What do you want in a "protein bar?"

Monday, June 24, 2019

The age old question... "what protein bar do you recommend?!" 

This comes up very often when people are traveling, sometimes when people have a planned busy day or late night, and all the time when we're talking about pool snacks and easy options to keep on hand to prevent a trip through the drive through lane!

There are a few things to keep in mind when you are scanning the shelves for a "good" protein bar option ((and these pretty much hold true whenever you're buying food that comes in a package instead of ingredients used to make food))

1. You want to try to get the least processed option possible. 
This probably means checking out if your grocery store has any protein bars in the refrigerated section! Most of these options should be stored in the fridge long term but actually (according to the labels!) will be fine for a few days at room temp as well.

2. You want to know what is in the ingredient label.
If there are ingredients you can't pronounce, or compounds that you're pretty sure don't grow from the earth via plants or animals, that's probably a red flag that it's not your best option.

3. You want to get some that you'll actually want to eat... but not TOO OFTEN. 
If you absolutely hate all things lemon, and the only option for the "best" bar is lemon meringue it's okay to grab a slightly less clean version that you'll actually enjoy. But here's the sticking point. We want most of our foods throughout the course of our week to be well rounded, produce based meals... and eating too many protein bars kind of gets in the way of the whole "eat real food" thing. So find something that will feel like an indulgence in a pinch... but don't plan your whole week's nutrition around them, got it?

4. When it comes to protein sources... if you care about what you're putting in your body... you're going to have to do a little bit of your own digging.
We try to stay away from bars that are made with Soy Isolate because it is super duper processed and there is a lot of differentiating research about it's actual healthfulness.
General consensus:
soy beans in their regular form (edamame) = good, soy extraction processes = not good

5. Remember that nutrient breakdown matters! 
Make sure you have a bar that has at least 12 g protein... otherwise it's just a granola bar and it is more likely to spike your blood sugar and then cause a quick crash again as well!
Something else to remember is that lot of protein bars contain A TON of processed sugar, and that can be an easy trap to get stuck in! It is recommended that an adult not get more than 25 g of added sugar per day, so if your protein bar has 22 g that's a pretty big red flag that it isn't ACTUALLY healthy!
This can be tricky when sugars are naturally occurring vs added because all produce has some level of sugar (carbohydrates) that are naturally occurring and not necessarily "bad."  A lot of labels are now including "added sugar" in addition to the "total sugar" which is helpful. Again, if the sugar is higher but the ingredients are all whole foods, that's a safer bet than if it's high in sugar and also a bunch of stuff you can't distinguish! 

((I'm not cool enough for anyone to pay me to sponsor this, so this is just my opinion...  If they link to an Amazon site, and you order them, I will earn something that doesn't cost you extra... because that's how the internet works in 2019... I think you already knew that)) 

ANYWHO-- let's cut to the chase! What should you buy?! 

Perfect Bars are the bees' knees, you guys! Whole foods, delicious, need to be stored in the fridge but can travel pretty well. They are most cost effective if your Costco or Aldi sells them, but I know that a lot of grocery stores are carrying them these days!

RX Bars  are a great "keep in your bag forever" option! They don't need to be refrigerated, and are pretty delicious... they're a little sticky in your teeth, but if the alternative is grabbing a junk snack I'll always take sticky teeth ;)

Epic Bars are the best of a couple worlds! Epic has varieties that are similar to RX bars, some that are "Performance" bars, and then they also have various jerky bars! I'm a big fan of jerky for an easy to keep on hand travel snack, and having individually packaged and sealed servings of different meats is seriously awesome! They have bison, venison, turkey, beef, salmon... all sorts of flavors and sources and all the ones that I've tried have been delish!

Beach Bars have one of the best calorie to protein to sugar ratio on the market, are super tasty!

This list could be a mile long because there are A TON of really great options out there these days... these couple of ideas are a reference point for how to check out the ingredient labels of the ones that you are looking at in the store or online ((and also, the first 3 are all available at Target! So when you're stocking up on all your other stuff, they're super easy to toss in your cart!)).

Lean into whole food ingredients. 
Make sure you recognize what's on the label. 
Don't rely on them for sustenance... but always have one on hand in case you're stuck somewhere and tempted to make a not so healthful choice!

Have questions about how to pack your best travel cooler?! Want to work toward your health, fitness, or general wellness goals this Summer?!
Let's chat! Fill out this form and I'll be in touch soon! 

Talk soon, 

BA Banana Bread

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

This Banana Bread recipe is simple, easy, and DELICIOUS! 

Chances are, you have everything at home already, too! 

BA Banana Bread
(listed in the order I dump them in the bowl and stir them together)

3/4 cup raw sugar 
1/3 cup organic whole milk*
1/4 cup fractionated coconut oil**
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt 
1.5 cups unbleached, all purpose flour (I use King Arthur's)
big shake of ground cinnamon
3 ripe bananas, well mashed

Grease a loaf pan with some of the fractionated coconut oil
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes

Cool on a rack, flip out, slice one piece at a time to keep it moist and enjoy! 

*I know some people don't do dairy... I'm sorry about your loss. I don't have a good suggestion for substitutions. Also, if you've followed me for any length of time, you know that I'm not a stickler for Organic labels  BUT milk is one of those areas that I absolutely am! The difference in taste is HUGE, and all it takes is one bad dive down the rabbit hole of learning about non-organic milk to turn your stomach over. So anyway, I think you should use real milk if you don't have dietary restrictions, and I think it should be in it's most natural state (full, good fat) and Organic.

**If you don't have fractionated coconut oil or know why it's good for you, you can melt down the same amount of regular unrefined coconut oil or melt down the same amount of butter....
BUT FOR ALL THAT IS HOLY PLEASE STOP BUYING CANOLA (("vegetable")) OIL, PEOPLE! Why?! Watch how it's made and then go light it on fire. Well actually don't light it on fire because there might be an explosion.
The "plant" is a GMO weed that was created to reduce the amount of dangerous Erucic acid present in the extracted matter. The claim that Canola (stands for "Canadian Oil Low Acid" not an actual plant) has a lower saturated fat level than other oils and is therefore "healthier" is debatable in nutrition circles  and also not a good enough reason to consume something that's made the way that Canola oil is made

Talk soon! 

Coming Soon! ...Morning Meltdown 100 with Jericho McMatthews

Monday, June 17, 2019

Have you heard the news?!
There is a brand spankin' new workout series launching this Summer and we are going to have you covered with everything you'll need to ROCK. IT. OUT!

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Something I love about Beachbody is that they are always innovating and creating new programs to keep my body from hitting a plateau! I love being able to challenge myself in new ways and to be able to offer my clients new ideas and strategies to bust through any plateau!

This program is coming at THE PERFECT TIME because it’s Summertime and we all want a workout that is fast paced, is going to challenge us, and is going to be FUN!! Morning Meltdown is just that program! It builds on itself each week, and with 100 different workouts ((and that doesn't even count the prep workouts!)) and live music BUMPING, we are going to have so much fun working out together! 

Jericho McMatthews, Beachbody’s super trainer for this program, is AMAZING! You may remember her from Core De Force, and she is bringing her uplifting and encouraging attitude with her into these booty kicking workouts! Jericho is a mom, a fitness enthusiast, a kind spirit, and has seriously the best attitude! I can't wait to get started with this!!!

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The Morning Meltdown 100 program is going to be fun, challenging and doable for EVERYONE-- regardless of fitness level! The program is GREAT! So let me take some time to give you the full details on what you can expect!

What is MM100?
Morning Meltdown 100 is designed to help you dig in and unlock the best version of yourself by committing to completing 100 workouts!!! It might sound crazy, but I promise that with the right encouragement and accountability YOU CAN DO IT! ((this doesn't mean completing them 100 days in a row!))

Every morning, Jericho is going to lead us through a 20-30 minute workout that can help you rev up metabolism, burn fat all day, and build your best body ever — all working toward helping you live your BEST LIFE!!! And that's the goal, right?! 

The workouts are everything from HIIT circuits, to resistance, active recovery, mobility, and more! The workouts are short enough to fit into your day (Yes! The goal is the morning, but they'll be effective wherever you're consistent with them) and the variety means you won’t ever get bored!
Most importantly, these 100 workouts give you 100 opportunities to work on yourself — and if you're willing to dig in... you can really reap the rewards of working out in the morning!

So many people claim that they "don't have the time" to workout... or don't have the space in their mornings to exercise before work. As I type this to you, I was up at 4:30 this morning. Yes, that means that I went to bed earlier. Yes, that means I'm not up to date on the juiciest TV drama... but I will have personal reading, some work, my workout, and a shower all behind me before my toddler wakes up! You can get up 30 minutes earlier to make time for a workout too! The positive effects that will reverberate through the rest of your life because of that small choice are HUGE! 

If you read any article on the routines of successful CEO’s, almost every single one will include waking up early and exercising regularly as part of their routine! Most combine the two! ...so I think we are onto something here… RIGHT!?

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I worked out with Jericho at a Beachbody Super Saturday event...
and am so excited to workout with her at Summit in a few weeks!

Did I Mention the Live DJ??!

Music plays a huge role in this program!! For the first time in Beachbody history, each workout is set to a heart-pumping BPM (beats per minute) playlist mixed by a live DJ... how fun is that?!

“Working out with the DJ feels like a party! You’ll have fun, live in the moment, and connect to the workout like never before,” says Jericho.

Between the upbeat mixes and Jericho’s energy, you’ll have all the motivation you need to give every morning sweat session 100% effort!

Is This Program Right For Me?

You bet! We will discuss your personal health and fitness goals one on one to make sure, but this program is a great option for you if you are interested in:
  • toning up, losing weight, and building muscle
  • avoiding or getting over a weight-loss plateau
  • short, at-home workouts (and a variety so you don’t get bored!)
  • turning morning workouts into a habit

Testimonials from the MM100 Coach Test Group

A select group of Beachbody coaches were chosen to test out the MM100 program over the past few months. I can tell you honestly that everyone is LOVING this program and the results they are getting!! Here are just a few photos and testimonials that I wanted to share with you! 

“This last week every time I’ve seen a video of myself I’m like ðŸ˜±ðŸ˜±ðŸ˜±ðŸ˜±how is that ME?! Neverrrrr have I ever felt this freaking INCREDIBLE!!! Also decided to do a throwback for grins, and thanks to Beachbody after seven years of marriage and two kids we look better now than on our honeymoon.”

“I have always considered my upper body to be weak. I even struggles carrying my daughter around for longer periods of time. This weekend, we walked around the outlet mall near our house and she was getting hot and didn’t wanna walk and wanted to be carried. Typically my husband does it bc my arms get tired after like 5-10 mins. This weekend I was able to carry her myself. It may not seem like a big deal but to me it was. Especially since she cuddled in and laid her head on my shoulder...I just can’t get enough of this program.”

OKAY!!!! When Can I Start?

Morning Meltdown 100 officially launches on Beachbody On Demand October 1, 2019. 
BUT THANKFULLY.... VIP Early Access begins July 29, 2019 and we will be able to get started with the prep workouts together starting on July 1st!! 
A PREVIEW WORKOUT will be available starting June 24th! 
Shoot me your info and I'll connect you with it when it launches! 
Fill out the form below if you’re interested in getting on my MM100 email list! I will keep you up to date with all of the launch information. Then once the program is live, I will get you plugged into my MM100 Support & Accountability Group!

If you order a Challenge Pack Bundle at the SUMMER STRONG sale price ($140 instead of $160!) you will ALSO get a coupon for $20 off the Morning Meltdown Access and Bundles when they Launch! ....DOUBLE SAVINGS YOU GUYS!!!! Grab your CP today so we can get started! 

Okay okay okay... you want more details about the nitty gritty of the workouts?! Let's DIG IN! 
Below is an excerpt from the Team Beachbody FAQ #8306

All 100 workouts are broken down into 5 phases of 20 workouts each.  In each phase, you’ll do a 10-workout cycle of 20- to 30-minute workouts, and then heat up the intensity and repeat those 10 with extra challenges. Light, medium, and heavy dumbells are required (mat is optional).

Sweat to the beat while you work to improve your aerobic endurance.
No equipment needed.

Sculpt a stronger back, chest, shoulders, and arms with rhythm-based time-under-tension moves.
Requires light, medium, and heavy dumbbells.

Burn out your abs and melt off layers with challenging core-strengthening exercises.
Requires light and medium dumbbells.

Build full-body strength with lighter weights and intense plyometric exercises in this exhilarating workout.
Requires light and medium dumbbells.

Half yoga-flow inspired, half mobility workout, this routine is designed to help with your recovery.
Mat optional.

This high-intensity interval training workout is designed to torch the fat off your body.
No equipment needed.

Build stronger quads, hamstrings, and glutes with rhythm-based time-under-tension moves.
Requires light, medium, and heavy dumbbells.

Jericho draws from a variety of mixed martial arts disciplines for an incredible core-shredding cardio session.
No equipment needed.

Break the beat with total-body strength training which will challenge your cardiovascular system to help you build muscle and melt major calories.
Requires light, medium, and heavy dumbbells.

Refresh and revive as you recover with a yoga-inspired flow and then transition into deep, static stretches that aid in recovery.
Mat optional.  

PREP WORKOUTS will become available to those who purchase their bundles starting on July 1st!
IMPORTANT BONUS!!!!.... when you order your intial Challenge Pack Bundle in June at the discounted Summer Strong Sale price you will ALSO GET A DISCOUNT PROMO CODE for $20 off your MM100 bundle!!!
That means that you can add on this new and exciting program for EVEN LESS of an investment! JACKPOT!!!

Want to save 25% on all of your future purchases?! GREAT! Fill this form out to let me know, and let's get started!

WAKE UP, FRIEND!!!! It's time to go LIVE YOUR LIFE!

Monday, June 10, 2019

The snooze button is one of my BIGGEST enemies when it comes to helping the ladies in my community build new healthy habits, crush their goals, and FEEL AMAZING!

You can't do any of those things if you are always running late and playing catch up!

SO... when one of them joked about just needed my voice in her ear in the morning, I obviously thought it was a great idea!

No excuses, right?!

Whether you're looking for a subtle prod, an abrupt jolt, or a friendly reminder that you've got GOALS to work toward, there's probably a recording in here for you!

...and if you're looking for something else, hit me up! I'm happy to record the tone that YOU NEED TO HEAR to get your tuckus in gear so that you can get on with living your daggone amazing life!

Good Morning Sweetheart 

Psssst, it's time to wake up! 

Move, Betch*! Get out yo bed!


Go do the things, friend. 

Beeeet Boxin yo bum outta bed

((to download to iPhones... *I think* all you should have to do is click the links to download to your computer, save into iTunes to transfer to your phone, and then go to Clock, Alarm, Edit Alarm, Pick a Song, and it should be in your library to choose from!... if you don't have an iPhone, I can't help you but Google probably can!))

If you're looking for some support for the healthy habits that you're wanting to build once your toosh is out of bed in the morning, let me know!  I'd love to chat more and help you figure out how you can feel YOUR best!

If you'd like to receive weekly meal inspiration and other tips for healthy living, you can subscribe to my newsletter here and you can stay in the loop about upcoming groups and opportunities!

In the meantime, GET YO A$$ OUT OF BED ON TIME!!! 

Talk soon, 
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