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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Shakeology Protein Snickers Bar Recipe

Shakeology Protein Snickers Bar Recipe


Shakeology Protein Snickers Bar
For the bottom chocolate layer:
  • 1 scoop of chocolate shakeology
  • 1.5 TBS of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 packet of stevia
  • 2 TBS of almond flour
  • ¼ cup of water
For the caramel peanut butter:
  • ¼ cup peanut butter (or pb2)
  • ¼ cup vanilla protein powder 
  • 1.5 TBS of all natural honey
  • ¼ cup peanuts, chopped
  • ¼ TSP salt
For the chocolate topping
  • 1 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 1 TSP coconut oil
  • 2 packets of stevia
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for the bottom chocolate layer with just enough water to make a thick batter. Spread this over your parchment paper in a large rectangular shape.
In a small saucepan, heat honey over medium heat until boiling (be sure to constantly stir while the mixture is heating). Remove from heat and quickly add your peanut butter, vanilla protein, and salt. Stir until mixture is well combined, then pour over your parchment paper. Spread mixture out on top of your chocolate layer and sprinkle peanuts on top (work as quickly as possible).
In another small saucepan, heat the chocolate and coconut oil until melted. Add the stevia then pour chocolate over your peanut layer. Spread and smooth the chocolate out with the back of a spoon. Place in freezer for at least 2 hours or until hardened. Remove and cut into 10 bars. Store in freezer. Enjoy!
Nutrition Facts
Serves 10
Calories per bar: 120
Fat: 7.6 g
Carbs: 7 g
Fiber: 2 g
Protein: 8 g
Weight Watchers Points: 3 per bar.
Compare that to any type of candy out there and you’ll be amazed! Plus these are much healthier. Now, on to some other ways to stay healthy this holiday.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What To Sample Shakeology First?

Shakeology Taste Sampler

Can't decide which flavor to buy? Then this is the perfect way to try Shakeology's most popular flavors before committing to a full-size bag or combo box. 

Each sample pack contains 4 single-serve packets of Shakeology (1 Chocolate, 1 Strawberry, 1 Vanilla, and 1 Greenberry), a copy of the Shakeology Welcome Guide, as well as 6 mouthwatering recipes. With our new taste sampler, you'll easily figure out which Shakeology flavor you love the most.
Limit 1 per person!††
††Limit one taste sampler per Team Beachbody account only.


Shakeology can help you:*
  • Lose weight
  • Reduce cravings
  • Increase energy and stamina
  • Promote healthy digestion and regularity
Tastes delicious, too.
How Shakeology works*
  • Ingredients derived from whole-food sources deliver the daily vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients your body needs to curb cravings, allowing it to shed stored fat.
  • More than 20 different antioxidants and phytonutrients help reduce free radical damage that can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, high blood pressure, and stroke.
  • Fiber, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes help your body gently eliminate toxins more efficiently and promote better absorption of nutrients.*
What’s in Shakeology*
  • Protein and essential amino acids help build muscles and reduce food cravings.
  • Prebiotics and digestive enzymes aid in improving digestion, regularity, and nutrient absorption.
  • Antioxidants and phytonutrients help counteract free radical damage that can lead to degenerative diseases.
  • A daily dose of vitamins and minerals provides your body what it needs to function for optimal health.
Choose how to purchase Shakeology
  • The Shakeology Convenience Pack contains 24 single-serving packets you can take anywhere.
  • Choose the 30-day supply in a bag to keep in your kitchen.
TWO GIFTS when you sign up for Home Direct, the monthly autoship program
  • Get Super Discount shipping (and SAVE OVER $12) every month
  • Online access to 2 FREE workouts
30-Day Money Back Guarantee
If you don’t start to see and feel the benefits of Shakeology within the first month of using it, or if you’re not 100% satisfied for any reason, just return it within 30 days for a full refund of the purchase price, less s&h—guaranteed. That’s our promise to you.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Super Discount shipping offer only applies when you select a basic ship method (outside the continental U.S., a surcharge will apply).
Results may vary.
All trademarks, products, and service names are property of their respective owners.
© 2014 Beachbody. All rights reserved. Beachbody, LLC is the owner of the Shakeology, Healthiest Meal of the Day, Beachbody and Team Beachbody trademarks, and all related designs, copyrights, trademarks and other intellectual property.

Monday, March 17, 2014


"PiYO gives you hardcore definition, intense calorie burn, & overall strength--WITHOUT weights, WITHOUT jumps, WITHOUT destroying your body!" 
Chalene Johnson 
Creator of PiYo

Can't wait for this one!!!  



Want to sculpt every single inch of your body? 
Watch this video about the new PiYo workout.

Get an ultra lean and intensely defined physique without bulking up or straining your joints. 

Introducing PiYo, a high-intensity, low-impact workout for a new kind of STRONG.

Chalene Johnson took the very best Pilates and yoga-inspired moves and cranked up the speed to give you full throttle cardio, strength, and flexibility training—all at once. PiYo packs it ALL into each workout so you can build lean muscle mass—as you're burning crazy calories.

Now you can carve every inch of your body.

How? You'll use your body weight to perform a series of continuous, targeted moves, to burn fat as you redefine every single muscle. No weights. No jumps. Just hardcore results.

The result? Problem areas become no problem. You'll get sleek, long arms, sexy, flat abs, a tight, lifted butt, and the confidence that comes from knowing you're at your best!

This is your chance to define exactly how you want to look—and how you want to feel. You're in control.
You have the power to define yourself. Now use it.

Monday, February 24, 2014

10 Nutrition Facts Everyone Can Agree On

10 Nutrition Facts Everyone Can Agree On

There is a lot of controversy in nutrition and it often seems like people can’t agree on anything. 

But there are a few exceptions to this.
Here are the top 10 nutrition facts that everyone actually agrees on (well, almost everyone…).

1. Added Sugar is a Disaster

We all know that added sugar is bad. Some think sugar is a simple matter of “empty” calories, while others believe it to cause diseases that kill millions of people each year.
It is definitely true that added sugar (sucrose and high fructose corn syrup) contains empty calories.
There are no nutrients in it and if you eat a lot of sugar then you’re likely to become deficient because you aren’t getting enough foods that actually have nutrients in them. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.
There are other, much more serious dangers of sugar that are now reaching mainstream attention. Sugar, mainly due to the high fructose content, is being implicated as a leading cause of obesity, cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes (123).
How does fructose do this? Well, fructose is metabolized strictly by the liver, over time causing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, insulin resistance, elevated triglycerides, abdominal obesity and high cholesterol (456789).
Then fructose makes our brains resistant to a hormone called leptin, which effectively makes our brains WANT to get fat (101112). This way, eating an excess of added sugars sets up a relentless biochemical drive in the brain to keep eating sugar, getting fatter and eating even more sugar.
Bottom Line: Added sugar provides empty calories and is believed to be a leading cause of diseases that kill millions of people each year.

2. Omega-3 Fats Are Crucial and Most People Don’t Get Enough

Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely important for proper functioning of the human body.
For example, DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid derived from animals, makes up about 40% of the polyunsaturated fats in the brain (13). Being deficient in Omega-3 (very common) is associated with a lower IQ, depression, various mental disorders, heart disease and many other serious diseases (14).
There are three main sources of Omega-3 fats… ALA (from plants mostly), DHA and EPA (from animals). The plant form, ALA, needs to get transformed into DHA or EPA in order to function correctly in the human body.
There is some evidence that this conversion process is ineffective in humans (15). Therefore, it is best to get Omega-3 fats from animal sources… including fish, grass-fed meat, Omega-3 enriched or pastured eggs, or fish oil.
Bottom Line: A large part of the population is Omega-3 deficient. Avoiding a deficiency in these essential fatty acids can help prevent many diseases.

3. There is no Perfect Diet For Everyone

We are all unique… and subtle differences in genetics, body type, culture and environment can affect which type of diet we should eat. Some people do best on a low-carb diet while others may do fine on a vegetarian high-carb diet.
The fact is, what works for one person may not work for the next. To figure out what you should do, a little self experimentation may be needed.
Try a few different things until you find something that you enjoy and that you think you can stick to. Different strokes for different folks!
Bottom Line: The best diet for YOU is the one you get results with and that you can stick to in the long term.

4. Artificial Trans Fats Are Very Unhealthy and Should be Avoided

Trans fats are also known as partially hydrogenated oils. They are made by mixing unsaturated fats with hydrogen gas at a high heat to make them resemble saturated fats.
This process is very disgusting and it amazes me to think that someone thought these fats would be suitable for human consumption. Trans fats raise the bad cholesterol and lower the good cholesterol, cause abdominal obesity, inflammation and insulin resistance (161718).
In the long term, consumption of trans fats raises the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, depression and many more diseases (1920212223). I recommend you avoid trans fats as if your life depended on it.
Bottom Line: Trans Fats are chemically processed fats that cause all sorts of damage in the body. You should avoid them like the plague.

5. Eating Vegetables Will Improve Your Health

Vegetables are good for you. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and an endless variety of trace nutrients that science has just begun to uncover.
In observational studies, eating vegetables is associated with improved health and a lower risk of disease (242526). I recommend that you eat a variety of vegetables each day.
They are healthy, fulfilling and add variety to the diet.
Bottom Line: Vegetables are rich in all sorts of nutrients. Eating vegetables each day is associated with improved health and a lower risk of disease.

6. It is Critical to Avoid a Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D is a unique vitamin. It actually functions as a steroid hormone in the body. The skin makes Vitamin D when it is exposed to ultraviolet rays from the sun.
This is how we got most of our daily requirement throughout evolution. However, today a large part of the world is deficient in this critical nutrient.
In many places, the sun simply isn’t available throughout most of the year. Even where there is sun, people tend to stay inside a lot and use sunscreen when they go out, but sunscreen effectively blocks Vitamin D generation in the skin.
If you’re Vitamin D deficient, then you’re actually deficient in a major hormone in the body, and a deficiency is associated with many serious diseases, including diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis and others (272829). The best way to know is to see a doctor and have your blood levels measured.
Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to get enough Vitamin D from the diet. If getting more sun is not an option, taking a Vitamin D3 supplement or a tablespoon of cod fish liver oil each day is the best way to prevent/reverse a deficiency.
Bottom Line: Vitamin D is a crucial hormone in the body and many people are deficient in it. Reversing a deficiency can have powerful health benefits.

7. Refined Carbohydrates Are Bad For You

There are a lot of differing opinions about carbs and fat. Some think fat is the root of all evil, while others believe carbs are the key players in obesity and other chronic diseases.
But what pretty much everyone agrees on is that refined carbohydrates are at the very least worse than unrefined (complex) carbohydrates. There are some nutrients in high-carb foods like grains that can be beneficial.
However, when you process the grains you remove most of the nutrients and then there’s nothing left but the bad stuff, massive amounts of easily digestible glucose. Eating refined carbs will cause rapid spikes in blood sugar, followed by a surge of insulin in the blood which triggers fat storage and contributes to insulin resistance and various diseases like obesity and diabetes.
I personally don’t think that grains are necessary at all, the nutrients in them can be acquired from other healthier and more nutritious foods in greater amounts. But it is very clear that whole grains and unrefined carbohydrates are at least a lot better than their refined, processed counterparts (30).
Bottom Line: Refined carbohydrates like processed grains are unhealthy. They are lacking in nutrients and lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin, which can cause all sorts of problems down the line.

8. Supplements Can Never Fully Replace Real Foods

“Nutritionism” is the idea that foods are nothing more than the sum of their individual nutrients. It is a trap that many nutrition enthusiasts tend to fall into.
But it’s simply not true. Nuts, for example, aren’t just shells loaded with Omega-6 fatty acids in the same way that fruits aren’t just watery bags of fructose.
No, these are real foods with a massive variety of trace nutrients. The vitamins and minerals, the ones you can also get from a cheap multivitamin, are just a small part of the total amount of nutrients in foods.
Therefore, supplements… at least the supplements we have today, are NOT able to replace the nutrients you get from real foods. Now I will admit that supplements can be beneficial, especially for nutrients that are generally lacking in the diet like Vitamin D and Magnesium.
But no amount of supplements will ever make up for a bad diet. Not a chance.
Bottom Line: It is much more important to eat real, nutritious foods than to count on supplements to provide the nutrients you need.

9. “Diets” Don’t Work, a Lifestyle Change is Necessary

“Diets” are ineffective. That is a fact. They may lead to short-term results, but as soon as you start eating junk food again you will gain the weight back. And then some.
This is called yo-yo dieting and is extremely common. Most people that lose a lot of weight on a diet end up gaining it back whenever they “stop” the diet. For this reason, the only thing that can give you actual long-term results is to adopt a lifestyle change.
Bottom Line: Adopting a healthy lifestyle is the only way to ensure long term weight loss and a lifetime of improved health.

10. Unprocessed Food is Healthiest

Processed food is unhealthy. As the food system has become more industrialized, the health of the population has deteriorated.
During food processing, many of the beneficial nutrients in the food are removed. Not only do they remove healthy nutrients like fiber, but they also add other very harmful ingredients like added sugar, trans fats and refined wheat.
Additionally, processed foods are loaded with all sorts of artificial chemicals that have absolutely NOT been proven safe for long term human consumption. Basically, processed foods have less of the good stuff and a LOT more of the bad stuff.
The most important thing you can do to ensure optimal health is to “eat real food.” If it looks like it was made in a factory, don’t eat it!

11. Anything Else?

Feel free to leave a comment if you want to add to the list!

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

Replacing My Mirror, Learning to Love Myself

Replacing My Mirror, Learning to Love Myself

They say hindsight is 20/20 and I can understand why.  At the time, you're too emotionally involved to be objective.  I mention this as I look back over old pictures of my own personal fitness journey as I'm about to start the 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack with a group of my other friends & fellow Beachbody coaches. 

As I look back at old pictures pictures of me and my family, what I found myself saying to myself was, "Wow, I actually look really good back then!" But what's funny is at that time I remember being so judgmental about how I looked, always knit picking over areas of my body that I felt needed improvement.  And while to a certain degree in our society that's a fairly common issues amongst most women.  The sad thing was as I reflect on that time period compared to just a year ago, I actually had a pretty healthy body image of myself.  Well let me take that back, what I realized was there was a change that occurred, there was a change in how I saw myself and it really started when I decided to "prove myself" and enter my first bikini competition, and try to win that trophy, like that would actually give me any REAL validation!!  I mean, yes the journey was awesome and I've learned so much about myself but I also paid an incredible price for that trophy, for that title and that's why I wanted to write & share this story. 

So right before I started my journey to become a bikini competitor I went on vacation with my husband.  It was just us, and we had a blast!  Being in Hawaii meant being at the beach, being outside, and pretty much living in your bikini!  I look back at those pictures today, and think there was absolutely nothing wrong with my body, but then I hired my first so-called "coach" who I ended firing shortly after hiring, but some of the things he said stuck with me all through that year as I went from one competition to the next.  

I remember him saying, "Yeah, we got a lot of work to do if you want to get on stage. You definitely have a lot to lose before you'll be ready." 

Me in Hawaii, 2011 when I decided to start to compete
A great website & blog I read is Coach, Scott Abel.  
He wrote a great article about the fitness industry

So after speaking with this coach, I went from being "I'm in pretty good shape," to "Oh I must be a fat pig."  So I started with my first show in March 2012, where I placed 5th, but then I wanted more.  I wanted to get a better place standing, I wanted to improve my body more & more.  The problem was that I soon found that even though I kept getting better, and improving in placements at shows, and eventually competed Nationally, in my eyes, I wasn't good enough, my body wasn't tight enough.  The one thing I thought would help my body image and self-esteem actually became the thing that made my body image and my self esteem worse!!!  I just figured that I just needed to continue on my journey competing, that eventually I'd find the validation I needed. I was about to quit it all, cause I just wasn't happy, but I also had this goal, this dream, and since I'm as stubborn as hell and hate quitting, I decided I'd do ONE MORE SHOW!!!  Amazingly enough that last show I won in 3 categories and won my Pro Card with the WBFF.  After that show, I was on the high from winning and being in the best shape of my life.  I felt more in balance, since I had a wonderful support team and friend who helped coach me & told me I could compete in a healthier way than I had in the past.  I was in the best shape I've ever been in my entire life and I was so proud that accomplished my goal, and for a brief moment I was extremely happy!!  I was happy with the way I looked, the way I felt; I felt that I had conquered those demons of body image with this win.  But after the high of the win went away, and life as usual set back in--no more show prep, no more excitement from people congratulating me, nobody cared anymore, and why should they!!  

My first show (Left), My winning Pro Card Show w/ WBFF (Right)
This is where things get a little crazy.  I thought there would be a way for me to keep my show body conditioning all the time, but it's just not that healthy for you to be that low in body fat for too long of time, and it's just not realistic.  After the show was done, I went back to my healthy eating, but I soon realized that things that I used to not really crave or really want; I wanted more and more since I had been on such a strict diet for so long (basically dieting from one show to the next for 11 months).  I started to want more and more junk food, sweets, candy (something that wasn't a big deal to me before--i.e. Hawaii times & before), but because I had condition my mind to see those things as being bad, and not allowing even a little bit; I started to get a really unhealthy focus on food, which then turned to a REALLY unhealthy relationship with food that I would literally hide my "treats" all over the house and then later when everybody went to bed or when nobody was at home, I would eat them in private, like it was some secret!!!  I never really had gained a whole lot of weight of course, but I gained more weight than I started out being before I decided to enter my first competition.  I knew it wasn't right, but I didn't know what the heck to do about it.  I tried to stop, but I couldn't--it was literally like I was addicted!!  

Then one night, in the middle of the night, I woke up hungry,  I couldn't sleep, so I went to the closet where I hide my treats, and ate all by myself at 2 o'clock in the morning.  Then the unthinkable happened, my husband woke up, wondered where I was and found me with my hand in a bag of candy sitting on the closet floor.  He just looked at me in disbelief, and I think I was in a daze because I didn't even react, I just said,  "oh hi honey! I'm just eating."  He took the bag from me and told me I should go back to bed and that's what I did.  From that was a moment on, I realized I needed to do something about this, or I could see an even unhealthier problem develop--regardless I was developing an eating disorder & I knew I was not in a healthy mindset.   So, I started to read & research as much as I could and found some incredible resources which really helped me, some which I've shared links to at the bottom of this article.  

So over year has gone by since I've won,  and since all of the above happened.  My metabolism has adjusted to be pretty normal now.  I've gone through so much with this whole situation and I'm not saying that I regret a single day of contest prep. I'm not saying that I regret a single thing that has happened because I've actually come full circle from these experiences.  Because NOW that I've had a chance to look back at all the contest pictures of myself,  I realize that it's been the mirror that I choose to see my body through, not the reality of what my body is.  

It's taken me about two years now to come full circle, but it's a good thing. I've realized that not only am I beautiful,  but I'm healthy, I'm strong and that I should love my body as I am. I want to be a healthy example to my daughter especially, as well as for my son.   I don't want my daughter to be obsessed with the way she looks.  I want her to be happy with her body image, and see she's beautiful, not for what's on the outside, but more for what's on the inside. 

So as I start this 21 day challenge with my friends on Monday, February 17th, 2014, it's like a renewal for me.  It's not about getting thinner, it's not about losing weight, it's about being healthy again and supporting my friends in their quest for health too.  This challenge is about taking control of who I am, my body image and loving me for where I am today!!!  

So as you read this and reflect on what I've shared, I want you to realize that perspective is a powerful thing and if you're doing this journey with me reflect every single day.  Journal, take pictures because you may be very judgmental of yourself today, but as you progress and you look back you'll see you've always been beautiful, but we have trained our eyes to see the negatives.  So can you promise me if you are following me on this journey, that everyday, you'll look at the positives of who you are? Learn from every experience, and don't judge yourself by the outside shell.  YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL for what you do, for the people you love, for the people you care for, for the people you inspire, for the lives you touch.  You may not realize the impact you make on people's lives, but you do in so many more important ways that has NOTHING to do with the size you wear!!  

May my story strengthen you and empower you to see your own beauty & strength you possess within.

Thank you for hearing my story, and if this has touched you...please share it. 

From my uncensored heart,

Me today