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Creamy Garlic Dressing

This creamy garlic dressing tastes rich and decadent, but it is completely dairy free! I got the recipe from the Ultimate Reset, but I've been using it for every salad, and even make it when I have guests!
Lately, I've been using it for my chopped microgreen salads, which I'm eating for lunch on my 30 day elimination plan
It totally makes the salad! Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. Himalayan salt
  • ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. raw honey (or pure maple syrup) - I did not use sweetener, because I don't like sweet dressing.
DIRECTIONS

1. Place oil, vinegar, garlic, lemon juice, parsley, salt, mustard, and honey in a blender or food processor; cover with lid.
2. Blend until smooth.
3. Refrigerate dressing if not using immediately. 
4. If dressing solidifies when cold, hold at room temperature for 30 minutes. Stir before serving.

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Breakfast sausage crumbles

Turkey sausage crumbles, whole 30, 21 Day Fix, gluten free, paleo, clean eating, tosca reno, autumn calabrese, vanessa.fit, vanessa mclaughlin
This recipe was adapted from Dr. Amy Myers' Book "The Autoimmune Solution" AND "The Whole 30" book. I took both recipes and made a few changes. Below I have the variation I made. I'll also add that you can form this recipe into patties when the meat is raw, and then cook them. Because it saves time, and I don't like touching raw poultry or meat, I cook the ground meat, loose (without making it into a patty), with spices, which is also a time saver. I measure out the quantity per serving, with my 21 Day Fix containers.
Serve with Hearty Sweet Potato Hash.
This recipe is gluten free and paleo.

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1 pound ground meant (turkey, pork, beef - I use turkey)
  • 1/2 tsp ground sage
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp turmeric (optional - but helps decrease inflammation)
INSTRUCTIONS
1. Heat coconut oil in skillet over medium heat.
2. Add onion and cook 2 mins or until translucent.
3. Add garlic, ground meat, and spices. 
4. Cook until meat is cooked through. 
5. Serve!

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30 Day Elimination Plan - Week 1 Review

Vegan Vanilla Shakeology everyday!
Week one. No cheats. Down 6 pounds.
Realizations:
If I actually nourish my body with wholesome food and cut out sugar completely- it takes me about 4 days to feel normal. Detox is real. Sugar addiction is real.

Seems like there is something to be said about what we fuel ourselves with... how it almost masks what we really need. Sugar has been a total mask. Drink it, eat it, spike of energy- crash.

I am sleeping well. But craving more of it. So each night I’ve allowed myself about 8 hours. I need this and ya know what- I’m gonna give myself the grace of it.

But then I got to thinking when advertisers talk about these amazing quick fix solutions about having more energy and getting great sleep... umm this actually the same solution. But like legit natural. No mask.
The 30 Day Elimination Plan program:
Sunday (day 1)
My knees are in a lot of pain, and I am limping, barely able to walk. This is frustrating, because I've been to many doctors and practitioners and no one has been able to diagnose the problem, or even have a hypothesis about the cause.

So, I took today as a rest day.

I am excited for this new program, so I spent the day meal planning and prepping. I read the first two chapters of the Goddess Revolution, a book about learning how to really love your body, and break your addictive habits with food. While I already love my body, no matter what the number is on the scale, I realize I've been carrying these extra pounds and just don't FEEL good - I feel physically weighed down.

There's a difference. I don't hate my body. It's a beautiful, strong, healthy being. But because my clothes have been tight, and my knees are in pain, I've felt uncomfortable.

And while I eat healthy, I haven't been able to adhere to a meal plan for more than three days without a cheat

Time to change.

At 9 pm was a live video face time call with Beachbody nutritionist Melissa McAllister. She talked about intermittent fasting, which I've tried before. However, she also talked about eliminating inflammatory foods for 30 days.

After listening to her, I tweaked my meal plan to eliminate my daily sweet potato, and replace it with avocado. Sweet potatoes aren't inflammatory themselves, however, too much natural glucose could cause inflammation. So, I reduced my carbohydrates, which are converted into glucose in the body, and upped my healthy fats.
Monday (day 2)
Microgreens Salad
Slayed my workout at noon, but because of my knees, which are sore and stiff, I modified any leg movements. Autumn is doing live workouts on the West Coast, and begins at noon EST. Today, this fit in my schedule, and I LOVED the Core workout. Different moves, new and fresh, kept me motivated. I have a bit of workout ADD, because I love new workout moves!

Slayed my water, my nutrition; I'm excited and motivated for this plan. I haven't been able to go 3 days without a cheat, or diving into a bag of popcorn, so I'm ready!

I started eating at 11 am and finished all food by 7 pm.

This was what I ate:
Turkey Bolognese over Spaghetti Squash
Upon waking: 25 ounces of water. Energize before my workout.
  • Breakfast: 2 eggs, 2 large handfuls of spinach, 1/2 an avocado
  • Lunch: Lettuce, pea shoots, 3 cherry tomatoes, 4 slices of red pepper, shred carrots, cucumber, 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, 1/2 avocado, 2 tsp evoo
  • Vanilla Shakeology with almond milk and 1/3 banana for "dessert"
  • Dinner: Spaghetti Squash, spinach, red container of ground turkey, purple container of tomato sauce

Mexi-Chicken Spag Squash
Tuesday (day 3)
Down a pound, but my knees are still sore, and stiff. Cardio workout was amazing, and I love using the slides and bands! Stuck to my water and nutrition.
Today's menu:
  • Upon waking: 25 ounces of water. Energize before my workout.
  • Breakfast: 2 eggs, 2 large handfuls of spinach, 1/2 an avocado
  • Lunch: Lettuce, pea shoots, 3 cherry tomatoes, 4 slices of red pepper, shred carrots, cucumber, 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, 1/2 avocado, 2 tsp evoo
  • Vanilla Shakeology with almond milk and 1/3 banana for "dessert"
  • Dinner: Spaghetti squash with spinach and Mexican spiced chicken.
Microgreens salad with pumpkin seeds
Wednesday (Day 4)
A bit grumpy today, and tired. Guess I'm feeling the effects of no sugar!

With today's schedule, I barely had a moment to breathe. I woke up at 5:15 am to go teach Bootcamp, came home and got everyone out the door for dinner. Then I did my own workout. Couldn't do it at noon with Autumn, because I have to hold office hours for students, so I did 21 Day Fix Extreme Upper Fix, and my arms felt like jello!

After my workout, returned to the gym to personal train a client, ran home, changed and went to campus for office hours and teach my two classes. Came back home at 4 pm to quickly eat my lunch, and then went to pick up the kids from after school activities. Brought them home, another quick change to go to my husband's formal work dinner!!

The dinner started with a salad (yeah). Then, I ordered Salmon, which came with a pumpkin cream risotto. I ate the salmon, but this pumpkin loving girl took one small taste of the delicious pumpkin cream risotto and left the rest! I will NOT crack!

Then dessert came: creme brûlée! I am determined - yes, I had one taste, and that was it! Today was a WIN!
Today's menu:
  • Upon waking: 25 ounces of water. Energize before my workout.
  • Breakfast: 2 eggs, 2 large handfuls of spinach, 1/2 an avocado
  • Lunch: Lettuce, pea shoots, 3 cherry tomatoes, 4 slices of red pepper, shred carrots, cucumber, 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, 1/2 avocado, 2 tsp evoo
  • Vanilla Shakeology with almond milk and 1/3 banana for "dessert"
  • Dinner: see above
Booty Workout
Thursday (Day 5)
Down 5 pounds!!!! Incredible! Feeling great!

The workout was great! It was a booty workout, and I was worried it would be too challenging for my knees. They are feeling much better. But the workout used the sliders and the bands, new fresh exercises, with no impact and no strain on the knees!!
Beef and Broccoli

It was another day with a crazy schedule, one thing after the other. At one point, I came home, and I thought about opening a bag of popcorn, but I knew if I did, I wouldn't stop. I had pre-made my salad for when I got home, sat down and ate it, drank my shake and lots of water. Then I distracted myself, and got back to the busy schedule.
Today's menu:
  • Upon waking: 25 ounces of water. Energize before my workout.
  • Breakfast: 2 eggs, 2 large handfuls of spinach, 1/2 an avocado
  • Lunch: Lettuce, pea shoots, 3 cherry tomatoes, 4 slices of red pepper, shred carrots, cucumber, 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, 1/2 avocado, 2 tsp evoo
  • Vanilla Shakeology with almond milk and 1/3 banana for "dessert"
  • Dinner: Beef and Broccoli with turmeric, black pepper, Everything But The Bagel seasoning, coconut aminos and sesame oil

Friday (day 6)
Down 6 pounds!
Exhausted today, because of the previous two days. Feeling hungry and grumpy, but lighter! The waist of my pants is not tight! The waistband of my underwear is not digging into my hips! My knees are less swollen.

But I'm hungry. By dinner, I looked at my salad and was a little annoyed - this was all the food I had left for the day! For dinner, my husband and my sons ordered pizza. I had my salad - ugh. Was tired. Tired of salad, tired of this plan already....but I stopped and took a breath. I didn't get enough sleep the night before, yes, I was TIRED. That's all. But after I ate my salad, my son's four pizza crusts were on his plate, and I reached over and ate one!

Oh, sweet, delicious, chewy carbohydrate!! It tasted so good.....But then I stopped myself. This is how I had gotten out of control. I was not going to let pizza crust ruin my good feeling.

Today's menu:
  • Upon waking: 25 ounces of water. Energize before my workout.
  • Breakfast: 2 eggs, 2 large handfuls of spinach, 1/2 an avocado
  • Lunch: Lettuce, pea shoots, 3 cherry tomatoes, 4 slices of red pepper, shred carrots, cucumber, 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, 1/2 avocado, 2 tsp evoo
  • Vanilla Shakeology with almond milk and 1/3 banana for "dessert"
  • Dinner: Salad with ground beef, evoo, turmeric, salt and pepper.

Saturday (day 7)
Pumpkin Protein PancakesDown 7 pounds. 
Down 7 pounds.
I know I'm losing so quickly, because I'm losing water and bloat that my body had been retaining. I slept 10 hours last night, and I'm feeling amazing! YES more energy, YES happier, YES less pain in my knees!

Live workouts with Autumn are only Monday-Friday, so today I completed a 30 minute functional core workout, and walked for 45 minutes on the treadmill, as it is 20 degrees out today!
Relaxed and spent time with my family.
Today's menu:
Upon waking: 25 ounces of water. Energize before my workout.
Breakfast: pumpkin protein pancakes - SO GOOD!
Lunch: Vanilla Shakeology with almond milk and 1/3 banana for "dessert"
Dinner: Spinach and onion frittata, salad

This week I practiced what I preach to all my clients.
I gave my body loving foods, I gave my body loving movement, I gave my body sleep, and I gave my body love.

So maybe this is kinda my gut check: "Vanessa- if you want to love your job and do your job amazingly- dude take care of you first."
Like duh, Vanessa.
I've legit fallen in love with it all over again!

Thanks for all your love and support this week! Let's go Week 2!!

To join my exclusive Fit Club where we will use these same principles, or to get more info, please fill out the form below. In my Fit Clubs, we will hold each other accountable, and take care of our own wellness!!

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30 Day Elimination Plan

Finally able to share the BIG NEWS!!!
I have been selected for a special project: a 30 day elimination program to create a new curriculum for nutrition and fitness with TWO of my most favoritest celebrity trainers and top nutritionist!

To be part of this Test Group, I had to commit to 30 Days of no alcohol, a balanced nutrition plan, my superfoods, and daily exercise. It's only 30 days!

Check out my first week on the 30 Day Elimination Plan, and follow my journey!

I've been having problems with my knee that have sidelined all my intense workouts, and I've had to modify any moves involving lower body and give up most of my cardio.  BUT, I haven't modified my nutrition to match my workouts, and the pounds have started creeping on, and I'm just feeling like I can't move as well as I used to.

vanessa.fit, vanessa.fitness, autumn calabrese, 80 day obsession, elimination diet, tosca reno
My Week 1 Meal Plan
I know this 4 weeks will challenge me and this will go through Thanksgiving as I am equipped with some amazing plan approved recipes (don’t worry I will share some) and sparkling water with a lime will be my cocktail of choice.

I know it won't be easy, but we are going into one of the busiest season of the year, where I tend to lose control, eat all the food, drink all the drinks, because hey, it's the holidays!
But, I am committed to be in control of my thoughts with nutrition and exercise. LOVING MY BODY and teaching my mind to respect it!!

So, this is to eliminate toxic foods, toxic habits, and toxic stress (a bit redundant, I know)!
THEN, when the 30 days are done, I get to share this new program when it is released in December!

​I'll be blogging about this experience weekly, and daily on Facebook and Instagram, and I'd love your support! 

Took my "before" photos and measurements, made my meal plan and I'm ready to go!! 
Wish me luck! 
elimination, toxic habits, tosca reno, autum calabrese, vanessa.fit, vanessa.fitness, vanessa mclaughlin

To join my exclusive Fit Club where we will use these same principles, or to get more info, please fill out the form below. In my Fit Clubs, we will hold each other accountable, and take care of our own wellness!!

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Loaded Nachos - healthified!

21 Day Fix Nachos, Autumn Calabrese, Healthy Nachos, Loaded Nachos, Tosca Reno, Clean Eating, Vanessa.fit, vanessa.fitness, vanessa mclaughlin
I made these nachos made with my own freshly-baked tortilla chips - which are SO EASEY to make!! They’re topped with lots of good stuff, like pinto beans, jalapeños, tomatoes, avocados, and—of course—cheese! Add any other fresh veggies you want, like shredded lettuce or cabbage, radishes, or green onions.

CONTAINER EQUIVALENTS
1 Green
1 Yellow
½ Blue
1 tsp.


Makes 4 servings

INGREDIENTS
  • 4 corn tortillas, cut into wedges
  • 2 tsp . olive oil
  • ½ medium lime
  • 1 dash chili powder
  • Sea salt (to taste, optional)
  • ½ cup cooked pinto beans , warm
  • 4 oz cheddar (or jack) cheese, shredded
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped
  • ½ medium onion , finely chopped
  • ½ medium green bell pepper , chopped
  • ½ medium jalapeno , seeds and veins discarded, finely chopped
  • ¼ medium avocado , chopped
  • 4 fresh cilantro sprigs , chopped
  • 2 Tbsp plain Greek Yogurt

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. Brush both sides of tortillas with oil. 
  3. Take a pizza cutter and cut tortillas into 4 triangles each. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until crisp.
  4. Squeeze lime over chips. Sprinkle with chili powder and salt (if desired).
  5. Arrange half of the tortilla chips in a medium baking dish. Layer with half the beans and cheese. Repeat.
  6. Bake chip mixture for 3 to 4 minutes, or until cheese melts.
  7. Top with tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, avocado, cilantro, and yogurt.
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Halloween Fit Tips, Tricks, and Treats!

Even if you hung up your trick-or-treating tote many full moons ago, Halloween is still a fun holiday for the conscious splurge (emphasis on conscious).

Healthy halloween, clean eating, tips for halloween, tosca reno, autumn calabrese, 21 Day Fix, clean halloween
The problem is that, for many of us, Halloween kicks off the first of three months of far too much sugar… Sugar that, in some cases, wasn’t even that good (stale tootsie rolls anyone?). I get it, because I have a huge sweet tooth!! Bowls full of candy are super tempting, especially at work. So I’m here to offer my suggestions for kicking this holiday season off right, starting with Halloween…

Go opaque.
If you have any control over how the Halloween treats are displayed at work, do yourself a favor and avoid clear containers. Studies suggest that environmental factors like visibility and convenience play a major role in how much we consume. In fact, researchers at Cornell University found that participants in a study ate twice as many Hershey Kisses when they were in clear containers than when they were in opaque ones. Makes sense, right?

Avoid the “fun-size” trap.
Let’s face it: Most of us aren’t being honest with ourselves when it comes to “fun-size” candy. Despite being adorable, bite-sized treats can make it all too easy to indulge mindlessly. A tiny Twix with your morning coffee, a couple Snickers at 4pm when emails start piling up, and sure, why not one for the road. The biggest issue is that when we convince ourselves that fun-sized candy is so small it barely counts, we lose track of the individual bites and can wind up eating a whole candy bar or more. Tip: Save your wrappers on Halloween to keep yourself accountable throughout the day!

Treats.
I’m not the kind of person that’s going to recommend celery sticks in place of chocolate. I LOVE sweets and I LOVE chocolate! In fact, I encourage you to make a mental note of your all time favorite Halloween treat and to enjoy it during this holiday, consciously, sans guilt. Let it melt on your tongue and take in all the goodness. Eat it, enjoy it thoroughly, and then move on. Making this mental note also helps weed out the not-so-worth-it sweets—the sweets you eat because they’re there and you’re hungry, stressed or tired. In short, you’ll be better off saving up for the good stuff.

Self care.
Speaking of being hungry, stressed and tired, these states will most definitely make you more likely to seek out sugar. Be aware of how you’re feeling. Making sure you aren’t going too long without eating—particularly protein, healthy fats and fiber—is a really great way to thwart sugar cravings. And know your sugar triggers… If you didn’t sleep great the night before, or you’re having one of those weeks at work, cortisol (the stress hormone) will likely be contributing to intense sugar cravings (as if you needed more on your plate). Knowing this provides some perspective. It helps us take a step back and realize we’re not craving sugar because we need it to fuel us. So here’s to pacing ourselves this holiday season, starting with All Hallows’ Eve.

Exercise
This is really part of "self-care." Exercise is a TREAT for your body. You don't have to workout for hours, but just add some intensity to your workouts. Do a minute of high intensity cardio between exercise moves, or add in some extra walks around the office throughout the day. Need suggestions? Contact me.

Better-for-you options.
Make your own candy. Here's my recipe for sugar free Freezer Fudge.
Of course if you are indulging, I’m always going to recommend going for the highest quality options. Shakeology has helped me control my sugar cravings, and is a sweet treat to my day! When I drink my shake, I don't need to eat candy. Especially when I can drink it as a chocolate almond fudge or pumpkin pie!

And there you have it! I hope these tips and tricks will help you this holiday season. Just remember that whenever you feel yourself starting to cave, you can always come back to this post for a refresher and a little dose of motivation to keep you on track.

What’s your favorite Halloween indulgence?

Let me know in the comments below.
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Sugar Free Freezer Fudge

Pop a cube when you have a sweet tooth and need a treat.

INGREDIENTS 
1 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup cocoa powder
8-10 drops liquid stevia
1/4 -1/2 cup Almond Butter (Optional if you desire a thicker consistency)
Maldon or Pink salt (Optional)

INSTRUCTIONS
Melt Coconut Oil in glass pyrex bowl.
Whisk in coco powder and stevia. (and almond butter if you don't love coconut oil consistency)
Pour into ice cube tray.
Sprinkle with Salt
Freeze. 
Fudge is ready in 20 minutes
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How to get it together when you're in a funk...

It’s happened to all of us at one point or another. You get into a bad mood which doesn’t seem to lift or get better, and before you know it you’re in a funk and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon. It may last a few hours or even a few days, so here are my top tips to help you move up the emotional scale.

But before I get into that, let’s deal with those feelings that come with the funk that are less than fun.

Most people who are in a funk will experience feelings of sadness, anger, frustration, hatred or something similar, and it’s okay to have those feelings. The trick with feelings is to feel them fully and not judge them. As humans, we tend to label things (including feelings) as good or bad, but actually a feeling is just a feeling.

With that in mind, here's how to handle your feelings:

1. Witness the feeling.
2. Accept the feeling.
3. Don’t judge the feeling.
4. Do something that brings joy.

Now try the following to help get you out of that funk.

1. Eat clean.

It’s easy when you’re not feeling like yourself to get stuck in the dangerous cycle of eating junk food, but remember that food plays a huge role with mood. Eating clean, green foods not only fills your body with enzyme-rich and vitamin-fueled nutrients, but it brings vibrant positive energy and helps to improve your mental clarity, creativity overall joy and happiness. Check out my healthy, clean eats, fit recipes!

2. Spend time in nature.

Getting outside and being reacquainted with every form of life will remind you of the beauty that exists around you always. Being aware of how beautiful and how sacred life is should help to boost your mood. 10 minutes does the trick!

3. Meditate.

Hanging out in stillness with no one but your inner self is a surefire way to reconnect with the part of you that's always there and never changes. I practice breathing. Just one minute, once or twice a day.

4. Be thankful.

Listing all the things you're grateful for in your life can help you appreciate what you have and attract more of the good stuff to you. Either write a list each day or make a mental list while brushing your teeth, washing in the shower or running errands. If you write it on a piece of paper or your phone, you can use them to refer to at another time.

5. Exercise.

Getting that body moving will help to release feel-good neurochemicals like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine to boost your mood. Spiritual and more gentle loving exercise like yoga or qigong will also help to get you back in flow. It just takes 30 minutes!

6. Spend time with people and things that you LOVE.

Carve out time with your favorite people or things and indulge in doing what you truly love and are passionate about.

What do you do to pull yourself out of a funk or get yourself back in the flow?

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Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

family recipe, mac and cheese, 21 Day Fix, Clean eating, tosca reno, autumn calabrese, double time recipe, dinner recipe,
I don't know about you, but I could live in a house made of cheese, oh, and pasta!!

Sticking to a healthy diet does not have to mean living a life without mac and cheese! I don't sacrifice my love of food. This family friendly recipe is from the Double Time recipe booklet, and the rich and creamy macaroni and cheese casserole tastes as good as the original, but wouldn’t wreck your healthy eating! It has less than 300 calories per serving and 15 grams of protein! The recipe makes 10 servings, so it can feed a hungry family or make several servings for healthy meal prep. It is also compatible with the 21 Day Fix, and the portion fix meal plan.

This recipe boasts two types of cheese – yes, real cheese! – sharp cheddar and Gruyere. The secret is using extra-flavorful cheeses, so a little bit goes a long way. They blend with a silky butternut squash puree to create an intensely flavorful sauce. Then, the added peppers, onions, and a sprinkling of parsley to make the dish even more tasty and nutritious.

Serves 10
Container Amounts
½ Green
2 Yellows
1 Blue

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 lb. dry whole wheat macaroni
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 medium red bell peppers chopped
  • 3 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1¾ cups low-sodium organic chicken broth
  • 1 cup low-fat (1%) milk
  • 2 Tbsp. low-fat (1%) plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere (or Swiss) cheese
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
  • Nonstick cooking spray
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add onion and bell peppers; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 6 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Set aside.
  5. Combine squash, broth, and milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; gently boil for 22 to 25 minutes, or until squash is tender.
  6. Place squash mixture in a blender or food processor; cover with lid and kitchen towel. Blend until smooth.
  7. Combine squash mixture, macaroni, onion mixture, yogurt, and cheeses. Season with salt and pepper if desired; mix well.
  8. Place macaroni mixture in a 13 x 9-inch ceramic or glass baking dish that has been coated with spray. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling.
  9. Garnish with parsley if desired.
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Double Down on Your Fitness

Tony Horton, the P90X guy, created a new partner workout that is perfect for the whole family! If you've been looking for kid workouts, or workouts that you can do with a partner, look no further than Double Time for an fun sweat sesh fit for two!

Double Time is a fun partner workout, you can do with your spouse, child, significant other, family member or friend! Plus, research has shown that having a workout partner keeps exercisers more accountable, and makes it more fun.

My husband and I starting dating as workout buddies, going to the gym together. Now we can workout together at home and the boys can join us! I'm especially excited that this is coming out in November, as living in PA, the fall and winter weather makes it difficult to send the boys outside every day, and my boys have a ton of energy! This is a positive outlet of energy for them, and my husband too!! So, everyone can take a break from screens, and get active together.

Double Time Workouts:
  • Great for beginners (with modifiers for more or less intensity)
  • Fun partner workout
  • 20-35 minutes a day
  • 5 workouts per week
  • 30 day workout schedule
  • Includes lots of family friendly meal recipes
So, grab your child, spouse, sibling, friend and COMMIT TO GET FIT!

It will be available Nov. 1, 2017, on Beachbody on Demand. This is like Netflix for workouts, with the ability to stream on your computer, laptop, tablet, phone, and smart TV (with Roku, or Apple TV). This streaming service offers 700+ workouts, so while Double Time isn't available yet, you could get started right now. 

And if you're looking for workouts you can do with your kids, You v2 has a kid's workout, as well as Tony Horton has one called "Tony and the Kids."

If you'd like to chat about your family or your own fitness goals, complete this form below to get more info! 
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Loaded Sweet Potato Skins - Healthified!

Love loaded potato skins? This is usually a greasy bar snack, but the version below turned that grease-laden dish into a delicious appetizer that is healthy enough to eat for a meal! These baked sweet potato skins are topped with spinach, spiced chicken, turkey bacon, and parsley, with a dollop of Greek yogurt.

It was football game day, and I wanted a healthy appetizer for the game. I got this recipe from 21 Day Fix creator Autumn Calabrese and her brother chef Bobby Calabrese on FIXATE, the exclusive Beachbody On Demand cooking show.

Portion Fix Containers
1 Yellow
1 Red

Makes 4 Servings

INGREDIENTS

4 baked medium sweet potatoes cut in half
1 tsp olive oil
½ tsp sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
4 oz shredded cooked chicken breast
4 slices cooked turkey bacon
2 tsp thyme or salt-free poultry seasoning
1 cup steamed spinach
½ cup reduced-fat (2%) plain Greek yogurt
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Scoop flesh out of the sweet potatoes and reserve for another use.
  3. Place skins on baking sheet. Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 10 minutes, or until crisp.
  4. While skins are baking, combine chicken and poultry (or thyme) seasoning in a small bowl; mix well. Set aside.
  5. Top each sweet potato half evenly with spinach, turkey bacon, chicken, yogurt, and parsley.
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Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites


pumpkin pie energy bites, autumn calabrese, clean eating, tosca reno, healthy pumpkin pie recipe
I don’t know about you, but when the days start getting darker and that crisp breeze picks up, my craving for pumpkin pie, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin spice lattes, and all the pumpkin-y goodness of fall skyrockets.

Lucky for me (and hopefully for you) pumpkin treats don’t always have to be unhealthy. These Pumpkin Pie Energy bites pack all the autumnal flavor I want without the added sugar and calories I don’t. Perfect for the very real struggle of trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle amid all the holiday temptation.

So why are these delicious little pumpkin balls called “energy” bites? Dates! The sweet and sticky fruit that holds all the good stuff in this recipe together is known to be a great source of energy and fiber. In addition, pumpkin’s high concentration of potassium helps replenish that important electrolyte after workouts. Sweetened with pure maple syrup and rolled in coconut flakes, these treats are a clean alternative to candy and cake cravings – and they won’t cause you to crash. Plus, the addition of raw pecans and hazelnut extract take the nutty and earthy flavors up a notch; because healthy doesn’t have to be boring.

But maybe the best thing about these Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites is that they don’t involve any baking. You can get that pumpkin pastry flavor without turning on an oven – just a few spins around a food processor and rolling into balls and you’ve got more than a dozen sweet morsels packed with clean and healthy fall flavor.

This Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites recipe is from Autumn Calabrese’s FIXATE cookbook. That might be helped by the fact that each serving includes not one, but two pieces of pumpkin goodness. And, this sweet treat doesn’t even use up those scarce and precious yellow containers, which is a major score. 21 Day Fix-ers, you know what I’m talking about! These energy bites count as one purple Portion Fix container and half of a blue container.

Watch 21 Day Fix creator Autumn Calabrese and her brother, chef Bobby Calabrese make a similar version of this recipe for Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites on their healthy cooking show, FIXATE!

Container Equivalents
1 Purple
½ Blue

INGREDIENTS

1 cup pitted dates
Warm water
½ cup raw pecan halves (or pecan pieces)
⅓ cup canned pumpkin puree
¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes , reserve small amount for garnish
1 tsp . pure hazelnut extract (or pure maple extract)
1 tsp . pure maple syrup
2 tsp . pumpkin pie spice
1 pinch sea salt (or Himalayan salt)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Place dates in a medium bowl; cover with water. Let soak for 10 minutes. Drain. Set aside.
2. Place pecans in food processor; pulse until finely ground.
3. Add dates, pumpkin, coconut, extract, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and salt; pulse until well mixed. Place in a medium bowl. Refrigerate, covered, for 30 minutes.
4. Using clean hands, roll into tablespoon-sized balls; roll in reserved coconut (if desired).
5. Store, refrigerated, in airtight container.

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Pumpkin Spice Latte, only 37 calories!!

More pumpkin… are you surprised?

pumpkin spice latte recipe, nutritious, clean eating, autumn calabrese, 21 day fix, tosca reno, vanessa.fitness, vanessadotfitness, vanessa.fit
Probably not. It is that time of year, after all.

If you like the thought of a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks but would rather skip the extra calories and sugar, you are going to love this homemade version. 

Did you know that even the smallest size (a tall) non-fat, no whip PSL from Starbucks has 200 calories and 37 grams of sugar! The sugary syrup is the culprit. It contains sugar, condensed nonfat milk, sweet condensed nonfat milk and a few other ingredients including coloring and artificial flavors. It's also good to know this in case you are vegan; even if you order a soy latte without the whipped cream, it's not vegan since the syrup has dairy.

This homemade version is all natural and delicious!! You can have this homemade PSL any day of the week (and feel good about it) because it contains all-natural ingredients, no added sugar and a low amount of calories. The best part: it doesn't cost $4 a pop.

mini-milk frother
I used cold-brewed Pumpkin Spice coffee I found at Wegmans, which tasted divine, but you can certainly use any flavor coffee you love. And then the magic happens! I have a mini frother that does such a good job at making foamy milk without a milk steamer, which can be expensive. I highly recommend it.

You might find some pumpkin pulp at the bottom of your glass and that's totally normal. Starbucks would have it too — if they were using natural ingredients and not syrup.

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or unsweetened vanilla almond coconut
3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 drops of liquid stevia (or sweetener of choice)
8 ounces brewed coffee (or 1-2 shots of espresso)
Sprinkle of cinnamon

DIRECTIONS
1. In a cup or saucepan, mix together almond milk and pumpkin. Cook on medium heat on the stovetop or microwave for 30-45 seconds.
2. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, spices, and sweetener, place in a cup and use a frother to foam the milk. You can also use a blender — just process for 30 seconds or until foamy.
3. Pour coffee into a large mug; add the foamy milk mixture on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Enjoy!

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21 Day Fix Extreme

21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme, Autumn Calabrese, Vanessa.fitness, vanessa mclaughlin, tosca reno, clean eating, lose weight
It’s time to get seriously shredded! Celebrity trainer and national bikini competitor Autumn Calabrese has combined simple eating with extreme fitness to help people shred up and shed off those final pounds with 21 Day Fix EXTREME.
I'm starting the 21 Day Fix Extreme on Oct. 2.

21 Day Fix Extreme Quick Overview
21 Day Countdown to Competition menu plan included
7 workouts to keep different muscle groups guessing
Workouts are 30 minutes in length
All of the 21 Day Fix Extreme workouts include weights and a band
Takes the workouts of the original 21 Day Fix to the next level
Uses the portion fix containers and Shakeology.
Check out the difference between the 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme.

21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme, Autumn Calabrese, Vanessa.fitness, vanessa mclaughlin, tosca reno, clean eating, lose weight
Extreme Nutrition Plan
The containers are the same as in the original 21 Day Fix but in different amounts designed for EXTREME results. There are 2 different meal plans: One is the bikini competition diet and the other is more strict than the original 21 Day Fix menu plan. For this plan, no treats are allowed. It is suggested that you start with the 21 Day Fix and then move to the 21 Day Fix Extreme.
The nutrition is more dialed-in and there are weights in almost every single workout.
The containers are the same as the 21 Day Fix, but the nutrition plan is definitely more dialed-in. Some things have been added to the food list, some have been taken away (the things at the bottom of the 21 Day Fix are those that are at the bottom of the hierarchy – so those things will be taken away). More recipes have been added to the nutrition guide, available digitally or hard copy. Click here for one of the recipes!

The 21 Day Fix Extreme includes 2 eating plans:
21 Day Fix Extreme – No more cheats, no more treats (wine and chocolate is gone)
Countdown to Competition – Even MORE challenging – it’s what Autumn does before taking the stage in her bikini competitions. (I will just be following the regular 21 Day Fix Extreme Plan)

21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme, Autumn Calabrese, Vanessa.fitness, vanessa mclaughlin, tosca reno, clean eating, lose weight
What is the minimum fitness level for 21 Day Fix Extreme?
If you have done any other advanced programs, P90X3, Insanity, or even 21 Day Fix you’ll have a baseline fitness level for 21 Day Fix Extreme. You don’t have to be at peak performance, that’s what 21 Day Fix Extreme is for, but you do need a solid baseline fitness level.

Workouts
Workouts are only 30 minutes, and there is still a modifier… but the modifier is more challenging.
21 Day Fix Extreme does include some high-impact moves, but also comes with a modifier for those who can’t do jumping  or impact.
The workouts are available to stream through a smartTV, laptop, computer, smartphone, or tablet.  

The workouts include: 
    21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme, Autumn Calabrese, Vanessa.fitness, vanessa mclaughlin, tosca reno, clean eating, lose weight
  • Plyo Fix Extreme
  • Upper Fix Extreme
  • Pilates Fix Extreme
  • Lower Fix Extreme
  • Cardio Fix Extreme
  • Dirty 30 Fix Extreme
  • Yoga Fix Extreme
  • 10  Minute HardCORE
  • Power Fix Extreme
  • ABC Extreme 
Do you want to join me? I'd LOVE to do it together!! There is strength in numbers, and we can keep each other accountable.
I'll start my second round on October 24, or you can start with me sooner!! Anyone who registers will be entered to win a FREE 3 Day, plant based, with food cleanse which I will be doing after Halloween, and the first 3 people that register will win a free resistance band from me, that you will need for the 21 Day Fix Extreme!!

To get more info, register, or save your spot, complete this form below

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Hearty Beef and Butternut Squash Stew


Perfect for fall with cooler temperatures approaching, this stew warms me up and tastes like comfort food, all while maintaining my 21 Day Fix Extreme nutrition plan!

Makes 6 servings, approximately 11⁄4 cups each

INGREDIENTS

1 tsp. olive oil
11⁄2 lbs. raw, lean beef, boneless, stew meat, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 medium onion
1⁄2 green bell pepper, chopped
1⁄2 red bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped 
2 medium tomatoes
1 cup low sodium, organic, beef broth
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 cups cubed butternut squash
1⁄4 cup chopped flat leaf parsely

PREPARATION
1. Heat olive oil in sauce-pan over mediu-hight heat.
2. Add beef; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until beef is brown.
3. Add onion and bell peppers; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent. 
4. Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
5. Add tomatoes, broth, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil.
6. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, for 40 minutes.
7. Add squash; cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 12 minutes, or until sauce has thickened and beef is fork-tender.
8. Remove bay leaf; serve topped with parsley.

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Chicken Pesto Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

clean eating, tosca reno, autumn calabrese, Spaghetti Squash, Spaghetti substitute, vanessa.fitness, vanessa mclaughlin, vanessa.fit, chicken dinner
PASTA IS LIFE!!! Yep, I said it.

I follow a meal plan where I can't eat most grains (to lower inflammation in my body), but I can't live without pasta! I was born in Italy, grew up there for a few years, and still have family there. Pasta is like water to me, it is in my genetic make up! It's a matter of survival.

So, I got creative. I already eat lots of zucchini noodles (zoodles), but sometimes I need a change. So, this time, I satisfied my cravings with this delicious, cheesy dish. It tasted like comfort food, but with fewer calories, using spaghetti squash as a pasta substitute. This recipe says it yields 4 servings, but you know what? I ate TWO!! No shame, here. It's packed with lean protein and veggies. I doubled the recipe and had it the next day for lunch, and it was just as delicious. This one's a winner!

Chicken Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients:
2 small spaghetti squash
1 lb chopped chicken (can also use ground chicken or turkey)
1 onion, chopped
2 large handfuls of spinach
6 TB basil pesto
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 TB whole milk ricotta cheese
1 cup low moisture part skim mozzarella
2 TB chopped fresh basil
2 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Directions:
1.Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Split the squash in half (lengthwise) with a sharp knife and scrape out the seeds.
3. Line a tray with aluminum foil and season the inside of the spaghetti squash with a light drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place squash flesh side down and roast for 25 minutes.
4. Remove tray from oven and use a fork to scrape out the squash into long threads.
5. While the squash is baking, heat 1 TB olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook until chicken is no longer pink.
6. Transfer to a bowl.
7. Turn the heat down to medium and add the remaining TB of olive oil to the skillet. Add the onion and cook until tender, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and wilt, about 2 minutes.
8. Add the chicken and spaghetti squash strands to the pan. Sir in the pesto and ricotta, cook until heated through, about 1 minute.
9. Scoop the spaghetti squash mixture into the squash shells and top with evenly divided parmesan cheese, fresh basil, and mozzarella cheese.
10. Return to oven and heat until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Enjoy!

If you’re looking for some new recipe ideas, or meal planning tips or maybe just some accountability to stay ON TRACK especially when times get tough – then join my next online Health & Fitness accountability challenge! My next group is now forming and I am looking for more women who would benefit from the support network and accountability of achieving their goals TOGETHER! Fill out the form below to reserve your spot.
There’s Power in Numbers

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Before you make it a lifestyle, make it a week!



The first step is always the hardest. I know, because I took that first step 3 years ago. It was hard to accept that I needed help on my health and fitness journey. It was hard to accept that this was going to take time and work while raising a new family and working full time at an office. All of it seemed daunting and scary to me. What if I failed? What if it didn't work?

But 3 years ago, I took a giant leap into the unknown and it paid off in a big way: it has made me a better wife, mom, coach, and person because I prioritized myself in health and fitness. But instead of taking a giant leap, what if you could just take the first step?
Instead of making a huge change, what about easing into fitness and nutrition?
I'm going to break it down for you:

Exercise 30 minutes a day.
Eat clean.
Drink a shake.

That’s it!
But trust me, I get it that you might be skeptical about whether this will work for you. Maybe you've tried programs before, or maybe you feel you don’t have time. That’s a typical mistake I made. I tried it all: Cabbage Soup Diet, Slim Fast, Atkins, diet pills.....but the truth is, it came down to doing the work, and setting my priorities—if I wanted it bad enough, I'll do the work.

But for those that remain hesitant and not exactly ready to go full-throttle just yet, I’m so excited for Clean Week. This is the perfect BEGINNER workout. My virtual fit club will take the first step on OCTOBER 3!!

Clean Week is a new program designed specifically to ease you into a healthy lifestyle.

In addition I will add you into my fit club where you will see me sharing how I go about living this lifestyle long term all while on a budget.

Interested? Snag your clean week package here and shoot me an email so that I can get you added into the accountability group using the my challenge tracker app that we will use.

Looking forward to helping you learn how to get started with this lifestyle.
Check out this video for more details:


This program is the perfect way to...
Ease into fitness with easy-to-follow workouts.
Learn the basics of proper eating—not just “dieting."
And get a taste of my fit clubs.

And get this, you’ll be able to try the workouts and stream them for FREE on Beachbody On Demand (BOD) - it's like Netflix for workouts! No membership required, just enter your email, accept the terms & conditions and you’re set.

Here’s the quick summary of everything Clean Week:
Released October 3, 2017
4 beginner level workouts focused on different areas
About 30 minutes/day, 7 days a week
Required equipment: 1 light set of dumbbells
Personalized meal plan
Introduction to nutrition basics & meal prep
Healthy easy to prepare recipes
Includes a 7-day sample pack of Shakeology

Keep on reading to learn more and join a Clean Week Fit Club
Order your materials here!
Clean Week is a 1-week beginner level health & fitness program that eases you into a new healthy lifestyle. In these 7 days, you’ll learn how to eat right and workout in a way that won’t feel overwhelming—the program makes it feel EASY!


After just one week you can expect to:
Begin losing those first few pounds
Feel stronger physically and mentally
Have more energy throughout the day
Kick those unhealthy cravings
And feel CONFIDENT that you can continue!
Clean Week Workouts
Daily Workouts

There will be 4 different workouts on Beachbody On Demand. Each workout focuses on a different fundamental of fitness:
Active Flex | 23 minutes
Strength | 34 minutes
Core | 35 minutes
Cardio | 34 minutes

You’ll rotate through each of these during the 7 days of the program.

Equipment

And the workouts don’t require any unique equipment! The only required equipment for Clean Week is a set of hand weights during the Strength workout. These can be purchased at Walmart or Target. The weight will depend on your strength, if this is you first time working with weight in a while, I would suggest trying 3-5lbs. A fitness or yoga mat is a good idea for some of the floor workouts, but not required.

Modifier

If you’ve ever tried another Beachbody program, you know that most include a modifier, someone you can follow along with if you’re struggling and need to slow down. Well, Clean Week is a little different as it includes an intensifier. If you feel like a certain move is too easy for you, you can follow the intensifier for a more challenging workout.

Clean Week Meal Plan/Nutrition Plan

The program meal planner that comes with Clean Week breaks down everything you need to know to start eating healthier. Since everyone is different, your nutrition plan during the program will be customized to fit your specific needs. You’ll learn how to plan and prep your meals for the entire week so you’re ready to go! There will be a variety of recipe suggestions that use ingredients anyone can easily find in their local grocery store.
Daily Shake

You’ll also get to try Shakeology, our complete nutrition shake, with a 7-day sampler pack.  Shakeology has been what helps me get the nutrition that I need in a delicious way! Plus, it helps curb unhealthy cravings—the hardest part of trying to eat healthier! You can learn more about Shakeology here.

And honestly, the shake is so good that you’ll feel like you’re “cheating” on your meal plan!

So, What’s the Cost of Clean Week?

The creators of Clean Week know that you’re not going to want to pay an arm and a leg for a fitness program when you’re not totally sure that it’s going to be right for you. This program is designed for you to try out home workouts and give Beachbody a shot for the first time—it’s not meant to be a huge investment!
Just $29.95 USD ($36.95 CAD)

And like I mentioned earlier, the workouts will be available for FREE on Beachbody’s streaming service, Beachbody On Demand. That means you can try the workouts before paying anything!

The price you pay will get you EVERYTHING ELSE that you need to be successful: your nutrition plan, meal planner, recipes, and 7 days worth of Shakeology.

Try Clean Week & Gain Extra Support

Each month I host a fit club for ANYONE that’s interested in learning how to make the first steps in improving their health.

Because sometime you need more than just a plan—sometimes the missing link is SUPPORT!

If you’re interested in joining and trying Clean Week with my exclusive fit club, fill out the form below. I’ll be there to answer all of your questions and provide you with 1-on-1 coaching every day! And if after those 7 days you’re ready to move on to something more challenging, I’ll help you figure out what program will help you reach your goals!

This fit club is open to anyone in the US, Canada, and the UK that does not already have a Beachbody Coach.

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