Friday, August 26, 2016

My Typical Shopping List

Below is a list of the foods I like to always have in stock at home for meal prep, snacks, etc.  This is not what's on my list EVERY week. I just replenish items when they're out as I go. I try and only do my shopping 2 to 3x a month.  Once a month I do a big trip to Costco and 2x a month I go to our local produce market for vegetables and fruites


Organic No salt seasoning
Mesquite Seasoning
Vanilla extract
Organic virgin coconut oil
Apple cider vinegar
Berry preserves (for PB & J) 


Romaine lettuce 
Grape tomatoes
Roma tomatoes
Sweet potatoes
Acorn and/or kabocha squash
Spaghetti squash
Normandy veggies (frozen)
Stir fry veggies (frozen)

Frozen strawberries
Frozen blueberries 
Baby carrots

Cottage cheese
Greek yogurt plain
Siggis yogurt
Oikos Triple zero yogurt
Almond milk
Organic Cow's milk
Egg whites
String cheese

Feta cheese


Gluten free pasta
Low Carb tortillas
Ezekiel bread
Gluten free cereal (Chex)
Gluten free granola (Kashi vanilla)
Steel cut oats
Rice rollers
Brown Rice


Kirkland protein bars
Granola bars
Organic fruit snacks
Dried Cranberries 
Raw almonds 
Skinny pop popcorn
Trident gum


Turkey lunch meat 
Turkey burgers
Salmon burgers
Pollock burgers
Chicken breasts

Canned salmon
Canned tuna
Ground turkey

Rotisserie chicken (sometimes)

Have any questions? Want help with your meal prep? Reach out. Send an email to or contact me via the contact form that pops up or the form at the top right of this page. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Wanna Make a Bet? The Beachbody Health Bet? Who's In to Get Fit & Win a Cut of Up to 3 Million?

Wanna get paid for working out, and I don't mean being a coach, trainer, etc?  Would you like a little extra cash just for working on YOU to get in shape, learn to eat healthier, feed  your family cleaner foods, etc?  If so, Our Health Bet has you covered!

What is Beachbody’s Health Bet?

Beachbody is literally betting cold hard in $1 to 3 million in cash, that you will fall in love with getting healthy!
During the Challenge Period, from September 5th – October 2nd, 2016, anyone who meets the requirements below will win an equal share of a $1 to 3 million dollar pot funded by Beachbody! As a BONUS – for every Challenge Pack sold from July 27th – August 31st, 2016, Beachbody will add $5 to the pot for up to a $3 million dollar pot!

Beachbody’s Health Bet focuses on building healthy habits.

I totally love that in the Health Bet you aren’t focused on the scale.  It’s not about weight loss or getting visible abs. You are rewarded for your HEALTHY HABITS!
You are rewarded for creating healthy habits.
Workout three times per week and drink five Shakeology shakes.  That’s it.  No pressure to workout for hours.  No embarrassing weigh ins.  You workout, drink a shake, and post them in your Beachbody Challenge Tracker app.  Super simple.  No stress. Of course, it benefits you to eat better, follow the program to the best of your ability but ALL you need to do to win the pot is DRINK your shakeo (and who doesn't love that!!) and workout at least 3x a week!  ANYONE can do that!  

How much will you win?

It depends on how large the final pot will be (minimum of  $1 million and maximum of $3 million) and how many people participate.  So it could be $5, $15, $50 or more. You have to participate and be consistent throughout the bet period but, like I said, it's NOT hard to do!  Beachbody will announce the total pot amount in early September.
AND the good news is this… whether you get a big check, or just enough to buy yourself a yummy dinner, you will be a winner in that you have created the healthy habits of moving your body, improving your diet (and hopefully your family's too!) and drinking a healthy superfood filled shake that will help eliminate cravings for junk food, keep you satisfied, give you energy AND help improve issues such as thyroid, Chron's, diabetes, etc!  You will be a stronger, more fit, more vibrant person at the end of the month than you were when you started AND you'll have more $$$ in your pocket!

Want to join me?

I will run a special Health Bet challenge group for the entire contest period.  We start September 5th and run through October 2nd.  So you will not only earn the Beachbody Health Bet payout, but you’ll also get the support of me and a group of other guys and ladies on the same journey to become the healthiest version of ourselves as possible.  Oh yeah and some cash too 🙂

What do you need to join?

  1. I need to be your official Beachbody coach.  If you don’t have a coach, sign up here for a free Team Beachbody membership >>>> FREE TEAM BEACHBODY MEMBERSHIP and COACH.  All this means is that I am your assigned coach to help you with tips, meal plans, recipes, etc and you have access to the Team Beachbody website should you want to check out the blog, recipes, fitness tips, etc.  If you are already working with a coach please reach out to him or or to see if they are offering challenge groups for the contest period. 
  2. If you have a coach but you are not working closely him or her and would love my support, I would love to help you on your journey. Just click here >>>> Switch to my team and enter my information (Ellie Perico - Coach ID 475235 - Email and you'll be assigned to me within 48 hours. 
  3. A Challenge Pack, which is your workout program bundled with Shakeology.  Check out the Challenge Packs here >>>>> Browse all Challenge Packs or just an order of Shakeology if you already own a program.  There are many challenge packs on sale this month, though, and they're GREAT deals so, if you'd like an extra workout program, it's a GREAT time to get one and save on a bundle of both!
  4. A smart phone to access the My Challenge Tracker app.  (Works on iPhones and Android – I’ll send  you the link to download the app via email.)
Ready to get paid to get fit?  Let’s do this together!  Just contact me at:

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Fixate Mac & Cheese!

Macaroni and Cheese with BroccoliWhen the kids and I wanna indulge in a bowl of macaroni and cheese, this is how we do it. Not with the boxed crap....although it's much easier :). Get your fill of veggies and comfort food at the same time with this mouthwatering recipe from her FIXATE cookbook. A 21 Day Fix friendly recipe and cook book that the whole family will love!! Sharp cheddar cheese and almond milk make a creamy cheese sauce with just the right amount of gooey goodness.
Total Time: 37 min.
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cooking Time: 17 min.
Yield: 8 servings, approx. 1½ cups each
4 oz. dry whole wheat elbow macaroni (or pasta)
4 tsp. organic grass-fed butter (or organic coconut oil)
2 Tbsp. unbleached whole wheat flour
1½ cups unsweetened almond milk
1¼ cups freshly grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
3 cups cooked chopped chicken breast, boneless, skinless
6 cups chopped broccoli florets, steamed
1 tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
½ tsp. ground black pepper
1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. (Do not use salt or oil if suggested in directions.) Set aside.
2. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat.
3. Add flour; cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, or until brown (don’t let it burn).
4. Slowly whisk in almond milk; cook, whisking constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until mixture thickens and there are no lumps.
5. Reduce heat to low. Add cheese; cook, whisking constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until melted.
6. Add chicken, broccoli, salt, and pepper; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, or until heated through.
7. Serve immediately.
Tips and Variations:
• Use quinoa pasta and gluten-free flour if you’re following a gluten-free lifestyle.
• Asparagus, green beans or Brussels sprouts can be substituted for broccoli.
• A combination of cheeses like cheddar and Gouda, cheddar and Monterey jack, and cheddar and Asiago can be substituted for sharp cheddar.
Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli

Sunday, August 7, 2016

21 Day Fix Easy Food Prep Recipes

Quick Food Prep Recipes
When it comes to food prep, some people get overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin. Not to mention we are BUSY and don’t have time to food prep. I prep twice a week because I just don’t have time to do all food prep in one day.  Below are some of my favorite Quick Prep Recipes that I make regularly and I keep on hand most of the time in my fridge.  I make a lot of it and freeze it or keep it in the fridge to snack on. 
You can also find a lot of these recipes on and clicking on Recipes in the black navigation bar.

Salsa Chicken
Place two chicken breasts in your slow cooker; completely cover with salsa.  Season as desired with seasonings such as pepper, mustard powder, garlic powder, lightly with sea salt, onion powder, Mrs Dash, Flavor God, Costco No Salt Seasoning, etc.  Just remember to take it easy on the sodium products and, if you can, avoid them. You’ll be MUCH happier with your results if you do and it’s only 5 days!  Cook on low for 3-4 hours for thawed chicken or 5-6 hours for frozen chicken.  Once cooked, remove from heat and shred using two forks.  If you are cooking for your family too, increase the quantity of chicken breasts accordingly.  You could also simply bake these in the oven, but they shred so much nicer and are so much jucier if you do it in the slow cooker.

Balsamic Chicken Breast
Marinate it in balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, cilantro and seasoning. Barbecue it or grill it in your oven for 30 minutes or so at 400 or until it’s well cooked.

Balsamic tilapia, Swai or other fish
Marinate it in balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and seasoning. Barbecue it or grill it in your oven for 20 -25 minutes or so at 400 or until it’s well cooked.

Panko Chicken Breasts
These are frozen uncooked all white meat chicken breasts breaded with crunchy panko breadcrumbs from Costco. They're delicious and super easy to make in a pinch! 
Ground Turkey
I buy the extra lean Jennie-O ground turkey and make it in a skillet. I just add some no salt seasoning and if they have the flavored variety (Italian, taco, etc), I buy that to make it faster. My family likes it on salads, in tacos, making it into turkey burger patties, as lettuce wraps or any other way you like to eat it.

The only ways I really eat beef are in burgers (as lean as you can find them or make your own from lean ground beef) or in a lean steak.  You can grill it or make it on the skillet.

Salmon Burgers (Costco)
These are my favorite and they’re packed with protein. They come frozen so you just pop them in the oven for 20 minutes or so at 350 and they’re done. You can put a few in at a time and have them ready to go in the fridge. 

Canned Salmon (Costco)
I prefer canned salmon vs tuna because it tastes better. I can literally open the can, squeeze some lemon juice in there, sprinkle it with no salt seasoning and eat it on top of a salad, bed of lettuce or just out of the can with a fork.

Balsamic Chicken
This is my favorite and the easiest way to make chicken breast. Place the chicken in a Tupperware container.  Pour balsamic vinegar and lemon juice on it. Sprinkle with no salt seasoning. Marinate for a few hours or overnight.  You can grill it on the barbecue or bake it in the oven at 400 preferably over a pan with a grill on top so you get the barbecue grill marks even though you cooked it indoors  

Egg Whites
I always have cartons of egg whites handy. Scrambled eggs with veggies you have on hand is a quick and easy low carb, high protein meal to make in a flash!

Sweet Potatoes (baked or fries)
BAKED: Place it in the microwave using the sensor cook setting or cook it for about 5 minutes.  
FRIES: Slice them up, spray or LIGHTLY drizzle with olive oil and spices and bake for about 30 minutes at 375.

Quinoa (2 servings) 
½ cup dry quinoa
1 cup cold water (or broth….gives it more flavor!)
Pepper and No Salt Seasoning (Flavor God, Mrs Dash or Kirkland Organic No Salt Seasoning) to taste 
If you are cooking for your family too, increase the quantity of quinoa accordingly.
1.  Combine quinoa, water, and salt/pepper in a medium saucepan and bring to boil over high heat
2. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle boil; cook, covered, for 10-15 mins or until all water has been absorbed
3. Remove pan from heat and let quinoa rest, covered, for 5 mins
4. Fluff with fork
5. Store in two separate containers for easy access throughout the next week.

Brown Rice (2 servings) 
½ cup brown rice
1 cup cold water (or broth….gives it more flavor!)
Pepper and No Salt Seasoning (Flavor God, Mrs Dash or Kirkland Organic No Salt Seasoning) to taste 
If you are cooking for your family too, increase the quantity of quinoa accordingly.
1.  Combine rice, water, and salt/pepper in a medium saucepan and bring to boil over high heat
2. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle boil; cook, covered, for 10-15 mins or until all water has been absorbed
3. Remove pan from heat and let quinoa rest, covered, for 5 mins
4. Fluff with fork
5. Store in two separate containers for easy access throughout the next week.

Hard Boiled Eggs (2 eggs – 1 serving)
2 large eggs (organic if possible)
Cold water
If you are cooking for your family too, increase the quantity of eggs accordingly.
1. Place eggs in saucepan and add enough cold water to cover eggs by one inch
2. Bring water to a boil over high heat; remove from heat immediately after water comes to a boil, cover, and let stand for 12 mins
3. Remove from water and rinse with cold water until cool
4. Store in fridge in airtight container (to prevent your whole fridge from smelling like eggs) 

Normandy Blend Steamed Veggies (1 cup – 1 serving) from Costco
These are the EASIEST veggies to make and have on hand. They come frozen and blended so you have a good variety (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots & squash), cleaned, chopped up and ready to steam and eat.  Steam to desired tenderness, season with pepper and/or no salt seasoning and eat as a side dish, with cottage cheese, topped with parmesan, etc.

Spaghetti Squash
Super easy to make and you can make it as a side dish or main dish. I have tons of recipes for it on my blog too!  Cut it in half (this is the hardest part!), take out the seeds, spray lightly with olive oil or lightly brush it on, put face down on a pan and bake at 375 for about 45 minutes to an hour. Then take a fork and scrape out the “spaghetti” from the inside.  So delish and you can eat it like pasta with sauce and meatballs or as a side dish. 

Acorn Squash
My new FAVORITE type of squash.  So delish and super easy to make. Just slice it up in ½ inch thick slices, remove the seeds inside and place on a non stick baking sheet. Spray lightly with olive oil spray or brush it on lightly, sprinkle some no salt seasoning, some parmesan and bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes. Super easy and really good. Plus they look like little flowers so the kids like them too!

Greek Salad
Romaine lettuce, chopped tomato, sliced olives, feta cheese & balsamic vinegar with a sprinkle of lemon juice.  Easy and you can top it with chicken or eat it by itself!

******Many more recipes will be posted in the group over the next few days. These are just ideas of fast, easy foods to make if you’re hungry and you don’t have food ready to go.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Eating and Emotions

Often times, we hold back our emotions. It makes sense that we might want to hide the anger we’re experiencing, our rage, depression, hurt, grief, fear, or disappointment. These are emotions that tend to be unpopular to share with others. On the other hand, we might even choose to mask our positive feelings such as love, desire, and intimacy, simply because they intimidate us or we’re afraid of the judgement of others.
The result of all this is often "emotional constipation”. Meaning, we can experience an artificial build-up of emotional content in our system that needs an outlet. And when we’re emotionally constipated and can’t express our feelings, we often look to alleviate the stress of holding back our emotions with something that gives us comfort. That’s because the act of suppressing one’s emotions is literally a physiologic stressor. It’s no different than needing to go the bathroom and holding it in too long. It’s not natural, it’s not necessary, and it hurts.
So the stress that comes along with emotional withholding always seeks an outlet. And one of the most common outlets we choose is food. For many people, overeating, binge eating, and emotional eating is simply our emotions calling out for some airtime. Our feelings want our attention. And when they can’t get it, they can orchestrate unwanted eating behaviors, which then get our attention in a big way. Feelings are meant to be felt. When we allow them the space they need, our eating concerns can finally begin to resolve in an easier and more natural way.
So here’s the remedy: feel your feelings. Be honest about them. See what’s beneath them. Listen to what they’re asking of you. Let them wash over your body. Stop fighting them. Stop trying to hide them. The result will be a better emotional metabolism, and a much happier relationship with food.
If you want to learn more about Dynamic Eating Psychology check out Emily Rosen's FREE Videos Series about forever transforming your relationship with food and her video on emotional eating HERE.