach out via email or in the comments below.
If you would like to try a box of these bars just follow the link below that matches up with your flavor and quantity preference. Bars go on sale beginning April 7th, 2018.
1 Box - 15 Count
2 Boxes - 15 Count per Box/30 Total
3 Boxes - 15 per Box/45 Total
I don't know about you but sometimes life is hard. It feels like I'm juggling a million things every day and if I make one wrong move it'll all come crashing down....and you know what?? It sometimes does. And that's ok.
I have to remind myself often that who I am and what I do are two separate things.
My worth comes from the One that gives me breath each day. My character is what matters....and focusing on the million things spinning around in my head and all the "stuff" I need to do and what could go wrong...will only make me crazy and steal the seemingly insignificant moments and the JOY I'm meant to have.
Can anyone relate?? I'm sure it's mostly the ladies but we have to unite and remind each other of what a kickass job were doing...even when it doesn't feel like it.
Keep your head up friend. Smile. Today is going to be GREAT because you are enough!!
Have a friend that you think needs to hear this, hit the share button below!
East Meets West...
All the comfort of my grandma's homemade meatloaf combined with all of the flavor you would get from some of the best Indian curry dishes that I've had. Sounds about perfect, right???
This dish is pretty straightforward to make, nothing fancy, unless you want to make your own curry powder. If you do make your own curry powder with fresh roasted spices, please let me know how you do it or let me know where I can buy it. Even without your own curry powder this is one of those dishes that you can make and impress the heck out of some friends or family.
Don't take my word for it though. If you like meatloaf but love some ethnic food, this is a great combo. Pair it with one of your favorite veggies. We did some roasted asparagus but anything will work. Can't wait for you to try. After you do, we would for you to come back and let us know what you thought.
Breakfast is often referred to the most important meal of the day. Some people get this concept some don't. Breakfast for a lot of people actually looks lot more like dessert. Just yesterday we were in a local restaurant and watched a guy sitting in the booth across from us enjoy waffles à la mode. Really, ice cream for breakfast on top of a sweet bread, topped with liquid sugar and whip cream. Why is that even an option for breakfast? Seriously!!!
They all look pretty delicious don't they!
You might recognize that waffles à la mode isn't an ideal breakfast but do you know why?
#1 - The obvious one is this type of breakfast is packed with sugar. I don't think I need to explain why the sugar in this amount is bad.
#2 - We love our fat but we also love getting it from quality sources and this type of breakfast is also extremely fat dense. This combination of high fat and high sugar/carbohydrate is the reason we have the obesity epidemic that faces us in this country. The calorie density is through the roof when you combine sugar and fat, our brains just don't know when to say enough is enough when you combine those things.
#3 - Breakfast is also a unique meal. If you look at it's name "Break - Fast" this is the meal that breaks what is likely a 8-10 hour fast depending on when you last ate the previous night. It is because we are in this fasted state that our body is primed to absorb more of the energy that we provide it.
This happens mainly due to us being more insulin sensitive after a fast. That means that your body will easily transport blood glucose (carbs) into cells. Now if you worked out at 6 a.m. and you then consume a carb dense breakfast that carbohydrate/glucose will get transported to muscle tissue. That's a good thing! If you roll out of bed and have an Ego waffle, bowl of cereal, or a bowl of oatmeal topped with brown sugar and raisins, that carbohydrate will likely get stored in fat cells.
#3 - Lastly, a meal like those mentioned so far is lacking almost all nutritional value. In general, color is a sign of a food's nutritional value. If you didn't cook a waffle, that whole plate would be white = zero nutrition.
When you combine combine, calorie dense, blood sugar spiking, and nutrient poor all together in one food/meal you are either having one hell of a treat meal or trying to develop diabetes.
How do you upgrade your breakfast?
#1 - Eat a balanced meal or for some a lower carbohydrate meal depending on how sensitive you are to carbohydrates. Balanced meal means getting equal amount of calories from protein, fats and carbs. The one that is hardest for most is the protein source. Some of our favorite ways to add protein to breakfast is egg whites, protein powder via a shake or pancakes, or meat of some kind. Studies have even shown that a protein dense breakfast will help stave off hunger throughout the entire day, meaning less snacking and more calories consumed.
#2 - Add some vegetables! Yeah we said it veggies for breakfast. Not only does this up the nutritional value the meal it also adds some fiber. Try to make 1/3 of your plate a veggie! Our go to is sauteed broccoli slaw or steamed broccoli. By adding fiber you you slow down the digestion process and therefore will avoid blood sugar spikes and as much of that energy getting sent off to fat cells.
#3 - Keep it simple. The morning can be a tough time to put a fancy breakfast together. Why do you think cereal is a breakfast staple, convenience. So just make something else that fits the above criteria convenient for you. For a long time this meant have a shake for breakfast that was balanced nutritional and loaded up with some greens to get veggies. Overnight oats that contain some extra protein, greek yogurt with berries, or egg muffins.
#4 - Find something that you like and works for you and stick with it. Variety is important for diet but that means throughout the day, not day to day. Breakfast for us is almost identical 5 days a week, eggs, broccoli of some form and plantains. Find what works for you.
The common thread that connects all these tips, is having a plan. That starts with maybe building anywhere from an extra 5 minutes up to 20 minutes to prepare an upgraded breakfast. It means having some healthier options stocked in the fridge, freezer and pantry. It means knowing ahead of time what you are going to make or meal prepping earlier in the week.
We would love to hear what are your go-to breakfast options?
I know some people that begin to drive heave if they are threatened to eat a brussel sprout. A couple are in my immediate family. Growing up my mom on occasion would make them but they were usually either steam or boiled with some butter on them. Although I could probably stomach that now, at the time it was one of the most disgusting flavors. The smell was similar to what a Band-Aid smells like and I could only imagine what they taste like.
Had my mom prepared sprouts this way, I'm guessing there would have been a 50/50 chance that I would have actually eaten them. I mean they are still green and green food in our house was immediately met with rejection, unless it was Jello. That stuff was delicious! Just don't ruin it by putting fruit in it!
The process of roasting brussels is pretty straightforward. One key is making sure you start with fresh brussels not the frozen version. If you get the frozen ones, they will be more apt to just steam and bring you and I back to that Band-Aid flavor and smell. So start fresh! Then all you need to do is trim a little bit of the chewy stem off of them if there is some. We like to half or quarter ours from there depending on the size. You could roast them whole but they would take a LONG time so that's not advised. Once you halve them, spread them out evenly on a baking sheet. Drizzle with roughly 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per pound of brussels. Season generously with salt and I like a little pepper also but not always.
Once seasoned, put them the oven that was preheated to 425. Depending on the size they should take anywhere from 20-30 minutes and I like to stir them half way through. What you are looking for is for them to start turning slightly brown if not black. In the cooking world that's called carmelization! Do it! They aren't burnt, they are perfect that way. It will bring out some of the natural sugars that are in a plant that is inherently bitter and if prepared poorly can taste like Band-Aids!
Try it this, I bet you will like brussels for the first time! Or at worst you won't hate them.
Want to take this next week off from planning your own Healthy Meals? Let us do the work for you! Follow the link below and we will give you are 5 Day Meal Guide for free!
Simple. Delicious. Sweet. Spicy. Hearty.
If you've made soup before you've probably tried version of this soup. I see it on menus all the time especially this time of year. I've made it a handful of times and this version is by far my favorite. Call me a sucker for some good sausage. Or maybe just the simplicity and letting the fresh veggies and quality stock.
This recipe only has a few ingredients but it is built on a solid chicken stock. We have our recipe over here on how you can make your own. I think some of the keys to a good stock is getting a good pressure cooker, because who has time to cook stock for 48 hours. Also chicken feet! Yup I said it, chicken feet. The collagen from all the connective tissue in chicken feet add a richness that nearly impossible to get any other way. Just try and thank me later. You can find chicken feet at most groceries. I've seen them at every Asian market that I've ever been to also.
To make this soup even better and because we like pretty pictures, we added a maple crema. Sound fancy but it basically is just a dairy product mixed with something else that is liquid. Calling it that is just my inner chef coming out. Or maybe it is from watching too many episodes of Top Chef! Either way it is delicious and makes this dish well rounded. Sweet from the apple and maple, slightly smokey from the sausage, and a hint of spice from the cayenne. So good!
We would love to hear from you if and when you try this and what you think.
If you didn't read our bios, in a previous occupation I actually used to work as a golf professional. No, I didn't play on the PGA Tour. I worked at a club, ran golf tournaments, sold merchandise, gave golf lessons and every once in awhile I got to play! People always would tell me how jealous they were of my job, to which I would usually just agree because that was easier. Easier than saying I work ridiculously long hours, never get a weekend off, get paid a shade above minimum wage, and had 300+ "bosses" called members that all wanted something different. But I digress...
This post isn't about my life as a golf pro so much. I got to thinking the other day after listening to someone else talk about selling nutritional products. They made the comment that nutritional products and health products are much easier to sell to the healthy! People that are familiar with things like probiotics, gut health, adaptogens, etc. That kind of sucks if you think about it. The healthy people already do a pretty good job of taking care of themselves so why should they invest more into their health.
That got me thinking about my days as a golf pro and how a similar analogy also rang true. It was much easier to sell golf lessons and golf equipment to the more advanced golfers. Four hundred dollars for a new driver, no problem. Five hundred dollars for golf lessons, sure!
You can pretty much change this analogy into anything else.
I also used to be a craft beer nerd too. Your average Joe wouldn't likely spend $10-20 for a bottle of beer but I didn't blink an eye at that. Why??? I saw the value in the beer!
The golfer sees the value in the lessons. The healthy person sees the value in nutritional products.
It all comes down to value... whatever you value that is where you will spend your resources! Since we live in the health world this is a tough predicament to be in and actually quite frustrating. There is nothing more that I would want to do then help people that are morbidly obese lose 100+ pounds. To actually save their lives of people that are in a downward spiral.
What does it take to help a person like that though? It takes that person seeing value in investing in his/her health! Unfortunately it usually takes a rock bottom moment for a person like that make a change. Maybe it is a diabetes diagnosis or a heart attack. When you take away health, it becomes a lot more valuable and you will be more apt work pretty hard to get it back.
I know we help a lot of people begin to believe in themselves again and reach a lot of their goals, which is amazing! We won't stop doing that! My hope and prayer is is that just one person will read this and think that their health needs to be valued more! That they are willing to make the investment with their time and money to turn their life around. That obesity and disease doesn't have to be the trajectory that their life is on.
If that's you, we would love to hear from you. I know that first step and asking for help can be one of the hardest. Know that we will meet you where you are at and will be by your side through the whole process.
It wouldn't be fall if we didn't throw a pumpkin recipe at you. Since we love pancakes here you go! We've been making a variation of these pancakes for the longest time. However the texture on those other ones just wasn't quite where I would like it when it comes to a pancake. So just a couple little tweaks and we have this new one which I think will be our go to pancake recipe for a quite some time.
If you are wondering what the hell the broccoli is doing in the picture, I thought this was a pancake recipe, you aren't the first one to think that is a weird combo. This combo is a great a solution for a number of people that we work with on a regular basis. Two staples that people usually fall short of on a daily basis is protein and veggies. Why not start your day with a healthy dose of both?
Why are protein and veggies important? Particularly for people trying to lose weight these two things will likely be your biggest help in seeing measurable progress in a short period of time. By getting adequate protein, 20-40 grams, per meal you will fill yourself with bulk but with lower calories. Same goes for the veggies, due the high fiber in veggies you are adding bulk without adding calories. It's because of this that you are able to eat to the point of being full all while staying in a calorie deficit.
If you are curious how much protein and fiber you should specifically be eating head over to our Calorie Calculator page and submit some information and I will get you a customized plan to let you how much of each you should be eating. This will be based on your size, activity level, and your goals.
Otherwise enjoy the heck out of these pancakes, we sure did!
Protein: 10.9 g
Fat: 4.4 g
Carbs: 3.5 g
Sugars: 0.9 g
Fiber: 1.6 g
We become people of strength through times when we suffer or feel defeated. It's when we are being broken into pieces that He can put us back together STRONGER ❤️
A friend sent me this picture the other day after we had an amazing talk. You see, I've been going through a season of struggle....doubts, fears and worry have started to creep in. I started to let EXPECTATIONS (my own and other people'...s) get under my skin and convince me that our life and our business needed to look a certain way and be bringing in a certain amount of income or we weren't successful.
She helped me realize that we have a choice with these seasons we go through. We can CHOOSE to take the pieces we feel like we're being broken into....and let Him turn them into something beautiful (the kid on the right).....With open hands RECEIVING and with open hands continuing to give back....allowing GRATITUDE and TRUST to overflow....OR I can be like the guy under the umbrella 😜❤️
I know which one I'm choosing.
We're on a mission to help people heal their bodies and souls....to give them strength, confidence and hope and to do that, it takes some chiseling. And heart searching. And going through tough seasons. SO....let it rain ❤️
If you're going through a season...lean into it. Lean into Him. He's got you.
Exercise can be a lot like dating.
You try a few different versions out. Some are pretty good and you and stick with them for a while but you maybe get bored or you just stop clicking. Others are just ok but don't get you too excited. A few are just terrible and you would be ok if you never tried them again.
Then... then you find that perfect match. You are committed! You enjoy your time when you are doing that exercise or with that special person. Yeah it is still work and you have to put effort into it daily but it is something you usually look forward to coming back to the next day. Not always. Let's be honest, we all have days don't want to workout or you don't want to put effort into your relationship. When you are with the right person, or doing your soulmate workout those periods pass quickly.
We just celebrated our 9 year anniversary this week. What a blessing the past 9 years have been for both of us. It was almost 11 years ago that we found each other and haven't looked back!
All of those 11 years we've been active, playing volleyball, running, going to the gym. It's was about 6 years ago though that Laura found her soulmate workout, Insanity! For me it was Focus T25 and later P90X3. Pretty much the perfect workout for us was one that we could do in the comfort of our own home or just outside our RV! We have been able to stay consistent and show up nearly everyday for our workouts.
That just didn't happen for us elsewhere...
For us the gym was like that person that you are attracted to physically but just don't connect with emotionally or mentally. We tried going and had gym memberships for years but never really accomplished anything.
We also both dabbled with running! I was a former cross country runner and Laura ran track. After we graduated from college running became like that blind date that your friend set you up on. You know it's going to be awkward and painful. No thank you!!!
We never did try Crossfit but I could imagine that would be like taking your date out to the most expensive restaurant in town. Then after dinner your date takes you to a big orgy where limbs and sweat are flying everywhere. People are comparing themselves to others and walking around slapping each other on the butt! Sorry crossfitters it's the best comparison I could come up with, I think I would actually join a crossfit gym if it was right next to my house and I had some more cash!
Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with those kinds of workouts. We know a lot of people that have had a lot of success at the gym or running! They have stayed consistent and continue to put the work in and show up everyday. They've seen results and that's what it is all about.
Fitness for us looked a little different and that has worked incredibly well for us. I believe there is a soulmate workout and form of exercise out there for everyone. Maybe it's dancing, maybe it's powerlifting, or maybe it's running. If you've tried a bunch of workouts that just don't click, don't give up, just keep trying!
I will say one other thing though that the environment (people and place) plays a big role.
Curious what the process of tracking your macronutrients entails. We would like to give you an idea of the process along with the benefits and pitfalls.
Counting macros: What is is all about? 0:07
How to you calculate your macro and calorie needs? 1:13
Who is counting macros good for? 5:17
Who isn't it good for? 7:00
Two camps to losing weight... 9:14
Incorporating treats 13:38
Hope that helped you understand tracking macros a little better. There is so much with tracking macros that you just learn through doing. If you feel like you want to start tracking your macros. Head over to our Calorie Calculator, input some personal information then submit the form at the bottom of the page and I will respond with a personalized macro plan for you.
One of Laura's favorite things on the planet is a good meatball! One of my favorite things on the planet is some good pasta! Being gluten free now for almost 3 years I don't nearly get good pasta all that often. One item that didn't make the cut on things to bring in our RV was my pasta roller and cutter! So we have to stick to store bought GF pasta which isn't always the best. W'eve had pretty good luck lately with the Barilla GF pasta. It's a corn based pasta which obviously isn't health food but every once in a while we are all for having a good pasta meal.
I know you didn't come here to learn about GF pastas, so let's about this meatball!! One challenge with meatballs is they traditionally have breadcrumbs in them which unless they are made from GF bread is off limits in our house. Some things that I've used as that binder substitute in other recipes are sweet potatoes, quiona, ground up GF crackers. With this recipe I opted to skip the binder. It did make the meatballs a little stickier when rolling them into balls but is was manageable and still made a good meatball, texture-wise. If you want to alleviate that stick meat batter, go ahead and add a 1/2 cup of bread crumb or any other binder to the mixture.
We also like to find any opportunity to sneak greens into our food. Feel free to follow suit and add some like we did or leave them out. If it would have just been Laura and I eating these we would have likely added more. We were able to sneak these in and Eli still enjoyed the meatballs which is a big bonus.
We paired this meal up with our basic marinara sauce that you can find here, just leave out the ground beef since you are doing the meatball.
Spontaneity is the best kind of adventure
We were camping about an hour west of the SW entrance to Mount Rainer National Park for 4 days. We hadn't really talked about going to check the park out prior to being at our campground. After talking to one of the rangers at our RV Park Thursday evening we decided to make the trip Friday morning and put our work stuff on hold.
The drive into the park and towards the area that we hiked was pretty amazing in itself. We made a couple stops at some overlooks.
We pulled off at the first pull out that had a really good view of the mountain. That is Eli telling us that he wants to climb that mountain! After that we came to Narada Falls. It took a little bit of a hike to get to the overlook but was worth it. The falls were probably a few hundred feet tall and flowed down into a gorge that ran down the mountain.
After that stop we made our way up to the area called Paradise. We stopped a picnic area just down from the lodge and had some lunch. Salads have been our go to travel lunch. They are so easy to pack up and we know what we are getting versus leaving ourselves open to museum and park cafes, which who knows if I'll be able to find any gluten free options.
Now that we were fueled up, we made our way up a bit further to the official Paradise Visitor Center and Lodge. Looking at the map our initial plan was just to do about a 1 mile round trip hike out to Alta Vista. We made it that far and then decided to keep going... then keep going!!! Our 1 mile hike turned into about 4 total. We made it all the way out to Panorama Point which was totally worth it. The view were incredible and absolutely breathtaking!
Almost 4 miles later....we snacked on coffee, ice cream and protein bars and Eli was wiped out!! We did check out the gift shop and I think for the first time in our 9 year marriage we bought matching shirts!
This unexpected trip was such a treat. We aren't really the hiking outdoorsy type but really enjoyed this adventure. Who knows... we might end up becoming more of true campers as our adventures continue!
Here's a little treat for ya!! We posted about these in our Instagram stories earlier last week but here's the recipe again. They were SOOO good and honestly tasted just like a Girl Scout Samoa...seriously...I couldn't believe it. Don't be fooled, these are NOT protein bites and to be honest, most of the ones you find on Pinterest aren't either because the fat is higher than the protein....so we'll just call these like they are: Chocolate Coconut Fat Balls.
These will make a great little treat to help you curb your sweet tooth! You don't have to be worried about crappy ingredients which is nice. But... there's always a but, right? I would advise that you are aware of the calories and limit yourself to 1, max 2 per day! Well that's unless you are working your tail off to gain weight, then go ahead and eat all 1,600 calories, maybe!
MACROS- This batch made 8 balls.
14 g of fat
13 g of carbs
6 g of protein
3 g of fiber
We try our best to share our life with you guys....and I know social media makes it seem like it's all glamour, beaches, fun stuff all the time and no work It's not. I promise.
BUT there's a big difference between what our days looked like last year compared to now.
Now...we choose what our days look like. As coaches, as business partners and life changers with Beachbody...we STILL wake up with an alarm around 6 or 6:30, because we WANT TO...with goals of getting up even earlier.
Some days we work a lot...some days we don't....sometimes we work on the weekend...and we stop when we'd like!! Sometimes we work at the beach or a coffeeshop or at home in the RV...the location doesn't matter.
Yoga pants...no showers...no pants...no shoes...no problem. HA!! Every day is a new day to make a choice. To set some new goals. To grow.
It's a NEW day to connect with people that want to join a movement...and want to spread the message of health and life to their friends and family!! If you want more CONTROL of your life...more flexibility or more control of your health and you love to serve people and help them, we'd love to chat with YOU!! ️
One food that I have yet to find since going gluten free is a fried egg roll...they just don't exist out in restaurants and we didn't opt for the RV with the deep fat fryer. We've had a number of our challengers post in our accountability groups about creating different versions of this dish. I finally got around to make some myself and have to say it hit the spot.
We were a little spoiled too, since the two days before this my aunt picked most of the veggies that went in this dish straight out of her garden. Fresh cabbage, fresh carrots, and fresh onions!!! The only thing we added to the dish was some red pepper, garlic and the pork. Oh and a few spices and some asian sauces!
After doing multiple rounds of Body Beast and Hammer and Chisel, one thing I learned is, in order to make progress you need to track your actions. When it comes to doing a program with weights, that means taking Tony Horton's advice and WRITE. IT. DOWN.
I was a little shocked that Beachbody didn't create a tracking sheet themselves for their latest program, Shift Shop. Having a little experience creating Hammer and Chisel worksheets, I figured I would do it again for this program too.
Here are are the worksheets for the 3 strength workouts that you will do during this program:
There is also a bonus workout called Super Strength 50. The participants mainly use a sandbag for all the moves in this workout but if you don't have a sandbag or if it is too light or too heavy you can use dumbbells and track it via this worksheet.
I hope this helps you make progress as you move through the 21 days of this program. If for some reason you found this page but aren't working with a coach currently we would love to offer our support and knowledge to you as you go through this program. You can learn more "Who We Are" or just shoot us an email.
What is Shift Shop?
Shift Shop is Beachbody's latest program that was developed by Chris Downing. The program is geared for anyone looking to get amazing results in 21 days. The program is a combination of agility, plyometric and resistance training that will work your entire body.
The program is designed to slowly progress you from shorter less intense workouts that will "ramp up" in intensity but also your results.
Meet Chris Downing
Want to Try Shift Shop?
There are a couple of ways that you can start this program. The first option is to purchase the DVDs. With the DVD package you get a total of 8 workouts, agility markers, and nutrition plan. You can upgrade that package and get the Deluxe kit that also includes a PT sandbag, 3 bonus deluxe workouts. The other option is join Beachbody On Demand and get access to all of the workouts including the deluxe workouts. You can join Beachbody On Demand for free for 14 days, then they have quarterly and yearly memberships also.
There are also usually specials available if you combine the program or Beachbody On Demand membership with either Shakeology or the Beachbody Performance Line of supplements.
PLUS... if you purchase any of these options through us you get access to both of us as your health, wellness, and nutrition coaches. Which also gives you access to our exclusive online accountability groups and our private Facebook group with hundreds of other people like you trying to get and stay healthy.
If you are curious about more info about whether this program would be a good fit for you, you can comment below or email us and we will get back to you shortly.
Pizza... everybody loves it! Even those of us that are living a healthier life love to indulge in it. It's actually one reason why I bought the domain, www.healthierpizza.com. Don't try heading over there yet, at this point it is just an idea in my head. The idea came to me because a healthy life shouldn't be one that is absent of pizza.
Upgrading some of the ingredients is the place to start. We have other posts on upgrading the crusts with whole wheat flour or using cauliflower. We have a fun recipe where we eliminate dairy and add some extra veggies with this Thai pizza. We even love the pizza so much we incorporated the flavors into this lentil dish.
With all of these, I had yet to create a delicious and healthier option for one of the most basic components, a good red sauce. Last night while Laura was away, Eli and I decided to make some pizzas. We tried out a new premade gluten free crust from Mikey's. The crust is made from paleo friendly ingredients and was pretty tasty! We topped that with a homemade red sauce that took 2 minutes to mix up then just a little time to simmer on the stove.
Check it out and let us know what you think. If you end up tweaking it feel free to comment below with what you did. This is one thing I'm always playing around with and improving.
The Cook & The Coach
Healthy is a LIFESTYLE.