Saturday, January 31, 2015

Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowl

Typically, when I make spaghetti squash, I tend to stick to italian style recipes. Spaghetti squash with pasta sauce, spaghetti squash lasagna boats, and the like. Well, I came across an interesting looking recipe on Pinterest for a burrito bowl in spaghetti squash, so I thought that I would recreate my own burrito bowl.

I must say, they turned out super delicious! And these could absolutely be done with various ingredients, based on your own personal tastes.

(makes 4 servings)
2 spaghetti squash
1 can of white beans
1 can of tomato sauce
2 tsp cooking oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 lb ground turkey
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 packet low sodium taco seasoning

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cut spaghetti squash in half, and clean out the seeds. Place cut side down onto a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the inside is tender. Remove and let cool.
3. While spaghetti squash is baking, heat 2 tsp cooking oil in a large skillet, and sautee onion.
4. Add in minced garlic, sautee for one minute, or until fragrant, and then add in the chopped bell peppers. Cook until tender.
5. Add in the ground turkey, and brown.
6. Mix in taco seasoning until full incorporated, cook for 5 minutes.
7. Add in the can of drained white beans, and can of tomato sauce, let simmer for 10 minutes.
8. Divide the filling between the four spaghetti squash boats, cover each with 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese and sprinkle with the chopped cilantro.
9. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is browning and bubbly.
10. Enjoy!

There you have it, super delicious spaghetti squash burrito bowls! If you wanted to, you could substitute out the white beans for black beans, and even mix in fresh salsa or fresh chopped tomatoes if you wanted to!

Who is ready to try some spaghetti squash burrito bowls?

Friday, January 30, 2015

What Coaching is Not

Talking about something I am passionate is incredibly easy. I could talk on subjects I am passionate for hours, if given the breath and time. I won't be doing that to you today, but I do want to share a new aspect of my passion with you to help you understand what it is that I do!

Many of you know by now that I am a Beachbody coach. I own my own coaching business, and honestly, love it more than I ever thought I could. It fits my goals, my personality, my passion, and my purpose to speak life and worth into others, all while empowering myself and others to make a difference in their physical health and fitness.

Honestly, most unexpected and coolest job ever.

But let's shout out the elephant in the room. When most people find out that someone is involved with coaching, consulting, distributing, or anything else related with Multi Level Marketing, direct sales or network marketing, we bristle. We search for the nearest exit and create our strategy to get there as fast as possible.

It makes us uncomfortable because its unconventional. And because there have honestly been some not so honest companies in the past that have burned people.

I want to take a moment today on my blog to tell you a few things that Beachbody coaches are NOT, and maybe answer some of your questions along the way! My heart always in coaching is to SHARE. I'm not out to sell everyone, I honestly love helping people find something that works because it has made a huge difference in my life.

Okay, let's dive in.

1. Beachbody is not a pyramid scheme. Those are in fact, illegal. Pyramid schemes are scams that involve no trading of goods or services. Clearly with Beachbody, you get both. Our commission as coaches does not come solely from signing people up.

2. It's not a get rich quick scheme. This is one that trips up people a lot. In our minds we can know that, but sometimes we have the expectation (whether self imposed or someone dishonestly told us) that we will make millions overnight. This is a business, and it does take time, and hard work to grow.

3. It is not something that just happens. Speaking of hard work, you do have to put in effort. I know I have made the mistake in the past of thinking things would just happen. I put in all kinds of effort to make pretty binders, create posters, but I came drasticly short when it came to action, so I inevitably failed. With Beachbody, because I am passionate about helping others, it has been easy to take action. But you better believe I put in work, effort and heart into my business every day.

4. Coaching is not all about sales. At least it is not for me. Of course there are people in every business that can become the "bad apples." But believe me when I tell you, I am NOT a salesperson. But I absolutely love sharing my story, my journey, my results. Coaching is about helping people find something that works for them, and walking through that journey with them. 

There you have it, just a very few points about what a Beachbody coach is not. I hope through that you can get even a little clearer picture about my work as a coach. It is something that I have become very passionate about, because there is such a great opportunity to help change people's lives.

It's not about the money, a sale, or the programs. It's truly about helping people become more in their own lives. Personally, when I began focusing on my health and fitness, I grew in every area of my life. And that is why I share, and why I want others to be able to experience the incredible freedom and results from making simple changes for their own health benefit in their lives.

Now let's hear from you! What questions do you have about Beachbody coaching? 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Drive Time University

First off, let's have a vote.

When you are driving in traffic, stuck in a gridlock, or just taking your daily commute, what do you do? 

A. Turn on the radio and skip through the channels
B. Turn on the radio and listen to the music and commercials
C. Sit in silence
D. Listen to an audio book
E. Talk on the phone, text or look at your phone

First, let me please say that if you text while driving, just say no. I can't count how many accidents or near accidents I have seen because of it. But I'm not about to get on my soap box about that today.
I wanted to share what I have been doing and have found most helpful! I've actually ditched the radio (and subsequent flipping through every channel because they are either on commercial or playing my least favorite song on repeat), and taken to listening to audio books every time I'm in my car!

The average American spends a lot of time in his car over the course of the year. Driving to and from work, to the store, taking trips, and all various kinds of errands. That means a lot of time that you can't do a lot else with your hands than drive, and you can't look at other things because you are watching the road.

That leaves our ears! I used to shuffle through the radio stations but honestly never enjoyed that much. I love music, but I have commercials more. It would get so old!

I have now replaced that with listening to audio books. My own "drive time university" if you will! For work alone I typically drive at least 3 to 4 hours per week. Do you know what you can do with three to four hours when you listen to audio books? 

I've taken "dead time," time that would just be killed sitting in traffic and turn it in an opportunity to learn, and it is already making a huge impact. I love to learn, and this avenue is free or costs next to nothing. And I can choose my own material!

Here are some great places to start looking:

1. Podcast Addict App. LOVE this app! You can search and subscribe to many different podcasts- pastors, teachers, motivational speakers. Put it on when you get in the car and listen while you drive!
2. Audible. This is linked to Amazon! I have not personally used it yet, but I know some friends who love this app and use it to listen to fiction and non fiction a like.

3. YouTube. You can actually find some great motivational material on there, but it tends to be shorter than other apps. I recommend using the "watch later" button to bookmark what you want to listen to and then create a playlist so you are hands free while driving.

4. Physical CDs. Amazon is great for this too! You can find so many books on audio to get and keep on hand in your car to listen to!

If you have never tried this before, I challenge you to listen to one podcast this week on your way to work and see if you don't learn something new along the way!

What's your favorite audio book?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Marriage Tip #9

Our culture is inundated with technology. TVs, computers, laptops, iPads, iPhones, iTouches, cell phones, smart phones, the list goes on and on and on. They even have little computer screen tablets at some restaurants now. The pace our culture has on being consumed with technology is dizzying sometimes.

My ninth marriage tip is to take intentional time away from technology together. That's right...unplug. On purpose.

This has been inspired in part by that experience at a restaurant with tablets at each table. It seems innocent enough, you could order food, look at the menu. Honestly I was sort of confused by it because I wasn't sure if we were supposed to order from that or wait for our waitress. But what made me more concerned was when I glanced around the restaurant.

There were other couples, families and groups of people huddled around, you guessed it, the tablet. Or one would be on the tablet, the other on a phone. Basically everyone had their eyes on a screen. So Zach and I turned out screen around and put it to the other end of the table and had our own face to face conversation and dinner.

While I use technology and love the convenience and connection it offers, I also recognize that being constantly glued to a screen is not good for your real life relationships, especially with your spouse. Zach and I try to have intentional time where we do not have our cell phones on us. They are in another room, on silent, turned upside down. Or sometimes we will just leave our cell phones at home when we are going out on a date (I know, what?! How do we survive??)

It may seem awkward at first if you're not used to being without your phone. Or feel like you are missing something. You may get "FOMO," or, "Fear Of Missing Out." That is the first clue that there's an imbalance. Face to face quality time with our spouse should not be that way. It should be life giving, fun, and make us grow.

You can decide what sort of frequency is good for you. You might start out with once a month, or maybe turning the phones off on your date, or once a week having a morning with no screens. The important thing is to intentionally set aside the time for it.

Hear me right, I am not saying that technology is evil. I use it every single day. I am using it to write this blog, I use it as a platform to inspire and encourage others, I use it to make new friends and connect to people, and I use it for my business.

But if there's one thing I learn over and over is that there is a proper time and place for it, and there is a proper time and place for there to be a break from it. It encourages you to get out of your shell, communicate face to face, and grow. It can deepen your connection with your spouse, and maybe you'll find something new you both love doing together!

So, set a time, ditch the screens, and find something fun to do together! Trust me, there's lots of fun to be had as a married couple. Just think on it a little bit!

Do you currently have any time that you and your spouse unplug from technology? What works for you? 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ground Turkey Enchiladas

Living in southwest Arizona for over ten years absolutely made me partial to Mexican food, and real , authentic Mexican food at that. The rest of the country just doesn't know what it's missing! No, Taco Bell and On the Border don't count. Georgia just doesn't have the same Mexican food as Arizona. 

While there's a mix of different dishes panning across the Mexican food genre, some can be healthy, and others not so healthy.This week I definitely had a hankering for enchiladas, so I thought I would try my hand at making a healthier version of enchiladas, and they turned out great! I will be making these again.

Ground Turkey Enchiladas

16 corn tortillas
Red or green enchilada sauce
1 onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
2 tsp cooking oil
1lb lean ground turkey
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper
Seasoning to taste

1. Preheat a large skillet with cooking oil over medium high heat
2. Sautee onions and bell peppers until tender (about 5 minutes)
3. Add in your ground turkey, mix and brown through.
4. Add your cumin, garlic powder, paprika and black pepper. Mix to combine, cook over medium for a few more minutes.
5. Grease a large baking dish (enough to fit your enchiladas, or you can use two dishes)
6. Heat up your tortillas for a few seconds so they are easier to work with. Fill each with about 2 heaping Tbsp of filling, then roll and place with the seam on the bottom.
7. Fill all tortillas, then cover with enchiladas sauce, cheese and cilantro.
8. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes
9. Enjoy!!

What is your favorite Mexican dish? Anyone else love their food nice and spicy besides me? 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Les Mills Combat Review

After doing several rounds of two incredible programs, FOCUS T25 and the 21 Day Fix, and getting some great results, I decided I wanted to try something new and take it to the next level. My husband has had his eye on another Beachbody program called Les Mills Combat. A sort of "mixed martial arts" workout. I could see why it appealed to him.

After I got the program for him, I decided that I wanted to try it with him! Quite a few years back I took a short kick boxing class that was a lot of fun, so while Combat was a different style of workout than I had been doing, it looked fun.

Currently we are over half way done with our first 60 days of Combat, and I can say without hesitation that it is a lot of fun.

So let's get into the good, the bad, the DETAILS!

Les Mills Combat

How long is the program? 60 days, with options for a 5 day workout week or 6 day workout week.

What comes with it? A good variety of actual workouts (7), an instructional video to show you how to properly do the moves, nutritional guide, getting started guide and gloves!

What fitness level would I recommend this to? I would recommend this for people at any fitness level. Its fairly low impact, but you can really amp up your energy level for those who are more advanced in fitness. Plus its not your normal every day program!

How long are the workouts? There are three 30 minute workouts, one 45 minute workout, and two 60 minute workouts.

- I can't lie, I was really intimidated thinking about doing a whole sixty minute workout. 30 minutes has been my sweet spot, and I was nervous about a full hour.
- I really enjoy a full stretching or yoga workout, and there isn't one included in the base package. But, I do one from my other programs.
-For lifting and cardio junkies...there are a lot of these elements mixed in to the workouts, but its just a different kind of workout for the most part.

-There is a modifier for each move in case you need lower impact.
- This program has lots of variety! Along with your various types of martial arts, you have two HIIT workouts, they incorporate ab work, push ups, planks, and the like with the workouts.
- I love the trainers enthusiasm and instruction. Each program and trainer has their own style and I really enjoyed this one, they are doing the moves with you the whole time, pushing you further.
- You will build muscles in places in your back you never even knew about! And you might be sore there too, but its a good burn. It worked a whole new set of muscle groups for me.
- Improved posture! I've found that since starting this, I've had better posture because of the muscles in my back that I'm strengthening.
- It's almost like an adrenaline rush doing Combat workouts! And you can store that knowledge for self defense if you ever needed it.

I will definitely be doing this workout again! While 60 minute workouts can sound intimidating it was so much more doable than I was expecting! I absolutely love all of the workouts and variety. I can't argue with results either. I'm doing more burpees, push ups and kicks already than when I started. My upper body strength is improving as well as my endurance. I absolutely recommend this program!

Whether you are looking to mix up your routine, get out some stress through kicking and punching, break a plateau and get new results, I would encourage you to look at Les Mills Combat!
Be sure to stay tuned in the next few weeks when I talk about my final overall results from doing the program for 60 days.

Have you ever done a mixed martial arts or kick boxing class? What were your thoughts?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Kale and Tomato Salad

Kale was one of those foods that when I started getting healthy and looking to eat better that I really didn't care too much for in the beginning. It tasted bitter and sharp to me, and I wasn't sure what all to do with it.

I ended up using it in smoothies mostly, because you don't taste it as much when it's blended up with some delicious fruit. But the past few months I have been branching out even more and trying new recipes with kale. The conclusion, I love kale now!

This week I experimented and made a sauteed kale salad that I will definitely be doing again! It was a bowl of tasty goodness that is just exploding with nutrients. You could definitely tweak this recipe to fit your own tastes with other spices that you enjoy. This is the base recipe that I used, feel free to experiment!

Kale and Tomato Salad
(two servings)

1 tsp cooking oil
2 cloves of garlic (or more if you love garlic, I know I do!)
3 cups of kale (chopped or torn to medium to smaller sized pieces)
1 cup of cherry tomatoes
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you like it spicy!)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp sesame seeds
A few splashes of soy sauce *optional*
Season according to your own tastes!

1. Heat your cooking oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat
2. Finely mince your 2 cloves of garlic and sautee in the skillet for about one minute
3. Add in your kale and tomatoes and stir around with your garlic. Cook until the kale begins to wilt slightly.
4. Season the kale with all of your seasons, correct to your own tastes.
5. Stir all together, cook until the kale is wilted and the tomatoes are heating through.
6. Top with your sesame seeds and enjoy!

Who's ready to try some kale and tomato salad?? Do you have a killer kale recipe? Please share it with me, I would love to try it!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

What the Heck Am I Doing?

Over the past year you may have noticed that I've been posting a lot of stuff about health and fitness. You may have noticed that I've been posting lots of healthier recipes. And that I take a lot of "sweaty selfies" after I workout.

Am I really just that selfie loving that I want to show you the sweat on my head and update you on what I'm eating? Sorry, but NO! There actually is a much deeper purpose behind it.

It's because I want to share and encourage and inspire and MOTIVATE.

You see, just a little over a year ago, I was sitting in a really unhealthy place. I was eating whatever I wanted, not doing anything active really, and just feeling really "blah" about my health. I knew something was wrong, and I knew that I didn't feel comfortable in my own skin. I knew that if I didn't make a change, that my health was going to deteriorate very quickly.

As a new bride, that was the last thing I wanted! I wanted to look forward to a long, full, healthy life with my wonderful husband, keep up with him, have adventures with him, and then be able to raise a healthy family together.

If I stayed like I was, it would not have been possible. I was living in denial, and I had to get out. So, I made the HUGE leap of faith for me and decided to start working out. Zach worked out with me and kept me accountable for ten whole weeks and I finished a workout program for the first time EVER.

What I decided to do next was big, and is the reason why I have been posting so much about health and fitness and sharing this journey in life with you. I became a coach for Beachbody so that I can help others know that this is possible and that there is hope.

I know just how hard it is to get started, believe me. So when I saw there was a chance to help others over that big hurdle and get them going on their journey and help them get results, I jumped on it! The financial reward from it is just the frosting on the cake.

My true passion is helping others. Every sweaty workout picture, every recipe, every motivational quote I post, every little tid bit I share about marriage, life, and this crazy journey, is to help YOU, dear friend. To let you know that you are not alone, and that you can do this.

I absolutely love what I do for my job as a health and fitness coach. I love being surrounded by inspiring people, and being able to in turn pour into others and help others. I'm not out to sell, I'm out to share and help, and I know that this is a cry of my heart that will be enduring for quite a while.

Every month I lead one to two exclusive, private, online health and fitness groups to help keep others motivated and accountable to their health and fitness goals. My job is to match you up with a program that works for you and will actually get you results. That is my passion. To show you an avenue that you can take to reach your goals and feel your best.

So be on the lookout and know that everything I share, and everything that I post, is not to build myself up or to say "look at me." The cry of my heart truly is to share this journey with you. To invite you in and walk side by side with you. Because Lord knows that going it alone is so hard. Know that you have a friend in me, and it is my passion in life to help you.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Biggest Nutrition Weakness

Everyone has their weakness when it comes to nutrition. For some, it may be chocolate, or wine. Others, a nice big hamburger. Candy. Popcorn. Soda. The list could honestly go on and on because each one of us likes different things and craves different foods.

Want to know what my biggest nutritional weakness and struggle is? Carbs.

I am a carb-o-holic.

Bread in particular is a big weakness, but also chips, pita chips, tortillas, oh and of course the classic combo of chips and salsa. I definitely crave the salty and savory snacks over the sweet. Some might argue that that is good, but, as I have learned in my life struggling with weight, carbs don't hold much better for me.

Honestly there were times where I would buy a bag of pita chips and sit there and eat, and suddenly realize that I ate the whole bag. I can vividly remember when I came home to the states after being overseas for over a year and missing American food very much (mistake), I went out and bought a tub of hummus and a bag of pita chips and I'm pretty sure I ate the whole thing right there. Ouch.

Looking back those are not my finest moments. When I came home from being overseas particularly, I had a very unhealthy relationship with food. My mentality was "Oh my gosh, I haven't had all of these foods in so long, I'm going to treat myself!" Well that never stopped. And it usually happened with carbs or food that held no nutritional value.

That led to me gaining all of the weight I had lost being overseas, plus adding on more pounds (I honestly don't know how many because I was too ashamed to step on the scale), and reaching my heaviest weight ever.

That is when I decided that I had had enough, and that I needed to change. I am so thankful that Zach stood beside me when I came to him with tears in my eyes, trying to explain how uncomfortable I felt in my own skin, and how unhealthy I felt, and that I needed a change. I am so thankful that my life has turned around and I am getting healthier every day.

But, I must say, that my struggle with food and carbs is still going. When I started working out, I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to what I was eating until about a month and a half in, and I started digging into what I needed to do to get healthy through nutrition.

I learned about proper portion sizes for every food group through doing the 21 Day Fix, which has been life changing as well. Looking at food and the portions I was eating, noticing my cravings, and noticing my eating habits, I realized that I have a lot of work to do.

Not only am I a carb-o-holic, but I tend to eat when I'm bored, or zone out. Dangerous combination. Our eating habits go so much deeper than just the surface of "I'm hungry, I want to eat this." And there are definitely unhealthy relationships that I have with food that I am still breaking (my craving for carbs, particularly the empty carbs that don't aid my bodies nutrition).

I wanted to share this with you and be vulnerable because I want you to know that you are not alone. I know there are so many others out there exactly like me. If not with carbs, you have another vice. Another relationship with food. Another bad eating habit. And I'm telling you, we can get through this.

Your body is a temple, and 80% of the battle for our health is what we feed ourselves. I know that I am striving every day to break the cycle, and nourish my body. I am happy to say that I have been eating more veggies and fruit than I ever have in my life before, and I don't intend on stopping. Every day I am checking myself, especially with carbs and asking myself, "DO I REALLY NEED THIS?"

It can be so incredibly hard to step away from a craving. So hard to put down that second serving. So hard to say no, and walk away.

But I want to tell you that you can do it. Be encouraged and know that you are not alone, and that you can do this.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Marriage Tip #8

Marriage and Money. Two very strong "M" words that I know I have shared on before, but they are so powerful that they are definitely worth revisiting. Zach and I are in the process of going through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University, which if you haven't heard of it, or done it, I highly recommend, even if you are in a good place financially.

Therefore, my eighth marriage tip is centered around marriage and money. Get yourself on a budget, even if it's only for a little time.

We have learned so many things by doing this program together. It's allowed us to realize we are not the only ones who have a "spender" and a "saver" in the relationship, and that in fact, that's usually how it goes, and we balance each other out.

We have learned practical ways to save money, start paying off our debt, and how to communicate about our finances in a way that makes sense to both of us. We play off each other's strengths. For example, I love details and spreadsheets, and I happen to be the planner, and the "saver" mentality. For me, doing the budget every month and tracking it in a spreadsheet is fun. Yes, I'm a nerd.

One really practical thing that we have learned, implemented and found incredibly helpful to our marriage is using the "envelope" system. I'm sure that even if you haven't heard of Dave Ramsey, you might have a general idea of what the envelope system is. 

The truth that we have learned is that cash does in fact hurt more to spend than swiping a card. It makes you pause and think through your decisions together more. So Zach and I decided last fall to start using the envelope system for certain categories of our spending.

We use it for things like our tithing and saving, for gas money, groceries (this is probably the biggest area that helps reduce excess spending that you might not even know you're doing), saving for certain payments, and saving for certain other things throughout the year.

Honestly, I was excited to see how it worked in our marriage, but hesitant, too. From what I have heard over the years and from many other married couples is that finances can be a huge stressor on marriage if you don't come into agreement and communicate about it.

Being able to have a budget, come together and discuss your common financial goals and ideas, put it down on paper and literally see your cash going to those certain places is very relieving and very freeing. You would think that it might tighten things up, but it's the exact opposite. It has freed up our cash flow, and we are telling our money where to go, instead of wondering where it all went at the end of the month.

If you haven't ever tried a budget, there are so many tools online that can guide you and help you. If you want specifically to know about the envelope system, I believe you can even look up some tools through Dave Ramsey's website, or you can contact me and ask me some questions as well.

The biggest thing is to get on the same page as your spouse about money. Even if things are tight, by communicating and working together through the financial issues, you open the doors for more grace and teamwork, instead of becoming divided and defensive. Take a little bit of time this week, get outside your comfort zone and have a conversation with your spouse about finances and open that communication up!

What about you? Do you already have a budget in place with your spouse? What methods have you found have helped you with marriage and finances? I would love to hear from you! 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Zoodle Pad Thai

Zucchini and Thailand collide in this delicious dish! I have been absolutely loving my Vegetti lately (it's what makes these "zoodles"- aka zucchini noodles), and decided to make a dish with an Asian flair from one of my favorite Asian countries- Thailand.

I created a veggie pad thai dish not long ago and loved it, and decided that I would substitute the whole wheat noodles for the delicious zucchini noodles to add in an extra servings of vegetables! It's actually even easier to make with the zucchini noodles because they don't have to cook longer.

So, here we go! 

Zoodle Pad Thai (Optional with chicken)
6 servings
-6 medium zucchini
-2 tsp cooking oil
-1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
-1/2 an onion, finely chopped
-3 cloves of garlic, minced
-1 red bell pepper, chopped
-1 green bell pepper, chopped
-1/3 cup peanut butter
-2 Tbsp soy sauce (plus more to taste)
-3 Tbsp coconut milk (more to taste if needed)
-Pinch of crushed red pepper
-1 Tbsp Sesame seeds (plus a few extras for garnish)
-2 chicken breasts, cut into smaller pieces (if using chicken)

1. Use a vegetti or other spiralizer cutter, cut all of your zucchini on the "thick" setting, set aside.
2. Heat your cooking oil in a large skillet, and also bring a medium pot of water to a boil (one that you can fit a steamer basket into)
3. Sautee your onion until translucent, add in garlic and sautee for a minute, until fragrant.
4. Add in all of your other chopped veggies.
5. Sprinkle and mix in your sesame seeds and let the whole mixture cook over medium to medium high heat for 5 minutes, until veggies begin to get tender.
6. Add in your chicken, cook until done, mixing with veggies.
7. Mix together your peanut butter, soy sauce, and coconut milk, to make your peanut sauce. Add in a pinch of red pepper, and pour over chicken and veggie mixture.
8. Cook for 5 minutes over medium high heat.
9. While the veggies and chicken are cooking, steam the zucchini very briefly. I prefer my zucchini noodles with more crunch. The longer you steam them, the smaller they get, so you can vary it according to your taste.
10. Remove and toss with the chicken and veggie mixture.
11. Top with a few red pepper flakes and sesame seeds, and enjoy! 

So, who is ready to try using zucchini noodles??

Friday, January 9, 2015

5 Ways to Get Motivated to Workout

There are days where working out is literally the last thing that I want to do. We are all human, and life happens. You get tired, it's cold outside, you have a million other things on your to do list, and working out starts getting knocked down to the bottom of your list.

I used to get to that point of no motivation, and that's where I would give up. In the past this is where I would say "well, maybe I'll just start over again on Monday." And then Monday would never come. Because when you lose momentum, it can be hard to pick it back up. I know, because I have been there over and over again.

I saw a great quote by Zig Ziglar on Pinterest this week.
"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing. That's why we recommend it daily."

While amusing, it proves a point. Motivation comes, and motivation goes. It's up to us to get our butts in gear, get motivated and more importantly, get moving. While this can apply to virtually all areas of your life that you need motivation in, today I'm specifically going to give you some tips on how you can get motivated to workout!

1. Get an accountability partner or group. Seriously, I am the biggest advocate for this, and not just because I lead accountability groups and coach some amazing people. The REASON I lead these accountability groups is because accountability WORKS. This is the one key that has kept me going for almost an entire year straight now, when before I could barely keep consistent with anything for two weeks. Get someone to keep you accountable!

2. Write it in your calendar. Get your workout in ink on paper, or marked down on your calendar in your phone. You could even set an alarm! Writing it down helps to solidify your plans. Set a specific time for your workout, and try to plan for the full week at a time. Don't give yourself excuses, block out that time and stick to it. You'll be glad you did!

3. Set out your workout clothes before you workout. If you are working out when you first wake up in the morning, set your clothes and shoes out ready to go for the morning. Cue up your DVD, get  your gym bag ready, whatever you need, get it ready. If you work out at night when you get home from work, same thing. Set everything out so that it is ready for you to get into when you come home. The more you prepare, the less excuses you can come up with to talk yourself out of it.

4. Pump up the jams! Find or create a playlist that inspires you. Wake up to it, get ready to it, and workout to it! Music is a great way to work yourself up into the mood and motivation. Keep it ready and have fun with it.

5. Find a way to put a visual up in your house of your goal. What do I mean by that? Well, personally, I have a goal to fit into a certain dress by my husband and I's second wedding anniversary. It's many sizes smaller than I wear, and a gorgeous dress, and it's my goal to get into that dress by the end of this year! Yours could be a pair of jeans, a swimsuit, anything really. If you have it though, put it on a hanger and put it out where you can see it every day to help remind you why you are doing this!

There are just a few ways that you can get yourself motivated to stay in the fight for your health and fitness. Of course there are so many others, but that's a start for you. Above all, remember that consistency is key. Not just with health and fitness, but every area of life.

How do you get yourself motivated to get your workout going? Share below!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Marriage Tip #7

Be intentional.

In a culture where technology abounds, smart phones are owned by six year olds, and there is something scheduled for almost every second of the day, being intentional can be hard. It can be hard to say "no" to good things, pause, and spend time with those we love. Our culture is fast paced, and moving even faster.

Something that I have written on my daily goal list is to spend intentional, quality face to face time with Zach every day. I intentionally put my phone on vibrate, flip it upside down, put it in another room, close the computer, and just BE with him. It could be something as simple as just cuddling together on the couch, playing a game of Scrabble, going on a coffee date, or taking a trip to one of our favorite store to window shop.

But there is something incredibly freeing and wonderful about being intentional with the one you love. It allows you to truly see your spouse. Not just to be in the same room or at the same table with them while you scroll through Facebook or Instagram.

Be in your life. Be in your relationship with your spouse. Find the things you love to do together, and protect that time above all else.

For Zach and I another way that we make sure that our intentional time happens is that we plan a date day every week, and take turns planning the date. Again, they could be simple, or more elaborate. The point is to study each other, get to know one another (yes, even after you are married), and talk with each other. Have fun together!

Something else that we are establishing this year for our marriage goals is to have one "intentional day" a month for the other spouse. What this looks like for us is this, the month where Zach has his "intentional day," he chooses something for both of us to do together that he loves to do. I may or may not like it as much as he does, but the point is that we are intentionally doing it together. For him, that might mean taking me shopping with him at a store that I wouldn't go to normally, but I go with him and enjoy it intentionally with him.

For my intentional day that might look like me picking out a project for us to do together or doing something crafty together. That probably would not be something that Zach would just pick up and do on his own, but he is intentionally doing it with me, and we are spending that time together, which is the most important factor.

Figure out what being intentional looks like for your marriage relationship, and write down your plan. Don't just leave it hanging up in the air to maybe happen in the future. Write it down, mark it in your calendar in pen, and set aside that time intentionally to be together. It's absolutely worth the investment you make into one another and into your marriage.

So, let me hear from you. How do you spend time intentionally with your spouse?

Monday, January 5, 2015

5 Tips for Getting Organized

It's no secret that as the new year is upon us, everyone is wanting to get more organized. Just today in fact, I was in line at Target to get a few things, and I saw at least three other people in line with a planner or calendar in hand. Ready to take on the world, one page at a time.

I myself have gone through phases of using a planner, using a calendar, using my phone, going by my memory, having a million post its and to do lists crammed in my purse, and any number of other "methods" I tried to use to stay organized.

But over this past year especially, I have found that I am actually a pen and paper gal, through and through. Writing things down concretely on paper helps me to gather my thoughts, lay out a plan, manage my time, and most importantly, stay organized.

So I became one of those people, planner and three other notebooks in hand, and began to plan and write. I actually had my goals written out, in several places. But I wanted all of my plans, to dos and ideas in one place (or between a notebook and a planner), in an effort to keep life simple.

From all of my experiments, I have a few tips to share with you if you are looking to get your calendar and life organized this year and are determined to stick to it. I could write a whole series of blogs on how to stick with things, but we will start with some organizing tips for now.

1. KISS. Keep It Super Simple!! Whether you are tech savvy and love your apps, or you need a pen and paper, remember above all to keep it simple! The fewer amount of places you have all of your information stored, the better. Try and keep everything in one or two locations to keep you sane. This will also aid in consistency!

2. Write it down. Over the course of your year, you are going to have parties, appointments, to dos, gatherings, meetings, and an endless gamut of things with a deadline. Write it down. Again, whether on your phone or in a planner, write it down. It may seem simple, but sometimes the simple things are easily overlooked.

3. Take one day a week to plan. This may take some time to get in the habit of if you are not used to it. But truly I am telling you, if you take even just 20 minutes one time a week to look ahead at your week and plan out what you need to do, spread it across your week, I promise it's going to take some stress out of your life.

4. Use your planner! Okay, I'm going to break the mold and encourage you to do something that might make you a little uncomfortable. Put the phone down, get your planner (or calendar, or go get one) and a pen, and WRITE. The art of keeping a planner and a hand written calendar has been lost on our culture for a few years. Some people help keep it alive, but the benefits are much overlooked. I'm going to challenge you to try using an actual physical planner for at least one month to see what you think!

5. Prioritize. When you are looking at your calendar and planner, and comparing them to your goals for the year, take each day and each week and see what you need to prioritize to make your goals and "to do's" happen. Breaking your goals down over the entire year makes them much more manageable. So take some time to prioritize your schedule!

There you have it, a few simple tips to get organized in your calendar and life this year as we start off 2015 strong. Stay tuned on my blog and keep following me on Facebook  and on Instagram as I share more tips on how I keep my planner up to date and how I'm working smart to stay organized!

Let me hear YOU weigh in, do you prefer technology to keep your schedule, or are you old fashioned pen and paper like me?

Saturday, January 3, 2015

2015 "Dream Big 15"

"If you aim for nothing you will hit it every time." Zig Ziglar coined some wise words when he spoke this phrase, and it's one that I believe to be very true. For the past few years, and especially in the last year, I have grown to love the concept of setting goals and dreams.

Not only is it fun for me to pray about and dream about the places that I am called to go, and set goals for the things I am called to do, but it gives me direction. Without the goals, sure, I have ideas floating around of things I want to do. But I am a visual person, and I need a concrete list in front of me to remind me of the direction I am headed in.

I heard recently in a personal development call for my coaching that to thrive, you need to set at least three goals, and to really triumph, you need to set 12. Well, considering it's 2015 this year, and that's only three away from 15, I decided to make this year's goals my "Dream Big 15."

Fifteen goals and dreams that I am actively working to achieve and make happen. There are a mix of personal, relational, financial, health and work goals in this list of 15. And honestly, I have a few more than 15 goals, and have written those down into four categories (spiritual growth goals, marriage, personal, and business) and hang those on my fridge.

But I wanted to take a minute today and share my "Dream Big 15" with you in hope that it encourages YOU to write your own goals. Give yourself direction this year, I promise, it is worth it. Even if you do not achieve all of your goals this year, you are moving in a direction and can check your progress along the way.

My Dream Big 15

1. Help 60 people on their health and fitness journey.
2. Take two vacations with my sweet husband.
3. Save up for a down payment on a house.
4. Pay off two of our credit cards (working towards that debt free, baby!)
5. Lose 100 pounds and wear my special dress for our anniversary at the end of this year.
6. Read 12 books (at least).
7. Build an emergency fund of $1,000 (Anyone else done Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University? Seriously so good, and this is one of his first tips to financial freedom.)
8. Do at least one "Pay It Forward" outreach.
9. Create community by getting involved in a small group and host monthly gatherings for ladies at our home that foster spiritual growth.
10. Achieve the leadership position of two star diamond in my business by my birthday in May.
11. Achieve the leadership position of five star diamond in my business by Christmas.
12. Become a full time coach!
13. Hike Blood Mountain in north Georgia with Zach.
14. Go camping with my hubby!
15. Have one "intentional day" each month in our marriage. This is where one person picks something that both of us do together that we might not normally do together, but it helps us connect with each other on what the other likes.

There's my Dream Big 15 list for 2015! I am honestly really excited about this list of goals, as well as the other goals that I have set for myself and that we have set for our marriage this year. Something that the Lord has been laying on my heart for this year is "Excellence."

Excellence in everything that I do, in every area of life. Spiritually, relationally, in work, in business, in day to day interactions, in chores around the house, literally everything. So I am ready to put my all into this list of dreams and goals this year and see what God has in store.

If I don't achieve them all I won't be an utter failure, but I know what direction I am going in and I am giving this my heart and am working towards hitting each of these goals! What are some of your goals for this new year? I would love to hear your dreams and goals!