Fit Food(ie)

Fit Food(ie)
Fit Food(ie)

Fit Life

Fit Life
Fit Life

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Fit Work

Clean Comfort Cooking - FREE GROUP

Ask and you shall receive! So many people have asked me about making their favorite comfort food meals and making them healthy, but keep the comfort food taste and deliciousness....

So, by request I am offering a FREE comfort food fall group - CLEAN COMFORT COOKING!

This group is designed to help you with those weekly meal plan ideas, provide some, clean, comfort food meals that will satisfy and keep your tastebuds happy family! Perfect for fall, when we want to curl up with our favorite comfort foods, but no one likes to pack on the pounds!

How to get started:

- Step 1 is to "like" my page - Vanessa.Fitness so that you can be guaranteed to see all posts and updates from me.

You can access my page by following this link:

- Step 2 is to request access to the private group via the link that will be provided in the event page on Friday, October (You will not be able to access the link, unless you've liked the page!)

- Step 3 is to share this event with another busy mama or someone who you think could benefit from the addition of quick, easy, healthy, tasty comfort food meal ideas this time of year.

Here's how it will work:

I will provide the meal plan by Friday, October 7...complete with recipes and a grocery list guide!

For 5 Days (beginning October 10) I will post the recipes for the day, along with clean eating tips to help you make the best of this group! (which you will have access to after liking my page).

* Again, the only way to be granted access to our PRIVATE group is by the following steps:

1) "Like" VANESSA.FITNESS page here:

2) Request access to the private group once the link is posted on FRIDAY, October 7

3) Invite a friend (or two or heck ten!)


Tips to stay on track while traveling

Traveling can throw the most disciplined healthy people off track. Figuring out what to eat usually without the use of a kitchen to cook and make our own food, with ingredients we know, and without a refrigerator to hold fruits, veggies and proteins can make eating nutritious foods more challenging. Then having to navigate restaurant menus and the preferences and tastes of other people who are traveling with us, can send us quickly off track from our nutrition goals. Below I have some tips to help us deal with these challenges, but also check out my tips to stay on track for the weekend, and tips for dining out at a restaurant

Here are some tips to help us deal with these challenges:

Step 1. First, I look through your entire travel schedule and think through every meal -- more or less. If my options look a little bleak in the nutrition department, I pack some ‘emergency back up kits’ to fill in the gaps. My typical go-to options include:

Nuts, unsweetened, preservative-free dried fruit (like dried figs or mulberries) or fresh fruit if possible, pre-washed grapes and cherries and packed a cup each in ziptop baggies. Whole grain crackers and pre-popped popcorn (3 cups counts as a whole grain serving) and, whenever I travel, if I have access to a fridge at my destination, the first thing I do is go to a grocery store and stock up on baby carrots, cucumber, celeery, greek yogurts, hard boiled eggs, and fresh fruit. AND, if I'm traveling by car, I always bring Shakeology and my blender.

Step 2. I go online to check the “food radius” around where I'm staying, including grocery stores and food markets within walking distance. On one recent trip, I knew that a Trader Joe’s was about a 10 minute walk from my hotel. Before I even unpacked my bags, I strolled over and stocked up.

Step 3. Next, I scope out which restaurants near my destination offer healthy selections. This way when I have lunch or dinner out, or I get to pick the place I’ve already done the leg work. Some chains like PF Chang’s, Chipotle, and Panera are sure bets because I already know the menu and have healthy go-tos. And in many cities I’ll use sites like or to view menus online. If I already know where to go and what to order it’s much easier to follow through rather than relying on room service.

Step 4. Do SOME type of movement every day, and get the family involved. Go for a walk, do some push ups or squats, go to the hotel gym, OR, even stream Beachbody On Demand on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop, but do 30 minutes of continuous movement each day.

Step 5. Bring a refillable water bottle and drink half your weight in ounces of water each day.

Step 6. If there is a big event around food, choose one or two items that you really LOVE. Have a serving and walk away. You don't want to feel this way anymore so that food is NOT worth it. It's not that you CAN'T have it, but you DON'T WANT to have it anymore. You want a healthy body!!

Step 7. Enjoy yourself. Make it about the reason you're traveling, not about food, the best dish or what tastes delicious.

If you would like more tips and support, fill out the form below to be considered for my upcoming accountability group.
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Transformation Tuesday - 2 Weeks Into Body Beast

The one thing I always tell my challengers is "Take before pictures and measurements."
No one wants to do this. Who wants to see the way the look in just a sportsbra and shorts, frozen in time, in a photo? After all, there is a reason we start a fitness and nutrition program: whether its to lose weight, get healthier, or develop muscle, we don't really want to see the REASON for it staring us in the face!

But, I explain the photos and measurements help us on our journey. First, they motivate us. We look at the photos, reality, what we've been ignoring. Second, they give us a point to see how far we've come.

My before photos and measurements are providing me measurement and accountability of my progress for this 90 day program. After two weeks of Body Beast, I've lost 2 pounds and 2 inches overall! This might not seem like much, but I can see some changes in my body, in my abs and in my legs, and muscle weighs more than fat.

I chose Body Beast, because I want to develop more muscle and get leaner. While I loved Hammer & Chisel, I felt I needed to step up my level of weight training and train like an athlete. After only two weeks, I'm not there, yet, but I'm on my journey.

Looking at my before photos, you might be thinking "I guess she really did have some work to do, but how?" She posts about all of this healthy eating, drinks those shakes and says she exercises every day why did she look that way?"

Well, I enjoyed my summer, maybe a bit too much! This summer I stopped weight training, completed the Country Heat program, and had a few margaritas, mojitos, ice creams, and too many tastes and samplings of yummy foods. While I didn't gorge myself, I also didn't practice the 80/20 nutrition rule, where I stay on track with nutritious eating 80 percent of the time, and have a treat 20 percent of the time. 

Since starting Body Beast, I love being back on track. I LOVE strength training, and muscle development. I still have 10 weeks to go, and I can't wait to see the results every two weeks. I am feeling fit, strong, and happy! In addition to my two week physical results, I'm also seeing non-physical transformations in that I'm increasing the weight that I lift, and can keep up with all the reps in the program. With my transformation photos, I can also see some new ab definition, some shoulder and arm definition. I wouldn't be able to see this without those photos.

The program is challenging! It's taught me about supersets, giant sets, and how to increase my weight safely. Let's get real - IT'S HARD! Somedays, I'm just not motivated to workout, because I know it's going to be HARD, and I'm going to be SORE! I'm always grateful when I'm done, but especially on leg day, my legs turn to spaghetti, and they feel the workout for two days! Thank goodness for the Beachbody Performance Line. I'm using Energize (to give me that extra oomph in my workouts), Recover (30 minutes after the workout to help the muscles repair), and Recharge (taken before bed to help muscles repair during rest).

Because I'm lifting heavy and developing muscle, my nutrition has changed too. I'm focusing more on protein, and also eating with a focus on macronutrients (carbs, fats, and proteins), a whole new way of eating a balanced meal! It's challenged me to really look at the nutrients I put in my body.

Here is my meal plan for the second week:

At the same time, I still struggle with snacking and taking a bite of this or that while I'm making lunch or dinner for my family. A handful of goldfish crackers or a spoonful a mac n' cheese can add up. I'm working on it. As a coach, I still have struggles with fitness and nutrition. But, I'm choosing to overcome them.

Are you struggling with nutrition and fitness? Would you like to be more consistent? I would love to help can relate. Please fill out the application below if you would like to be considered for my next challenge group, where I provide support and accountability for you to reach your health and fitness goals.

Fill out my online form.
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Demand ME TIME Accountability Group

My son came home from school Friday with news about his lunch. "Mom, you forgot to put peanut butter in my sandwich. But don't worry, I just ate the bread plain and I still had my milk."

I forgot to put the peanut butter between the two slices of bread. It wasn't the first time.

But let me back track for a minute and start by telling you that I have royally screwed up motherhood. I mean, the crisp magazine, shiny images of motherhood - THOSE are not my motherhood and they have always been lost on me.

I would make a ridiculously good real life transformation for Pottery Barn, but let's be honest... I don't pottery barn. The transformation would be lost on the McLaughlin boys.

I Target.  I Marshalls. I Kohls.
I DO NOT Pottery Barn.

Now combine that with the fact that:
I am the mom that needs to be reminded of every email at least 50 times.
I am the mom that has forgotten the field trip permission slip.
I am the mom that rarely gets to the bus stop with my teeth brushed or my hair combed.
I am the mom who refuses to put clothes away. I mean ever. Everyone gets a basket of clean clothes in their room. That's it.
I am the mom who will spray a dirty T-shirt with Fabreeze when my kids really, really just HAVE to wear it that day,.
I am the mom that tries really hard to get her kids to eat healthy but every once in awhile they they eat chicken nuggets and mac n cheese.
I am the mom that has had to run the washer about twice per load because I forget about it.
I am the mom that has a messy house, stains on the carpet, handprints all over the wall, and knicks on every wall in the house.
I am a mess of a mom and I AM DAMN PROUD OF IT.

For 13  years that I have been trying to navigate the ever roaring rip tides of parenting I have always felt like I was being swallowed alive by the tossing waves.

Until I realized...

My kids are turning out to be pretty damn good.

And so that's what I want to share.

Aside from looking like a train wreck 90% of the time- I am pretty darn MOM-FIDENT.

1. I've learned that moderation is a heck of a lot more gratifying than deprivation.
2. I've learned that I am more patient when I make myself a priority.
3. I've learned that it is not selfish when I have some me time. My time is 6 am. Every day. No one comes near mama at 6 am.
4. I've learned that failing at motherhood is part of growing in motherhood.
5. I've learned that perfection is a myth.

Because let's face it. Life demands so much of you. But do you demand more for yourself?

More energy? 
More confidence? 
More strength? 
More accountability? 
More support? 
More of what makes you feel ALIVE?
YOU deserve more.
I am looking for women who:
  • Are willing to take 22-30 minutes a day to push play at home with a fitness program we select together.
  • Will follow a simple meal plan that is kid friendly and husband approved.
  • Will replace one meal with nutrient dense Shakeology.
  • Are sick of getting asked the question "What's for dinner?" and never having an answer.
  • Want to kick some of the bad habits such as- negative self talk to the curb.
  • Want to FEEL CONFIDENT at the parties, in the skinny jeans and the dresses sitting in the back of your closet. 
  • Are interested in a JUDGEMENT FREE environment to talk about the real life of moms.
What you will receive:
  • Daily support, accountability, and a close community of women like you.
  • A free downloadable app to track your fitness goals and check your progress.
  • 30 Days of Beachbody on Demand including programs like, Chalean Extreme, P90X3, T25, and Hammer and Chisel.
  • 30 day supply of nutrient dense Shakeology
  • Customizable meal plans, container portion control system and recipes as well as access to the Beachbody on Demand exlcusive: Fixate, a cooking show by Autumn Calabrese, creator of the 21 Day Fix. 
  • An opportunity to win $500 for submitting your results.
  • Me as your virtual coach.
Please note:
This opportunity is open to 10 women who are willing to "selfishly" invest $4 a day in themselves in order to:
1. Feel CONFIDENT in their skin- lose weight, tone, up, gain muscle (or all of the above)
2. Gain energy to keep up with the demanding to do list
3. Give up the guilt and and stop asking, "am I enough."

I know *GASP* how can I possibly invest $4 in myself is what you are asking yourself?
What if it doesn't work?

It works.
I guarantee it.
And I can speak from experience, this could potentially change your life.
As an online virtual health and fitness coach, a recovering lawyer, and a mom who's just kinda winging it, I am opening the doors to my next online fitness and nutrition accountability.
In order to participate, please complete the application below so that I can message you before Sept 19.

*If you miss the deadline and would like to be considered for our next group, please complete the application so that I may provide you with upcoming details. 

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Creamy Butternut Squash Noodles with Bacon and Spinach

Noodles, Butternut squash, spiralizer, vegetti, vegetable noodels, veggie spaghetti, 21 Day Fix, Pasta, Spaghetti, Autumn Calabrese, Clean eating
I had found this recipe online where Butternut squash is spiralized into “noodles” and tossed with creamy mascarpone cheese, bacon, and fresh spinach. However, I made quite a few modifications, because I didn't have marscapone cheese, and I added a few other ingredients. It was a fantastic way to eat my veggies!

I LOVE my spiralizer. Now, you can find many veggies in supermarkets which are spiralized, but sometimes, you can't and so it's good to know I can spirals any vegetable at any time!  I think everyone needs one of these handy little gadgets – it will completely change the way you eat your veggies!

The most popular vegetable to spiralize is zucchini (to make zoodles) – it’s mild in flavor and looks very much like traditional spaghetti once it’s cut. However, I wanted to try to spirals other vegetables. After seeing butternut squash spriralized at my local grocery store, I decided to try it for myself.

To spiralize the butternut squash, you’ll only need the top part (not the round bottom where the seeds are). The leftover butternut squash I just cubed and roasted.

Once the squash is in noodle form, I like to separate them a bit and cut them down in size as they tend to be really long! Then, toss them with some olive oil and season them up and you’re ready to roast. I like to roast the noodles to really give them lots of flavor and the texture comes out perfect this way.

If you love butternut squash, and even if you don't (I don't), you’re going to love this (I did)!


Butternut Squash, top half only*

Coconut Oil Pan Spray (I use Trader Joe's brand)

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

4 Slices precooked Turkey Bacon, sliced crosswise into small strips

1 Onion, thinly sliced

3 Cloves Garlic, finely minced

¼ Cup Chicken Broth

2 Cups Fresh Spinach, roughly chopped

¼ Cup (2 oz.) Ricotta Cheese

2 wedges Laughing Cow Light

2 TBSP Plain, full fat or 2% fat, Greek yogurt

Freshly Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese, for serving


Preheat the oven to 400º.

1. Using a spiralizer shred the butternut squash into spaghetti noodles. 

2. Spray baking sheet with coconut baking spray. 

3. Evenly spread the noodles on the baking sheet and spray the noodles. Season with salt and pepper. 

4. Roast the butternut squash for 10-15 minutes, or until “al dente”.

5. Meanwhile, heat the bacon in a large skillet over medium high heat, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

6. Return the pan back to medium heat and add in the onion. Sauté the onion until lightly brown, about 2 minutes, then add in the garlic. Toss in the roasted butternut squash noodles.

7. Turn the heat down to low and add in the chicken broth, cheese wedges, Greek yogurt, and ricotta cheese. Stir well to melt the cheese and combine everything.

8. Add the spinach to the skillet until it wilts, and then remove from heat.

9. Add the chopped bacon and the “pasta” to skillet and toss with sauce. 

10. Place one fourth of the recipe on a plate (for a side serving) or half the recipe (for a main course), and top with a sprinkle of Romano cheese.

This recipe will serve 2 as a main course, or 4 as a side dish. You can toss some chicken into the dish, if you want to make a little more substantial. I found it very filling on it's own!

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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