Nutrition

Nutrition
Nutrition

Wellness

Wellness
Wellness

Lifestyle

Lifestyle
Lifestyle

Instant Pot Chicken Cauliflower Rice Soup

Chicken Soup, Instant Pot, Instapot, Crock Pot, Slow Cooker, Cauliflower Rice, Autumn Calabrese, 21 Day Fix, Tosca Reno, Clean Eating, 80 Day Obsession, Vanessa.fitness, vanessa.fit, vanessa mclaughlin

Instant Pot chicken and cauliflower rice soup was amazing, and we have been eating leftovers all week long. Canned chicken soup is always so full of sodium and half the time you aren’t even sure if it’s real chicken in there. So homemade is our way to go!!
Here is a new recipe I made with my Instant Pot that was delicious!!!

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
5 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
2 celery sticks, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
2 bay leaves
1 TBSP thyme
Any vegetables of your choice (I used broccoli, chopped red pepper, and peas)
3 large frozen chicken breasts
6 cups low sodium chicken broth or stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
One package of frozen cauliflower rice (I get mine at Trader Joe's)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Set Instant Pot to Saute function.
  2. Heat olive oil and onions until onions start to soften and become translucent, 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, carrots and celery and saute for another minute.
  4. Add frozen chicken to Instant Pot, followed by chicken broth, bay leaves, thyme, 2 teaspoons of salt and several turns of freshly ground pepper.
  5. Turn off Saute function, lock Instant Pot lid in place, make sure pressure valve is set to sealing and set Instant Pot to High Pressure for 20 minutes, via manual mode.
  6. Instant Pot will take 15-20 minutes to come to pressure, then will countdown from 20 minutes.
  7. After 20 minutes at high pressure, Instant Pot will beep and switch to keep warm mode.
  8. Turn pressure release valve to Quick Release pressure.
  9. Carefully open Instant Pot, keeping lid angled away from you to avoid very hot steam.
  10. Remove chicken and set aside to shred.
  11. Turn Instant Pot back to Saute function and let chicken broth come to a boil.
  12. Shred the chicken.
  13. Add frozen cauliflower to the soup.
  14. Return shredded chicken to the pot.đź’“
  15. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
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How to cook a whole frozen chicken in an Instant Pot

chicken, instant pot, frozen chicken, autumn calabrese, clean eating, tosca reno, 80 Day Obsession,
Let’s get real. Who has time to defrost? Even though I make a meal plan in advance, I always forget to defrost the meal I planned! And by the time I realize this, I have to come up with something for dinner at 4 pm.

That’s why I was so excited to meet the Instant Pot!! It allows me to think of something to make for dinner at 4:00 pm and have it on the table by 5:30…even if it’s a whole frozen chicken. Yes! It’s true. FROZEN TO COOKED! I know that’s hard to believe. But miracles do happen. I threw a 5 lb frozen chicken in the Instant Pot and it set the timer for 50 minutes. It took about 15 minutes to come to pressure and then I let the pressure come down for about 15 minutes before opening the pot. So about an hour and 20 minutes total time. The chicken was perfectly tender and we ate some of it plain that night with a salad and then saved the rest for wraps and sandwiches.

One thing I did notice was that I had to really work to get my 5 lb chicken to fit in my Instant Pot. It was placed on the trivet and I had to maneuver it around a bit. So next time I’ll probably choose a 4 lb chicken, which would actually take a few less minutes to cook, as well as fit better.

If you’re a fan of the crispy skin on a chicken then you’ll probably want to take the extra step of placing the chicken under the broiler after it cooks. I just stuck my chicken on a cookie sheet and put it under a broiler set on high for about 5 minutes. That way my sons and husband, who live for the skin, can be happy.To cook this frozen chicken I used my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1 for this recipe.

If you love getting those whole rotisserie chickens at your grocery store, you’ll love this recipe for pressure cooker whole seasoned chicken. The chicken is cooked in minutes in your Instant Pot (my chicken was actually totally frozen) and then stuck under the broiler to crisp up the skin. Slice the chicken up to eat plain or use it in any recipes that call for cooked chicken.

INGREDIENTS
1 whole chicken (mine was 5 lbs and fit just perfectly in my Instant Pot, so I wouldn't buy it any bigger).
1 cup water
1 bay leaf
4 Tbsp melted butter
1 TBSP dried rosemary
1 TBSP dried sage
1 TBSP dried thyme
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS
1.  Remove packaging from frozen chicken. Run a little warm water over the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. (I didn't removed the packaged giblets and neck until after the chicken was cooked).
2. Add 1 cup of water to the bottom of the Instant Pot and put the bay leaf in there too. Place the trivet in the bottom.
3. In a little bowl combine the butter, rosemary, sage, thyme, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Use your fingers to run this mixture all over the chicken. Place the chicken, breast side up, on the trivet.
4. Cover the Instant Pot and set the timer on manual for 50 minutes. Make sure valve is set to “sealing.” When the timer beeps let some of the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes and then switch the valve to “venting” and release the rest of the pressure.
5. When it is done cooking, use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the meatiest portion of the chicken. It should read 165° F. If it’s not up to temperature then you’ll want to cover the pot and cook on manual setting for 5-10 more minutes.
6. Optional: Place the chicken on a cookie sheet and put under the broiler for 5 minutes to crisp up the skin.
7. Slice chicken and serve. Season to taste. I save the leftovers to use in other recipes or make sandwiches and wraps with it.

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Top Ten Kitchen Gadgets I LOVE!


avoSaver, avocado keeper, avocado saver, https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001IWONL6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B001IWONL6&linkCode=as2&tag=vanessafitnes-20&linkId=5c7ba3b694d3e74a445fd6b5253cac8b
1. Avo Saver Avocado Holder - Prevent your avocados from browning! I eat half an avocado each day, so I want to make sure the half I'm saving is still good for the next day. The Avo Saver is an indispensible kitchen gadget for anyone who eats avocados. Even though avocados are such a culinary delight they are also quite expensive and have a short life, once cut. Save money, time and aggravation with this truly innovative gadget. The Avo Saver is easy to use and will reduce a cut avocado’s exposure to air, greatly slowing the destructive oxidization process. Unit is top-shelf, dishwasher safe.

2. Jaxx FitPak Meal Prep Bag - This bag is my favorite! It comes with six leakproof, portion control containers that fit perfectly into the insulated bag, an ice pack, AND a shaker cup! It's a great deal too. When I need to take several meals and snacks for my day, this bag is perfect.

3. Aerolatte Original HandHeld Milk Frother - This tool makes EASY cappuccinos....well, at least frothed milk to put on top of your coffee. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon, and it tastes as good as a coffeehouse in your own home!

4. Culina Mechanical Whisk (Hand Push Mixer) - GAH! I love this mixer. So easy to mix dressings, whipped cream (for special occasions) or anything else that needs a quick mix. Just push down. The kids love it too!

5. Vitamix Blender - The only blender I use for my Shakeology. Makes it as smooth as a milkshake. It crushes ice, and makes delish frozen drinks (for special occasions - ha!) and I also use it  to blend hot soups and sauces. Whenever I want to "hide" soup vegetables for my kids, I blend them up, then add pasta and chicken for a veggie chicken soup. They can't even tell I made it with onions and kale!!

6. Meal Prep Containers (3 Compartments) with Lids These are perfect when I need to prepare meals for the entire week. When I was working in an office from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, and prep all my meals on Sunday. I'd put a protein, veggie, and sweet potato or rice in each of the compartments, and just grab and go all week long.

7. KitchenAid Mezzaluna I love, love, love chopped salads. I bought this gadget, along with a large metal bowl. Veggies, protein, and dressing go in the bowl, I chop, chop, chop, and I get a perfect chopped salad, just like in a restaurant. It also chops garlic and herbs, and has a cover to protect the blade.

8. Stainless Steel Lemon Squeezer When drinking lemon water each morning, and throughout the day, I love this little squeezer. It gets all the juice out of the lemon and into my glass. I also love it for juicing lemons, limes, or oranges for sauces and dressings.

9. OXO Silicone Steamer, Green From the microwave to the stove, to my Instant Pot this Silicone Steamer makes steaming simple. High walls keep food from falling into boiling water and a large center makes the steamer perfect for fillets of fish and other large food items. The pleats on the Steamer make it flexible enough to fit into many different pot sizes. Silicone feet elevate and stabilize steamer over water and it won't scratch pots, making it perfect for both glass and non-stick cookware. I use it to steam the perfect hard boiled eggs. Flexible handles fold inward to accommodate pot lid and stay cool to the touch to safely and securely transport food.

10. Instant Pot This tool makes Sunday meal prep a breeze! Last Sunday I made 3 meals in 2 hours!! It's a smart electric pressure cooker designed to be safe, convenient and dependable. It speeds up cooking by 2~6 times using up to 70% less energy and, above all, produces nutritious healthy food in a convenient and consistent fashion. Instant Pot Duo is a 7-in-1 programmable cooker, it replaces 7 kitchen appliances as it has the functions of a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sautĂ©, yogurt maker & warmer. It generates almost no noise and leaks no steam. It traps all the aromas in the food without heating up the kitchen. The best part? If I forget to defrost chicken, meat or fish for dinner, I just put it all in the pot, set it for 20 minutes, and dinner is ready!
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Transform with ME!!!

LADIES! Get ready for your transformation! Whether you want to lose weight or tone up, I have the perfect program for you!

Our newest program, 80 Day Obsession, is going to rock your world and body!

It focuses on the TWO areas we ALL want to tone: the abs and ass!

Let me give you ALL the details! Read on!

Fill out the application at the bottom of this post to RESERVE YOUR SPOT!

Test Group Transformation Results

Look at these 80 day transformations! Incredible, right?!

Program Overview

  • There are 3 phases of workouts over the course of 13 weeks. 
  • In total there are 97 days of workouts because you get Sundays off as a rest day.
  • The workouts range from 45-60 minutes, and as always, there is a modifier.
  • It utilizes a timed nutrition plan to produce amazing results.
  • Shakeology, Energize, and Recover are incorporated to help fuel and replenish the body.
  • Equipment required: dumbbells, strength bands, sliders.

Nutrition Plan

80 Day Obsession follows a timed nutrition plan to optimize muscle performance and recovery.

You’ll get to eat small frequent meals- which means you'll never go longer than 3 hours without eating (yay!). More importantly, you'll have a 6-hour workout block.

You'll have a preworkout meal one hour before you work out then you’ll drink your Energize 15-20 minutes before your workout.

Then you’ll have your post-workout Recover within an hour of your workout and enjoy your post-workout meal within 2 hours of your workout. After that you'll eat every 2.5 to 3 hours {my kinda schedule!}!

2 Groups to Choose From

I am launching TWO different BETA TEST groups because interest has been so high! Both groups offer:
-a private app for tracking your progress
-daily tips and motivation from me!
-a community of support from the other women in the group so you don't feel alone
-weekly recipe shares
-ME to help you with the timed nutrition, designing your meal plans, sticking with your workouts, troubleshooting, and focusing on yourself!

Choose Your Start Date

Option 1: Jump Into January and Get Obsessed with YOU (begins January 1)
This group is for the ladies who don't want to wait, the ones who want to start with 30 minute exercises in December to COMBAT the holiday weight gain! This is a great way to get comfortable with the equipment so you can ROCK the exercises in January and NOT have an EXTRA 10 lbs to lose when you start in 2018!
We'll begin on January 1 with a mini version of the program) and focus on clean eating while to JUMP INTO the NEW YEAR! We'll complete Clean Week, and go to A Little Obsessed from January 8th (when it becomes available on Beachbody On Demand) to January 14th when 80 Day Obsession officially launches! You will be totally prepared to rock it!
Option 2: 80 Day Obsession ONLY (prep week begins January 8th, workouts begin January 15th)
If you aren't ready to get started on January 1, join us on January 8 for the official launch! We'll kick things off with a week of meal planning, goal setting, and more then begin the program when it launches on the 15th!

*Both groups will last the duration of the entire program!

In these groups each participant MUST commit to:

  • Showing up daily and participating in the group.
  • Following the timed nutrition plan for your body type and goals.
  • Replacing 1 meal a day with Shakeology for the duration of the group.
  • Drinking Energize before workouts and Recover after workouts.
  • Utilizing the strength bands and sliders for best results.
  • I must be your assigned coach.

Do I Really Need Shakeology, Energize, and Recover?!

Ummm YES! Those transformations above didn't come from just doing half the program. ALL of those people committed to the whole shebang and that's what I'm requiring for my groups! I want YOU to get the best results and I want to devote my attention to the ladies who are SERIOUS about sticking to their goals! Plus, you will be SORE and will NEED these to keep moving forward!

If a builder came into your house to make renovations, would you have him use your set of tools or his set of tools? You would want the best renovation possible, and you would want him to use  ALL the tools available in his tool box. 

These are the tools for transforming your body, to get stronger and healthier! If you want something you've never had, you have to do something you've never done. Use the tools.

Shakeology is a superfood powerhouse designed to deliver your entire day's worth of nutrients! It's made from over 70 whole superfoods from around the world and will replace a meal, vitamin, and probiotic each day! It will give you a natural energy boost, lower your cholesterol, reduce blood sugar levels, curb cravings, keep you full, AND improve your hair, skin, nails, and digestion! Read more about it here!

ENERGIZE is the pretty yellow drink that gives me LIFE! I call it my "mommy juice" or "parent power punch" because it is AH-MAZING! It gives me a great little energy boost without the jitters! It tastes like a fruity lemonade and is one of the main highlights of my day!

RECOVER is the post workout drink that prevents your muscles from getting sore. It replenishes what you lost and helps to rebuild and repair your muscles so you aren't too sore to press play the next day! Plus it tastes like a Wendy's Frosty and is freaking delicious!

Cash Prize! Say what?!

This is a BETA TEST GROUP which means you will be the FIRST to go through the program! You have the opportunity to win $500 for completing the program and submitting your results plus you have the opportunity to become a Beachbody Challenge Winner and earn additional money for your transformation. I am looking for people that are seriously committed to rocking this program and your results.
So no exceptions will be made. You cannot join a group without the above requirements.

What Are The Package Options?

If you are a NEW customer…

MEGA CHALLENGE PACK (BEST VALUE)

Are you ready to go ALL IN?! If so, this one is for you because the only way to get the best results is to feed your body with the best fuel possible. This challenge pack includes EVERYTHING you need for the ENTIRE duration of the program – plus you save $275.
Mega-Pack-New-Customers.png
  • Shakeology on Home Direct
  • 2 tubs of Energize
  • 4 tubs of Recover
  • 2 resistance bands
  • Sliders and booties
  • Portion Fix system
  • Shaker cup
  • Intro guide & calendar
  • 1 year subscription to Beachbody on Demand which includes 80 Day Obsession program & all other Beachbody Fitness Programs & nutrition guides.
COMBO CHALLENGE PACK
Are you ready to get this party started? This challenge pack includes everything you need to start out the program. And you get to save $200! The difference is if you just want to try out Energize and Recover for the first time you get 1x orders vs. enough supplements for the entire program.
Combo-Pack-New-Customers.png
  • Shakeology on Home Direct
  • 1 tub of Energize
  • 1 tub of Recover
  • 2 resistance bands
  • Sliders and booties
  • Portion Fix system
  • Shaker cup
  • Intro guide & calendar
  • 1 year subscription to Beachbody on Demand

If you are a current customer who already has Beachbody On Demand…

MEGA COMPLETION PACK 
This is the mother of all packages! It seriously offers the best value. You get everything you need for the program (assuming you already have BOD) AND you save $205. If your BOD is about to expire OR you don’t have it—> Check the packages above!!!
Mega-Completion-Pack-Existing-Customers.png
  • Shakeology on Home Direct
  • 2 tubs of Energize
  • 4 tubs of Recover
  • 2 resistance bands
  • Sliders and booties
  • Portion Fix system
  • Shaker cup
  • Intro guide & calendar

COMBO COMPLETION PACK
Are you ready to get re engaged? Then this package is for you. Save $130 and get ready for 80 days of obsession!!
Combo-Completion-Pack-Existing-Customers.png
  • Shakeology on Home Direct
  • 1 tub of Energize
  • 1 tub of Recover
  • 2 resistance bands
  • Sliders and booties
  • Portion Fix system
  • Shaker cup
  • Intro guide & calendar

And a special bonus…

Beachbody is offering a pre-launch discount! If you order your 80 Day Obsession Challenge Pack between December 14th and January 14th, you’ll automatically get $10 off!
80-day-pre-launch-discount.png
If you are ready to adopt healthy habits that will LAST and deliver incredible results, join me and give yourself 80 days to change your body and life!

Fill out the application to RESERVE YOUR SPOT!

I'll send you an email with more details once I receive your application!

Fill out my online form.
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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!!

Fill out my online form.
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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.
Want more indulgent, healthy recipes that fit in your nutritious food plan and support in your health and fitness journey? Interested in accountability to reach your health goals? Fill out the application for more info!

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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.
If you want more healthy tips, motivation and inspiration on your nutrition and fitness journey, complete my form below.

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