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Why I’ve decided to become a health coach

A few years after I got my first DSLR, right around the time that I got Instagram, I discovered a new passion for cooking. I had recently moved into a townhouse with some roommates. It was the first place since moving out on my own that had a good-sized kitchen. I had a good friend over to drink wine and bake some cookies for Valentine’s day. From that moment on my passion for baking and cooking hasn’t stopped growing. By April I had bought myself a KitchenAid Mixer and by November I had joined a cake decorating club. Very quickly, I realized that baking wasn’t sustainable when I started to gain weight, so I started to cook more as an alternative.

In reality, it wasn’t just the baking that caused my gain weight. I attribute that to living on my own with roommates and just being lazy. I lost perspective of what a portion size looks like and what I should be eating. We ate a lot of good food, a lot! However, we also ate a lot of, what I now know, junk. Chicken nuggets are protein and a pizza covers all the food groups, right? The concept of whole foods wasn’t something I was focused on.

Over the years, I developed an interest in nutrition. I found myself reading informational books over novels, trying to learn as much as I can about healthy living and healthy choices. In January 2016, I decided I was going to make a conscience effort to start applying some of what I was learning by meal prepping and daily exercise. With some googling and digging around online I stumbled across Beachbody. My first impression was at-home workouts, with a multi-level marketing structure to sell their products. That year, I did 2 rounds of the 21-day fix, without the meal plan & without the daily shakes and saw some small results. A month or so into the program, I got pneumonia. The rest of the year was filled with diets and excuses to why I couldn’t workout. I can say I was eating fairly well, but I was missing the portioning aspect.

Around came January 2017, when I met an amazing Beachbody coach that helped me get my shit together and get me on track, for real this time! She cared about helping me no matter what I bought from her. She cared about making sure I stuck to my commitment to myself. At the beginning of this journey, the idea of coaching didn’t interest me. I didn’t want to feel like I would be pushing products or services on my friends or family. My opinion of how a coach can change your journey has made me realize the value of becoming a coach. She’s been there to motivate me, check in on me, and give me the resources I need to get lasting results. I wouldn’t have made it this far without my coach and the resources that she provided to me, including the support group. Why wouldn’t I want to spread the joy that this has brought to my life with others? It would be crazy not to, right? It’s for this reason that I have decided to embark on this new journey to help others achieve health and find a passion for an active lifestyle.

My main goal is to help anyone on a health/fitness journey who needs some extra support. Whether you decided to buy Beachbody products/services or not, you can still reach out to me, in fact, I would love to hear from you! I’m happy to help you get there in the best way for you, no matter if it’s in the gym or at home in front of the TV in your short shorts and sports bra! I’m not here to say Beachbody is the only way, it’s just the way that has worked for me.

I’m going to be very honest about my journey with Beachbody throughout my whole blog. You can even read my post about my journey long before I ever considered becoming a coach. I’ve seen amazing results for many different reasons. First off, the most powerful piece of this journey, as I mentioned before, has been my amazing support system. My coach and the group of girls all working to make themselves better, supporting each other, checking in on each other, offering recipes and advice, has really been an invaluable part of my journey. Secondly, Beachbody on Demand. I’m sure you’ve heard it before but I’ll say it again, it’s really the Netflix of workout videos. It’s extremely user-friendly and they’re constantly adding more content! They even have safety videos in case you’re unsure how to do all of the exercises, they offer breakdowns. Finally, the meal plans, workout calendars, and program material. That’s right folks, I didn’t mention any of their products, but we’ll come back to that! The meal plans and program material are so easy to follow. They cover pretty much all the questions you might have but for anything they miss, your coach has answers!

Now, personally, this was part of my hesitation of becoming a Beachbody coach was my lack of use of their shake. I am a product of their product but I didn’t use ALL of their products to get where I am now. What I did use is all of their knowledge, their meal plans, and their exercise programs. Have I seen their products make a massive difference in A LOT of my fellow support group member’s lives? Absolutely, yes! How do I support products when I haven’t used them myself? I support it because I know they work. Can you get results without their performance product and shake? Absolutely, yes! I’ve seen real people get results from combining all their products or like me, just some of their products. I’m here to help you find the best solution for you. No matter what that solution is, I can be there to provide you with the motivation, support, and tools you need to help you achieve your goals, no matter what your budget.

So… What are you waiting for? Let’s talk about how to make your life better with real food & regular exercise!

**I just placed my very first order for Shakeology, Cafe Latte. I’m looking to speed up my results, shed the last few pounds, and to share my experience using the product consistently for 30 days. Check back soon for product reviews!

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6 misconceptions about health coaches

I am currently training to run monthly mentorships programs to help inspire people to become better versions of themselves. We select a few people who are wanting, dedicated, determined and positive about creating the life they have always wanted to live.  I joined 5 months ago and I have had amazing results! I have decided to start coaching in hopes to just inspire just one person, not thousands. Here are some bullet points that I would like to share with all of you! I want you to fully understand what it means for me to become a health coach, and what my mission as a coach is. Beachbody does not define me but is a tool that has helped me and a lot of others live a healthier lifestyle.

Here are 6 misconceptions people think about Health coaches/Beachbody coaches!

  1. All they want to do is push their products on you.

No way! If that were the case, I never would’ve joined! The way I want to run my business and someday train my team to run theirs, it’s not about pushing products and hopefully, you can see/feel that in my social media feed. We all have someone in our circle who’s doing this and the thought of being that person makes us all cringe. Trust me, this is not like that… I am specifically trained to inspire, help and lead by example …and that is only what is so fulfilling about this.

  1. They would need a fitness following or know a lot of people to make this work.

Nope. We all start from ground zero with few people in our lives who are on a fitness journey like we are. You learn from the Coach you join, how to build a like-minded network after you join. Have I mentioned how awesome my coach is? Whoever you are and whatever you’ve been through – there are people who relate to you (more than they’ll relate to someone else). Maybe I’m not that person for you, but whoever it is, reach out because I’m sure they would be happy to help you. If it is me and you join me on this journey, as either a challenger or a coach you get my help starting-up, understand how to prepare yourself for success and ongoing help from me.

  1. They spend a lot of time working out & they have spent a lot of money to get where they are.

No, workouts are 10-45 minutes a day, some programs have rest days, others are designed without rest days. My team is mostly moms with full-time jobs and they all get their daily workouts in! Financially, I have personally spent less than what I was spending on a yearly gym membership.

  1. I don’t want to drink Shakeology, therefore the coach won’t want to help me/I won’t be successful.

Not true. You can reach out to me as a coach whether you decide to drink Shakeology or not. You can be successful even if you chose not to drink it. However, for your own results and health, I’d highly recommend you look further into why so many of people are obsessed with it. When I first heard the price of Shakeology, I thought it was a typo! I thought the CEO of this company had lost his mind! I was comparing it to my everyday protein shake. I hadn’t yet tried a recipe I was in love with, therefore I wasn’t sold on it. Once you find the flavor you love and start feeling the benefits you won’t look back.

  1. They need to be more fit so others will take them seriously.

Most top coaches have joined when they were just getting back into their fitness. This business helped them stay more accountable to that mission. But also realize, at the center of what causes us to be inspired by someone is watching them overcome their own struggles/habits/fears because progress inspires. If you are struggling, great, you’ve got a huge opportunity to get to work on yourself and show progress. The right kind of people are not envious of that journey, they are inspired by it. Even if they are more fit; it’s inspiring to see such progress. Everyone wants to progress even if they’re not ready to commit to the work. When they are ready to commit, hopefully, they will come to you as that person they know, like and trust, because they’ve seen your struggle to get real results. We are here to build relationships and to connect with people one-on-one.

  1. This is one of those pyramid things.

Oh boy…this is what made me hesitate for so long. I have to admit after doing a lot of research online I found a lot of positives and a lot of “scam” articles, I have to admit, when I first heard this, this is where my mind went too. After being part of an amazing challenge group and seeing the results and support first hand I can say that it’s so not true and anyone who thinks this is completely lacking knowledge. Luckily, I put my trust in my coach and I went for it.  Yes, the structure of this is like a pyramid. So is the organizational structure of any company you will work for. Except in this business, you are the boss; you put into it as little or as much as you want to get out of it. At the end of the day, my coach said it to me best, “not everything in life is about money.”

Those are the top misconceptions and I felt compelled to clarify as I begin my journey as a coach. This journey to me is a lot more than a paycheck, it’s about helping people get fit and healthy and building new relationships along the way. I hope this inspires you to get started as a challenger or as a coach! Message me if you think you are ready for an amazing life change. If you discovered something amazing, wouldn’t you like to share it with everyone too? Come get inspired with us!

It’s about that time to start feeling your best,

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5 oils you should always have in your kitchen

Oils contain fatty acids which are essential to our overall health. While consuming oils is important, you need to be aware of the quantity of oil being used. Each tablespoon contains approximately 120 calories, making it a very calorie dense food to consume, so use in moderation!

Avocado oil

  • A Very high smoke point at 500°degrees making it great for frying, sautéing and baking.
  • High in Oleic acid & vitamin E
  • Reduces cholesterol
  • Enhances nutrient absorption
  • Great as a salad dressing
  • Avocado oil can be a bit expensive but check at Costco. They normally sell it for a reasonable price.
  • Everything you need to know about Avocado oil

Extra Virgin Olive oil

  • A low smoke point of 320° degrees, best not used for high heat cooking.
  • Great as a salad dressing
  • Good to put on food after cooking is complete
  • High in vitamin E, K, and A
  • Helps control blood sugar levels
  • Promotes weight loss
  • More on Extra Virgin Olive oil 

Ghee

  • Ghee is clarified butter, which is widely used throughout India
  • High smoke point between 410-485 depending on the clarity of the ghee
  • Ghee does not spoil easy and can be kept in the cupboard
  • Lactose-free, making it safe if someone has a dairy intolerance or allergy
  • Rich in vitamin A, D, E, K2, and CLA
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Great for stews, soups, curries etc.
  • Why I choose ghee as a healthy ingredient swap for butter

Unrefined Coconut oil

Sesame oil

  • Often used in oriental dishes, you can find light or dark sesame oil in most grocery stores
  • Light sesame oil has a higher smoke point making it suitable for deep frying
  • Dark sesame oil, from roasted sesame seeds, has a low smoke point making it suitable for light stir-frying or for salad dressings
  • Boosts immune system
  • Slows aging
  • Reduces chronic pain
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Helps reduce constipation
  • Significant source of vitamin K
  • More benefits of sesame oil

Each of these oils has a different use in our kitchen. It is important to understand the use and smoke point of each oil because if you cook oil up to its smoke point it will generate toxic fumes and free radicals, which are extremely toxic to our bodies. To read about the smoke points of other oils I didn’t speak out check out this site.

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7 Steps to effective meal prepping

Do you want to feel healthy? Do you want to lose weight? Build muscle? No matter what your end goal is, it always benefits to be prepared! Our society likes having things fast and convenient so by preparing your food in advance it gives you less opportunity to make an impulsive decision due to hunger.

As much as I love cooking, I never want it to feel like a chore so here’s are 7 steps that help me get through my meal prep quick & efficiently.

Plan, plan, plan! 

Planning can feel like the most overwhelming part, but it is the most important part. Simplify your life by spending a few minutes creating a plan before you go do your groceries. Make a decision about what you would like to make for the week. When I first started I had so many notebooks of things I wanted to cook. After digging around in the app store I found a little gem that helped make my life a lot easier. The app is called mealboard. It allows you to import your own recipes or recipes you’ve found on the web into a library. From the library you can choose recipes that you would like to make each week, allowing you to plan weeks in advance. The app then helps you create a grocery list. The list makes it easy to go through your cupboards and see what you already have, checking off things you have as you go or what you will need to pick up. Otherwise, you can go old fashion and make a list on paper. I also recommended planning which stores you need to go to before you start your shopping. Check out Flipp for your local flyers! If you’re comfortable in the kitchen, while you’re doing your planning try incorporating different types of recipes. Example; a crockpot recipe, a stovetop recipe and oven recipe, that way you can start multiple recipes at the same time.

Understand your portions.

This is something I struggled with for a long time. I tried macro counting, which worked amazing but I didn’t love feeling tied down to tracking each different item separately. When I started Beachbody it helped me put portion sizes and categories into perspective. A cup of this, a ¼ cup of that, it was just very simple! The 21-day fit tracker app makes it easy to track what you have left for the day. Before Beachbody, I had been meal prepping for almost a year, yet wasn’t seeing the results I wanted. I believe having a solid plan made the difference. I would suggest talking to a coach, a nutritionist or taking to Pinterest to see different meal plans. It’s important to find one that works for you and that it’s easy for you to follow. Once your plan is complete you can figure out how much of each ingredient that you need for a number of meals you’re making.

Eat whole foods.

So many of our grocery stores are filled with processed junk. Shopping on the perimeter of the grocery store can help eliminate putting things in your cart that you don’t really need. When shopping I always bring a list and stick to it. I always use fresh herbs and spices instead of sugar filled sauces. If you really want that sauce, take 5 minutes and make it yourself so you know what’s in it.

Make healthy ingredient swaps.

Healthy ingredient swaps are so important to implement in your kitchen to make every recipe a healthier one! Swap processed white sugar for coconut sugar, butter for ghee, or cornstarch for arrowroot powder. I have so much more to talk about, so we’ll come back to this topic in another post in more detail.

Prepare your ingredients in advance.

Making sure all your ingredients are ready to put together helps everything go quicker. I’ll generally do my grocery shopping then come home and prep all my vegetables, portion out the meat (since I normally buy in bulk), and prep any quinoa, rice or sweet potato I might need for my recipes. If I don’t have enough time to prep everything I’ll at least find the time to prep and cook any vegetables I need. For anything extra, I’ll vacuum seal it, freeze it, and take it out, as I need it throughout the week. This keeps your ingredients at their freshest and more nutrient packed. Since we planned our meals in advance it’s easy to know what needs to be done!

COOK!

There are so many different ways to execute this last step and each person will find their personal preferences as they go. I always recommend tackling your prep one recipe at a time when you first start unless you can start a crock-pot or throw something in the oven while you’re busy doing something else. If you try to do too much you might feel flustered or confused about what you need to do next. If you decide to do some “pre-prep*” and not cook all your food on that day then cooking one recipe at a time shouldn’t be a problem. I love cooking this way as well because it gives me the opportunity to eat something not microwaved. It’s also important to have good cooking tools. I’m lucky that my mother set me up with a pretty amazing starter kitchen of high-quality tools that I’ve continued to add to.

Pack it into individual portions.

What makes meal prepping or just making extra for leftovers different? For me, it’s about having everything perfectly portioned, easy to grab, and convenient. Packing meals in a reusable, microwave and dishwasher safe “take-out” container are what’s worked best for me. I had tried glass containers because my boss always tells me it’s not good to eat out of a microwaved plastic. She’s a doctor so I’m sure she’s right, but I just found them too heavy and bulky. Though I do try to put it on a plate before I heat it up, so I still sort of listening, right?

While you’re doing all this, don’t forget to have a little fun and be creative! This should be part of your weekly routine so if you don’t enjoy doing it, it’s going to be hard to commit to it.

Feel Free to drop any questions below!

*Pre-prep: My definition of pre-prep is preparing as many of the ingredients as I can without actually cooking anything. I’ll do this if I’m strapped for time or if I’m not sure how many days my other half is away on business to eliminate having any wasted food.

SammyD xo

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My Beachbody Journey

I’ve been dabbling with this blog on and off for a few years now. Although I have tons of recipes I think of sharing but I often have a hard time posting cause I’m not much of a writer. Today, I’m going to try out my first true blog post without a recipe.

In January, I began my Beachbody journey. I’m sure many of you have heard of Beachbody, however, if it doesn’t ring any bells to you maybe P90X, or the 21-day fix might sound familiar. Beachbody released a new service called Beachbody on Demand (BoD for short) with an all- access promotion. Instantly, I was interested. I had tried the 21day fix before, but having all that content so easily accessible gave me no excuses to get my workout done every day. No more expensive gym memberships, no more worrying about who’s looking at you while you’re sweating,  no more driving back and forth from anywhere, no more excuses. I am not a Beachbody coach, I don’t drink Shakeology (unfortunately, haven’t found one that doesn’t upset my stomach) and I’m not trying to sell you their products. I’m simply telling you about the success I’ve had with their programs & support groups so far. Here are the 3 things that I feel helped me get to where I am today.

My Coach & Support group 

Having a coach has shaped my journey to being successful. They give you tips, tricks, recipes, motivation, and a support group with access to other women who are going through the same thing. The group holds you accountable. Yes, I have goals that I want to crush but at the beginning, there were days I was so sore I wasn’t sure I would make it off the couch. Some days I just didn’t feel like it, but being part of this group of women and seeing everyone check in that they’ve had their shake, and got their workout in makes you realize you can do it too! Plus, I don’t want to be the only person in the group not checking in. The support and positivity from everyone have really helped me keep myself in check. If any of you ladies are reading… Thank you for your support!

The Nutrition plan/21 day fix tracker app

The meal plan couldn’t be simpler. They have multiple plans and give you the math you need to do to figure out which plan you fall into. When you buy a full challenge pack they include different sizes of colored containers, or you can find the chart online. Pinterest has many great charts and recipes to help simplify it even more in your first few weeks. Beachbody offers a wide range of products that help a lot of people reach their goals. Due to not being able to have the Shakeology, I’ve just replaced the daily shake with whole food smoothies that fit in the meal plan. Just because it didn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. Everyone’s journey is very different, I encourage you to try what you feel will work best for you. I also recommend downloading the 21-day fix tracker app. It makes it really easy to log your food; it shows you lists of the best foods to eat and has a measurement tracker.

Beachbody on Demand

I can’t tell you how much I love BoD app. I’ll say it over and over again… it is the Netflix of workout videos. I believe that having all access at a reasonable price made it affordable and gives you so many options! You can do it in the comfort of your own home, in your underwear during a snowstorm and jump right into the shower after. If I’m in the middle of a program and I’m having a bad day, or I’m really sore, they have yoga options! If I’m feeling like I need a change for a day, they have a daily challenge option. They have over 300 videos to choose from. This app takes away all the excuses.

Current progress

I started this year with two rounds of 21-day fix and then decided to do Core de Force which is a 30 day MMA style program. In my first two rounds I lost 9 pounds, and a lot of inches. Unfortunately, I didn’t listen to my coach and take measurements until the beginning of Core de Force but I did take progress pictures all along. If you’re just starting out I can’t stress enough to take those measurements & pictures. The pictures get easier to take as you see your body changing. The first ones are the hardest, it’s normal but so important you take them because it will help keep you motivated. This past 30 days doing Core de Force, I have lost 5 pounds and 9”. So in total, I’m down just shy of 15 pounds and in the last 30 days alone 9”.

If anyone is hesitating about the commitment, don’t. You’ll love every part of the process once you start, it will make you not want to stop! If you need a coach I know a great one that I would highly recommend & if you have questions feel free to message me.

I have other blog posts & journey updates coming your way soon, so stay tuned!

SammyD xo

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Protein Chocolate Cherry Fudge Bites

Good day everyone!

I feel like a repeat myself so often but seriously…where does the time go? How is it already September? How did the first 18 years of my life feel like they were going in slow motion and now I can’t keep track of where my month went. All that being said, it’s clearly been too long since I’ve had the chance to post a recipe!

Tyler and I went on an all-inclusive the second week of March. We ate the same food every day for 7 days in a row, the same tasteless food. After 2 days I was over it and ready to get back to my kitchen. By the end of the vacation, we both agreed that we would rather I cook for us on vacation and have good food then go back to an all-inclusive for 7 days and be stuck eating what they feel is 5-star “quality.”

We got back on Monday morning at 1 something, waited forever for our luggage, and I had to be at work at 10 am that morning. No time for me to make lunches, that was for sure! I was so happy with my past self that decided to make a huge batch of chili and open egg roll bowls that I had lunches for the first few days I was back, which gave me time to sleep in!

The following Sunday I was back to regular meal prep and every Sunday since! I’ve made some really creative healthy meals in the past few months from Spaghetti Squash Pizza Casserole to Korean beef bowls. Did I mention the homemade BBQ Bourbon Sauce? I have so many new recipes to share.

Obviously, dessert is the most important so let’s start by sharing one of my favorite high protein snacks.

Chocolate Cherry Fudge Bites. 

Yield: 19 protein bites

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 5 tbsp VitaFiber™ (or replace with honey/other sticky syrup)
  • 5 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup 1% milk (can be replaced with non-dairy milk)
  • 1 cup chocolate protein powder (approx. 100g)
  • 2-4 tbsp sunflower seed butter (or any nut/seed butter of choice)
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut

Directions

Place cherries in your food processor and blend. I like to do this first so that the cherries are in little bits opposed to getting the odd large cherry chunk. Place the rest of the ingredients except the coconut into the food processor and blend until everything is well combine. It will look like dough but slightly more sticky. Using a spoon or ice cream scoop roll into equal sized pieces. Roll in coconut set them on a plate and refrigerate or enjoy!

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