{21 Day Fix} Beach Friendly Snacks

Pool SnacksLet’s talk beach & pool food!

You’re working out hard, doing great with your meals and then your friends or family want to hit the pool or the beach to cool off and enjoy the summer weather. You begin to freak out because this is out of your norm and you don’t want to ruin your progress with the 21 Day Fix or your fitness routine.

Don’t worry! Here are some healthy options to pack and take with you for a little fun in the sun.

21 Day Fix Beach Friendly Snacks:

  • Fruit & veggies teamed up with some hummus, PB, guacamole or yogurt dip are all quick, simple & nutritious option to prepare the night before.
  • Clean out old PB jars or use a mason jar to pack celery, apples it baby carrots with some PB or hummus. (This will also help to reduce getting sand in your food at the beach)
  • Plastic soda cups with lids make awesome salad containers. Just layer your ingredients (put your dressing on the bottom) and stick a fork in the top, for easy grab and go lunch!
  • Wraps are another great option. One of my favorites is nitrate-free turkey or ham with hummus, lettuce, tomato and a little broccoli slaw for crunch. Want something lower carb? Ditch the tortilla and use romaine lettuce as a wrap instead.

All you need is a cooler with some ice-packs, a little prep time the night before or the morning before you leave and you’ll be on track to avoid buying a hot dog, pretzel of other junk options that you typically find at either location.

Do you have a favorite pool or beach snack? If so, please share below!

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Crazy Cups: How I Conquer My Sweet Tooth

Crazy Cups PostDisclaimer: As a Crazy Cups Ambassador, I was sent a package of coffee to review. and no compensation was exchanged. All opinions stated are my own.

I have sweet tooth bigger than my head. Cookies, cinnamon rolls, ice-cream…you name it! I have a hard time saying no to them. I also have a hard time saying no to coffee, so this is where Crazy Cups becomes my saving grace!

Now, if you follow me on Instagram or if we are friends on Facebook, you know that I LOVE me some coffee! I am always picking up new flavors of K-cups to try and my morning posts typically have something to do with coffee, especially dessert flavored coffees. Knowing this about me, it will come as no surprise that when Crazy Cups reached out to me and asked me to become an ambassador for them, I said YES!

In case you have not heard of Crazy Cups before, here is a little info about them:

  • They have recyclable K-cups.
  • They are known for their flavored K-cups. (you’ll see why as you read on)
  • Their products are organic and fair trade.
  • Their cups have 13g coffee grounds, which is 30% more than the competition.
  • Get notifications about new flavors and become part of their Flavor Nation with their app: (Click Here)

I am not a stranger to the Crazy Cups line of coffee  and I have tried many of their flavors, including their Hot Cocoa line. (FYI: the Maple French Toast is hands down my favorite!)  They have a list of flavors that will make your mouth drool:

Crazy Cups

  • Chocolate Coconut Dream
  • Frosted Oatmeal Cookie
  • Italian Chocolate Cheesecake
  • Pumpkin Vanilla Creme
  • Cinnamon Churro
  • Caramel Truffle Sundae
  • Bananas Foster Flambe
  • Salted Caramel

…and more! Don’t those sound good?!

Coffee flavors like these have been the key to keeping my sweet tooth in check while doing my workouts and sticking to clean eating. They feel like a cheat to me and help me to curb my cravings without shoving a calorie-filled treat into my face and regretting it later. I also get the energy I need to feel human through caffeine instead of processed sugar. (Remember, always say no to processed sugar and enjoy your caffeine in moderation, while drinking lots of water because it can dehydrate you!)

Plus their dedication to flavored coffee brings a tear to my eye…

ode to flavor

Speaking of Death By Chocolate…it’s my new obsession!

This flavor can cure just about any chocolate craving with the smell alone. My entire kitchen smelled like a chocolate cake as this little pod brewed, it was absolutely heavenly!

Now, I drink my coffee iced and black (which is why this is a basically a calorie free treat for me) and the flavor of this was perfectly balanced. It was chocolaty but not so sweet that you forgot you were drinking a cup of coffee. 

Want to try some Death by Chocolate for yourself? Enter my GIVEAWAY below for a chance to win a box of your very own!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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{Summer Beauty} Coconut Lime Scrub

Can you believe it is July already?!

Sorry I’ve been MIA again lately. With the end of the school year, two kids graduation from their schools and getting into the summer routine, I’ve been a little lost. On the bright side, my brain has been going non-stop about new posts to s

We’re been having some strange weather here in New Jersey. Warm one minute, fall the next, however my skin is a constant reminder of winter. It’s dry and itchy and just not summer ready. I decide to quit relying on just lotion and I whipped up some exfoliating scrub after hitting Pinterest for some winter skin solutions.

This stuff smells ah-mazing and left me skin feeling smooth, hydrated and ready to slip into a pair of short or sundress.

Coconut Lime Scrub

Coconut Lime Scrub
1/4 cup Unrefined Coconut Oil
3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
2 Tbsp Lime Juice
Lime Zest
Lime Essential Oil (if desired)

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Store in a mason jar and use while you shower!

You can use the base recipe of coconut oil & sugar and change the scent if you’d like. Essential oils are very popular these days, so get creative and have fun! Lavender would be a great option to help you relax if you like to shower before bed.

Do you have a summer beauty tip that you can’t live without? Please share below so I can give it a try!

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Three, 21 Day Fix Questions Answered

Three 21 Day Fix Questions AnsweredRecently I was asked by my friend Coach Eric, to do a LIVE Google Hangout, Q&A session on 21 Day Fix, for his bootcamp. I immediately said yes because of how much I love this program, but then sheer panic set in.

I. DON’T. LIKE. MAKING. VIDEOS.

If you’re a long time follower of my blog or social media channels, you’ve already figured this out. I don’t know why I have such a phobia of video, but I do and it’s been Eric’s mission since I’ve met him to get me over it and in front of the camera. (He’s such a pal. *eye roll*)

transformation TuedsdayThe truth is, I don’t know why I loathe video so much. I share my before & after photos as well as all kinds of glimpses into my life via Instagram, ( <—— see) but video is just weird to me.

Okay…I’m the weird one…FINE! 

Today he won, though. He got me live on a Google Hangout and you know what? I didn’t die doing it. As a matter of fact I felt pretty comfortable doing it!

The topic of our webinar was the 21 Day Fix and his bootcamp participants were able to submit questions that they had about the program. I was then able to read all of the questions and select 3 of them to answer live on air. Pretty cool right?!

Some of the topics we covered were: Incorporating 21 Day Fix approved meals with your family (2:40 mark), How to stay on track with the program while on vacation (6:19 mark), How to overcome a plateau and stay motivated on your fitness journey (9:40 mark). There were also some bonus questions and conversation about salsa, my thoughts on beer and how coaching has helped me with my fitness & nutrition (25:00 mark).

So without further delay, here is the video recording of the webinar for your viewing pleasure. 

So how did I do?! Do you think I should start doing more videos?

For those of you trying to get your children to eat healthier, a great way to get them involved is to try having them make their own Greek yogurt parfaits instead of ice-cream at night. For more recipes and ideas for getting them involved in the kitchen, check out my new Healthy Kids board on Pinterest.

Need more information about staying on track while on vacation? Be sure to check out this post I did about Staying on Track While on Vacation.

Have another question? Feel free to leave it in the comment section below and I’ll answer it as soon as I can for you!

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FIXATE on 21 Day Fix

Fixate

Photo by Team Beachbody

UPDATE: It launches today and can be order by CLICKING HERE!
Want the cookbook plus a set of containers? Click Here!

Yesterday, the creator of the popular 21 Day Fix and 21 Day fix Extreme, announced her new FIXATE cookbook, which will be released this summer. It is going to feature 101 new Fix Approved recipes, complete with container counts.

I can’t tell you how stoked I am about this! If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you know how much I have embraced this program and how much I love trying out new recipes!

The demand for 21 Day Fix approved recipes is insane. There are tons of recipes all over Pinterest and chances are, that’s how you found my blog. The program can be a little overwhelming and let’s face it, the first Fix didn’t really offer much in the recipe inspiration department, which can leave people who are not used to cooking feeling very overwhelmed. 

Thankfully help from the creator is on the way!

Fixate will teach you how to make healthy, delicious meals that fit into your busy lifestyle. And every recipe includes container equivalents to use with 21 Day Fix, as well as nutritional information you can use with any Beachbody fitness program.

So what inspired Autumn to assemble this culinary masterpiece? Check out this Beachbody interview with Autumn to find out…

PERSONAL PASSION

Autumn reached into her family history for inspiration. “My family was in the restaurant business, so I basically grew up in the kitchen,” she explains. “I was able to take my family’s recipes and make them healthier.”

“We took our time, tested the recipes and I love every single one of them,” she says with pride. “It’s not fancy cooking; there’s a variety of everyday go-to recipes and special recipes for special occasions.”

How many recipes are in the book, you ask? Try 101. Some were creations of a chef very close to Autumn’s heart: her brother. “That makes it even more sentimental for me,” she says.

Each of the recipes comes complete with detailed instructions, mouthwatering photos, nutritional information and container equivalents. What’s more, Autumn has added icons to each recipe that will let readers know if they are paleo, gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian.

TARGET AUDIENCE

“This book is for everybody,” says Autumn. “You don’t have to be graduates of 21 Day Fix or 21 Day Fix Extreme. You also don’t have to be a chef or great in the kitchen. It’s for anyone who wants to make healthier versions of the foods they love.”

According to Autumn, “Everyone will use the book differently. For some, it will become their “go-to” cookbook they use every single day. Others may use it when they’re going to a special event like a barbeque or party.”

And in addition to all the amazing recipes, Autumn has also included a detailed checklist for her absolute must-have kitchen and pantry staples, as well as the basic utensils and tools that every cook needs.

COVER TO COVER

Inside Fixate you’ll find a section for every possible meal you can imagine: simple breakfasts, on-the-go lunches, sit down dinners, soups, salads, as well as healthy snacks like kale chips and protein bars.

Autumn insisted that all the “on-the-go” lunch recipes be easy and fast for working moms. “I based all of the lunches off leftovers from dinner and even breakfast,” she reveals. “I turned them into delicious, easy-to-make lunch recipes.” Autumn adds, “I also included a few of my favorite Shakeology recipes—even some Fix-approved skinny cocktails.”

And then there’s the desserts. “I have a big sweet tooth so I was really pleased with them,” she says. “I especially love the brownies (made with chick peas), peanut butter cookies and cake recipes, and the desserts are all gluten-free so absolutely everyone can enjoy them.”

As you can see, Fixate is going to be a really valuable tool for anyone following the 21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme or any other Beachbody program. Heck, the cookbook is going to be an amazing tool for anyone looking to clean up their diet, gain control of their portion sizes and just eat healthier!

Want a sneak peek? Click here to download 5 recipes from the book!

Make sure you keep an eye on this blog for updates about the book (I’ll be snagging an advanced copy of it in July) and you know I’ll be cooking up a storm and sharing my thoughts on it.

If you have been considering the 21 Day Fix, have questions about it and need someone to coach you through it, please feel free to contact me. There are some great specials on it this month and I’d love to help you see if it’s a good fit for you!

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{21 Day Fix} Memorial Day Recipe Inspiration

21 Day Fix Memorial Day

The unofficial kick off to summer is this weekend and I bet many of you are right smack in the middle of a round of 21 Day Fix!

No need to worry, starve yourself all day in an attempt to save your containers for the BBQ (we all know this doesn’t work anyway…you just mess up your metabolism and end up over eating so please….do not even attempt to do it.) or say f*uck it and throw your goals out the window. With a little planning, you can stay within your containers and enjoy flavorful meals without guilt!

Check out my 21 Day Fix Memorial Day Recipe Inspirations below and stay on track this weekend.

Kebab Collage

Kebabs: The possibilities are endless with kebabs and they are perfect for the 21 Day Fix program. All you need to do is choose a lean protein, some fresh vegetables and a seasoning combination. Then just need to marinade before being threaded onto a skewer and grilled to perfection! Simple, right?!

The problem I think most people have is that they over think this program. I have some many clients come to me and say “I don’t know what to eat.” or “I wish the book had more recipes. I’m lost!” I felt the same way until I took a deep breathe and stop freaking out. The book is full of everything you need, especially for kebabs. Check out your red container list, green container list and then check out the seasoning blend recipes as well as the dressing recipes provided. Those dressing can make a kick-ass marinade for your protein! You just have to think outside of the box little.

For those of you who prefer step-by-step recipes, here are some delicious looking ones I’ve found on-line. They do not have 21 Day Fix breakdowns and you may need to change the oil type that is used to be “fix friendly” but they are all a great source of inspiration. Just break out your containers and have some fun with them.

Chipotle Chicken Kebabs with Avocado Cream Sauce: (Pictured on the left above) You will need to substitute the oil and brown sugar is not on the plan, but you can omit it without harm. Measure out the chicken using your red container before threading to create a single portion. The dipping sauce containers Greek yogurt & avocado and I would most likely just count it as a blue containers, but use your judgement as you make it. {Click here for the recipe}

Fajita Chicken Kebabs: (Pictured second from left above) You will need to substitute the oil in this recipe as well, everything else is plan approved. I recommend using your containers to measure out your protein and veggies before skewering them, to ensure portion size. This recipe should work out to be 1 red container and 1 green container per serving. Alter veggie amounts if needed. {Click here for the recipe}

Grilled Jerk Shrimp with Pineapple Kebabs: (Pictured second from the right above): This recipe has a few ingredients that are not on the plan but the amounts are so small I say go for it and enjoy, because in the grand scheme of what you could be eating…this is much better! As with the other recipes, measure your protein and your fruit for portioning before threading. Shrimp counts as a red container and pineapple is a purple. {Click here for the recipe.}

Chimichurri Beef Kabobs: (Pictured far right above.) Everything in this recipe is plan approved! The recipe is from the Whole30 cookbook that I just received for my birthday and I’ve been dying to try it. Just be sure to use your containers to measure your protein and veggies before you thread them to ensure portion size.

Ingredients:
For the kabobs:
1 lb lean steak (sirloin, strip, flank), cut into 1-inch dice
1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, seeded, ribs removed, and cut into 1 1/2-inch squares
1 onion, cut into 6 wedges
1 zucchini, cut into 1 1/2-inch-thick rounds 

For the chimichurri:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 shallot, minced
1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Instructions:

1. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes to 1 hour to prevent them from burning. 

2. Make the chimichurri: Combine the vinegar, lime juice, garlic, and shallot in a food processor and mix on low speed. Drizzle in the olive oil while mixing; the dressing will begin to emulsify. Add the cilantro, parsley, salt, and pepper and continue to mix on low until the dressing is uniform in texture and the herbs are chopped quite small.

3. Place the steak in a resealable plastic bag or nonreactive bowl with a lid. Cover the steak with enough chimichurri (about 1 cup) to coat thoroughly. Seal the bag or cover the bowl and marinate the steak in the refrigerator for 1 to 8 hours; more is better, especially for tougher cuts. (Feel free to leave your steak marinating overnight, or start your dinner prep in the morning before work.) 

4. Remove the steak from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat the grill to high heat (500°F). (See below if you don’t have a grill.)

5. Remove the steak from the marinade; discard the marinade. Prepare the kabobs by threading the steak, bell pepper, onion, and zucchini onto soaked wooden skewers or metal skewers, alternating meat and vegetables. You should be able to make about 6 skewers. 

6. Grill the kabobs directly over high heat for 2 minutes on each side. Reduce the heat to medium (or move the kabobs to indirect heat) and brush with 1/2 cup of the remaining chimichurri. Grill to desired doneness, 12 to 15 minutes. (The easiest way to check is to remove one of the kabobs from the heat and cut into the meat, checking for color.) Serve the kabobs with extra chimichurri sauce for dipping; any leftover sauce can be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days or frozen in ice cube trays for up to 6 months.

If you don’t have a grill, you have two other options for the kabobs. First, buy a grill plate for your stove and follow the same directions — it’s just like a barbecue, minus the mosquitoes. Or, you can broil and then bake the skewers: Preheat the oven to broil (or 500°F) and place the skewers on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil the kabobs for 3 minutes, then flip the skewers and broil for another 3 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and brush the skewers with chimichurri. Bake to desired doneness, 12 to 15 minutes. 

For more kebab recipes, check out my new Summer Grilling board over on Pinterest!

Salad Collage

Salads: They are a staple at summer BBQ’s. Cool, refreshing and packed with nutrition. Whenever you attend a gathering, scope these out first or offer to bring one with you so you know there will be at least one “safe” side dish option that isn’t full of mayo and fat.

Corn, Avocado & Tomato Salad: (Pictured left above) This salad is so colorful and refreshing looking. All of the ingredients are “Fix Friendly” and each serving works out to be about 1 yellow, 1 blue, 1 green and 1 orange. {Click here for the recipe.}

Spinach and Berry Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette: (Pictured second from left above) This recipe is patriotic with the red and blue berries plus it’s straight from Beachbody so they took the container guess work out of things! 1 Green, 1/2 Purple, 1 Orange. {Click here for the recipe}

Cucumber Salad: (Pictured second from the right above) This simple and refreshing summer salad is the perfect addition to a BBQ when doing the 21 Day Fix. All of the ingredients are “Fix Friendly” and only count as 1 green container! {Click here for the recipe}

Greek Salad: (Pictured one the far right above) Here’s another colorful addition for your next cook out. This version is low in calories, high in flavor and brought to us by Beachbody, so once again, the container counts are already done for us! Container counts: 1.5 green and 1 orange. {Click here for the recipe}

For more salads and other side dish recipes, check out my new Summer Grilling board over on Pinterest!

Sweet CollageSweets: Let’s face it…it’s just not a party or gathering without them! The trick to staying on track is avoiding the cupcakes, cakes, brownies and other highly processed, sugary treats.

Fresh fruit is your friend in these situations and thankfully, since it’s warm out, there is typically some sort of fruit platter at most gatherings. Just like with the salads, you can always offer to bring some as your contribution if you know you have a killer sweet tooth and will be tempted by the other goodies that may be on display.

Grilled Fruit: (Not pictured) Pineapple, peaches and nectarines are all super yummy when grilled. Top them with a drizzle of honey or team them up with some greek yogurt for a grown-up treat! Container count: 1 purple (1 red if teaming it up with Greek yogurt)

American Flag Toast Flags: (Pictured on the left above) Have some fun with your breakfast and show your patriotism! This recipe uses cream cheese as the base but I honestly think they would be yummier with some natural peanut butter or just whole fruit jelly! Make sure you use whole grain bread and you’ll want to stick to one flag as your portion or you’ll be out of yellow containers for the day! Using a waffle or one of my Healthy Pancakes as a base is another good idea! Container counts: 1 yellow, 1 tsp, 1 purple.

Watermelon Pops: (Pictured second from left above) Simple, inexpensive and refreshing. Watermelon is the poster fruit of summer and you can’t go wrong with serving these! Container count: 1 purple.

Fruit Salad: (Pictured second from right above) Another simple and refreshing treat that won’t leave you on a sugar high. The fruit salad pictured above will take a little more time, but it’s the perfect addition to a Memorial Day or Fourth of July gathering and you only need a star shapes cookie cutter to create this conversation piece. Toss in some blue berries and viola! Container count: 1 purple

Star Spangled Fruit Pops: (Pictured far right above) Okay, so this one is for the over achiever but I couldn’t resist including it. Kids would definitely get a kick of them and your guests would truly be impressed. We’re always trying to get our kids to eat healthier, so why not make fruit as fun as the icing covered cupcakes?! {Click here for instructions on how to make these.}

For more dessert recipes and inspiration, check out my new Summer Grilling board over on Pinterest!

As you can see, there are a lot of healthy and flavorful ways to stay on track with the 21 Day Fix this summer.

I didn’t even touch grilled chicken or burgers! Both are absolutely allowed and the possibilities are endless with them too. The key to not getting bored with all of this is to experiment with seasoning. Seasoning is a free food on the program which means it is your best friend!

Be sure to check out the  Summer Grilling board over on Pinterest for more recipe inspiration. I already have some chicken and burger recipes on there that I didn’t include in this post and I’ll be adding to it regularly from now on.

Do you have a favorite 21 Day Fix Friendly recipe for BBQ gatherings? If so, please share it below! You know I love trying new things.

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Santa Fe Stuffed Peppers {21 Day Fix Friendly}

SantaFe stuffed peppersWhy yes, this is another recipe with Mexican flavors. I can’t help it. I’m obsessed.

There is just something so satisfying about healthy Mexican dishes. I don’t know if it is the bold flavors, the balance between those flavors or the bright rainbow of colors that you end up with on your plate. Plus it’s an excuse to eat avocado, right?!

I am a big fan of stuffed peppers, especially since starting The 21 Day Fix. It’s just a great way to get that extra green container in, plus peppers are pretty darn inexpensive, especially as the summer approaches.

The other night, I set out to make a stuffed pepper recipe from The Whole30 book I received for my birthday, but I forgot an ingredient so I decided to hop on Pinterest and see what caught my eye and these Santa Fe Stuffed Peppers were the winner. I used a recipe from For The Love of Dessert as my base and changed things up a little.

Santa Fe Stuffed Peppers
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Ingredients
  1. 1lb lean ground turkey
  2. 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  3. 3/4 cups frozen corn (Trader Joe's Frozen Roasted Corn would be awesome in this)
  4. 1 jalapeno, chopped (remove the seeds for less heat)
  5. 1 large diced tomato (I used 1 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained)
  6. 1 cloves garlic, minced
  7. 1 medium onion, chopped
  8. 2 tbsp chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  9. 3 Tbsps taco seasoning (see link below for clean eating version)
  10. kosher salt to taste
  11. 4 bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise, seeded
  12. shredded cheese of choice for topping
  13. 1/3 cup reduced sodium chicken stock (you could also just use water)
  14. 1 tbsp chopped scallions, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet, over medium heat, brown turkey and season with salt. When turkey is cooked or browned, add onion, garlic, cilantro, jalapeno, black beans and tomatoes. Mix well, cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes. Remove lid, and add corn. Simmer an additional 5 minutes or longer-- until any excess liquid evaporates. Season turkey mixture with taco seasoning, combining well.
  3. To prepare peppers, cut peppers lengthwise and remove seed and stem (rinse the pepper with water to remove any seeds and dry once cut). Place peppers, cut side up in an oven proof dish. Pour chicken broth into the dish, around the peppers. Fill each pepper, until full, with your mixture. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 40-45 minutes until peppers become tender.
  4. Take dish out of the oven and remove foil to sprinkle a small amount of shredded cheese on top. Once topped with shredded cheese return to oven for an additional 5 minutes of until cheese has melted. Top with chopped scallions if you'd like and enjoy!
Notes
  1. 21 Day Fix Container Values: 2 pepper halves = 1 green, 1 red, 1 yellow and 1 blue (if you top with cheese)
Get Fit With Nikki http://www.getfitwithnikki.com/
 These peppers were packed with flavor and really hit the spot! I topped mine with some shredded mozzarella, but pepper-jack would be a great choice too. You could even skip the cheese and top them with  some of the guacamole I shared with you yesterday. {Click here to get the recipe}

If you’d like to speed up the cooking process on these, you could pop the pepper halves into the oven while your filling is cooking, to soften up, then fill, bake and top with cheese 5 minutes before they’re ready.

Looking for a healthier taco seasoning option? Make your own! I love the recipe for Clean Eating Taco Seasoning over on The Gracious Pantry. {Click here to view it.}

I promise my next post will NOT feature food with a Mexican theme. I’ve been dreaming about Memorial Day BBQ food, so I’m pretty sure that will be next!

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