Friday, December 2, 2016

Cabbage & Beef Soup

Let me start by saying that I have never had Cabbage soup before. So I wasn't 100% sure how I was going to make it. It was a pretty cold morning here in Germany and soup sounded really good for supper.

I took my youngest to Netto, a discount grocery store here. I knew that I wanted a soup with veggies, but wasn't sure what I wanted for it yet. So we grabbed some potatoes, carrots, and a head of cabbage. I was going to grab some onions too, but decided to do an onion soup mix instead. I know, it was definitely the easy way out, but I really didn't want to cut up onions today.

We ended up not putting potatoes in the soup at all and used a can of Kidney Beans instead. This was the end result. And let me tell you, my boys (ages 3 and 5) gobbled this up! It was a hit with my family and will probably go into our regular rotation for meals.


The inspiration for my soup came from this recipe by NANCYSCOTT1:


I have a family of 4, two of which are under the age of 6. So I made mine a little different than hers. Here are the ingredients for the batch I made today.

1 pound Ground Beef/Ground Pork mix*
1 package of Knorr Zwiebel Suppe Mix (Onion Soup Mix)
1/2 of a head of Cabbage, chopped
4 Medium Carrots diced
1 (16 ounce) can of Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
4 Cups of Water
2 (15 ounce) cans of Tomato Sauce
1 Chicken Bouillon Cube - I would have used beef if I had one.
1 1/5 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp of Black Pepper

Place the meat in a pan on the stove and cook until it is browned and crumbled. Drain the fat (I also rinse the meat in the strainer) and place it in a crockpot. Add 2 cups of water, and the onion soup mix. Stir well, then add the cabbage, carrots, beans, and bouillon cube. Add the pepper and ground cumin along with the tomato sauce and stir well.

Cook on High for 2-3 hours, then on Low for 3 hours. Or you can cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours. Make sure that you stir the soup occasionally so that nothing sticks to the bottom or sides.

*I was looking for ground turkey, but was unable to find it at Netto today. So feel free to use a meat of your choosing. If you make your own batch of Cabbage soup, I'd love to hear from you. Just comment below :)

Thank You,
Brandy
Saturday, January 16, 2016

Kid Friendly Lunch

Raise your hand if lunch and dinner are the most challenging meals to get your kiddos to eat?

If I had 3 hands, they would all be raised right now. But let's face it, this post ain't gonna type itself. Am I right? 

Back to the point of this post. We all face the challenge of a picker eater. And it can get pretty frustrating trying to think of healthy meals that will get their attention and that they will actually eat. 

Well I have to share this little gem with you. It's a healthy twist on an old favorite. Pizza! My mouth waters just saying the word. And my stomach pushes outward a little bit to remind me why I shouldn't have any. 

Have no fear. This one will please the hangry little ones and you without making you undo the top button on your jeans. 

It's a Tortilla Pizza. Ok, here's a pic to really get your mouth watering. 


We had spaghetti the night before and there was leftover meat sauce (Grandma's Tomato sauce from Fixate cookbook). So we took the sauce and spread it on the tortilla, added some black olives (because my kids love black olives) and some shredded mozzarella.

I turned the oven on Broil and cooked the pizza for 5 minutes.  Just long enough to melt the cheese and brown it a little.

It looks delicious, right? Well, it was but it was also a little messy. One thing I would recommend is topping it with another tortilla and letting the cheese hold it all together.  Then just cut it with a pizza cutter. It will make it a whole lot easier for their little hands to hold onto to and keep all of the toppings from sliding out.

*** You can do this with leftover taco ingredients, ham and cheese, and a ton of other ingredients. The possibilities are endless.***

If you try you make this fun lunch with your kiddos, comment below with how it went. I would love to hear from you.
Friday, August 28, 2015

3 Day Refresh - My Experience

How did I do on the 3 Day Refresh you ask?

Well, I survived. I mean it was only 3 days and I definitely didn't starve myself.  I drank a ton of water (actually a gallon) each day and ate a lot of fruits and veggies.  I also had lots of protein in my shakes. In order to give you an idea of what my lunch looked like for 2 out of the 3 days, here's a pic for ya.


That, my friends was a very filling lunch.  It consisted of a Vanilla Fresh shake (packed with all the amino acids you would get from meat and dairy proteins), 1/2 a medium apple with 1 1/2 tsp of Almond Butter, and 1 cup of sliced cucumbers.

My dinner (supper if you're from GA like I am) consisted of a veggie stir fry that I had to fight the kiddos for. Yep, they were pawing at my plate like a couple of bears digging in a dumpster.  It was that good. Red Bell Peppers, Green Beans, and Carrots cooked in EVOO with minced garlic and ginger. I enjoyed my stir fry with another Vanilla Fresh shake. I was full. I was satisfied.


I also had fresh spinach as my snack each day (2 cups). That's a lot of spinach. I mixed it with some coconut oil and some salt free lemon pepper Mrs. Dash seasoning. So there was plenty of flavor and substance to my snack. I even had to make some for the boys.  I'm so glad they love their veggies.

Each day I drank between 100 and 128 ounces of water. So basically a gallon a day.  I had to pee a lot, but I never found myself starving or craving anything that wasn't on my meal plan for the day. Now on day 3, I was very busy and a little preoccupied with household work. So I forgot to drink my water and went most of the morning on only 25 oz.  That's not my norm and it threw me for a loop.  That was the first day that I felt hungry in between meals and snacks.  But I know it was due to not drinking my water.  I did end up eating a handful (1/2 cup) of grapes to stop the hunger. Not a bad thing to grab when you're hungry. But I wouldn't have felt that way if I had been getting my water in like I normally do.

So what were my results? I'll show you. Are you ready? Ok, here goes nothing .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .


Not bad for 3 days of eating and fueling my body with nutritious ingredients and doing light to moderate exercise.  I'm impressed and my shorts were quite happy today (Day 5 - 2 days after Refreshing). They were quite snug last week, and almost require a belt to stay up this week. And here's something kind of funny. Or at least I find it to be.  On day 1, and maybe even a little on day 2, I thought to myself "Hmm, vegan really isn't that bad. I actually feel pretty good.  Maybe I'll go vegan for a little while." Insert laughter here. And here. And maybe a little over there in the corner too! My hubby decided to grill chicken on Day 2 and I really wanted that chicken. I refrained from eating it (because I have goals). But I sure did have some chicken on Day 4.  I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience. If you'd like to experience it for yourself let me know. I would love to walk you through it.  Heck, I will likely do this again in a month or so.  

~ Sincerely,
Coach Brandy :)






Monday, August 24, 2015

3 Day Refresh Day - What is it?

As a coach I help people break away from bad eating habits, right? Well sometimes, even as a coach, I fall into bad habits again. It's never long term. But it's always enough to remind me why I started eating healthier in the first place.

The first thing I notice is that my clothes feel a little more snug than I would like. And living in Florida, the last thing you want in the summer is for your clothes to be clinging to you - holding on for dear life.  The humidity does a pretty good job making them stick to you as it is.

The second thing I notice is that I feel kinda "bleh". And nobody likes that feeling.  The old me would look for some quick fix, wreak havoc on my system, cleanse.  Yep. I've done them before and felt horrible the entire time. No energy. Fast results (b/c I was starving myself). And a quick regain of all of the weight I lost.  Good thing I'm much wiser now and have resources that teach me the healthy way to "cleanse".

So what exactly is the 3-Day Refresh?


It's a 3 Day program of specially formulated shakes, healthy snacks, and yummy easy-to-prepare meals that have been scientifically designed to help you lose weight and break the cycle of bad eating while dramatically improving the way you feel.

How is it different from other cleanses?


Unlike juice fasts or liquid cleanses that are high in sugar and low in protein (which can leave you feeling weak and sluggish), the 3-Day Refresh is scientifically designed to help support your metabolism while nourishing your vital organs.* Plus, you actually get to eat delicious, real food during this program.


Why Refresh?


  •  You need a clean break from a period of unhealthy eating. 
  • You used to eat pretty well but have recently fallen off the wagon and need some help getting back on. 
  • You want to jump-start healthy eating habits for a new workout program. 
  • You want to quickly lose a few pounds for an upcoming event. 
  • You’ve never been a healthy eater, but are ready to kick-start better nutrition for the first time. 
  • You want your clothes to fit better. 
  • You want more energy. 
  • You love food and want to be satisfied while you lose weight and get healthier. 
  • You’ve tried liquid fasts or other fad diets and they simply don’t work.

What's Included?

  • 3 packets of Shakeology®—your choice of 6 flavors (we recommend Chocolate Vegan or Tropical Strawberry Vegan during the Refresh as plant proteins are often easier for the body to digest) 
  • 6 packets of Vanilla Fresh (high-protein shake) 
  • 3 packets of Fiber Sweep (digestive drink) 
  • 1 Program Guide

What do you eat and drink while doing the Refresh?

  • FILTERED WATER: In addition to the water you use in your shakes and teas, we recommend you drink at least half your body weight in ounces of filtered water each day. 
  • BREAKFAST: A superfood-packed Shakeology shake, plus one fruit option 
  • MORNING TEA: 1 cup of unsweetened herbal or green tea 
  • LATE MORNING: Fiber Sweep, a digestive health drink
  • LUNCH: Vanilla Fresh shake, plus 1 option from the Fruit List, 1 option from the Vegetable List, and 1 option from the Healthy Fats list 
  • AFTERNOON SNACK: 1 option from Vegetable List, and 1 option from the Healthy Fats list 
  • AFTERNOON TEA: 1 cup of unsweetened herbal tea (caffeine-free) 
  • DINNER: Vanilla Fresh shake, 1 option from the Dinner Recipes, and 1 cup of organic vegetable broth (optional) 
  • EVENING TEA: 1 cup of unsweetened herbal tea (caffeine-free)


What can you expect while doing the Refresh?

  • The 3-Day Refresh is a low-calorie program (about 900 calories a day) but because the shakes and food selections are high in protein and fiber they help keep you satiated throughout the day. 
  • Because this program is packed with fiber, if you don’t already have a diet that’s high in fruits, veggies, and whole grains, it’s a good idea to prepare for the 3-Day Refresh by eating a large salad and/or a few servings of fresh veggies throughout the week leading up to it. 
  • If you get a little gas or bloating, this is a sign that you need to up your fiber levels in general. Fiber promotes satiety, balances blood sugar, promotes cardiovascular health, and keeps your digestive tract functioning. 
  • If gas is an issue, the program has highlighted the “low gas-producing” options in the veggie list and dinner recipes in the menu guide. 
  • It is recommended that you only do mild to moderate exercise during the 3-Day Refresh because this program will be more effective when your body can focus on cleansing.
If you are interested in purchasing the refresh, you can simply click on my link below :)



*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Vanilla Shakeology Recipes

Chocolate may be my favorite flavor, but every now and then I have to have some Vanilla. When I used to eat ice cream on an "every other day" basis (yep, that was me), Vanilla was my flavor of choice.

So having an ice cold Vanilla Shakeology helps give me the same satisfaction as those ice cream binges, without all of the calories and sugar. So I came up with a list of great recipes for you.  I hope you enjoy them as much as me.  And if you have something you've tried and absolutely love, please feel free to share it in the comments below.

~ Coach Brandy

Friday, May 29, 2015

What is a Challenge Group?

No, a challenge group is not the small children and animals roaming around your house, going room to room and destroying everything in their path. Although that does present a challenge most days.

In the world of fitness and nutrition, a Challenge Group is a secret Facebook group where you and others who are doing the same program (sometimes different programs) and starting on the same day can come together without being in the public eye. These groups can run anywhere from 30 - 90 days, depending on the need.  Below is an example of one of the groups I'm currently running with 2 fellow coaches:



This particular group is for Focus T25 and is coming up on day 90 since it is a 90 day program.  So, as you can see, there's a theme for each day that helps keep everyone in the group motivated and on track.  It's a safe place to ask questions, share your frustrations, and help cheer on others who are in the challenge with you.  I know that when I started my health and fitness journey in April of 2014, I never would have stuck with it if it were not for the Challenge Group I was fortunate enough to be a part of.  The sharing of ideas, our struggles, and our triumphs is what kept me going.  I didn't want to let myself or anyone else down.

The value of being in a challenge group is really something you have to see for yourself. So if you or someone you know has been struggling with getting started or staying committed to getting healthy or fit, I would love to help. I've been there before and am forever grateful that my dear friend reached out to me.

You can email me at vidaliagirl@gmail.com, comment below or use the "Comment" pop-up tab on the bottom right of your screen.

~ Thank you for stopping by,
Coach Brandy
Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Chocolate Shakeology Recipes

Chocoholic, Chocofanatic, Choco Loco. I am a full-fledged Chocolate Maniac!

I love my chocolate and it's one of the things I crave the most when I'm bored, hungry, on my period, and well, just about anytime.  I do not discriminate. I love all kinds of chocolate. Milk Chocolate? Duh. Chili Chocolate? Yes, please. Dark Chocolate? Don't mind if I do.

So when I was first introduced to Chocolate Shakeology I was more than happy to give it a try. And wouldn't you know, I was hooked. I can drink it by itself with just a cup of water blended with ice cubes. But every now and then I like to mix things up. Here are a few of my Favorite Chocolate Shakeology Recipes. I hope you enjoy them. And if you have any go to Recipes you absolutely love, please share them in the comment section below.  I'm always looking for new ways to Shakeo.


Yours Truly,
Brandy

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