You probably see me post and talk about Challenge Groups – and you might be wondering what they are, what we do and why it is so effective. That’s because we camaraderie, goal-set, and the daily support all play a huge role in helping you stay accountable and ultimately reach your goals… whether your goal is eating better, working out more, losing weight, or a mix of all three.
What is a Challenge Group?
The #1 secret to success with any fitness and nutrition program is staying accountable to your health and fitness goals — and that’s exactly what Challenge Groups help you do. Challenge Groups are led by a coach (ME!!) and are comprised of people just like you who all have committed to getting healthy and fit.
These groups are most often hosted on Facebook and focus on three main areas:
Ever heard the phrase, “results are made in the kitchen?” It’s true. To lose weight or build muscle following any workout regimen, it’s important to dial in your nutrition, and drinking Shakeology.
Most of us don’t eat in a way that allows us to get the nutrition we need just from our food, and new changes to our diet or exercise habits can increase the demands on our bodies.
That’s why Shakeology is so critical to your journey. It helps to address nutritional gaps in our diets and builds the strong nutritional foundation we need to feel better. And when we feel better, we do better, making smarter choices and taking on bigger challenges.
Whether you’re a meal prep pro or you’ve never cooked a thing in your life, I will be there to answer any questions or concerns you may have about the nutrition part of the challenge. And provide you with meal plans and recipes.
Challenge Groups sometimes focus on one specific Beachbody program at a time or sometimes it is fun to mix it up with challengers doing different programs and at different fitness levels. All Beachbody fitness programs include a workout calendar developed by certified fitness professionals. The goal of the program is to help you get the best results while also building in recovery time.
Support is key to staying accountable. That’s why your coach, and often, your fellow challengers, play a major role in helping you reach your health and fitness goals.
Throughout the duration of the challenge, I will check in on you daily, start conversations, and share tips to help you make it to the end.
Why Challenge Groups Work
Studies have found that weight-loss programs that involve a third party that holds you accountable, as opposed to you going it alone, may significantly improve your chances of reaching your goals.
Research by theInternational Journal of Consumer Studiesalso found social-networking groups provide 4 main types of support: emotional, instrumental, informational, and affirmation.
Trust and empathy are often huge factors in a person’s weight-loss journey. I will help create a safe, non-judgmental environment for you to ask questions and provide emotional support along the way.
As a result, Challenge Groups are great for both beginners as well as those who never miss a chance to work out.
I will provide their challengers with assignments, worksheets, and tools to lead them to success. Challengers are encouraged to actively engage with the group on a daily basis by uploading post-workout selfies, meal prep photos, and more.
There are more than 30 Beachbody workout programs, and there’s sure to be at least one that will fit your fitness needs and preferences. I will be there to give you the information you need to not only understand the program you’re using, but also to help you select the program that’s right for you to reach your specific goals.
Sticking to a challenge takes dedication and participating in a Challenge Group gives you the affirmation you need to keep going. Missed a workout? Didn’t stick to the meal plan for a few days?
Your Challenge Group and your coach can help give you the motivation you need to pick up where you left off. Once you’ve completed the Challenge Group, I can help you choose your next program so you can maintain your results.
In a world with countless distractions, a Challenge Group is a place where you can focus 100 percent on your goals and feel supported as you strive to reach them.
Yesterday marked the last workout of Phase 1 with 80 Day Obsession with Autumn Calabrese and I must say, there are so many things I love about this program!
I love that it is more like the workouts I would do at a gym, except Autumn thinks of exercises that I wouldn’t have thought of to really focus in on your booty, arms, and abs!
Being 12 weeks post-partum, I was not sure how my body would handle this program, but each and every day I am feeling stronger and stronger!
Although at first I was not too excited about my results, I thought more about it and realized I have made a lot of changes! 3 lbs and 4 inches down for good, but the energy I am gaining and how strong I feel, and the fact that I’m finally getting consistent with my workouts and nutrition is my biggest victory so far!
These workouts are by no means easy, in fact, they have been extremely challenging for me and my body is sore every day, but it hurts so good! Each day, my post workout meal consists of our Beachbody Performance Recover, along with Shakeology which is full of superfoods! This shake was orange recover and vegan vanilla Shakeology which is more plant based protein, rather than form animal protein! It helps so much with muscle recovery!
The timed nutrition has been a little bit of a struggle since I’m still working on my time management, but I’m excited that I am making healthier choices and my meals have been fun and not boring, which makes it easier to keep going!
80 Day Obsession container breakdown- 1 green, 1 red, 1/2 blue
One meal I made this week was a healthier version of nachos. If you know me, you know I am slightly obsessed with loaded nachos! So I took some bell peppers, cooked up chicken in the Instant pot for 10 minutes with chicken broth and chili seasoning, and shredded the chicken over the peppers with black beans and baked it for 10 minutes! Topped with a little shredded cheese , taco sauce, and plain greek yogurt as my sour cream, I got myself a good meal!
80 Day Obsession breakdown- 1 red, 1 blue
I am so excited to see what Phase 2 brings this post-partum mom bod of mine!! I am so excited to share my fitness journey, not just for my own accountability, but also to show other mamas what is possible!! I know as mommas, we are busy, but also we are trying to adjust to this new lifestyle and caring for a new baby, but it is so important to take care of us too! It is crazy to think how much better we feel when we give our bodies a little tender, loving, care!
So I recently bought an Instant since I keep hearing that it is the next best thing and I am pretty sure it has cut down meal prep time by a lot!
I have been craving Thai Chicken of some sort, but it usually takes too long, but I officially found this really good recipe that satisfied my Thai chicken cravings!!
1 – 2 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce (I use Braggs Liquid Aminos as a healthier option)
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
green onions, chopped for garnish, optional
Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pressure cooker pot, select Browning. When oil is hot, brown the meat in small batches, do not crowd the pot. Set the browned chicken on a platter.
When all the chicken is browned, add chicken broth, peanut butter, soy sauce, and red pepper. Stir to combine.
Add the browned chicken to the pot, along with any juices that have collected on the platter. Cover pot and lock lid in place.
Select High Pressure and 9 minutes cook time. (It will take about 10 minutes to reach high pressure.)After 9 minutes cook time, turn off pressure cooker and use a quick pressure release. Remove chicken from the pot leaving the sauce.In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in 2 tablespoons water. Add cornstarch mixture to the sauce in the pot stirring constantly. Select Simmer and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. After sauce thickens, add chicken and coat with the sauce.Serve garnished with chopped peanuts and green onions.
Feel free to use this Thai Chicken over top of brown rice or whole wheat pasta with a side of green beans to get in your veggies too!
So it has been over a week since I posted last and I am sooooo sorry.. I have been trying to get acclimated with having a new baby around… and let me say, it’s different than it was 5 years ago!! Maybe its me being older, or maybe it’s the fact that my little bug doesn’t like sleep!! LOL
Anyways… I am excited to be back and share with you how post-partum life is!! It’s tiring!! But amazing!! I am so in love with this little man and he looks SOOOO much like his daddy it’s unreal!!
As I was looking back at my post-partum journey with my last baby boy, I couldn’t believe the mindset I have this time and how my body is so different… the pictures I am showing you is 6 weeks post-partum with both pregnancies…. the only difference is, I actually took care of my body and health this time around!!
The first image is when I started my fitness journey with Beachbody… I was a full time nurse, taking master’s classes, and had a 6 week old and a 1 year old at home.. I was miserable and hated to even look in the mirror! I ate too much fast food during pregnancy and slacked on working out big time. But I got into my home fitness programs with Beachbody and joined an online accountability support group to help with a free Beachbody coach! The daily accountability and following a regimen with a workout program and nutrition guide made all the difference! I got results, I gained new healthy habits, and I felt good!!
This time around, I maintained everything I learned from my Beachbody journey and continued the healthy eating and exercise throughout my 4rd pregnancy! And it made my pregnancy enjoyable and afterwards, it has helped me with recovering and feeling pretty darn good for just having a baby!! Yes, I had some complications and have not been cleared to workout yet, but hopefully tomorrow I will have some good news from my OB!
Since I have not been working out, I will admit I really struggled with eating healthy the last couple weeks.. I mean, I did better with my pregnancy with eating than the last couple weeks, but I am ready to move on and get over myself lol.. So yesterday, my challenge group that I run for my team and challengers who have fitness goals have inspired the crap out of me, and I decided I am jumping on board with them.. at least with the nutrition part! They are doing the 80 Day Obsession! It is a new fitness program by Autumn Calabrese (fitness expert and bikini competitor) that is done at HOME. It is 80 days long, and focuses on Abs, Arms, and Booty (A$$)!! These ladies are ON IT and in our pre season alone, are already seeing results and learning tons about timed nutrition, using workout blocks, and eating for fuel, not just for the heck of it!! So I needed badly to get my nutrition on point with them!!
Egg whites with 2 yoke, spinach, chicken, and shredded cheese 2 red, 1 green, 1 blue
Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and granola (Kashi cereal) 1 red, 1 purple, 1 yellow
Hard boiled egg whites, fresh veggies, hummus 1 green, 1 blue, 1 red
Of course, most of my food, especially lunches and dinners, I cook and prep in bulk.. so I have sliced sweet potato and tilapia baked with seasoning, chicken, turkey burger, quinoa, brown rice, all ready! And yes, my hubby and kids eat this food with me!
Dinner is served
It is so crazy how much of a difference eating healthy will do for your body and how you feel overall!! Just getting strict again was a decision I knew I needed to make for me, but also because I am breastfeeding my baby boy and he is getting the food that I ingest also, so I want him to get the best of the best!
So… if you are a new mom or a mom, or just want to get on board with your fitness and health journey and want daily support and accountability like we are giving each other, join in on the fun and lifestyle change!
Please fill out the application below to reserve your spot in my February Fitness Group! Spaces are limited!!
Chances are at some time in your life, you’ve made a New Year’s resolution — and then broken it. This year, stop the cycle of resolving to make change and then not following through. If your resolution is to take better care of yourself and get healthy, you will have a much better year if your resolution sticks. Here are ten tips to help you get started.
1. BE REALISTIC
The surest way to fall short of your goal is to make your goal unattainable. For instance, resolving to NEVER eat your favorite food again or to workout 2 hours every single day is setting you up to fail. Instead, strive for a goal that is attainable, such as avoiding it more often than you do now. You know yourself, how much time you have, what changes you can make.
2. PLAN AHEAD
Don’t make your resolution on New Year’s Eve. If you wait until the last minute, it will be based on your mindset that particular day. Instead, it should be planned well before December 31st arrives. And if you didn’t that is okay – plan today. Remember you don’t need a New Year or a new month – just a new day with a new mindset.
3. OUTLINE YOUR PLAN
Decide how you will deal with the temptation to skip that exercise class or have that piece of cake. This could leaning on one of my challenge groups and myself for help, practice positive thinking and self-talk, or reminding yourself how your “bad” will affect your goal.
4. MAKE A “PROS” AND “CONS” LIST
It may help to see a list of items on paper to keep your motivation strong. Develop this list over time, and ask others to contribute to it. Keep your list with you and refer to it when you need help keeping your resolve.
5. TALK ABOUT IT
Don’t keep your resolution a secret. Tell friends and family members who will be there to support your resolve to change yourself for the better or improve your health. The best-case scenario is to find a buddy who shares your New Year’s resolution and motivate each other. You will find lots of these buddies in my challenge groups where we are constantly talking about our goals and if what we did today got us closer to our goals or further away.
6. REWARD YOURSELF
This doesn’t mean that you can eat an entire box of chocolates if your resolution is to eat a better diet. Instead, celebrate your success by treating yourself to something you enjoy that doesn’t contradict your resolution. If you have been sticking to your promise to eat better, for example, reward yourself with new fitness clothing or by going to a movie with a friend.
7. TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
Keep track of each small success. Short-term goals are easier to keep, and each small accomplishment will help keep you motivated throughout the year. Instead of focusing on losing 30 pounds, focus on losing the first five. Keep a food journal to help you stay on track, and reward yourself for each five pounds lost.
8. DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP
Obsessing over the occasional slip won’t help you achieve your goal. Do the best you can each day, and take one day at a time. Just because you have a bad day or a bad meal doesn’t mean you should toss all your hardwork in the trash. If your cell phone has a crack in the screen, you don’t go and smash the rest of it – right?
9. STICK TO IT
Experts say it takes about 21 days for a new activity to become a habit and six months for it to become part of your personality. It won’t happen overnight, so be persistent and patient!
10. KEEP TRYING
If you have totally run out of steam when it comes to keeping your resolution by mid-February, don’t despair. Start over again! Recommit yourself for 24 hours. You can do anything for 24 hours. The 24-hour increments will soon build on each other and, before you know it, you will be back on track.
¼ cup Braggs Liquid Amini (or low sodium soy sauce)
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
⅛ cup lemon juice
¾ cup light brown sugar
2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp Himalayan salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
6 chicken breasts or 3.5 lb chicken
Combine all ingredients, except for chicken, in a mixing bowl and whisk together.
Remove a half a cup of marinade and reserve for basting the chicken later.
Place chicken in a large, ziploc bag and pour marinade over the top. Close securely.
Marinate for at least 30 minutes, but up to 24 hours (I found it was delicious when I marinaded it for 30 minutes and 1 hour).
Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until cooked all the way through.
Optional, but makes this recipe taste even better:
If you bring the reserved marinade up to a boil, let simmer until slightly reduced, it makes a wonderful sauce to go on top of the chicken.
ENJOY!!! I loved this meal with our home made green beans with potatoes and ham and a little fruit on the side!!
If you are looking to start your fitness journey or get off that plateau, look for motivation, and help with nutrition, please fill out the application below for a spot in my online fitness challenge group where you will get daily mentoring along your fitness journey!