Tagged: lifestyle change

Zucchini Bread Recipe

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Good afternoon, this has been a childhood favorite of mine for years. Smelling this bread cooking takes me right back to the kitchen I grew up in. I remember coming in out of the fields and sitting down on my bar stool at the island waiting for my mom to take this bread out of the oven.

Below you can find the original recipe and if you want to make it healthier I will give suggestions next to the ingredients. I always make this bread in small mini loaf pans because my husband and kids like to eat it for breakfast, snacks, it makes it easier to grab and go. It may not be the healthiest recipe but when I bake I always use the everything in moderation rule. I’ll only eat one mini-loaf at breakfast in place of my Ezekiel bread.

Zucchini Bread: 

1 1/2 cup flour (wheat flour)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1 cup sugar (brown sugar)

1 1/2 cup shredded zucchini

1 egg

1/4 cup oil (applesauce)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or almonds

*(healthy substitutes) 

  • Mix first 6 ingredients together
  • In a mixing bowl beat sugar, zucchini, egg and add oil
  • Stir flour mixture into zucchini mixture and fold in nuts
  • Bake at 350 for 1 hr (mini-loaf pans, require less time and you will need to check every 10-15 minutes, they don’t take a full hr to cook)
  • grease pan and cook until a tooth pick comes out clean

 

Enjoy and Blessings,

Michelle

 

 

 

The Day You Stop Letting the Scale Determine How You Feel About Yourself

IMG_4776You prep, food log, you are simply killing it at the gym, and pack enough water for a cross country hike in your book bag. Then there is that day you get on that scale. Thinking this has all paid off right? If I follow this plan I’m going to have these results, exactly when I want…

A feeling in your stomach makes you feel like your stomach is dropping to the bottom. Leaving you feel defeated, unloveable, not good enough, and you allow yourself to jump back in the cycle of feeling like you have failed yourself once again.

You order dessert, you give up, and the cycle begins again. I’ll start again Monday and then it is I’ll start again the following Monday.

Have you been there? I have. Let me tell you loosing weight it’s not easy. It’s downright frustrating and if you are like me when you don’t see the results right away you think to yourself why even bother?

I’m here to tell you today that the cycle in your mind, in order for you to reach your goals and be successful in forming a positive body image, you need a big old pair of courage pliers to cut some hefty chains. You have to break chains in order to have a positive body image.

Working with women as a personal trainer over the last several years has opened my eyes to what we as women face. A viscous cycle of trying to love on our bodies and not let a number on a scale or pants size determine our value.

Women who have been through eating disorders, heart ache, faced awful circumstances who know they somehow just want to feel better about themselves.

Feeling better about yourself doesn’t start with a number on a scale and today I simply want to share with you a few ways you can begin to break this cycle and how I am constantly working with my clients to value the uniqueness in how they have been intricately created.

  1. Throw out your scale. Yep. You heard me. Throw it out. Don’t weight yourself anymore. Identify with how your clothes fit. If you are working out consistently and hitting the weights you will start to notice your pants feeling looser and areas that are becoming more defined and that is more important than the number reflected on a scale.
  2. Learn to eat in moderation. A cookie isn’t going to completely throw off your health game. However 4-10 cookies might. Learn to a live a fit life. Eating healthy most of the time and allowing yourself to enjoy the simple pleasures of life once in a while.
  3. Find an accountability partner that builds you up and tells you that you’re worth it. That the hours at the gym, time spent meal prepping and grocery shopping will improve your lifestyle. Leaving you feeling like you have more energy, which leads to building confidence, taking ownership of your health journey, which in turn will help you begin to form a positive body image.
  4. Be ok with knowing this process is one that takes a long time. Change is overwhelming and it’s ok to hit road blocks. If you fail and learn from your mistakes you will come out stronger in the end.
  5. If you get a bit off track, don’t make yourself feel guilty. You aren’t going to lose your gains in the blink of an eye. Jump right back on the workout wagon and don’t beat yourself up.
  6. Workout to feel good not to punish yourself for what you ate. We all need carbs to fuel our bodies and movement to help set off endorphins that make us feel good!
  7. Love where you are at. Know that forming a healthy lifestyle like anything else in life takes time, effort and enjoy the process.
  8. When a negative thought comes to mind, replace it with a positive thought. You are beautiful, you are worthy, and you can overcome!

Learn to love the process and know that results take time and a lot of beauty comes out of being content with right where you are at. Let’s break the cycle, let’s toss the scales and commit to loving the process and move toward a fit body, mind and soul.

Blessings, Michelle

 

 

 

Four Ways to Stay Motivated All Year Long

Greetings Live Fit!

It’s February  and I’m sure you have seen countless buzz words floating around the internet since the first of the year highlighting “new years resolutions.” I feel like everywhere I turn from my inbox to the television that I hear the New Year, New You push.

I love the buzz, the energy, the gym being packed and people are aiming to live a more fit and healthy lifestyle.

As I work with personal training clients, teach group fitness classes and motivate myself to stick to my own personal workout plan I continually ask myself how can I encourage and motivate people all year long?

Personal Trainer Michelle shares about Four Ways to Stay Motivated All year long

Personal Trainer Michelle shares about Four Ways to Stay Motivated All year long

Below are four tips that I came up with to help you Stay motivated all year long:

1. Believe in yourself. Have confidence that you can do anything you put your mind to. That confidence brings a positive energy that will keep you from negative feelings about your workout that may un-motivate you to stick to the new excitement you first felt when you were beginning to feel good about consistency and striving to live a fit and healthy lifestyle.

2. Love what you do. This is going to look different for every single person. In this day and age there are so many options when it comes to working out. Maybe you just want a personal trainer to do the work for you and prepare your workouts, maybe you like doing dvd’s in the comfort of your home, or holding poses longer in Yoga. Try a little bit of everything(for some people variety is what they like!) and narrow down the one thing that absolutely makes you feel like you want to keep coming back for that endorphin rush.

3. Find the accountability of a partner. That person who meets you at the gym at 5am is pretty special. You aren’t going to want to let your partner down and this is a way to motivate you to get to your workout and have someone to share in the journey right alongside you. You can text and encourage each other every step of the way.

4. Set realistic short-term goals. Think of one extremely big long-term goal. (write it down on a notecard RIGHT THIS SECOND and put it up on your computer screen or a place you will see it often). Now each month of the year set two very realistic short-term goals that will help you move closer to you long term goal. By Making small changes each month of the year you will begin to see improvements and this will give you the confidence to keep that healthy energy and motivation all year long.

What motivates you? How can you keep that motivation all year long?

 

Make 2015 the year you said “I Did.” instead of “I should”

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Blessings, Michelle

If you are in need of an accountability partner or unsure where to start on your health and wellness journey please don’t hesitate to contact me below:

 

Cook With Michelle Thursday: Homemade Wedding Soup

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Good MORNING!

It is blustering cold here. My oldest has a snow day and I want to stay wrapped up in my bathrobe and drink coffee all day. I have wedding soup cooking on the stove and the house smells immaculate as the wind gusts bang against our windows and the girls clang around in pretend high heels and frozen dresses.

As a new season of resolutions and goals begins, my husband and I have really made a commitment to cut out snacking and eating out in the New Year.

Evening snacks are our nemesis. We used to be in a very good grove when it came to preparing a meal plan, eating clean, not snacking past 8pm and limiting our eating out as a family to one time per month.

But, life happens. Right. It throws you for a loop and some of our good eating habits sustained through a difficult season while some of the negative ones returned.

You learn from setbacks and mistakes and use them as knowledge to become better.

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Soups are great to freeze for future lunches

One thing I love to do is prepare meals for lunches and freeze them. Easy and quick to grab when you are in a rush and this also prevents my husband from buying his lunch. I feel the winter can be a hard time to fit your daily serving of vegetables and soups are a great way to get those servings of vegetables in.

Here is my homemade wedding soup recipe:

Ingredients:
1 bag of celery
1 bag of carrotts
1 full chicken
1 3lb can of chicken broth
meatballs (you can make your own or buy tiny meatballs) I cheat sometimes and buy a frozen pre-made bag at a little mom and pop Italian Store in town
escarole (we buy it frozen at the Italian Foods store)
Romano cheese (I also buy this at the local Italian store, can you see the trend that we love Dioguardi’s)
salt
pepper
Acini De Pepe 1lb

Cooking Directions:
I created some of my own chicken broth by boiling the entire chicken in water; enough to cover it a few inches. I cooked on medium to low for 2-3 hours. I removed the chicken (carefully) and let it cool. I bought a Ninja last year at target and am in love with how it dices the vegetables for soups and salads and it is a huge time saver. I placed the carrots and celery in the ninja one at a time and diced them up. I ladled out any remaining chicken and made sure the broth was ready for cooking. I added the 3lb can of broth and diced veggies. Once the chicken was cool I shredded it and added it back to the pot of soup. Add meatballs, Romano cheese, salt, pepper (to taste), and escarole.

Cook the carrots and celery until soft. Boil the pound of pasta separately and strain. Add to soup once cooked and ready.

Enjoy, What’s your favorite winter soup? Hope you will enjoy this Wedding Soup recipe and that it keeps you warm on this cold winters day!

Fitness Tip: 1 cup of escarole is rich in fiber, vitamins K, A, and C. It can help aid in prevention of osteoporosis and hypertension. Dark leafy green vegetables like escarole may produce healthy eye health and prevent development of cancers.

Blessings, Michelle

 

 

Homemade Wedding Soup

Homemade Wedding Soup

 

Nutrition Tip Tuesday: Eating Smart this Holiday Season

Welcome to Nutrition Tip Tuesday in the Live Fit Community. What is it about the holidays that sends my appetite desiring more. Maybe it’s because so much time during the holiday season is centered around food and celebration. I personally feel when I am more active in the summer months and on the go I’m not reaching for that midnight snack that I often reach for in the winter.

Over the years I have developed a little bit of a strategy to propel me through the holidays and winter months and it’s about this time each year that I start to implement it again, when I am feeling like that 10pm snack is sounding pretty stinking good. 

Here are a few simple steps that help me eat smart during the holidays.  These tips allow me to celebrate our savior being born, enjoy family, delicious food, and not focus on what I shouldn’t have ate at holiday meals.  

Tip 1: This visual aid is a great reminder of how to eat smart this holiday season. You can create one on your own with using a plate/paper plate and a dry erase marker. 1/2 of your plate should consist of fruit and vegetables. 1/4 meat or protein and 1/4 starch or whole grain. Often times at meals we end up filling 1/2 our plate with starch and 1/2 the plate with protein.

Healthy Portions Visual

Healthy Portion’s Visual

 

Tip 2: Avoid eating two hours after dinner and two hours before bedtime. This can help with unnecessary cravings. I have really noticed over time I don’t have them anymore after consistently giving up eating after dinner for 2 weeks.

Tip 3: Eat to nourish your body. If you are feeling like you want to fill your plate for seconds drink an 80z glass of water and see if you still feel hungry after. If there are appetizers, holiday drinks, and dessert consider these calories before grabbing a second plate. I am a big believer in eating in moderation. I love dessert so I will cut back on appetizers and bread with my meal.

Tip 4: With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season don’t forget to eat breakfast, it helps start your metabolism and try to eat it within one hour of getting up each day. Plan your meals I talk about my meal rotation plan: here:https://livefitwomensfitness.com/2014/04/04/egg-steak-and-rice-stir-fry-cook-with-michelle-thursday/ This will help when you are busy and on the go (having healthy snacks to keep on hand (nuts, granola, smoothies, veggie trays). These healthy snacks preventing you from reaching for that (bag of chips or crackers). They prevent unneeded stops in which you may be hungry which could cause overeating, picking up things that are unnecessary and fast food trips.

Below is a picture of a really quick meal I made. My husband is remodeling our kitchen and I honestly wanted to eat a burger and fries. It’s so chaotic in our kitchen area currently, some days it’s so hard to cook. Instead of heading out to grab fast food I made homemade burgers on the stove grilled in a little bit of evoo. I have a half open sandwich since we were eating homemade fries. For the fries I grabbed two big Idaho potatoes and cut them small drizzling a small amount evoo, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, a sprinkle of seasoning salt and pepper to taste. I baked them in the oven until crispy at 375 stirring them every few minutes so they wouldn’t burn. Fruit isn’t pictured here but generally I prepare it for our family to eat throughout the day breakfast, lunch, and snacks.

Quick Meal

Quick Meal

Live Fit how do you eat smart during the holidays? Please share your comments and healthy quick recipes with us below in the comments. 

I hope you find this information helpful and are able to apply it to your life as you enjoy this holiday season.

Blessings, Michelle 

The Fitness Professional’s Manual Third Edition by National Exercise Trainers Association; was referenced when writing this post. 

 

Week 4: Keeping it Simple in 2014 fitness challenge

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We have met the homestretch of this challenge! This is the final week and I am feeling so encouraged by this memory verse from the Good Morning Girls:Intentionally Focused online bible study that I have decided to use it for this week’s memory verse.

Do you have an accountability partner? Someone that you can share your goals with? Someone that will cheer you on and tell you the tough stuff when you need to hear it?

Two are totally better then one in every walk of life and especially on our health journey!

Now that you have accomplished these two short term goals. Examine what you want to do next! Maybe it’s going to remain the same or maybe you are ready to tackle something bigger! We are all different. Long term goals provide you with a bigger picture and represent what is important to you in accomplishing on your health journey. They provide direction in your exercise program and reflect what you want.

Don’t forget these two closing thoughts. Stay positive! If you feel like you failed start fresh, right know! Keep a journal, it will help you become aware of unhealthy behaviors, why you do them and the consequences they have on your health.

Good Luck, thank you for joining this challenge it has really helped me learn a lot about the season of life I am in and how to adapt fitness into each new phase of life. The Sky is the limit! #livefitin2014

Blessings, Michelle

Week 3: keeping it simple in 2014 fitness challenge

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Bad habits die hard. It takes time, patience, endurance and perseverance. Be patient with yourself. Two weeks in, the end is in sight. Keep your eyes on those two short-term goals. Great work! #livefitin2014

(Don’t forget to jot this memory verse down and your short term goals and place them where they are visible to you)

Blessings, Michelle