Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Power Packed Cereal

This past weekend Joe and I headed down south to New Orleans! We went to Jazz Fest and listened to really good music, drank some cold beers and ate really good (not healthy) food. My favorite was probably the Crawfish Bread. It was pretty much a pizza dough stuffed with cheese, crawfish and creole seasoning. YUM. See the amazing-ness below.  The other picture was taken after standing all day. Sitting in a lawn chair was all we wanted to do. I always forget how tiring it can be to stand outside in the sun!

We also had a crawfish boil, which was both Joe and my first time peeling and eating crawfish. That stuffs hard work! Naturally, as the Top Chef junkie that I am, I knew you were supposed to suck the juice out of the head. Sometimes it worked and other times it didn't. I also learned there are about 50 variations on the "right" way to peel crawfish. All in all it was really messy but really delicious.

Before we flew home on Sunday night we went on a swamp walk. I really wanted to see an alligator...but no such luck. Just a bunch of snakes (gross), spiders (even more gross), frogs (cute) and lizards (the cutest!!). The scenery was beautiful!

On to the recipe!! Joe’s Aunt makes this amazing cereal that I had for breakfast while I was down there. So naturally I had to imitate it immediately when I got back. I also figured out its 21 Day Fix Approved!!
Power Packed Cereal

  • 9 cups Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1 ½ cups Walnuts
  • ½ + 1/8 cup Chia Seeds
  • 1 + 1/8 cup Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds)
  • ¾ cup Craisins
  • ¼ cup Goji Berries

  • Combine all ingredients above in large Tupperware container. Stir well.
  • Serve with cold milk, almond milk or coconut milk!
On the 21 Day Fix? A ¾ cup serving (with ½ cup milk) = 1.5 yellow, 1 Blue, 1 Orange



Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fit People Secrets: Revealed

This post is courtesy of my favorite trainer, Chalene Johnson!

Read these tips, then print and post them so you have them as a daily reminder.
  1. Look at exercise as a pleasure and a privilege, not a burden or chore. Think positively about the changes regular exercise will produce. Rather than obsessing about your next meal, get excited about your next workout!
  2. Focus on short-term fitness goals with an emphasis on completing daily exercise.
  3. Work to take your exercise to new levels of intensity.
  4. Make it your goal to do some form of exercise 6 or 7 days a week. If some days you exercise once in the morning and once in the evening, even better! If you're eating right, exercise will fuel your energy level!
  5. Create an exercise schedule the day before instead of leaving it to chance or waiting to "find" the time. If the last three Presidents of the United States can make time to work out every day, you can make time too!
  6. Enjoy contributing to the health of others by having a partner or friends to exercise with, as well as recruiting others who want to feel better and have more energy. Have a neighbor who's sitting on the porch every morning when you walk by? Ask him or her to join you on your walk!
  7. Avoid monotony by taking up new forms of exercising, or using things that keep you motivated and inspired, like new shoes or great music.
  8. Invest in the right tools—good shoes, a portable MP3 player or iPod®, fitness equipment, a new series of tapes, etc.
  9. Subscribe to fitness magazines to keep focused on health as an overall way of life.
  10. Eat well-balanced meals and remember that excess calories, even if they're from food that's fat free and high in protein, will turn to excess weight. No matter what the latest fad diet says, extra calories equal extra weight!
  11. Limit caffeine and exposure to even secondhand smoke.
  12. Keep a water bottle with you at all times and drink from it often. Water should always be your drink of choice. To kick things up every once in a while, try adding lemon, lime, cucumber, or a few berries to liven up the flavor without adding significant calories.
  13. Stick with eating plans you can maintain indefinitely. Remember that no matter how hard you're working out, if you're consuming too many calories, you'll never see the muscles that lie beneath layers of fatty tissue.
  14. Keep a daily log of what you're actually eating. This includes every time you grab a handful of chips here or eat the crust of your kid's sandwich there, and ALL of your snacking.
  15. Enjoy an occasional (once a week) "unhealthy" treat, but never an unhealthy week or unhealthy vacation.
  16. If your diet is unbalanced, take daily vitamin and mineral supplements for total health.
  17. Don't compare your body to others'. Instead, work to be your personal best.
  18. Move beyond the boundaries of weight loss and into total fitness. Measure success by the way your clothes fit, not some number on a scale.
  19. Get adequate amounts of sleep, but remember that people who exercise regularly fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
  20. Limit alcohol intake to special occasions.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Gluten Intolerant?

Okay you guys, things are going to get a little personal here on this blog....

Lately I've been struggling with a really annoying problem. Digestion issues!! I've never had to deal with awful bloating, gassy annoyingness, or the embarrassment that comes along with both of those before, so this is totally new to me. It started after our trip the other weekend to Atlantic City and Washington D.C. For the first few days after our trip, I assumed it was because I did NOT eat healthy (think pizza, beer and Shake Shack ;) But then I was back into my eating and working out routine and it still wasn't getting better. The other night I had a total breakdown because I was so FED UP with feeling the same way. I would start the day off okay, then come 4:30pm I was bloated and feeling awful. I even cried to Joe-Joe about it because I eat SO HEALTHY...especially compared to other people. So the other night he went to Walgreen's to look for some Dandelion Team (I read somewhere that that can help), but he came back with Lemon Ginger Tea with Probiotics. And y'all know how much I LOVE probiotics :) What a great guy. 

Anyway, around to my experiment. I've decided that out of the foods I eat--the culprit has to be either gluten or peanut butter. I'm unwilling to even wrap my head around giving up peanut butter...so I'm giving up gluten for an entire week. Day 2 and I'm feeling so much better. On Day 7, I'm going to eat a slice of bread and see how things go. There's nothing more that I hate than people who claim to be "gluten intolerant" but really just use it as an excuse to try and lose weight by not eating bread. This is definitely NOT one of those circumstances. Homegirl LOVES bread, pasta and all things carb...so it's going to be a struggle. But considering how much pain and discomfort I was in, it's worth the struggle.

Have any of you ever suffered from extreme bloating or gluten intolerance? Did you go to the doctor or try to WebMD diagnose yourself like me? LOL


Monday, April 14, 2014

Join Me!

Hiii Guys and Gals!

As I am sure you ALL know by now from all my posts over the past few months... I am OBSESSED with the 21 Day Fix, Focus T25 and Shakeology... (all of which are produced by a company called BEACHBODY)

I was contacted by a higher up in the Beachbody community about an opportunity that I was unaware of up until a few months ago, and it has completely changed my life, and may even be able to change YOURS.

I, myself, had been searching for something that allows me to have freedom from a boss, but that also gives me the FINANCIAL freedom and opportunity to connect with others through something that I am super passionate about! I don't feel full of worth unless I am somehow "impacting the world in a positive way"...I don't know why I feel this way, I just always have.  I can't just GO to work, make money, come home, REPEAT! I have to feel like I am constantly growing as a person, pushing myself to be better... and all the while, feel like I am bettering others lives.

I've found the way to bring all of those together into one!

Beachbody spends over $100 million a year in advertising to sell their products. But rather than selling them in a retail store they decided to do something different... They decided to let their customers be the living proof of what their products can accomplish!!! They call these people COACHES because they are the voice of the company and know the product first-hand! Brilliant idea if you ask me!

Another great benefit of being a coach is that you receive 25% off of ALL their products, including any of their workout programs, nutritional supplements, and/or workout equipment! So if you are health and fitness obsessed like me, you can save a TON!

Of course, there is so much more to tell you about this opportunity and to explain how it all works... But I don't want to bother those who aren't interested any more...

*So, if you're looking to start a new career, or even just make a little extra money..this is an amazing opportunity that I, personally, plan on riding all the way to the TOP! I want to build my team with GREAT people that I know want to do the same.

There is a webinar THIS Wednesday (April 16th) at 8pm (central time, I'm in the midwest y'all!) that is targeted towards explaining this business to you and just how easy and profitable it can be! Please don't miss out on it, even if you are just slightly interested!

Upcoming Webinar Details
Email me :) jessicagracefitness@gmail.com

Look forward to getting in the best shape physically, financially and spiritually with you!

Message me with any questions!



Sunday, April 13, 2014

All About Lemons!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin When life gives you lemons....yeah, you know the old pun. But seriously, do you KNOW how good lemons are for you? Here are some of the top reasons you should be including this citrus fruit in your daily life!
  • Stay Heart Healthy: Lemons have a secret weapon in them--it's called vitamin C. Vitamin C is in the antioxidant vitamin category, and that means they neutralize harsh free radicals in our body. Free radicals attack our bodies in many ways. One of these ways is damaging blood vessels that allow plaque to build up in our arteries.
  • Breathe Easier: So those free radicals do another thing in our body, induce muscle contraction and airway constriction in your lungs! Start your day with a warm glass of lemon water, and even a teaspoon of honey to combat this.
  • Sooth Sore Throats: Lemons have a ton of antibacterial qualities that help prevent infections in your mouth and throat. Gargle with lemon water at the first sign of a sickness or sore throat. 
  • Regulate High Blood Pressure: Lemons have potassium in them, and potassium helps regulate the body's blood pressure, in a good way! Add lemon to water or tea on stressful days...heck, everyday!
  • Elminate Kidney Stones: Kidney stones form in your body because your body is unable to bread down the chemicals in your urinary tract. The citric acid that eating or drinking lemons provides is capable of breaking down existing stones you may have, as well as preventing new ones!
My favorite way to have lemon water is after the fruit has soaked overnight! And while it's still ice cold. You can also serve your dinner with lemon wedges on the side to garnish fish or chicken. And like I said above, try a spritz in your hot tea for flavor.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

What's My Job?

What's my job? Watch! 




Friday, April 11, 2014

How To: Eat Clean!

Actually, I should probably title that "How to: SUCK IT UP and Eat Clean" as that is what my problem has always been. Yes, I know, a Dietitian has trouble eating clean? You bet. I'm just like everyone else...French fries are my love, and a salad seems pretty boring. Ice cream? Only if its mint chocolate chip and has 4 scoops. So, how do you suck it up and just eat clean? 
Here are my tips:
  • Don't start until you know you're ready - I haven't been ready to pass up on eating meals out and French fries before. But now I am. And that, my friends, has made all the difference.
  • Once you commit, COMMIT! - That's right, no more of these eating healthy during the workdays then gorging yourself on goldfish crackers at night (yes, I've done that...I bet you have too). Eat clean and healthy at work and keep the momentum going when you get home! Grab an apple and get out of the kitchen! Or, change into your running shoes and head out the door right away. I promise, if you're not around it you're not tempted. 
  • EAT CARBS! - This has been one of my biggest struggles, because I know low carb dieting leads to fast weight loss..however, it also leads to an insanely cranky Jess. So, I gave that up. I'm eating clean which includes fruit, bread and wraps (before 4pm).
  • Don't get discouraged - Once you hit day 3, you won't miss a thing about unhealthy eating. You'll have more energy and feel better in your skin. PROMISE!
  • Know that you are not going to die. - Enough said.
  • Find a buddy!! Mine is actually a group of insanely inspiring women doing the 21 Day Fix with me! We have a group on Facebook where we check in with each other every day.
  • Plan out your week - meal by meal. This is another one that you don't believe until you actually try it. As soon as I started to write down what I was having at which meal, all that guess work just disappeared. Without the guessing, you're less likely to slip up and make unhealthy choices.
So there you have it. Tips on how to eat clean and healthy.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Recipe: Power Packed Rice!

So, you’re on the 21 Day Fix and taking your diet seriously. But you don’t know what to make for dinner to keep it interesting?? Here’s one of my FAVORITE go-to recipes that’s packed with flavor, nutrients and 21 Day Fix Approved! Just read below to know how to portion out the containers!
Power Packed Turkey, Beans and Rice

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey (be sure to buy at least 93% lean turkey)
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 3/4 can tomato paste (6oz sized can)
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp. cayenne pepper (I like spice though, so I probably ended up adding a total of 1 tbsp.)
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed, heated
  • Brown rice, cooked
  • Cook turkey on medium heat in large pan until it is fully cooked.
  • Add tomato, green pepper and onion. Simmer for 3 minutes. Stir, simmer another 5 minutes.
  • Add seasonings and tomato paste and stir. Allow to simmer 5 minutes.
Serve with 1 yellow container filled with brown rice, and 1 yellow container filled with kidney beans (that have been heated)! If you want to do half and half, that’s fine too!! Just stir everything together in your bowl. Yellow is the most important container to pay attention to, so be sure to not over-do it! Measure out 3 Red Containers of mixture, this will count towards 1 ½ Red and 1 Green for your daily total. Feel free to top with some non-fat Greek yogurt as “sour cream” too!
Do you want to join in on the next 21 Day Fix Challenge Group?? Fill out this form below and I'll contact you with the information you need! 


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

How To: Travel Healthy!

Vacation season is upon us!!! Well, for me at least :) Joe and I are kicking off our travels this year with a weekend getaway to Washington, DC and Atlantic City, NJ! I'm excited for 2 reasons...first, I get to see some of my very best friends!! And second, I get to see Atlantic City for the first time.
Living a healthy lifestyle is hardest when you travel. You're enjoying food and drinks with friends and it's hard to be the only one who says "no thanks" to the french fries, or the only one who "doesn't want" McDonalds breakfast at the airport. Cause I mean come on, who doesn't love a hashbrown or sausage biscuit?? They're like crack! What I find helps ME the most, is reminding myself how horrible my stomach will feel later that day. A sausage biscuit is not worth the bloat.
Which brings me to my main point--you should continue to eat like usual on the road so that you FEEL like usual too! Our biggest enemy when traveling is: dehydration, salt and fat.
  • Dehdyration: As soon as you hope on the plane and take off, you're at risk for becoming dehydrated--and fast. The air inside a plane cabin is usually at a humidity level of 10 to 20 percent. This is a stark difference to the 30 to 65 percent we're used to on land. For this reason, you should remember to drink plently of water! I know, I know..."I don't want to pee on the plane." Well, suck it up. Because you'll thank me later :) Now, remember I said WATER and not booze or soda! Another tip of mine? CHAPSTICK! Never go in the air without it!
  • Salt: Or as I like to call it...sodium. You know how you cook at home? With a pinch of salt here and a dash of seasoning there? Restaurants don't do that. Especially fast food ones! Because the saltier the better. When you eat all of your meals out and choose options with sauces or ones that are deep fried, you're increasing your sodium intake by a lot. This will lead to faster dehydration and early fatigue. YEP, you'll get tired faster! Who wants that on vacation?? My tips: Choose raw foods as much as possible--fruit, salads with dressing on the side and grilled chicken sandwiches. Even deli meat hides a lot of sodium in it!
  • Fat: I know, it's going to be hard! Fatty foods are the easiest to access and the quickest to get served. But it's going to make you feel heavy and sluggish. You won't feel like exploring. Say no to french fries, chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks and tator tots. Just say no. I'm repeating for myself now. Haha.
And if you'd like a check list for what to pack for the plane, here you go!!

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