Monday, September 1, 2014

Life is GOOD!

It’s been a long time since I have blogged...

So much has happened in that time period…I don’t think I was ready to open about it so that is why I haven’t written. In that period so much GOOD has come from the bad. 




I'm still not ready to talk about everything but I really wanted to write today to say how grateful I am…beyond grateful. 

Grateful for the people, the community, the relationships, the people I have met and been allowed to be part of your lives in some small way- every single one of you. Your stories, your struggles, your triumphs...They mean the world to me. 

It is what motivates me every single day. Because I know if something GOOD can come from the bad is make it all worth while. 

We are given battles so we can come out stronger people in the end. Find comfort in knowing what you are going through today is only temporary and tomorrow will be better. Look for the good and be grateful for the moment. 

This journey is long and never ending but I challenge you to live every day like it was your last. Lift others up instead of bringing them down, be the change you wish to see in the world. And most of all be grateful…because at the end of the day…Life is good

More to come soon!

XO


Lauren

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Entrepreneur Inside of Me

Have you always known you were going to “be something” when you grew up?

I used to be envious of the people who just knew what they wanted to do with their life. For me the answer was not as clear, but looking back at it, the answer was there all along. There has always been an entrepreneur inside of me.

Meeting our amazing CEO- Carl Daikeler


If you had asked me when I was 4, I aspired to be a maid. Over the years it changed from actress to dancer, news anchor, detective and quite a few things in between. Although all of these career paths interested me a key element was missing- passion. 

I have always been an extremely self motivated and driven person. Once I set my mind to something I don’t let anything stop me. Like many young kids my entrepreneurial spirit started with neighborhood lemonade stands. By age 13 I had expanded into running concession stands at local soccer games. I loved to work, earn money, and all aspects of business. At the time I thought little of these early endeavors, however these were the building blocks to what has become a life long passion of mine. 

As a teen I wanted nothing more than a “real” job. Unfortunately not many people were open to hiring a 13 year old…so I began babysitting- triplets. This gave me a whole new appreciation for moms. I continued searching for a job hoping someone would hire me despite my young age. At 15 I was hired as a receptionist at a local hair salon. From that point on I have pretty much always been employed. Not because I needed a job per say- I wanted one. When I got my drivers license I had saved just enough to buy my first car in cash. I truly enjoyed going to work, whatever it may be, it gave me satisfaction. 

When I graduated high school I still had no idea what it was I wanted to do with my life. There had been a noticeable shift- I was less concerned with becoming a famous actress and more focused on doing something that would make a difference. I had little interest in a 9-5 job. Shortly after high school ended I was offered a management position at a large marketing research firm. This was a huge opportunity for someone my age and I decided to go for it. I felt like I was finally being recognized for my skills. 

I worked for the company for the 3 years before coming to the realization that this was not the path I was meant to be on. During this time period my health severely declined, I was extremely stressed, and lacked happiness. I got 2 weeks of paid vacation which allowed me to do my one love- travel. Only problem was this free spirit wants to travel much more than 2 weeks…this created conflict with my boss. It was at that point I decided to go back to school full time and pursue a degree that would give me more fulfillment and freedom. 

I moved to a new city to pursue my degree in environmental education. Why? I love the environment and nature. I want to be part of preserving it for the future generations to enjoy. It all stemmed back from my desire to make a difference. What I didn’t think through was the “real jobs” this major would get me. I quickly realized like with many career paths I would be starting at the bottom working my way up to do what I really wanted to do. I had gotten a taste for the corporate environment at my previous job. I had no doubt in my mind I could make it to the top, but I knew this wouldn’t really make me happy. Working to build someone else’s dream would never give me the ability to build my own. 

At the time when I started questioning going to school, I had been a Beachbody coach for about 6 months. In that period, I got in the best shape of my life, was helping others achieve their goals, making more money than I was as a full time employee, and most of all my passion had been ignited. Beachbody was meant to come into my life for many reasons. It has given me the tools to pursue the life of my dreams. 

I dropped out of school knowing it was not right for me. I have avoided saying “college dropout” for a long time. But now I am ready to own it!! College is not the only path to success- it is the path society has lead us to believe will make us successful…someday. I wasn’t ready to wait for someday. Find your passion and run with it- but don’t be confined by the walls society has built for us. College is great andI am not down playing the significance of education. I plan to go back to school for nutrition (my passion) but it is NOT the only way to get where you want in life. 

Making the choice to give up school and be an “entrepreneur” has to have been one of the most scary and liberating decisions I have made to date. I am at peace with myself and so happy that I took a risk. If you don’t take risks in life you will never reap the rewards. I now live what I like to call a life by design. I make my own hours, am free to travel when I want, and LOVE what I do for “work”. My Dad is a very wise and successful man. He always told me growing up “do what you love and you will never work a day in your life”, till this day it resonates with me and truly feel I am on that path. 

Not everyone was made to be an entrepreneur- I think some people naturally just have it in them. If having a 9-5 job, stability, and security is what makes you happy there is nothing wrong with that. But if you have an entrepreneur inside of you chances are that sounds more like a death sentence. It is my goal to inspire others to follow their dreams, leave their fears behind and never settle. My journey has really just begun, keep following me and prepare to be amazed.



If you are looking for a CHANGE and want to learn more about what coaching can do for you check out my webinar HERE. Whatever it is YOU are passionate about follow your bliss. And if you haven’t discovered it yet- trust me it is out there, keep looking. 


What are you passionate about? Is there an entrepreneur inside of YOU? 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Holiday Almondnog...Guilt & Dairy Free!!!







Try this lighter, dairy free, vegan recipe for one of my holiday favorites! It also make a great mixer for your Shakeology!

Ingredients:
  • 4 cups raw almonds
  • filtered water for soaking almonds
  • 8 cups Filtered water
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup raw almond butter
  • 1½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 tsp. rum extract (or to taste) or a splash of rum, whatever you are feeling ;)

Preparation:
  1. Soak almonds overnight in water.
  2. Rinse and drain soaked almonds.
  3. Place soaked almonds and 6 cups of filtered water in blender or food processor (may need to do in 2 batches). Blend on highest speed for 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Strain milk through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth; discard solids.
  5. Place almond milk back into blender; add almond butter, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
  6. Blend for 30 seconds; pour into large pitcher with cover.
  7. Cover and refrigerate until cold.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Ultimate Reset- 21 Days to a new YOU!

Earlier this week I finished my 21 day Ultimate Reset. I wanted to share my experience to help you better understand how this program works.

Let's begin with some background info....

Before starting the Ultimate Reset I was stuck in a bit of a rut. It happens to all of us! I was doing T25 Beta phase but I was not giving it my all as I usually do. I missed workouts and my eating well it was slacking....it quickly started catching up to me. I gained 3lbs in a month (first time I have gained since January) and was experiencing uncomfortable bloating, probably from something I was eating. 

I have never done a cleanse prior to the Ultimate Reset. The word "cleanse" alone scared me. I was not willing to do anything that required me to only drink my food like a juice cleanse (don't get me wrong I love juice but I need food too!) or eat a crazy amount of grapefruits etc. 

I also had never stuck to a strict meal plan...I am not good with restrictive diets (hence why I am clean eater, I don't feel like I am missing out). 

But I was ready for a challenge

Day 1- 118lbs, feeling fluffy and constantly bloated 


I wanted to go outside my comfort zone and try something new to get me out of this "funk". I was DETERMINED to stick with this 100%. 


What is the Ultimate Reset...

The Ultimate Reset is not just a detox or cleanse- although you experience those benefits it does so much more...Imagine if your body and a "reset" button that restored it back to its factory settings and helped everything work properly again. 21 days later I feel like a new ME! 

The program works in 3 phases to slowly detox the body of toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis.   Here is a break down of the 3 phases, what they do for your body and how I felt during this phase...

Phase 1:

RECLAIM your body, accessing it's inner chemistry and preparing for change. You'll slowly remove foods such as red meat and dairy which are known to cause stress on the digestive system. 

This phase was surprisingly easy for me! The recipes were delicious and as soon as I started taking the supplements I could feel my digestion working better. I slept like a rock (never happens) and woke up refreshed in the morning. During this phase you can still have salmon and chicken, meat was one of the things I was scared to give up. 

Phase 2: 
RELEASE the toxic compounds that store in our tissues, clogging cells and blocking proper nutrient absorption. This phase includes a gentle colon cleanse (it won't keep you running back and forth to the toilet, just expect to be going regularly) and a fully vegetarian diet. 

I felt AMAZING through phase 2. I had more energy and could feel my body leaning out. I was scared to give up meat but quickly realized it wasn't sooo bad after all! The recipes from this phase were easy to make and totally satisfying. When my sweet tooth kicked in I made vegan chocolate Shakeology or had an apple with almond butter but overall my cravings were greatly reduced. 

Phase 3:
RESTORE your metabolism to maximum efficiency, putting nutrients, enzymes, and pre- and pro-biotics back into your system. During this phase you cut back on grains and eat mostly fruits/veggies. 

This phase was the hardest for me....maybe it was because we were getting to the end of the detox or maybe because I hadn't had meat for 2 weeks...it was challenging mentally that is for sure! I caved and had a glass of wine on Day 16 (alcohol is a big no-no during the reset) but it should be noted it was the best glass of wine I have ever had and it kept me from falling off track all together. Instead of eating meat (which I really wanted to do) I settled for a glass of wine and refocused myself to finish strong.

Here is some of the food I ate during the Ultimate Reset...everything on the menu is WHOLE REAL foods- one of my favorite things about this program! It teaches healthy eating habits that can incorporated into your everyday life. I will be making many of the recipes again and may even share a few of my favorite with you.



During all 3 phases you take a series of all natural supplements before eating which help your body detoxify...I am not going to get into the nitty gritty of what each supplement does otherwise this post will turn into a novel, stay tuned for a separate post :). 

And now what you came here for...The RESULTS

Although I may have slipped up, I stuck with it! I am very proud of the changes I made and completing this program. 

I feel amazing- energy through out the day, sleeping well at night, digestion, everything is on point now. 

I learned a lot about my eating habits, which I thought were pretty good...
- I snack too much 
- Give into my sweet tooth too often
- I sometimes feel "hungry" but I am really just dehydrated
- Vegetables taste good when they are prepared properly lol 
- I need to incorporate more plant based foods (fruits & veggies) into my diet

I even lost 6lbs! I was doing the detox more or less for health reasons, I could tell my body was dragging and needed it. I was hoping to lose a few pounds that I had gained but I had no idea what to expect. I do not have much weight to lose so I was honestly shocked by this number. I had my boyfriend come double check the scale just to make sure I was reading it right. 

Day 21- 112lbs, and most importantly a healthy happy me! 

These results are from diet alone, no working out allowed during the reset. I did some walking and a little yoga but that was IT. 

Everyone's results with the Ultimate Reset are different. What I can promise you, is if you commit to this program, you will feel better from the inside out. Not only that it will teach you healthy eating habits you can continue with even after the program is over.  The Ultimate Reset takes out all the guess work. From shopping lists to recipes we have got you covered! 

Side by side comparison. 


Don't do the reset alone! That is NO fun. Join one of my upcoming detox support groups, be surrounded by people with similar goals and I will coach you through the entire process. 

Upcoming Detox Groups:

October 30th

January 2nd

Registration for these groups is LIMITED, so get on the list NOW. By joining the list, you will be the first to know when you can COMMIT to participating in the 21 day Ultimate Reset Group!  



Questions about the reset? Email me!

Have you done the Ultimate Reset before? What was your experience? 





Thursday, September 5, 2013

Clean Guilt-Free "Fried" Chicken

I love fried chicken!! Frankly I don't know anyone who dislikes fried chicken....besides maybe vegetarians and vegans, they are missing out if you ask me ;). I can't tell you the last time I had fried chicken cause until now it really hasn't fit into my "clean eating" lifestyle. Then one night I was scrolling Instagram...haha let's be real, what's new?...and I stumbled @fitmencook's (go follow Kevin right NOW if you aren't already) fried chicken recipe! Guilt less fried chicken- you know I was all over that and I put my own spin on the recipe. Have you ever had chicken with corn flakes in the batter?? Well it's pretty much the best....so I figured why not use bran flakes instead?! And the result was a plate full of comfort without any of the guilt.

I present to you...

Clean "Fried Chicken:
Adapted from : Fit Men Cook

2 chicken breasts
3/4 cup bran flakes
2 tbs flax seed meal
2 eggs
Spices to taste (I use a lot)- garlic, cumin, paprika, mustard powder, pepper, pinch of sea salt
Coconut oil spray- I buy mine at Trader Joes

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Crush your bran flakes- I used my hands, mix with the flax seed and spices in a shallow bowl.
3. Crack egg into another shallow bowl.
4. Cut your chicken breast into strips.
5. Spray your unlined baking pan with coconut oil- don't be shy.
6. Dip chicken in egg and then roll in the bran mixture. Place on baking pan.
7. Once all your chicken is coated spray the tops with coconut oil.
8. Bake for 20-25 mins and ENJOY!!

Sorry for the lack of a better picture, I was ready to dig in!! Prepare to be amazed at how simple yet delicious this really is. Yes, your welcome :).



Thursday, August 8, 2013

Sweet Potato Jalapeno Biscuits with Pork Gravy- GF

Last week I asked my Facebook friends to challenge me to recreate one of their favorite dishes. There was a TON of great suggestions that I will be attempting in the future. The winner for this round BISCUITS & GRAVY! Which just so happens to be my boyfriends favorite breakfast food, just typically not healthy in any shape, way, or form. Biscuit and gravy lovers *rejoice*!! Today I present to you gluten-free, dairy-free biscuits and gravy without any of the guilt but tons of flavor.



Sweet Potato Jalapeno Biscuits
Makes 7-8 biscuits
Ingredients-
1 large sweet potato
3 eggs
3 tbs melted coconut oil (or butter if you do dairy)
9 tbs Bob Mills Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (or other gluten free flour, may affect the texture)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp rosemary
1 jalapeno- finely chopped
Coconut oil spray
Salt & Pepper to taste



Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Pierce sweet potato with a fork and microwave 4-5 minutes
3. Let cool and then remove from the skin and mash in a large bowl.
4. Once mashed add eggs and coconut oil. Mix well.
5. Then add the flour and baking powder.
6. Last add the jalapeno, rosemary, salt and pepper. Mix till combined.
7. Spray muffin tin with coconut oil, scoop evenly into muffin tins.
8. Bake for 20-25 mins depending on your oven, mine were perfect at 22 mins.
9. While your biscuits are baking make your gravy!


Dairy Free Saugsage Gravy
Ingredients-
1lb pork sausage (I always get the stuff from my deli counter)
1 can coconut milk
2 tbs coconut flour
1/4 tsp sage
1/8 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp rosemary
Lots of pepper
Salt to taste



Directions:
1. Brown sausage till cooked through.
2. Transfer sausage into a bowl and leave the drippings in the pan.
3. Whisk the coconut flour into the drippings.
4. Once combined add the coconut milk and seasonings.
5. Let reduce till the flavors combines and it has thickened.
6. Add the sausage back to the pan and cook for 2-3 mins.
7. Cut biscuits in half and top with gravy. My boyfriend loves his with over easy eggs as well!!

Enjoy!!


What is one of your favorite dishes that you would like me to re-create clean eating style? I am always looking for new inspiration! 




Saturday, May 25, 2013

Protein Packed Shakeology Lara Bars- Vegan & Gluten Free!

Over the last few months I have become obsessed with Lara bars! They are really the only "clean" snack bar, made with only fruit and nuts. So of course I had to try my hand at making my own! Now these are even better than Lara bars because they are packed with protein and all the other amazing ingredients in Shakeology.....you could call these Lara bars on crack- for lack of a better term ;)

There are SO many variations of these bars that could be made. You can use your favorite kind of nuts and dried fruit. In italics is what I used for my bars. Play around with this recipe (which is really just for ratios) and please share what flavor combos you come up with in the comments below!



Recipe from Team Beachbody
Makes 9-12 bars

Ingredients-
1 cup pitted whole dates or prunes for the base - I used dates
1 cup dried fruit- I used dried cranberries
1 cup nuts and seeds- I used 1/2 cup peanuts, 1/2 sunflower seeds
2 scoops Vegan Chocolate Shakeology
Optional flair- I used a bit of honey and cinnamon.

Directions-
  1. Combine equal parts dates or prunes, dried fruits, nuts, and seeds in the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Process for 1 to 2 minutes. Check to make sure all ingredients are breaking down into smaller pieces; scrape sides of bowl as needed. Process 2 to 3 minutes more until ingredients form tiny crumbs that come together into a loose ball.
  3. Turn out the Snack Bar-O-Matic mixture onto a square of cellophane (or an 8" x 8" baking dish). Press into a flat disc.
  4. Cover tightly and refrigerate one hour.
  5. Cut into 12 bars. Store in the refrigerator.
Choose one or more from each:
1 CUP BINDING FRUIT (these will give your bars the best texture)
    Dates
    Prunes


1 CUP DRIED FRUIT
    Dried apricots
    Dried figs
    Raisins
    Dried cranberries
    Dried blueberries
    Dried cherries


1 CUP RAW NUTS OR RAW SEEDS
    Flaxseeds
    Chia seeds
    Pepitas
    Sunflower seeds
    Almonds
    Walnuts
    Peanuts
    Cashews
    Sesame seeds
    Coconut


OPTIONAL FLAIR
    1/2 tsp. rum extract
    1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    1 Tbsp. honey
    1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
    1–2 oz. dark chocolate chips
    2 tsp. grated fresh ginger

Enjoy!! Don't forget to share what kind of bars you made!