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Burgers with Sweet Potato Slice "Buns"

sweet potato hamburger bun, clean eating, paleo, gluten free, healthy burgers, 21 Day Fix, beach body coach, vanessa mclaughlin, vanessamc246
The whole family LOVED these healthified hamburgers!! And my boys thought using sweet potato slices as buns was fun and unique. I served these with my roasted broccoli, because I could make the broccoli at the same time I cooked the potatoes.

I just made plain turkey burgers, but the recipe is versatile. Any burgers can be used, and any flavorings. The burgers could be lean meat with spinach, feta, and Greek spices, or black bean burgers with cumin and chili powder for a Mexican twist, and so many other possibilities!! They can be modified for any tastes!

I hope you enjoy these as much as we did!!

For the 21 Day Fix container equivalents:
1 red
1 yellow
1/2 blue

1 Large sweet potato or yam
Spray coconut or olive oil
4 hamburgers/turkey burgers/veggie burgers
4 Laughing Cow Light Cheese Wedge (your favorite flavor, or a flavor that blends well with the burger spices)
Salt and Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Slice the sweet potato into 1/4 inch thick slices.
3. Spray a cookie sheet with olive oil or coconut oil spray.
4. Place sweet potato slices in one layer on cookie sheet.
5. Spray up-facing side of potatoes with oil spray.
6. Place cookie sheet with potato slices in oven for 20 minutes. Check after 15 minutes for burning. If getting brown on top side, turn over potato slices.
7. While potatoes are cooking, grill burgers to your liking.
8. When potatoes are done cooking, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
9. To assemble, cut each burger into quarters.
10. Cut a quarter section of the Laughing Cow Cheese wedge and spread on one potato slice.
11. Stack a quarter of the burger on the potato slice with cheese.
12. Top with another potato slice.
13. Repeat for remaining three burger quarters.
14. Each person should have four mini burgers on sweet potatoes.


When passion and work collide

One year anniversary!! Woohoo!!
Today marks one year of my being a Beachbody coach, of my having my own business.
I became a coach, because I thought it would be a hobby. A way to keep my foot in the fitness field while working full-time.  And it was a fun hobby. I LOVED it. I LOVED working with people who were ready to make healthy changes in their lives.  I LOVED being with other coaches who, like me, just wanted to be happy, healthy people, and support others in this endeavor.
It was, rewarding, uplifting, inspiring, and FUN! But after one month, it became more than that. I discovered my passion, and an avenue to meet my dream: making enough income to work from home, so I could stay at home with my sons.

What will people think?
When I first became a Beachbody coach I kept it quiet (I know, seems crazy now… ) but I worried about what others would think of me. I had a full-time job, and coaching was just something on the side. I have a law degree. I work in marketing and communications. If I treated coaching like my job, what would my co-workers think? What would my family and friends think?

Would they see this as just hanging out on Facebook?
Would they think I was just trying to "sell" them something?
Would they support me and see my potential with this? 

Realizing my purpose and my passion.

I went to work full-time, because I had been a stay-at-home-mom for 10 years, and now our family needed to make up some income. It broke my heart every day to not meet my kids when they got off the school bus. Over the summer, I nearly cried every day when I left my boys at home all day.

I work behind a desk and a computer, from 8:30-5:00 EVERY DAY! While I'm qualified for this job, and it joins my experience and my degrees, I wasn't passionate about this. The schedule is a grind, AND I was missing time with my kids. They are at the age when mom is still "cool," and they wanted to spend time with me.

All I wanted to work from home, so I could spend time with them and have a flexible schedule: the ability to volunteer in their classrooms, and go on field trips, while they still wanted me to go! But I knew, to make this happen, I needed to find a work from home job, that would give me the same income or more as my office job.

Shortly after I became I coach, and loving the job, I began to realize, this could overtake my full-time job and fulfill my desires of working from home, to be with my children! And I began to think of myself as a Beachbody coach and coaching as my job!

What IFS?
What if I couldn't balance both jobs?
What if my friends and family didn't support me?
What if people thought I was crazy for doing this?
And the biggest "What if;" what if I didn't make it?
I was too worried about these “what ifs” that I didn’t SHARE this incredible OPPORTUNITY and BLESSING that has had a profound impact on my life and my family’s life?!!

I was made for this?

One of the first people I told I was a coach was my dear friend Lorraine.
"FINALLY, Vanessa," she said. "I'm glad you finally realized this!  You were MADE for this!!"
She had seen my potential.  Would others?
After running a few accountability groups, where clients had amazing successes losing 20, 30, and 40 pounds, I was so glad I found a way to make a difference

Remember back in high school and college, when as students we were full of ideas and ambition? We wanted a job to MAKE A DIFFERENCE in the world!  Some people have that opportunity. But others, work for an organization, behind a desk, and may never realize any difference or impact.

As a coach, I get to see this on a day to day basis!!  Not only was it fun, not only could I make a difference, but this little side “thing” that started as a hobby and then something for a little side income is now a full fledged BUSINESS!!
I am my own GIRLBOSS.
I work when I want from where I want and all I need is a little wi-fi.
I am surrounded by the most positive uplifting and inspirational people!
I still have the goal to work from home, and I'm getting closer every day.
I'm on my way to making AS MUCH money NOW as I do in my 40+ hours per week office world.
And last but not least, I am held accountable to my own goals, I am in the best shape of my life and it has impacted my ENTIRE FAMILY for the better!!!
I WAS made for this!

My business!!
What the heck took me so long?! To think ONE DECISION I made to join an accountability group last September has trickled down and impacted so many others. ONE DECISION to get healthier for myself and my family.

I want YOU ALL to know: you can do this too! If I can build a business working 30 minutes a day, an hour a day, two hours a day all around being a mom, wife, having a full-time job, and all the responsibilities and obligations that come with those jobs, you can too!

One of the many great things about this business is that you can work it from anywhere and you can work it as much or as little as you want to or are able and YOU CAN STILL BE SUCCESSFUL!! You just need to make sure that you're consistent and I promise you, the time you put in will pay for itself!

As your coach I am here to help you from the first day! We will work together – I will share exactly
what I have done to get where I am and how you can duplicate that for your own success! There is no need to recreate the wheel!!

WHY NOT? That’s what I kept asking myself…WHY NOT ME?!

If you are at all curious about this whole Beachbody Coaching world, or how I got to where I am in just a year, then fill out the form below, or email me at and let’s chat!
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Banana Apple Muffins - FIXATE Style

FIxate, autumn calabrese, 21 day fix, banana apple muffins, beachbody coach, piyo recipe, banana apple muffins, gluten-free muffins, dairy free muffins, sugar free muffins, clean eating, healthy muffins

Today there was a fall chill in the air, and I was looking for something warm and comforting to go with a cup of green tea, that would satisfy my sweet tooth, and still stay within my clean eating meal plan.  I also had some overripe bananas to use, and was looking for something different than banana bread. I found these muffins in the FIXATE cookbook.

Autumn Calabrese, the creator of 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme, wrote a cookbook called FIXATE.
The greatest feature of this cookbook: It gives the container equivalents for each recipe!!!

These muffins are gluten free, dairy free, and sugar free, but taste like a sweet, bakery muffin!  My boys enjoyed these with a cup of hot cocoa!!

Makes 9 muffins
Prep Time: 20 min. Cooking Time: 18 min.
1 Purple
1 Blue

2 large eggs
1 cup mashed very ripe banana (about 2 medium bananas)
1 TBSP organic, grass-fed butter, melted
1 1/2 cups almond flour
3/4 tsp baking soda (gluten-free)
1 dash sea salt
1/2 cup chopped apple (about 3/4 of a medium apple)
1 TBSP cinnamon - the original FIXATE recipe does not include cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger, but it's fall, and these spices make food delicious, and make my house smell cozy, so I decided to include these and live a little!! :)
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Prepare nine muffin cups by lining with muffin tin liners or coating with spray.
3. Combine eggs, banana, and butter in a medium bowl. Mix well. Set aside.
4. Combine almond flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix well.
5. Add almond flour mixture to egg mixture. Mix until blended.
6. Add apple. Mix until just blended.
7. Divide batter evenly between prepared muffin cups.
8. Bake 16-18  minutes, or until golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
9. Transfer muffins to rack to cool.

Calories per muffin: 161
Total fat: 12 g
Saturated fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 45 mg
Sodium: 157 mg
Carbohydrates: 11 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sugars: 4 g
Protein: 6 g

For more healthy recipes and support in your fitness and nutrition journey, check out my accountability groups or fill out the form below for more info!
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PiYo - WEEK 1 Review

I had completed quite a few Beachbody programs, but when fall, and back to school came around, I got so busy, I needed a program that didn't require any equipment. Something that I could do in my office during lunch, or in a hotel room while traveling to my sons' soccer meets and cross-country meets.  I had completed Insanity Max 30, which also uses no equipment, but was looking for something I could blend with a running schedule, since I help coach my son's cross-country team, and run with the team a few times a week.
Chalene Johnson, PiYo, meal plan, weight loss, Yoga, Pilates, vanessamc236, vanessamc

PiYo had been sitting on my shelf since I purchased it when it was on sale. I never even opened it, because I thought it would be too slow, and not vigorous enough for me.  While I had tried a sneak peek workout of PiYo with Beachbody On Demand, the whole program lived on my shelf. This time, though, I thought it might work well with my running program, and it met my requirement of not needing any equipment, other than a yoga mat, which not completely necessary!

So, what is PiYo?
It's a blend of Pilates, yoga, and body strength exercises created by Chalene Johnson! Wondering if this program is right for you? YES, YES, YES!!!! It is a high intensity, low impact home workout program that guarantees great results without all the jumping around, weights, and strain on your joints! And all moves can be modified to fit any fitness level! You use your own body weight to sculpt your body inspired by Pilates and yoga moves.

How long are the PiYO workouts?

The lengths vary from 20-45 minutes each.

What type of results can you expect with PiYO?

The PiYO program is going to give you long, lean, muscle, a high, firm booty, and tight, flat, sexy abs. What’s not to love about that combination?  It works every single muscle to stabilize, stretch, and strengthen your body from top to bottom. And since Chalene Johnson cranked up the speed you will burn crazy calories too!

The Meal Plan: 
First I started my meal planning. The meal plan with PiYo is almost exactly the same as the 21 Day Fix and Insanity Max 30. I used the included simple formula to calculate my daily calorie intake for weight loss. My goal with this program is to increase my strength and flexibility, while losing the 5-10 pounds I gained celebrating the last month of summer!!

The program includes four different meal plan for four different calorie brackets. My calculated daily calorie target put me into Meal Plan A. This includes:

Chalene Johnson, PiYo, meal plan, weight loss, Yoga, Pilates

Looking through the included lists for vegetables, grains, fruit, lean protein, and healthy fats, and their serving sizes, I created a meal plan for the week, which included my Shakeology. I still color code as a habit from the 21 Day Fix plan.  :)

Chalene Johnson, PiYo, meal plan, weight loss, Yoga, Pilates

The Workouts:

This workout program on a different spectrum from the previous ones I’ve been doing. While I've seen successful results with 21-Day Fix, 21-Day-Fix Extreme, Insanity Max 30, and P90X3, I needed and was ready for something different. I was pleasantly surprised! I am loving this program. Here’s a recap of week 1:

Chalene Johnson, PiYo, meal plan, weight loss, Yoga, Pilates
Day 1: The fundamentals

This workout takes you through all the basic moves and really focuses on the proper alignment which will maximize your results. I do yoga periodically and thought I knew what I was doing but this was a huge eye opener and very valuable! I paired this day with a three mile run.

Day 2: Define Lower Body

Take all those moves you learned on day 1 and put them to use! The workout was only 20 minutes but I felt the results of every second of those 20 minutes the next morning; my legs felt worked and stretched

Chalene Johnson, PiYo, meal plan, weight loss, Yoga, PilatesDay 3: Define Upper Body
Well, I discovered tricep push ups are not easy! While I started strong, halfway through I needed the
modifier. I'm SO grateful for the modifier! By the end of this program my goal is to make it through all the moves without modifications! This was a perfect workout to go along with a four mile run.

Day 4: SWEAT
I woke up with sore arms and chest.  This means the day before was a GREAT workout for my upper body!! This was an unexpected surprise. The sweat workout is aptly named.  I was sweating and again, toward the end, needed the modifier for the moves. 

Day 5: Rest day
My legs were SO sore from the Sweat workout! I could feel the tightness in my inner thighs and booty.  YEAH! That means I'm working those areas.  Embrace the soreness!! While I struggle with a rest day, because I LOVE working out, I am following the plan and today was rest day – so I did just that!

Day 6: Define Lower Body
Thank goodness I took a rest day, the day before! My legs really needed the day off to recover.  I still needed the modifier, but already felt more flexible and balanced.

Chalene Johnson, PiYo, meal plan, weight loss, Yoga, Pilates
Day 7: Define: Upper Body
This workout makes me feel badass! My strength powers me through the push ups, even though I have to use the modifier again toward the end of the workout. I also ran 3 miles with my son.

Week 1 is over, and last night I prepped my meals for the week and scheduled my workouts on my calendar. BRING ON WEEK TWO!!

I would love your support!! Cheer me on through our journey by following me on Facebook

If you would like to know more about Insanity Max 30, and are interested in possibly joining my accountability group, fill out the application below.

Fill out my online form.


Autumn Calabrese's Pumpkin Pie bites

iautumn calabrese, 21 day fix, pumpkin, pumpkin pie, treat, dessert, gluten free, dairy free, egg free
The school year started, fall is here, and that means EVERYTHING PUMPKIN!

I LOVE pumpkin pie, but not all the calories, sugar, and processed ingredients. So, I found these pumpkin pie bites on Autumn Calabrese's blog, and they taste just like the inside of a pumpkin pie. Smooth and full of fall, pumpkin flavor!! Best of all, they are gluten free, egg free, and dairy free!

21 Day Fix Container Equivalent (for one serving - two "muffins")
1 purple
1/2 yellow
1 blue


autumn calabrese, 21 day fix, pumpkin, pumpkin pie, treat, dessert, gluten free, dairy free, egg free

Pumpkin Bites
1 can pumpkin or 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
2 very ripe bananas
2 egg whites
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan or sea salt

autumn calabrese, 21 day fix, pumpkin, pumpkin pie, treat, dessert, gluten free, dairy free, egg free

Whipped Topping
1 can coconut milk- full fat (put in fridge overnight)
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla or vanilla beans

(Makes approx 12 standard muffin sized bites)


1. Combine all the pumpkin bite ingredients in a food processor, or blender, and blend until smooth. (You may need to scrape down the sides a few times.)

2. Spoon the mixture into lined muffin pans.
*Option to use silicone liners to lessen chance of bites sticking to paper.
3. Preheat oven to 350. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
4. Let these cool completely before removing from the muffin liners. Since they are soft like pumpkin pie, I highly recommend putting these in the fridge after baking so they can firm up a bit.
5. (For the whipped topping) Open can of coconut milk that has been in the fridge overnight. Scoop the fatty white part off and place in a mixing bowl with the vanilla and maple syrup. Use the whipping attachment and whip the coconut into a cream.
6.Scoop a little on top of each muffin and option to garnish with pumpkin pie spice!

* MUST keep these stored in the fridge.
* I highly recommend making the whip topping right before eating for optimal results in taste and texture.

For more healthy recipes and support in your fitness and nutrition journey, check out my accountability groups or fill out the form below for more info!
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What is E & E?

E&E, Energy and Endurance,  pre workout formula, Energy for workouts, how to get more energy, workout motivation, Beachbody
It's almost workout time.
I get a Shakeology cup, toss in two scoops of E&E with some cold water, shake, and drink it down.
Then I go change into my workout clothes, put on my sneakers, and put my hair up, before going down to the basement, pressing play and getting my sweat on!

What's that? What's E&E?
I've been getting A LOT of questions about E&E:
What is it?
What’s in it?
Why do I drink it?
What does it do? Is it worth it?
I'm going to answer all these questions.

What is it?
E&E is one of Beachbody’s pre-workout formulas. E&E stands for Energy and Endurance. This powerful supplement is scientifically formulated to help improve your energy, endurance, strength, and focus, so you can maximize every minute of your Beachbody workout and get your best results. I like to think of it as my magic go-go juice. It puts a little pep in my step and helps me get my workout started off RIGHT!

What’s in it?
E&E, Energy and Endurance,  pre workout formula, Energy for workouts, how to get more energy, workout motivation, Beachbody

E&E features a proprietary blend of:
  • Advanced nitric oxide boosters to help speed more nutrients and oxygen to your muscles for better performance.*
  • Natural energizers to help increase energy production and focus to maximize your workout.*
  • Amino acids to help promote muscular energy and overall workout performance.*
  • Electrolytes to help fight dehydration and support optimal muscle function.*
  • Essential B vitamins to promote a strong metabolism to provide energy so you can burn fat.*
  • Stevia for natural, zero-calorie sweetness.

E&E Energy and Endurance contains:
  • No artificial flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives.
  • No high-risk or untested ingredients.

Why do I drink it?
I first tried E&E because I felt, as a Beachbody Coach, I needed to be familiar with all the products we have to offer. And what better way to do so than to try it, right?! So what started as little experiment turned into finding my secret sauce to a successful workout, anytime of day, but especially in the morning!

What does it do?
E&E helps me get the best out of my workout! It helps me work at a higher intensity to burn more calories and fat and maximize muscle performance to build muscle faster.

To get the most from your workout: mix E&E with water and drink it 15 to 30 minutes before your workout. You’ll feel more energized from the start to the end of your workout—maximizing your results.

What does it taste like?
It has a lemon-lime flavor. It reminds me a bit of Crystal Light. I had never tried any other “pre-workout” energy drinks but I LOVE the taste – and in fact crave it at times!

Is it worth it?
I ABSOLUTELY think it is – I’ve been drinking it for almost a year – daily – and I love how it helps me get up and get going! The fact that you have to drink it 15-30 minutes before I workout gives me that extra little push to quit hitting the snooze button in the morning, and gets me going if I'm doing an afternoon workout. In the morning, I get up, drink my E&E, check in with my challengers or do a little reading, and then I’m ready to go. If I'm working out in the afternoon, I drink it about 20 minutes before I leave work, go home and change, and I'm ready for my workout. Its given me a great boost in my energy and performance during my workouts! You can get a TUB of it with 30 servings or a box of 24 packets.

E&E, Energy and Endurance,  pre workout formula, Energy for workouts, how to get more energy, workout motivation, BeachbodyLike my Shakeology – I take both routes. Tub for regular daily use and packets for travel days!!!

Extra bonus: 1 scoop of E&E is even a freebie on the 21-day fix extreme meal plan!

Click here for E&E Energy and Endurance ingredients and nutrition information.

I was first introduced this go-go juice during a health and fitness accountability challenge group – its a online support and accountability group to help you meet your health and fitness goals while being surrounded with others who are on a similar journey! You pick the fitness program, replace one meal with Shakeology, nutrient dense meal replacement shake, and commit to checking in daily and holding yourself accountable!!!

It changed my life and I decided to pay it forward, and I now run my own groups! If you’d like more details email me at or fill out the application below.
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Better results for your health and fitness journey with the Beachbody Performance Line

The Beachbody Performance line launched in July. I've been using it since then, and it has really changed my workouts and my results!

The Energize gives me a boost of energy, prepares me for my workout and keeps me going. The Hydrate allows me to push through my workout. The Recovery helps pBeachbody Performance™ is a breakthrough addition to the Beachbody nutrition catalogue. Designed by Harvard-trained scientists and rooted in cutting-edge exercise physiologyiology and performance nutrition research, this premium supplement system offers a way to supercharge your performance— and your results— safely and effectively.

The product line is also NSF Certified which means it is approved for Professional & Collegiate athletes. Supplements that carry the NSF Certified for Sport mark have undergone the rigorous standards established through the NSF Athletic Banned Substances Program. It minimizes the risk that a dietary supplement or sports nutrition product contains banned substances when taken at the recommended serving size.*

Specifically, this certification verifies that:
  • The product does not contain any of the 180+ substances banned by major athletic organizations. 
  • The contents of the supplements match what is displayed on the label. 
  • There are no unsafe levels of contaminants in the tested product. 
  • The product is manufactured in a facility audited by the NSF for both quality and safety. 
NSF has tested and certified that these products contain the identity and quantity of dietary ingredients declared on the product label, and that these products do not contain known banned substances. NSF certification, however, is limited to the specific serving size on the label, and consumption in excess of that serving size is not part of the certification.

But you don’t HAVE to be a competitive athlete to use these! They’re for people who want to push themselves and reach a big goal, or for the people who want to finish a round of P90X or finish a round of Insanity Max:30 that the couldn’t previously get through! Check out this video to learn a bit more about Beachbody Performance:

Still thinking – What is Beachbody Performance???
An easy-to-use, complete supplement system that’s guaranteed to boost your workout performance and help accelerate the results from any fitness program.
It’s designed by Harvard-trained scientists and combines the latest cutting-edge science with the most effective performance-boosting ingredients from nature.
Every ingredient is thoroughly tested and scientifically shown to enhance performance and recovery.
There are 5 unique formulas—Energize, Hydrate, Recover, Recharge, and Creatine—that can be used alone or easily customized depending on your fitness goals or needs.
It will help you overcome any obstacle—from low energy to muscle soreness—so you can push yourself harder in every workout.

What’s included in the Beachbody Performance line? 
The system has four powder drinks formulated with key ingredients scientifically shown to be effective.

Improves intense exercise performance, increases energy and endurance, and sharpens focus, and reaction time.

Supports hydration during exercise, replaces electrolytes lost during exercise, fuels working muscles, and improves endurance.

Speeds muscle recovery, promotes lean muscle synthesis, combats exercise-induced muscle soreness, and improves muscle strength recovery.


When I did 21 Day Fix Extreme, my muscles were SORE! It was challenging to keep my intensity forworkouts. The another coach suggested I use Recharge, and my muscles soreness improved dramatically. I was able to workout with intensity, instead of coddling sore muscles. It also helped with late night hungries! Taken before bed, Recharge helps accelerate overnight recovery, combat exercise-induced muscle soreness, and promote muscle growth when your body is primed to accept it—while you sleep! Slow-release protein, amino acids, and powerful phytonutrients help reduce muscle breakdown, promote lean-muscle synthesis, and reduce delayed onset muscle soreness.

This add-on has no flavor and mixes well with the Post-Workout formula to improve high intensity exercise performance, increase muscle strength and power, and enhance the effects of resistance training.

When should you take these supplements:
Energize should be taken within 30 minutes of starting exercise.
Hydrate should be taken during intense or prolonged exercise.
Recover should be taken within 30 minutes after exercising.
Recharge should be taken within an hour before going to sleep.

For best results, do not mix Recover or Recharge with Shakeology. Take Shakeology at least 30-60 minutes after consuming Recover.

I know a lot of you have asked me what the difference is between my current fave E&E and Energize and well – E&E was developed in 2010; Energize is the best energy formula according to current scientific consensus.


Additional details and purchasing options can all be found within your Team Beachbody Account. If you have any other questions email me at or message me on Facebook!

10 must have items for a fitter you!

Top Ten Fitness necessities, 21 Day Fix, Challenge Group, Accountability group, workout, Beachbody, vanessamc246, the butterfly effect, change one thing change everything,

I get lots of questions about the "one thing" I feel you should have at all times to stay on track. That's a tough one to answer, because I don't have just "one thing." So I thought about it, and made a list of the 10 things I just can't live without!

 10. Good workout clothing
This is worth the investment. I would rather have a few nice pieces than lot’s of inexpensive one. Having clothes that wick sweat away, wash well, don’t hold odor and fit well can make your workouts more comfortable and appealing. If you are working out with the right intensity you DO need good support and clothing that will wick sweat. One brand that I LOVE is Lululemon. It is pricey, but the clothes fit well, support, wash well and hold up for years. I get Lululemon when I want to splurge. Slightly less expensive is Fabletics, and for much more budget friendly workout clothes, I go to Target.

9. Headbands
headbands, bolder bands, under armor, 21 Day Fix, Challenge Group, Accountability group, workout, Beachbody, vanessamc246, the butterfly effect, change one thing change everything,

I can't stand to have hair in my face while I workout. It gets it my eyes during a run, it gets sweaty, then sticks to my face, and I keep having to brush it away! Having my hair off and away from my face is a must for a good workout! My favorite two brands are Bolder Bands (guaranteed to stay on your head), and Under Armor ones, which I buy at a discount at T.J. Maxx.

8. Sunblock and self-tanner
Self-tanner is my ‘secret’ for that healthy glow. I am 45, but I don’t feel it. I NEVER leave the house without a solid SPF. I use a physical blocker spf 45 on my face always- even on cloudy day. That said, I am guilty of loving the LOOK of a tan. Since I do NOT go unprotected in the real sun, I have discovered some self tanners do not turn orange, as well as some body bronzers. A healthy looking glow can make you look and feel leaner which ultimately gives you more confidence. More confidence makes me want to push myself harder so YES my faux healthy glow helps me with that I love. My favorite self-tanner is ULTA brand spray, light to medium.

7. A good cooler, and portable containers
I typically like to grocery shop and prepare my food for the week on Sundays. For the week, when I'm at my office Monday through Friday, I will divide my meals into equal containers that I can pop into cooler. I used to carry around glass portable containers in my cooler, but they got heavy! If it's a salad, or a meal I know I will not be heating up, then I will pack it in plastic containers. However, If I'm going to heat up the meal in the microwave at work, then I pack it in glass. My favorite cooler is the Fit & Fresh Jaxx FitPak Meal Prep Bag and Container Set.

energize beachbody performance, energy, caffeine, workout boost, 21 Day Fix, Challenge Group, Accountability group, workout, Beachbody, vanessamc246, the butterfly effect, change one thing change everything,
6. Energy: Natural caffeine
Even the most healthy diets can still have you in an afternoon slump. Or maybe you need a little extra oomph before your morning workout. Some of you may NOT agree with caffeine, but I personally am a fan of green tea and a healthy pick me up. For days that I feel especially tired and I need to focus and I want a hard workout I LOVE my Energize. It's part of the Beachbody Performance line! It is natural, and does not have harmful ingredients that fat burners have. It's made with beta-alanine, low-dose caffeine, and quercetin. Energize helps me work harder for longer, whether I'm running, doing a 21 Day Fix Extreme workout, or a lower impact workout like PiYo.

5. GREAT music on my iPhone
Nothing gets me more in the mood to workout then new music! IPods have become increasingly inexpensive and small. You can download music inexpensively and load up your favorite tunes. Or, I just keep all my playlists and music on my phone.

4. Shakeology
Shakeology, Beachbody, healthiest meal of the day, 21 Day Fix, Challenge Group, Accountability group, workout, Beachbody, vanessamc246, the butterfly effect, change one thing change everything,
It's an ideal stabilizer! It's a nutritious meal replacement, all natural, non-GMO, organic, and helps curb hunger, and add some fiber, protein and healthy fat in an instant! I can take it anywhere and even add fruit, extracts, vegetables, nuts and nut butters, or anything else I want to make a new recipe! For some Shakeology ideas and recipes, click HERE.

3. Protein bars and Protein filled snacks

I aim for real foods but protein bars help me in binds. I stock my purse, gym bag and car with these and they will do when traveling, stuck in traffic, or just craving something with more of a cookie texture. The think with protein bars if you need to be careful as many are utter garbage and have no better nutritional value than a candy bar! Choose bars that you can define the ingredients.

2. My high powered blender
Blender, Vitamin, 21 Day Fix, Challenge Group, Accountability group, workout, Beachbody, vanessamc246, the butterfly effect, change one thing change everything,

I have Vitamix 5300 Blender, Black  and I love it. I am all about convenience and my vitamix allows for that. I use it mostly for quick meals. I am an expert at making a smoothie for meal! I have frozen fruit in my freezer at all time and tossing that , a scoop of protein powder and some healthy fat (like a nut butter) make a filling healthy meal QUICKLY. AND I whip up my Shakeology in it!

1. My water bottles Proper hydration is important for so many reasons but it is easy to forget to drink water all day long. I LOVE my stainless steel water bottles – they stay cold, are inexpensive, and come in fun colors and patterns. I carry it with me all day long. Having it by my side is an instant reminder to drink more water!

Drop a Jean Size

It's hard to believe summer is over and September is here!

While I mostly stuck to my routine and kept up with my health and fitness goals I strayed a summer barbecues, picnics, and trips to the amusement park. One by one things have gotten away from me and while I can’t say I completely fell off the wagon I have been dangling on the side more times than I would like to admit!

It started with a Fourth of July party, a trip to the water park, a family reunion, a two-week road trip around New England, all tossed in with some weekend get-togethers, and ending with a week long celebration of my birthday, where there were THREE birthday cakes throughout the week!
Too many treats too often has caught up with me.
As a result, I haven’t been able to get up in the morning when I want to, I find myself tired in the afternoons and less productive which in turn makes me short with the kiddos and frustrated with myself. I don’t like that my once lose and comfortable blue jeans barely button and the confidence is slowly decreasing.
I mean it happens – I get it – but I don’t have to like it, and I have the power to change it.

My 80/20 goal has been more like a 60/40 reality, but the one positive that is staring me in the face:  I know EXACTLY what I need to do to succeed and what I need to do to get back to where I was.
  • I know what works for me.
  • I know how much the accountability of my challenge groups WORKS.
  • I know preparation is the first step towards success.
  • I know that if I follow the 21-day fix portion containers I WILL get RESULTS.
  • And I know once I go a few days without the processed junk and added sugars the cravings will be gone with the help of Shakeology.
  • I already know all this its just time to COMMIT and follow through!
  • I'm going to start my 30-minute workouts doing a blend of the 21 Day Fix and PiYo program workouts.
My meal plan for the week is set and I’ll be grocery shopping tomorrow and the hubs and kids are board!

I know I can do it and you know what – so can YOU!

If you’ve been thinking about making a change, or if you’re like me and let the summer fun in the sun get the best of you don’t just give up…jump back on the horse and JOIN ME for my accountability group!

And its time to get back to you, and get back into your blue jeans!

I will provide you with:
-Healthy quick meals
-Meal planning assistance
-Family friendly recipes
-Daily motivation and accountability

You will get:
-earn how to take care of YOU and be the best version of YOU
Accepting the first 10 applicants – email me at and/or apply below.
Fill out my online form.
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Birthday cake Shakeology

A lighter way to celebrate, the birthday cake Shakeology tastes like that yummy, birthday, frosted treat I love!!

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Birthday Cake Shakeology, cake protein shake, birthday cake shake, cake batter shake, healthy birthday, dessert, treat, Birthday Cake Shakeology Recipe

1 TBSP fat-free, sugar-free vanilla or cheesecake instant pudding mix
1/2 tsp yellow cake extract or butter extract
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup water
15 ounces of ice
colored sprinkles (optional)


1. Place all ingredients except for sprinkles in a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Pour into glass.
3. Top with sprinkles and enjoy!