July 19, 2018

Creamy Bacon Spaghetti Squash Casserole and Weekly Meal Plan

What's for dinner, y'all?!
Last week, I asked y'all to share what kind of recipes you want. I promised to include them in my meal plan and share for you. One request was for casseroles that include veggies instead of pasta.
Casseroles don't tend to be the healthiest food options, but there are plenty of ways to get creative making them more nutritious.

So, here is a Creamy Bacon Spaghetti Squash casserole that will surely make your mouth water! You can even make this one egg free if someone in your family has food allergies like ours. My little guy is allergic to eggs, dairy, and wheat. It can be scary but doesn't keep us from enjoying delicious food. Some of my best advice for food allergy moms or even picky eater is don't let specific ingredients hold you back from preparing a recipe that your family will enjoy. There is likely an alternative and way that you can make it your own!
For this recipe, I used the Vegan Egg, plant-based egg replacer. This is my go-to egg replacer lately, because the texture is closest to whisked eggs. You can check it out here.
Let me know if you try the recipe and if you used an egg replacer or actual egg.

3 cups cooked spaghetti squash
8 pieces of cooked bacon, chopped
1 1/2 cups steamed broccoli florets

1 cup full fat coconut milk (from can)
1 medium egg (or egg replacer - flax egg would not work for this)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp garlic powder
fresh ground pepper to taste

1. Preheat over to 400.
2. Place spaghetti squash, bacon, and steamed broccoli into casserole dish.
3. In a saucepan whisk together all sauce ingredients.
4. Heat the sauce over medium heat and whisk while it cooks for 3-5 minutes. If using an egg replacer less is more or it will curdle.
5. Pour the creamy sauce over the casserole.
6. Place in the oven or about 10 minutes or until warm. Enjoy!

As for my meal plan, it has been turned into a favorite this week. Some weeks I enjoy what I planned more than others. I think it is important to plan foods that work with your weekly schedule, travel dates, and time of year. This meal plan was super simple, full of less expensive ingredients, and full of flavor!
Do you need help with meal planning or any other healthy lifestyle goals? I would love to help you!
Each month, I provide my fit tribe with customized meal plans, recipes, provide kitchen and meal prep tips (and workout schedules that can be done at home if you're looking for that too!).

Complete the SoulFit Tribe application below or drop me a message if you want to know more!

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July 18, 2018

My 3 Day Summer Detox Results

We're all human. No matter how committed we are to living a healthy lifestyle, sometimes we get a little too far off track. Treats become more of habits rather than the exception. It also seems that life tends to get a little crazy every few months. Even as a coach with a business of helping other women get fit, learn to meal plan, encouraging them to stick to the plan, and love their bodies enough to get fit from within, I still get to a place where I need to reign it in.

I was eating handfuls of chips, sweets on the regular, and random pantry snacking. You mamas know what I'm talking about - when you stand in the pantry and eat like little secret closet. Why do we do that?! My stomach was more bloated than ever in my life. Not even exaggerating. I'm talking bloat from under my bra down. It was downright uncomfortable and not the norm for me. Mood swings were in full effect. Sugar and silly carbs do that to us! Because of the bloat, I felt bleh, pants didn't fit - cue grumpy attitude.

I realized that I had to figure out a way to snap back into my good habits. I took a hard look and realized that I wasn't following my meal plan and sticking to what I know, balanced portion control, whole foods, clean eating. Every day for about a week, I told myself, "I will get back on track today." Then I would slip again. That's when I knew it was time for my secret weapon!

My three day detox quickly broke the snacking habits, refreshed my tummy, and reset my mind. Doing this always helps me regain control which is so-so-so rewarding to know you're in control and not the food. It's like a (re)kick-start of getting back on track.

So for three days, I followed a very straight-forward plan. It comes in a handy kit, very specific guidance, all that you need except some fresh produce! There is no guessing or starving. Let me assure, I am not going to go hungry!

The plan includes veggies, fruit, protein, and healthy fats.  It is simple but not easy. Mindset and habits are the hardest part.

And just like that, my bloat was gone, habits were reset, mind was refreshed. I lost 5.6 lbs and 5 inches in my stomach alone. I only measured three places in my abdominal region, because that was my focus. I wasn't expecting, nor should anyone, a quick fix for the entire body!

A group friends and I did this together last week and that part was a blast! Honestly, we rocked it. Not even going to sugarcoat it. When one of us was having a weak mindset moment, another one would lift us up in prayer or encourage in some other way.

So many people have asked us about our plan that we decided to lead a 3 Day Detox group for anyone that wants to do it! You will be refreshed, see physical and NSV results, be lifted up and encouraged! We will guide you through it. Leave your email below, so we can get you added to the group that begins July 30th!

So where do I go from here now that I'm back on my A-game?
With an eager attitude to keep my body fueled but also enjoy all the flavors of summer, I sat down and created a meal plan that works for our family's schedule this week. I asked my husband what his work schedule was this week, checked out my little guy's school lunch schedule, checked the fridge and pantry for what we already had, and then decided on meals based on that.

So often, women tell me they are overwhelmed by meal planning or their family won't eat healthy. My advice is don't fret. You can learn to meal plan like a pro but it does take practice. We all have to learn! And as for families, ask them what they want or don't want next week. Include some of their favorite foods. And don't turn their world upside down in one week with all new foods. They will panic! Give your family time to see how you can eat healthy food that tastes great too. You can see by this week's plan, I kept it super simple and low budget.

As for the SoulFit Tribe's newest Summer Strong VIP bootcamp that kicked off this week, we are more energized about the newly released program maybe than ever before! If you're looking for something more than three days, join our Fit Tribe! We make fitness about honoring our bodies as a gift and being fit from within and then out.

This group is filled with women that are committed to:
4 workouts a week that can be done at home and when you choose
Simple meal plan that includes treats and easy to follow recipes
A community of women to encourage and keep you accountable
You can live a healthy life without depriving yourself of life!

I am adding 5 women to our SoulFit Tribe each week. Want to be one of them this week?
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June 30, 2018

Chicken Enchiladas Recipe

I love a chicken enchilada! Who is with me?! When you have a craving for enchiladas, throw this casserole together instead of heading to your favorite Mexican restaurant. You can totally stay on track with your nutrition goals with this.
Don't let the list of ingredients intimidate you. I promise it is an easy fix!

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 dried bay leaves
10-oz can red enchilada sauce
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, small dice
2 tsp minced garlic
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernals
15-oz can reduced-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
10-oz can Ro*Tel Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
2 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 Roma tomatoes diced
6 soft tortillas, high fiber and/or protein
1 cup shredded cheese*
2 tsp fresh cilantro, chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a 13x9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a medium stock pot, bring the chicken broth to a simmer. Add the chicken and bay leaves, and simmer covered for 15 minutes, flipping over at the halfway mark. The internal temperature should read 165ºF.
3. Remove from the broth and reserve on a plate until cool enough to touch, then shred and set aside. Discard the bay leaves.
4. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 6-8 minutes until the onions begin to soften. Stir in the corn, beans, Ro*Tel, cumin, chili powder, salt and black pepper. Stir in the reserved shredded chicken, and turn off the heat.
5. Spread a thin layer (about ¼ cup) of the red enchilada sauce on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Begin building the casserole by layering 2 tortillas, half of the chicken mixture, and ⅓ cup of cheese. Repeat by layering 2 more tortillas, ¼ cup of the enchilada sauce, the rest of the chicken mixture, another ⅓ cup of cheese. Finish by layering the 2 remaining tortillas, the remaining enchilada sauce, and the remaining cheese. Sprinkle the diced Roma tomatoes over the cheese.
6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, and garnish with the cilantro.

- Use gluten free and/or vegan tortillas
- Sub 3/4 cup vegan style shredded cheese for dairy free, dairy allergies, or lactose intolerant

Want more recipe ideas or help learning how to meal plan, complete this application and join my next online nutrition and fitness group!

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Chicken Salad Recipe for Those of Us with Summer Goals

Remember when you thought chicken + salad surely meant healthy...until you read the nutrition info or realizes how much junk went in it? Here is a lightened up chicken salad recipe for those of us with summer goals and can work in a serving of a fruit.

1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 dried bay leaves
½ cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
¼ cup light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup red seedless grapes, cut in half lengthwise (20 grapes)
½ cup coarsely chopped unsalted, raw pecans (34 pecans)
1 cup diced celery (about 3 stalks)

1. Place the chicken in a pot large enough to it all, and fill the pot with enough chicken broth to cover the chicken by about 1-2 inches. Add bay leaves, and if desired, fresh parsley stems and whole peppercorns to flavor the cooking liquid, then bring to a boil over high heat.
2. When the cooking liquid comes to a boil, cover the pot with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Simmer the chicken for 10-15 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the breast reaches 165℉.
3. Using tongs, remove the chicken and reserve on a plate. When it is cool enough to touch, shred it and set aside.
4. While the chicken is cooling, prepare the dressing in a large mixing bowl by whisking together the yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, salt, and black pepper in a large mixing bowl.
5. Add the grapes, pecans, celery, and cooled chicken to the bowl, and gently toss all of the ingredients together.
6. Chill before serving.
7. Serve over a bed of mixed greens to get in as many veggies as possible! 

- Instead of cooking chicken, buy a rotisserie chicken at the deli.
- Use vegan mayonnaise in place of regular and Greek yogurt.
- Leave off the pecans for food allergies.

For more recipe ideas or meal planning support, join my next online healthy accountability group!
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Recipe Originally posted here.

June 16, 2018

Lift and HIIT Workout - VIP Launch

I am jazzed to share this with y’all! This new program, LIIFT4, is my new jam. If you’re a busy woman, mama, or faithful kind of girl, you’re my jam too *kiss-kiss*. My mission is to make fitness and nutrition so simple that you can’t help but get on board. That is exactly what this new program is all about! 

What is LIIFT4?
Here’s the scoop! LIIFT4 is a combination of weights and high intensity (HIIT) cardio. The goal is to lose fat and build muscle at the same time. Every workout ends with a core routine. It isn’t overly complicated and doesn’t require a lot of coordination. Something I love about it is that you don’t get bored, because you never do the same workout twice. The schedule is just 4 days a week, 30-40 minutes a day, 8 weeks total. 

When does LIIFT4 launch?
LIIFT4 will be available to everyone with access to Beachbody on Demand on October 1st. But you don’t have to wait that long! You can start with me in our VIP LIIFT4 Launch group on July 16th! All LIIFT4 challenge packs are available for VIP access now.

Is LIIFT4 for me?
Want to lose weight but juggling work, family, after school activities?
Do you struggle with finding time to complete longer workouts?
Want to eat balanced meals that satisfy you?
Do you to implement healthy habits that include exercise and meal planning but don’t know where to start?
Already enjoy working out and looking for something new to keep you motivated?
If your answer is yes to one or more of these questions, LIIFT4 is definitely an option for you.
This is absolutely my favorite type of program – one that allows a beginner to modify as you learn and for someone already in great shape to work extra hard. 
"From someone who was already considered “fit” and who relied on workouts EVERYDAY
to stay that way, I found that with LIIFT4 I could go hard 4 times a week, dial in the nutrition
and STILL get great results! It’s also been a blessing to have a quick effective workout
to work around my busy schedule with two kiddos."
What equipment I need for LIIFT4?
You likely have all that you need! If not, it won’t take a lot to get your home gym set-up and ready for day 1. We will use free weights, so a set of light, medium, and heavy dumbbells (all relative to your fitness level) or resistance bands (included in most all LIIFT4 offers). I recommend that you also have a comfort mat, especially if you plan to workout in your garage or on hardwood floors. Including faith in fitness and our approach to food completely changes the focus and why. In this challenge, you will see results and we will focus on getting fit from within!

How can I join a LIIFT4 Challenge Group?
So glad you asked! My exclusive VIP LIIFT4 LAUNCH Group starts with prep on July 16th. Day 1 of workouts will by July 23rd! I have already started and looking forward to guiding a group of women that are ready to do this! I will be with you every day, every step of the way. 

If you want to join me, CLICK HERE and complete the form below.

My Mission is to encourage and support women live a healthy and purposeful life through faith, fitness, and food. I want to help you find peace and confidence with your body that is truly a gift from God.

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June 5, 2018

My Health Transformation from the Inside-Out

Ok, it’s almost a handstand and maybe I did climb up the wall to get there but it felt good and exciting!

Feeling capable and confident enough to climb that wall took a lot of work. It started well before this picture was snapped.

Almost three years ago, I

felt weighted down.
I had no energy.
My body was changing in ways that I didn’t like.
I was uncomfortable in every pair of pants – even the loose ones.

One night as a new mama, I was holding my brand new baby and almost panicked thinking about chasing him around the back yard. I pictured him growing up and witnessing me lashing out in the mornings before work when none of my clothes fit. I even started comparing myself to other moms. I realized, how unhappy I was with my current self and that if I didn’t figure out how to lose the weight and create healthy habits, it was going to affect my entire family.

So, I prayed, joined an accountability group (against my husband’s disbelief), and showed up!
I told myself that I was going to change for myself and my family.
When my baby boy slept very little, I still woke up and worked out before going to the office.
When he was sleeping, I meal prepped.
When he woke during a workout, we played and he joined me.
Within three weeks, I felt amazing. I honestly don’t remember ever feeling that good before then.

I promised myself I would never go back to feeling the way I did – on the inside or about my body.
And I am not breaking that promise.

So to the mama that desperately wants to make a change, lose the weight, find your motivation, dig deep. Promise yourself you will do it. You absolutely can!

Each month, I lead at least one accountability group online to help other women that are ready for a change. We focus on nutrition plans, meal planning, and meal prep. Some groups are paired with a fitness program and others exercise is optional. I would love to support you in your very own transformation. 

Complete this to tell me a little bit more about you and your goals. 

Fit from within,

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Blistered Cherry Tomatoes

Just this week, I cooked tomatoes differently than ever before. This super simple recipe knocked my socks off because these tomatoes have the perfect amount of garlic and so delicious! These blistered cherry tomatoes are packed with flavor and are beautiful. Peak season for tomatoes will be here soon, so add this recipe to your upcoming meal plans.

Ways I plan to incorporate into my meals for added veggie nutrition and pops of color - mixed with quinoa/brown rice blend, poured over grilled chicken breasts, tossed with shrimp and zoodles (you can totally use pasta if you want), and drizzled over fresh fish. Seriously, such a easy recipe and cooking method to introduce an added flavor to so many dishes! 

2 Tbsp oil (I use avocado oil)
4 cups cherry tomatoes (about 20 oz.)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt

1. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and cook until tomatoes burst and begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir and turn over a couple times.
2. Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic, paprika, pepper, and salt. Cook until garlic softens.

May 28, 2018

Pasta-less Italian Salad

File under: You won't miss the pasta and your friends will ask for the recipe. Not even kidding - this recipe is a keeper. One of my go-to summer veggie sides. 

If you haven't bought into the spiarlized veggie life, do yourself (and those you feed) a favor and get one! If you already have one, add this to your weekly meal plan or next cookout menu.

I got my spiralizer almost five years ago (WOW - it doesn't not seem like that long ago...). There are so many different models at various price points these days. Check out the original Spiralizer's current model with five blades and under $30. This is not a kitchen tool purchase that you will regret. I think I need to upgrade!

For the recipe, don't let the number of ingredients intimidate you. All prep work is super simple. This is one of those recipe that can easily be scaled to make less or more, and play around with adding or leaving out some of the ingredients. I few extra ingredients that are delicious in this are: pepperoni, ham, salami, grilled chicken, black olives, artichokes, or water chestnuts. The Italian dressing is delicious and can be made for a lot of other recipes!

4 zucchini, spiarilized
1 small red onion, sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (I used Bragg's)
1/4 cup oil (I use avocado oil, olive oil works too)
1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
1/2 Tbsp onion powder
1/2 Tbsp Italian herbs
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp honey

1. Combine all dressing ingredients and whisk until combined. Set aside. NOTE: The flavors blend together much more if you make 12-24 hours in advance.
2.  Combine all veggies. Toss with salad tongs or clean hands.
3. Pour dressing over the veggies. Toss again with tongs or clean hands.
4. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate for a couple hours to chill.

I originally found this recipe HERE and l-o-v-e so many other recipes there.
Let me know if you make it and what ingredients your add to yours!
Want more creative ideas on clean eating and how to create a healthy lifestyle? Follow me on Facebook (SoulFit Mama) and Instagram (@soulfit_mama).

March 9, 2018

Potato Sausage Breakfast Casserole

I'm a sucker for a breakfast casserole and have high standards. I've cooked a lot of different recipes, and this one is high on the list. This is a gluten free, dairy free, Whole 30 approved, Paleo, clean recipe. If you're splurging or not dairy free, you can easily adjust to satisfy.

First to clear up any confusion about a food allergy mom with a son allergic to eggs, dishing on a casserole with eggs. My son is not anaphalax with his food allergies (egg, dairy, wheat). As long as he doesn't eat those foods. I am very careful in the kitchen when cooking eggs - usually when he is not playing around me. Once cooked, I portion and take to my office for daily breakfasts. I am creature of habit so ok with having the same breakfast each day on my meal plan. Makes life easier too! All about easy!

So, if you're an egg lover like me and your sweet babe has an allergy, its ok to sneak some eggs out of the house! I'm not telling on you!

Ok, to the recipe. There are several ingredients, but it seems like a no-fuss combo and was easy to throw together. Tips on how to make this recipe happen quickly.
- Keep pre-cut potatoes in the fridge (sealed) and use as you need for recipes. Chop chop!
- Buy kale that is already cut and washed. Such a time saver.
- I used fresh, mild Italian sausage links. Removed the casing and cooked in a skillet. Much less grease than a roll of sausage.
- Cook the potatoes in the air fryer. It is a game changer in time and flavor!

4 Tbsp Avocado Oil
1 cup sweet potatoes, peeled and cut 1/2" cubes
1/2 cup onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground sausage
2 cups kale leaves, chopped
12 large eggs
1/2 cup non-dairy milk (almond, coconut, etc.)
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400. Spray or grease 9x13 dish.

2. Place sweet potatoes in a zip bag with 2 Tbsp oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to evenly coat with the oil. Either bake in a single layer in the over for 20 minutes (or toss in the air fryer for 12-15 minutes like I did!).

3. Heat remaining 2 Tbsp oil in skillet. Toss in onion until translucent, then garlic and stir for a couple minutes. Transfer mixture to a medium to large bowl.

4. Add sausage to the same skillet. Break apart and cook until done. Drain any excessive grease. Add to the bowl with vegetables. Toss gently to combine all ingredients. Transfer to the 9x13 dish.

5. In a separate bowl, gently whisk the 12 eggs and 1/2 cup non-dairy milk. Pour evenly over the vegetables and potato mixture in the baking dish.

6. Bake uncovered 20-30 minutes, until the eggs are set in the center.

February 2, 2018

BE MINE {Allergy Friendly} Valentine

As a mom of a toddler, each holiday is a new kind of exciting. Experiencing the special activities and decoration through my son's eyes is hands down one of the best things in life. But a mom of a toddler with food allergies, there are other emotions that come along with each holiday.
Fear. Hesitation. Deep breaths. Trusting those in charge.

There's also an added layer of planning required to make sure my little guy has the typical toddler holiday experience and doesn't feel left out at parties.

And every holiday is associated with particular foods. We are really good at that - making holidays a lot about food. So with Valentine's Day in just a couple weeks (seriously, where did January go?!), here are some things to consider. 
  1. Provide Non-Food Treats for Your Valentine: There are so many creative ideas for non-candy valentines. Stickers, pencils, coloring books, bouncy balls, craft kits, off the top of my head. If you look in the holiday section at big box stores like Target and Walmart, you will see several inexpensive options. Check out these not-so-sweet treat ideas that are super cute. 
  2. Ask the Teacher: Teachers know everything, right? You better believe they know which of their students have allergies. Our son's Pre-K2 teachers are so accommodating and know all about what he can and can't have. You can plan around the known allergens in the class!
  3. Choose Candy Free of Top 8 Food Allergens: If your child is set on sharing candy, you can either have options or only choose one free of the top food allergens. The most common food allergies are dairy, egg, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish, though, allergic reactions can be caused by virtually any food. These foods are often referred to as The Top 8 or The Big 8 because they are the cause of 90% of all food allergic reactions. 
  4. Be a PAL-entine: Protect A Life (PAL) From Food Allergies is an education program that can help children learn to be a good friend to other children with food allergies. This year, they created a Be a PAL-entine kit that you can order here. It includes stickers, a poster to display, pencils, cute Valentine's Day cards. Love these!
  5. Check the Label: A child with food allergies may receive food he/she can't have. If you are unsure, tell the child in a caring way that these sweets can't be eaten until a trusted adult checks the label and says it is ok.
Hopefully, this helps you with preparing for a safe and inclusive Valentine's Day for all our little ones to enjoy! I am always so grateful when someone goes out of their way to accommodate my little guy. I know other food allergy moms will be just as grateful too!


January 2, 2018

Too Busy for the Good Things

It's that time when we reflect on last year and plan for the year ahead. A thought grabbed my attention today.

Being too busy for the GOOD things in life may not be about time management problem after all. Instead, it could be a priority problem.

I almost want drop the mic and stop right there, but more is on my heart.
So keep reading if you're intrigued.

It's a new year. Fresh start. 365 blank pages.
How this goes down...
How you will fill those pages...
The story you will write in 2018...
Is ALL up to you.

You want to read the Bible this year? Find a plan and read it.
You want to learn how to cook this year? Start practicing with simple recipes.
You want to learn how to eat healthy? Learn how to eat balanced and how to meal plan.
You are tired of being tired? Start working out.
You want to make BIG things happen? Believe in yourself and take action.

I've been there. Too busy. Unsure where to start. Paralyzed with fear to take the first step. Quitting before I succeed. Instead of having a shirt, I had the extra weight, low self-esteem, depressing thoughts to prove it.
It took me a long time to figure out how to change my story - how to write the one I so badly wanted. But I did.
Sister, you can too!

I would love to support you in my faith+fitness+nutrition challenge groups. Truly!
But most of all, I want to share that only YOU can make the change. My challenge groups, a points system, low carbing it, a not-so-magic-pill, or even an Instant Pot (and those things are sorta life changing - HA!) will not change you.
You have to be willing to prioritize what you want.
Commit to it.
Act on it.

If you're ready to make your health and fitness a priority in 2018, complete the application below. Let's get you in my next health and fitness accountability group!

We begin January 8th with Nutrition 101. Workouts (in your own home!) begin January 15th.
Fill 2018 with good things!

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