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Sunday Dinner: Buttercup Squash Mac n’ Cheese

It’s the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and it is quiet at our house. I am the first one up. The best part of the day is getting up early, watching the sun rise over the heard, enjoying a good cup of coffee in my favorite mug, and writing. The perfect way to start out a perfect week filled with food and family.

I am already starting to plan my grocery list for the week. It’s my first time hosting Thanksgiving at our house, so I want to make everything perfect! I will be cooking, cleaning, and prepping everything over the next three days.

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Thanksgiving morning, I am having everyone over early for a breakfast of caramel rolls and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! I just can’t wait for it to be here! I am also looking forward to a FULL four day weekend!

Yesterday, I made this amazing and totally healthy, gluten free Buttercup Squash Mac n’ Cheese casserole. It’s so yummy, healthy, and the perfect dish for a cold, snowy evening! It has snowed here, but nothing stayed! The first REAL snowfall is so exciting! Anyway, this is the perfect recipe for winter comfort food!

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For Thanksgiving, I will be making an un-healthy version of baked mac n’ cheese, I will be having the healthy version! The recipe calls for whole wheat noodles, but I used Quinoa noodles, which are so yummy and gluten free! I also used Monterrey Jack Cheese instead of Swiss. It was amazing!

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Here is the link to the recipe! For every one cup serving, for the 21 Day Fix, it is 2 Yellow, 1 Blue, and 1 Green! Enjoy!

http://www.beachbody.com/beachbodyblog/nutrition/butternut-squash-mac-and-cheese

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Building Your Home Gym

Before I started my fitness and healthy journey in January, I had a few fitness-y things and equipment. I went to the gym or else I ran or walked outside. I didn’t see a need for building my home gym Now, however, I workout nearly every day from the comforts of inside my home. It’s the greatest. No busy, sweaty, gross gyms. And of course no one is stealing your treadmill here! I truly love working out from home.

When I moved back to the farm from Bismarck, when Taylor and I got married, I was really sad about leaving my gym and my membership behind. Now, I don’t miss it at all! I have learned and grew my own mini home gym! Today, I am sharing with you 6¬†things to help build your home gym!

  1. Kettlebells. Kettle bells are a great alternative to weights. I got my set on Amazon and they are great and effective! Kettle bells are said to burn more calories than hand held weights alone, because it takes momentum to get them moving. Here is similar to my set.

2. Hand-Held Weights. These are a must. Whether you get a couple of sets from Walmart or a full weight set from a sporting goods store, they are great to have. Most workouts do call for weights, so it’s a good investment. Here is a great weight set. Here is a great idea for individual sets.

3. Yoga Mat. If you haven’t fallen into the trend of yoga yet, you need to. I like to do it weekly after a full week of hard, sweaty workouts, it’s nice to have a calm session that stretches and strengthens your entire body. It also helps you to prepare for another week of tough workouts. Here is a great option.

4. Stability Ball. A stability ball is a great tool to have on hand. Yes, I said tool. There are SO many great workouts using a stability ball. It shapes your back. abs, legs and arms. Here is a great stability ball workout.

5. Resistance Bands. Most of my workouts have a modifier using resistance bands. They are a good alternative to hand held weights. Don’t think of it as “easier”, but rather more low impact! You are still going to burn a ton of calories and it’s using your body weight with the strength of the resistance band! Here is a great resistance band.

6. Medicine Ball. A medicine ball is a weighted ball, similar to a kettlebell, but minus the handle. It’s great for core and arm workouts. You could probably just use a kettle bell if you don’t have a medicine ball. Here is a great medicine ball workout.

These 6 items will really help you develop your home gym into a successful workout sanctuary for great results! Now all you need are couple of BeachBody workouts!! ūüėČ

Xo

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Weeks 3 & 4 of the Ultimate Reset AND Results!

Well, I DID it! I finished the Ultimate Reset! It wasn’t always easy, but I made it! It seemed that after the first week, it really went fast! I got used to all the meal prep and spending time in my kitchen, totally not complaining! ūüôā

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Week Two consisted of adding a gritty, detox drink 30 minutes before my meals, as well as my regular supplements. It kept me fuller longer, as if the portions weren’t big enough to start! That is the one thing that I was amazed by! The portions! They were huge! Most times, I couldn’t finish them all, so I would cut them in half and typically that was my lunch the next day!

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My new favorite soup! Roasted Red Pepper and Sweet Potato Bisque! It was SO good!

Week two, I could notice a change in my focus and energy. I felt good, and at work, my focus was like a laser. I could get tasks done quickly and without taking breaks, like I usually do. I was less distracted and I felt good. I made the mistake of weighing myself about half way in, and I freaked. I had only lost .4 pounds, after that, I figured it wasn’t working. It made me push harder.

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When week three came around, I found out I had to go out to the field for a road construction job that is only 10 minutes from my house! No more getting up at 5 AM!!, for awhile! But… My Ultimate Reset took a hit. I was working, and still am, 13 hour days and no access to a kitchen or microwave. Which makes meal prep and taking things with a nightmare. So, the last few days were hard and I was worried that¬† my results would be compromised, which they probably were, but I was still impressed with my results.

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On my last day of the Reset, I had made massage and facial appointments! My hubby got my a gift certificate for my birthday a few months ago, and I thought, now was the perfect time! I took Friday off, and it was complete relaxation! The facial was absolutely amazing! The massage was also great! I totally recommend, doing this to treat yourself! It is wonderful and much needed! My face looks amazing after my facial!

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Saturday morning, it was time for results. I lost 4.5 pounds and 3.5 inches! It’s not a lot, but I was still impressed and I look good! I plan to stay on the Pegan Diet! It is a combination of vegan and paleo. It goes off of the 80-20 plan, where you can have meat for 20% of your day, while being vegan 80% of the day. I still have cravings, but they are less powerful. This weekend, my hubby had Tastee Freeze, and was eating onion rings, burgers, and of course ice cream sitting right across from me, and it didn’t even really bother me. I would have been drooling all over that before the reset!

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My RA also is good! I tried to re-introduce wheat this week, I ate just a few Triscut crackers, and a few hours later, my joints really started aching. So, I plan to keep wheat out of my diet as much as possible, and stick with good carbs like sweet potatoes, brown rice, beans, millet, and quinoa.

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Overall, I am glad I did it. I was a whole new experience to clean, whole foods. It opened my eyes to a bunch of new, yummy foods to incorporate into my new diet. It also made me better in the kitchen, as far as making homemade dressings, and well, basically everything that I ate, was homemade. It was a lot of work, but worth it. Going on, I am now working out again (after 3 weeks on not, it was hard jumping back on), but I am doing PiYo and Brazil Butt Lift. While I am focusing more on my diet right now than working out.

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Week One: The Ultimate Reset

I’m a little behind (sorry about that!), because I am currently on day 10, Phase 2 today. So far, everything has been going great! The food has been excellent, with a couple of exceptions so far. I have only “cheated” a couple of times, one of them being yesterday. I only had mashed chickpeas on the menu for breakfast. I still felt really¬†hungry, so I added in some fruit.

Day 1
Day 1

So far, I feel good. Usually in the first week of the Reset, you can feel fatigued, chills, and achy. I felt cold a couple of mornings and a couple times over lunch, I took a cat nap.

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Day 2: Lunch

I like drinking water 30 and taking supplements 30 minutes before you eat. It seems to keep you fuller and more aware of what you are putting in your body while you eat. There have been many times, that I was too full to eat all of what I was supposed to!

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Day 3: Dinner Miso Soup

Thirty minutes before every meal, you drink 12-36 ounces of distilled water with the Mineralize supplement. Also, during different times of the day, you are taking two pill capsules of supplements. The supplements taken, depend on what phase you are in of the reset! In the afternoon, before the snack, you take a supplement that is similar to a wheatgrass shot. It is definitely not my favorite, and it tastes like grass, but I know it is healthy for me and doing it’s job.

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I haven’t wieghed myself or measured myself since my starting weigh in. I don’t plan to until the day after my last day! I know my body is going through tons of changes and the scale could be off due to me drinking almost a gallon of distilled water, daily!

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The other things that I really like are having a pre-planned meal plan for you! I love not having to plan, just have a grocery list and get what I need! It is a time saver, when you spend about 1.5 hours in the kitchen preparing every night! I like my food fresh, so instead of spending the weeking meal prepping, like I normally do, I prep day by day. Some things you can make ahead, like quinoa and brown rice. Or on mornings when I have a fruit bowl, I have the fruit pre-cut and ready to go the night before, so in the morning, I can grab and go!

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I also like the break from doing my workouts, believe it or not! I feel like after doing months of intense workouts, your body needs a much needed break! I thought I would have a ton of extra time at night, but actually I have less! My food prep takes longer than working out did! However, I am looking forward to getting back into things once I am done! I am thinking of doing PiYo again after!

Surprisingly, you get to eat ALOT! Some meals, I couldn’t finish because I was so full! Be prepared to eat TONS of salads! I am only on day 10, but I am already starting to get “salad-ed out”! One way I spice it up each time, is by adding different veggies.

My last day is actually, September 4th, the Friday of Labor Day Weekend. I am taking off work that day, and going in for a massage and facial! My little present to me for finishing strong! It was also part of my birthday present from my hubby, a gift certificate for a spa day! I can’t wait!

xoxo

Happy Monday!

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Day 2 of My 24 Day Journey… The Ultimate Reset

“To get through the hardest journey, we need to only take one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping” – Unknown

Today marks Day Two of my 24 Day Journey. I am doing the 3 Day Refresh followed by the 21 Day Ultimate Reset!

This is my fourth time doing th 3 Day Refresh, and it doesn’t get any easier with time! It is tough, but it is only three days to get your body back on track and fights cravings! Every time I do the Refresh, I no long crave coffee! With the 3 Day Refesh, you are given a meal plan for the 3 days, which you can select different fruits and veggies from. You are also given the Fiber Sweep (a once a day drink), a high fiber, digestive drink and the Vanilla Refresh, a high protein, craving cutter shake (2 times a day), paired with the right fruits, veggies, and healthy fats you are going to get amazing results including, feeling less bloated and having less cravings, like coffee and sugar!

The Refresh also shows you timing of how you eat and waiting until you are actually hungry to chow down! Your body starts paying more attention to what you are feeding it with!

You can read about my first 3 Day Refresh, Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3.

The Ultimate Reset

The Ultimate Reset is quite different. Not only is it longer, it is more time consuming and extensive! It basically sets your body back to factory settings! It has a structured meal plan to follow with recipes. You don’t workout, with the exception of light walking or yoga during the 21 days! I am actually really looking forward to this break! Plus having meal plans already pre-planned for your week, will also be nice!

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The Ultimate Reset also comes with different supplements that I will be taking every day. There is Optimize, Alkalinize, and Detox. Each one has a different function and support that your body needs during the time of cleansing.

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The Opimize helps boost your metabolism and also helps reduce inflammation, this is taken three times a day at least a half hour before meals. Alkalinize helps neutralize the acid in your system, improving the overall pH balance, while supporting your body against bacteria, infection, and inflammation. This is taken daily with water. Detox promotes a healthy digestion and immune system (without having to be in the bathroom all day and night)!

Meals

ultimate reset team beachbody food

I was actually surprised when I looked at the menu for the reset! You get to eat a lot and meals are consistant. However, grocery shopping did take me awhile! I had to order somethings from Amazon (Thank God for Amazon!), because in rural North Dakota we don’t have seaweed sheets floating around! Yes, I will be making homemade sushi/seaweed rolls!

Here is an example of what I will be eating on Day 1!

Breakfast: 2 slices of Whole Grain Toast, 2 Eggs scrambled, and Steamed Spinach.

Lunch: A Microgreen salad with dressing

Snack: 1-2 Cups of Veggies with Cottage Cheese

Dinner: Baked Salmon Steamed Asperagus and Baby Potatoes

By week three, the Reset slowly cuts out carbs and meat protein. So, it definitely gets harder, but you still get to eat more than I thought!

The End Result

Before I start anything, I always like to have a WHY. A reason to stay committed, even when you are tempted to give up. My why is number one for my health. I am excited to see how this reset, really resets my system. My second, is for my eating habits. I like having an actualy planned menu so there is less chances of me running off course and cheating! I do better when I plan and have everything ready. Not that I eat terrible now, but I could do better! So for the next 22 days I will be eating my best, staying committed, no matter what, and hoping for great results!

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The Reset end result is to be “testing” what foods effect you, like carbs for example. By slowing cutting out and re-introducing, you’ll know how your body reacts. I am also very excited for this portion (not just because I will be done!), but to see how my body reacts, as well as how my arthritis acts when I start re-introducing foods! It will be great to know what foods trigger my flare-ups!

Odds and Ends AND This and That

I’ll be doing weekly posts on my new Ultimate Journey! So¬†stay tuned!

If you haven’t yet, find my page on Facebook, The Fit Farmer’s Wife, and give it a like! I have LOTS of new and exciting things coming up VERY soon and I can’t wait to announce!

My next Challenge Group is also coming up! Lunges for Labor Day: On August 24th, we will be starting a 21 Day Journey with the 21 Day Fix! Get ready for easy to follow recipes, meal plans, heart-pumping workouts, 24-7 accountability, one-on-one coaching, and of course, AMAZING results! Please contact me you are interested! I’d love to have you!

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Sunday Dinner: Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries

This weekend was short in comparision to last weekend! Two day weekends go so fast and there is so much to do in two days! This weekend consisted of Taylor out working all day on Saturday, we are full into haying season on the ranch. I was meal preping, cleaning, doing laundry, working out, doing some light reading, and playing with my little bunny, Martin! Yes, I FINALLY got a bunny! He is a Netherland Dwarf and¬†four months old! I absolutely love him! He is probably the most spoiled little bun, ever, but he’s a sweetie.

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Sundays call for lazy days.

Sunday morning was spent eating our breakfast outside on the patio, doing our morning devotions, reading, and playing with Martin! How how he loves hopping around the front yard! It ws a beautiful morning for being outside yesterday! Perfect, in fact. Our front yard is west facing before the hot sun hits, it is cool and refreshing. Perfect for a few cups of morning coffee and a good book!

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This makes me wish every morning could be a Sunday morning!

Yesterday for lunch we made burgers on the grill, the perfect summer lunch! We also had radishes and snow peas from my garden! And everyone knows, that no burger is complete without fries! So I made baked sweet potato fries and I am sharing the recipe with you!

What You’ll Need:

  • 3-4 Large Sweet Poatoes
  • Cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cayene Pepper
  • Egg Whites (2) – For wash
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Tin Foil
  • Non-Stick Spray

First, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Then, peel sweet potatoes and cut into fry like rectaular pieces. I cut the potato into fourths lenth-wise, then into halves and went from there. Once all the fries are cut, place the melted coconut oil into a large bowl along with several shakes of cinnamon and garlic powder, and a dash of cayene. Mix fries in and evenly coat. Place tin foil on a baking sheet and coat with non-stick cooking spray. Place the fries somewhat evenly on the sheet. Now, coat with egg white wash. Sprinkle more salt, pepper, and cinnamon to coat. Bake for an hour, turning once, or until done.

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Enjoy!

My next clean eating and fitness challenge group will be taking place starting on August 17th! Please fill out the form on the left side of my blog for more information, so I can contact you!

Happy Monday! XoXo

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Sunday Dinner Team Arise Takeover: Sea Bass with Spinach and Sweet Potato Fries

This Sunday Dinner portion is a little different than most! Over the next few weeks, my Sunday Dinner posts will be taken over by my team members from my fitness team, Team Arise! Including my own coach!

I am so excited to about this new step! I am also so happy to know these ladies! Once thing I love about my new job, is meeting so many new friends and connecting with them! Everyone is so positive and supportive, and we all have common goals! It’s so great to be friends with so many amazing people you can lean on, laugh with, support, and workout with!

For those of you who don’t know, I made a big lifestyle change back in January, to better my health and eating habits! I am currently a BeachBody coach, fit and healthy, have my eating under control, and I am building my own team, and business and I absolutely love it all!

I’m happy to introduce my very own coach, Rose! Rose has helped me so much this past year from questions when I first stated working out to now, training me to start my own business and building my own team! I am so thankful for her. Even though we have never met, we talk everyday! She is a wonderful person inside and out and she genuinely wants the best for you! Not to mention, she has ripped abs and guns to prove it!

Name: Rose Smith

Live: New Jersey

Occupation: Athletic Training and BeachBody Coach

When did you start coaching and what brought you to it?

I became a coach on February 14, 2013… yes valentines day!! At the time me and my husband (then boyfriend) was living 2 1/2 hours away from each other and I knew I need to make a change in my life so we could be together. There weren’t any job openings for the past 3 years and I couldn’t wait much longer to hope a job would be coming soon. Thats when the coaching opportunity was presented to me and I though this was the right fit to get me to my future. At the time I had recently lost 30lbs with the workout program Insanity and was honestly in the best shape of my life. I wanted to continue being in this amazing shape and didn’t want to yo-yo like I did in the past and put the weight back on once I stopped. That’s when I got my free Team Beachbody Coach and talked to her about doing another workout program called Turbofire & drinking Shakeology. My coach mentioned to me that I could also be a coach and help other people see they don’t have to live a life of one diet after the next and actually make an income as well as paying for my Shakeology each month. I asked myself, what do I have to lose and all I could think of was what could I gain? That’s when I knew this was my ticket to living a life of freedom that I have always dreamed about.

What has been the hardest part about coaching? The easiest?

I would have to say that the hardest part about coaching is getting out of my comfort zone. I’ve always had a Facebook, but never really posted much. However, I soon realized that if I wanted to be a successful coach I had to do things I had never done before which meant posting consistently and starting conversations up with friends that I had not talked to in many years. The easiest part about coaching is motivating others. I’ve been an athlete my entire life while playing volleyball and I am currently a volleyball coach. Encouraging and motivating others is something that I find so much happiness in! Knowing that I can be the one to help someone change their life is a big deal to me!

What advice would you give to new coaches or someone just starting their fitness journey?

Advice that I would give to anyone is to “See Yourself A Year From Now”…whether that is a successful BB coach or someone that wants to lose 20-30 lbs, they both require much HARD WORK and DEDICATION!! Nothing is going to come easy, but don’t get frustrated right away. Everything takes time and if you stick with it, it’ll all be worth it!

Favorite Workout Program? Shakeology Flavor?

My favorite Beachbody program has to be the 21 Day Fix because it has everything you need to really transform yourself, clean eating with portion controlled containers and a fitness program that only takes 30 minutes a day. It used to take me that long to drive to the gym and back so I even have more time to be a coach and help others. I first started this program last year to get ready for my honeymoon and I have to say I got so many compliments by complete strangers!! I knew that this was something special especially if it can be done in only 21 days. My favorite flavor of Shakeology is absolutely Chocolate Vegan! It seriously tastes like a dessert and helps me with my cravings but I know it is actually giving my body nutrition. I do drink the Strawberry Vegan too because that tastes amazing and gives me variety when I need it.

Rose
Sea Bass with Spinach
-4 tablespoons GHEE
–One 5-ounce bag prewashed baby spinach
Salt and freshly ground pepper
-1 medium shallot, minced
-Four 8-ounce skinless sea bass fillets
-1/4 cup dry white wine
Cooking Directions:
-Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Tear off four 18-inch lengths of foil. Put 1 tsp of ghee on each foil. Mound the spinach in the center of the sheets and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the shallot. Season both sides of each sea bass fillet with salt and pepper and set the fillets on the spinach. Scatter the pieces of ghee over the fish. Pull the sides of the foil up around the fish and drizzle the fillets with the wine. Fold the edges of the foil to make sealed packets.
Arrange the packets on a baking sheet and bake for about 12 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through. Transfer 1 of the packets to a medium bowl. Carefully make a small tear in the side of the packet and pour the juices into the bowl. Repeat with the 3 remaining packets. Using a spatula, transfer the fish and spinach to shallow soup plates, pour the cooking juices over the fish and serve.
Sea Bass
 
 
Sweet potato fries make a great match with the fish…. peel sweet potato and cut length wise to form strips.  I personally use duck fat or lard to cook my fries in a pan that way they are nice and crisp, plus have great taste.
Sweet Potato Fries