Challenge Group Starts TODAY! Open to EVERYONE!

I’m excited to announce that, as a Beachbody coach, there will a BLOCK PARTY challenge group starting TODAY. It’s open to anyone and everyone, no matter your fitness level, personal goals, or workout program. It’s just after New Year’s, and I know a lot of you out there made resolutions, whether it was to lose weight, gain muscle, eat better, or just to get more active. But you might be asking yourself— how? Well, I’d love to help you with that! 

Come join the fun! Get in shape, feel better, and be happy!

Just a year ago, I was almost twenty five pounds heavier than I am now. Sure, at 125, I wasn’t overweight by any means— but I was not happy with my body whatsoever. I decided to commit to making a change, and the results have been ASTONISHING. Now? I’m prepping for a marathon, planning my next mudding season, and feeling like I am in the best shape of my life!

I’ve been there— out of shape, out of practive, and unsure where to even start. Whether you have 10 pounds to lose, 100 pounds to lose, or want to gain 10 pounds of muscle— I can help you. As someone who has been there, I can give you the support, guidance, encouragement, and motivation you want! And as someone who works in the medical field, I can give you the correct information on nutrition, exercise, health, and fitness that you need! All you need to do is what I did a year ago— commit to making a change!

But where to begin? By joining this BLOCK PARTY of course! It’s only a 30 day challenge group, but 30 days is enough to get the wheels of change rolling! It’s open to anyone and everyone, no matter what program you choose to do. It’s totally free, so there’s no cost to join, and no requirement to buy anything. Plus its a great way to connect with other fitness-minded people who are on a similar journey just like you! And, as a bonus, prizes will be awarded at the end of the 30 days!

No matter what your fitness goals are, I can help you reach those goals! Interested? Let me know! muddymelissa@gmail.com

xoxox
Muddy Melissa

Breakast and More Breakfast!

I started my day off with an old-fashioned treat… muesli! If you aren’t familiar with muesli, its very much like oatmeal— only in addition to oats, ingredients such as seeds, nuts, dried fruits, and other grains are added. I love it because it’s a break from the monotony of oatmeal, and the additional ingredients make for an interesting texture. You can eat muesli either hot or cold, much like oatmeal.

Almond, dried plum, and vanilla protein baked muesli

Looks absolutely yummy, right? Here’s how I concocted this:

Recipe:
Almond, dried plum, and vanilla protein baked muesli (serves 1)

1/2 cup muesli (or oats if you prefer)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or whatever type of milk you prefer… you can use water as well)
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder (I used About Time/SDC Nutrition protein powder in Birthday Cake flavor)
2 tablespoons chopped unsweetened dried plums
1 tablespoon slivered almonds
Optional: cinnamon, stevia, nutmeg, ground clove, ground ginger

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small pot, bring unsweetened almond milk to a boil. Add muesli to almond milk, then simmer for 3-5 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat, and fold in protein powder, dried plums, and any additional ingredients (I used a liberal amount of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger). Pour muesli mixture into an oven-safe dish. Top with slivered almonds. I also sprinkled some more cinnamon and a bit of stevia on the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until top begins to brown. Eat and enjoy!

 

Me pre-workout… you can tell its pre-workout because my hair does NOT look like that post-workout!

I had an awesome workout today. I was overflowing with energy for some reason, so I know I put 110% into my workouts. I went for a 6 mile tempo run, plus I lifted weights… it was shoulder day today! Love it! Afterward, I still had a good amount of energy, so I thought I’d throw in a “fun” workout to blow off some steam. I ended up joining a friend (her New Year’s resolution is to lose weight) in some Zumba. I’m a fan of Zumba because its so much fun that it doesn’t even seem like a workout to me! Just seems like a dance party… only I can look as stupid as I want to rocking out to the tunes because I’m in the comfort of my own home! With the curtains closed. And the blinds shut. Essential parts of this, trust me.

Dinner tonight: brinner! I’m all about breakfast foods, plus you all know about my love of egg whites, so brinner is on the menu quite often in my house! Tonight’s brinner? Potato, cherry tomato, mushroom, red pepper, spinach, and egg white frittatas. I may or may not have vigorously poured hot sauce all over my entire frittata… I can neither confirm nor deny! I don’t eat potatoes very often, just because my body is extremely carb-sensitive, but I indulged in some carby potato goodness in my frittata tonight for a change!

Potato, cherry tomato, mushroom, red pepper, and spinach egg white frittata

With it, I also sipped on a glass of clean lemonade. Clean, refreshing, delicious, and thirst-quenching! And super simple to make!

How simple? Find out!

Clean lemonade… delicious!

Recipe:
Quick and Clean Lemonade (serves 2)

1 lemon
Sparkling water
Liquid stevia drops to taste

Slice lemons, and place lemon slices evenly in two glasses. Pour sparkling water over lemon slices. Finally, add liquid stevia to lemonade until you reach your desired sweetness. Yum!

Of course, you can use other citrus fruits if you’d like— limes, oranges, grapefruit. One of my favorite things to do is to add a bit of fresh mint into my clean lemonade for a refreshing lemon-mint beverage. Its such a simple recipe that’s great for whenever you need a break from “just water!”

As always, be happy and be healthy guys!

A Dehydrator Machine Snuck Into My Cart Yesterday…

I made an impromptu purchase— no regrets though! While I was picking up my Ninja machine yesterday, I snatched up a dehydrator machine at the store. It was only $35, and I love dried fruits— but I have such a hard time find clean dried fruits at the store because everyone seems to want to add unnecessary sugar (helllllOOOO, fruit is naturally sweet, lay off it!). Last night, I went on a dehydrating rampage with a myriad of fruit… pineapple, strawberries, mango, apples. Yum yum yum! And today, I’m on another dehydrating rampage… bananas, kiwi, cinnamon apples, and salted sweet potato chips. Fingers crossed they turned out as great as the first batch!
Only $35— My new Presto dehydrator machine
My dehydrated fruit goodies! Apples, mangos, strawberries, pineapples
What do you think? Looks delicious or looks delicious? Do any of you guys have a dehydrator? Do you use it often for clean eats or does it collect dust on your kitchen counter? Any yummy recipes you guys have to share?

I ran yesterday, so there’s no running on my workout schedule for today. I hit my chest and triceps with the weights bright and early this morning though— gotta love those push ups and one-armed push ups! I got in a bit of cardio with some P90X3 CVX, which is basically a half hour workout of cardio with weights. Cardio? AND weights? Count this chick in! I absolutely loved it and I’m proud to say I rocked my workout, but I’ll have to keep in mind to go up with the weights next time. No light weights allowed here and no cutting myself short! 
Like my post-workout meal setup in the background? Microwave & Ninja
I just have to say, out of all the Beachbody programs— Focus T25 and P90X3 are both IDEAL for weightlifters. I know I’m the antithesis and all, doing marathon run training and heavy weight lifting, but any good weightlifter knows that it’s always a good idea to keep cardio under 30 minutes. Any more than that and you’re risking muscle loss from doing too much cardio, which is pretty counter-productive when you’re trying to increase muscle gains. That’s why marathon runners are always so much slimmer than other types of athletes— the prolonged cardio causes increased muscle loss over time. So if you’re a weightlifter who wants to get your cardio in without doing something dull like trotting around on an elliptical— these two programs really are PERFECT! Both are made up entirely of workouts that are under 30 minutes! I finished up Focus T25 last year with amazing results, and I just started P90X3 in December when it launched. I love them both!

What about you guys? What’s on your workout schedule for the day? Running, biking, weightlifting, yoga, WHAT? I want to know what’s getting you active today!

Ninja-Assisted Lobster Mock Alfredo with Zoodles

Hey again. Muddy Melissa here… as usual! I got my weightlifting in tonight— back and biceps today. I’m loving the progress I’ve made so far. What do you guys out there think?

Ladies love lifting too, ya know!

Well, I picked up my Ninja machine, and I must confess— I’m in love! I was so excited to finally get it, that I couldn’t wait to try it out as soon as I got home. I just had to whip something up! Clean, of course.

Love at first sight: my Ninja machine!

So what was my first meal made with the Ninja? Lobster alfredo. “Whaaaaaaat?!” you say? Oh yeah! “Oh no, you didn’t!” Oh YES, I diiiiiiiiiid. Want to hear how I made this delicious concoction? Keep reading…

Lobster mock alfredo with zucchini noodles

Recipe:
Mock Alfredo Sauce Served Over Zucchini Noodles (Serves 2)

2 zucchinis
1 head of cauliflower
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
4-6 garlic cloves (sauteed or raw— as long as you don’t mind the strong taste… I don’t)
Salt, pepper, additional seasonings to taste
Optional: 1-2 tablespoons dijon mustard

Cut head of cauliflower into small florets. Heat large pot of boiling water; cook cauliflower florets until tender. Drain florets. In a blender or food processor, mix together cauliflower florets (one head, for me, makes about 5 cups of cooked cauliflower florets), garlic cloves, unsweetened almond milk, salt, pepper, and additional seasonings (I love pepper so I use a boatload of it… plus a bit of fresh parsley, along with some dijon mustard!). Blend until sauce is a creamy consistency. Then, julienne the zucchini into long, thin strips— much like angel hair pasta. Once the zucchini is julienned, sauté the zoodles in a pan briefly (a minute or two should be sufficient) until slightly tender. Cover zoodles with mock alfredo sauce. If desired, you can mix in additional ingredients— I added lobster, but you could add any proteins or vegetables you choose. If you’d like, pop your mock alfredo into an oven-safe ramekin, and broil in the oven for several minutes. The top will come out crispy, crunchy, and delicious!

I’d call my first Ninja-assisted meal a rousing success! I scarfed mine down, as did my guests. That’s a definite win in my book!

How about you guys— what was on your menu tonight? I’d love to hear about it!

I Have an Undying Love for Egg Whites

I busted out an awesome run training session this morning. For those of you that don’t know, one of my goals for this year is to complete a marathon. I’ve been working on progressing from half marathon to full marathon for a while now, and last week I finally ran the full 26.2 miles (on my own— but it still counts!), just to see if I could do it. So, right now, I’m focusing my training on pace as opposed to distance. I registered for the Pittsburgh Marathon (on May 4th!), so there’s no going back now! I ran a little over 6 miles today at the gym— pace was a little under 7 min/mile (not including my warm up).

My post-workout BodyMedia stats & a pre-workout mirror selfie

Let me just tell you, I have such mixed feelings about going to the gym after New Year’s. Of course, so many people make resolutions to lose weight, eat better, or get in shape— so, after New Year’s, the gyms are always suddenly packed with people. It gives the gym a great vibe… full of people working towards similar goals with a lot of enthusiasm! On the other hand, though, knowing that a large percentage of those people will eventually give up on their goals and not fulfill their resolutions is a bit heartbreaking! I know that, week after week, I will see less and less people filling the gym— but it doesn’t have to be that way! EVERYONE, no matter how out of shape, how busy your life is, or how many obstacles you face, has what it takes to make their body the best body possible! You just need to trust that, believe that— or better yet, connect with people (like me!) who can and will remind you of that during your moments of weakness!

After my run training, I partook in one of my all-time favorite post-workout meals: egg whites! I opted for an egg white frittata today (come on, FRITTATA is just plain fun to say, am I right?!)— crab, mushrooms, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and red peppers all baked to crispy golden-brown perfection in the oven. Man oh man, it came out awesome! Colorful, bursting with flavors, with a crispy top!

Crab, mushroom, broccoli, cherry tomato, and red pepper egg white frittata

Why do I love egg whites so much? Simply put— they’re awesome! Egg whites are versatile, so you can add almost anything you want to them. On top of that, they’re a nutritional powerhouse— full of protein, packed with nutrients, yet low in calories. You can’t go wrong with that, in my opinion! I rarely go through a day without noshing on some egg whites in one form or another— omelet, frittata, stir fry, what-have-you! 

5 dozen eggs? Yup, doesn’t last long in my house— I eat like Gaston!

Ready to hear how I made this deliciousness?

Recipe:
Crab, mushroom, broccoli, cherry tomato, and red pepper egg white frittata (serves 2)

4 ounces crab meat
1/2 cup quartered mushrooms
1/2 cup fresh broccoli florets
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup julienned fresh sweet red pepper
8-12 egg whites
Optional seasonings: basil, parsley, paprika

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In an oven-safe pan, sauté broccoli, mushrooms, and red pepper until tender. Remove from heat. Spread crab meat, cherry tomatoes, and any additional seasonings (I use fresh basil with a touch of paprika) you choose to use evenly throughout the pan. Then, add the egg whites— you should use just enough to cover the ingredients in the pan. Place the oven-safe pan in the oven, and cook for roughly 8-10 minutes, or until crispy with a golden-brown top.

And there you have it! Quick, easy, clean, and versatile— you can substitute any veggies/proteins/seasonings in here that you choose, and it’ll still turn out fabulous!

What’s on my agenda for the day? Well, I still need to get in another workout (weightlifting— slated for later tonight). Plus, I’m going to pick up my belated Christmas present to myself. I finally bought myself a Ninja machine— with all the shakes, smoothies, and whatnot I concoct in the kitchen… it’s long overdue! How much you want to bet I’ll be posting a slew of protein shake recipes in the near future?!

Yummnous: Crunchy Crab Cakes with Oven Roasted Garlic Cauliflower, Creamy Herbed Polenta, and Sauteed Mushrooms and Cherry Tomatoes

Today’s workout? A 4 mile run, P90X3 “The Challenge,” plus a bit of yoga. I’m absolutely loving P90X3! I can’t get enough of it— and “The Challenge” is one of my favorites! All of the push ups and pull ups? This girl likey! Screw all those girls who whine “but I’m a giiiiirrrrrrllll… I can’t do push ups and pull ups!” Bring ’em on— the more, the better I say! But, man, a bit of yoga afterward felt like heaven to my muscles!

Yoga does a body good!

I got a little bit experimental with tonight’s dinner. I wanted to give my crab cakes a bit of crunch without adding a boatload of breading like most do. So, instead, I opted to mix in some toasted wheat germ with my crab. It came out rather nicely, I think! Of course, I had to add some red pepper and green jalapeños for a bit of color, not to mention to appease my spicy-loving palette! I served it with a couple of my favorite sides— oven roasted garlic cauliflower, creamy herbed polenta, and some sautéed  mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. What do you think, yum or YUM?

I’m in clean eats heaven!


Recipe

Crunchy Crab Cakes (serves 1, makes 2 crab cakes)
6 ounces crab meat
1 tablespoon wheat germ (toasted in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes until brown)
Diced jalapeños and red peppers to taste
Dash of cayenne pepper

Mix ingredients together in a bowl. Form two patties with mixture. Meanwhile, heat pan to medium heat. Use a bit of whatever type of oil you prefer to ensure that the crab cakes do not stick to the pan (I used sunflower oil). Place patties on pan, cook on each side, ensuring that crab cake turns golden brown— it took me about 2-3 minutes on each side. Serve and enjoy!

I loved the way these turned out— spicy, flaky, with a bit of a crunch. If you try it— let me know your thoughts! As always, remember: clean eats don’t have to be bland eats!

Clean Eats Spotlight: High Fructose Corn Syrup

So I was cleaning out my fridge, and I came across two jars of applesauce. One’s mine, the other belongs to someone else. One’s clean, the other… not so much! One of us is a healthy weight, the other… again, not so much!

The top one lists only two ingredients: apples and ascorbic acid (AKA vitamin C). The bottom one, however, lists its second ingredient as high fructose corn syrup. Now, you may or may not have heard about all the debate surrounding HFCS in the media. Simply put, it’s been linked to a slew of health concerns— obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and more. I’m not going to point the finger at HFCS for any of these health concerns, though. But in my opinion— apples are naturally sweet and totally delicious on their own! While I can’t say for certain that HFCS is the cause of certain health concerns (the studies are still divided), I’d rather not take the risk of eating anything with this ingredient in it. I’ll take my applesauce clean, thank you very much!

How about you? Avoiding HFCS? Think it’s fine? Or still undecided? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Ringing in the New Year right: cinnamon swirl protein waffles topped with baked spiced apple slices

Morning y’all. I’m having one of my favorite pre-workout breakfasts today: cinnamon swirl protein waffles topped with baked spiced apple slices! All that protein will be helping me kill my first workout of the new year… while making my tastebuds do the happy dance at the same time, no less!


Don’t you want to just dive into a plate of these yummy in your tummy clean eats?
Recipe

Baked Apples:
Apples
Fresh Orange Juice
Spices: Cinnamon, Stevia, Nutmeg, Ginger, Cloves, etc.
Optional: Dried fruit, nuts, etc.
Boiling Water


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Core apples to remove seeds, but do not core the apples all the way through— you’ll basically want a 1/2-1 inch hole in the middle of the apple where you can put your ingredients while the apples bake. In a bowl, mix together fresh orange juice, spices, and any other additional ingredients you want to use. This isn’t an exact science— you can pop pretty much anything in there and it’ll end up tasting great, but my favorite is the old standby of orange juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Stand apples upright in a baking dish, and pour 1/2 inch of boiling water around the apples at the bottom of the baking dish. Depending on the type of apple you use, these can take about an hour to bake in the oven. You’ll want them to be soft and tender, but not mushy! Bonus: your house is going to smell AWESOME while these apples are baking!


Cinnamon Swirl Protein Waffles:

1/2 Cup Big Train Low Carb Pancake/Waffle Mix
1 Tablespoon Unsweetened Applesauce
2 Egg Whites
1 Scoop SDC Nutrition/About Time Cinnamon Swirl Whey Protein Powder
~ 1/2 Cup Water
Optional: Additional Cinnamon to Taste

Preheat waffle iron. In a bowl, mix together waffle mix, protein powder, and additional cinnamon if you like your waffles extra cinnamon-y. These are personally the two brands/flavors that I choose to use— but you can use whatever brands/flavors you’d like! Once the dry ingredients are mixed thoroughly, add in the unsweetened applesauce, egg whites, and water. How much water you will need can depend on the brands you use— so you may need to adjust. Add enough water until the batter is the consistency of waffle batter. Once mixed, pour batter into the hot waffle iron and make according to your waffle iron’s instructions. Serve topped with baked spiced apple slices and enjoy your protein-packed yum-tastic clean eats! Bonus: you can use the juices from the inside of your baked spiced apple in lieu of sugar-laden syrup!


Now it’s time for this little girl to kill her workout. Any guesses on what the first workout of the New Year will be?! Hope you’re all having a happy and healthy New Year’s Day!

New Year’s Eve Dinner!

New Year’s Eve Dinner: wheat germ and herb crusted baked oysters with a jalapeno dipping sauce served with sauteed oyster mushrooms and lemon-garlic white asparagus… Yummy healthy eats!

Wheat germ and herb crusted baked oysters


Recipe (Serves 2):

8 ounces shucked oysters (4-6 jumbo oysters)
1/4 cup wheat germ
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning
2 egg whites


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In one bowl, mix together wheat germ, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and Italian herb seasoning to create a breading mixture. In another bowl, whisk together the two egg whites. Once the shucked oysters are drained, coat each oyster in egg whites followed by the breading mixture. Arrange coated oysters on a baking sheet. Bake oysters for 15 minutes, or until crispy golden brown.

They came out so delicious! Crispy, crunchy, and flaky on the outside— warm, soft, and tender on the inside. Paired with a spicy jalapeno dipping sauce, I was in healthy eats heaven tonight! I’m ringing in the New Year right— are you?

Muddy Melissa’s 5 Down and Dirty Tips to Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions

 Happy New Year’s Eve! This New Year’s Eve, for me, isn’t about looking at the past— it’s about looking towards the future. I spent the day making commitments for myself: I registered for the Pittsburgh Marathon, I registered for the Pittsburgh Triathlon, AAAAAAND I finally signed up to be a Beachbody coach! It’s been a long time coming— I’ve been shouting the wonders of Beachbody programs from the mountaintops for ages now, so it was about time that I made the decision final! There’s no doubt in my mind… this is going to be a great year for me!

Year after year, we make resolutions on New Year’s Eve. We spout vague musings of “oh, I’ll eat healthy this year” or “I’ll finally get in shape,” yet each year those resolutions are broken. But why? These are things that we obviously want— so why don’t we want to do the work to obtain them? The trick is to stop making RESOLUTIONS and start making REVOLUTIONS! Don’t just want your goals to happen, plan for them to happen! Ask yourself a few questions first. What is it that you want? Why is it that you want it? And what is it going to take to get it?

Here’s Muddy Melissa’s 5 Down and Dirty tips to keeping your New Year’s resolutions:

1. Make your goal measurable. It’s not enough to just say “eat better” or “lose weight,” if you want to concoct a recipe for success for yourself, then you’ve got to make those goals concrete! Because, really, what’s the point of a goal when you can’t even tell whether or not you’ve achieved it? Instead of “eat better” or “lose weight,” try “switch to water instead of soda” or “lose 25 pounds by the end of the year.”

2. On that note— set a deadline! You’ll work harder to achieve your goal if you know that a deadline is approaching. If you’re working towards a long-term goal, try setting several mini-deadlines along the way so that you can check in with your progress.

3. Ask yourself is your goal realistic. Can you realistically bench press 300 pounds? Is it feasible that you’re going to achieve a 6 minute mile? Maybe not. Be honest with yourself and be honest about your abilities— don’t set yourself up for failure by attempting to do something you’re not ready to do yet. You might not be able to reach those goals right now, but if you set more reasonable goals for yourself in the meantime, then eventually those unrealistic goals WILL become realistic possibilities!

4. Commit to your goal. Do some sort of action to make it a reality. Register for the race you’re prepping for. Write your goal down where you can see it every day. Put an alert in your phone to check in with your goal. Anything! Then tell the world about your goal— family, friends, colleagues. You’ll work harder knowing that you’ve made this commitment to yourself and to others!

5. Set up a reward for yourself. Of course, achieving your goal will be a reward in and of itself— but, the fact is, it feels good to get a reward for all of your hard work! And you’ll deserve it! Just don’t reward good habits with bad habits; instead, reward good habits with more good habits. Instead of rewarding a weight loss with a dinner out, try rewarding a weight loss with a relaxing spa day or a yoga class pass. Whatever you choose, it’ll be that much more of a motivating factor to reach your goal.

Lastly— I want to encourage you to reach out for help. The reason they are called ‘goals’ is because we have not achieved them yet! Rest assured though, there are other people out there who have, and there’s a wealth of knowledge to be obtained from them. Not only that, but there are other people out there still who are on a similar journey— trying to achieve a similar goal just like you! A solid support system will undoubtedly help make your journey towards your goal a success.

As a Beachbody coach, I’d love to offer my help to you in reaching your goals— whatever those goals may be. I can offer a vast amount of knowledge from my own personal experiences (everything from nutrition to recipes to training and more!), and all I want to do is help people along on their journeys towards becoming the happiest and healthiest person they can possibly be. Contact me for more details about how I can help you!

xxx,
Muddy Melissa

1 2 34 35 36