Thursday, November 3, 2011

November ~ A Month of Giving Thanks

While multitasking on Facebook on Tuesday, I saw that my friend Susan had posted this:

Every day from now until Thanksgiving I'm going to post something I'm thankful for - what an incredible way to be reminded of how powerful giving thanks can be. Want to join me?"

I thought that this would be a wonderful exercise for me.  You see, sometimes I am a "glass is half empty" type of person.  I do try to be enthusiastic and positive, but the negativity often creeps in.  I lose my patience more than I care to admit, I feel frustrated and overwhelmed sometimes.  The thing is, I don't look at the bigger picture.  I don't think of the people who are suffering, without family or homes...I don't think of people who cannot afford to feed themselves or their children.  In short - I often take my blessings for granted while I nitpick at the trivial things.

I am taking steps to become more appreciative & grateful for that which I have in my life.  I am taking on this daily posting exercise and I hope to learn something from it by the end of this month.  If I am able to see things from a "glass is half full" or even 3/4 full perspective, that will be a huge step in my own personal growth.

I hope you will consider joining me in sharing this on your Facebook or Twitter accounts.  So today is already November 3rd.  That's okay!!  Jump in now.  Post three things today to catch up if you'd like.  I'd love if you would copy your daily thankful posts and repost them under my updates each day.  You can find my daily thankful posts on my Fit & Healthy Mommy page.

I will be blogging about this again at the end of the month and will share each of my daily thankful posts, so that they are all in one blog post.  I think it will be very beneficial & enlightening for me to see them all in one place, in chronological order.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Roasted Cauliflower & Brussels Sprouts

Here's a fabulous post for Meatless Monday!  I made Roasted Cauliflower & Brussels Sprouts to accompany BBQ portabello mushroom caps and baked sweet potato.  It was fantastic! I saw the recipe posted by Mike Lieberman of Urban Organic Gardener on Twitter last week and I could not wait to try it.

I had picked up purple and orange cauliflower last week at Wegman's and I had brussels sprouts in the fridge too, so it was perfect timing to see this recipe. 

Here's how I made it:
  • 1/2 head purple cauliflower, washed & cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 head orange cauliflower, washed & cut into small pieces
  • 2 cups baby brussels sprouts, washed, bottoms removed, sliced in half3 cloves garlic - chopped
  • avocado oil - drizzle
  • balsamic vinegar - 2T
  • sea salt - sprinkle
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss cauliflower, brussels sprouts and garlic with the oil, vinegar & salt.  Roast for about 30 minutes, shaking pan a few times for even cooking.

My husband, NOT a fan of cauliflower (he literally used to get sick at the smell of cauliflower, so I have rarely ever cooked it in his presence), tried it...liked it...and had seconds! SCORE!

Before the pictures, here's a little info on the benefits of the colored cauliflower:
  • Purple ~ loaded with antioxidants & fiber; good source of Vitamins K, C & B6, folate, manganese & potassium
  • Orange ~ has 25 times the amount of Vitamin A as is found in white cauliflower

Purple & Orange Cauliflower

Baby Brussels Sprouts - prior to cutting off bottoms & slicing

Veggies prior to adding oil, vinegar & salt

After roasting - YUM!

Roasted Cauliflower & Brussels Sprouts, BBQ Portabello Mushroom caps & Sweet Potato

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Glow Gluten Free Cookie Giveaway WINNERS!

Are you celebrating National Cookie Month?  If so, let us know what recipes you've been making. 

Now, onto the important announcement!

I'm a day late!  I'm sorry for the delay, but I wanted to check and double check the entries from my blog, Twitter and Facebook.  I understand that several people had trouble posting a comment on my blog (I still do not know why that's happened, but I was told that it was happening on other Blogger blogs too).  Thank you all for taking the time to post to my Facebook page & Twitter so that I could ensure you would be included.

If you missed it, the blog post with all of the info is here:  Glow Gluten Free Cookies Giveaway

I used Random Number Generator to determine the winners.

And the winners are...drumroll please...

Mary Jane (commented on my blog)

Annabelle Ho (commented on my blog & Twitter)

Lucy White (commented on Facebook)

Susan Larson (commented on Facebook)

Congrats to all of you!!  Please email me your mailing address to: and Jill from Glow Gluten Free will mail your cookies to you!  She'll be deciding the flavors that will be sent.  (They're ALL fabulous, trust me!)

Winners - We'd love if you might post comment on this post (and if you cannot comment on this post, then please email me) with your review of the cookies so I can send those to Jill as testimonials.  Please tell your friends about the cookies and share the site with them.  Thank you so much!

Friday, October 14, 2011

News on Shakeology: Tropical

Are you anticipating the debut of the new Shakeology ~ Tropical?  If not, you might consider jumping on the band wagon.  This stuff ROCKS! I was able to taste it in June at the Beachbody Summit.  Josh & I are eagerly awaiting the first shipment in our house.

Top three reasons to get Shakeology Tropical:

3. It's PINK

1. It's VEGAN

Here's a few of the superstar ingredients: 
  • Papaya
  • Acerola Cherry
  • Pineapple
  • Banana
  • SUPERFOOD Camu Camu
These are in addition to the power player ingredients included in the Chocolate & Greenberry flavors.  Check out my blog post Shakeology: What's The Hype

Questions?  Do you want a sample when it's available?  Email me:  and please don't forget to like my Facebook Page Fit & Healthy Mommy because when I get to 1000 likes (I'm 72 away), you'll have the pleasure of witnessing me singing and dancing my thanks on a YouTube video.  You really don't want to miss that!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Shakeology - What's the hype?


Shakeology “What’s the hype?  Why is it so expensive?  What’s in it anyway?  Can’t I just go get a meal replacement shake at GNC for half the price and get the same results?  Why shouldn’t I just opt for Slim Fast or something I can pick up while I’m grocery shopping?  What is the benefit to me?”

Chocolate & Greenberry - and coming soon...Tropical!

I’ve heard those questions above, and many others too.  Take a look at the ingredient list below.  It’s extensive.  These ingredients are sourced from all over the world – on farms, hand-picked, cultivated, naturally dried, not processed.  Beachbody has a hand in helping these farmers grow the crops, provides equipment like tractors when needed.  Shakeology is not filled with chemically or synthetically produced ingredients. These herbs, fruits and roots are pure. THAT is why it’s so expensive.

Yes, you can use Slim Fast or a meal replacement shake that you can find in a local store – but do your homework.  Don’t buy something just because it’s cheaper.  You’ve heard the old adage “You get what you pay for”.  Think about what you are putting into your body, how it will affect you – will you get a rush of energy followed by a lethargic crash?  Will you get jitters?  Will your stomach bloat?  Will you get stomach cramps from artificial fillers? How will it fuel you?

I have touted the benefits of Shakeology before, but for the record, here’s a few words on that.  For me, it eases stomach bloat, it gives a natural energy and fuel without a crash, it tastes GREAT, can be mixed with an array of ingredients to be enjoyed with different flavors.  Shakeology helps with my sweet cravings.  For Josh, it’s his go-to choice for a meal on the run.  He’s a super busy guy, traveling and in the car/train/plane a lot.  He grabs his shaker cup and tosses in his Shakeology, then grabs a milk or orange juice (depending on which flavor he has) and mixes when he needs it.  Since he’s been using it regularly, he’s noticed that his psoriasis is clearing up – something he’s battled for over ten years.  My friend Emilee, her husband Joey has endured painful and difficult chemotherapy treatments – Shakeology was the one meal he could have without getting ill during his treatments. I know several people who have had success losing weight, minimizing cravings, staying alert, and having more energy while using Shakeology.

Since I began my studies via the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and have been learning more about Superfoods, the health benefit to our bodies and for long lasting health & longevity (Google: "Superfoods" and see how many of the Shakeology ingredients listed below are listed as Superfoods), and after listening to nutritional experts (Google: "David Wolfe") I am amazed that there is a product that has so many nutritional powerhouse foods in ONE serving - and that it tastes to good. I am 100% firm in my belief that Shakeology is worth every penny that I pay for it.

These are the individual ingredients in Shakeology - AMAZING!

Shakeology Ingredient AMARANTH – Amaranth a great source of vitamins and amino acids, but it’s also high in protein, fiber and helps to boost your immune system.

Shakeology Ingredient CAMU-CAMU – Camu-camu is a powerful antioxidant contains more vitamin C than any other plant in the world (30 to 60 times more than an orange)! The phytochemicals in camu camu are highly effective in curbing the effects of the herpes virus; in fact, on a list of plants with anti-herpetic compounds, camu camu takes the highest honors as most potent. It is effective against depression, and has even been used to wean users off dangerous anti-depressive medications (under medical supervision, of course.) Alternative medical practitioners have also been using it to combat attention deficit disorder. Provides immune system support, helps maintain good eyesight, reduces inflammation, supports collagen, tendons, and ligaments, helps fend off viral infection, improves respiratory health, helps maintain clarity of mind during stress.

Shakeology Ingredient GOJI BERRY — Goji berries contain 18 amino acids and are one of the richest sources of cartenoids of all known foods. Not only does goji berry improve eyesight, fertility and circulation but it supports your immune system and promotes a long life!

Shakeology Ingredient SACHA INCHI — Sacha Inchi has the highest concentration of omega 3 of any food on the planet and promotes a balance between omega 3 and 6 so your metabolism can work perfectly. Naturally rich in protein, good fats and fiber, Sacha Inchi acts as a strong natural appetite control and creates benefits you can feel right away!

Shakeology Ingredient SPROUTED QUINOA — Quinoa was once called “the gold of the Incas” for increasing the stamina of Incan warriors. The protein this seed supplies has all nine essential amino acids. These proteins are required by the body as building blocks for muscle. Quinoa is a good source of dietary fiber (to help ease elimination), magnesium (to rid your body of dangerous disease causing substances), phosphorous, folate and iron.

Shakeology Ingredient WHEY PROTEIN – Whey protein provides the body with the perfect amino acid profile for muscle building, strength and recovery. Also works as an antioxidant to boost the body’s immune system. Scientific studies have shown that regular supplementation with whey protein promotes a strong immune system.
the whey protein in Shakeology is whey protein isolate, which is more than 90 percent pure protein, leaving less than 10 percent of the ingredient, or 1.5 grams, where some lactose can be found.
*Here's a fantastic blog post by Carl Daikeler on 10/12/11 where he shares detailed info and research re: the whey protein isolate used in Shakeology: Whey Protein Isolates vs. Whey Protein Concentrates

Shakeology Ingredient ACEROLA CHERRY — Acerola Cherry has one of the highest concentrations per gram of natural vitamin C in any fruit. Rich in vitamin A, magnesium, niacin, potassium, thiamine, iron and calcium. Traditional healers used the leaves to fight dysentery and diarrhea and liver issues, while the fruit was used for the treatment of colds and infections.

Shakeology Ingredient BILBERRY – Bilberry is a deep blue fruit, bilberry is high in antioxidant-rich flavanoid compounds called anthocyanidins, which have been shown to play a supporting role in maintaining good cardiovascular health and a strong immune system. Bilberries are also linked to eye health, in particular the possibility of slowing or reversing the effects of macular degeneration. Helpful for supporting healthy blood sugar levels, bilberry is also used for its beneficial effects in improving blood circulation, maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, and relief for nausea and indigestion. Bilberries are also known to be helpful for joint health, kidney and urinary tract health, menstrual cramps and diarrhea.

Shakeology Ingredient GRAPE SEED EXTRACT — Grape seed extract is known as the secret anti-aging ingredient, this ingredient improves the elasticity of the skin, promotes healthy arteries and is beneficial for the eyes too!

Shakeology Ingredient BLUEBERRY – Blueberries are a good source of vitamins and dietary fiber, blueberries are believed to help reduce eyestrain and improve night vision. Blueberries are also high in the phytochemical resveratol, which has been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Shakeology Ingredient MAITAKE MUSHROOM – Maitake lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, reduces inflammation, may help boost immunity, fend off infections and fight cancer

Shakeology Ingredient REISHI MUSHROOM- Reishi is used as a tonic to help increase energy, improve digestion and sleep, strengthen resistance to disease, and regulate the immune system. It is widely used to improve the cardiovascular system, lower HDL (the ‘bad’ cholesterol), and reduce excess fatty acids. Also, Reishi has been shown to prevent and treat hardening of the arteries, angina, and shortness of breath associated with coronary heart disease. Japanese doctors routinely prescribe Reishi for memory loss, insomnia, hyperlipidemia, chronic bronchitis, and a whole range of degenerative diseases of the elderly, including disorders associated with senility. There is some evidence to suggest that Reishi can help treat altitude sickness and chronic hepatitis B. It has also been used in chemotherapy and HIV support treatments.

Shakeology Ingredient ROSE HIPS- Rose Hips are useful in the treatment of influenza-like infections, diarrhea, and various urinary tract disorders, shown to be useful in the treatment of patients suffering from knee or hip osteoarthritis.

Shakeology Ingredient GINGKO POWDER(LEAF)- Used to enhance a clear mind and improve the power of concentration, has been used to treat Alzheimer’s Disease, depression, impotence, memory, cognitive abilities, circulation problems and more!

Shakeology Ingredient APPLE PECTIN – Apple pectin is helpful in removing cholesterol out of the intestines and delaying glucose absorption. Pectin is one of the compounds that acts as a substrate for the production of short chain fatty acids that help maintain a healthy colonic mucosa. As a detoxifier, it is used to remove harmful metals and toxins. Acts as an antioxidant, protecting against the damaging LDL cholesterol found in the body.

Shakeology Ingredient GREEN TEA (DECAFFEINATED)- Green tea’s antioxidants, called catechins, scavenge for free radicals that can damage DNA and contribute to cancer, and atherosclerosis. Its potential to fight cancer and heart disease — has been more than intriguing, as have limited studies about green tea’s role in lowering cholesterol, burning fat, preventing diabetes and stroke, and staving off dementia.

Shakeology Ingredient MACA ROOT – Maca Root is a nontoxic stabilizer is known to increase energy, endurance, physical strength, and libido. The ancient Incan warrior soldiers would consume this precious root before battle to make them fiercely strong, and then would be prohibited from taking it once into the city so the women would be protected from their heightened sexual appetite. Yikes! No wonder this fabulous superfood dons the nickname, “Andes Aphrodisiac”!

Shakeology Ingredient POMEGRANATE — Pomegranate promotes optimal blood flow to the heart. It has also shown to lessen the amount of plaque in the arteries which results in smooth blood flow and reduction in disease. Lastly it also helps to raise much needed levels of cholesterol whiling helping to lower bad cholesterol that can cause heart attacks. Pomegranate benefits your body as a whole because your body contains plenty of unstable molecules that can damage your DNA and your cells. This type of damage often leads to other diseases such as stroke and Alzheimer’s. The pomegranate benefits these areas by using its antioxidant powers to fight off the unstable molecules thereby preventing these diseases. Therefore when you eat pomegranates that contain antioxidants such as polypenols and tannins you are going to live a much healthier life and reduce your chance at catching a fatal disease such as cancer or a heart attack.

Shakeology Ingredient BARLEY GRASS – Barley grass is the only vegetation on the earth that can supply sole nutritional support from birth to old age. Barley grass is very high in organic sodium, which dissolves calcium deposited on the joints and also replenishes organic sodium in the lining of the stomach. This aids digestion by improving the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. People with arthritis have used celery juice for years because of the organic sodium it contains (28mg per 100grms), but compare this to the amount of organic sodium in barley grass (775mg per 100 grams)! When barley leaves are 12-14 inches high, they contain all the vitamins, minerals, and proteins necessary for the human diet, plus chlorophyll (a natural detoxifier that rids the intestines of stored toxins). These necessities are easily assimilated throughout the digestive tract, giving our bodies instant access to vital nutrients.

Shakeology Ingredient BLUE-GREEN ALGAE- Blue-green algae is a power packed nutrient that can help to increase energy, improve memory, increase mental clarity, improve digestion, control cravings, heighten immune function, help relieve fatigue, PMS, anxiety and depression. It’s even recently been called a cure for ADD!

Shakeology Ingredient CHIA SEEDS- Chai seeds are coined as the Aztec running food, Chia seeds enhance stamina, endurance and help you stay hydrated. The seeds help you lose weight for 2 reasons. 1st, they are so filling that you will eat less. 2nd, they form into a gel and cleanse the old “junk” in your intestines. Lastly, they provide calcium & protein in your tissues & help regenerate body tissue. The Chia seed is revered for its highly nutritious properties, such as being rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which help protect against inflammation and heart disease.

Shakeology Ingredient CHLORELLA FLAX- Chlorella flax is known to be effective when attempting to eliminate poisonous substances from the body by improving digestion and acting as an ‘intestinal broom’. Chlorella has the highest chlorophyll content of any plant including spirulina and wheatgrass. Chlorella helps to keep our nerves calm and helps us deal with stress better.

Shakeology Ingredient HYDRILLA- Hydrilla is rich in trace minerals and essential nutrients such as Calcium, Magnesium & B12. Enhances nutrient utilization, supports general well-being, 100% Vegetarian!

Shakeology Ingredient SPINACH- Spinach contains a plethora of nutritional and medicinal properties which help to strengthen our immune system, boost energy levels, and it provides our bodies with necessary vitamins and minerals. In experiments, Spinach has shown to be effective for hypoglycemia, cataracts, heart disease, cancer, memory loss, stoke, osteoporosis and bone loss, increasing brain function, age-related cognitive problems, and circulation. The leaves are also used for their laxative and cooling properties, anemia, indigestion, to detoxify and cleanse the colon, in the treatment of difficult breathing, inflammation of the liver, jaundice, febrile conditions, urinary calculi, inflammation of the lungs, arthritis, and it relieves the temporary symptoms of asthma and allergies.

Shakeology Ingredient SPIRULINA- The protein in Spirulina contains all 8 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Spirulina is actually 65% complete protein, making it the world’s highest known source!

Shakeology Ingredient WHEAT GRASS- Wheatgrass is high in calcium, magnesium and potassium. Studies have shown it to have cleansing, detoxifying and healing effects on your body. Recommended as a way to stimulate metabolism, wheat grass can be helpful in correcting obesity and indigestion.

Shakeology Ingredient ASHWAGANDAHA — Ashwagandaha is an adaptogen herb for the mind that promotes clarity. Betterments include: improving mental acuity, learning and memory while also alleviating anxiety and depression.

Shakeology Ingredient CORDYCEPS- Cordyceps increase the number of the Natural Killer Cells, which are responsible for the body defense against viruses and bacteria. Some trials show that the fungus works effectively in the leukemia stricken individuals. Improving sexual function in men and increasing libido by stimulating the production of sex hormones. Providing anti-aging and fatigue reducing effects. The fungus works as an antioxidant and increases cellular formation, especially in the elderly patients. It also promotes more restful sleep, soothes the nervous system, and reduces anxiety. Improving the respiratory function. Benefiting vascular system by improving circulation, and strengthening the heart muscle. Protecting liver and kidneys.

Shakeology Ingredient HOLY BASIL LEAF – Holy Basil Leaf may be beneficial for oral care, relief from respiratory disorders, fever, asthma, lung disorders, heart diseases and stress

Shakeology Ingredient SUMA ROOT- Suma Root act as an adaptogen, helping the body to cope with stress, increasing energy levels and resistance to disease. It is used to treat exhaustion resulting from debilitating viral infections, such as Epstein-Barr disease and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It is a tonic that is helpful to people who are recovering from the flu, as well as anyone else who lacks energy and stamina. The herb promote healthy energy levels and combats the effects of fatigue and stress. As an anti-inflammatory, Suma is thought to be of help in easing the pain and inflammation of arthritis and other joint discomforts. Effective for the unpleasant symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes and emotional swings. This same quality is believed to alleviate the discomforts of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Shakeology Ingredient SCHISANDRA- Schisandra is used to treat a variety of medical conditions and is widely known as a longevity herb and aphrodisiac. It is used to treat lung and liver disorders, coughs, to relieve fatigue, depression and stress, increase stamina and for insomnia and helps with forgetfulness and night sweats. Normalizes body systems and speeds recovery after surgery. Aids irritable bowel syndrome

Shakeology Ingredient PEA FIBER- Pea Fiber helps to reduce cholesterol, provides one of highest sources of natural dietary fiber. Maybe beneficial to diabetics as a way to stabilize their sugar levels, since fiber intake has been shown to control intestinal glucose absorption.. and fiber has been used in the area of weight management. It creates a feeling of fullness and satiety and naturally displaces sugar and fat calories. Fiber may work to reduce the risk for heart disease by improving sugar metabolism, and lowering blood fats besides cholesterol, such as triglycerides.

Shakeology Ingredient YACON ROOT- Yacon Root is rich in oligofructose (fructooligosaccharide) also known as FOS. FOS is a dietary sugar that our bodies are unable to metabolize. Since the body is unable to fully digest the sugar it is classified as a nondigestable carbohydrate. Study’s show a diet rich in FOS can help with weight management, cardiovascular diseases, prevention and the risk of cancer, and support for the control and prevention of many chronic diseases. Yacon root is shown to help obesity, constipation, insomnia, arthritis, hypertension, kidney disease. Yacon root has also shown some properties to lower the formation of harmful blood clotting and can lower cholesterol levels. This root has been known to help the gut since it also known to be a bit of a colon cleanser, cleaning out the colon section of bad bacterias.

Shakeology Ingredient AMYLASE- Amylase is responsible in improving your digestive system quite instantly. You will burn quick carbohydrates and calories as you use it, also are considered as the naturally oriented anti-histamine. It’s the best mineral against many diseases, obesity, such as blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, asthma, allergies, depression (such as bipolar, obsessive compulsive disorder, hypo manic, panic disorder, etc.). Amylase successfully works in muscle building and improving immune system in order to burn the calories and fight against those chronic diseases.

Shakeology Ingredient BROMELAIN FROM PINEAPPLE- Bromelain is basically an enzyme that is able to break down proteins in the body. Also helpful in treating aches and pains, numbness and tingling, colds, asthma, hay fever, itching skin and some skin disorders, pains associated with varicose veins, sluggish immune systems, breast pain in mothers who were previously breast feeding.

Shakeology Ingredient CELLULASE- Cellulase enzyme is an outstanding antioxidant as it binds to profound metals and other contaminants, and it discharges them from your body. It’s responsible for the digestion of fiber from fruits and vegetables which are successful in binding to excess cholesterol, noxious substance and eliminating them from body for a proper muscle building.

Shakeology Ingredient LACTASE- **IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND! Lactase is a common enzyme that exists in the small intestine of many people. It is essential for digestion of lactose, the naturally occurring sugar in milk. Most individuals of Asian, African, and Native American descent are lactose intolerant. In addition, half of Hispanics and about 20 percent of Caucasians do not produce lactase as adults. Benefits of Lactase –Lactase has been used in connection with the following conditions in lactose intolerant individuals: diarrhea, indigestion, heartburn, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Shakeology Ingredient LIPASE- Lipase works on the fat that you eat; it breaks lipids (fats) down so that your body can use it. When your body doesn’t create enough Lipase to break down the fat, undigested fats can cause weight gain, high cholesterol. Additionally, Lipase helps your body better utilize omega fatty acids.

Shakeology Ingredient PAPAIN FROM PAPAYA- Papain helps ease digestion and constipation, also and soothes the stomach. It dissolves protein and break down fats and carbohydrates, promoting a healthy acidic enzyme environment.

Shakeology Ingredient PROTEASE- Protease is an elementary enzyme, is responsible for the digestion of proteins, protease is responsible for digesting proteins in your food, which is probably one of the most difficult substances to metabolize. The benefits of protease are considered to be one of the most important enzymes that we have. If the digestive process is incomplete, undigested protein can wind up in your circulatory system, as well as in other parts of your body. Supports the immune and respiratory systems, increases the absorption of nutrients, helps promote joint health and function, supports arterial health, activates macrophages and natural killer cells.

Shakeology Ingredient KAMUT GRASS – Coined nature’s most powerful detoxifier, Kamut grass cleanses the body and detoxifies our cells to restore health and vitality. It’s pretty powerful stuff!

Shakeology Ingredient OAT GRASS- Oat Grass is a good source of beta-carotene, vitamins K and C, folic acid, B vitamins, protein, fiber and calcium. Helps reduce nervous exhaustion, insomnia, and “weakness of the nerves.” Oat Grass is useful in rheumatic conditions and to relieve water retention. Is used to treat the following conditions are High triglycerides, Anxiety, Eczema , Nicotine withdrawal.

Shakeology Ingredient FLAX SEED- Flax seeds have the potential to lower LDL cholesterol, stabilize sugar levels, lower the risk of breast, prostate, and colon cancers, and reduce the inflammation of arthritis. Flaxseeds’ omega-3 fats are a good source of fiber, aid in digestion and help stabilize. Also, its combination of healthy fat and high fiber content make it great for weight loss! Flax is perhaps the best source of Lignans, which transform in our intestines to substances which may balance female hormones. Lignans may also promote fertility, reduce peri-menopausal symptoms and may even help prevent breast cancer. There is also evidence that lignans may help prevent Type 2 diabetes.

Shakeology Ingredient COCOA- Cocoa is rich in flavonoids and antioxidants which can help in flushing out harmful toxins that could cause cell damage, premature aging and a whole host of diseases and illnesses. It is also helpful in elevating the mood because of the phenylethylamine that it has. Cocoa is also a natural source of magnesium (Magnesium is necessary for the manufacture and action of insulin also),which can help in relieving pre-menstrual syndrome, preventing and treating cardiovascular diseases. Cocoa can also help in reducing the risk for developing type-2 diabetes and can also help in the manufacturing and the action of insulin.

Shakeology Ingredient CINNAMON- Cinnamon has extremely high anti-oxidant activity, and the oil of cinnamon has strong anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Cinnamon is also a great source of manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium. Treating Type 2 Diabetes, lowering cholesterol, aiding digestion, treating diarrhea, curing the common cold, reducing arthritis pain, boosting memory and cognitive function, treating toothaches, eliminating bad breath, curing headaches and migraine pain. It has been found to be effective in fighting vaginal yeast infections, oral yeast infections, stomach ulcers.

Shakeology Ingredient ACAI BERRY- Acai Berries are amongst the healthiest fruits on Earth. They’re packed with antioxidants, healthy omega fats, protein & fiber. They have a fatty acid ratio similar to olive oil which is considered to be a contributing factor to the low incidence of heart disease in Mediterranean populations.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Glow Gluten Free Cookies Giveaway

Did you know that October is National Cookie Month? 

YUM!!  I love cookies...and when I find a cookie that has healthier nutritional content than many (most) of the processed, empty caloric versions we are hammered with in TV commercials & print ads, I get all excited!!  I couldn't wait to share these fabulous cookies with you.

Jill Brack, founder of Glow Gluten Free has extended a generous offer to my Blog, Facebook & Twitter fans.  She's offering 4 - yes, I'm serious - FOUR boxes of cookies.  One box each to 4 separate winners, which means you have four chances to win!  Let's all say...THANK YOU Jill, you ROCK!!

Jill began baking gluten free cookies when she was diagnosed with celiac disease.  Not only are her cookies made with natural and healthy ingredients (such as garbanzo and fava bean flours), they are also made with love.  When speaking with her, I could tell how passionate Jill is about providing a product that not only tastes amazing, but can be enjoyed by thousands of people who are sensitive to ingredients used in traditional baked goods.  Glow Gluten Free offers 4 flavors of cookies - and yes, they are all incredible!! 
  • Chocolate Chip
  • Double Chocolate Chip
  • Snickerdoodle
  • Gingersnap

Glow Gluten Free cookies are gluten free, wheat free and casein free, all natural, kosher and have no trans fats or preservatives.  These cookies have been featured on Martha Stewart, Rachael Ray, Real Simple, Cooking Light, Self Magazine, and many other publications & blogs.  People are talking about these delicious goodies - and I am following suit.  When I find a product that makes me this happy, I have to share it with all of you!  An added bonus is that Jill is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I am currently studying to become certified as a holistic health coach.  I find it incredible to see where her passion for helping others has led her.

Here's the deal...You want a box of these cookies.  I know you do.  I would if I were you!  If you would like to enter to win a box of Glow Gluten Free cookies, here's what you will need to do - it's only 3 things, can't get much easier!

  1. Like Glow Gluten Free on Facebook:  Glow Gluten Free - Facebook Page
  2. Like Fit & Healthy Mommy on Facebook: Fit & Healthy Mommy - Facebook Page
  3. Post a comment on this blog post or on my Facebook page that you have done these two things.  If you complete any or all of the actions below, post about those as well and I'll enter your name into the drawing twice!

Bonus entry: follow my blog ~~> Fit & Healthy Mommy - Blog
Bonus entry: share this link on Facebook and/or Twitter ~~> Share THIS link
Bonus entry: follow both Glow Gluten Free and Fit & Healthy Mommy on Twitter ~~> Glow Gluten Free - Twitter and Fit & Healthy Mommy - Twitter

Winners will be announced on my blog, via random drawing, on Saturday, October 15th.  Jill will mail the cookies directly to the winners.  This gives you plenty of time to share this with your friends!

Before you scroll down to my favorite section of my blog posts (the pictures), please check out this awesome excerpt from an interview that Jill did with NY Metro Parents.  I love this quote - as if she is speaking directly to me and encouraging me to hit the ground running.

NYMetroParents: What's your advice for a mom who wants to launch her own business? 
Jill Brack: Don't talk about it, just do it. To want something and get it off the ground, it's something you really have to believe in.

Read the full interview HERE

A beautiful box - and no wasteful packaging!  Score!

Looks like a cookie fresh from the bakery - smells delicious too!

Medium Soft texture - PERFECT - (I am not a fan of extra crispy, hard cookies)

Loaded with chocolate chips - such gluten free goodness!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup - super easy recipe

I love the produce that fall introduces to us each year.  Squash is one of my favorite things to cook with because it's so versatile and there are so many varieties. I also love that they have a long shelf life - i.e. they sit on my counters and pose as beautiful seasonal decorations while they are waiting to be added into a meal.

Today I opted to make a quick soup for breakfast.

  • 2 cups chopped organic butternut squash
  • 2 cups low sodium organic vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • evoo drizzle (I used basil infused)
  • herbs - whatever you like
  • nutmeg (just a sprinkle)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Toss squash & onion in a drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle with dried herbs (I used a chef's blend - salt free) and roast in oven for about 25 minutes or until slightly translucent and browning around edges. remove from oven and place in mixing bowl.  Add the vegetable broth.  I used a hand mixer/emulsifier to puree the squash with the broth.  I like a thicker soup so I left some chunks of squash in there.  Sprinkle with nutmeg and blend until desired consistency.

This made 2-3 servings, depending on your serving size.

Side note: It's good to keep a few cartons of low sodium chicken or vegetable broth in your pantry during the fall and winter.  It's a useful staple to have on hand for many recipes and dishes. While it's more cost effective to buy the squash and do the work yourself, many stores do the prep work for you.  You can buy packaged, chopped squash in most grocery stores.  Wegman's in BelAir has an incredible assortment of prepackaged veggies all prepped and ready to cook, complete with infused olive oil and other seasonings on the side.

Squash, onions & herbs prior to roasting

I used Trader Joe's low sodium organic veggie broth

After roasting the veggies

Adding the broth to the veggies in a mixing bowl

Everything pureed together

Ta-da!  It looks like it needs something else though, don't you think?

Sprinkled with Brad's Naked Leafy Kale

This snack has many uses - I put it on everything!

KK got her own spoon and helped herself to my soup

She helped herself to my Leafy Kale too!

"If I don't look at Mommy, she won't see what I'm doing"

KK totally approved of the Leafy Kale added to the soup

She said "Mommy, this is really good!"

Friday, September 30, 2011

Balancing the Mommy Schedule

Calling all moms!  I'd love to encourage an open dialogue where we share best practices, tips and suggestions on balancing the busy Mommy Schedule.

This is my busiest year yet - both in terms of my own personal schedule and my three girls' schedules.  Here's what we've got going on these days...

Daughter #1 ~ 1st grade, soccer 2 nights per week and on Saturday
Daughter #2 ~ preschool 3 days per week, gymnastics one day, soccer on Saturday
Daughter #3 ~ preschool 2 days per week, dance one day

Then onto my schedule - Teaching TurboKick on Tuesday nights (1-2 classes) with an October class starting on Thursday nights in 2 weeks; Studying for my Holistic Health Coach certification via at home study through Institute for Integrative Nutrition; working at home as a Beachbody Coach; part time work with Brad's Raw Foods; at home work via blog and social networking.  Oh - and let's not forget all that I do as Mommy.  We all know the Mommy List contains endless chores, driving, errands, and a bazillion other things.

I am still trying to find balance via time blocking and prioritizing with To-Do lists.  I have five calendars.  Why so many?  I have no idea.  I use a Google calendar online & on my phone.  I have a Mom Agenda which allows me to have sections for each child along with my own schedule that I carry in my bag.  I have a wall calendar in the kitchen, a wall calendar in my office and a spiral weekly calendar that I use for my To-Do list.  That is enough to confuse me.  Trying to cross reference each calendar and make sure I have certain tasks & activities on all of the calendars gets confusing.  I think I spend more time trying to do that than actually doing those tasks.  What happens when I forget to put something on one of my calendars?  Good question.  I completely forgot about school pictures last week.  Oops.

Did I mention that I color code my calendars?  It goes a little something like this...
  • Black - Beachbody business
  • Light Blue - husband activities
  • Pink - all 3 daughters (although on the kitchen calendar they each have a separate color)
  • Green - my Brad's schedule
  • Purple - Anything else that relates to me
  • Dark blue - Integrative Nutrition activities, webinars, conference calls, modules
  • Red - Integrative Nutrition tests
And this is not including the online & phone calendars!

I think I am drowning in schedules.  I'd love to hear how you busy moms keep your schedules.  If you have tips on how to make mine less confusing, I'm all ears!  Please share your tips, suggestions and what works for you.  I know I'm not the only one trying to juggle so much at once.  Your ideas might help lots of us!

If you'd like more information on my TurboKick classes, Beachbody workout programs or Fit & Healthy Mommy, please email me at

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall into Fitness & Nutrition - Support & Accountability Group

It's that time of year again!!  Let's all Fall into Fitness & Nutrition together!

If some of you are like me, you might relate to this.  Fall is a time of year where I absolutely love to EAT - apple, pumpkin, cinnamon - YUM.  Unfortunately, a lot of the things I tend to eat are sugar-laden, processed, and made with refined ingredients.  Not so good as it quickly contributes to belly fat (which we know can lead to an array of health problems).  Add on work, studying, school schedules, kids' activities & sports, and a plethora of other time consuming tasks, and my workouts fall to fewer and farther between.  I always gain weight in the fall and early winter.  I'd like to crush it this year and avoid those temptations, while still making time to exercise regularly.

Who's with me??

I will create a Facebook group for accountability, support and motivation (see *note below).  I'll plan on doing the following:
  • sharing recipes
  • daily workout and nutritional tips
  • answering questions & giving suggestions
  • and  most importantly, encouraging active participation from group members so that we can all work together as a team. 

My plan is to keep the group open and active from October 1st through the end of the year (or beyond).

There are no requirements from participants - no need to do a specific exercise program or follow any group rules.  Past experience has proven that active posting (i.e. posting daily or several times per week, as opposed to drop-in or occasional posting) results in ability to stay on track and reach the goals set at the beginning of the challenge.  Therefore, I do ask that group participants please think of at least one goal that you would like to attain by the end of this year.  We'll talk about intentions & affirmations, ways to keep that goal clearly in mind each day so that we can keep working towards it, even if we have setbacks.  Having a goal in mind at the onset of this group will establish a strong start out of the gate.

The purpose of this group is not only to be accountable to yourself, but to reach out and support others as well.  We all do better when we have people cheering us on, celebrating our successes and comforting & lifting us through our struggles, don't you agree?  I'd love to see us all providing that support as well as receiving the encouragement we need to propel us towards our own goals.

I am offering a few incentives for those who wish to participate further.  If you remain active in the group, post often, and share this Fall Into Fitness & Nutrition accountability and support group with friends, I will enter your name into a random drawing for two 45 minute health coaching phone consultations (one can be face to face if you're local!) where I can help you come up with a nutritional guideline including meal planning & shopping lists, assess your goals and write them out, set future intentions, and help with any struggles or questions you have.

Also, keep an eye on my Facebook page (be sure to like it too!): Fit & Healthy Mommy on Facebook; my blog (please follow!): Fit & Healthy Mommy's Blog; and follow me on Twitter: Fit & Healthy Mommy on Twitter because there's a very good chance I'll be giving away some goodies, thanks to the support of some awesome businesses, and you don't want to miss out on the chance to grab some of these!!

Please tell your friends, invite them to join - how fun to do this with a buddy!!  Have them tell their friends.  Tell your family - mom, dad, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings - anyone you think might benefit from a no-strings-attached support group.

(note from above) *The Facebook group will be closed to the public, although it will be searchable - only members of the group can view posts and reply.  If you would like to join, we will have to be friends on Facebook so that I can add you - I love meeting new friends! You can Friend me HERE

Monday, September 19, 2011

And the winner is...

Drumroll, please!!

And the winner is....

J (Jen)

Jen, please email me at and provide your mailing address so that I can have the Happy Herbivore cookbook sent to you.

CONGRATS!!!!  This is an incredible resource for you and your new nutritional goals!  :o)

Monday, September 12, 2011

~ * Happy Herbivore * ~ Book Giveaway

I am SUPER excited to offer my very first giveaway here on Fit & Healthy Mommy!!

As many followers of my Blog, Twitter and Facebook know, I am a HUGE fan of Lindsay Nixon and her Happy Herbivore vegan cookbook.

Lindsay has simplified veganism for those of us who are curious but not sure how to go about taking the steps to make the nutritional changes in our lifestyles.  Her recipes are not at all difficult to follow, the ingredients are easy to find, and every recipe I have tried thus far has been delicious.  My kids have given the thumbs up on many of the dishes I've presented to them - and my husband, the meat eater, has approved of every recipe I've made.  When he goes back for seconds, I know these are winners.

In short, this book is an incredible resource for families who want to gravitate towards a more plant-based diet, but need simplicity due to busy schedules.

Here's a few things I love about the Happy Herbivore cookbook, in addition to what I noted above:
  • Notes on the benefits of vegan diets and how the lifestyle has impacted Lindsay, personally
  • LISTS!  Pantry, Fridge, Freezer, Spices
  • Kitchen Lingo (descriptions of terms to make them easy to understand - no need to Google!)
  • Troubleshooting tips
  • Icons to indicate which recipes are gluten-free, far-free, soy-free, quick, etc.
  • Top 10 Tips from Lindsay
  • Cute little elephant graphics everywhere!
  • I can easily substitute ingredients for things I have on hand, if need be.
  • Chef's Notes for tips and suggestions
Here are some of my favorite recipes
~ Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins ~ I blogged about them HERE
~ Chocolate Zucchini Muffins ~ I made these a few weeks ago and am making another batch this weekend - my girls LOVE these
~ Black Bean Burgers ~ Can also be made with other beans, chick peas, etc.
~ Dirty Rice
~ Single-Serve Brownie ~ one word: YUM!
~ Black Bean Brownies
~ Apple Crisp Muffins
(Yes, I like those baked goods!)

Here's how you can enter the drawing for the book (click each link):

  1. Like my Facebook page ~~>  Fit & Healthy Mommy
  2. Like Happy Herbivore's Facebook page ~~> Happy Herbivore
  3. Follow my blog ~~> Fit & Healthy Mommy Blog
  4. Follow Happy Herbivore's Blog ~~> Happy Herbivore's Blog
  5. Follow me on Twitter ~~> Fit & Healthy Mommy on Twitter
  6. Follow Happy Herbivore on Twitter ~~> Happy Herbivore on Twitter
  7. Share with us - any or all of these:  Have you have made any nutritional changes (or are you planning on altering your diet) that are leading you towards a more plant-based diet?  What brought about these changes?  Why would you like to win this book?
Also, share these links on your pages and ask your friends to like/follow us too!  We welcome visitors and new friends to our pages!!

Please comment on this blog post and let me know which of the above you have done so I can make sure you are entered into the drawing.

If you cannot comment on my blog post, please go to my Facebook page and post under the Happy Herbivore Book Giveaway note here:  Fit & Healthy Mommy ~ Happy Herbivore Book Giveaway note 

Here's a sneak peek of Everyday Happy Herbivore which can be pre-ordered now.  These new recipes will get your meals on the table fast!

Also, be sure to watch for Lindsay's updates on her blog & Facebook page.  She's been posting some awesome information recently!  Some of my favorite posts include her menu plans complete with grocery shopping lists.

*Winner will be posted on my blog on Monday, September 19th at 9PM EST.  Please keep an eye on my blog, Facebook or Twitter to see who wins!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dinner: Spanish Quinoa = Fabulous!

Spanish Quinoa - wow.  It was SO good!!

I planned on this dinner after seeing the recipe in Peas and Thank You.  I posted about it on Facebook and someone replied that it was fantastic.  How could I not try it on my first day of the 10-Day Pledge (see my previous blog post for more info on the 10-Day Pledge).

  • 1 cup quinoa - rinsed, drained and patted dry
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup organic tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • salt & pepper, to taste
* I added diced sweet peppers too, and omitted the s&p

Heat large saucepan over medium heat.  Add quinoa and toast until slightly golden-brown (about 4-5 minutes).  Add onion (and peppers), broth, tomato sauce & chili powder and bring to a boil.  Cover & reduce heat to low.  Simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and fluff with fork.  Optional: season with salt & pepper.

I served mine with sauteed swiss chard & spinach.

Quinoa - after rinsing and pressing between paper towels

Toasting the quinoa prior to cooking gives it a nutty flavor

Q: Why is quinoa good for me?
A: Where should I start?  It's a complete protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids which the body needs for building muscle.  It's also brimming with phytonutrients and antioxidants.  It's also a valuable source of magnesium and fiber along with other essential nutrients.  It's suspected to lower blood sugar levels as well.

Q: Is quinoa a grain?
A: Actually, it's a seed and it's related to the spinach family.  

Q: Is quinoa better served hot or cold?
A: Quinoa is very versatile.  It can be made hot - as in the recipe above.  It's delicious mixed with beans and vegetables and is great in stews.  It's also fantastic in summer salads with crisp vegetables and fruits as well.  Quinoa is also used as an oatmeal alternative.
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