Healthy Recipes & Fitness Tips

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

24 Day Challenge: Body Transformation

Throw out your scale right now! The numbers on the scale do not tell the complete story. The pictures you see are from my recent 24 Day Challenge. If you are unfamiliar with the 24 Day Challenge it is a comprehensive nutrition program that focuses on eating lean and clean and filling in the nutritional gaps with elite nutritional products. The same elite nutritional products taken by Drew Brees, Rich Froning, Jason Witten  and many other athletes at the top of their game! My favorite part of this program is that you get to eat so much food! I wrote up a few sample menus recently that highlighted some of the delicious and nutritious food I get to eat.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Blueberry and Chia Protein Pancakes

I am halfway through the 24 Day Challenge and I have lost 8 inches and 1% of my body fat!!! Eating lean and clean, working out 30 minutes a day and taking the same Elite Nutritional Products as Drew Brees, Jason Witten and Rich Froning is the perfect combination.

This morning I made some delicious and nutritious Blueberry and Chia Protein Pancakes. The pancakes are gluten free, contain no added sugar and pack in 30 grams of protein per serving!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Cinnamon and Ginger Detox Tea

When ever I feel like a cold is coming on, or my kids come home with runny noses and I want to give myself an immunity boost I make cinnamon and ginger detox tea. It is also great when your tummy is feeling funny and naturally relieves nausea.

This detox tea recipe is naturally caffeine free and so easy to make. All you need is ginger root, cinnamon sticks and water.

Cinnamon: Reduces inflammation, is an antioxidant, helps fight bacteria, regulates blood sugar and boosts immunity

Ginger: Reduces inflammation, is an antioxidant, aids in digestion, alleviates nausea and contains vitamin C


Brew 2 cinnamon sticks and a 2 inch section of ginger root in water. Allow to cool slightly and serve.  I tend to make this tea in large batches and keep the extra in the refrigerator. It is very tasty served hot or cold!
 


Thursday, January 9, 2014

24 Day Challenge: Clean Eating Sample Menu, Part 2

Day 8 of the 24 Day Challenge and I am feeling awesome!! Sometimes you don't even realize how tired you are when tired is your norm. It is like sitting outside on a beautiful spring evening reading your favorite book. As the sun begins to set, your eyes adjust and you continue reading in the dim light. It isn't until someone else joins you outside and says "how are you able to still read when it is almost dark out," that you realize how low the sun has set in the sky. For so many of us we have adjusted to the dim light. We go through the day on our hamster wheel not realizing that the light is no longer on. Well, my light is back on, I am seeing clearly, I have energy and focus! Thank goodness for the Challenge!

Now that you are ready to turn your light back on...Start your day with some fresh green juice. My favorite combination is Kale, Cucumber, Parsley and Pear. On the side (or as a snack later in the day) have a lean and clean PB and Banana snack.
Mid-morning enjoy a twist on the childhood favorite "Ants on a Log" You can make this kids classic into a sophisticated adult treat by making it with almond butter and dried cranberries (sweetened with fruit juice)

 
For lunch try Tuna with a Twist! In a food processor, blend a can of tuna with an avocado and 1 tbs of spicy brown mustard.

In the afternoon enjoy some yummy Summer Rolls. In order to make this 24 Day Challenge friendly switch out the rice wrappers for some yummy romaine lettuce leaves!

For dinner try Quinoa Taco Bowls. You can keep this challenge friendly by skipping the cheese and the greek yogurt. Check out Part 1 of my Clean Eating Sample Menu for more great ideas to keep it lean and clean!


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Fish and Chips: A Clean Eating Recipe Twist

I am on day 6 of the 24 Day Challenge and I feel amazing. My energy has been restored, my sugar cravings are gone and my waistline is getting slimmer! I wanted to share a simple, healthy and delicious twist on the classic fish and chips. Pecan crusted tilapia with sweet potato chips and a side of spinach is under 400 calories and packs in 24 grams of protein!  This recipe is super simple, the best of the best when it comes to clean eating.

Ingredients:
3 tilapia filets
2 large sweet potatos
1.5 cups raw pecans
Italian seasoning blend (without salt)
2 cups of steamed spinach

Preheat the oven to 350. The sweet potato will need to cook about 40 min and the fish for 20 min.

Start by slicing your sweet potato. Place it in a gallon size plastic zipper bag, add in Italian seasoning to taste and shake. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray (this makes clean up soooo much easier). Place the sweet potato slices in a single layer on the cookie sheet. (Save the plastic bag to use with the fish.)
While the sweet potato is starting to cook in the oven you can prep the fish. Put the pecans in a food processor and pulse until they are the consistency of bread crumbs. Place the pecans and tilapia in the plastic bag and shake to evenly coat the fish. The fish will then go in a baking pan (I like to use foil and cooking spray here as well). If the fish has any spots not covered in pecan you can take what is left in the bag and press it on to the bald spots.

After the sweet potato has been cooking for 20 minutes you can add the fish to the oven for the remaining 20 minutes. Serve with a side of steamed spinach and you have a delicious and nutritious clean eating meal!



Friday, January 3, 2014

24 Day Challenge: A Clean Eating Sample Menu

I am on day 2 of the 24 Day Challenge. What is the 24 Day Challenge? It is 24 days of eating lean and clean and adding in some nutrition supplements for additional support. I have been coaching friends and family through the challenge for some time now and I love helping people see that living a healthy lifestyle can be easy with a few changes to what they eat.

No matter how many times I tell people that this is not a diet, it is a way to kick off a healthy lifestyle, I still get questions like "can I still eat?" or "do I need to stop eating carbs?" Of course you can eat and carbs are important for a well balanced meal, but choosing the right carbs and the right food are very important for fueling your body the right way.  This is where the 24 Day Challenge and the coaching that comes along with it is so helpful, it helps us re-set our thinking, realize eating is a good thing and learn what we should be eating.

Here are all of the yummy things I ate yesterday on day 1 of my challenge.
I started my day with steel cut oats cooked in coconut milk with apples and cinnamon, along with egg muffins made with egg, spinach and onion. I don't know about you but I do not have time in the morning to make this everyday, so I prepared the oatmeal and eggs in advance and then froze them in muffin tins so that I have the perfect balance of protein and carbohydrate ready to pop in the microwave to start my day off the right way. On the days when I don't even have time to pop something in the microwave I grab my blender bottle and my Meal Replacement Shake for optimal nutrition on the go!

 My mid morning snack consisted of some homemade pear/applesauce topped with pecans.

  
Lunchtime consisted of rainbow bell peppers with tuna (which I mixed in the food processor with spicy brown mustard) and cucumber with hummus. I spend a little bit of time on the weekend prepping and portioning out my food, this makes it easy every morning to grab what I need for the day.


  
My mid afternoon snack was pistachios and apple chips (to make these I sliced the apples, sprinkled them with cinnamon and put them in the dehydrator over night).

For dinner I enjoyed some delicious chicken chili which spent the day cooking in the crock pot so when I got home from work it was ready to go! Check out Part 2 for more menu ideas!

I would love to help you reach you wellness goals and coach you to a healthier you. Feel free to email me with questions! To avoid spammers I am going to spell out my email address for you. You can reach me at Michelle at Catalyst2Health dot com!
 


Thursday, January 2, 2014

DIY Hair Bow Holder

I love easy crafts and this hair bow holder was a piece of cake! My daughter is about to turn 7 months old and we have found ourselves in the world of hair accessories. These darling little bows are just so cute, but they are multiplying and they are everywhere. I needed a cute solution to match her room and keep these accessories under control.

I made this easy DIY bow holder for $16 and with better planning I could have made it for less. I found the picture frame at TJ Maxx for $10, the ribbon and background paper at World Market for $3 each. I am sure similar items can be found at Micheal's and with a coupon this project can be under $10!

You will need:
Picture Frame
Decorative Paper
Ribbon
Double Sided Tape

First cut your decorative paper to fit your frame and place behind the glass. Next wrap your ribbon around the glass and secure to the back of the decorative paper. Finally return the glass, paper and ribbon to the frame, secure into place with the locks on the frame and you are ready to add your bows!!