So excited to be working on this mini recipe book project this summer. Stay tuned on how to get your FREE e-copy!
By: Tiffany Carrasquillo
" When you're worried and you can sleep, just count your blessings instead of sheep, and you'll fall asleep counting your blessing."
White Christmas with Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney...I love that scene. I'm fortunate to have watched it a thousand times. That song really helps bring me back to grace when I've fallen from it.
Admit it, we all fall from time to time. No matter how much we know or what we believe or how hard we try...we can fall.
I often think about the great ones from Mother Theresa, the Dalai Lama, and Mahatma Gandhi, to Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, and every other person who faced great obstacles and broke through them by helping others.
Here we are in our daily lives facing obstacles. Some are not so bad. It just seems that way in our perspective. Yet, other times the obstacles are real threats and that's when we really have to dig deep down and find out what we are made of. Sometimes it's easy to know on the surface what it is you have to do, but deep down how do you find the "how to do it"?
The answer is simple but not easy. Such is nature and life itself. Everything in existence craves balance. From the infinite universe, to this very planet, to the tinest particles like atoms...everything needs balance. Why would an atom explode, or a hurricane begin, or an earthquake happen? What is the purpose of life and death? The answer is simply balance. When out of balance chaos begins in order to restore that balance. It's kind of an abstract and matter of fact way of thinking about it but I assure you it makes sense.
So, what are the things you feel when you are out of balance? Anger, frustration, WORRY...all products of fear. What do you do when you're out of balance? Well you are no different than the world you exist in. You can explode in a rage or outburst. You can even implode, holding it all in until your health deteriorates. Believe it or not you are craving balance.
Now, what can you do to restore balance without exploding or imploding? Maybe you can show mother nature something by leading by example. ..try this...
1. Take a breathe. Take in all the good air you can muster. Here's the sneaky part...Exhale all the garbage you are holding onto inside.
2. COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS. Focus on the great things you have in this very moment. Anything you can say thank you for, even if it is just that you noticed a beautiful tree, appreciate it. Look for the blessings. Seek and ye shall find.
3. Give something, anything. If all you can give is a smile then you go out there and give all the smiles you can to anyone and everyone you can. You never know who's day you'll make. I guarantee your smile will be someone else's step 2 from this list.
4. Play songs that uplift your spirit. No matter how horrible we feel you know that when a sweet sound touches those ears you're forced to do step 3 and smile. Warning...this one may make you want to move or sing...whoa!!! Imagine that..giving the gift of song and dance to someone and you BOTH get to enjoy it. WOW what a world.
Ok look, pity parties are the worst. Yea it's okay to need one once and a while but don't stay too long. The company there is miserable. Sometimes you just have to sing that tune, give a smile, give thanks, and breathe through it. Before you know it someone will be writing a blog and putting your name in it under inspiring people who triumphed. Heck, write one about yourself. You deserve it.
"When my bank roll is getting small, I think of when I had none at all, and I fall asleep counting my blessings."
After a long day of teaching a full days worth of LIFiTmoms & LIFiTkids fitness classes, I got a call from my mom saying, she was going to help me out and pick up my daughter from school and then come over. I quickly realized, I have nothing already made for dinner and needed to prepare something for a few people who were coming over. It was one of our very first hot days and after a whole winter long indoor board-making pinterest adventure, I was itching to break into my BBQ and get my creative flow going. It was just before memorial day and I knew all my 21dayfix challenger clients would also be up against some of the BBQ survival challenges we all face. What do I eat at a BBQ and what can I bring? So I put myself to the test. I broke out my skewers, grabbed all my fruits, veggies, protein, healthy fats, carbs, threw them on the counter and was on my way to making a FULL MEAL and a side kick glass of wine to assist!
All set to go...
lots of fun, clean options to eat...check
I wasn't too worried about the prep work, cause I knew my daughter might enjoy sliding those cubed up fruits and veggies onto the stick and the best part...NO CLEAN UP! I turned on the gas and became a grilling mama on a mission. In just 30-45 minutes...dinner was served. I knew it was a hit, when everyone was trying to figure out which skewer to grab first and the silence that took over once everyone started picking, chewing and or just diving in and pulling them apart. Here is what I used for my super fast, fun, skewer happy BBQ party. I even had left overs for the next day!
Veggies: zucchini, bell peppers, portabella mushrooms
Fruit: pineapple, peaches, plums
Carbs: corn, sweet potato, white potato
Fats: Avocado, Hummus
Oils: Olive oil, coconut oil
Enjoy, have fun and same me some left overs! For those who would like more information about our next BEACH, BBQ and BUNS challenge, please RSVP here and I will contact you with more details.
Here's my BBQ sabotage survival guide: Its time to spend more time having fun outside and lots of our moms are in need for clean eating tips & #21dayfix friendly BBQ success.
1) Bring you're own favorite snacks, dish, or veggies to share and help others see how clean eating can be delicious too. (i.e. asian coleslaw is always a hit)
2) Plate your food yourself with all the healthier options first, and then decide if the non-clean foods are worth it. You may also plan ahead knowing you've got a BBQ and replace your "yellow" or reward for this event.
3) Check out my pinterest board ideas. There are lots of skewer options and you can easily incorporate almost all the colors/ food groups (i.e. zucchini, pineapple, chicken/beef/seafood/tofu/seitan, sweet potato, Avocado, oil & seasoning =G, P, R, Y, B, O, spoon)
4) Bring a bottle of water and make it fun to drink (infuse with watermelon, fruit or an extract you like)
5) Drink your Shakeology prior to the BBQ so you don't feel starved or have your typical BBQ cravings for the snacks and chips that you'll often be surrounded by.
6) EAT - Use a small plate & know your plated portions and start to eye ball how much of each you should plate. Don't make yourself a target by not eating. People always notice the person at a BBQ not eating anything at all.
7) DON'T PILE ON THE FOOD just because everyone is or you think you'll feed your kids from the same plate. Make your kids a separate plate!
8) Help to clean up, so that the food doesn't stare you in the face the whole time.
9) Don't talk about how you're on a meal plan and don't use the word DIET, cause this is a lifestyle eating plan! This is a time to enjoy your family and friends and help them see that you are not focused on what you can not do, but what you are doing! DO TALK ABOUT your commitment to changing your eating habits and creating a cleaner lifestyle! You will help someone around you learn something new and that is a beautiful gift to share!
10) HAVE FUN! Enjoy your time and if that includes alcohol...CHEERS! Know your limits, drink a cup of water for every alcoholic drink you consume. This will help you keep away from snacking and also prevent you from drinking too much alcohol. Always BE SAFE and enjoy your time.
Enjoy the fun BBQ season and thanks for reading! Would love your ideas and comments too.
I was getting kinda bored with my meals so I decided to do the pinterest browse and stumbled on this awesome chunky portabella veggie burgers from The kitchen Whisperer, which I said...YUMMERS, I gotta try this but with my own flaired style!
3 cups portabella mushrooms, cubed
2 cups organic canned Red Kidney beans (you can use black beans too)
2 cups minced broccoli, fresh
1 cup minced cauliflower, fresh
1/2 cup red onion, minced
egg replacement mixture = 3 eggs
1/2 cup quinoa (I always have some already made in the fridge)
1/2 cup whole wheat matzoh meal (or bread crumbs of choice)
seasonings - cumin, curry, paprika, turmeric, ginger (add a steak seasoning if you prefer)
2 tbl minced garlic
3/4 cup of Daiya jack cheese, minced
*I didn't, but the original recipe called for Montreal steak seasoning and worcestershire sauce
1. large bowl mash up half the beans
2. add all veggies and rest of the beans and seasoning
3. mix until coated
4. add egg replacement, Daiya cheese and matzoh meal
5. scoop mixture into palms, press firmly together to make burgers. they need extra pressure to keep them solid.
6. Heat up coconut oil in skillet and cook each side until brown.
You can serve with hummus, guacamole or steak sauce. Enjoy!
How we take care of ourselves is a direct correlation to how much we can give of ourselves. Just because we are caregivers to others does not mean we are at our full potential to be caring best for them. What I mean is we must operate and care for our ourselves in the most optimal way possible in order to maximize how much we can give of ourselves to others. For example picture yourself as a Maserati. if you leave that Maserati in a garage (ie no exercise) and give it the least optimal fuel (ie nutrition).... are you really able to maximize that amazing machines potential? If our kids & loved ones are our passengers...Are you caring for your machine to live your fullest potential each day? Where can you give more to YOU?
By: Tiffany Carrasquillo (Tiffany is one of our awesome instructors and we are thrilled to have her as a key contributor to our blog)
(Metaphorical short story based on a quote by a Poet named Hafiz)
Nature gave birth to twin girls. She was wise in carefully selecting her daughter’s names. Nature knew that the name would be a label that her daughters would live up to. She chose to name one child Truth and the other Joy. Joy noticed while growing up that people seemed to disregard her sister Truth. Most people were not fond of her. Although it never seemed to bother Truth, Joy began to worry about her own future. She often wondered, “What would happen if people disregarded me?” As it so happens, as Joy lost her baby face and grew into a woman, people began to turn their backs on her.
Joy became obsessed with this fear and tried to avoid the rejection. She studied people as often as she could and one day she stumbled upon a book that promised she would never be rejected. This book titled “The Book of Should” explained to her everything she needed to do in order to keep the attention of people. Truth expressed her opinion very clearly. She explained that no book would have all the answers and that people could not make her happy. In fact it was painly unfair for Joy to put that responsibility on people. Joy looked upon Truth with pity because Truth never had many friends. She didn’t take her sisters opinion into consideration. After all what would someone who was alone most of the time know about people and their nature.
Soon after she began reading, Joy started to understand the books first message. Chapter one, You should be like people and you should be significantly bigger to be noticed. Joy sat and observed people as they went about their day. She noticed that one thing most people had in common was doubt. In order to connect with people Joy decided to call herself Doubt. She figured this would make her more like people and, after all, a five letter name was bigger than a three letter one. Almost immediately it began to work. People saw Doubt but they rarely talked about her. It was like they had a sense she was there but refused to see her. There was something bigger hiding right in front of Doubt.
Chapter two, You should be able to see and do what they want you to do. At first Doubt couldn’t see it. She did not know what was blocking her. What was it that people put in her way? Again she studied people. She looked at their faces and there was the answer. Frowning faces, red faces, sharp brows, twitching faces, it was very clear she picked the wrong name for herself. It seemed that people wanted something else. She introduced herself as Anger. Anger showed up front and foremost shadowing Doubt. This time it was working beautifully. The attention Anger got was immense. People noticed Anger. They connected with her. They even rewarded her. Yet something else was getting even more attention than her. It was something much bigger. Something was wrong and Anger would not stand for this bigger thing to steal her spotlight.
Chapter three, You should not let anything be better than you. What did this mean? What was better than Anger? Everyone allowed Anger into their life. What was this thing that was overshadowing Anger? Anger now listened to the words people spoke. They often compared themselves to others. Most of the comparisons were over what one had that the other didn’t. Anger heard a lot of envy, but envy was just a weak four letter name. She needed much bigger. She got it, Jealousy. Jealousy was huge. What an impact it would have. As Jealously she made much more connections. Not only did people actually feel her, they connected with each other because of her. She was now bringing people together. Jealousy assumed she could put the book down now but there was yet something with greater power and greater attention than Jealousy could produce. Something was feeding Jealousy. She didn’t want to just have the power that fed her, she wanted to be it.
Chapter four, You should never seek Truth. Jealousy was shocked to see her sister’s name in the book, although, she was secretly pleased at the context. Now knowing that Doubt was inferior to Anger and Anger inferior to her, what could Truth have to do with this? What was opposite of Truth? A lie or a fib would be too small. Misled is not good enough but perhaps Ignorance? Yes, Ignorance was a bit larger than Jealousy and impacted almost every person alive. This had to be it. She was so confident this time that she proclaimed it in loud words to the world. “I AM IGNORANCE!” People began to flock to her embrace, feeling safe in her presence. They all felt a place of belonging with her. Ignorance was in bliss for a short time. There were a few people who left Ignorance behind. It began to hurt her. She didn’t understand this pain. What was it?
Chapter five, You should always hold on tight and NEVER let anything go. Ignorance knew exactly what this meant. She called out to those who left her, “I am Attachment!” They ignored her. She cried out again, “Didn’t you hear me? I am Attachment!” They looked at her empathically but one by one continued to walk away. Attachment sat alone in hysteria. She frantically double checked her book. Ran through the names in her mind, Doubt, Anger, Jealousy, Ignorance, Attachment. Not one person stayed by her side.
She realized she was now alone, or was she? She turned around her and noticed two people standing behind her. One a familiar face, the other she had not met. Truth spoke first, “Hello sister, what name are you going by today?”
“I don’t know. I’m not sure what to call myself.”
“May I introduce you to my husband, and can I use your real name?”
“Joy, this is my husband, Love. Love, this is my sister, Joy.”
“You are married?”
“Yes, Joy. All this time while you were seeking approval, I found Love and married him.”
In that moment Joy realized what she had done. She had denied herself of her true nature. She hugged her sister and her sister’s husband and threw that awful book behind her.
“Ow!” a man yelled.
Joy gasped, “Oh sir I am so, so sorry, are you ok?”
The man laughed and said, “It’s going to take more than that to knock me down. By the way I am Happiness, and you are?’
“Joy, my name is Joy.”
His eye lit up with excitement, “I have seen Doubt, Anger, Jealousy, Ignorance, and Attachment, but ever since you were born and I heard your name, I have been running through the streets trying to find you Joy.”
And so Happiness found Joy.
“Ever since Happiness heard your name it’s been running through the streets trying to find you.” - Hafiz
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