A Grateful Life

recipes and tips for better living

Monday, November 23, 2015

Your Best Holiday Body Ever Challenge: Hammer & Chisel Beachbody Workout

It's that time of year, when you can either stuff your face with everything imaginable and leave the holidays feeling heavy, foggy, and have a really rought start to 2016, or you can nip your actions in the bud right now and get started on your New Years goals with a fitness challenge and a coach and a community that will keep you accountable all winter long. 

Are you looking for something new to get you inspired to reach your fitness goals this holiday and new year?  "Your Best Holiday Body Ever Challenge" with The Master’s Hammer and Chisel may be the perfect holiday gift to give yourself.  Plan to develop incredible endurance, strength, lean muscle mass, burn fat, and completely redefine your body in 60 days. 

Many of you know i'm part of the Beachbody Elite Coach Team so i've been given early access to preview this body re-defining program which takes strength training, sweat inducing, focused movement to new heights.  Testimonials from our Elite Coach Team who did the pre-release Beachbody Test Group are already surfacing with incredible results.

Danette lost 2.8lbs and 7 inches

The Masters Hammer and Chisel is a uniquely crafted 60-day workout program that will sculpt you from head-to-toe, and completely redefine your shape. Designed by Sagi Kalev, creator of Body Beast and featured in over 50 international bodybuilding magazines and Autumn Calabrese, a fit mom, former equinox trainer, national-level bikini competitor and creator or the 21 day fix and extreme.  You'll get the expertise from both of these top trainers, the motivation, push, safety techniques, and meal plan you need along with my online accountability group and personal coaching to create the perfectly shaped physique you desire as you gain muscle and burn through excess fat. 

Your program will have various workouts with an array of exercises at different intensity levels.  All done at home, or streamed to your smart phone and taken to the gym, you'll have the motivation and safety guidance from top trainers, but get to move at YOUR PACE.  You'll be encouraged by Autumn, Sagi, and myself to PUSH and maximize your 20-40 minute sweat sessions, but have complete control of how long you push, where you customize/modify, and when you rest.  This equals to a safer, more mindful workout for you and injury prevention.  That all said, you will WORK every muscle of your body from your legs, to glutes, to abs, to arms, and your cardio endurance will skyrocket.  When followed correctly for 60 days with the suggested meal plan the results are beyond phenomenal. 

Tarah lost 20.2 lbs and 22.5 inches

A's to your Q's:

What is Hammer and Chisel? 

The Masters Hammer and Chisel program is designed to help both men AND WOMEN get into their absolute best physique and build muscle definition with a mix of weight training, cardio, and focused nutrition.  Though it's a weight training program, the balance of trainers take any 'meat head' mentality out of getting ripped, and helps you focus on meeting your goals despite whether you are a weight room junky, or brand new to weights. 

Who’s behind this innovative new program?

You likely already have heard of Beachbody for their innovative and time tested celebrity trainers and programs like Tony Hortons p90X series, Chalene Johnson's Turbo Fire and PiYo Series, Shaun T's Insanity series, and Autumn Calabrese' 21 day series.  Add to this menu of incredible program "The Masters Hammer and Chisel" which is a dual project from champion bodybuilder Sagi Kalev, the trainer behind Body Beast, and nutrition and fitness expert Autumn Calabrese, whose 21 Day Fix program has been the best selling program to ever be launched by Beachbody, and is known for it's smart and effective portion control system that makes mindful eating and weight loss simple. 

Who’s right for Hammer and Chisel?

Since this program focuses primarily on strength training this program is best for someone who wants to be challenged with slightly heavier weights, stationary exercises, gain cardio endurance, wants to burn fat all while building lean muscle.  Women, don't worry about adding bulk - you'll lean out instead.  This program is designed to boost your metabolism through muscle growth, so you'll burn through your fat, and your metabolism will increase so you'll be abel to burn more calories while at rest and carve out a lean sculpted body.  This program is actually perfect for those women who are going after a 'bikini body'.

How long are the workouts and what kind of equipment do i need?

Each workout is between 20 to 40 minutes to easily fit into your schedule.  You'll want slightly heavier weights than you normally use or a better bargain is usually to purchase adjustable weights that go up to 25lbs.  You'll need a stability ball or a bench (either or for your stationary weight training base), and either resistance bands with a door anchor or a chin up bar.  (So far i've been using the resistance bands with a door anchor and a stability ball and it's been PERFECT).

Why is it special?

This program utilizes SSP Training: Stabilization, Strength and Power.  The program uses low reps with higher weights.  You'll build strength, endurance and melt away fat while creating leaned out lines and superior definition and muscle tone. 

Is Hammer and Chisel suitable for beginners?

This program will meet you where you are at.  You are in charge of how much weight you choose to lift.  You do not have to lift 'super heavy weight' like you might if you were pushed into a cross-fit or olympic training gym (as a matter of fact so far i've been working mostly with 10s/12s/15s).  It includes the same portion-control containers from Autumn’s 21 Day Fix and gives you a clear guide on how to eat right to fuel your muscles, get the results you want, and feel energized.  While this is a more advanced workout because you are working with weights, as always in all Beachbody workouts, there is a modifier so you always have someone to watch to customize the exercises to meet you where you are at. 

When will Hammer and Chisel be released?

You'll be able to purchase the program as of December 1st, just in time to get you in better habits for the holidays and see very real progress by the new year.  To get on the list for our pilot group with my free coaching email mfitandhealth@gmail.com

How can i try out a workout and get a sneak peak, too?

You can sign up for 30 days of Beachbody On Demand for free.  This gives you access to ALL of the workouts in the BOD library, as well as the option to try out two of the new Hammer And Chisel workouts:  ISO Speed Hammer and Total Body Chisel.  All FREE for 30 days by signing up for my free trial HERE.

If you want to lose weight, body fat and get into better shape while improving your chances of success and exceeding your fitness goals, then maybe it’s time for you to join the Master’s Hammer & Chisel fitness program too.  Our Best Holiday Body Ever Challenge starts Dec 7th and continues into the new year.  Will you be one of the first to show off your results photos?

Receive the latest updates and be the first to be selected for the Pilot Test Group.  Email me for more details at mfitandhealth@gmail.com or sign up HERE to be alerted when it first releases.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Secrets to Success + Goal Setting Tips

In the past couple years of doing intensive personal development work while opening my coaching business i've learned a thing or two on actualizing goals.  Many of you may have heard of the SMART goal setting system, or have a system you already follow, but i would challenge you to consider these things as well and to get really SERIOUS on not just setting goals, but WRITING DOWN your goals too.  They should be reviewed often to make sure you are on the right path.  Evaluating your progress allows you to fine tune where you are at, what's working and what isn't, and what action steps you must continually take to get results.  Often we find ourselves doing 'busy work' that doesn't truly help us.  Here are a few tips I learned from Author and Success Speaker Darren Hardy.

1. Think Big AND Decide to be successful - What is the one HAIRY SCARY goal, or that one thing that is always weighing on your heart?  What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail at it.

2. Visualize it and identify your passion - What if you had every resource available to make it happen?  How would it look?  WHY are you so passionate about this?  What would change?

3. WRITE IT DOWN and design your best year ever - most goals are not actualized because simply they were never written down.  You can use the resource linked in below or just write yourself a letter.  Simply date it out 6 weeks from now, or 3 or 6 months from today and write it today AS IF you are reading it at that time.  So if your goal is to lose 10 lbs in 2 months you would date the letter 2 months from today and it would read how you FEEL at 10 lbs lighter having achieved you goal and REFLECT and celebrate all the changes you made over the past two months, all the challenges and resistance, and how you overcame it.  This in essence will help you REVERSE ENGINEER your goals, so you see exactly the steps you have to take daily, as well as the resistance you'll meet and how you'll trouble shoot it.

4. Stay Positive and Position yourself for success - focus on what you're moving towards and not away from.   Essentially you will expect and create what you think about.  Read, watch, listen to, and surround yourself with those who will support your efforts and success.   It's said you are the sum of the 5 people you surround yourself with most.  Does that support your dreams or scare you?

5. State your goals in the "i am" rather than "i want" and start modeling success-  Ever hear the saying 'success leaves clues'?  Find a mentor or someone successful you respect and take clues from their actions.  Model your actions and language after theirs.  Speaking in the 'i am' declares your goal-statements to be true therefore encouraging your actions to support your goals.

6. Get Fit - "Your mind cannot achieve what your body cannot perform."  - Darren Hardy.  It's true.  exercise is the master of stress release, centering, and building physical and emotional strength.  A truly healthy and fit inside and outside will allow you to have more clarity and energy to put into your goals and dreams and will give you the confidence to do whatever you want and take the world by storm.  Click HERE to select the right fitness and meal plan program to reach your goals.

7.  Make a difference - What do you want your legacy to be?  YOU have the power to make a profound difference in this world and in someone's life.  There is a saying, " To the world you may be ONE person, but to ONE person, you may mean the world."  Apply to be a Sol Warriors Coach and start supporting and helping others as you continue to reach your personal wellness and fitness goals.

Consider using Darren Hardy's GOAL DESIGNING WORKSHEET from one of my favorite books, The Compound Effect.  You should probably buy the book and start reading it too.  :)


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Single Superfood Gluten Free Pancake

What fun would a meal plan be if it didn't include pancakes?  One of the primary reasons i started this blog years back was to help provide you with recipes and tips so you can eat delicious healthy foods and 'treat foods' and not feel guilted or coma-tosed.  Because i eat a limited-grain and gluten free diet and i'm not a fan of soy or high sugar foods, and because i'm all about THE PANCAKE, i have a special Saturday treat for you.  This may be my favorite pancake recipe ever and it makes just enough for ONE big delicious pancake that will fill your tummy and turn on your nom-face.


Coconut flour - 2 Tbsp
Chocolate Superfood Shakeology - 1 Tbsp
Cinnamon - a few shakes or about a scant 1/8 tsp
2 large egg whites
3/4 of a medium-large ripe banana
1/8 cup of your preferred frozen berries (i use 5 frozen cherries)
2-3 Tbsps of shredded coconut divided (2 Tbsp for the pancake, one for topping)
and any additional toppings (pumpkin seeds, coconut, and cherries pictured)


Mash the banana in a bowl.  You can use a fork to stir/whisk in the eggs, coconut flour, shakeology, and 2 Tbsp shredded coconut.  Check that the consistency is thick (to thicken add a touch of coconut flour).  Add in frozen berries, or about 6 frozen cherries.  Heat a non stick pan over medium to low heat.  Pour in the batter, shape, lid and let cook until you see little bubbles emerging form the top of the pancake all the way through to the center.  CAREFULLY FLIP.  Cover and continue to cook until done (not long).  Remove from pan and if using frozen berries as a garnish, add them to the pan to soften and allow to get juicy and jammy.  Plate, garnish with your additional berry-jam, your favorite toppings, and devour.

On my bikini portions plan?  Count the pancake as 1 red, 1 blue, 1 purple (excluding any additional toppings you choose).

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

3 Day Refresh Cleanse

Sometimes you just need a kickstart or something that helps you push past a plateau.  Whether it's leading into a program or coming off a program and wanting that last little edge, we all have the need for that THING that pushes us out of our comfort zone and creates a dynamic change that feeds our next level of success.  

I have to say i was really hesitant embarking on this 3 day refresh cleanse.  If you personally know me or have followed me here for any length of time you know that i'm a bit of a purist with food and no stranger to fasting, green juicing, and cleansing, and also that i shy away from 'programs' preset with any sort of supplements that i'm not already versed on.  Bottom line, i'm a 'hard' sell.  Over a year ago the company that i trust for nutrition and fitness released a 3 day cleanse program that i hesitated to try or get behind because i didn't know the ingredients well enough.  I didn't do my homework, didn't bother to learn why the ingredients in it were keys to success, and i just assumed that i knew better.  What i missed out on was the opportunity to lean down QUICK and get a result in 3 days that i was chasing for a long ass time!  What a freaking fool!!!

Now here's the heart of it.  If you are purely Paleo or Ketogenic and won't touch a shake mix because it's got oat protein or pea protein in it or because there is a little agave in the mix, then RESPECTFULLY this program is probably NOT for you.  You can go to your local juice bar instead and pay $300 for 3 days of liquid that would cost you about $60 to press daily on your own at home (yes your $250 investment in an amazing juicer will have just paid for itself), and i have TONS of recipes to help you HERE.  However IF you are like me and of purist mind but looking for a quick fix  to de-bloat and lean out in 3 days that will not leave you feeling famished and deprived i have a  solution.  As a matter of fact what i loved about this cleanse most is that i wasn't suffering my way though it, and in three short days i not only looked and felt better but my appetite was suppressed and i found myself making better choices because i was simply less interested in filling up on food that wasn't serving my ultimate goal: to nourish my body with that which it needs WHEN it needs it.  

Contact me to get started on your cleanse. 


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sol Warriors Costa Rica Retreat

I'm the first to admit i yearned to live the lifestyle of a Fashion Model:  traveling the world, experiencing different cultures, having girlfriends to giggle with that love health and fitness, having the camera lens (aka attention) on you, and not having to pay for it, but rather getting paid for it!  I remember as a kid flipping through 'Teen Magazine' and asking my mom if i could go to Barbizon School of Modeling.  I acted in town plays, sang with a ridiculously vulnerable youthful voice, competed dance and often won the 'honorable mention' (you know, the white ribbon that basically said thanks for trying but you weren't good enough), and was told i wasn't tall enough, pretty enough, photogenic enough, or fit enough to model.  Maybe it stung at the time, but it's all those experiences that motivated me to figure out how i could carve out a career that i'm passionate about living and the lifestyle i desired all while helping others and being of service in this world.  

That's partly how the Sol Warriors Team was born.  Think of a witches brew concocted of 'wanting to reach my physical goals' + 'wanting to help women break their plateaus' + 'wanting to create the lifestyle i desired' + 'having a way to share it with others and create a community where other women could excel at their dreams' + add a little magic (cuz all witches brews have got magic, right?) = and Sol Warriors was born.  Our coach team is a part of a lineage of other very REAL AND RELATABLE PEOPLE, that are balanced health advocates passionate about helping others, and living an inspiring life while having an opportunity to travel the globe and experience their dreams.  

 {mocktails and vino with the girls at El Avion in Manuel Antonio}

This year's annual Sol Warriors Leadership Retreat was in Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica at an incredible eco-retreat and yoga center called Vida Asana.  Our retreat is open to any Sol Warriors Diamond Coach who is not only leading an exemplary life of wellness, but those who are vulnerably sharing their journey with others, and leading by example all while helping others start a fun and exciting health and fitness career too.  The Sol Warriors coach bootcamp/mentorship gives you the tools to achieve all of this as does my ongoing coaching and support.  To learn more about how you can get involved and join the team or be on our next retreat, visit the BECOME A COACH page on my website and fill out the application.

 {lunching at Vida Asana}

 {a dip in the pool after yoga and our morning fit sweat sesh}

 {sharing our coaching journey and stories in Jaco}

 {The beauty of the black sand beaches in Playa Hermosa}

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

DIY Coffee Bean Infused Coconut Body Oil

Here is one of my all time favorite Body Brews that is super easy to make and will leave your home and skin smelling amazing. This body oil is made with 2 simple ingredients: organic caffeinated coffee bean & organic coconut oil.  Think of the body brew as "Maui Babe" meets Holistic Healing Body Oil. 

Because caffeine constricts blood vessels it's often added to skin-care products to help reduce cellulite, promote a tighter tummy, and reduce under-eye puffiness. Along with the cooling effects of coconut oil you have the perfect blend of anti-inflammatory body care that Ayurvedically balances Pitta Dosha (aka heat) & helps re-invigorate the body & mind.  Here's the exact extraction and DIY body brew making process. Let me know if you make it and share it with your friends too.  It's such a great home-made gift, especially given in the summer months when Pitta/heat is much higher in us all. 

What you'll need:

One jar of organic coconut oil
1/4 to 1/3 cup of organic coffee beans
Mesh strainer, glass bowl, funnel.


Melt the coconut oil in a pot over low heat. Add coffee beans & simmer an hour or two over the lowest heat. Strain through a mesh strainer into a glass bowl to cool (you can add a few bean back in for the cooling process). Once cool funnel back into original jar and remove any beans. Lid & enjoy liberally massaged into your body daily. ☕️


Friday, September 25, 2015

Raspberry Paleo Pancakes

Cuzzzz a hungry girl's gotta eat, yo.  Here's the JAM:

1.  I'm not on a paleo diet, but these pancakes qualify as Paleo approved (i'm personally not one to shun a cookie especially this time of year)

2.  There is no protein powder in these pancakes.  You make them from eggs, banana, and coconut flour. 

3.  The pancakes do not include sugar other than fruit and do not require syrup.  

4.  They are freaking delicious.  Let me rewrite that: FREAKING DELICIOUS.  Please make them.  Now.  You won't be sorry. 

Raspberry Paleo Pancakes

one very ripe banana mashed well

2 large egg whites
1 heaping Tbsp of coconut flour (i imagine i did about a proper Tbsp plus a tsp)
a few dashes of cinnamon
6 drops of liquid stevia
1/4 tsp of vanilla extract
crank of sea salt
handful of frozen or fresh raspberries (or other berries)

Mash the banana well into a bowl.  Add the two egg whites and whisk together well (you can just use a fork to whisk).  Add the remaining ingredients and stir together well.  Heat a pan over medium to low heat.  Add a little coconut oil if your pan is not non-stick.  Put half the batter in the pan, cover and cook until little bubbles comes through, carefully flip and continue to cook to preferred doneness.  Replicate with second half of batter.  Plate and enjoy.

In addition to this delicious recipe, there are many more healthy recipes listed in my ebook accessible to members on my site.  Membership is free for those who are on or have done a program with me.  To be a part of the health community/accountability group or to have my personal coaching, simply message me and tell me a little about yourself, your lifestyle, what you want to change, and how you feel my guidance could best support you. Contact me through my website.

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