May 6, 2016

Citrus Chia Pudding Parfait

Chia pudding has become all the rage these days, and we completely understand why. Full of fiber and healthy omega-3 fats, chia seeds transform into a creamy pudding that’s perfect for breakfast or a midday snack. This chia pudding parfait has the bright citrus flavors of kumquats or orange slices, and a little bit of granola adds a delightful crunchy texture. Put together this parfait in the evening, pop it in the refrigerator overnight, and enjoy a healthy, flavorful treat in the morning. 
Citrus Chia Pudding Parfait
Total Time: 4 hrs. 10 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 4 servings, ½ cup each
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 tsp. raw honey
½ cup chia seeds
½ cup low-fat granola
20 kumquats, thinly sliced (or orange sections) (reserve some for garnish)
1. Combine almond milk, honey, and chia seeds in a medium bowl; mix well.
2. Cover bowl; refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight, mixing after 2 hours.
3. Before serving, layer chia seed mixture with granola and kumquats in parfait glasses.
Calories in Citrus Chia Pudding Parfait |

February 1, 2016

12 Months to a Healthier Life

If overhauling your lifestyle all at once feels intimidating, slow down and make one small change at a time by following this 12-month guide. The changes are meant to be cumulative, so as you progress through the year, hold onto those from the previous month and add each month’s new habit to your routine. Didn’t start in January? That’s OK. Jump in at any time and treat month one as “January.”

Scroll down for an infographic you can pin to your Pinterest inspiration board. We also created this handy calendar for you to download, print, and post somewhere it will serve as a daily reminder

Focus on the positive
Cut yourself some slack! Focusing on what you don’t like about your body can make you more susceptible to illness. Find the things you love about your body — these can be appearance or performance-based — and put more emphasis on those. By appreciating your unique traits and not comparing your body to others, you can improve your body image and decrease feelings of body shame. Get inspiration from this video that shows that every body in motion (no matter what shape or size) is awesome.

Keep a food diary
Tracking your meals can make you more conscientious about what (and how much) you’re really eating, and where you can make smarter choices. Studies have found that those who are more diligent about recording what they eat and when they eat it have more success at losing weight than those who don’t.

Tools like MyFitnessPal are great for keeping track of the foods you eat and for getting more familiar with how many calories they actually contain. Not sure how many calories you should aim for? This simple equation can help you figure it out.

Cut out added sugar
Fruit is good. Candy… not so much. And some foods that seem healthy have a surprising amount of added sugar such as flavored water, cereal, and ketchup. High consumption of sugar is linked to weight gain, and can increase risk of heart disease, so when you crave something sweet, reach for fruit instead.

Make it a meal prep month
It’s easier to eat clean when healthy meals are already in your fridge. Set aside a day to plan and prep your food each week. Prepping healthy meals can keep your diet on track. Check out these tips that make meal planning easy and delve in to our library of meal prep menus (grocery lists included) to get started.

Start a new workout program
Avoid a weight-loss or fitness plateau by varying your workout regimen. It takes your body between three and 12 weeks to get used to new exercise, and the fitter you are, the shorter that time frame. You want to experience a little soreness from your workouts, so as soon as you stop feeling that, it’s time to switch things up. Head over to Beachbody On Demand for new workouts that will keep challenging your body to get stronger.

Drink water every morning
Drinking a glass of water as soon as you start your day will help reduce morning dehydration. Not only is it a refreshing habit, it can also help with weight loss. Hydration is vital for exercise, so keep the water flowing to maximize your performance. Here are25 more tips to help you drink enough water every day. And if you’re not a huge fan of plain old water, check out these 10 tasty ways to add flavor.

Aim for 10,000 steps per day
Walking burns calories and can help combat the risks that come with a sedentary lifestyle. Added bonus: Going for a just a 15-minute stroll can help you get out of a mental rut and increase your creativity by nearly 60 percent.

Go junk food free
Highly-processed food loaded with sugar, salt, chemicals, and trans fats leads to health issues ranging from obesity to diabetes to cardiovascular issues. Avoiding them is also an easy way to eliminate empty calories from your diet. Here are some tips to help you kick the junk food habit.

Incorporate meditation into your daily routine
Too much stress can impair muscle recovery, making leg day even worse. Mediation has been shown to reduce the impact of stressors like daily hassles and psychological issue by up to 44 percent. Find out more about how you can use meditation to recover from injuries faster and reduce stress.

Celebrate Meatless Monday
October is National Vegetarian Month. Going meat-free for a day can introduce you to new healthy foods to love, reduce your carbon footprint, and help lower your BMI. Check out our favorite vegetarian recipes for some inspiration.

Train for a Turkey Trot
Make every workout count by signing up for a walk or run at the end of the month. When you focus on performance, you’re more likely to be satisfied with your training and push harder to achieve your goals.

Get more sleep
Make sure you’re getting enough shut-eye during the busy holiday season. Poor sleep can lead to weight gain, but getting seven hours or more of good sleep a night can speed up weight loss. If you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep, here are seven tips to help you get through the night and wake up feeling refreshed.
12 Months to a Healthier Life

January 27, 2016

Mother of Two Loses 59 Pounds, Wins $500

Julie Ostrander lost 59 lbs. with PiYo21 Day Fix21 Day Fix EXTREME, and Ultimate Reset. She entered her results into the Beachbody Challenge, and won the $500 Daily Prize for January 25th!
Julie is an independent Beachbody Coach.
Tell us about your life before you started the program. How did you feel about yourself and your body?
I had been in a downward spiral since I went back to work after my second child. I had lost most of the baby weight during maternity leave, but when I went back to work, life got hard. I ended up eating my way through it and not taking care of myself at all. Two years after my second child was born, I weighed as much as I did when I was full-term with her. One of my friend’s children asked me if I was having another baby. Yep, it was bad. I wasn’t happy with how I looked or felt, so I didn’t look in the mirror and I wasn’t in tune with how my decisions were affecting my health. When I saw pictures of myself, I was continually surprised with how I looked and very disappointed in myself.
What inspired you to change your life and begin your transformation journey?
I saw a picture of myself from one of my kid’s birthday parties. I didn’t like what I saw, and I knew that I wasn’t setting a good example for my children either. I knew it was time for a change. Whenever I focused on “getting in shape,” I would focus on working out. I would go to the gym a few days for a couple of weeks, but it would quickly taper off. My sister told me about a friend of hers doing a free one-week challenge with a meal plan. I figured why not? There were two things this challenge did that really inspired me to keep going. First, there were other people doing it, and even if I didn’t see them, I knew they were there to keep me accountable. Second, the meal plan that my Coach gave us. It was great! I liked the meals, my husband liked the meals, and my kids sorta liked the meals (they were two and five so it goes with the territory!). This one-week challenge gave me a starting point and inspired me to keep moving forward.
What is the greatest challenge you faced before beginning the program? How did the program and Beachbody help you overcome that challenge?
I think my biggest challenge was staying consistent and having someone to keep me accountable. I would start a week working out, and then end up working out only one or two days. I would say to myself, “Oh I’ll just start next week,” and then eat horribly over the weekend. The Challenge Groups that I have been a part of and continue to participate in have been key. It is the accountability! My Coach has been great and hosts groups every month. I now join whether or not I have a “busy” month ahead of me. Posting updates daily, and hearing about other people’s struggles and successes keeps me going!
What in particular did you like about the program you chose?
I started with PiYo and that was great, because I was worried about my knees and injuring myself. I really enjoyed Chalene. I could see my strength and flexibility improving. Next, I did 21 Day Fix. I think this was a game-changer for me with the meal plan. I now think in red, green, purple, yellow, blue, and orange. Plus, I enjoy lifting weights, so I got to incorporate a little of that into my weekly routine as well. Finally, 21 Day Fix EXTREME. I will be honest, I was really nervous to go EXTREME. I think my most dramatic results were from the three weeks of 21DFX, and I didn’t injure myself! I really loved the new physical challenges each program gave me, and I am really looking forward to The Master’s Hammer and Chisel.
Describe the results you achieved with your Beachbody program. Which achievements are you proud of?
Between the start of PiYo and finishing 21DFX (about an eight-month period), I lost just under 60 pounds and a total of 36.75 inches. I went from a tight size 16 to a comfortable size 10 in pants. I am proud of the weight I have lost and going from a size 16 to size 10. I am also stronger and more toned. My face has changed so dramatically that people I haven’t seen for a while don’t recognize me. I think that what I am most proud of is that I am inspiring people to make changes in their life and try some of the programs that have helped me be successful.
How has your life changed since completing your Beachbody program?
There are small daily things, like I bring my lunch to work every day, I eat way more fruits and vegetables, and I typically get up before my alarm goes off. I am more concerned about what my children are consuming and how much sugar they are eating. I look forward to the next challenge and the next Beachbody program I can try. Most importantly, I have better control over my eating habits, and I feel confident that I have the tools in place to not go back to the place I started from a year ago.
How did participating in a Challenge Group help you reach your goals? How did your group support you and keep you accountable?
The Challenge Groups were an essential component of my success. We would check in daily with our workouts and how our meal plan went that day. Erika always posted first thing in the morning, so that helped motivate me to get my workouts done first thing.
How did your Team Beachbody Coach support you on your journey?
Erika is always available to answer questions. She provides tips for success, new recipes, and nutritional information. I really don’t think I would have been as successful without having her as my Beachbody Coach.
How did a Beachbody supplement, nutritional product, or program (such as Shakeology or Beachbody Ultimate Reset) support your transformation? What are the greatest benefits you gained? Did you see benefits to your energy, sleep, mood/mental clarity, ordigestion/regularity?
I love my chocolate Shakeology! I was a little skeptical at first, but now I am hooked. It makes my mornings easier, and I get in a little chocolate boost. I don’t think I have gotten sick since I started Shakeology!+ I’m actually afraid to not take it, and take a mini-blender and my Shakeology with me when we go on vacation.
How did a Beachbody supplement, nutritional product, or program affect any existing health conditions you have?
I did not have any significant health conditions prior to starting Shakeology and the programs I’ve tried. The only thing I can say is that my BMI went from obese to within the normal range.+ So that puts me at decreased risk for a multitude of health conditions.+
You can change your life, too. Take the Beachbody Challenge for the tools you need to Decide, Commit, and Succeed! Complete any Beachbody program, and enter your results for a free gift and a chance to win cash and prizes.

*Results vary depending on starting point, goals, and effort.
+These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Beachbody products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

January 26, 2016

Avocado Toast with Pumpkin Seeds

Basic avocado toast gets a new twist with shelled pumpkin or sunflower seeds as the crunchy finishing touch. This variation is as easy as sprinkling some seeds and crushed red pepper flakes on top of a lime and mashed avocado mix. Toasting the seeds in a hot skillet for about 30 seconds brings out their nutty flavor, and is worth the extra effort. Want to add protein? Top your toast with a poached egg or scrambled egg whites.
Total Time: 10 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 4 servings
1 ripe medium avocado, mashed
1 dash sea salt
1 dash fresh ground black pepper
½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
2 tsp. fresh lime (or lemon juice)
4 slices low-sodium sprouted whole-grain bread, toasted
¼ cup raw pumpkin (or sunflower) seeds, toasted
1. Combine avocado, salt, pepper, pepper flakes (if desired), and lime juice in a medium bowl; mash until well mixed and slightly chunky.
2. Evenly spread avocado onto each slice of toast. Top evenly with pumpkin seeds.
Avocado Toast with Pumpkin Seeds

August 5, 2015

Are Carbohydrates Bad?

Are Carbohydrates Bad? They make you fat right? Come on it must be true, you read articles about it all the time. So they must make you fat…right?

Here is the deal. There is one small problem, carbohydrates are very important. In fact, carbohydrates (especially the right kind) are essential to your body. They aid in muscle growth, providing energy, as well as providing your body many other benefits. So, Are Carbohydrates Bad? The answer is NO!
Now let’s be real. Lumping all carbs together into one category is like saying all quarterbacks who play in the NFL will be just like Joe Montana. It would be absurd to call all carbs bad when vegetables and fruits are also carbohydrates. With that said, I would have a hard time believing that you would think that a nutrition plan attempting to completely purge carbohydrates would be a good idea. I have a feeling you are a pretty smart cookie (oh, that would be a bad carb). So to suggest that all carbs are evil, is just plain nonsense.

Let’s take a step back and take a hard look at reality, compared to personal preference. I need to ask you a question. Are you willing to wipe the slate clean and start fresh with the truth about carbohydrates? I am going to assume you said yes, either way I am going to give you the facts.
Are Carbohydrates Bad?

 Are Carbohydrates Bad? Will bread and grains make you fat? Uh, NO! Blanket statements just don’t work. The “don’t eat carbs” or “Carbohydrates are Bad” statements are just that, Blanket Statements. Statements like these just confuse the general public. The reason people get confused, is that most don’t have a nutrition background or truly understand what qualifies as a carbohydrate. 95% of us look at food as simply that, FOOD. All blanket statements have done is cause people to adjust their diets in a way that keeps their bodies from functioning properly. This is why many people have been going out of their way to avoid certain foods, like bread, rice or potatoes. When in fact, these foods can have a place in a balanced nutrition plan and can play a role in helping you lose weight or gain lean muscle.

Now you know that carbs as a whole are not bad, BUT there are certain types of carbs that are not good for your body. Generally, these types of carbs will make you feel bloated and tired. These types of carbs often contain processed sugars, corn syrup, or are white flour based foods, and the list can go one with all the other processed crap available. If you cannot grow it, or it doesn’t come from minimally processed whole grains, it is not good. Yep, simple as that.
It comes down to the food manufactures like to confuse people. If they can get the general public to buy into what they are saying about a particular food, macronutrient, or diet, they make money and lots of it.

So back to the question at hand… Are Carbohydrates Bad?
NO, but all of us could gain a better understanding to guide our eating habits. Eating vegetables and fruit, as well as high quality, high fiber grains are an important part of healthy nutrition. If you truly want a balanced healthy nutrition plan that will aid in weight loss or muscle gains you really need to have at least 100 to 200 grams per day depending on your daily level of physical activity and exercise.

The overall message is, you cannot consume bucket-loads of refined low quality carbohydrates and chase them down with and extra-large soda and say, “well they said carbs aren’t bad”. I know you are smarter than the average bear and understand that you need to choose your carbohydrates wisely to have a healthy nutrition plan. It is about eating more good foods such as lean proteins, colorful vegetables, a variety of fruits, high-fiber grains, healthy fats, and cutting out the highly processed garbage such as candy, soda, sugar-loaded foods, poor quality breads, and boatloads of pasta.
Another important factor is choosing the correct portions of the carbs you consume. This can be as important as the kind of carbs you choose to eat. Grain and fruit carbohydrates should be smaller portions than vegetable carbs. If you need assistance with nutrition, portion sizes, and proper balance of carbs, proteins, and fats you may want to check out the 21 Day Fix on Beachbody On Demand. It has an amazing nutrition plan that creates the perfect balance of nutrients and portions. If you struggle with cutting out the crap, you definitely want to take a look at adding a total nutrition shake like Shakeology.

When it’s all said and done, if you are eating healthy and choosing wisely 85-90 percent of the time your body will be happy, you will have energy, and you will lose weight, gain muscle or maintain depending on your goals. You now know the truth to the question “Are Carbohydrates Bad?”!41

July 21, 2015

What Is A Balanced Diet? Her's Your Sign!

Everyone knows that you and your kids are supposed to be eating a “healthy balanced diet”. That’s great, but “What Is A Balanced Diet?” How exactly is a healthy balanced diet different from what most people eat? While you ultimately have to decide what the best nutrition is for you based on your lifestyle, goals, and choices, but there are several things that hold true.
A healthy balanced diet is filled with as many “real foods” as possible. That means foods that haven’t been filled with chemicals, including artificial colors and flavorings. If it comes in a box, no matter how “all natural” it is, you’re probably better off not buying it.

What Is a Balanced Diet? Here’s Your Sign!

Choosing the path of a healthy balanced diet is a lifestyle change, and can take some practice. Here are some great suggestions to get you started on your path to a healthy balanced diet.
A good way to start is to slowly eliminate packaged food to foods and meals that you create. There are a number of recipes available that will allow you to make your own foods and meals that only take few minutes up front. Another idea to keep in mind is “mason jar” recipes. These recipes allow you to prepare your meals ahead for maximum convenience while still staying on your healthy balanced diet. These recipes include salads, oatmeal’s, and more. There are plenty of other options that will allow you to put together your favorite foods once and enjoy them for up to a week without any further effort.
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Never deprive yourself of any food group. This doesn’t mean that you should be chowing down on unhealthy snacks and high-fat foods. It does mean that you shouldn’t limit yourself to fruits, vegetables, and lean meats all the time, either. It is okay to have a splurge item every once in a while. Rule of thumb eat balanced 90% of the time and you will be on the right track. Focus on eating a wide variety of foods so your body gets all of the nutrients it needs and that you are not depriving yourself of something that you really need in order to function at your optimal level.
Foods that you should be limiting are refined grains and added sugar. Added sugar, in particular, can be hard to catch! Many foods that you buy prepackaged or at restaurants contain added sugar content to help them taste better or to cover up the taste of other additives, which is one of the reasons why it’s often better to cook your own when possible. Refined grains process through your body very quickly and are turned into sugar. Whole grains, on the other hand, will keep the nutritional content of the wheat intact.
Eat the rainbow. No, not that popular candy that comes complete with a week’s supply of sugar and enough artificial colors to take you to the moon and back. Rather, eat a “rainbow” of fruits and vegetables. Different colors tend to indicate that the fruits or vegetables have similar nutrients in them. That means that you should fill your plate with all sorts of different tones. Not only is it pretty (which, according to research, will make you enjoy eating it even more), it also contains a variety of different nutrients.
Control your portion sizes. A good rule of thumb is to start by dividing the portion you would normally eat in half. To help control your portions, pay attention when you’re eating. Don’t plop down in front of your television or computer screen; instead, concentrate on the process of eating. Enjoy the flavor and texture of your foods instead of mindlessly shoveling your meal down before going back for more. Also, use this old trick: use a smaller plate to help your portions seem larger.
Try not to drink your calories with soda and other similar drinks. You often don’t realize how many calories there really are in your favorite coffee drink or that soda that you drink by the bottle, but it can pack on the pounds fast. When possible, drink water–and lots of it! Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do for your body. The only caloric drink that would be highly recommended is a total nutrition shake. These can be used for a healthy snack or meal replacement when used with a recipe.
Implement these suggestions and you will be on your way to creating a healthy balanced diet that fits your lifestyle.!41

July 16, 2015

How to Eat Healthy While Traveling -- Great Tips!

Eating healthy while traveling can be intimidating. Potential weight gain and feeling sluggish doesn’t have to be a part of your travel plans. As we all know, eating healthy on the road can be a challenge. It is easy to load up on the food that is easily accessible, and most of your meals will come from restaurants. Which all can lead to potential weight gain, sluggishness, and detriment to our bodies. So ultimately it will take a bit of pre-travel preparation on your part to make things a bit easier, which is absolutely worth it.
Here are a few suggestions. It truly starts with planning! If you are prepared you won’t be at the mercy of airplane meals or roadside food services. Packing a variety of snacks that easily transport can be as easy as packing all of your other belongings.
  1. Handmade individual trail mixes. You can custom make trail mix blends based on what nutrients your body needs.
  2. Pre-packaged trail mixes (choose clean, whole organic ingredients).
  3. Nuts and Dried fruits
  4. Healthy Meal Replacement Shake
  5. Raw food bars or good nutritious bars with clean ingredients
  6. Bananas, oranges, nectarines, and fruits that have an outer layer that protects the inner food.
Check out and download our book with other tips for eating healthy while traveling. 


  1. It is always good to eat a healthy filling meal like a salad with lots of vegetables and some protein, or a vegetable burrito prior to your travel, so it can carry you for a bit longer of time frame.
  2. When eating at restaurants be sure to look for a health conscious salads and other grilled meats and vegetable options at mealtimes.
  3. Be sure to drink plenty of clean water while traveling. Your body needs the additional fluids to stay hydrated and properly digest the foods when it is out of your ordinary nutrition consumption.

How to Eat Healthy While Traveling

Even with all of these preparations, eating healthy on the road while traveling can be difficult. You may find that eating less while traveling is helpful, in fact you can use traveling time as opportunity to fast a bit, and/or eat a vegetarian diet. It is a good way to give your digestive system a break for a few days. Though it can be challenging to find healthy foods outside of the home, do not be discouraged. There certainly are a number of products that can carry you through your travels.
Need help finding your way? How about an on-line meal planner, nutrition guide, health and nutrition coach, and 150 of Beachbody’s Top Rated Fitness Programs Streaming to your cell phone, pad device, or laptop for $2.99 per week, and you’re first month is FREE!!41