Recipes

Recipes
Recipes

Accountability

Accountability
Accountability

Coaching

Coaching
Coaching

Thank you for your love and support!

vanessa.fitness, vanessadotfitness, clean eating, 21 Day Fix, Beachbody, clean eating
Before 2016 fully fades into the past, I wanted wish all of my followers and supporters a very happy holiday and blessings for the New Year. I appreciate you showing me the love with your Facebook and Instagram "likes," your referrals, your positive comments! I feel the love, and I thank you.

Take time this season for you and fully enjoy the ones you love. Loving ourselves and our bodies primes us, and strengthens us with the ability to care for our families. It makes us happier people!

My husband and I had 10 days off with our boys. We've played games together, watched movies, built Legos, of course, there was some arguing and disputes! They are brothers, after all! It's not always rainbows and unicorns, but we usually look back and laugh at the good and the bad. This year, we traveled to Miami to visit family from December 9 to December 15, which postponed my holiday gift shopping....I left it until the last minute! But of course, the holidays come anyway, and so did being present with my family, because that is the true gift for this mom.

vanessa.fitness, vanessadotfitness, clean eating, 21 Day Fix, Beachbody, clean eating
For me, 2016 was a memorable year, because I quit my traditional desk job to be a Beachbody coach full time, working from home, making my own flexible schedule! My sincerest and heartfelt thanks for following and supporting me on this journey I have been on as a coach. It touches me when people invite me into their lives as they join my team as coaches, or when reaching out for my help on their fitness transformation. My way of life sometimes seems like an unconventional way to earn a living, but this opportunity has changed my family's world. Many times it's challenging to be so public with our life, but I know it is worth it if I can help or inspire just one person.

Because of Beachbody, my life will never look the same. This blessing has allowed me to find my passion while creating a life of financial freedom for my family. Life is too short to settle for a job that you hate, or time away from those you love. I made the decision to become a coach, follow a different path to find joy in life, and be present with my family. One of my favorite quotes comes from Gary Vaynerchuk (social media and business mogul): "In 2016 there is no reason to do shit you hate!" I put aside my fears, worked hard and went for it. Make no mistake, I did not choose the easy path, but I chose one where I could design a life I love, and have an impact!

The mission of  my business is helping others get healthy, and I take this seriously. And I use the word "HEALTHY" on purpose, instead of skinny, or strong, or lean. To me, "healthy" means happy and confident in ones body, because we're fueling our bodies with whole foods and treating them to loving movement. One of my clients recently said to me that in my mission to help others get healthy "you're saving lives." I never thought of it that way, and I was honored by her statement. In my heart of hearts I believe I have a gift that was put in my life for a reason. The rewards of this job reach beyond the financial, when I teach other coaches how to duplicate my success in my business, or when I can help someone accomplish a weight loss goal, and learn how to love their body.

vanessa.fitness, vanessadotfitness, clean eating, 21 Day Fix, Beachbody, clean eating
2017 is going to be an even bigger year for our family, and I hope it will be a year filled with blessings for you too!

Happy New Year to all of you! Looking forward to working with so many of you in the coming months as you set out to accomplish your own New Year's resolutions. Please reach out if you would like to join my Happy NEW YOU health and fitness accountability group or fill out the form below.

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6 Tips to bounce back after a holiday binge.

binge, overeat, 21 Day Fix, back on track, Autumn Calabrese, Clean Eating, Tosca Reno, vanessadotfitness, vanessa.fitness
When there's such a delicious (and elaborate) food on the table, when we're presented with a buffet of holiday feasts it's easy to go overboard during the holidays. Whether it's a salt binge, too many sweets, champagne, calorie laden holiday drinks, or a combination of all, don't resign yourself to feeling uncomfortable all day long. These tips will help you feel better sooner.

1. Start chugging....WATER!: Be sure to hydrate before bed and have a full cup of water ready to drink as soon as you wake up. Keep drinking water all day long, drinking two to three liters of water throughout the day. It may feel counterintuitive to drink a lot of anything when you're feeling full, but you'll start feeling better immediately.

2. Freshen up: Take a shower, get dressed (NOT in sweatpants), put on deodorant, so there's no time to sit around and succumb to that "blah state." Taking the initiative ASAP will make everything else feel easier. Once you're all cleaned up, don't just reach for any old outfit; choose clothing that makes you feel confident and comfortable. Feeling better mentally is an important part of feeling better physically.

3. Fill up with VEGGIES and PROTEIN: One of the worst things you can do after overindulging is skip out on breakfast the next day and mess with your metabolism. Instead, enjoy a breakfast with an egg white and veggie omelet and some berries, which contain fiber. A breakfast that's full of protein and fiber will support healthy digestion and keep your stomach satisfied throughout the morning. This way, you won't be ravenous for a huge lunch or snack on whatever's in sight and stay stuck in the cycle.

binge, overeat, 21 Day Fix, back on track, Autumn Calabrese, Clean Eating, Tosca Reno, vanessadotfitness, vanessa.fitness
4. MOVE!: Do 45 minutes to one hour of steady state cardio exercise. Walking, jogging, the elliptical machine are all good choices. Even if you're feeling bloated and sluggish, hitting up a quality cardio session to sweat things out is one of your best defenses against the dreaded food hangover. You'll feel 10 times better when you're done!
Finish that up with 15 minutes of stretching and twisting. Twists just get things moving. If you have Beachbody On Demand All Access, then there are some fabulous, short, yoga workouts that include twists, which support digestion and release toxins. If you don't have time for a full sequence, take two minutes to move through a handful of yoga poses!

5. Keep your meals clean: You don't have to go overboard with a liquid diet or crazy detox, but do your best to all day long, and include one cup of green, leafy veggies at the beginning of each meal. Reach for balanced, light meals full of fresh seasonal produce and whole grains. Steer clear of processed foods and too much sugar or salt — your body will thank you later.

6. Forgive yourself/love yourself: After you've had a fun night out, don't be unkind to yourself. There's no reason you shouldn't be able to enjoy a festive meal freely, so don't allow negative self-talk to take over. The best thing you can do is move forward with a positive attitude and happy memories of your fun.

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All Access Membership Challenge Packs - A revolution in workouts

Beachbody, On Demand, All Access, 21 Day Fix, P90X3, Insanity, Vanessadotfitness, vanessa.fitness
I am pretty excited to announce that Beachbody is giving a pretty big gift this season. As a coach my job is to support people on their health and fitness journey by running virtual challenge groups.

Beachbody has invited me to run a group in January that allows participants to achieve results and GET PAID TO GET HEALTHY through the Beachbody Health Bet!

But Beachbody has taken it one step further. Yesterday they announced a revolution in fitness as we know it through the ALL ACCESS ON DEMAND CHALLENGE PACK available December 27.
beachbody on demand, beachbody all access, what is beachbody, vanessadotfitness, 21 Day Fix, autumn calabrese, Fixate, Core De Force

The Annual All-Access Beachbody On Demand membership provides total access to EVERY PROGRAM available on Beachbody On Demand, plus future releases!

SO WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
Starting December 27, 2016, receive this limited time offer by purchasing either the Annual All-Access Beachbody On Demand + Shakeology Challenge Pack or an annual membership. 

Why is this so Revolutionary?
Beachbody has completely revolutionized the way we look at at home workouts with the previous release of programs like Insanity and P90X. People started to get incredible results while working out at home.

Now Beachbody is doing it again. They understand the importance of nutrition but also that weight loss and fitness is a lifestyle. It’s not a 21 day or a 30 day committment. It’s a long haul mindset that starts by giving you ALL the tools you need to achieve your results over time.
Beachbody, On Demand, All Access, 21 Day Fix, P90X3, Insanity, Vanessadotfitness, vanessa.fitness

What is included in the Annual All-Access Beachbody On Demand + Shakeology Challenge Pack?

1) 1-Year Membership to Beachbody On Demand with all content included, plus future releases

2) Shakeology (choice of 30-day supply on Home Direct)

3) Portion Fix (includes 7-piece portion control container set, eating guide, large blue container & shaker cup)

4) Access to my virtual accountability groups throughout 2017 as well as 1:1 daily motivation and support.

What are my All-Access Price Options?
  • The Annual All Access Beachbody On Demand Challenge Pack is $199 (not available until Dec. 27).
  • The Annual All Access Beachbody On Demand Membership is $99.95. This option does not include Shakeology, the portion containers or access to my challenge group.
  • You can also choose the Beachbody on Demand Kick Start Challenge Pack which includes the 3 day refresh, which is truly the BEST option to start fresh, cleanse and get on the path to success in the new year and that is $239 US and $277 Canadian. (not available until Dec. 27).
  • If you bought a challenge pack between 12/1 and 12/26 you can upgrade to this challenge pack offer for $69 again by using the link below.
  • www.BODMembershipChange.com on or after Dec. 27.
beachbody on demand, beachbody all access, what is on demand, Beachbody, On Demand, All Access, 21 Day Fix, P90X3, Insanity, Vanessadotfitness, vanessa.fitness


What if I already have the Beachbody Club Membership?
Coaches and customers who don’t currently have a Beachbody On Demand membership can purchase this membership.

If you are an existing Beachbody On Demand Customer you will HAVE to cancel your current membership by calling customer service at 1-800-470-7870 and canceling and then you will be price adjusted accordingly. Then, you can complete this form by clicking on the link to upgrade to the all access subscription www.BODMembershipChange.com. You cannot do this until the Dec. 27 when it is launched.

Workouts Included:
All content, digital tools and workouts available on Beachbody On Demand, including popular hits like 21 Day Fix, CORE DE FORCE, CIZE, 22 Minute Hard Corps, PiYo, and Country Heat, Hammer & Chisel, P90X3, Insanity, ALL OF THEM, plus future releases.

You will also have access to the Fixate Cooking Show as well as all nutritional guides PDFs and workout calendars.

How Long After I Order is All-Access Available?
Within 24-48 hours after purchase you can access Beachbody on Demand All Accesss!

What Do I Offer as a Coach?
As a coach, I have been on my own fitness journey for five years. I started my journey with 21 Day Fix, and learned about the importance of nutrition and long term commitment with P90X. Throughout the past three years, I’ve maintained my weight loss. My health and fitness journey is a lifestyle that I’ve commited to long term.

I am able to work with people who are ready to make change permanent. The all access challenge pack gives you the same tools I’ve used at your fingerstips. Want to gain muscle and tone? Hammer and Chisel is yours! Need to learn the basics of nutrtion? Great! Let’s start the 21 Day Fix? Love your cardio? Cool. Let’s kick butt with some Max30! You want a different MMA style workout? Let’s crush it with Core De Force. You have the ENTIRE catalog!
2017 is going to be your healthiest year to date!

With the accountability from me as your 2017 coach, the simplified nutrition of Shakeology and the Fix Portion Control program, as well as a catalog of top rated fitness programs, you have everything you need to get started on your journey and continue throughout 2017 and beyond.  

Are you ready to learn more? Complete the application below so that I may contact you within 24 hours.
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1

Get PAID to get HEALTHY!

Many people put their health on hold during this time of year. I get it, I used to be one of those people. I’d make excuses for myself….”It’s just to busy right now” or “I’ll be out of town too much” or “I want to bake Christmas cookies and go to parties” and so on and so forth. It wasn’t until I dropped those excuses that I found lasting health and wellness.

We all have a choice to make TODAY. Will you be making lasting changes in 2017? Do you want to break that pattern of excuses and do something TANGIBLE to increase you health and happiness? The HEALTH BET is back and can help you break the cycle of excuses forever. Last fall, it helped so many of my clients stay ACCOUNTABLE for a full 30 days and get them headed back on the right path with exercise and nutrition. Not only that, those that stuck with it for the full 30 days got a CASH payout.

Beachbody recently announced they’re doing it again, this time INCREASING the cash pot. 
My Health Bet Participants Get:
  • Fitness program + meal plan
  • 30 servings of Shakeology
  • Peer support and accountability
  • 1:1 coaching from me (I’ll check in with you if you go “missing”)
  • Access link to My Challenge Tracker App
  • Clean eating recipes
How it Works:
  • No money required for buy-in
  • Split a pot of 3M+ (to be shared by all Beachbody clients who meet the qualifications)
  • Log 3 workouts/5 shakes per week
  • That’s it!
21 Day Fix cookbook, 21 Day Fix, Autumn Calabrese, vanessa.fitness, vanessadotfitness
Spaces in my Health Bet group will be limited so I can ensure I have time to give everyone 1:1 coaching. Reserve your spot today! No money is required for the buy-in. You only need ME as your coach and a challenge pack (a fitness program bundled with Shakeology). FLASH SALE: Everyone who signs up for the Team Beachbody Health Bet with me BEFORE 12/23 will also get a copy of FIXATE by Autumn Calabrese.

Please MESSAGE ME (Vanessa McLaughlin) on Facebook or fill out the form below if you are interested and I’ll help you find the right program for your needs and goals and set you up!

*Challenge Pack purchase required to reserve your spot.

FLASH SALE – Until Friday, December 23 ONLY – purchase your challenge pack through me and I will also send you a copy of the FIXATE cookbook!! 

Please fill out the application below for an exclusive spot in my Beachbody Health Bet Challenge!
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1

My Fear of FAILURE...

Beachbody coaching, girlboss, be your own boss, vanessa.fitness, vanessadotfitness, beacbhbody
There is a DISEASE that everyone should be SCARED of. It is something that is freaking RAMPID in our society. And its KILLING our spirits, dreams and any chance we have to be our best selves. It's called "Fear of Failure" and it is BEATEN into us from childhood.

Think about it, When you are a child do you ever question trying things out? Do you ever NOT try and walk because you are afraid to fall on the ground? Or do you ever NOT try the cartwheel in gymnastics class because you know hitting your head will hurt? NO, EVERYONE is falling around you and you just GO FOR IT until you get it! But then you go to school and you're taught an F on your paper or test, stands for FAILURE, and it becomes the grade you fear the most, because it means you are a failure; you have failed on this test or paper, and therefore you have failed at school, at life. And we spend the rest of our adult lives avoiding the prospect of failure LIKE THE PLAGUE.

So, if you don't "succeed" at something in everyone else's eyes, you're a FAILURE and no one wants that! But, I challenge you to REDEFINE FAILURE. Try and define it for yourself. Is it being FIRED right before Christmas? Is it being in 200k of defaulted student debt and not telling your husband the whole story until a week before your wedding? IS it spending 3 years in law school, passing the bar exam, working as a lawyer, and then deciding it wasn't for you ? Is it starting 5 different careers and then you realize at 45 years old you like none of them? BECAUSE I've done THEM ALL, DO YOU GUYS THAT FOLLOW ME think I'm a failure? Because by conventional definitions, I MOST CERTAINLY AM!

But something CRAZY happened after each one of those things .....I picked myself UP and started again until I got it right. NOT RIGHT by society definition ....RIGHT by MY definition. And each one of those things POINTED me in this direction...TODAY.

NOW think about all the things you never did because you where "Afraid to fail" and think about IF you tried those things and you succeeded? Would your life look different? Would it look better? BUT let me get this straight you were SCARED to try because of POSSIBLE failure? THIS IDEA CONFUSES ME.

So lets dig DEEPER. Let's call failure "fear of what other people think of you" because thats really it! Because failure is in the eye of the beholder! So in reality YOU are scared to tell people you are trying something! right? BUT what if your CHILD came to you and said "I'm scared to try for this scholarship that would change my college experience BECAUSE if I don't get it people will laugh at me." YOU WOULD ( as the parent) say: "don't you EVER not do something because of what people think , they don't matter anyway....RIGHT? SO WHY cant we do that for ourselves?!?!?!?!?!?!

So do me a favor right now. THINK about the thing you DON'T want to try. Let's take Beachbody coaching for example. You don't want to try because you are SCARED to fail. right? BUT WHAT is failure to you?

It helps me if I can LIST out the worst case scenarios, so that I can logically tell myself those are SILLY fears that have been drilled into my brain from childhood.

#1- Worst thing that can happen is: I get a fitness program for myself and get some good results.
#2- What if I stop working out? Ok, I'll start again!
#3- What if I start coaching and then people think its weird? WELL odds are you don't want those people in your life anyway, and what difference does it make what they think! If you KNOW you are doing good for yourself and for others then why on EARTH would anyone you call a friend think thats weird?
#4- What if i don't reach some ridiculous standard I have in my own head on my own time? The only place you are going is FORWARD! Then you are further than you would have been!

YOU SEE, FOR ME, the FEAR and disease that drives ME has ALWAYS been "fear of missing out" or "fear of being left behind" Or fear of getting OLD and having REGRETS.

FAILURE is however YOU DEFINE IT. BUT for most of us , its an EXCUSE we use to protect ourselves! FAILURE is NEVER the WORST CASE. The worst case is ALWAYS holding yourself back from something imaginary and then missing out on the best you. NOW, when I put it like that doesn't that sound silly?

THE GOOD NEWS: there is a CURE. its called stop being a weenie and GO FOR IT. Don't the person who says "I WISH I DID THAT." find that thing you had when you were a child that TOLD you to keep trying for the cartwheel because eventually you'll get it OR you'll find out you don't even like cartwheels and you'll move onto SWIMMING


Beachbody coaching, girlboss, be your own boss, vanessa.fitness, vanessadotfitness, beacbhbodySo, what the heck is this Beachbody Coaching thing? That’s what I used to wonder. I was a big skeptic. I heard about coaches, but I had no idea what they actually did or how they made money. Now, I feel BLESSED to have found a job that allows me to work out, set my own hours, be my own boss, connect with like-minded people on social media, and earn money while I’m at it. I couldn’t ask for a better job!

I am going to be hosting a Sneak Peek Into Coaching Group on Wednesday, DECEMBER 28 (all day, so jump on whenever you want) so that I can tell you exactly what coaching entails: time commitment, how coaches make money, what they do on a daily basis, and how they grow their business. I’ll cover it all! Contact me at vanessadotfitness@gmail.com or through Facebook if you’d like to join. We’ll be talking about:
  • What is a Beachbody Coach?
  • What are the advantages of becoming a coach?
  • How do they make money?
  • What experience is needed?
  • What are the work hours like?
  • What sets successful coaches apart?
  • How does a coach advance their business?
  • What type of training will I receive?
It’s a great place to simply ask questions, no commitment required. 
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Apple Pie Shakeology

vanessa.fitness, vanessadotfitness, shakeology, 21 Day Fix, Core De Force, Autumn Calabrese, Clean Eating,
The smell and taste of apple pie, full of cinnamon, juicy apples, and I like mine ala mode, so it's got melty, creamy, vanilla ice cream....YUM! This tastes like apple pie ala mode, but it's nutritious for me - so, no guilt!

Unsweetened applesauce and cinnamon make this Shakeology smoothie taste like apple pie filling with whipped cream. It’s even better with homemade applesauce, which is super easy to make and so worth it. If you want to go the extra mile to make this even more delicious, add a dash of ground ginger and ½ tsp. of pure caramel extract.

Ingredients:
1 cup unsweetend almond milk
1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup ice

Preparation:
Place water, Shakeology, applesauce, cinnamon, and ice in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.

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Healthy Holiday Treats: worthy of bringing to a party!

dessets, gluten free, 21 Day Fix, autumn calabrese, clean eating, tosca reno, vanessa.fitness, vanessadotfitness

Whenever I'm invited to a holiday party at someone's house, I make a point to bring something I know fits within my plan. It doesn't mean I won't have a treat or two, or a glass of champagne, but then I know nutritious foods will be available for me!

When I started this journey, I was the one who always brought the fruit and veggie trays, and I was known for this among my family and friends. They were boring, and no one was REALLY looking forward to them. So, then I changed my tactics.

I started bringing healthy, nutritious dishes that were also delicious!! This showed everyone that to be healthy during the holidays, I did not survive on only fruits and veggies, forgoing the delicious holiday treats. I don't believe in deprivation, but I also don't believe in abusing my body, and making it feel bloated and sick by eating foods loaded with processed ingredients, sugar, and other nutrient void ingredients.

These three dishes are worthy of bringing to any holiday party, and will show everyone that healthy food can taste delicious!! Would love to know if you bring any of these to a party, or serve them at your own party, and what people said!.






Cranberry Crumble Bars








Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Chips and Pecans



Apple Crisp









Greek Pasta Salad


Festive and Fruity Holiday Dessert




Want more recipes like this or support with your health and fitness journey? Fill out the form below to be considered for my private accountability group. I only work with 5 people a month, so it's first come, first serve.

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Cranberry Crumble Bars

Gluten Free, 21 Day Fix, Autumn Calabrese, vanessadotfitness, vanessa.fitness, vanessa.fit, beachbody, clean eating, tosca reno
I LOVE coffee cake or crumble bars. I always notice them in coffee shops and bakeries. Sometimes, I'll treat myself to one, but most of the time I leave them in their glass case, because pastries like these are notoriously packed with calories, fat, and processed sugar.

Making your own can cut down on those not so nutritious ingredients, and this cranberry crumble bars recipe is a healthier take on these mouthwatering treats. The base is made from gluten-free oats and almond meal, with coconut sugar (my new find), and coconut oil replaces butter. The result is a much more wholesome pastry crust, that tastes truly indulgent.

The filling is made from chopped cranberries and orange, a delicious pairing, and a sprinkling of coconut sugar takes the mixture sweetens the two. TIP: cranberries (and their juice) can stain quite easily. I suggest wearing an apron and making sure you wash your hands and cutting board right after use. Don’t wear your favorite white t-shirt to make this recipe!

The process for making these cranberry crumble bars would work just as well with other fruits, such as apples, blueberries, or even strawberries. I especially love the cranberry combination at this time of year, but feel free to experiment once you get the hang of it!

Container Equivalents
1½ Yellow
1 Blue
1 tsp.
Cranberry Crumble Bars
Serves: 12 servings, 1 bar each

Ingredients:
Parchment paper
Nonstick cooking spray

For Crust:
1 cup dry old fashioned oats, gluten-free
1 cup whole raw almonds (or 3/4 cup almond meal)
¼ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
3 Tbsp. coconut sugar
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin organic coconut oil, melted

For Filling:
3 cups coarsely chopped cranberries
¼ cup 100% orange juice
1 Tbsp. finely grated orange peel (orange zest)
2 Tbsp. coconut sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch, preferably GMO-free

For Topping:
3 Tbsp. coconut sugar
2 Tbsp. gluten-free all-purpose flour
¼ cup dry old fashioned oats, gluten-free
1 Tbsp. + 1½ tsp. extra-virgin organic coconut oil
Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with parchment paper. Lightly coat with spray. Set aside.
  3. To make crust, place oats, almonds, salt, and sugar in food processor (or blender); pulse into a fine meal. Make sure no large pieces remain.
  4. Add oil; pulse to mix. It should form a loose dough that sticks together when squeezed between two fingers. Add more oil if too dry.
  5. Spread oat mixture into prepared pan. Press into an even layer with your fingers or a flat object (like a drinking glass).
  6. Bake for 15 minutes. Increase heat to 375º F. Bake an additional 5 minutes, or until crust is fragrant and edges are slightly golden brown. Set aside.
  7. Reduce oven temperature to 350º F.
  8. To make filling, heat cranberries, orange juice, orange peel, sugar, and cornstarch in medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until bubbly. Set aside.
  9. To make topping, combine sugar, flour, oats and oil in a small mixing bowl; mix with fork until mixture resembles coarse meal. Set aside.
  10. Add cranberry mixture to crust; cover evenly.
  11. Top with crumble topping; cover cranberries evenly.
  12. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cranberry filling is warm and bubbly and topping is golden brown.
  13. Cool completely for 1 to 2 hours. Lift parchment paper from pan; cut into 12 bars.
Want more recipes like this or support with your health and fitness journey? Fill out the form below to be considered for my private accountability group. I only work with 5 people a month, so it's first come, first serve.
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1

Chocolate-Gingerbread Shakeology

shakeology, 21 Day Fix, Autumn Calabrese, Beachbody, Vanessa.fitness, vanessadotfitness
Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I love whipping up holiday flavors with my Shakeology. While this one doesn't taste quite like gingerbread, it does remind me a bit of a gingerbread latte at Starbucks. It has a delicious spicy chocolate taste that is perfect for the holidays! Enjoy!

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 thin slice fresh ginger, peeled, finely chopped (or ½ tsp. ground ginger)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup ice

Place milk, Shakeology, cinnamon, ginger, extract, and ice in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.

Interested in more Shakeology recipes and other healthy recipes? Looking for support and advice in your health and fitness journey? Fill out my form below.

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Meal planning for successful weight loss - UPDATED!


When I first started as a coach, I wrote an overview of how to meal plan. But now, as I've gotten more experience, and even taken some nutrition courses, I have expanded that blog post to give you more tips to help you create your own meal plan. How do you get dinner on the table, week in and week out, without getting bored? How do you stay energized and engaged with the act of cooking at home? Here are fifteen of my best and most universal tips for learning how to plan your meals.
What do I mean by Meal Planning?
It's whatever way you organize yourself to cook a meal, whether that's breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It is the plan you make before you shop. Some people plan a month in advance, freezing neatly-labeled packets of soup and stew. Others wing it, shopping for that evening's meal at the farmers' market and picking up whatever looks good to them. Meal planning is a really personal thing. What works for you may not work for me. The goal, I think, is to find a process that is both enjoyable and effective.

One of the things I enjoy is reading through cookbooks, clipping recipes from blogs and websites, and taking some time to anticipate cooking. I think this is an important part of meal planning. Meals aren't just solutions to the problem of needing to eat; making a meal is also an expression of creativity — even if it's just cutting a PB&J sandwich into a new shape. Find ways to inspire yourself and to look forward to cooking. That's the spirit that animates this whole endeavor.

There's no right way to plan your meals; you should just do what is effective for you. I read over ten ways of gathering and organizing recipes. Your way may be messier and less elegant than you like, but if it works, why worry? Don't spend too much time looking for the most perfect and impeccably-maintained system. The system is just the tool. The point is the meal. Well, really, it's people, and enjoying good food with them and nourishing oneself.

This list of tips is all over the map — there are plenty of ideas here for getting more organized and helping yourself think ahead. Others are to just jog your memory and help you get inspired to dream up meals you'd love to eat.
meal planning, how to meal plan, meal planning basics, weekly meal plan, vanessadotfitness

Getting Inspired

  1. Spend time each week looking for recipes. This may feel like an indulgence, but just let yourself do it. Browse blogs and websites for recipes that look delicious. Hang out on Pinterest, look at the recipes on my Healthy Eating page. Pile up some cookbooks and reach for the sticky notes. Get inspired! Once you have recipes you like, then you can rotate them from week to week.
  2. Create a place to save recipes, and keep it SIMPLE.
    Do whatever works for you. Don't get caught up in a system, just use whatever works best and most easily. Personally, I like Pinterest because it's easy to visually browse what I've saved.
  3. Ask your partner, family, and roommates what they like to eat.This might sound obvious, but it's easy to get caught up in our weeks and forget to ask our households what they would like to eat. I get extra inspired, too, when I feel like I'm cooking a meal as a gift — trying to please and delight the palate of someone I love.
  4. Check the weather.
    Again, you may say, duh, but seriously. Right now, the weather is changeable in many parts of the country. Look at the weather forecast, and try to predict if you're going to be in the mood for soup (or grilled shrimp salad!) on Friday.
  5. Keep a meal journal or calendar. 
    One of my best inspirations is my own record of things I've cooked in the past. Take a look at what you were cooking a year ago, two years ago. It's a good way to remember things you used to cook, and still love. I have an extra calendar I got as a freebie from a bank. I just write down the meal every night so I can easily recycle it through my future meal plans. Now I have a year's worth of meals to choose from!
  6. Getting Organized

  7. Start a calendar.
    Now that you're getting inspired in what to eat, start a calendar of what you'd like to cook over the next few days or few weeks. It can be as organized as a Google Calendar, with notes on each day for that day's menu. Or you can just jot notes to yourself in the corner of your laptop screen, or even a sheet of notebook paper. The important thing is to write it down. I use Google Docs for my meal plans. Here is a sample of one of my 21 Day Fix weekly meal plans.
  8. Go with theme nights (soup night, pasta night, beans, taco Tuesday, Italian night, Mexican night....).
    Some readers found it really helpful to have a theme night each week. Monday is pasta, Tuesday is fish, Wednesday is tacos. This doesn't work for everyone, but it may be especially helpful for those with kids. See if they want to get involved with planning their favorite tacos one week, or suggesting soups for the next month. Keeping the focus narrow will help you and your household make quick recipe decisions.
  9. Choose a shopping day and make a shopping list. Those who have success in meal planning shop very purposefully. They look at their recipes and make a shopping list. Some of the meal planning and recipe-saving services let you do this easily, extracting ingredients from the recipes you have saved.
  10. Check what's on sale.
    Some folks really like to organize their meals around sales. Is organic chicken a dollar off this week? Or canned chickpeas? Check out your grocery store circular and adjust your meal plan or shopping list a bit.
  11. Plan for leftovers.
    Most of us have at least some tolerance for leftovers. I regularly cook one or two big healthy meals or crockpot recipes at the beginning of the week and eat off them all week long for lunch. Some people can only eat leftovers for a single night. Either way, try to make your cooking always do double duty. Make a little extra of everything, and if you don't want it right away, freeze it.

Getting it Done

11. Prep food as soon as you get home from the store.
Wash and dry lettuce. Chop onions. Roast vegetables. Brown ground meat to put on past, rice, or salads. Slice cucumbers, celery, and lettuce so you can grab and go. Stack up containers of prepped ingredients in the refrigerator and bask in your own awesome preparedness. Do this on the day of the week you have the most time. For me it's Sundays. Check out my busy woman's guide to meal prep.

12. Cook components of your meals.

Going beyond prep, cook components of the meals. For instance, start a batch of tomato sauce while you wash greens and prep squash. The sauce can go on pizza one night, and in lasagna the next. Or roast a chicken right then that you can eat that night and use for sandwiches and pasta the rest of the week.

13. Be strategic about freezing.
The freezer is your friend. Actually, it's the friend of future you. Make a double batch of that sauce mentioned above and freeze half for later. Make a double batch of soup, stew, chicken cacciatore, cooked beans — throw it in the freezer. Let a month go by, and those leftovers will look fresh and tasty!

14. Don't overstuff the refrigerator.
It's easy to get overwhelmed when your fridge is over-full. Also, things get hidden in the back, lost behind the mustard. Don't let things go bad. Keep your fridge airy and light, with a sensible, realistic amount of food in it. Keep a list nearby of everything in the fridge, especially leftovers, as a visual reminder of what remains to be eaten.

15. Keep a well-stocked pantry.
Meals are easier and quicker to prepare if you keep your pantry well-stocked. Don't run out of olive oil at inconvenient moments. Have spices ready to dress up chicken and beans quickly. Keep a lemon and a sheaf of fresh herbs in the fridge at all times.

To get more meal planning tips and help to create your own meal plan, as well as motivation, support, and accountability in your health and fitness goals, fill out the form below.
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3 Day Refresh GIVEAWAY!!

3 day cleanse, cleanse, get rid of bloat, beachbody, autumn calabrese, vanessa.fitness, vanessadotfitness
The first time I did the 3 Day Refresh, I was hooked! After a few weeks, maybe months of taking a taste, lick, or bite of desserts, my kid's lunches, dishes at parties, and just getting off track with my habits, I went through this three day cleanse, and while it was a mindset, it gave me the results I wanted! I lost FIVE pounds, reset my system, de-bloated, improved my gut health, and just felt BETTER!

Now, I do the 3 Day Refresh two or three times a year, and this time it will be the Monday after Thanksgiving to lose the bloat, and quickly get back on track, instead of eating my way through the holidays until New Year's! AND, because it's the season of giving and gratitude, I want to pay it forward, and help someone else feel the difference the 3 Day Refresh can make to put us back on track! I'll be giving a way the 3 Day Refresh Complete Kit to one lucky winner who fills out the form below. This is a $60 value.

3 day cleanse, cleanse, get rid of bloat, beachbody, autumn calabrese, vanessa.fitness, vanessadotfitness
September was my two year anniversary as a Beachbody coach and I can proudly say that this business has allowed me to help hundreds and hundreds of people. Some have achieved little victories and some huge weight loss goals. Some stay with me for along time, and some get what they are looking for and maintain on their own. But all who join me leave a little different than when they started. They leave armed with a bit more confidence and a lot more knowledge on nutrition and exercise.

Being able to help these women has also helped me. I realized that this "business" was my calling! Helping others, motivating others to achieve their health and fitness goals was my passion!!

I went from being a full time marketer at a law school working her butt off to make ends meet, eating crazy portions, sitting for eight to nine hours a day, always irritable and exhausted, to a full time Beachbody coach who's life looks entirely different. I have been able to "retire" from the office "handcuffs" and now build my business from home. My stress level decreased, and my self improvement, confidence, and self-love soared! I get to make an income by making an impact on peoples lives!

So here is what I am doing. I am paying it forward. Truly no strings attached. I am going to be giving away the 3 Day Refresh Complete Kit, which includes three packets of Shakeology to one lucky person. This person will have me as their coach and gain access to the November 28, Mission Maintain Holiday Survival Challenge group. My team and I will be reviewing the applications and picking a winner on Friday, November 25 at 9 pm. The product will be shipped out to you on Saturday, November 26.

The winner must agree to "go all in" with the program, follow it exactly, and allow me to share their transformation story at the conculsion of them doing the program. Applicants may not be already working with a coach or be an exisiting client of mine. This giveaway is only open to residents of the USA.

If this is something you would be interetsed in please fill out the application listed below. Good luck! I am excited to pay this blessing forward to others!




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Meal Planning for Successful Weight loss

Happy Sunday! Sundays are may days to meal plan, grocery shop, and meal prep. I truly believe that you can own every fitness program on the market, have a personal trainer, fancy gym membership and gym equipment, but if you don't have proper nutrition then you are doing yourself a disservice. You haven't already heard: 80% to 90% of your results come from your nutrition and the other 10% to 20% comes from fitness.

You can give me every excuse in the book, like my kids kept me up last night, I ran out of time, or I don't have money to buy healthy food. Well, it costs a whole lot more to take care of a sick person versus a healthy person. You have so much more energy to play with your kids and do the things that you want when you are healthy and vibrant. When you get regular physical activity and proper nutrition you can live your life to the fullest. One of the way that I make sure to keep myself and my family on track is through sitting down each Sunday, making a meal plan, grocery shopping and then taking the time to prep my snacks for the week.

It takes me less than 30 minutes to make a meal plan and compile a grocery list. I have a template on my computer that I pull up and update each week with my 5-6 meals a day. Then, I check the pantry as I develop my game plan and write down anything that I need to pick up.

Here is my meal plan!

This is something I share with my customer and challenge groups each week. A big part of my program is planning. You cannot be successful until you have a focus. This plan gives you a starting point. When you know what you are making and eating each night it removes the last minute guess work and stress. You know that you have something in mind already and there is no room for the common excuse "I don't know what to make so lets just order in."


After my meal plan and list are ready we headed out to the grocery store. Usually, I head to Giant or Wegmans. We've really learned that meal planning is a great tool for our budget too.
We always buy our fruit and meat in bulk. Since we go through so much ground turkey, chicken and eggs it makes sense to do it this way. We load up our cart with the basics.

On my grocery list this week was:
Eggs
Greek Yogurt (plain)
Cottage cheese
Chicken
Apples
Clementines
Strawberries
Bananas for my Shakeology
Frozen Blueberries for my oatmeal
Lettuce
Cherry Tomatoes
Cucumbers
Carrots
Avocados
Green Beans
Broccoli
Zucchini
Raw Almonds
Almond Butter
Strawberries
UnsweetenedAlmond Milk
Quinoa

Now it's back home to do some prepping for the week!
I spend some time cooking some hard boiled eggs for quick grab and eat protein. You can also put the eggs on your salad if you aren't a fan of chicken.



Snacks:
I have apples and 2 tbsp all natural peanut butter as a snack. Clementines and unsalted almonds (14) and veggies and hummus.
I also have some grilled chicken salads and individual servings of dressing ready to go!
My Shakeology for my lunch or afternoon snack is always with me. The blender bottle is genius. If you don't have a small blender this has a wire ball inside that you add your water and packet of Shakeology to. Then you literally shake the living daylights out of it and you are good to go!

Now when I wake up this am, I just open the fridge, grab my snacks, lunch and put it in my tote and out the door I go. Or in my case, to my home office is!

Do you want to learn more about meal planning and preparing food? Do you want to know how you can change your lifestyle, lose weight, have more energy and fuel your body for energy and not just for comfort? Join my 30 day fitness and accountability online support group. In this exclusive group I will teach you one on one my tools and tricks of the trade. How to grocery shop, plan your meals and be successful. Everything from eating out, traveling, surviving parties and more!

It all starts with you and a choice to make the change! Join me son the best journey of your entire life!! A healthy one!

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How can anyone afford to drink Shakeology?

benefits of shakeology, affording shakeology, shakeology expensive, 21 Day Fix, vanessa.fitness, vanessadotfitness
Shakeology costs how much????!!!

I get this question all the time. I excitedly answer. $4 a day- isn't that crazy?! Super ridiculous price for what you get!

And then I realize people are surprised because they think it's expensive.

Wait. Hold the phone. $4 a day? I have a lot of explaining to do if I haven't really revealed what you are actually getting for the price. But before I get into the good stuff- let's actually talk about how shakeology saved me money.

When I first started drinking shakeology 2 1/2 years ago, I didn't really think much about the benefits. I was working out and I was told that shakeology would help me get better, faster results, so I went into it thinking it would be a protein shake to consume while doing Insanity and Asylum. But I never really looked at it as a health shake.
Let's face it. Life in general is expensive. If you know my husband, you know, he has an excel budget sheet which I cringe at each time he busts that bad boy out. But how often do we look at the dollar and say, " I have control over where that goes." If you see shakeology as just another protein shake then HECK YES- IT'S OVERPRICED....

It would be a waste of money if that's all shakeology was.

 
No matter how many times he busted out the spreadsheet, Shakeology was a non-negotiable. And we came to realize it was actually saving us money.

In order to add shakeology to my diet I just made a few tweaks. Here are a few:

benefits of water, drinking water tips, why drink water,benefits of shakeology, affording shakeology, shakeology expensive, 21 Day Fix, vanessa.fitness, vanessadotfitness1. Bottled Water- I used to hit up a vending machine or buy cases of water. I would spend anywhere from $2-5 dollars a day. I would pitch the plastic and move on to the next one. I started using a refillable water bottle instead. This also helped me increase my daily water intake. I set my daily water intake goal at 60 ounces minimum, so my personal water bottle is filled at least three times throughout the day- which keeps me on track.

Minimum Saved Weekly= $14

2. Target- Alright. Truth. Have you ever looked at your Target receipt and said UMMM seriously how did I just spend $100? I can't even tell you 5 things I purchased! It's true. Target gets me every time. A shirt here. A new head band there. It adds up! And fast. When I started drinking shakeology, I made the choice to be wiser about my dollar bills spent at The Big Red. I made the conscious choice to create a list of necessities and stayed clear of the workout gear section. Since I go to Target at least once a week, I also decided to sign up for the red card and receive 5% discount on all purchases.

Minimum Saved Weekly= $10

3. Meal Planning- Although I work from home now, when I started drinking Shakeology, it became one of my meals on the go- not an addition to my diet. I also began planning all my meals and buying only the essentials for the week. I went to the grocery store buying only from the list I prepared. My shake was my breakfast. I packed my lunches instead of going to eat once a week and we limited how often we ate out to once a week.

Minimum Saved Weekly= $20
 >>>>>>>>>>>CLICK HERE FOR SAMPLE OF MEAL PLANNING<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

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4. Starbucks- Ok. Before I get into how much I LOVE my pumpkin latte. Let me tell you that this company admits to an 80% markup! Yep- definitely fell off my chair when I saw this. And at the price of $3-$4 a cup, you've got to wonder- is there something better for me? Umm heck yes! Yes. I still splurge on an overpriced cup of coffee from time to time But shakeology is wonderful in that it can be blended, shaken and stirred in so many different ways that you really don't crave your of joe in the same way!

Minimum Saved Weekly= $10
5. Vitamins and Supplements- Staying healthy isn't cheap. Look at your medicine cabinet. You likely have supplements and vitamins out the wa-zoo. Shakeology takes the guess work out of all of it. It includes over 70 super foods and in its synergistic form works together to keep my body healthy, my cells fed, and my body overflowing with energy. I don't need to make other protein shakes or smoothies. It's all in there! Done! Easy.

Minimum Saved Weekly= $10
shakeology price issue,  expensvie shakeology, benefits of shakeology, affording shakeology, shakeology expensive, 21 Day Fix, vanessa.fitness, vanessadotfitness6. Gym Membership- Before working out at home. I would hit up the gym. I would drive 15-20 minutes each way. Jump on the treadmill. Guess how to do some weights. I never paid for a trainer because I KNEW I couldn't afford it. With shakeology, I was able to participate in challenge groups through FACEBOOK. I had access to a free coach, daily. There was no guess work. Results came and results stayed.
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Minimum Saved Weekly=$5


7. Get a 25% discount on ALL Beachbody products including Shakeology - Check out this link to see how you can save even more money on Shakeology!

Minimum Saved Monthly=$15

Shakeology has been and continues to be the secret sauce to:
  • Long term results 
  • A healthy immune system 
  • Glowing skin 
  • Thick, healthy hair 
  • Energy boost
It's all about perspective. I know my health is worth it. I know how I feel when I take it, daily. I know that $4 is an STEAL for how I feel. I honestly would pay twice that. Shakeology has been my go to power drink.


Grand Total Saved Drinking Shakeology Weekly= $69
Total Cost Drinking Shakeology Weekly= $28
Difference=$41 a week 
Monthly Savings= $164




I take it because being pro-active about my health is a conscious choice. My question really is, how can anyone afford not to drink Shakeology?

If you'd like to try shakeology risk free for 30 Days, please complete this application to be considered for my next Complimentary 30 Day Fitness and Nutrition Accountability Group.

Fill out my online form.
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