Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pumpkin Shakeology Shake Recipes for Fall!

Try these on for size and your Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte addiction might become a thing of the past!

Pumpkin Pie Shakeology

1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology

1 cup rice, soy, almond (unsweetened), or low-fat milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin, unsweetened
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Ice (optional)

Fall Eggnog Shakeology

1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
1 cup low-fat eggnog
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 tsp. pumpkin spice
Ice to taste

Caramel Pumpkin Shakeology

1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup pumpkin
1 tsp caramel extract
1 tbsp natural peanut butter or almond butter
cinnamon to taste

Graham cracker and other toppings optional of course. :)

Pirate Pumpkin Grog Shakeology Recipe

Pin It!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

New Superfood Formula Shakeology vs. the "Old" Shakeology

My review of the new Chocolate Shakeology is long overdue! I had the privilege of having both the old formula and the new formula bags in the house at once, so I was able to compare them in "real time".

The Shakeology Taste Test


I prepared both samples in the same way - in the blender, using 1 cup of almond milk, and 1/2 cup of water, then ice to the desired texture, about 5 cubes.  I tasted one, drank some water, then tasted the other.


Sample 1 - Original Shakeology Formula:  The smell of the powder upon opening the bag is pleasant and chocolately.  The prepared sample texture is smooth and creamy, and very thick.  The taste is like a dark chocolate, rich and sweet with a distinct cocoa flavor.  No aftertaste or bitterness at all.

Sample 2 - The New Superfood Shakeology:  I did not detect the bad odor of the powder that some people have reported.  To me, it smelled like a cake or brownie mix - sweet and chocolately.  I found the texture of the prepared sample to be very similar to the original - thick and creamy, very smooth and pleasant.  The taste was sweet, chocolately, but not as strong of a chocolate flavor as the original, and it did have a bitterness that was not present in the original.  It didn't have a super strong aftertaste - just a slight bitter taste.


Both samples tasted good, but the clear "winner" as far as taste in my opinion is the old Shakeology formula. It had a richer taste and no aftertaste.  The new formula was very sweet but the sweetness was what some people are calling an "artificial" taste.  Of course, we know that there is nothing artificial in Shakeology (see the ingredients and details here) but the stevia leaf that is used to sweeten both formulas can make it taste that way, perhaps more so in the new Shakeology because of the other changes that were made to the formula.  For me, I am willing to work with the new formula and see what recipes I can come up with.  I did find that if I added 1-2 Tbsp of peanut or almond butter to the new formula it tasted almost exactly like the old formula made the same way - delish!  I have also heard others on my team recommend adding a bit of cocoa powder.  It seems as though people who were used to the old formula had the most difficulty enjoying the new formula, which tells me that it's likely that after a couple weeks with the new stuff that taste buds will adjust and it won't be that big of a difference.  I am willing to give it a try.  I know that Shakeology is one of the healthiest things I can put in my body, so I am committed to it either way.

Beachbody responded to concerns about the taste in a recent FAQ:

We have heard all the feedback from you on the aftertaste and are taking it to heart. We are looking at ways to optimize the formula to minimize the aftertaste. The amount of stevia is the same but with a LOT less fructose in the formula, the stevia bitter/metallic aftertaste seems to have become more prominent. Coconut flower nectar and luo han guo are whole foods that are naturally sweet and are not as overpowering as fructose, which is another reason why the stevia aftertaste seems to be coming out more than before. Again, we are looking at ways to optimize the formula to minimize the aftertaste.
There are no artificial sweeteners or chemicals in Shakeology.
Here are some things you can mix in to help minimize the aftertaste:
  • A dollop of vanilla yogurt or vanilla greek yogurt
  • A banana
  • ½ an avocado
  • More PB2 peanut butter powder
  • Switch from plain almond or rice milk to vanilla almond or rice milk
  • Try coconut water or coconut milk or vanilla coconut milk

What should I do if I can't get used to the new formula?

Luckily, if you absolutely cannot handle the new superfoods formula and want to try something else, you have options!  Shakeology comes with a 30 day bottom of the bag guarantee.  You can send back an EMPTY bag at the end of the month and get a full refund.  At that point, I would suggest trying a new flavor.  The Chocolate Vegan flavor is new, and it is fantastic!  It's not as thick as the regular Chocolate Shakeology but is very tasty.  To me it has more of a chocolate malt flavor, not as rich.  There is also Vegan Tropical Strawberry, which is really delicious - and may be my favorite flavor.  Lastly, there is Greenberry, a sweet berry flavor, which many people like (myself included), but many people find to be more of an acquired taste that requires a bit more experimentation.  I'd be happy to help you choose!  I have tried all of the flavors in many different ways so I can recommend something that will work for you.  As a reminder, always opt for the Home Direct option!  You will get free shipping, and the Home Direct (auto-ship) may be cancelled any time, via email or phone/  Free shipping - it's a no-brainer!

For more details about the changes made to Chocolate Shakeology, go here!

UPDATE!  The Shakeology Taste Panel

In September, Beachbody launched a top-secret Shakeology Taste Panel after receiving a hefty amount of feedback from customers with concerns about the flavor of the new formula.  As a result, we should see some changes coming soon!  I will keep you posted with any new developments.

Pin It!

Friday, August 3, 2012

New Chocolate Shakeology Formula - The Facts

Changes Made to Chocolate Shakeology

  • LESS FRUCTOSE - Yes, fructose is natural, but bottom line: it’s sugar.  We reduced the fructose and added the sweet Superfoods Coconut Flower Nectar and Luo Han Guo. 
  • MORE FIBER - Fiber increased from 3g to 6g due to the addition of pea protein.  More fiber is good news:  will help you feel full even longer, better for digestion and can also help with cholesterol
    •  Moringa is rich in Vitamin C, Calcium, Vitamin A, Protein, Potassium and Iron. Moringa has anti-inflammatory and anti bacterial properties and is known to promote energy, vitality, athletic performance, and weight loss while boosting the immune system, and protecting against disease. 
    • Coconut Flower Nectar and Luo Han Guo are superfoods that are naturally sweet and lend natural sweetness to Shakeology.  Coconut Flower Nectar is high in potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron and contains 17 amino acids plus is a natural source of B vitamins. 
    • Luo Han Guo has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for more than a millennium due to its antioxidant properties and immune-supporting benefits.  
    • Himalayan,salt is a healthy salt, containing more than 70 trace minerals
  • More concentrated grasses. We’re using grass juice powders. The grasses are first pressed into juices—which allows us to concentrate the nutrients more—then the juice is dried down to a powder. 
  • Better strain of probiotics
  • No suma root or blue green algae

Pin It!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Pre-Workout Booster! Energy and Endurance™ Pre-Workout Formula

Need some quick energy to get your through your workouts?  Energy & Endurance Formula (known as E&E) will give you the stamina you need to power through your workouts, with the added bonus of burning MORE calories while you do it!

Product Description:
Improve your energy, endurance, strength, and focus with this NEW pre-workout drink. Its proprietary blend of advanced nitric oxide boosters, amino acids, natural energizers, electrolytes, and essential B vitamins can help you power through and maximize your workouts.*

Fuel up your workouts for faster results!
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.*
E&E Energy and Endurance will help you:*
  • Burn more calories and fat to get ripped faster.
  • Maximize muscle performance to build muscle faster.
E&E Energy and Endurance 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.
Get the most from your workout. Mix E&E Energy and Endurance 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.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Pin It!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Why am I not losing weight?

So you've worked out faithfully for weeks, counted calories but are making sure to eat enough healthy foods, and are getting lots of sleep.  You step on the scale hoping for the ultimate validation - maybe a few pounds in exchange for your sweat and toil.  But no!  Not only are you not losing weight, but you may even be UP a few pounds!  Is this normal?   Are you doing something wrong?  Read on - our favorite fitness instructor, Chalene Johnson, has some words of wisdom from her blog:  
Probably the most common question I get when I release a new exercise program is, “Help! I’m gaining weight! Am I doing something wrong?” This is a common phenomenon with any new exercise program, Turbo Kick, Turbo Jam, Hip Hop Hustle, you name it! It’s especially common (and temporary) with intense strength training programs like ChaLEAN Extreme or Tony Horton’s P90X.
The motivation to start a new exercise program is almost always to lose weight. However, what most personal trainers know and most at-home exercisers do not, is that a new exercise program often can cause an immediate (and temporary) increase on the scale. (Notice I didn’t say weight gain! I’ll explain.) This common increase in the scale is also the reason why perhaps millions of people start and then quickly quit their resolution to get fit.
The temporary weight gain explained:
When someone starts a new exercise program, they often experience muscle soreness. The more intense and “unfamiliar” the program, the more intense the muscle soreness. This soreness is most prevalent 24 to 48 hours after each workout. In the first few weeks of a new program, soreness is the body trying to
“protect and defend” the effected or targeted tissue. Exercise physiologists refer to this as delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS.
This type of soreness is thought to be caused by tissue breakdown or microscopic tears in muscle tissue. When this happens the body protects the tissue. The muscle becomes inflamed and slightly swollen with fluid retention. This temporary retention of fluid can result in a 3- to 4-pound weight gain within a few weeks of a new program. Keep in mind that muscle soreness is not necessarily a reflection of how hard you worked. In fact, some people feel no signs of muscle soreness, yet will experience the muscle protection mechanisms of water retention and slight swelling.
Most people are motivated enough to put up with this temporary muscle soreness. Yet, many, especially those who really need immediate weight loss to keep them motivated in those first couple of weeks become discouraged and quit!
When I worked with a group of 70 test participants during the development stages of ChaLEAN Extreme, this happened. Who was the most upset and discouraged? You guessed it… the women! I’m happy to report absolutely for every single woman (and man) in our group, the weight increase was temporary and never lasted more than 2 weeks before they started to see a major drop in the scale. However, these people had the advantage of working with someone who was able to explain to them why this was happening and assure them the weight would come off if they stuck to the nutrition plan and stayed true to the program.
For those of you who are following the ChaLEAN Extreme phase plan, keep in mind that when you start each phase, your body will be “in shock” again. Don’t be surprised or discouraged if you experience a temporary gain on the scale the first week of each phase.
My own personal example of this is running 10K’s. I don’t do it very often, maybe 1 or 2x a year. Even though I run on a regular basis, when you run a race you push much harder. It’s natural for me to be “insanely” sore the next day. It’s also very common for me to see the scale jump 4 pounds the next day from forcing fluids post race and the resulting DOMS. Even though I know the cause of it, it’s still a bummer. We’re all human and hard work should mean “results”. Hard work equals results, but our bodies are amazing machines and they know how to protect us from hurting ourselves. Soreness forces you to give those muscles a break :) Ultimately you will lose the weight and you will change your metabolism in the process.
The key is understanding that this is a normal and temporary and stick with the program!!

When to be concerned: 

If you experience a significant weight gain (exceeding 5 pounds) which does not begin to decrease rapidly after the second week, guess what it is??? I’ll give you one hint… you put it in your mouth and chew it. You know it! You’re food (or calorie laden beverages). Newsflash friends.. exercise doesn’t make you gain weight. Consuming more food than you burn makes you gain weight!
So if after two weeks you are not losing weight, have gained weight that’s not coming off, it’s time to take a close and honest look at your food intake. It’s time to find out what you’re burning in calories each day. Have your RMR or BMR tested. This can be done for less than $50 and the information is invaluable. It takes out the guess work. Google “hydrostatic body fat testing _______ ” and insert the name of the big city you’re closest too. Companies that do HBFT also do BMR testing. Knowledge is king.
I’m gaining weight, but I’m sure it’s muscle:
Possibly, but if you’re following ChaLEAN Extreme correctly, you should be losing fat and gaining muscle and the fat loss should be much more substantial than the rate at which you can physically put on muscle. This is even true for the guys.
Of the 70 plus people in my test group, every single one of them lost body fat and gained muscle and not one of them gained weight. I believe the average weight loss after 4 months was 28 pounds with many people losing 40 plus pounds. Even the men, who as you can see put on a lot of muscle, were seeing huge drops in the scale. We tested their muscle composition at the beginning and at the end and 100% of the participants maintained or gained muscle while achieving substantial weight loss. That’s the key to keeping weight off long term, i.e. muscle. Muscle burns fat. But you’ve heard me say that before.
Moral of the story: 
Be patient young grass hopper. You’ll be lean and mean in no time!

Pin It!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fun workout tank tops (and more) made out of T-shirts!

Everyone has a stack of old T-shirts that are too small or too boxy and unflattering.  Instead of sleeping in them or banishing them to wearing while doing yard work, why not make them into something cute and fun and USEFUL!  Here are some fantastic ideas!

First, the shirts!
LOVE this!  Much better than a bulky tee for working out!  Tutorial.

Cute variation on the racerback tank - tutorial here.

Love this one too!  Here's the tutorial.

And here we have some other fun ideas for T-shirt crafts!

Funky necklaces - what a great idea!  Tutorial here!

A tote bag!  Fun for the beach.  Tutorial here
Capes for the kids - genius!  Tutorial here.

Have fun crafting!!!

Pin It!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

How to break through a weight loss plateau

Weight loss plateaus.  We've pretty much all experienced them and they can be extremely frustrating!  You can be losing weight at a steady pace, and then all of a sudden it will stop for no apparent reason.  Luckily, there are some changes you can make that will make a big difference!  These are just things that have worked for me and my team mates.  I do not claim to be a nutritionist and of course one size does not fit all!  But hopefully these will help move you in the right direction.  Here are my top 3:

1.  Avoid processed foods

By "eating clean", you are taking control!  You will consume far less fat, sugar, and salt (and chemicals!) by making things from scratch.  You generally want to avoid box mixes, canned items (except veggies and some soups), most chips and crackers, cakes and cookies, and frozen dinners.  Reshape your thinking about food and keep it simple!  It's easy to create meals from scratch that contain loads of fresh ingredients. is a fantastic source of healthy recipes, and the site is broken down into categories so you can search for recipes that fit your needs (gluten free, vegan, etc.).  If you choose to buy canned items, check for those that have ingredients listed that you can understand - the fewer the better!  Canned and frozen veggies (without sauce) are great to keep  on hand when you don't have fresh.  Focus your shopping on the outer perimeter of the store, and venture inside for a few select items such as canned veggies and beans.

2. Control the carbs

As we know, not all carbs are created equal.  One way to ramp up your progress is to focus on non-processed sources.  Some examples of these healthy carbs would be corn, beans, oats/oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes, and breads and crackers that are primarily whole grain.  Crackers like Wasa, Triscuit, and Wheat Thins are good choices.  For bread, Ezekiel is about as close as you can get to a "clean" bread, as most store bought breads contain a lot of artificial ingredients and high fructose corn syrup.  As a general rule, you want to look for a bread that has whole grain or whole wheat listed as the first ingredient, and has a high fiber content with a low sugar content.  This also applies to cereal.  Grains like farina (Cream of Wheat, Coco Wheats) and oatmeal are excellent choices, and cereals such as Special K, Fiber One, Kashi Go Lean, shredded wheat, and All Bran are lower in sugar and contain healthy complex carbs.  Just remember to stay within the suggested serving, usually one cup.

No-carb dinners

Eliminating carbs after a certain time of day can be very beneficial if you are trying to lose weight.  Some people choose to eliminate them after lunch, some after 3pm, and some stick to no-carb dinners only.  The reasoning behind this is that your body is continuing to burn calories even while you sleep, and it will use all of your carbohydrate sources first.  By eliminating carbs in the afternoon or evening, you are making your body consume fat instead.  On a related note, alcohol should be eliminated or avoided most of the time as well, as it is a simple carb. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, a Harvard educated doctor currently working at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, the acetate from alcohol metabolism is the first fuel to burn for energy. During this time, the body will burn very little of any other form of energy such as the fatty acids stored up in adipose tissue, postponing the act of weight loss. A study published in "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" found that the metabolism of alcohol decreased whole body lipid oxidation by 73 percent. Read more:

3.  Limit certain dairy products

Milk and cheese should be used sparingly, as they are generally higher fat foods.  Skim milk, although fat free, contains approximately 15g of sugar per cup.  A better choice would be almond milk (a favorite in my Shakeology!), as long as it is unsweetened.  Cottage cheese is also a good choice, as it is low in fat and contains a specific type of protein that has been shown to increase muscle mass more than other sources.  Greek yogurt is fantastic, and packed with protein and very little sugar, as long as you buy the plain variety.  It can be sweetened with Stevia or fresh fruit, or even sugar free preserves.  Milk products do contain calcium and vitamin D, both of which as essential parts of our diets, but both can be consumed through other foods and/or vitamin supplements.  More info about calcium and vitamin D can be found here.

Please note...

I know that these strategies are not for everyone.  If you're not ready to take the plunge, you can try taking baby steps.  Some ideas:  
  • replace your milk with almond milk
  • try to eat no-carb with all after dinner snacks
  • limit alcohol to once a week, 
  • replace white rice with brown rice, or white potatoes with sweet potatoes
  • try 1 or 2 meals per week with no carbs
  • replace your regular snack crackers with those listed above
  • limit your carb intake to one serving per meal (usually one cup)
Any step toward clean eating is a good one!  Remember...

Pin It!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Spotlight on Breakfast

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.  After 7-8 hours of no nourishment, your body needs fuel to get the day going!  You may think that you can save a few minutes in the morning by skipping breakfast but don't be tempted!  You'll be more efficient in all of your activities if you eat a healthy meal first, and skipping breakfast can actually be detrimental to weight loss.  People who don't eat breakfast are far more likely to indulge in not-so-healthy snacks and may also overeat at their next meal.  So jump start your metabolism with these power-packed breakfast ideas!
Here's an easy way to create a balanced breakfast.  Simply choose a protein from the list below, then pair it with another choice or two from the next list.  The amount/number of each item will vary depending on your caloric needs.

Protein Power!

  • eggs (cooked with cooking spray or a small amount of butter) - a combo of whole eggs and egg whites will give you a balance of nutrients, protein, and a little fat.
  • meat - try to stick with naturally lower fat meats like chicken or turkey or lean beef.  They come in sausage patties or links, or you can have diced in an omelet, etc.
  • veggie burgers or veggie sausages - generally made with beans and/or soy
  • natural peanut butter - watch the servings on this because it's not much.  Naturally More is a great choice because it has extra protein and includes flax.
  • nuts - walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts (no, I did not say Nutella!), and pistachios are all packed with nutrients
  • powdered egg whites - If you can't stomach eggs, these can be added to oatmeal for extra protein.  Quaker Weight Control Oatmeal has protein already added and tastes great!
  • whey protein powder - add to smoothies (more about these later), or drink with just water or almond milk.
  • Greek yogurt - try to find one low in sugar, which excludes most of the flavored varieties.  Flavor yours with fresh fruit and stevia instead.
  • Shakeology - packed with nutrients and easily replacing a daily multivitamin, this is a great choice for breakfast - and it's fast and delicious!

Add Some Good Carbs

  • oatmeal
  • Special K cereal - 1 cup is a serving!
  • farina - Cream of Wheat, Coco Wheats, etc.
  • sweet potatoes - yes, even for breakfast!
  • natural granola - look for one low in sugar
  • fruit - breakfast is a good time to eat higher carb fruits such as  banana, plum, pear, kiwifruit, pineapple, mango, grape, and figs.  One serving is 1/2 cup or once small piece of whole fruit.
  • whole grain toast, english muffins, etc.- look for those low in sugar and high in fiber
  • vegetables - Load up on the veggies - they contain fiber that will fill you up, and they are very low in calories.  They are also of course very nutrient dense!  Add them to omelets, smoothies, or eat raw.

Breakfast Dos and Don'ts

  • Hold the sugar!  Donuts and breakfast pastries are out.  They will only cause your blood sugar to spike, and will not give you any sustained energy.
  • Be conscious of your dairy choices.  Milk, even skim, contains more sugar than you may want to consume if you are looking to lose weight.  Almond milk is a great substitute.
  • Use cheese sparingly. Loading your omelet up with cheese is going to also load it up with extra fat.  1/4 cup is one serving.
  • Coffee has some health benefits and can give you a needed boost, but what you put IN your coffee can add unnecessary sugar and fat to your breakfast.  Try to use stevia as a sweetener and use dairy sparingly.  Those who are eating clean will also want to avoid the "chemical cocktail" that is artificial coffee creamer.  Green tea is a great substitute for coffee, and has been shown to increase your metabolism as well.
  • Beware the smoothie!  Filling your blender to the brim with fruit and juice and yogurt may seem like a great idea, but it can pack a calorie punch!  Use plain Greek yogurt, almond milk, and small amounts of juice with your fruit to keep the sugar content in check.  Smoothies can be sweetened with stevia as well.  Adding Greek yogurt or protein powder to your smoothie (or eating some protein along with it) will slow down the absorption of the sugar from the fruit as well.  Unless you have checked the nutritional info beforehand, store bought smoothies are generally not a great idea. For example, Jamba Juice’s Peanut Butter Moo’d Power Smoothie packs nearly 1200 calories in one 30 oz serving. Moo indeed!

Pin It!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Join Our Free Fitness Group!

We'd love to have you in our Facebook fitness group!  I will be your personal coach throughout your journey, and there is never any charge for this.  Just lots of fun, motivation, recipes, and accountability.  Take the first step in committing to a healthier lifestyle, and join a group of us with those same goals in mind.  Can't wait to chat with you!
All you need to do to get started is get your FREE Team Beachbody account.  Once I see you on my roster I will add you to our private group and send you a message via Facebook (and please feel free to message me anytime), so check your Messages and your "Other" folder so you don't miss it.  Click the pic below to get started!

Pin It!

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Bluehost Review