Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Currency of Calories

One of my biggest AH HA moments in my transformation was the concept of weekly calories and budgeting. The fact that a less than stellar day nutritionally could still be saved by a forward week if you made up for it before or after; you budget for it. A calorie currency if you will.


If calories were currency, then fat is a debt. You have to save calories to pay off your debt. You can only save so much money, just like you can only limit the number of calories you eat by so much. There is a sweet spot. Ideally your spot is one where you have small indulgences which allow you to not feel deprived, but not so much restriction that you go hog wild one day.


So if every weekend, you are going out and spending all your currency do not be surprised when all your debt is back on Monday. It can be a vicious cycle. Spending all week to save from the previous weekend, then doing it again in a week or two. You cannot get anywhere if you constantly save, save then spend, spend.  It is like digging a hole during the week, and filling it back up with dirt every weekend. Sounds crazy, huh?


A moderate but aggressive pace is ideal. Fast enough to see progress, but slow enough to enjoy some indulgences so you are not feeling deprived. There is a happy place.


What works best for me during a calorie deficit run is to take one maintenance day per week for sanity. I eat a bit more overall, and eat a couple of things that I normally do not have a budget for during deficit days. Some of my favorites are cake, wine, and chocolate.  Are those ideal foods? No. Can they be enjoyed moderately? Yes. There really are no good or bad foods, just ones that make you feel best.


Perfection is the enemy of good. Allowing these treats prevents bigger calorie spending days that I cannot overcome in a week.  Sit down and make yourself a calorie budget, today. Try to set social events on maintenance days so that you have some room to play. With the right mindset, you can make it happen.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Jenny's Broccoli Slaw Spaghetti


This is the last in the creative uses of broccoli slaw series from Coach Jenny. We have already done recipes for Beefy Tex Mex Broccoli Slaw and  Asian Broccoli Slaw Stir Fry, so check those out if you have not! Who knew you could make so many different varieties with some broccoli slaw and ground beef?! And they are all tasty and very volumous too!

Jenny's Broccoli Slaw Spaghetti

Serves one

The Stuff-

  • 1/2 Bag of Broccoli Slaw
  • 3 oz ground beef (or ground turkey)
  • 3/4 cup of Prego Heart Smart Mushroom (could use any you like)
  • ¼ cup mozzarella cheese (part skim milk)

What you do-

 Brown the groud beef and throw in whatever spices you like (I do Italian Seasoning, garlic and onion powder). Once that's cooked dump in the sauce and let that heat up and get bubbly.

At this point you can transfer the beefy sauce to a bowl and sautee your broccoli slaw. Or you can 
also throw the bag of broccoli slaw into the microwave for about 3 minutes- it didn't say steam in the bag, so I poked a fork in it a couple of times.
Then mix your beefy sauce and the cooked broccoli slaw. Top with cheese and enjoy!
(I doubled the recipe in the pics below to make enough for my lunch the next day :) I also added an onion to mine!)

 Nutrition Stats

(per serving)
  • 50 cals - I used half the bag of broccoli slaw
  • 140 cals - 3 oz ground beef
  • 105 cals - about 3/4 cup sauce
  • 80 cals – ¼ cup mozzarella cheese
  • 375 cals TOTAL

  • 27 g carbs
  • 10 g fat
  • 32 g protein


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Crockpot Shredded Pork with Pineapple Coleslaw

Another recipe that stemmed from my husband's recent paleo kick. But of course I change a few things up (which sometimes means the recipe is not 100% paleo) to suit my lower calorie needs.

This one is excellent as well, the whole fam loves it. Actually my 8 YO daughter said that it was the best pork I have ever made!

Thought I would share a pic of my home gym these days.

I have more than you could want / need for the Venus Index workouts, the only system that I train with. All I really need for Venus is the bench, the ab wheel, and the adjustable BowFlex dumbbells.

The power rack is helpful because I can do pullups in several grip variations (the bands help assist) across the top piece. On the backside is a captains chair / dip station. And on the right side there is a cable system for Adonis Golden Ratio training (men's training program which also created Venus) like pulldowns and low rows to name a few. The power rack also has an adjustable front peg system for a squat rack to bench press rack.

(My husband is a BeachBody coach, he tagged the power rack, SMH! So ignore that! I apparently need to get a Venus Index vinyl done ASAP!)

Crockpot Shredded Chipotle Pork with Pineapple Coleslaw

(recipe adapted from Primally Inspired)

Makes 4 hearty servings



For the Shredded Pork
  • pork loin about 2 lbs
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder (more if you like it spicy!)
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon all natural liquid smoke (optional)
For the pineapple coleslaw:
  • 4 cups coleslaw (approximately ½ head green cabbage, ½ head red cabbage, 2 carrots – all shredded or 1 bag)
  • ½ cup plain fat free Greek yogurt (I used Fage)
  • 1 ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple
Optional serving toppings: avocado slices, freshly torn cilantro, bbq sauce

What you do:

     For the shredded pork:
  1. Place all of the ingredients in the slow cooker, pork first.
  2. Give it a stir, cover the crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours.
  3. When it's finished cooking, take the pork out of the slow cooker and shred it. Feel free to add in ¼ – ½ cup of some of the slow cooker juice if you like a juicier shredded pork.
  4. Serve with the pineapple coleslaw and any optional toppings. Enjoy!
For the pineapple coleslaw:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir.

 Nutrition Stats

Per 8 oz serving of shredded pork and 1 cup coleslaw
  • Cals 291
  • Fat 4g
  • Carbs 14g
  • Protein 48g

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Texas Oven Brisket


Growing up in the Texas Panhandle, my family lived on a ranch and we loved our meat. My grandpa has always smoked brisket for get togethers (we have a huge family) and his was the best around. My uncle makes the best BBQ sauce to go with it, just so you know ;) but his recipe is top secret.

I know what great smoked brisket IS and what it SHOULD taste like. But I do not have a smoker, and now my grandparents live 6 hours away. So I have been fiddling with perfecting an oven roasted brisket that was almost as good as my Gramps makes.... it will never be his. Food made by someone else, with their love, ALWAYS tastes better!!!

Brisket with the fat trimmed off is low in calories and high in protein. And tasty too!

I usually pick up my brisket flat at Sam's Club, the whole packet cut is too much for our family to eat! And I use a store bought marinade, just easier ;)


Texas Oven Brisket

The Stuff

Marinade option 1 (Store bought. This stuff is fantastic- so is their fajita marinade!)

  • 1/2 Bottle of Claude's Barbeque Brisket Marinade (I get mine HERE)

Marinade Option 2, mix the following together  (make your own, adapted from The Maine House)
  • 2 t. meat tenderizer
  • 1 (4- ounce bottle) of Liquid Smoke
  • 1 t. celery salt
  • 1 t. paprika
  • 1/4 t. nutmeg
  • 1/4 t. onion salt
  • 1 T. Brown Sugar

  • 4-5 lbs brisket flat

What you do
Place your brisket in a roasting pan and cover with marinade of choice, seal it with foil or a lid. Allow it to marinate over night.

Place the brisket in a preheated 300 F oven for 2 hours with the undrained pan tightly covered in foil.
Loosen the foil a bit, and put it back in a 200F degree oven for 5 more hours.

Allow the meat to rest for 30 minutes at room temp. Drain the juices and place meat on a cutting board. Cut against the grain in thin slices. Enjoy!





Nutritional Stats

Per 4 oz serving

  • Cals - 175
  • Carbs- 0 g
  • Fat- 8 g
  • Protein- 23g

Friday, June 20, 2014

How to Not Blow it on Vacation

I just returned this week from a 1000 mile 5 day journey across the great state of Texas to see family.
When I left I was 8 weeks out from my next shoot, so I could not blow it!  Here is my plan and advice to anyone else traveling over the summer:

Continue reading the article over at HERE

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Mango Chicken Avocado Cups


So my hubs has been on a paleo kick lately out of the blue and this recipe came from a place to serve his needs and my own lower calorie ones at the same time...

It was a hit with the whole family, so much so that I made it twice within a week. Which is unheard of around our place!


Mango Chicken Avocado Cups

(adapted from this recipe at The Paleo Mom blog)

Serves 4

The Stuff:

Crockpot shredded chicken
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts or approx 1 lbs (or 1 pound leftover chicken, shredded)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, pressed or diced finely
  • 1 orange, halved and juiced
  • 1 lemon, halved and juiced
  • 1/2 tsp oregano, dried
  • 1/2 tsp
Mango salsa
  • 1 mango, diced into bite size pieces
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Avocado cups
  • 2 avocados, halved and pitted
What you do:
In a small bowl, mix the garlic, orange juice, lemon juice, and oregano. Divide in half for later use. In a crockpot, combine the chicken with half the juice mixture, oregano, salt, and pepper on low heat for 8 hours. I also add in the rind halves of the orange and lemon for flavor.

After 8 hours, drain the chicken most of the way then shred using two forks. Top with the remaining juice mixture and toss.

For the mango salsa- In another bowl, combine the diced mango, lime juice, andd cilantro. Chill until ready for use.

On your presentation platter, arrange the 4 avocado halves. (I cut a thin slice off the back to allow for them to sit flat) Top with the chicken and then the mango salsa. Serve and enjoy :)



Nutrition Stats

Per serving

Cals- 305
Carbs- 18g
Fat- 18g
Prot- 23g
Fiber- 8g
Sodium- 258mg

Sunday, June 8, 2014

How to Break the Weight Loss Stall or Plateau

Coach Liss and Coach Jenny are here to help you break a fat loss stall or plateau.

What is a fat loss plateau?

A stall or fat loss plateau happens when you have been “on plan” for at least 21 days and have not seen any movement in the tape measure or the scale.
Remember that a change in metrics or inches is just as much progress as a change in the body weight scale. Celebrate that and trust what you are doing.
If the time span has been less than 21 days, then you need to be patient and keep working. Fat loss is not linear. It does not directly correlate to our calorie expenditure; instead fat loss seems to come in chunks. We call it the “whoosh” in Venus. All we can focus on is nailing our calorie and workout goals. The fat loss will come in time if we nail those two things.

Fat Loss Troubleshooting

When things flat line and stall, be honest with yourself. Have you really been “on plan”? If you have followed the plan to a T, then here are 3 things you can do:

Continue reading the article HERE

If you have not picked on your copy of the Venus Factor system, you can right here
Click Here!