I’m BACK! And I need to detox…

Europe was amazing! I’m going to have a huge wrap up post about it coming up where I detail our trip and show a bunch of pictures, but I’m trying to catch up on work emails first (stinkin’ priorities). 
In the meantime, I need to detox from all the croissants, chocolate, and cream I consumed. I need a reset for my healthy food taste buds. I was planning on doing the 3 Day Refresh program from Beachbody but got lazy and forgot to order it for my return. I’m still wanting to do it, but I’m going to run a back-to-school Refresh group in August. So stay tuned for that. 
I decided to try an old school (I.e. Pre-Refresh) Shakeology cleanse. I’ve got some extra Shakeo from being gone and have the servings to spare for it. After looking at the various plans that coaches in the past had made for it, I tweaked it for me and came up with this… 
I added some healthy fats and a little more fiber than some of the other plans. I know the Refresh program is the best cleanse/detox, but I’m excited to try this one for now. 
Has anyone else done something like this before? What were your results?

Travel Blogging in Belgium and Paris

I’m going to Europe! Josh and I get on our plane and finally have our grand adventure we have been planning for YEARS. I’m still kind of in disbelief. I got the suitcases down from the attic last night, and it’s starting to seem real. 
I know this blog is usually focused on healthy recipes, fitness, and personal growth, but it’s also a little about my life! Part of personal growth is making time for the things and people you love. So I want to temporarily turn this into a bit of a travel blog. 
Planning The Trip
I’m a planner. I love planning, organizing, making schedules, making lists, brainstorming, etc. It’s the best. Preparation can be really fun since it is all part of the excitement. Kind of like Christmas season leading up to the actual holiday. Here’s how the planning has gone so far…
Tour Group or Solo?
We aren’t doing any sort of tour. It’s all arranged by us and planned by us. This kind of travel isn’t for everyone. Some need a set itinerary with arrangements made for them. It’s easier, more relaxing. However, you have less freedom than planning it yourself. And you may be shoved into a bus with a bunch of strangers for your entire trip. (Could be your next best friends, could be the most annoying people you’ll ever meet.) pros and cons to both. I LOVE planning my own travel and doing things off the cuff. So no group tour for us. 
If you’re doing it on your own, start well ahead and buy a multi-part folder envelope. 
This is how you stay organized. Put all of your tickets, maps, arrangement, bookings, etc. in this one folder. Arrange it in rough chronological order, or in any other way where you can readily find stuff when you need it. 

The most important part of the planning process, right ladies? I’m a list maker. I have a written list but have also been using Wunderlist, a free app, for my lists lately. 

This list stretches on… It is likely to be way too much clothing. I’m planning on laying it out on the bed, and counting my outfits. I can probably take a pair of pants and a couple of the shirts out of the mix. My mother’s sage advice to “just take everything” only works if you’re driving. Weight and bag limits on flights unfortunately make decision necessary. Think basics in coordinating colors. I’m a black and white personal myself. 
UPDATE: I ended up taking out a couple pairs of pants and adding in a few dresses. Dresses are easy for me. No thinking about matching! And you look put together when it’s really a lazier way to get dressed. It also had to do witting the following…
Anticipate the Climate
As I check the weather on the Weather Channel’s 10 day forecast (always do this), I’m realizing that it’s going to be warmer than I originally thought. I may be able to take out a pair of flats in lieu of my flat sandals. The biggest thing to remember when packing for a trip to a metropolitan location (this would not apply to treks in Nepal or trips to the Amazon obviously) is that you can always buy something there if you need it. Try to anticipate the weather, but if a freak weather pattern arrives, you just ask the locals where to find cheap clothes or shoes. 
Cramming it all in:

Travel space bags are your best friend. Honestly, they don’t compress summer clothes that much space-wise, but they keep things from sliding around and make it easier to arrange/rearrange as you packs. If you’re traveling in winter, they are a MUST as they will squish the fluff and air out of your coats and sweaters to make it possible for you to fit it all in. 

And what is that orange thing?

That would be my jiu jitsu gi. One of the fun parts about being a Gracie Barra team member is getting to drop in on schools all over the world. We are all planning to roll with the GB in Anderlecht, outside of Brussels, as well as GB Paris. It makes traveling all that more fun as we are part of this huge community and meet others wherever we go. 
And I put my belt in my carryon. I couldn’t let it out of my sight. Weird? Maybe. 

I will send YOU a postcard from PARIS!

Do you want me to send you a postcard while I’m in Paris? For real! Josh and I are leaving for our long-awaited European honeymoon, and I want to share it with you! 
3 ways to get your postcard: 
1. Share this photo and the link to this article on social media! And tag me so I know you did it! 
Instagram: @kristenosborne
Facebook: Kristen Osborne (friend me first!) 
Twitter: @LegalLynx 
 I will randomly draw 3 people who shared to get a postcard! 
2. Get a challenge pack! You will guarantee your postcard this way. The 21 Day Fix packs are on special this month! I’m going to have a super group going in July after I get back, so get your pack and join up! You have to get it before June 24 so I have time to mail your postcard. Connect with me about a challenge pack. Message me through this site or any of my social media profiles. Many ways to get in touch with me to get you your pack! 
3. If you get your challenge pack before I leave on June 15, I’ll bring you a souvenir! Seriously! So hurry up and get in on the fun!
Au revoir! 

My Vision Board: How I Identify and Aim for My Goals

The concept of a vision board has never really appealed to me. I’ve had a couple problems with them:

1. Hippie-Dippie-Meditation Stuff: Staring at a board of pictures and visualizing myself attaining those goals seems weird. I’ve never been a meditation person. I just can’t sit still and stay focused to meditate. (This is something I need to work on. I know. I’m looking into it.) I’m just not a very cerebral person. I’m much more of a doer than a thinker.

2. Materialistic – I also had this idea that all vision boards consisted of pictures of mansions and expensive cars. Silly material possessions that people were obsessing over to give them motivation to work hard. I’m lucky enough to understand that money and possessions do NOT make happiness. Sure, those things are nice, but the singular pursuit of material gain can lead to a host of problems. I’ve seen it, Up close. Not doing it. Not for me.

A NEW Vision Board a la Jeff Sanders:

But then I heard this podcast from Jeff Sanders’ 5AM Miracle and I kind of changed my mind. Maybe a vision board could work for me. Maybe I had the wrong idea about what they could be and how you can use them…

Sanders gives his idea for a NEW type of vision board. Instead of coming up with this huge, almost unreachable goals, you think about the every day actions that are going to get you closer to your ultimate goals. You put those actions on the board, or things that remind you of those actions.

To me, it’s more of a focus board than about a long-term vision. Keeping me on track for my priorities and my short-term goals. Reminding me what I’m doing on a daily basis and why I’m doing it.

I used an app called Wishlist to put this together. It’s a free app, a little putzy but good for free. Any collage app could work, but Wishlist makes searching for images a little easier.

What do you do with it?

The whole idea behind this is the law of attraction. We attract what we pay attention to. You know how people talk about self-fulfilling prophecies? Same concept. Here you are creating your prophecy in a visual form: “This is me. This is what I will be. This is what I will do.”  

If you’re a meditation person, you could meditate with it, I guess. For me, simply having it in a visible place (my phone) does the job. I try to take a look at it each day to remind myself what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. I have a big problem with focus. This reminds me, each morning, of what I should be focused on through the day. Kind of a recharging of my willpower.

How to make your Vision/Focus Board :

1. Make a list of your BIG goals. Like the ultimate, super-sized ones. This isn’t the place for the “lose 5 pounds by next month” goal. Your list should have the almost-unreachable ones on it. 3-5 of them preferably. And they need to be POSITIVE. No negative Nancies. 
2. Now write down (scribble the side, doesn’t have to be neat) the smaller actions or steps that are going to get you to those goals. Here’s some questions to ask:
– Are there identifiable steps or levels to this goal? What’s the next one?
– What daily/weekly actions do I need to do to reach this goal?
– What character attributes would help me reach this goal?
– WHY do I want this goal?
3. The small steps, daily actions, character attributes, and WHYs that you identified in #2 are what you put on your board. Find images from the internet, your own pictures, quotes, etc. that represent these things. 
4. ARRANGE! You may want it on your phone, like I did. Or, if you have an office or special spot at home, you may want to print these things out and pin them to an actual board. Whatever’s going to have that vision board readily accessible to you when you need a reminder to stay the course. 

Do you have a Vision Board? How do you use yours? Comment below!

7 Tips To Be Empowered When You Don’t Feel Like It

We’ve all felt like this: down, small, embarrassed, like you just want to disappear. Your movements become small, trying not to even make a ripple in the world. You hesitate or completely neglect to make decisions, thinking they’ll just be wrong. If you can just slip away quietly, you can crawl in the bed and maybe it will be better tomorrow. 
Well, truth is: 
We are not made to be doormats. If God wanted you to be a mouse, He’d have given you a tail. So never let yourself, or anyone else, be treated like one! This doesn’t mean you’re supposed to be an aggressive, overbearing monster. Moderation, my friends… Think about the Golden Rule. You don’t want to treat anyone else like a doormat either. This simply means that We were made to have self-confidence and some backbone. To stand for what we believe. To fight for what and who we love. 

How to Break the Funk and Find Empowerment: 7 TIPS

1. Own your mistakes. The blame game is unattractive but also unproductive. The good news is that if you made the mess, you probably will have an easier time cleaning it up. 

2. Quit blaming others. Even if it really IS their fault. You are in control of how you react to life. A negative reaction is only going to make things worse. 

3. Fake it til you make it. Smile. Even if you don’t feel like it. Act confident, even if you want to crawl under the table. When you act empowered, others will treat you as if you’re empowered, in control, and confident. In turn, you’ll actually start to fell that way. This is that whole self-fulfilling prophecy thing. 
4. Don’t ignore yourself. Many of us care and nurture others simply by nature. We often equate focusing on ourselves as selfish or wasteful. For anyone who ever actually paid attention to the airline attendants, you have to put your oxygen mask on before you can help someone else. Being the best version of yourself means you have more to offer your loved ones. So take the time for you, whether that means 30 minutes to workout, a walk to quiet your mind, new clothes, or whatever else you’ve been giving to others but not yourself. 
5. Follow your dreams. Explore your passions. Learn. Just because you’ve got a job, bought a house, gotten married, had kids, any or all of the above – it doesn’t mean you have to put blinders on and never follow dreams again. Your spouse wants you to be happy. Kids are an even better reason to be passionate about your job or hobbies. Don’t you want to set an example of how to have a vibrant and fulfilling life? Your fairly, your day job doesn’t have to be the end-all-be-all of your life. It shouldn’t be. You are allowed to define yourself in many ways. Jeff Goins talks about the concept of a portfolio life, where your life is made up of several aspects: job, family,  passions, etc. The sum of these parts is greater than the whole. You can check his podcast out about the topic here. 

6. The opinions of others may not matter at all. I’m a people-pleaser. What I do, both as an attorney and a fitness coach, depends on my clients being happy. But not everyone has the ability to be happy. There are some people that are just going to disagree with you and your actions, no matter what. Before you freak out that someone is unhappy with you, ask if their opinion REALLY matters. Depending on who they are, making them mad may be a sign of success for you. 

7. Tell yourself to shut up. I call it “awful-izing,” when you come up with the worst case scenario and run it through your head in such detail that you can feel the failure and rejection in your gut. And you keep thinking about that situation, like a replay over and over in your head. QUIT. I’m speaking to myself as much as anyone else here. I have to force myself to stop thinking about it and imagine a scenario where everything worked out. I make myself think through how that would go and what it would look like. At the very least I just give myself a mental slap to stop the awful thought train. Sometimes I even have to distract myself by playing some music, listening to a podcast, doing something productive. Anything to break that thought cycle. 
What do you do to feel EMPOWERED? 

Quick Clean Eating Egg Lunch

It could be dinner, lunch, breakfast, brunch, second lunch, elevenses… Whatever you please. That’s why I love eggs. They’re like the little black dress of food. 

– Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel bread, toasted
– 2 eggs
– coconut or olive oil
– big handful of spinach leaves
Cook your eggs in a little coconut or olive oil to your preference. I like mine a little gooey. Then sauté your spinach in the same hot pan. This takes 45 seconds. Seriously. I like to add a little seasoning to mine, usually Greek. 
Place either both or just one egg on the spinach, the other on the toast. Or eat it all separately. Your choice! I had mine with a side of sugar snap peas and strawberries. 
21 Day Fix Count: 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 green, plus whatever you had on the side. Mine was another green and half a purple. 

Ice Cream For 21 Day Fix

This happened. Not really a recipe. I just kind of came together. So let’s see if I can coach you through this…
– Frozen banana, several pieces 
– splash of almond milk, just a bit
– 1/3-1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder or Shakeology 
BLEND. Adjust the ingredients to get it to a consistency you like. Sprinkle with some mini chocolate chips if you’re feeling feisty. 
21 Day Fix: 1 purple and 1/2 red. 

Parmesan Chicken – 21 Day Fix Approved and an Easier Not Quite Approved Version

I’ve got 2 versions of this: a 21 Day Fix version and an almost 21 Day Fix version.  Sometimes you just don’t have what you need in your pantry and have to improvise. That’s life. Better to have an almost but still healthy version than give up and go get Taco Bell. 

The full FIX version: 
– chicken breast fillets, thin sliced 
– organic whole wheat bread crumbs, or toasted Ezekiel bread crushed into crumbs 
– fresh grated Parmesan 
– Italian herbs, garlic powder
– olive oil spray (so much easier to control amount than the bottle!)
Spray a pan with olive oil. Heat to medium. Mix wheat crumbs and Parmesan, about 2/3 and 1/3 parts respectively. Mix in Italian herbs and garlic powder to taste. Lightly bread the chicken. It should be wet (it IS raw chicken) enough for some light coating to stick. Cook for a few minutes on each side, depending on thickness. 
1 red, 1/4 yellow, 1/2 blue, 1 tsp olive oil 
The Almost-FIX Version:
Same concept. Except you use the Can of Italian bread crumbs that is already in your pantry and the powdered Parmesan (because you forgot to buy the real stuff). It’s close, and will work in a pinch. 
Same containers as above. Don’t beat yourself up over the not as clean ingredients. It’s still MILES better than what you were chowing down on before, right? 
I roasted some baby squash to go with mine. Cut them in half. Little olive oil spray with some herbs. 20 minutes at 400F. 
I also sautéed some red potatoes. Chopped small and sautéed for 10 minutes in a little, you guessed it, olive oil spray and Italian herbs. 
This dinner will please anyone! 

Special Call for Teachers: How Teachers Get Healthy!

I’m sending this special message out for teachers! Summer is finally here and you have time to focus on YOU! 
Beachbody has discounted the 21 Day Fix programs this month!!! You can only get these special deals through a Beachbody coach, so don’t go searching on Amazon for it. Now is the perfect time to get your health back on track. Let’s do this together! 
SPECIAL GIFT: For any teacher who purchases a Challenge Pack or joins my team during June, I’ll give you a $10 certificate to your local teacher supply store (or Walmart)! So share this with a teacher!