Green Tea Matcha and Honey Shakeology Mug Cake

Yep, it’s green. And kinda weird. But you may have fallen in love with matcha just like I have.

Matcha is whole green tea leaves ground to a fine powder. They use it at Starbucks for their green tea lattes. It doesn’t have sugar in it naturally though. Starbucks adds all that. 
Matcha has a number of health benefits. The amino acid L-theanine helps you focus without jitters. There is natural caffeine in it, but the kind that will give you a longer lasting and more measured energy. There are tons of antioxidants in it and basically all the stuff in green tea x100 because you’re eating the whole leaf. 
Here’s my recipe for my matcha mug cake…
– 1 scoop/packet of vanilla Shakeology
– 1 teaspoon matcha
– 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
– sweetener of choice to taste (I used about 1/3 packet of stevia, but you could use sugar, agave, or nothing)
– 1 egg
– 3 TBS almond milk
– 1 teaspoon honey
Mix the dry ingredients. 
Then mix the egg and milk together. Add to the dry ingredients. Pour half of he mix into the mug. Squirt 1 teaspoon of honey in the middle. Cover with the other half. 

Microwave the whole thing for 1 – 1:30. Once the cake emerges over the top of the mug (watch the microwave, it’s fascinating), wait a couple more seconds and pull it out. Let it rest in the mug for a second. The cake will drop back down. That’s okay. It’s normal. 

Turn into a plate or just leave in the mug. You can drizzle with more honey if you want. It might also be delicious with a little totally-not-Fix-approved vanilla ice cream. Maybe. I wouldn’t know. *rubs at the sticky white residue on her chin*
Here’s another recipe from Beachbody if you’re into the matcha thing as much as me! 

My Fitness Journey with the 21 Day Fix and Beachbody

My Fitness Journey

It’s easy to look at someone and think they have it all together. Think they have it figured out. You compare yourself to them and feel like your own goals are simply unattainable. But what we see is often the ‘highlight’ reel of someone else’s life. It’s them at their best. How many selfies do you take and delete before uber-editing and posting the perfect one? See??? I wasn’t always fit. This life is NEW to me. And I’m still stumbling. I want you to know where I came from. Know that it’s an everyday struggle against emotional eating and confidence issues. Know that if I can do it, so can you. 


————-


Thank goodness I was an active child. I was an emotional eater. I’ve never been anything but overweight. It would fluctuate between slightly overweight and REALLY overweight, but always overweight. 


I hid it well, tried to be confident and poised, but it weighed on me. Literally and figuratively. I loved public speaking, but was always nervous about my appearance. I wanted to be confident, powerful, strong, but almost because I had to compensate for my embarrassment in my appearance. I played with dieting and exercise, but I never stuck to anything. I continued to stress eat and overeat. 


It really caught up to me in law school. All I did was sit, study, and EAT. I had found this wonderful man who loved me for exactly who I was, inside and out. I wanted to be attractive to him and did my best to dress my curves and take care of my appearance (which, btw, EVERYONE should ALWAYS do – you are worth the effort to look and feel cute no matter what your dress size). The summer of my best friend’s wedding was a wake-up call. June 2011. I had a blow to my confidence in my career field and was still reeling from that when I had to squeeze myself into my size 14 bridesmaid dress, girdle included. I was on the verge of tears in the bathroom right before pictures (the teal dress on the right) were taken. I didn’t think the dress would zip. And when it did, I was seriously worried about tearing a seam. I wanted to be present, happy, and helpful for my amazingly beautiful best friend, but I had sunk into a deep hole of self-doubt, embarrassment, and depression. My weight was a huge millstone around my neck. 

For lack of any other idea, I started running. A Couch to 5k program and ran my first 5k. I joined a gym, and began taking fitness classes at the student center. I also put myself on a very restrictive diet. It worked. I shed the extra weight I had put on during the first two years of law school. By my wedding, I was back to a comfortable size 8 and able to focus on my wonderful new husband and new career as an attorney. 

 I had discovered that running could be an outlet for my emotions and stress. It was a real breakthrough for me. I started running half marathons are a regular basis and met friends through running. But it didn’t keep the weight away.  I tried (and fell in love with) Brazilian jiu jitsu. The cross training it provided, and some serious dieting, helped me to drop weight for the first time in years. But it was SO HARD to shed even one single pound. I had to go no-carb, crazy cardio, jiu jitsu maniac to scrape myself down one more dress size. And when life got in the way, it started to creep back. 

So what’s a girl to do? I’m a full-time trial defense attorney (read: crazy busy at work) and wife to a law enforcement officer who works the graveyard shift. I am NOT giving up my distance running or my jiu jitsu. How am I going to find the time to add even MORE physical activity to my day? And what happens when we have a family??? 


ENTER BEACHBODY. I tried the 21 Day Fix on a desperate whim. It was only 30 minutes each morning, which I could roll out of bed and do. The diet seemed like too much food. I was probably going to gain weight. It involved carbs. There was no way this would would. I had always hated workout videos, so I was convinced that this would not be fun or effective. I was SO wrong. 


6lbs. 7 inches. 1 dress size. 21 days. 


          Before                                     After

This may not seem like a lot to you. But think about it. It happened in 3 weeks. LESS than a month! And the diet? Yeah, it worked. And it’s sustainable. But the biggest change was my attitude. I felt AMAZING. Confident. Passionate. Sexy. I WANT to wear a bathing suit. I’ve NEVER wanted to wear a bathing suit. (Downside: I had to replace my entire wardrobe. Most of it has been stolen from my mother’s closet.)

I’ve continued my journey since that first round, finding new possibilities for my body and a new love for health and fitness. This is a big passion for me now. I can’t believe I struggled with myself for so long. No one should hold themselves back. You CAN be who you want to be.


I wanted to share this with other people like me: people who have tried everything, think they’re just cursed with bad genetics, HUNGRY people, athletes who don’t look like athletes, and BUSY people. I’m so thankful that someone shared it with me. It was the beginning of a huge lifestyle change and is taking me places I never dreamed could occur. After all the hard work, I found the missing piece that has finally made me feel fit. I’ve got the confidence now to be the fierce woman I want to be. And I’m ready to fight whatever battles lay ahead. 


If you want something you’ve never had, do something you’ve never done. 

Open-Face Egg and Spinach Sandwich

Quick and easy breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m kind of obsessed with eggs. The egg people should sponsor me. Just saying.

– 1 sandwich thin, split and toasted 
– handful of spinach
– 2 eggs, scrambled
– mustard, or other free condiments of choice
– spices
This is super simple. Toast your sandwich thin. You can use real bread if you want, but know the container count will be different. Scramble your eggs. You can sauté your spinach into your eggs if you want. Or, if you’re like me and forget, you can just make a cute little spinach bed on your bread. Open your sandwich thin. Plop half the eggs on either half. 
Add your spices and condiments of choice. I used Mrs. Dash salt-free original blend and mustard. Mustard is FREE on the Fix. So is hot sauce if you’re a spicy person. Salsa would also be yummy and is super low-cal. Just make sure you get a clean version with no added sugar. Read the ingredients! 
Container Count: 1 yellow, 1 red, and 1/2 green 

Your sides will depend on what meal you are using this as. Mine was lunch, so I added a few crudités in the form of carrots, pickles, and peppers. This added another green container for me. 
Fruit would be good for lunch or breakfast. You could also use this as a heavy snack. I don’t have kids, but I messed up some egg sammies as a wee one, so I’d imagine it’s kid-friendly food. Maybe sauté the spinach into it. Or convince them that they will turn into Popeye if they eat it. 

What Equipment Do You Need for the 21 Day Fix?

This is part of the 21 Day Fix Basics series. If you’re just getting started with the 21 Day Fix or are curious as to what you would need if you did it, here’s your answer…

What Equipment Do You Need for the 21 Day Fix?

The best part (at least for me) about the Beachbody programs is that they can be done from your own living room, basement, extra bedroom, etc. Case in point, me in my living room…

So let’s start with the obvious…

How do I watch it? 

The traditional way is obviously the TV and DVD player. Your workout program comes with DVDs. But, you do NOT have to use the DVDs. Or even the TV for that matter! 

Beachbody has developed a streaming on-demand service called Beachbody On Demand (BOD). With the purchase of a Challenge Pack, you get a 30 day free trial of the service, which is obviously plenty of time for your first round of the Fix. If you want to keep it after that, it’s less than a cup of coffee per week. Basically, it’s Netflix for workouts. There are hundreds of workouts on there! All of the classic Beachbody programs, like P90X and Insanity, plus any of your purchased programs. (Sidenote: You can get a free trial of BOD without even purchasing anything. Free workouts for 30 days! The 21 Day Fix isn’t on there, but a LOT of others are.)
BOD can stream on any internet-capable device, like your computer, tablet, or phone. But it is also now available on Roku, Amazon TV, and Chromecast! 



What about weights?

21 Day Fix and Fix Extreme are both weight-lifting based workouts for the most part. The Yoga, Pilates, and some of the Cardio do not use weights, but all the others do. You will need two sets of handweights/dumbbells. You need a light set and a heavy set. The exact weight is up to you and your individual fitness level. If you are completely new to weightlifting or are getting back into fitness after a long hiatus, start LOW. 3 and 5, or 5 and 7. If you’ve been active for a little bit, go up a little higher: 6 and 9, or 8 and 12. If you’re a beast, go for more! You want to push yourself, but not injure yourself. 

Just a tip: If you workout on a hard floor, you may want to consider rubber-covered weights to avoid denting/scratching the floor. 

Mats and Towels?

I’m not a sweaty girl. And I DRIP during some of these workouts. So you may want to keep a towel handy. At least once in every workout, you’ll be doing something from the ground. You will want a bounce mat or yoga mat if you’re on hard floors. The Yoga and Pilates workouts obviously center on being on the ground, so you certainly will need something for those two. 

What clothes do I wear?

Again, the benefit of workout out at home means you can do this naked if you so please. However, I do not advise that! Women, get a good sports bra. I know they can be expensive, but they are worth it. And you actually can get a decent one at Walmart if you just can’t shell out the money at the fancy sports stores. Two of my favorites came from Walmart, and I’m usually a sports bra snob. 

Sneakers are a key element as well. You can go barefoot during Pilates and Yoga if you want, but you’ll need shoes for the other workouts. Support your feet! If you have strong feet,good knees, and good arches, grab those cute Nike Frees. But, PLEASE, if you have knee problems, have issues with your feet, have flat or high arches, or have any other leg issues… GET GOOD SHOES. Go to a store where they fit your feet and pay the money. They will last twice as long as your cheapo shoes and will solve so many problems. Shoes without adequate support can cause knee pain, plantar issues, and numerous other problems. GET GOOD SHOES. Okay, rant over…

And that’s it!

No need for expensive gym equipment or fancy clothes. If you’re really trying to cut costs, put a call out in your extended family and friends asking for hand weights. Someone will have some gathering dust that they will let you borrow or have outright. At least until your progress inspires them to ask for them back! (And if that happens, please see this page here.)

Beachbody Coach Summit 2015 – The Best Part of Beachbody Coaching

Like any business, there are frustrating low parts to being Beachbody coach. Being told ‘No’ for the 15th time that week, feeling like no one is interested in this amazing opportunity you’re trying to share, talking when you feel like no one is really listening. Yes, there are low points. 
But then there are the high points that make up for all of it. Having a friend tell you they are wearing their pre-pregnancy pants again. Seeing a family member understand healthy eating and knowing it’s going to lengthen the years that you have with them. And going to Beachbody Coach Summit. 

Imagine meeting countless new friends who are fired up about helping people find fitness, fighting obesity and eating disorders, and making an impact on the health of our entire society. 

Imagine watching the CEO pace the stage with intensity, obviously passionate about what his company is doing, and practically shouting that this is NOT about making money. That it’s about helping people. 

Imagine working out with 25,000 people on a street in downtown Nashville that was shut down for 8 blocks JUST FOR YOUR COMPANY. 

Imagine being given every tip, tool, cheatsheet, planner, script, etc. possible by top earning coaches who want YOU to succeed just like they did. 

Imagine working out with your favorite celebrity trainers LIVE and getting to know that they are even more awesome in person. 

Imagine watching people shred their credit card bills, consumer credit bills, and even their mortgages because they paid them off and took control of their financial future using Beachbody income. 

Imagine YOU being there next year. If this crazy busy lawyer can live that dream, then anyone can. 

21 Day Fix and Extreme Full and Half Marathon Training Plans

You asked, and you shall receive. In response to my post on my own training plan for my full marathon on November 8 (read it here), I got several requests for plans involving half marathons or the 21 Day Fix Extreme program.

So….VOILA! Here is ALL FOUR, along with tips that I have provided for the adapting the eating plan to your training…

Eating Plan Tips…

Half Marathon Eating Plan Tips:

* Eat an extra yellow container (a quality one like quinoa or sweet potato) the night before your long runs over 5 miles. Eat 2 extra high quality yellows for two days before the big race. ‘Carbing up’ shouldn’t be taken to excess. It can hinder more than help if you’ve got too much in your stomach.

* Don’t bother to count the race fuel you take in (race gels, etc.) during your long runs. As long as you aren’t taking them excessively, you will be burning off whatever you take in. If this is your first half, you may get super excited about all this, but don’t get too eager about the race gels. You probably don’t need one until about 1 hour in. And then every 30-45 minutes past that. Make sure to test the gel/fuel you will eat for your race BEFORE your actual race. Some of it causes stomach cramps for some people. You do not want to discover that you’re one of them on race day. Porta-potties + stomach cramps = personal hell.

* Bump up one calorie level in your Fix eating plan, just for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, after week 7. Bump up earlier if you are getting ravenously hungry or feeling drained. You shouldn’t need the extra calories Monday through Thursday.

* If you need electrolytes, try electrolyte pills, tablets, NUUN tablets, or pink Himalayan sea salt as potential alternatives to sugary sports drinks. All-natural coconut water (count it as a yellow) also works well. 

Full Marathon Eating Plan Tips: 

* Eat an extra yellow container (a quality one like quinoa or sweet potato) the night before your long runs over 6 miles. Eat 2 extra high quality yellows for three days before the big race. ‘Carbing up’ shouldn’t be taken to excess. It can hinder more than help if you’ve got too much in your stomach.

* Don’t bother to count the race fuel you take in (race gels, etc.) during your long runs. As long as you aren’t taking them excessively, you will be burning off whatever you take in. If this is your first long race, you may get super excited about all this, but don’t get too eager about the race gels. You probably don’t need one until about 1 hour in. And then every 30-45 minutes past that. Make sure to test the gel/fuel you will eat for your race BEFORE your actual race. Some of it causes stomach cramps for some people. You do not want to discover that you’re one of them on race day. Porta-potties + stomach cramps = personal hell.

* Bump up one calorie level in your Fix eating plan after week 6. Bump up earlier if you are getting ravenously hungry or feeling drained.

* If you need electrolytes, try electrolyte pills, tablets, NUUN tablets, or pink Himalayan sea salt as potential alternatives to sugary sports drinks. All-natural coconut water (count it as a yellow) also works well.  

JOIN OUR TRAINING! 

If you’re ready to run this with me, I’m training for a late fall race on November 8 in Pensacola, Florida. You don’t have to be running the same race or even on the exact same date, but if it’s close enough in time frame, then you need to join us! Connect with me on Facebook and let’s get together!

21 Day Fix Marathon Hybrid Training Schedule

It’s Ashlee’s fault.

I’ve run a full marathon before. I finished it. It rained, nay…GUSHED on me the entire time. I’m glad I did it, but I really wasn’t hot to do another one. I knew I probably needed to since the my only one was completed in such miserable conditions, but I was reluctant. Half marathons are definitely my long distance of choice. Long enough to be a challenge that you need to train for. Short enough that I don’t get bored and/or think I’m going to die on the course. 
But there are those people who could ask you to bury a body, and you’d simply grab a shovel. So, my bestie Ashlee and I are going to be running a full marathon on November 8 in Pensacola. She’s done the half marathon version of that race before and reported it as having great course support. So we’re in. 

But I don’t want to stop lifting . . .

I’ve had such awesome results and a great experience doing my morning weight-lifting workouts for the 21 Day Fix. I don’t want to stop. I also don’t really know if I have time to run more than 3 days a week. That’s part of the reason I started the whole 30-minute home workout journey.

So I started searching for a 3 day a week marathon training program. Runner’s World had an article about training just 3 days a week that I had seen before. (Check it out here if you want.) I liked the idea as it incorporated cross-training and had you running less. This past spring, I kind of did that by accident while running several half marathon races. And it worked well. I didn’t have to be out pounding the pavement like I used to, but I felt even stronger and didn’t suffer in my performance whatsoever. (Not that I’m super fast. At all.) I read up on the basic concepts and started drafting what you see below…

To address some things up front:

– The schedule is different. The way the original 21 Day Fix schedule works is brilliant. It balances muscle groups and rest days to prevent injuries. When you incorporate running and the impact it has on your joints, I needed to move some things around a bit to keep things balanced. I’m NOT an expert at this. So if you feel you need to do something different to make the running and 21 Day Fix hybrid idea work for you, do it. And tell me about it! Feedback is always welcome. 
– Cardio Fix was eliminated completely. Obviously running is pure cardio. In the interest of balance and fitting in the good cross-training, I cut it out. Please share with us if you have a different opinion on this. 
– The mileage can change to work with your plan. Some people prefer to run to run two 20+ mile long runs during their training. That whole column of long run days can definitely be messed with to make it work for your plan. This is not set in stone. It’s just meant to be a good starting point or idea base for your own training plan. 

Your diet needs to change a little too. 

The 21 Day Fix eating plan is brilliant. I can’t say enough good things about it. It’s a perfectly balanced, portion-controlled meal plan for dummies. You can’t mess it up. That said, it doesn’t quite have enough carbs for a distance runner in training. But don’t abandon it. There are some simple tweaks that can make it work for you while you’re training. 
– Eat an extra yellow container (a high quality one like quinoa or sweet potato) the night before your long run. 
– You may need to bump up a calorie level as you get into your higher mileage. If you’ve trained for a marathon before, you know how “rungry” you will get sometimes. Which can lead to weight GAINS over the course of training. It happens all the time. But it doesn’t have to happen to you. Stay balanced and stay the course. Just give yourself a little extra high-quality, balanced fuel by bumping up to the next calorie/container level in the 21 Day Fix plan. 
– Go easy on the ‘carbing up.’ You really can’t hold that much glycogen. Don’t take the carbs to excess. Test out your ‘carbing up’ plan on the week before your longest run to how it’s going to work for you. Try eating two extra high quality yellow containers on all three days before your race/longest run. Cupcakes are NOT high quality carbs. Go for whole grains and things that are HIGH on that yellow list in your 21 Day Fix eating plan book. 
– Don’t bother to count the race fuel (race gels, chews, etc.) during your long runs. As long as you aren’t taking them excessively, you will be burning off what you take it. Unless you’re just tied to a particular gel, try some natural fuel like dried dates, honey, banana, or chia gel. 
– If you need electrolytes (and you will), avoid the sugary sports drinks. There are numerous other options, like electrolyte pills, NUUN, coconut water (no sugar added), and Himalayan sea salt. I’ve used Hammer’s Endurolytes for a long time now with great success. And no, they aren’t paying me to say that. I’m VERY EAGERLY awaiting the upcoming release (late July 2015) of Beachbody’s Performance Line, which includes electrolyte replacement. I will be getting the system as soon as possible and writing about it, so stay tuned for that. 

JOIN US!

We just started our training. If you can slog your way through a 10k, then you’re at a perfect level to join us. We are all about taking walk breaks and using intervals, so speed is NOT a requirement for this program. And if the full marathon is not your current goal, no worries! I’ve got a half marathon plan coming SOON. 


CIZE On My Vacation to Belgium and France

As I’ve written about recently, my husband and I went on a dream trip to Europe, starting in Belgium and ending up in Paris. We went to Brussels, Bruges, Ghent, saw the 200th anniversary battlefield reenactments at Waterloo, took the train to France, walked ALL over Paris, and even saw the Palace at Versailles. It was fantastic! Exhausting, but everything we had hoped for.

Before leaving, I had gotten into the preview workout for Beachbody’s newest program, CIZE by ShaunT. It comes out on July 20! But there’s a preview workout on Beachbody On Demand. It’s called “You Got This,” and features Bruno Mars’ song “Treasure.” I am NOT a professional dancer. I had some ballet lessons growing up, but that was a long time ago. This stuff is FUN, though, and it’s a great workout.

I danced my way across Europe…

Have you tried CIZE yet? What did you think?

Motivation Mayday and Down Weeks

Let’s be honest. Even those of us who get real super excited about things have down times. And THAT IS OKAY. 

Who stays at their peak all the time? No one. And it would probably be quite annoying after a while too, because it’s not real. 

Lows and dips are normal, to be expected, and good for us. It should be a time to get refocused. If you’ve lost motivation and momentum, why? What changed? Or what needs to change? 
I’ve spent the past week doing a lot of sleeping, sneezing, snorting, hacking, and generally being miserable thanks to a nasty cold given to me by my husband. I lead reminded of s couple things during this time: 
1. If you feel like you might be able to workout, even just Pilates or a walk, do it. The adrenaline will make you feel better. 
2. If you can’t imagine even getting off the couch because you’re so sick, then don’t! You’re body needs sleep. Listen to your body. 
3. Off weeks are necessary to regroup. They aren’t lost time. It’s very useful and can launch you into your next 
phase. 
But don’t let the sick downtime stretch into lethargy and complacency. Make plans. Watch inspirational YouTube videos. List out your goals. Read some personal development. And when you feel well again, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running.