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Spicy Chicken Spaghetti (GF, DF)

It's been about 6 months since our family started transitioning to a gluten and dairy free diet. 

I won't go into the whys behind this for this post, other than our life is significantly better without it. 

And I can tell you that the only way you succeed at this is by sticking with it, learning new recipes and discovering delicious substitutes for the foods you crave. 

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Basically what I'm saying is that full-fat coconut milk, gluten-free noodles and crushed red pepper have changed my life. 

Instead of needing a million different ingredients like I thought I would when eating GF and DF, our list of pantry items has been minimized. 

And now that I have the hang of cooking sauces and noodle dishes without gluten or dairy, I can whip together meals like this without needing any sort of recipes to go by. 

The key to any change you are trying to create in your life is sticking with it until you've mastered the concepts and it no longer feels like a burden in your life. 

Then, the sky is the limit. 

Spicy Chicken Spaghetti

Serves 2

1 packet Lotus gluten-free ramen noodles
1 T butter or avocado oil
1/2 small onion, diced
2 T arrowroot starch or corn starch
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1 tsp adobo seasoning
3-4 oz leftover chicken or meat of choice (i used leftover chicken tenders) 

1. Cook ramen noodles according to package. 

2. Meanwhile, heat a skillet to medium heat. Add oil of choice + onion, sauteeing until soft. Add arrowroot starch and stir to coat onions. Add coconut milk + all spices, stirring until it thickens up. 

3. Add meat of choice to sauce, stirring well. Add sauce to noodles and top with green onions + crushed red pepper. 

Other **skip meat for vegetarian
**add dark leafy greens like spinach, dandelion greens, swiss chard on top

 

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Creamy Dreamy Peanut Butter Vanilla Shake

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My dad used to make these amazing vanilla peanut butter malts for me as a kid (and well into college, who am I kidding). 

Blue Bunny ice cream, whole milk, peanut butter (no, not the natural kind y'all), and malt. 

Most of you probably don't even know what malt it.....but that's besides the point.

Even after years of eating a whole-food diet, I still crave the malts from my childhood. 

Being 95% dairy free these days to reduce the chronic nasal drip + gunk I had going on in my sinuses for 20+ years, i've resorted to alternative foods (that taste darn good, I might add).

Yes, I can have my malt and feel good about it inside and out. 

It's as creamy and calorie-dense and delicious as those good ole' shake days and packed with 30+ grams of protein as well as healthy fats and carbs and very low in sugar. A perfect post-workout or hike meal to give your body the calories and fuel it needs to restock your muscles with energy. 

Creamy Dreamy Peanut Butter Protein Shake

1/3 cup + 2 T almond milk
1/2 frozen banana
2 T hemp seeds
1 scoop Terra’s grass-fed vanilla whey protein (or plant-based protein of choice)
2 T natural peanut butter (without sugar)
1 scoop collagen peptides
4-5 large ice cubes

Blend and enjoy your dream shake. 

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3 Reasons I Despise the Fitness Industry (and you should too)

I've never really fit in with the fitness industry, other than it's drive to improve the lives of people.

I'm not here to sell you false claims about my secret "weight loss" formulas so I can build my empire. 

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I'm here because helping people find adventure and purpose and health pumps through my veins every second of the day. 

This is what drives my coaching and despise for 99% of the fitness and diet industry. 

3 reasons the fitness industry makes me cringe (and further fuels my passion for how I coach):

1. They use their 6-pack ab pictures to sell you "fat loss" programs. 

THIS might just be what I despise most about the industry.

Yes, as you take care of yourself your body will change, but it's probably not going to give you those 6-pack abs your trainer promised..... unless you're planning to revolve your entire life around counting every bite of food you put in your mouth. 

NEWS FLASH >>> Many fitness professionals have naturally petite or "skinny" body types and would look like they do now even if they ate 10 doughnuts every day. Hence why they are able to plaster their abs everywhere to sell you their programs. 

I had a college roommate that ate processed food like it was going-out-of-style, never worked out and drank more soda than water. And she had cut abs. 

This is exactly why health has to be about HEALTH and not how sculpted our bodies are. 

What the fitness industry neglects to share with you in their "6-pack-ab", fat-loss programs is that most people (especially women) cannot attain a "petite" and "shredded" body without losing their menstrual cycles, creating adrenal fatigue in the body and causing disordered eating patters in their life.

MORAL OF THE STORY >>>> A shredded body does not equal a healthy body. 

2. It teaches you to waste your life counting macros and calories. 

Join now to get our "secret" weight loss formula!!

NEWS FLASH >>>>> There is no secret weight loss formula. You don't have to count calories or macros or fat grams or anything else to achieve your best health. 

What if we spent our time teaching people about how to shop at the farmers' market and eat seasonal foods rather than how to count their macros? What if we made cooking at home the emphasis for our client programs instead of making them chart their calories for the rest of their existence?

But guess what? Cooking at home and sticking habits out long-term isn't sexy in our culture. We want a short cut that will get us weight loss as fast as possible so we can look like our trainers with 6-pack abs. 

MORAL OF THE STORY >>>> We are looking for a short-term fix to life-long health. 

3. It neglects self-care.

Train Mean Get Lean. Can't Stop Won't Stop. 

NEWS FLASH >>> Overtraining and under-eating creates a stress environment in your body. A stress environment puts your heart, mental health and adrenal function at serious risk. 

Again, this mentality stems from the fitness industry promising quick change in the body rather than teaching us how to take care of our bodies long-term in a sustainable way. 

Until the fitness, diet and sex industry stops being our moral compass for health and body image, I'm afraid this viscous cycle will continue. 

Take care of yourself by creating life-giving habits that foster a sense of health in everything you do. Go outside more, put the screens down, cook yourself a meal, hike more, get off the couch and do yoga, find community that empowers you. 

MORAL OF THE STORY >>> If your purpose behind health is body image and not self-care, you're going to end up like the other 95% of the American population that never sticks with any healthy habits they set out to create. 

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What each of the above points have in common is that they set you up for failure from the beginning. Which is exactly why 95% of people are not creating long-term, life-giving, self-care habits in their lives.

95% PERCENT. 

This is why I teach habit change. I don't even entertain conversations about 6-pack abs or shredding fat anymore. 

I'm here to empower your health AND purpose. When you put those two together, you get a powerful combination of deep change in a person's life that lasts. 

 

 

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Matcha Latte

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Matcha Latte

I've been meaning to share this recipe with you for a while as I've had so many questions about it, so I'm excited to finally create a post for you!  

This crazy green drink has become one of my favorite parts of the day. The contents of matcha provide me with incredible energy levels without the crash that other forms of caffeine bring (sugary coffee, energy drinks, etc). It has has the most wonderful taste that I never expected to enjoy as much as I do my morning coffee.....but I do! 

I alternative between this and my protein mocha and just the act of making it provides a form of focus to start my days. 

If you don't wake up a few minutes early to carry out some morning rituals, I highly suggest you do so to create focus and calmness to start your day. I'll be sharing more about my 2018 morning routine in another post!

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Health Benefits of Matcha Latte

So, what exactly is so special about this drink?

1. Stress Management

Maca is a root vegetable that is high in antioxidants and nutrients, such as vitamin C, copper and iron. It has been used medicinally for thousands of years and has been shown to enhance sexual health and libido; improve energy, mood and memory; and balance hormone levels.

It is considered an adaptogen, meaning it supports the body in managing stress. 

2. Brain Function

Coconut oil provides MCTs that boost brain function, energy levels and overall focus. They are a source of healthy fats and have been shown to support a healthy gut microbiome. 

Having a healthy gut is directly tied to mood, sugar cravings, brain function, immunity and more. 

The healthy fats of coconut oil also help coat joints and hydrate your body from the inside out. I haven't had any of my normal dry skin issues this year, despite living in the high-desert where the climate is extremely dry. 

3. Stable Energy

Matcha's caffeine level falls in between a cup of green tea and coffee. However, as it contains tannins, the energy affects of the caffeine are slowly released into the body, rather than giving you a quick spike of energy followed by a crash. 

The tannins help stabilize your blood sugars and provide steady energy levels throughout your day. 

If you're sensitive to caffeine, matcha is a great alternative to coffee. You can also make my protein mocha to counteract the effects of caffeine in coffee. 

4. Hormone Balancing

Matcha helps reduce stress on the adrenal glands and lower cortisol in the body. Cortisol is the stress hormone that increases in the body as you experience stress in various forms. When that gets out of check, a plethora of minor to serious health issues ensue. 

Additionally, matcha has been shown to help manage and balance estrogen in the body. Low estrogen is associated with worsening symptoms of menopause such as vaginal dryness, night sweats and mood swings. High estrogen can be dangerous for certain types of breast cancer. 

5. Antioxidants

Maybe you've seen this word thrown around and have no idea what it means, so let me tell you why they are important!

Antioxidants protect the body from free radical damage. Many experts believe cancer and atherosclerosis stems from free radical damage in the blood vessels and other parts of the body. 

With matcha containing 10x the antioxidants of a regular cup of green tea, you are getting a superload of them in this drink. 

6. Joint, Hair, Skin and Gut Health

If there is one food I don't neglect consuming each day it's my collage peptides. They are extremely bioavailable in providing the body with proteins it uses to build healthy tissues, ligaments, skin, hair and gut health. 

They are tasteless and provide a wonderful frothiness to my morning drinks and smoothies! 

Read more about collagen peptides here >>

Matcha Latte

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1 cup hot water (not quite boiling)
1 tsp matcha
1 tsp maca root powder
1/2 cup maple pecan Malk (nut milk of choice)
1 T coconut oil or coconut butter
1 scoop Collagen Peptides

Blend in a high-powered blender for 1 minute.

Serve by sprinkling with cinnamon and swirling it into the drink. Cinnamon helps naturally satisfy a sweet tooth :)

Matcha on! 

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Chocolate Fat Balls

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Chocolate Fat Balls

When I'm eating snacks, I have 3 goals in mind:

1. They won't make me tired.

2. I will feel satisfied (not still hungry). 

3. They contain raw chocolate (okay, this is optional....kinda)

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A few years ago I wouldn't have known what half of the foods on the list were. 

But as I have dedicated my life to teaching others how to optimize their nutrition and fitness so they can live energized, adventurous lives, I have discovered some of the most amazingly delicious foods that truly heal the body from the inside out. 

And even though I hear people say that healthy food is "so expensive," I remind them how much farther the calories in nutrient-dense foods go than processed options. A couple of scoops of coconut butter will keep me full for hours because it's loaded in nutrients dense fats, vs a sugary-processed granola bar that will tank my energy and have me hungry shortly thereafter. 

If you're smart with your meal planning and shopping, you won't spend any extra money on whole-food options than you would processed foods. 

Fat Ball Brain Food

The medium-chain triglycerides, found in the coconut oil in these balls, improves cognitive function, protects against neurodegenarative disease, promotes natural weight loss and enhances energy levels + athletic performance. 

If you are still under the impression that saturated fat will give you heart disease, take into consideration the study done on the Tokelau people. Their diet was 40-50% saturated fat with little to no prevalence of heart disease, yet their New Zealand relatives, who ate half as much saturated fat had much higher rates of heart disease. 

These treats also happen to be extremely low in sugar, using coconut and dates to add some natural sweetness that will have you drooling over snack time. 

If you're a typical processed-granola-bar and soda-kinda snacker, this will be a wonderful upgrade for your body.

Enjoy your ooey-gooey chocolate fat balls! 

Chocolate Fat Balls

1 cup shredded coconut
1/8 cup coconut butter
1/8 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/3 cup raw pecans
1/2 cup raw cashews
3 T raw cacao nibs
3 T cacao powder
1 t cinnamon
4 dates, pitted
1/3 cup nut milk

*Blend in food processor and roll into balls. Place in freezer to store! The colder the better. (warning, they will be really oily when you are rolling them up--that will harden up in the freezer, and afterall, that's why they are called FAT BALLS :)

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A Day in the Life of a Summit Fitter: Lynsey Kern

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A Day in the Life of a Summit Fitter: Lynsey Kern

My favorite part of coaching Summit Fit Academy is watching the whole-life transformations that take place over time. 

Empowering women to live a life of adventure and purpose is what gets me up in the mornings. 

Lynsey is one of my rockstar ambassadors and such an inspiration to our tribe! 

I am a homeschool mom to 3 beautiful girls, wife, daughter, sister, nurse, and friend and I have struggled a good portion of my life with migraines, poor self-esteem, anxiety, and depression.
The 6 daily power habits, goal setting, and finding a sense of adventure inside of myself has helped me overcome those strongholds in my life. I am living a much more free life now and I now feel empowered and so alive. SummitFit has literally changed my life and I will forever be grateful!
Everything I have learned through SummitFit is almost all habit now. I do most things without even thinking anymore. A lot of days, I get in almost all 6 power foods in my first meal of the day. A typical breakfast for me is either a yogurt bowl with berries, full fat yogurt, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and a little granola or farm fresh eggs, sautéed veggies, raw sauerkraut, and avocado (and a big ‘ol cup of coffee of course).
My morning routine always has to come bright and early before my girls wake up. It consists of reading a devotional book or the Bible and a time of prayer. This personal development time is crucial to keep my day going somewhat smooth and productive.
I am one of those crazy people that love to run, so my daily outdoor time is either running or being outside with my girls. They all 3 have a sense of adventure in them and love going on hikes or to the park.
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This program is no gimmick or quick fix, but a journey and process. I have done clean eating for a while now, but paired with the 6 power habits, it is a lifestyle now and it is one full of adventure, memories, and fun with my family by my side!

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Easy Tender Instapot Roast

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Easy Tender Instapot Roast

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It's really easy for me to get in ruts where I feel overwhelmed.

Does anyone else out there feel like that??

And every time I manage to pull myself out a rut and find my productivity streak again, it's because I go back to my plan....my systems.

Life is just better with a plan

As a spontaneous human who is terrible at planning and organizing (like, SO bad), it's easy for me to "get off track" with my plans.

But..... plans never fail me when I stick to them. I'm a better human because they exist.

We make a meal schedule (ahem, when I stick to it) and Mondays are either leftovers from the weekend or a crockpot/instapot meal. (I can't stress enough how important it is to have "easy" meals made by the instapot or crockpot each week).

If I sit down to make a meal plan with no plan, I immediately begin pacing the floors with panic as my brain continues to come up with NOTHING in terms of actual meal ideas. 

Oh, yeah....I should pull that meal theme plan back out. 

When you're sitting down to make your meal list for the week, it's so much easier knowing what type of food you're cooking each day so you can come up with recipes. 

Create a go-to meal list

I recommend creating a go-to meal list for your regular themes i.e. taco, crockpot/instapot, vegetarian, seafood, beef, salad, chicken, etc so you have a list of recipes to choose from when deciding what meals you will consume each night. 

Large meats that make roast, carnitas, whole chicken, etc are ideal for the instapot as it cooks up a very tender meat with the pressure cooking component. 

Bulk meats like this also lend to eating multiple meals from one cooking session which is ideal!

I can't wait for you to make this mouth-watering roast! Enjoy :)

Easy Tender Instapot Roast

2 T oil (avocado or coconut oil)
2 1/5 lb (ish) beef chuck roast
2 cups beef broth
1 onion, roughly chopped
6 carrots, halved
8-10 small red potatoes
4-5 garlic cloves, smashed
2 tsp adobo seasoning
2 T Worcestershire

1. Turn on instapot to "saute" setting. Add oil. Salt and pepper each side of roast and place in hot instapot to brown 2-3 minutes on each side. 

2. Remove meat from instapot and turn to "off". Add beef broth, onion, carrots and potatoes to bottom of pot. Place meat on top and then add garlic, seasoning and worcestershire. Place lid on pot, turn valve to "seal" and turn on "manual" for 35 minutes. 

3. Let the pressure release naturally after time is up (about 15 minutes). 

4. Serve with butter, salt and pepper! 



 

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Summit Fit Lifestyle Workout Pyramid

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Summit Fit Lifestyle Workout Pyramid

During my time in college, if I wasn't in class or eating Frosted Flakes in the cafeteria, you could find me doing bicep curls with dudes in the weight room. 

Boy, how things have changed. 

In my world of Exercise Science during University, bicep curls and leg extensions were the crown jewels of getting big guns and quads.

I mean, everyone wants to spend an hour in a sweaty gym doing 15 different exercises to target each different area of the body, right?

Everything you did in fitness was to get a "better" body.....to get those "ripped" abs. 

But what nobody talked about was that a life obsessed with body image (and helping others be obsessed with body image) is really unfulfilling and actually not healthy in any way, shape or form. 

Ten years later, my exercise looks like regular hikes around Denver, doing pullups at the park and running sprints in the form of chasing my kids and dog. 

It took me ten years to truly detox my brain from fitness and diet culture and really understand "health". I had to un-learn what I spent 4 years studying in my degree. 

Now, I get to confidently Coach hundreds of women in the Summit Fit Lifestyle about how to eat, move and live in harmony with the body and create habits that empower their entire existence, rather than just their abs. 

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The Summit Fit Lifestyle is about empowering you for bigger adventures in life...which means we need you moving in ways that enhance your overall strength. 

How we move in the Summit Fit Lifestyle

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1. Sprints 1-2 x per week

Why sprints? Doing 6-10 all-out sprints once or twice per week is equivalent to spending an hour on a treadmill in terms of strength, cardiovascular work and lasting energy levels. 

They are extremely effective at building more mitochondria in the body. More mitochondria = more brain and body power as it's main function is to turn nutrients into fuel and energy for your body.

A quick sprint workout will leave you feeling more energized than about any activity you can do. 

P.S...sprints can be done in many different forms, so if running is off of the table, there are lots of ways to modify to get the same affect as regular sprints. 

2. Strength Training 3-5 x per week

Whether it be more intense hikes, skiing or just running around with your kids, regular strength training is key to moving well and strong + reducing injury in your activities. 

Focus on functional movements like squats, deadlifts, pushups, pullups and lunges to get the most bang for your buck in building strength + endurance in the body. 

3. Outdoor Movement + Slow Activity

If all you ever do is "kill" yourself in the gym, your fitness routine is sorely missing a key element in reducing injury and optimizing the health of your mind + body. 

Our main focus for movement in the Summit Fit Lifestyle is getting outdoors for bigger adventures. It also happens to be one of our 6 Daily Power Habits™.

By doing this, we take attention away from the number on the scale and put it on what our bodies are capable of....like climbing 14ers or taking our first ski lessons. 

Taking time each week to prioritize slower activity that fuels your tank is key to finding enjoyment in a regular fitness routine. Long walks (4-6 miles) are one of the most effective exercises in terms of weight loss, self-care, decreasing stress levels and strengthening ligaments and joints without risk of injury. 

Go leave your problems and worries on the trail! 

Learn how to put this pyramid into action in my online Academy, Summit Fit.

Each month you get a new workout guide that includes sprints, strength training, outdoor routines, rest-day activities and more to give you variety + challenge and a plan that works. Stop wasting your time looking for the "perfect" Pinterest workouts and get the plan + accountability you need to get to work! 

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10 Creamy Dairy-Free Pantry Staples

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10 Creamy Dairy-Free Pantry Staples

If you would have asked me a few years ago to name some "creamy" foods, I would have listed all of the dairy products known to man-kind.

And although I still consider whole, organic (pasture-raised) dairy to be a nourishing food, many people simple can't digest and process it's contents without negative side-effects. 

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Just last year when I was chugging multiple glasses of whole milk each day along with consuming cheese, sour-cream and other dairy products on a regular basis, I was dealing with chronic digestive issues along with constant drainage in my sinuses that made breathing during exercise extremely difficult. 

I basically spent my days with this constant "drip" going on, kleenex in hand and wishing I could talk without sounding like I had a perpetual cold. Additionally, our youngest son has chronic sleep apnea which makes his breathing progressively worse at night when consuming mucus-producing dairy. 

Fast forward through a year of experimenting, trying new foods and adjusting my tastebuds, I can honestly say I don't miss a big glass of milk....something I never thought I'd say in my life. 

I consume a sprinkle of feta or other cheeses on my salads and tacos from time to time without any side-effects, so it's nice to enjoy on occasion and not suffer from the drainage and allergies that plagued me for 30 years. 

Here are 10 creamy foods we have successfully replaced dairy with that everyone is our family now craves and looooves:

1. Refried Beans

We buy these in bulk from Costco and add taco seasoning + coconut oil to make it extra tasty.

How we consume:

+ fry corn tortillas in coconut oil and top with refried beans, rice and avocado for a quick dinner or lunch option. Add some ground turkey, green onions, lettuce and hot sauce for a dynamite meal!
+ add to a bowl of rice with spinach, green onions, avocado, tomatoes, hot sauce and crushed red pepper. 

2. Avocado/Guac

We buy our avocados (and guac) in bulk at Costco and then refrigerate for the best ripening results. 

How we consume:

+ on morning eggs/omelets
+ on tostadas/any form of taco
+ wrapped up in smoked salmon or turkey
+ spread on toast with crushed red pepper

3. Hummus

We buy this at Sprouts and in bulk at Costco for school lunches. You can also make your own!

How we consume:

+ dip for grilled chicken
+ mix with rice + grilled chicken + veggies for a salad bowl
+ dip for carrots sticks + bell pepper slices
+ use as sauce for lettuce chicken wraps

4. Cashew Sauce

Whole Foods, Sprouts and Trader Joes carry a ton of cashew sauce products like "nacho cheese" but we purchase raw cashews in bulk at Costco and make our own sauce for the recipes listed below. 

How we consume:

+ in our Cheeseburger Soup
+ cheese sauce on our tacos
+ cheese sauce over gluten-free pasta, taco salads, chicken, etc.  

5. Coconut Milk or Cream

We buy canned coconut milk (full-fat) from Costco and Sprouts. Coconut cream can be found at Sprouts, Whole Foods, Trader Joes and many other stores. 

How we consume:

+ protein mocha (or just blend into coffee without any other ingredients)
+ spread coconut cream on top of buckwheat pancakes
+ whipped cream
+ coconut pudding (1 can full-fat coconut milk + 3 T chia seeds + 2 t pure maple syrup; stir and cover and place in refrigerator overnight; top with fresh berries in the morning!)

6. Nut Butters

Look for natural peanut butters without hydrogenated oils. Try a variety of nut butters like almond, cashew, pecan and sunbutter. 

How we consume:

+ melt on top of pancakes
+ dip for celery sticks & apple slices
+ in our smoothies
+ mixed with dark chocolate chunks

7. Nutritional Yeast

I know, this one has a weird name...it's not really yeast and adds an absolutely delectable flavor to so many dishes. Additionally, it provides wonderful protein + b-vitamins which help with energy levels, anxiety/moods and thyroid health. We purchase ours here but it can be found at most health food stores and Amazon as well. We get ours here. 

How we consume:

+ sprinkled on salads
+ "cheese" topping for pasta bowl
+ in chicken soup for a rich flavor
+ in cashew cheese sauces (from above)
+ sprinkled on top of meatballs
+ sprinkled on popcorn

8. Squash

Other than pumpkin and sweet potatoes, I feel as though squash gets neglected and overlooked. Not only is it creamy, it provides a wonderful source of complex carbohydrates for healthy brain food and curbs sugar cravings..... + there are so many varieties!

How we consume:

+ roasted and pureed with cinnamon and pure maple syrup + topped with pecans
+ creamy Butternut Squash Soup
+ chunked and roasted for a perfect side dish (we loved roasted kabocha squat with our meatballs and gluten-free pasta and lots of crushed red pepper)
+ spaghetti squash as a pasta sub with turkey burger meat + marina and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast
 

9. Chocolate Sauce

We love to consume our chocolate in the form of Theo 85% bars, cacao powder in my morning mocha and this sauce on top of errrrything! 

How we consume:

+ on top of fresh or frozen berries
+ drizzled on top of paleo doughnuts
+ a dip for apples
+ drizzled on top of nice cream

10. Potatoes

Being a family that eats dairy and gluten-free, potatoes are a staple for almost every meal we eat. We love to get a variety of colors and types to benefit from the varying flavors and textures available.

How we consume: 

+ smoked sweet potato home fries
+ whipped regular potatoes, pureed with roasted garlic and olive oil
+ whipped and placed under a protein
+ Creamy Chicken Pot Pie Soup

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5 Components of my 2018 Vision Board

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5 Components of my 2018 Vision Board

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On Christmas morning I was gifted a beautiful 2018 planner called Powersheets from my parents.

One of the activities in the beginning of the planner is to create a vision board for 2018. I think this can be so much more productive and powerful than just setting a goal in your head.

When you get words and images on paper where you will notice them daily, they are much more likely to change your behavior.

I want to share 5 of the things that are on my board (pictured below):

1. Design Your Morning Routine

This year I'm committed to moving each morning to get my heart rate up and therefore energize the rest of my day. My activity will be walking the dog....which always wakes up my mind and body with exposure to the cold air. 

My morning routine will also include some motivational reading material to get my mindset in the right place, a hot drink and some silent time to breath and visualize what my day will look like. 

I'm a very visual person, so when I can see what I want my day to look like, it's a million times more likely to happen that way. 

If there's time, I will spend a few minutes writing on my blog like I'm doing now. 

2. Train Outside

Although I love my garage gym and throwing around my barbell, training outside offers so many added benefits that can't be found in a gym.

My plan, in addition to a daily dog walk, is to take a hike once per week in the foothills around Denver. Walking and hiking on elevated trails is a fantastic + adventurous activity that most people neglect in their fitness.

3. Binge-Reading

We spend so much time looking at our phones and other screens. What if some of that energy could be allocated to reading?

As an entrepreneur who works alone from home, I often have "lag" time where I need to break from work but don't have anything else on the schedule. This is a perfect time to pick up a book rather than scan my phone for 20 minutes.

Few things have inspired my life more than good books!

4. Outdoor Gear in the Back of a Truck

Nature inspires and heals. Its where I manifest most of my ideas for Summit Fit and recharge my batteries for life.

Our family has 5 camping trips on the books and my hope is to lead the first Summit Fit backpacking trip + our second annual 14er hike.

Lastly, we are planning our annual fall trip to Crested Butte and Christmas 2018 in a snowy cabin away from the hustle of the commercial holiday. 

5. Eat Gluten-Free Brain Food

If you can feel energized every day, you can accomplish anything. The best way to empower your brain and body is via food. 

I intentionally eat lighter for breakfast (or wait until 10-12 to eat my first meal if I have a super busy morning) and lunch so my energy levels are high through the morning hours where I'm likely to be most productive. 

Breakfast is usually an egg or two with a side of sauteed veggies. Lunch is typically some leftover meatballs, steak, chicken, etc over a bed of greens with various salad toppings. 

For myself, and my clients, I recommend a gluten-free diet as much as possible to maintain a healthy gut which promotes optimal brain function. The more I focus on this goal of fueling with "gluten-free brain food" the more productive, focused and energized my life becomes. This is precisely why it's on my 2018 vision board. 

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Use your vision board to energize your life in 2018! Jump on over to our FREE Women's Fitness Adventure Page and share with us what you plan to put on your board this year!

Get online Fitness + Nutrition Coaching from Rachel in adopting the Summit Fit Lifestyle. Grab your FREE 7-day trial here >>>
 



 

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10 Benefits of Outdoor Workouts

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10 Benefits of Outdoor Workouts

So many of us spend our lives thinking productive exercise only comes in the form of bicep curls at the gym; however, the outdoors provides a plethora of health benefits that simply can’t be found in a gym.

After moving to Colorado 3 years ago, hiking became my favorite form of exercise.

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Combining the outdoors with fitness is one of the things we love to do the most in the Summit Fit Lifestyle. 

After I began taking a majority of my workouts outdoors, exercise became a form self-care and adventure rather than something I check off my list. 

If your New Year’s plan for exercise feels like a form of punishment, you simply won’t do it long-term.

I challenge you to take advantage of some time outside and schedule regular workouts in the outdoors.

10 Benefits of Outdoor Workouts

1. Mood booster. 

Being in nature has proven to boost the mood. One study that analyzed two groups of exercisers, one in an urban environment and the other away from the city, showed that the group in a natural environment experienced greater stress reduction and mood improvement. 

2. Creativity enhancer. 

Being outdoors and away from our screens boosts our creative thinking. If you’re trying to get a breakthrough on a project at work or just get out of the mental funk you’ve been in, a little sweat in the outdoors is what the doctored ordered.

3. Natural incline. 

Rather than walking on the belt of a treadmill and adding “elevation”, try using the stairs at your local high school, finding a hill at the park or hitting a trail with some incline.

4. Full body workouts at the park. 

One of my favorite workout routines to do is just 1/2 mile from my front door. 

Monkey bars, pullups, step ups and “box jumps” on the bench, toes 2 bar, pushups, balance moves….you name it. 

5. Killer sprint workouts. 

No other exercise has proven to get your body faster results than regular sprints. I like to run between the lacrosse goals at our local park.

Gone are the days of running on the treadmill for 2 hours a day. 

Have you ever noticed has strong sprints are? Yeah, do what they do. 

No other exercise makes my core as sore as sprints…..!

6. Smelling fresh air and pine trees instead of stale sweat at the gym. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good workout at the Crossfit gym, but the smells of the outdoors just can’t be beat! In fact, the smell of pine has been coined “the smell of stress relief.”

7. You aren’t comparing yourself to everyone else. 

When you are on the trails hiking or paddle boarding on a beautiful body of water, you aren’t worried about how you or anybody else looks. Your focus is on the beauty around you and taking it all in. 

8. More variety and adventure. 

I’m all about throwing the barbell around in my garage gym, but when I can do pullups on pine trees, chop firewood for the camp fire, snowshoe, climb trees, hike 14ers, plank on my paddle board, yoga at the park, monkey bar with my kids and sprint in the fresh air, you can guarantee I’m taking advantage of that as much as I can. 

9. Vitamin D

Low levels of vitamin D have been shown to be a cause of low immunity and frequent illness during the winter. 

Additionally, low Vitamin D levels contribute to seasonal affect disorder and 

There’s no better way to get your levels up then 15 minutes in the sunlight. You get a double-whammy health benefit here!

10. Enhances energy levels.

Have you ever stepped outside in the cold air in the winter and felt immediately energized?

As long as you are dressing appropriately so the cold doesn’t make you miserable, the winter chill is going to have you energized for hours. 

What is your favorite way to exercise in the outdoors?

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The Best Time of Day to Workout: My Surprising Answer

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The Best Time of Day to Workout: My Surprising Answer

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The best time of day to workout is when you're least productive in your work. 

Wait, there's not like a scientifically proven time of day that gets you the best bang-for-your-buck fat loss? 

Nope. 

If you've been told that morning or evening or 2:17 pm workouts help you burn fat faster, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but you were lied to. 

But let's get back to topic. 

The best time of day to workout is when you're likely to diddle-doddle around, twiddle your thumbs and scan Facebook for the rest of eternity. 

It's when you're least likely to do anything else productive....the lull in your day. 

For me, early mornings are the most productive, creative and energetic part of my day (I'm writing this blog post at 5:30 am on a Saturday). I used to get up and workout in the morning but realized I was trading some of my best work time in exchange. 

Since having both kids in school multiple days per week this year and working from home, I've noticed a trend....

Everyday around 11:30 I hit my wall with productivity. My brain is ready to turn off but I still have the energy to do something (if you're balancing your food well, you shouldn't have a large drop in energy during the day). 

It's my perfect time to do a workout. 

I can shut off my brain and turn on my physical energy. The noon-hour sweat session energizes the rest of my afternoon to the point that I'm *almost* as productive as I was during the morning hours. 

Whether you're a stay-at-home mom or CEO, you can probably recall a regular point in your day when you're least productive as well. 

Start scheduling your workouts in your "lull" time and I bet you'll find your day flows much better and work productivity goes through the roof. 

....and if you're not moving everyday, you're missing out on some really amazing endorphins (those feel-goooood hormones) and the feeling of *strong* you get to carry with you each and every day. 

Let me know below when you're best workout time is in the comments below. 

Struggling with low-energy? Check out this Easy Peasy Crockpot Meal Plan with shopping lists, nutrition info and more to help you get organized in the food department. Entrepreneurs need to take care of themselves too, ya know. 

Wanting a Coach + Tribe by your side every single day AND a monthly meal plan, workout guide, wellness education, outdoor adventure events and more? Check out Summit Fit Academy where I've helped hundreds of women take charge of their daily habits for the long-haul.  

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Meatball Salad (3 Ways)

One of the best ways to create both ease in cooking and a lighter grocery budget is to make different meals from similar ingredients. 

Clients often ask what foods I always have on hand and meatballs are on of those foods on the list. They are such a versatile food that you can sneak tons of veggies into and use in a variety of different meals. 

Some of the ways I enjoy meatballs:

+ with a side of roasted brussels sprouts

+ smothered in marinara 

+ with a side of mashed sweet potatoes

+ on top of rice with green onions and coconut aminos

+ in a bowl with tons of veggies and complex carbs 

These meatballs are moist and veggie-loaded and can be made in bulk to eat on for an entire week. Enjoy and post in comments how you enjoy eating your meatballs! 

Rachel's 6-Veggie Cast-Iron Meatballs

1 1/3 lb. organic beef (I used Costco's organic beef that comes in packages of 1.3 pounds)
1/2 cup ketchup
1 T Worcestershire
1 T plain almond milk
2 eggs
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup spinach, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, shredded
3/4 cup sweet potatoes, peeled and shredded
1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup mushrooms, diced
1 tsp adobo seasoning
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp pepper
fresh cracked salt (3-4 turns)

*Mix all ingredients together. Roll into meatballs to fill a 9 x 13 in pan or two cast-iron skillets. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. 

Avocado Meatball Salad 

1 cup banzo pasta (or pasta of choice)
3-4 meatballs
2 cups dinosaur kale (destem, roughly chop and sautee in butter or ghee and sprinkle with adobo seasoning; saute until dark green and softened)
1/2 avocado, sliced
crushed red pepper

*Layer in a large bowl in the following order! Enjoy. 

Kale and Feta Meatball Salad

1 cup banzo pasta (or pasta of choice)
3-4 meatballs
2 cups dinosaur kale (destem, roughly chop and sautee in butter or ghee and sprinkle with adobo seasoning; saute until dark green and softened)
1-2 T feta cheese
crushed red pepper

*Layer in a large bowl in the following order! Enjoy. 

Squash and Feta Meatball Bowl 

1 cup banzo pasta (or pasta of choice)
3-4 meatballs
2 cups dinosaur kale (destem, roughly chop and sautee in butter or ghee and sprinkle with adobo seasoning; saute until dark green and softened)
3/4 cup roasted butternut squash or sweet potato cubs (cube squash, add coconut oil + sea salt and roast on a cookie sheet at 350 until soft)
2 T feta cheese
1 T sunflower seeds

*Layer in a large bowl in the following order! Enjoy. 

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Rachel's Must-Have Meal Planning Ritual + Tips

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Rachel's Must-Have Meal Planning Ritual + Tips

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Like all things in life, I like to approach my meal planning with a sense of wonder and adventure. 

You see, the diet and food industry have waaaay overcomplicated eating. In it's essence, food keeps us alive. But with thousands of food "products" to choose from + the diet industry teaching us that eating is all about numbers rather than nourishment, it's no wonder we are so out of whack in our relationship with food.

When a salad is a punishment for eating too many doughnuts or a means to fast weight loss, eating the salad becomes a negative experience. But if a salad is a sense of enjoyment because of all of the delicious foods you chose to add to it and the feelings of wellbeing it gives you, then the experience of eating that particular food brings a sense of enjoyment. 

My approach as a Health Coach is empowering women to view buying, cooking and eating food as self-care and adventure. This is how I've successfully helped hundreds of women create lasting change in their health. 

These mindset shifts are possible, but they do take time and effort, especially if "healthy eating" has been a source of "punishment" in your life for years. 

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Create rituals around food and meal planning. 

By creating rituals around activities in your life, you add the enjoyment back to the process. Meal planning never came natural to me (I'm a creative individual, not a Type-A planner) until I created a more pleasurable and adventurous experience around the task. 

Here is my current meal planning ritual.....

1. Matcha Latte

  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice (I use Malk Sprouted Maple Pecan; if your milk has is plain, add a touch of maple syrup to your drink)
  • 2 t coconut oil
  • 1 t Matcha powder (green tea powder)
  • 1/2 tsp maca powder
  • 1 scoop collagen peptides (use RACHELMEYERFITNESS10 to get 5% of your purchase)
  • sprinkle cinnamon 

*Blend for 30-60 seconds until frothy. 

Before I sit down to meal plan, I make this matcha latte. It is so delicious and provides a natural source of mental energy to help me better focus. My other drink of choice for meal planning is my protein mocha. 

2. Music

  • The Gordon Brothers Drum Masters Group (Apple Music)
  • Bose headphones 

Sometimes when I'm working on something like this I like to have music without words. I chose a drum masters group this week because that's what I was in the mood for! I use Apple Music and get unlimited downloads with that. I encourage you to play any type of music that helps you focus. 

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Create an inspiring atmosphere

3. Use an inspiring notebook

  • find a journal with color or words that elicit feelings of inspiration
  • only use that particular notebook for meal planning
  • take notes throughout the week of new foods you may want to try or add recipes you would like to add to your menu
  • use the journal to write out your meal plan 

Other Meal Planning Tips

+ create a "vision" board of pictures that inspire you towards healthier actions that you can look at while you plan your menu (food, mountains, beach, green smoothies, words, etc)

+ repeat meals as needed and cook in bulk (there's no reason to fix a different recipe each day)

+ prep a few things ahead of time each week so you aren't scrambling throughout the week (I NEVER cook lunches the day of; they are always prepared ahead of time)

+ try a new vegetable each week or month (kabocha squash, spaghetti squash, dinosaur kale, brussels sprouts, purple sweet potatoes, celeriac, rutabaga, etc)

+ make a big soup each week (it's a great way to get in veggies and save on the grocery bill)

+ create a Master Grocery List so you aren't starting from scratch each time you plan. these are items you buy on a regular basis and use in a variety of your meals. 

Join us for the 7-Day EmPOWER Project to get inspired in all things meal planning, movement and wellness. I will be taking you on a journey to bring to life the adventure in your soul and showing you how health can be a journey of freedom rather than deprivation and duty.

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Fluffy Morning Buckwheat Pancakes (Gluten-Free)

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Fluffy Morning Buckwheat Pancakes (Gluten-Free)

Around ten years ago when I developed a severe gluten allergy, the first thing that came to my mind was that I was never going to be able to truly enjoy a real pancake ever again. 

Saturday mornings just aren't quite complete with a warm, fluffy pancake with maple syrup running over the edges. #AmIRight??

As I've learned so much about the world of gluten-free baking, I've quickly discovered how delicious baked goods can be without gluten in them. 

In fact, my tastebuds and body now crave it as I don't get the digestion issues, energy crashes or brain fog I once had from gluten treats.

These pancakes are super simple to throw together and rich in nutrients + flavor. You can get create with the toppings and add a fruit mixture of sorts, yogurt, etc. 

After you make them post a picture on instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #IAmSummitFit.

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Buckwheat Pancakes 

1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 T coconut sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain, full-fat kefir
2 cups almond or cashew milk
1 T avocado oil

Toppings: coconut cream, natural peanut butter, maple syrup, cinnamon 

Mix all ingredients together. Pour 1/4 cup for each pancake on a greased griddle. Flip when bubbles begin to form and serve with coconut cream, peanut butter, maple syrup and cinnamon. 

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3 Ways to Keep Hormones Balanced During the Holidays

I get it....you're either preparing food, traveling, having another "discussion" with an extended family member or running to the store for the 5th time today to grab another ingredient you forgot for the big meal.

Both the change in schedule + interaction with more family causes major anxiety in a large majority of people (yep, I'm in that group).

Why is this??

It's because you already have too much stress and not enough self-care going on in your life and then you expect to add more during the holidays and be fiiiiine.

Here's the deal....you're not going to be fiiiine.

Your body, particularly your hormones, are going to pay the price.

Hormones affect your energy levels, weight, mood, metabolism, digestion, skin and everything in between.

If you really want to enjoy your holiday season with balanced hormones, you're going to need to set some boundaries (ugh), care well for yourself and learn when to say no.

I know, none of your type-A family members are going to like this system of boundaries, but that really doesn't matter.

Here's what I want from you the next two months:

1. Eat foods that energize your system, reduce bloating and balance hormones.

Think half of your plate full of veggies at every single meal. Adding protein and healthy fat to your plate. Not eating the entire dessert but filling up on some blueberries and yogurt instead.

I'm not ruining all of your fun, I'm teaching you how to have fun. Because I promise you won't have fun if you're run down, lethargic, bloated and anxious no matter how much you loooove the holidays.

2. Schedule a self-care habit every single day.

Go on a walk (i need you moving 30 every single day), read a book, go to a coffee shop by yourself, take a hot back, go to a yoga class, get 7 hours of sleep.....

I don't care what it is but it needs to recharge your system. Self-care means you are taking the load off of your adrenal glands and thyroid so your body can keep your hormones balanced.

Not taking care of yourself is your fast track to weight gain, poor digestion, fatigue and chronic disease. And yes, food and fitness are self-care.

3. Say no.

Aunt Sue baked her famous apple pie and cheesecake and biscuits and wants you to eat all of it at every meal.

Your mom, aunt, sister and cousin all want you in different places at the same time.

You have 14 nieces and nephews who are all expecting gifts.

It's family game time (again) but you need a small break.

....you get the idea.

Boundaries are a beautiful and messy thing, but you need them. It's healthy for you and others around you to know that they are not in charge of you and you are not in charge of their feelings.

If you think all of this people pleasing, being everything to everyone and letting other people run your life isn't jacking up your stress hormones, think again.

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As for me, I'll be doing all of the above as well for the next two months, taking my veggie superfood shots when I'm on the road, getting my sweat on every day, enjoying food without comprising my health and focusing on serving and loving people rather than pleasing them.

Hundreds of women have taken charge of their health through the 6 Power Habits of Summit Fit Academy. Not only will these habits energize your entire life, they help you naturally balance hormones, lose weight and feel confident in your skin without following some "magical" system or counting calories. 

Join us today to get the support you need through the holidays and beyond. 

 

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Morning Protein Mocha

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Morning Protein Mocha

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I may or may not be obsessed with early mornings and cacao in my coffee. 

Mornings feels so fresh and new and full of opportunity.....but the pureness of them can easily get swept away by checking emails, scanning our phones and getting anxious about the to-do list ahead. 

The best way to begin your day away from the screen is to create a ritual that starts your day off with intention.  

It doesn't have to be an hour long (although it certainly can be)....just 5 or 10 minutes to claim you are committed to self-care and a day ahead that will be lived out from the heart rather than rushed through. 

Here's a sample morning routine you may just love:

*make hot drink of choice or a glass of water lemon water (lemon cleanses the live and warm water stimulates healthy digestion)

*grab your yoga mat and find a quiet place in your home with some dim lighting

*sit on mat with your drink and legs crossed, turning your attention to your breath

*close your eyes and take 10-15 deep breaths (proper breathing lowers stress hormones and sends oxygen to the brain for optimal mental health)

*open your eyes, sip your drink slowly and write down 2-3 intentions for your day

Rachel's Morning Protein Mocha

8 oz black coffee
1 scoop collagen peptides (use the code rachelmeyerfitness10 to get 5% off of your purchase; amazing for hair, skin, nails and joints + gut health)
1/2 tsp maca powder (an energizing herb that promotes stable blood sugars)
1 tsp pure maple syrup
2 tsp cacao powder (full of antioxidants which fight off free radicals in the body to reduce chronic disease)
1/4 cup coconut cream (boosts healthy gut flora + fuels the brain via the fat)
1 tsp coconut butter (amazing for gut + brain + adds wonderful creaminess!)

*blend in a Vitamix or other blender until frothy. Pour and sip slowly to start your day off right :) 

Drop a line below in the comments and let me know what morning rituals you are enjoying right now!

Are you needing more support around daily self-care and habits? Join us in the Academy to get the plan + support you need to create the change in your life you deserve!

Not sure where to begin with health, especially with food? Grab my free guide:

The Junk Foodie's 6-Step Guide to Real Food

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Fueled by Chocolate + Chia + Sunshine

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Fueled by Chocolate + Chia + Sunshine

I'm all about simple fuel each day. This means smoothies are often on the menu and I make zero apologies about that. 

For me, self-care is about not overloading my schedule with so many things that I never have time to sit and just be. 

I made this smoothie, put the kiddo to bed and then plopped down in a chair in the sunshine to enjoy it outside. 

If you don't make time to fill your tank back up, you're productivity levels will go down and you'll be grumpy for the majority of your waking hours. 

This smoothie is the perfect mixture of bio-available protein, superfoods, complex carbohydrates and yumminess. 

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Chocolate Chia Smoothie
serves 2

1-2 cups cashew milk
3-4 ice cubes
1 1/2 bananas, frozen
3 T chia seeds
1 1/2 T cocoa powder
2 T collagen peptides
2 T natural peanut butter
1 date, pitted

*Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender and enjoy outside in the sunshine! 

Pssst....Looking for more ideas on how to improve your overall health?? Grab my free guide on how to Reclaim Energy Levels and Improve Moods here!

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Crockpot Chicken Tacos

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Crockpot Chicken Tacos

Here's how I eat real, whole food on a daily basis:

1. I cook in bulk. 

2. I use my crockpot. 

3. I eat leftovers. 

Faaancy, right??

But you know what, it works. 

I can do all of this really cute and fancy stuff in my business, but if it doesn't make me money, it's worthless. 

If counting macros or restricting food groups is sending you to the junk food isle more often than not (and ground-zero every January), ITS NOT WORKING. 

Stop making your life harder than it needs to be in the food department. If you can't wrap your head around eating whole foods for 3 meals per day, just start with one (and make the crockpot cook it while you're at it). 

You aren't going to create long-term habits by trying to change everything at once. You create change by doing a few things really well until they are regular practices and then continuing to move forward with improvements. 

This recipe is an easy step forward to getting a meal on the table + a lot of leftovers. The meat can be used to make the tostadas I described below or something like soup, casseroles, etc.

Enjoy...and stop being so hard on yourself while you're at it! 

 

Crockpot Chicken Tacos 

2 1/2 lb boneless chicken breasts
1 tsp salt
2 T cumin
1 onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
5 cloves garlic, crushed
2 oranges, juiced
2 limes, juiced
*soft corn tortilla shells, avocado, refried beans, cheese, tomatoes and shredded lettuce to serve

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*Place chicken in a greased crockpot. Add remaining ingredients. Cook on high for 2-4 hours or low for 6. Shred (we shred our chicken in the kitchen aid as shown in picture below) and enjoy with taco shells of choice, avocado, beans, cheese of choice, diced tomatoes and cilantro. 

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*To make tostadas, heat a cast-iron skillet to medium heat, adding avocado oil to coat bottom of pan once heated. Spread a corn tortilla with refried beans + havarti cheese + shredded chicken. Add to pan with oil and fry for 2-3 minutes to harden the tortilla. 

*Remove from heat and add lettuce, tomatoes and avocado. 

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