Friday, January 30, 2015

21 Day Fix Approved- Chicken Skewers with Peanut Dipping Sauce

21 Day Fix Approved- Chicken Skewers with Peanut Dipping Sauce

I love Chicken Satay Skewers.  They have my favorite ingredient in them... peanut butter!  They can be made spicy too!  This recipe is for 10 skewers.  2 Skewers  is 1 red.  Use your Orange container to portion out the sauce and it is 1 orange.

With Peanut Dipping Sauce
Chicken Satay Skewers with Peanut Dipping Sauce

For the Chicken

1/2 cup light coconut milk
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast tenders

For the Satay Sauce

1 cup light coconut milk
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter ( the kind you stir)
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 Tbsp Maple Syrup- Grade B
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos
(option to all 1 tsp red pepper flakes)
Salt to taste
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
10 (6 inch) wooden skewers, or as needed, soaked in water for 30 minutes


  1. Stir together 1/2 cup light coconut milk, garlic, 1 teaspoon curry powder, salt, and pepper until well combined. Toss marinade with the chicken, cover, and marinate for at least 30 Minutes.
  2. Bring 1 cup light coconut milk, 1 tablespoon curry powder, peanut butter, chicken stock, and maple syrup to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice and soy sauce or aminos and red pepper flakes if desired; season to taste with salt.
  3. Preheat a grill for medium-high heat. (I use a Forman Grill inside when the weather is bad)
  4. Thread marinated chicken onto skewers, then grill 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through. 
  5. Serve with warm peanut sauce and garnish with cilantro
Need help with the 21 Day Fix?  I coach people for FREE!  Send me an email at with "21 Day Fix Help" in the subject and let's chat about your goals!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Why I don't Use Shakeology When I Bake or Cook-

I have a lot of yummy recipes that I have created during the years I competed in fitness as well as created for the 21 Day Fix  meal plan that use whey protein powder.  This gives the things I make a great protein packed punch and will make my muffins, waffles,  brownies or whatever it is a balanced macro (macros are carbs/fats/protein) profile as well as give it great flavor.

My Blueberry- Orange - Vanilla Protein Muffins

I am always asked if the super food shake Shakeology by Beachbody could be substituted instead of whey.  That is a really good question!  Find out below which is better to bake and cook with!

Shakeology vs. Whey


Shakeology is an amazing daily dose of dense nutrition that has over 70 organic, non- gmo ingredients from all over the world packed into one shake.    It is not cheap at $140.00 for a 30 serving bag, but you would for sure spend way more if you went out and purchased each of these items separately to get the same amazing healthy shake.  Like over $700.  So in the grand scheme of things, buying Shakeology is a bargain.  I mean, are you really going to go buy and make a shake with 70 super foods in it? Everyday?  Check it out below

Chocolate Shakeology Ingredient List- Want to try Shakeology? Get a Taste Sampler Here


Whey protein is left over when milk is coagulated during the process of cheese production, and contain the complete amigo acids it takes to make skeletal muscle.   It is just protein and some sugar from lactose and fat depending on what form you get like: 
  • Concentrates have typically a low (but still significant) level of fat and cholesterol but, in general, compared to the other forms of whey protein, have higher levels of bioactive compounds, and carbohydrates in the form of lactose — they are 29%–89% protein by weight.
  • Native whey protein, the purest form of whey protein which has been extracted from skim milk and not a by product of cheese production, produced as a concentrate and isolate.
  • Isolates are processed to remove the fat, and lactose, but are usually lower in bioactivated compounds as well — they are 90%+ protein by weight. Like whey protein concentrates, whey protein isolates are mild to slightly milky in taste.
  • Hydrolysates are whey proteins that are predigested and partially hydrolyzed for the purpose of easier metabolizing, but their cost is generally higher.Highly hydrolysed whey may be less allergenic than other forms of whey.
For my baking and cooking I prefer an all natural isolate protein.  I really like Lean Body for Her.  The flavors of the natural chocolate and natural vanilla are really great and they do not contain anything artificial or any fillers.
An all natural whey protein is a great thing to have on hand

What happens when you cook with Shakology?

Beachbody recommends that you don't heat up Shakeology above 110 degrees.  Cooking or heating Shakeology would destroy many of the nutrients in Shakeology and upset the nutrient balance. I Ideally, drink it at room temperature or cooler. However, if you prefer to drink it warm, you can warm your liquid - just not above 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not boil Shakeology.

I buy and drink Shakeology everyday because of the amazing nutrients and super foods I my body gets from it.  If I am going to bake something with a powder to increase its protein content, Shakeology is not my first choice.  I don't want to loose any of the important nutrients that is contained in that scoop.  

Also I find the texture of what I am baking with is grainy and not as smooth textured. It also throws off the macros.  I work hard to balance the carbs, proteins and fats to fit into a 40/40/20 ratio.  Adding Shakeology changes this.  It does not contain the same amount of protein that a scoop of whey does and Shakeology contains carbs. 

Whey for the WIN when cooking with Protein Powders!

I feel that you should use a good Whey protein when you bake. Whey is relatively economical.  You can get a bag with 30 servings for about $30.00 depending on where you buy and who made it.  You DO NOT get all the amazing nutritional benefits that you get from Shakeology, but if you are purely trying to bump up your protein content while adding some great flavor and texture, reach for an all natural whey protein instead and save you AWESOME daily dose of dense nutrition for your morning smoothie!  Your body will reap the benefits of all the super foods and nutrients in it instead of cooking it right out of your yummy treat! 

NOW- If you are not going to bake or heat anything up- I say use Shakeology!  Try these yummy Shakeology Treats

Do you need help with meal planning or finding the exercise program that is right for your goals?  I coach people for FREE!  send me an email at and we can chat about your goals or visit my website- 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Kettlebell Swings- A total body exercise

Kettlebell Swings- A great exercise 

One of my very favorite exercises is the Kettle Bell Swing.  It works all the large muscle groups and it is just fun to do.  I was super pleased to see this exercise in the program I am doing now, INSANITY Asylum Volume 2!   Here is how to do a proper kettlebell swing and an exercise routine you can do at home.

Why kettlebell swings are so great 

A survey of scientific literature (12 published peer reviewed articles) conducted by Bill Campell, PhD, CSCS found that kettlebells are both safe and effective in improving power and strength performance.  It works the large muscle groups, thus getting a greater calorie burn by getting your heart rate higher and strength aspects by helping you build muscle.  

If you watch the way many people perform kettlebell swings, you may think the point is to move the weight around. But during a proper swing, perhaps more than in other weight-bearing exercises, the kettlebell simply reacts to the movement of your body.

That's right: The kettlebell swing isn't really about the kettlebell. It's about you, and how you control your body and move around the kettlebell. Since you, like most people, are probably accustomed to thinking in terms of moving weight, it may be difficult to grasp this at first. So let's take the load out of the equation entirely for the moment.

The Right Way to Swing a Kettlebell

There are two positions you need to become familiar and comfortable with if you want to maximize the significant benefits of the swing. It may sound backward, but the first position is the finish position. Here's how you perform it:


Stand with your feet placed outside your shoulders, either pointing straight ahead or turned slightly out, whichever is more comfortable to you.

Clench your hands into loose fists. Hold your arms out in front of you, parallel to the ground, with elbows locked and hands touching.

Pull your shoulders down into your waist, away from your ears. You should feel some tightness under your armpits. Those are your lats. You may never have felt them like that before, but this sensation is crucial to the swing, so remember it.

Tighten your abs like you're bracing for a punch. Don't bend forward, though. Just try to lock your ribcage to your pelvis.

Finally, squeeze your glutes as tightly as you can, like you're pinching a coin between your cheeks. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders through your hips and knees down to your feet.

Now Let's Get Swinging!

1.) Set your feet in the same position they were for the finish position.

2.)  While your eyes look forward—head up and chest out—push your hips back. Fold into your hips, keeping your weight over the middle of your foot, slightly toward your heels. As you do this, your knees will bend to some degree. This is OK, but if you do it correctly, you'll feel your hamstrings, not your quads. Now hold that position.

3.)  Think about performing a vertical jump. But instead of placing your arms outside your legs, move them between your legs. However—and this is crucial—keep the angle of your body steady. Only move your arms.

4.)  Feel your hamstrings stretch. Remember, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The more stretch you can get on your hips and hamstrings, the more powerful your swing is going to be. 

5.)  Thrust your hips forward while raising the kettlebell up to a little over eye level.  Keep a firm hold on the handle, but allow the kettlebell to swing a little.  

6.)  Find this position repeatedly, at least 3-6 times, and just like the finish position, hold it about 6-10 seconds each time. When you do it correctly, you'll feel it.

What weight should you start with?

A good starting point is 35 Pounds for men and 15 pounds for women.  I am currently using a 30 pound kettlebell in my workouts. 

Here is a great Kettlebell circuit you can try at home 

Do as many rounds of this circuit as you can in 15 minutes.

Kettlebell Swing - 15 reps

Wall Sits- 30 Second Hold

Burpee - 5 reps

I hope this help you perfect your kettlebell swings!  These are a great addition to any workout! 

I coach people for FREE and I would love to help you with your fitness goals.  Email me at with "This is my year" in the subject line and we can chat about your fitness goals! 

21 Day Fix Approved- Sweet Potato Puff Recipe

21 Day Fix Approved- Sweet Potato Puffs

I love sweet potatoes all year round. They are so good for you and a great choice for your yellow container.  Although they're soft and creamy enough to be put in pies and called dessert, sweet potatoes are also a surprisingly nutritious vegetable.

"Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A, vitamin B5, B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, and, due to their orange color, are high in carotenoids," said San Diego-based nutritionist Laura Flores. Plus, they're fat-free, relatively low in sodium and have fewer calories than white potatoes — although they do have more sugar.

Sweet potatoes are one of the best sources of vitamin A; a large one contains more than 100 percent of the daily recommended intake, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Vitamin A is an antioxidant powerhouse, and is linked to anti-aging benefits, cancer prevention and the maintenance of good eyesight.  

This is one way I prepare them and they work great in the 21 Day Fix Meal Plan!

These are perfect for your yellow container- Sweet Potato Puffs

Sweet Potato Puff Recipe


3 large (about 2 pounds) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup coconut oil- softened
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup- grade B
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 tsp granulated sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp ginger powder, if desired


1.) Place sweet potatoes in 3-quart saucepan; add enough water to cover. Cover and heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer covered about 20 minutes or until tender then drain.  

2.)  Heat oven to 425ºF. Mash potatoes in medium bowl until no lumps remain. I will use my hand immersion blender. Add remaining ingredients except 1 tablespoon coconut oil and the ginger. Beat vigorously until potatoes are fluffy.

3.) Drop potatoes by 1/3 cupfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet, forming 8-10 mounds. (Or spoon potatoes into decorating bag and form 8-10 rosettes.)

4.) Brush 1 tablespoon coconut oil over potatoes. Bake about 15 minutes or until hot. Sprinkle with ginger.

While they stay refrigerated ok, I like them fresh out of the oven!  It is like a yummy treat

21 Day Fix Exchange

If you are following the 21 Day Fix, one puff is 1 Yellow and 1 tsp.

Need help with the 21 Day Fix?  I coach people for FREE.  Send me an email to with "21 Day Fix Help" in the subject line and let't chat about your goals!

21 Day Fix- Tropical Pina Colada Protein Shake

21 Day Fix Approved- Tropical Pina Colada Protein Smoothie

I LOVE a great Pina Colada (virgin of course) but this recipe is rocks because it has added protein and works withing the 21 Day Fix meal plan!  Great for after your workout!

Pina Colada Protein Shake

Pina Colada Protein Smoothie- 21 Day Fix Approved

Ready in 5 minutes • Makes 2 servings  So share with your workout buddy!

1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 cup crushed pineapple - no sugar added, drained, or
                 1 cup pineapple juice- No sugar added
½ frozen banana
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp shredded coconut- no sugar added
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder (Please use an ALL NATURAL Whey Powder with nothing ARTIFICIAL in it. Lean Body for Her Natural Vanilla tastes best and can be found on )
1 cup ice cubes

Place all ingredients in a blender and process to a smooth consistency.

21 Day Fixers- this is 1 Red, 1 Purple and 1 Yellow

Need help with the 21 Day Fix?  I coach people for FREE!  send me an email to with "21 Day Fix Help" in the subject line and we can chat about your goals! 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

21 Day Fix Approved- Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe

I Love Jerk Chicken

I really get bored with boring chicken breast.  I love to make this meal ahead of time for meal prep and then just portion it out into containers for the rest of the week.  I will also sometimes make it with boneless chicken thighs. It is super flavorful and break from the boring chicken, rice and broccoli I usually eat :)  I hope you enjoy!

21 Day Fix- Jamaican Jerk Chicken and Butternut Squash

How to make 21 Day Fix Approve Jamaican Jerk Chicken 


1-1/2 Tbsp Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Mix
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts 
1 tablespoon coconut oil - melted
2 can (15 oz)  black beans, drained, rinsed
3 Cups butternut squash peeled, cubed 
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons sliced green onions (2 medium)


1.) Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 8-inch square (2-quart) baking dish with cooking spray. Rub Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Mix  on all sides of chicken. In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken in oil 2 to 3 minutes per side, until brown.

2.) In baking dish, layer beans and butternut squash cubes. Top with browned chicken.

3.) In small bowl, mix honey, lime juice; add to skillet. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Pour over chicken in baking dish.

4.) Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (180°F) and butternut squash is fork tender. Top with green onions.

Portion our your chicken in your red container, your squash in your purple (or green if you are following the original program) and your beans in your yellow.

Looking for something sweet for dessert?  Try these 21 Day Fix Approved Protein Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Need help with the 21 Day Fix?  I coach people for FREE. Send me an email to with "21 Day Fix Help" in the subject line and we can chat about your goals!

21 Day Fix Approved- Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Mix

When my husband and I went to Jamaica on our honeymoon, I feel in love with jerk chicken.  Most have sugar added to them for sweetness, so I have come up with this seasoning mix with out sugar and can enjoy jerk chicken whenever I want...

I also put this on my egg whites, ground turkey, in my rice... or pretty much anything I want to have that wonderful jerk flavor!

21 Day Fix Approved- Jamaican Jerk Seasoning

2-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1-1/2 tsp ground allspice
1-1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 tsp dried minced onion
1/2 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne) or more if you like a little spice!

For my 21 Day Fix- Jerk Chicken Casserole recipe- Click here

Need help with the 21 Day Fix?  I coach people for free-  Send me an email to with "21 Day Fix Help" in the subject line and we chat about your goals! 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Fast Twitch Muscles & Slow Twitch Muscles & Does It Matter When Toning Up and Loosing Weight?

Fast Twitch or Slow Twitch Muscles? 

When trying to loose body fat, tone up and have better sports performance what is more important to focus on?  Fast Twitch or Slow Twitch?  What are you training when you workout with BodyBeast or the 21 Day Fix? What about INSANITY?  This article from Stacey Penny from the NASM Insider Monthly should help to figure these things out. 

By Stacey Penney, MS, NASM-CPT, CES, PES, FNS

Looking to build endurance? What about power? Do dreams of being an all-star hitter or marathon runner need to be dashed if twitch ratios aren’t ideal? Not necessarily. The types of muscle fibers targeted in different types of training programs can impact performance goals.
As most of us may recall from our physiology studies, there are two main types of human skeletal muscle fiber types, type I and type II, or slow-twitch and fast-twitch, respectively. Fast-twitch are further classified into type IIa and type IIx. They differ in both their biochemical and contractile properties.

Slow-twitch, Type I

These muscle fibers have high concentrations of mitochondria and myoglobin, and although they are smaller than the fast-twitch fibers, are surrounded by more capillaries. This combination supports their capacity for aerobic metabolism and fatigue resistance, particularly important for prolonged submaximal exercise activities. Type I fibers produce less force, are slower to produce maximal tension (lower myosin ATPase activity) compared to type II fibers, but they are able to maintain longer-term contractions, key for stabilization and postural control.

Fast-twitch, Type II

Our fast-twitch, type II muscle fibers are further divided into type IIx and type IIa. Typically, these have lower concentrations of mitochondria, myoglobin, and capillaries compared to our slow-twitch fibers and are quicker to fatigue. These larger-sized fibers are also able to produce a greater and quicker force, an important consideration for power activities.
  • Type IIx: These fibers produce the most force, but are incredibly inefficient based on their high myosin ATPase activity, low oxidative capacity, and heavy reliance on anaerobic metabolism (1,2).
  • Type IIa: These fibers are also known as intermediate fibers, a mix if you will, of type I and type IIx, with comparable tension. Able to use both aerobic and anaerobic energy systems, these fibers have a higher oxidative capacity and fatigue more slowly than type IIx.

What’s my type?

So now that we’ve covered the different types, are you wondering what type you are? Short of having a muscle biopsy, and make that multiple biopsies since not all muscles in the body will be the same, we are a mix of both fast and slow in all of our muscles. Nonathletic individuals have close to a 50/50 balance of fiber types. When you start looking at highly skilled, top-performing athletes, some differences may begin to appear. For the power athlete, there’s a higher ratio of fast-twitch fibers (e.g., sprinters 70-75% type II), whereas for the endurance athlete there are more slow-twitch fibers (e.g., marathon/distance runners 70-80% type I) . Of course, muscle fiber type is not the only factor in an athlete’s success! There are plenty of other variables that take an athlete from good to great.
Age is also a factor for our muscle fibers. As we age, there’s a loss in lean muscle mass, with a decline in our fast-twitch fibers, especially the type IIx, but there is also an increase in our slow-twitch fibers . Recall that the fast-twitch fibers are larger in size than the slow-twitch, metabolically efficient fibers. This loss of lean muscle mass can contribute to age-related metabolic dysfunctions, body composition changes, even an increased risk of falls . Resistance training can help combat this decline.

Type Training

Fiber types can be modified to some degree by exercise. Type I fibers are targeted with endurance training, such as lower resistance with higher repetitions, or longer duration with a lower intensity, as seen in OPT ™ Phases 1 and 2 . Strength training targets the type II fibers. Resistance training increases the size of both type I and type II muscle fibers, with greater growth (i.e., hypertrophy) occurring in the type II fibers with an increase in actin and myosin filaments, which also results in an increased ability to generate force. An increase in type IIx to type IIa, but not increase type I can also be seen in prolonged resistance training . Fast-twitch fibers can be slow-twitch recruits: endurance training and high-intensity intervals can be effective in improving aerobic power.
Tapering during training programs (e.g., reducing volume and intensity) can also improve the strength and power of type IIa fibers, without a decrease in type 1 performance . For example, in a study investigating muscle fiber changes in recreational runners training for a marathon, after 13 weeks of increasing mileage and a three week tapering cycle, it was found that not only did the functions of type 1 and type IIa fibers improve, but that type IIa continued to improve significantly during the tapering cycle .

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Creamy Veggie Dip- 21 Day Fix Approved

21 Day Fix Snack Idea- Greek Yogurt Veggie Dip

Greek yogurt is amazing.  I love how thick and smooth it is!  I also have discovered how versatile it is to use in recipes.  You can turn an unhealthy recipe into something very healthy by switching out mayo or sour cream for plain Greek yogurt.

Here is a delicious veggie dip I made this morning!

1/2 cup of Greek Yogurt
3 tbsp Lighthouse Freeze Dried Salad Herbs
2 tsp Himalayan Salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Let sit for 20 minutes in the refrigerator.  Serve with your favorite veggies.

At 130 Calories, 11 grams of Protein and               
5 grams of carbs, it is the PERFECT snack!

If you are following the fix, this is 1 red if you eat ALL the dip and how ever many green veggies containers you choose to eat with it :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

21 Day Fix Approved- Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl BrowniesRecipe

21 Day Fix Approved Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Recipe

Gluten Free
21 Day Fix Approved- Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies


3/4 cup creamy All Natural peanut butter-  be sure this is mixed well
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
6 oz. Sugar Free Chocolate Pudding- prepared (Snack Pack Cups work great) or Plain Greek yogurt
3/4 cup  almond milk
2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 Cup Honey
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Scoop Chocolate Whey Protein Poweder
1/2 cup oats OR 3 TBSP Coconut Flour


~Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 8×8 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
~Place all of the ingredients except for the peanut butter and coconut oil into a blender or food processor. I like to put all of the wet ingredients in first and make sure that it is mixed up really well.  Blend until mix is smooth and oats are ground up. You will have to stop the blender and scrape down the sides a few times.
~Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Batter will be thin. Microwave peanut butter and coconut oil for about 30 seconds then mix well. Drop melted peanut butter by spoonfuls onto the batter, swirling gently with a knife to create a marbled effect. Do not over mix.
~Bake for 20-25 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Brownies will be extra fudgy, so be sure to wait until COMPLETELY cooled before enjoying - I stuck mine in the refrigerator for 2 hours, which allowed them to be cut very easily. Cut into 8 equal squares and enjoy! 

This makes 8 servings.  1 brownie is 1 yellow, 1 red and 1 orange