Let’s Celebrate the 4th!

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Are you considering hosting either a brunch or BBQ for the 4ht of July?  Are you looking for a healthier menu? If you are, I have you covered!

I love brunch and luckily there are so many ways to lighten up your menu!

Brunch Menu

  • Sausage and Egg Muffin– 12 servings (1 muffin/ serving)
    • 1 Cup, Shredded Potato
    • 3 egg, Egg Whites
    • 3 large, Egg
    • 0.25 cup, 2% Milk
    • 0.25 cup, Shredded Mexican Cheese
    • 3.00 links, Johnsonville Turkey Sausage
    • 0.50 oz, Red Bell Pepper
    • 0.25 cup, Mushrooms
    • Bake the shredded potato in a muffin pan at 425 Degrees for 15 mins or till crisp edge, the add all the veggies and diced sausage on top. Then add the mix of eggs, egg whites, milk, cheese, salt and pepper to taste. I also added some fresh basil. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 mins of until egg is done.
    • Macros: 76 cal/ 3g F/ 4g C/ 5g P
  • Chicken and Protein Waffles (birch benders protein pancake mix, per instructions on package) – For a quick cheat on the chicken I purchased Chic-Fil-A chicken strips and use 2 chicken strips.  I top it with 1/4 cup of sugar free syrup.
    • Macros: 415 cal/ 10g F/ 45g C/ 30g P

And/Or

  • Red, White and Blue Protein Waffles with Turkey Sausage- I follow the instructions on Birch Benders Protein pancake mix for waffles and toss and few blueberries into the mix. Serve with strawberries on top, sugar free syrup and Johnsonville Turkey Sausage, 3 links.
    • Macros: 341 cal/ 9g F/ 42g C/ 28 g P
  • Red, White and Blue Yogurt- 1/4 c blueberries
    • 1/4 c strawberries
    • 1/2 c fat free greek yogurt
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • Macros: 192 cal/ 1 g F/ 40g C/ 13g P 
  • Pasta Salad: 11 servings (1 cup per serving)
    • 1 Bell Pepper, Green Bell Pepper
    • 2 Tbs, Onion Green Whole
    • 1 tbsp, Basil, fresh
    • 1 g, Pepper
    • 1 Tablespoons, Salt
    • 1 bunch, Broccoli, steamed
    • 0.25 container (60 tomatoes ea.), One Single Cherry Tomato
    • 1 container (32 tbsp ea.), Free Zesty Italian (Fat Free Dressing)
    • 1 container (5 3/10 cup dries ea.), Whole Grain Pasta Rotini
    • Boil pasta per box instructions and let noodles cool. Then mix all the above in a large bowl and chill for at least an hour before serving.
    • Macros: 180cal/ 1g F/ 35g C/ 6g P
  • Caprese Bites: 2 servings (4 each)
    • 8 cherry tomatoes
    • 1 low fat mozzarella stick
    • 8 fresh basil leaves
    • 1tbsp olive oil and balsamic vinegar mix (I use a dipping oil mix with spices)
    • Macros: 86 cal/ 11g F/6g C/ 4g P
  •  Fresh Fruit- Watermelon is always a good choice and I added sprigs of mint leaves for presentation . 1 cup of watermelon
    • Macros: 86 cal/ 0g F/ 22g C/ 2g P

BBQ/Cookout Menu

Planning a BBQ ?! I have the best burger recipe for you! There is a key special ingredient, Home Grind that perhaps myself or Kevin can introduce you! Home Grind is an amazing blend of peppers to add a little heat to your burger.

  • Venison Burger: 7 servings- 1 burger per serving: Video for prep below
    • 1 lb(s), Venison (sub lean ground beef/turkey burger-macros are for venison)
    • 1 large, Egg
    • 0.50 cup, Oats
    • 6 g, Pepper
    • 1 tbsp(s), Garlic, raw
    • 1.50 tsp, Original Flavor Salt Free Seasoning Blend
    • 1 tsp(s), Spices, garlic powder
    • 2 Tsp, Seasoning Chupacabra
    • 1 pinch of Home Grind
    • Macros: 114 cal/ 5g F/ 5g C/ 13g P

Utilize the brunch menu and serve with the pasta salad, caprese bites and watermelon. Sun tea is always a good choice to add!

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For dessert I recommend Red, White and Blue angle food cake.

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  • Red, White and Blue Angel Food Cake: 1 serving
    • 1 Slice, Angel Food Cake
    • 0.25 cup, halves, Strawberries, raw
    • 0.25 cup, Blueberries
    • 2 TBSP , Fat-free Whipped Cream –
    • Macros: 181 cal/ 0g F/ 41g C/ 3g P

I hope you enjoy celebrating the holiday with these lighter menu items! Have a safe and Happy 4th of July!

XOXO,

Cecee

Taking Steps Towards Transformation

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As much as anyone hates to admit that they let their self go I have to admit that is what I did. Everyone copes with stress and emotions differently. I have never been the girl who stops eating, rather the opposite.

Last year to cope with stress and overwhelming sadness I turned to fatty foods and lots of booze. In the course of a year I gained 25 lbs, 12 lbs of that I packed on in 4 months. Finally in March I had decided I need to regain control of my health. I needed to change my lifestyle back to one that I completely ignored for a while.

Originally the big push was to fit in a dress that I purchased to wear to my friend JoJo’s wedding. Sadly I had gained 12lbs after I purchased the dress and needed to drop within 8 weeks to fit in the dress.

I reached out to my friend Ally Vaeth to help me get back on track. Ally is a health and fitness coach that is highly motivated and inspiring individual. I signed up for her monthly program that includes workouts, meals and amazing support. I would check in with her on a weekly basis and we would adjust my program as needed. Ally’s Instagram  provides examples of workout moves that were listed on my workouts for times I needed an explanation. She also is great to chat through any questions I’ve had for my workouts or meals.

With the help of Ally’s program, meal prep and workout buddy’s I was able to acheive my first goal of fitting in my dress! I lost 10 lbs in that time even with going on a vacation to Austin and doing lots of work travel.  The dress was actually big on me!

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My goal is more than just fitting in this dress. My goal is to continue and drop body fat. While on vacation in Virginia I was mindful of my goal and tried to only have a few cheat meals while still getting my workouts in.

Luckily my friends were very supportive while visiting.  JoJo, Jayne and Danielle all got workouts in with me in and outside of the gym!

I was focused knowing I was going to be in Vegas for a Bachelorette two weeks after my Virginia trip and wanted to look good in my swimsuit.

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Staying on track during vacations and traveling for work is very difficult and requires lots of planning and being very mindful. The hardest part is keeping a positive and focused mindset as life gets hectic! Ally was great in talking through the stress and recommending podcast or books to help. I also have strong support and motivation from others. I know without them I would have struggled to stay on track.

In 12 weeks I have made strong progress. Now without big events to keep me motivated I am trying to not let the chaos of everyday stresses take over and keep my health and fitness a top priority.

My overall goal is to be around 148 lbs and in the 20-22% body fat range. I am 5’6.5 . In 12 weeks I am down 13.6 lbs and 7.3% body fat with an overall muscle gain of 3 lbs.  The stats are listed below the image.

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Left: March 5th 170lbs, 32.9% Body Fat Right: June 3rd, 156.4 , 25.6% Body Fat

Please note this may include affiliate links. Please visit my disclosure page for more information. 

If you are looking to jumpstart your fitness I highly recommend reaching out to Ally either by her Instagram or her website. She has several different packages she can customize to your needs. Let her know I referred you!

Also invest in cutting board, veggie spiralizer, lunch box food scale, measuring cups and spoons! 

Keep moving, stay focused and take back your health!

XOXO,

Cecee

 

 

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

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Please note this may include affiliate links. Please visit my disclosure page for more information. 

Father’s Day is just a week away and now is the time to make a plan or get a gift if you haven’t done so already! I have a few fun ideas on how to show dad some appreciation and several links to Amazon Prime items!

As I get older I know I personally appreciate shared experiences the most.  I think most parents feel this way as well and would enjoy creating more memories with their children.

First step on giving a shared experience is determining which hobby your dad enjoys the most. My dad’s favorite hobby is fishing and that is the theme I am going with for him this year.  I purchased my fishing license so all that is left to do is pick up some bait and beer then head to a lake for a fun fishing experience!

In addition to sharing a day at the lake with my dad I wanted to get him a gift he will have in addition to the memories. If you know my dad 95% of the time he is wearing a hat. I bought a custom designed hat that was painted by the hands of a local artist.  The hat, as you can see below could not be more fitting for a fishing weekend!

PS if you want to do a similar experience and provide a hat with a fish/bait painted, here is another hat that is still available. Feel free to reach out to me or the link to the local artist is his Instagram page and you can message for pricing.

Other ideas:

I hope you enjoy a fun experience with your dad!

XOXO,

Cecee

Packing for a Plan

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While traveling keeping up with a fitness/macro plan can be a challenge. I plan to enjoy some of my favorite foods and beverages on vacation, but not to go overboard on my indulgence. In order not to go overboard I need to be prepared with a plan and pack accordingly.

I love my Nike workout gear! I have my workout clothes, running shoes and Converse for leg day all packed. I have already determined days I have access to a gym and ready to do my workouts from my coach, Ally.  The bride, JoJo and I will be hitting up the gym for a strong workout prior to wedding prep fun! There are days that I do not know if I can make it to a gym and for those days I have packed my Sports Research bands and have HIIT workouts planned.

My goal is to get at least 30 minutes of cardio each day on vacation. Luckily Richmond and Virginia Beach are such walkable cities that this goal will be easy to meet! In VB I already have a plan to tackle Mount Trashmore stairs and fitness stations with my girl, Danielle.

Meeting macros will be my biggest challenge on vacation. In efforts to stay on track I have packed my food scale, blender bottlequest protein powder packs, quest protein bars and drink mix for a low calorie cocktail. I have also packed my vitamins for each day. I will stop at a grocery store to get more items for some of my meals and will focus on making smart choices at restaurants. Typically I only do one cheat meal a week, but on vacation one cheat meal per day without being extreme is my plan.  I can’t miss out on some of my favorite restaurants and trying out some new spots!

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Will power, please don’t fail the plan! Time to stay strong and focused, bikini season is around the corner!

Also the dash to fit in the dress was a big success, as it is actually a little big on me now! Post to follow on fitness progress.

If you have any other travel tips for staying on track with macros during vacation please comment below.

XOXO,

Cecee

 

 

Intentional, Incredible, Inspired…

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This past weekend I attended the Arnold Sports Festival for the 2nd year in a row. This year just like last I gained more than just free products and samples. Being around all the athletes and fitness enthusiasts I am always inspired not only by their physique, but by their mental game and dedication.

Most people look at these athletes and only see their physique and physical strength, but do not understand how intentional they must make each day. These athletes have so much dedication to stay focused on strict meal and workout plans. The plans they follow are down to a science and very structured.

Life is hectic and one can easily fall off track without a strong mental game. As of late my head has not been in the game and motivation has been lacking. I have a decent understanding of what I need to do to get my fitness goals back on track, but need the push!

Last time I fell off track I needed to fit into a dress for a wedding… sadly enough I am in the same boat again a year and a half later. In 2016 I worked with my girl, Ally Vaeth  to fit in a dress for a NYE wedding. Following a meal plan through Thanksgiving and Christmas was tough, but necessary to hit my goal. With the help of Ally and dedication to the plan she created I was able to fit in my dress below!

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I have reached out to Ally again to help me get back on track and hopefully remain consistent in the future.  Ally is so detailed in her plan and genuinely cares about your success. When we met to go over how this program would be set up she made a comment about being intentional each day. This really stayed with me as the days I don’t have a plan are the days I easily skip the gym and have fast food. My schedule is different everyday and changes each week, so a set routine is hard to develop. I need to intentionally include my fitness and meal plans in my weekly to do list.

My before pictures this time around are so embarrassing for me and I am not ready to share until some progress is made. Stay tuned as Ally helps kick my butt back in shape!

Here is the goal dress I bought in September (pic is from September) and sadly have gained 10 lbs since. Operation fit in dress in process!

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XOXO,

Cecee

 

Meal Prep 

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IMG_0686With all the ups and downs this past year I have fallen far from my normal routine of meal prep and I am trying to get back into the swing of things. Above is a picture of my fridge when I am on my meal prep game. I reuse containers from a few of my favorite places to shop in addition to having a few other storage containers. I know there are meal prep containers out there to purchase, but it isn’t necessary.

I try to eat 5 meals a day every 3-4 hours and drink 1 gallon of water a day. To effectively lose weight I must do strength training 3 times a week and do cardio 2 times a week while I stay around 1500-1550 calories. I know this is what works for me and it is different for everyone.

Macro goals for me are: 155g Protein, 90g Carbs, 45g fat

I track my meals on my Fitness Pal, which is a free app.  This will tell you the macros for each food item.

One thing to note is I do not count the carbs in non-starch vegetables. This is just what I do from some guidance of a friend that is in the fitness world. I do not stay exact within the numbers above, but try to be close. Disclaimer, I am not a nutritionist by any means.

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Start my process with breakfast foods before moving to snacks.

My egg muffin recipe is different every time on the use of vegetables, but always same base with deli ham and the eggs and egg whites.

For 1 egg muffin it is 72 c, 12g P, 5g C, 3g F .  I will usually have 4. My first meal will be 288 calories , 48 g P, 20 g C, 12 g F.

Recipe for egg muffins:

  • 12 slices of deli ham
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 oz mushrooms
  • 4 medium green onions
  • 2 oz peppers
  • 1 small to medium tomato or use cherry tomatoes
  • 8 spears of asparagus
  • 1/4 c 4 cheese Mexican cheese
  • a few spinach leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste

I chop up all the veggies and put then in the ham base and add the eggs that have been seasoned to taste and top with cheese. When I serve I like to add a dash of hot sauce.

Onto snacks. I love vegetables and fruit so they are easy go to snacks for me. The morning I will usually have fruit in my 2nd meal and my 4th meal with be my vegetables and hummus.

Meal 2 : Fresh pineapple 1 Cup and half a cup of reduced fat cottage cheese. 150 cal, 11g P, 21g C , 2.5 g F.

Meal 3 : Lunch and taco bowls are my favorite! 432 Cal, 35 g P, 37g C, 15g F

Recipe for taco bowls:

  • 6 oz ground turkey
  • 1/2 brown rice- I buy frozen brown rice from Trader Joe’s that you heat in microwave
  • 4 Tbsp Salsa
  • 1/2 c sliced peppers
  • 1/4 c green onions
  • 2 tbsp of taco seasoning

I brown the ground turkey then add the taco seasoning. Once done I mix the rice that I microwaved with the ground turkey and add the other ingredients as toppings.

Meal 4: 8 oz Carrots, 1 celery stalk, 2 tbsp black bean hummus : 140 cal, 5g P, 27g C, 2g F

Peppers are chopped ahead for either snacks or use in salads and stirfrys for later in the week. I try to chop ahead any veggies I can use in other meals so it is easy to throw together a meal.

For meal 5 I try not to have any additional carbs. I will either do a veggie stir fry or a salad with protein.

Since I have so much protein left for the day with the above meals I will do a steak since it has the most protein, but it is higher in fat with roasted vegetables. 489 Cal, 50 g P, 23g C, 22 g F.

The above day totals to 1499 Calories, 149 g P, 128 g C (some are veggies I didn’t do the adjustment), 54 g F .

When life gets hectic I like having already prepped meals. My favorite meal prep company is a local company in Indy, Herculean. Their meals are affordable, provide the macros and taste fantastic! My absolute favorite meal is the pulled pork, but the BBQ salmon is a close second.  I highly recommend going into the store front as the staff is wonderful and they have a lot of great merchandise. I really like the protein donuts and ice cream!

What are some of your favorite meal prep dishes?

XOXO,

Cecee

 

Friendsgiving 

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The holidays are quickly approaching and to me it always feels like after Halloween everyone skips straight to Christmas.  My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving and I do not start celebrating or decorating for Christmas until Thanksgiving has passed. I have always loved Thanksgiving as it is a time to not only enjoy wonderful food, but a time to look around and be truly thankful for the blessings and people in my life.

As I have gotten older and moved around I have come to love my friends as family and count them as a blessing. For the past 3 years I have hosted a Friendsgiving and though some of the faces around the table have changed the gratitude I have remains the same.

I begin by planning my tablescape. I always do a formal china setting with the cranberry and gold china with cloth napkins to match. The napkins, napkin rings, placemats and tablecloths come from TJ Maxx. Each year my centerpieces vary from fresh cuts or pumpkins and gourds. This year I went with candles and fresh flowers from Trader Joe’s as they always have the best floral selection.

Each year I provide the main course and appetizers while my guest each provide a side item or dessert. I give assignments for type of items to bring as I know I want a salad, vegetable, dessert, bread and drinks to arrive. In hosting and asking people to bring a dish if you do not provide more specific direction you could end up with 5 desserts versus the variety you want!

Appetizer table included Oyster Rockefeller , charcuterie board with supplies from Trader Joe’s, and apple brie bits.

If you are looking for great seafood around Indianapolis I recommend Caplinger’s as that is where I purchase my seafood.

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Charcuterie included crackers, salami, herbed goat cheese, 3 pack of cheese from Trader Joe’s (can’t remember the types), olives, pickles, jam, honey, peanuts, cashews and chocolate covered expresso beans.

Apple and Brie bites- Crostini from Fresh Thyme with apple butter spread on top then add thinly sliced apples and cubes of brie and bake until brie melts. Then add another thinly sliced apple on top with crushed pecans and drizzle honey over, then serve.

For the main course my assistants, Christy and Jordan helped me make lasagna, tuscan shrimp,  pasta and mussels in a white wine garlic sauce.

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Sharing a meal and laughs with people I love brings so much joy to me. I am beyond grateful for the many friendships that I have. Not all of those friendships were around the table this year, but the love and support I feel from my friends mean more than I could ever express.

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Enjoy the holiday season, count your blessings and gather with a grateful heart!

XOXO,

Cecee