Eat. Sleep. Live. Fit

Back At It: Postpartum

Back At It: Postpartum

ppworkoutsI recently gave birth to my third child; another son, named Landon.

I had set high goals for myself following his birth and intended to get back into my regular workouts, meal planning, and recording my progress here on the site for accountability.

I wanted to create a follow-along program to share my progress with all of you and provide you with new workouts and meal plans so that you could join me.

My son is now 11 weeks old and while I have gotten in some workouts, I have not been nearly as on track with my goals as I was hoping.

It has been awhile since I had a baby, (my next oldest is nearly 7) and I was not as active following her birth as I have been in more recent years. I also did not have two older children who needed to be driven to school and after-school activities, help with homework, and everything else, so I really had no idea just how challenging it would be.

I now realize my goals need a bit of revision. My focus now needs to be on finding a healthy balance that allows me to get in workouts and eat in a way that lets me feel good, rebuild my strength, and have the energy I need to care for my family and home.


I need to give myself more time to accomplish my body goals so that I can focus on what is most important right now: nourishing my family, relieving stress, and living a balanced healthy lifestyle.

My hope is to get back into some sort of routine with my fitness that allows me to build momentum since it is much easier to maintain an active lifestyle once you get started and do it regularly.

So instead of trying to follow a strict workout schedule or to begin a program that requires me to spend 60 minutes or more to complete a workout, I am going to try something a bit more flexible.

What is important to me personally is:

  • building strength (especially core strength)
  • improving flexibility
  • increasing energy
  • maintaining positive health (mental and physical)
  • feeling good overall


To accomplish those goals I plan to do the following:

  • resistance training workouts using bodyweight and/or free weights
  • regular yoga practice
  • going for walks/jogging
  • getting adequate rest and sleep
  • eating healthy, clean meals made from whole foods

I would like to share my journey with you and plan to post whenever I can about my workouts, meal plans, grocery lists and more. I will post here as much as I can but you can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram for updates there as well.

In Health,


Garlic-Roasted Broccoli


Garlic-Roasted Broccoli

This Garlic-Roasted Broccoli boasts delightful texture and robust flavor that the whole family will love. Quick and easy to prepare, this will be your new go-to side dish with any dinner.


Garlic-Roasted Broccoli - Delicious and Nutritious! - Broccoli Crowns, Minced Garlic, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Kosher Salt, Fresh Cracked Black Pepper, Preheat oven to 400°.

; Wash and chop broccoli up into bite-sized pieces. ; Toss broccoli with olive oil and garlic and spread onto an ungreased cookie sheet. ; Salt and pepper to taste and then roast in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes until broccoli is tender and beginning to brown. Serve hot.; - <strong>Makes 2 Servings (per serving):</strong> 66 Calories, 3 g Protein, 4 g Fat, 7 g Carbs

Minced Onion and Garlic Crusted Chicken


Minced Onion and Garlic Crusted Chicken

This quick and delicious Minced Onion and Garlic Crusted Chicken makes a great main dish for dinner. Make extras and use throughout the week for lunches in salads, wraps, and more. Full of flavor without the need for heavy sugar-laden sauces or marinades, this chicken is a guilt-free option for any meal.

Minced Onion and Garlic Crusted Chicken

Minced Onion and Garlic Crusted Chicken - Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast rubbed with a mixture of tasty spices, then sautéed or grilled to perfection.
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast, Minced Garlic, Dried Minced Onion, Chili Powder, Paprika, Cayenne ((optional)), Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Kosher Salt, Fresh Cracked Black Pepper, Combine all dried ingredients together in a bowl; set to the side. ; Once you have trimmed and divided the chicken, pat it dry using a paper towel. Then sprinkle the top of each piece lightly with salt and pepper.; Using a basting brush or the back of a spoon spread ½ tsp. of minced garlic over the top side of each chicken breast piece.; Sprinkle about ½ dried mixture evenly across the top of the breast pieces.; Heat ½ Tbsp. olive oil in a pan over medium high heat (or preheat a grill to medium high if you are going to grill the chicken.) ; Once the oil is heated place the chicken breast pieces rubbed-side down in the pan and allow to cook about 2 minutes.; While the first side of the chicken is cooking, repeat the steps above using the remainder of the ingredients to fully coat the breast pieces in flavor. ; Once the first side of the chicken is seared and has a nice brown color, use tongs or a spatula to flip the chicken over and sear the other side, about 2 minutes. ; Once browned, turn the heat down to medium low and allow the
chicken to continue cooking until heated through, about 4-6 minutes more. (Cook times will vary based on the thickness of your pieces, as well as how hot and how long you brown each side for. To make sure that your chicken is done, use a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should reach 165° to ensure food safety). If you do not have a food thermometer, than pierce the chicken with a fork or knife to check that the juices run clear.
; - <strong>Ma</strong><strong>kes 3 Servings (per serving): </strong>170 Calories, 27 g Protein, 5 g Fat, 4 g Carbs

Banana Nut Oatmeal


Banana Nut Oatmeal

This sweet and nutty Banana Nut Oatmeal is a wholesome, filling way to start your day. Serve alongside scrambled eggs for added protein.

banana nut oatmeal

Providing nutrition and lasting satiety, oatmeal has long been a favorite breakfast option. This homemade version provides loads of flavor without loads of sugar found in many of the packaged varieties.

Feel free to experiment by substituting your favorite nuts for the walnuts, or try different fruit toppings to mix up this traditional breakfast favorite.

Banana Nut Oatmeal - A Sweet and Nutty way to start the day! - Rolled Oats, cinnamon, Sliced Banana, Chopped Walnuts ((optional)), In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil over high heat. ; Add in the oats and reduce heat to medium. ; Allow to cook at a rolling boil for about 2 minutes then stir in the cinnamon and fruit and allow to cook another 3-4 minutes until the oats have absorbed most of the liquid and has reached desired consistency.; Top with nuts if desired and enjoy hot!; - <strong>Makes 1 Servings (per serving):</strong> 296 Calories, 15 g Protein, 7 g Fat, 48 g Carbs

Looking for a grain-free version? Check out our <a title="Banana Nut Paleo Oatmeal" href="">Paleo "Oatmeal"</a>

5 Steps to Lose Weight in Less Time and Keep it Off


5 Steps to Lose Weight in Less Time and Keep it Off


Are You Tired of Trying Miracle Diets and Working Out for Hours at a Time All With Little Pay Off and Lost Pounds that Somehow Seem to Keep Coming Back?

If you have been trying again and again to lose the extra pounds that crept on while you were busy with the demands of life only to experience little success and much frustration, you are not alone and it’s not your fault.

We have been taught to believe that in order to gain the body that we want we have to make extreme changes to our diets and spend hours in the gym working out in order to see results.

1-16470175_mlWe see celebrities in magazines promoting extreme diets and exercise regimens that take a ton of time. They pay top dollar for high-priced trainers and sacrifice a lot in order to obtain their Hollywood physiques.

Social media is filled with young fitness models Instagramming photos of their salads and supplements, and selfies of yet another day spent at the gym.

Many diets require you to make extreme changes to your normal routine that are often strange, time-consuming, and leave you feeling deprived and unsatisfied.

Popular weight loss programs require hours of grueling workouts that leave you drenched in sweat and too sore to climb a flight of stairs at work the next day.

While many of these protocols will work to give you transformative results if you stick with them, they are simply too demanding of your time, and require too much energy to be sustainable.

Even if you are able to stick with them long enough to obtain weight loss results, as soon as you stop and return to your normal eating habits and less active lifestyle all the weight comes right back. It’s a vicious cycle and no wonder so many people give up on their dreams of getting back into shape in their late 20’s and 30’s.

Life is busy and as an adult with responsibilities such as a career, spouse, and kids, it gets even crazier. At times it feels impossible to accomplish everything that needs to be done each day and still find the time to sleep, let alone exercise.

I am here to tell you it doesn’t have to be this hard and there is another way to meet your day-to-day responsibilities and still have the body you deserve.

So how can you lose pounds that stay gone and achieve the body of your dreams without sacrificing the foods you love or spending all your free time working out?

Here are:

5 Steps You Can Take to Lose Weight In Less Time and Keep it Off


1. Create a plan, prepare, and stick to it.1-20236924_ml

As adults, most of us have learned that in order to succeed at almost anything in life, we need to have a plan and we must prepare for all the things that could get in the way of us reaching our goals.

The same is true for weight loss. You need to set a goal, have a plan on how to reach it, prepare for implementation, and finally execute your plan.

Without a plan you will likely spend more of your time at the gym trying to figure out what to do and less time actually doing it.

Without a plan you will intend to eat healthy meals, but once you find yourself hungry and no healthy options prepared, will end up at a fast food drive through.

Having a plan for weight loss is like having a map and directions to get to your desired destination. Without it you end up just driving around in circles and never getting where you are trying to go.


2. Simplify Your Diet.

You ever heard the saying “too much, too soon”? This is especially applicable to people when dieting. When we first start out trying to lose weight we tend to get all gung-ho and cut out everything all at once.

But the reality is you can only survive on lemon juice and lettuce for so long before your body’s nutritional needs catch up to you. By depriving yourself completely, you are setting yourself up for a vicious cycle of cravings that will eventually overwhelm your will power and can lead to binge-eating that completely sabotages your efforts.


Simplify the foods you eat by cutting out processed foods and eliminating high-calorie condiments. Instead focus on the flavors of fresh foods and meats by seasoning with sea salt and pepper, fresh herbs and spices, or low-calorie dry rubs. Opt for grilling and roasting foods which brings out more of their natural flavors.

Instead of extreme dieting, work on simplifying your diet, making only minor changes a little at a time. You won’t see big results on the scale as quickly, but the changes you make to your eating habits will be ones you can live with and ones that over time make a big difference.

3. Maximize Your Workouts.

When you are very busy and only have 20-30 minutes a day to devote to exercise if you are lucky, you really need to maximize the time you spend working out. You don’t have the luxury of spending an hour a week on each body part so you need to focus on workouts that allow you to work the most muscles at once in the most effective way.

Circuit Training workouts and HIIT sessions will give you the greatest results in the shortest times. Workouts that utilize compound exercises and supersetting are also great for targeting more muscle groups in less time.



Having a workout plan is especially helpful to saving time as knowing exactly what to do allows you to jump right into your workout and not waste precious time.

Writing down the exercises, the number of reps and how much weight you use will help you plan out your next workout and track your results.

Work out at a high intensity and use heavy weights. Doing a ton of reps with light weights will have some cardio benefits, but if you are looking for physical changes that you can see, resistance training that challenges your muscles will give you greater results.

4. Get Enough Rest, and More Sleep.

Working out for too long, not resting enough between sets, or working the same muscles day after day, are all ways to sabotage your efforts. If you are constantly breaking down muscle with your workouts and not giving your body adequate time to recover and rebuild, then you will not see the results you desire.

Rest days are just as important to building the body you want as workout days. You should not work the same muscle group two days in a row so either rotate which muscle group you target each day, or if you are doing full-body workouts such as circuits, be sure to take rest days between workout days. It is okay to perform light cardio on your rest days, but don’t exert too much energy.

Getting enough sleep is critical to your recovery as this is when your body repairs itself. Also, sleeping revitalizes you and provides you the energy you need to workout at the greatest intensity. If you are sleepy, you will lack energy and focus and your performance in all areas of your life will suffer.

If you even find the strength to get in your workouts, they will be less than optimal. It is better to get enough rest and have a great short workout, then to skip out on sleep and give a partial effort for a longer workout.

5. Rinse and Repeat. Consistency is Key.

Implementing a new diet and exercise regimen is fun and exciting. It is easy to stay motivated when you are first starting out and seeing results. But the key to realizing long-term success in your weight loss goals is not all-out intensity for a few short weeks, but rather a steady consistency and creating new healthier habits for the long haul.

This is why it is so crucial to find a balance between your diet and exercise and your everyday life. You have to make changes that you can sustain and not make sacrifices that you aren’t willing to live with.


Finding ways to stay motivated is also important to experiencing success long-term so we recommended setting new short term goals for yourself that you can continue working for.

With each “win” you will be motivated to set and accomplish another goal and another. The closer you get to your goal, the easier it will become and eventually you won’t have to practice being consistent because exercising and eating better will have become a part of your normal lifestyle and daily habits.

Once you reach your goals and obtain the body you always dreamed of you will find that maintaining your newfound shape is much less difficult than the journey getting there was.

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How to Get A Bigger Chest and Arms

How to Get A Bigger Chest and Arms

It’s easy to get envious of the guys you see with a large and muscular upper body and you may find yourself asking “How can I look like that?”

get a bigger chest and arms
Well there are two basic truths that first need to be understood before we can get into the answer of how to get a bigger chest and arms.


  • First, know that achieving a bigger chest and arms will require a lot of hard work and dedication both in the gym and in the kitchen.

  • Second, understand that many of the guys you see with the figure you are after have been genetically gifted with a larger chest and arms. While you can achieve a more muscular frame than you currently possess, you will still only be able to get larger muscles for YOUR body type.

So, while you may never be as large as that hulking giant in the gym, you will be able to look damn good and be stronger than you have ever been if you commit to doing the work and follow the advice I am providing below.

Going back to the first point, it will take hard work both in lifting and nutrition to get a bigger chest and arms. I’m not going to get into all of the specific lifts that should be done in order to bulk up your muscles. I am simply going to focus on the aspects that will make or break you while completing a muscle building program and what to do to reach your full potential for muscular growth and attaining the body you desire.

(If you are looking for a detailed workout plan to follow to achieve your muscle building goals, we recommend our 12-Week Big Muscle program. Get a free week or become a member and gain instant access to the program.)

Now, for some tips on how to get a bigger chest and arms:

 1. Eat to grow. In order for your muscles to grow, you need to feed them. That means you need to be in      weight gain mode. It only makes sense that since you are trying to gain mass (muscle) you want to gain      weight.

     (On a side note, if you still have plenty of fat to lose, I recommend taking care of that first. That is the      quickest way to make your muscles look bigger and more defined. Check out our fat loss programs for      help with that.)

measure out portions

     In order to know how much food is enough to fuel the growth of your muscles without piling on      unwanted fat, you must know your daily caloric needs and eat to fulfill them without going overboard.

     You can use our Calorie Calculator to find out your daily caloric needs (how much to eat). Simply input      the required information and select your goal (Build Muscle) and the calculator will give you a good      estimate of the number of calories it needs in order to add muscle mass.

     Our calculator will calculate your daily maintenance needs and then will automatically add an additional      500 calories to that number which is what is recommended when aiming to gain muscle mass. In      addition to the 500 calorie surplus to fuel growth, you are going to need to also eat back the calories      that you burn during your workouts.

     For example:

       John’s daily calorie needs before working out is 2000 calories.

       John burns 300 calories during his workout

       John then needs to add the calories he burned in his workout plus 500 calories to fuel his muscles

       2000+300+500= 2800 calories

       John needs to eat 2800 calories to increase in size today.

     *** A great way to track calories is by using the website or app.

     By implementing the above concept, you should steadily increase both your body weight (about one lb      of muscle a week) and your strength.

track your weights
 2. Monitor and track your weights and reps for each workout. When trying to gain muscle mass, the only      way to know if you are eating enough and resting enough is if you track your progress. If you reach a      “plateau” and can’t increase your weight or reps, it generally indicates that you are either working too      hard (too many days or too many sets for a given muscle group) or you are not eating enough.

     If you feel overly fatigued during your workout, try taking an extra day of rest between muscle groups or      increase your rest times between sets. If a 500 calorie increase is not getting you the results it should      be, bump it up another 250-500 calories a day and see if that improves your workouts.

 3. Lift heavy. And by heavy I mean that you should not be able to complete more than 5 or 6 reps of an      exercise in each set. Grab a partner since you will be working hard and will require a spotter.

     Stick to a low rep range (4-6 reps) per set and focus on maintaining proper form for each rep over      quantity. If you can only get in 4 reps using proper form, that is better than attempting to crank out 6      sloppy reps and risking an injury.


proper form

 4. Larger muscle groups such as chest and back need only a handful of sets each workout.  Arms need even      less sets.

     Recommended number of sets:

       Chest - 6 sets

       Back - 8 sets

       Biceps - 3 sets

       Triceps - 5 sets

     Everyone is different but this is a great starting guideline to ensure progress. (Once again, if you are      looking for an exact workout plan designed to maximize lifts and rest schedules, check out our Big      Muscle Workout.)

 5. Lastly, be patient and consistent. This will not happen overnight but you will see progress consistently      if you stay disciplined and strictly monitor your nutrition and lifting schedule. Also, remember that      progress is usually more dramatic in the beginning and will taper off to smaller less immediately      noticeable changes as you get further along in your program.

     If you stop progressing and you are nowhere near your goal, revisit the first two tips. Those are generally      the reasons for a lack of progression and even minor discrepancies in your tracking each day can really      add up, especially as you get closer to your goal. No matter what don’t give up because the work you put      in now will get you the results you desire, even if they feel out of reach from time to time.

Pan-Seared Spice-Rubbed Salmon


Pan-Seared Spice-Rubbed Salmon

Part of our Fat Loss Meal Plan, this Pan-Seared Spice-Rubbed Salmon has just the right balance of spices to draw out the natural flavors in the Salmon without overpowering.

Pan-Seared Spice-Rubbed Salmon

Searing locks in the juices of the fish, leaving you with a deliciously crunchy exterior, and a moist flaky interior. Serve alongside some fragrant Jasmine rice and fresh steamed veggies to round out this dish.



Pan-Seared Spice-Rubbed Salmon - A delicious and simple way to prepare your Salmon for a healthy dinner. - Salmon (with or without skin), Black Pepper (fresh cracked), Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Paprika, Lemon, olive oil (extra virgin), In a small bowl, mix together dried ingredients.; Sprinkle ½ dried mixture across the side of the Salmon without skin. ; Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat until it is warmed but not burning. ; Place filets rubbed-side down in the pan and sear until browned, about 2 minutes.; While the first side is cooking, squeeze the juice of half the lemon over the side of the filets that are facing up (this may be the skin side if your filets are not skinless).; Then sprinkle the remaining dried mixture over the fish as well. ; Once the first side is browned, flip the fish and cook skin-side down until the skin crisps up and the fish is cooked through, about 2-4 minutes longer. ; While the fish finishes cooking, squeeze the juice from the remaining lemon wedge over the tops of the already-browned sides of the fish. ; The fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork and the middle is cooked through. (Internal Temperature should be
140° for safety.)
; - <strong>Calories per serving: 191 Calories, 23 g Protein, 9 g Fat, 4 g Carbs</strong>

Slow Roasted Pork Carnitas


Slow Roasted Pork Carnitas

These delicious slow roasted pork carnitas are great wrapped in a warm tortilla with fresh guacamole. Slow roasting makes the pork super tender and then braising at the end under high temps achieves the crispy browned texture of authentic pork carnitas. Serve with fresh salsa, cilantro, onion, and ripe tomatoes to round out this Mexican dish.

pork carnitas

Slow Roasted Pork Carnitas - Slow roasted instead of fried, this Pork Carnitas recipe is a delicious, healthier take to a traditional Mexican dish. - Pork Shoulder Roast, Coarse Salt (Kosher or Sea Salt), Heat the oven to 375 degrees. ; Cut each slab of pork in half and lay the pieces in a baking dish (they should fit into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish without being crowded). ; Liberally sprinkle with salt (about 1 teaspoon) on all sides. ; Pour 1/3 cup water around the meat, cover tightly with foil, and bake for 1 hour. ; Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees. ; Uncover the meat and using a turkey baster or spoon, pour the liquid over the top of the meat. ; Continue to cook until the liquid has completely reduced and only the rendered fat remains, about 20-30 minutes. ; Now, roast, carefully turning the meat every 7 or 8 minutes, until lightly browned, about 20 minutes longer. ; Break the meat into large pieces and serve on a warm platter, sprinkled with salt.; - <strong>Calories (per serving):</strong> 336 Cal Protein: 44 g Carbs: 0 g Fat: 16 g


Banana Nut Paleo Oatmeal


Paleo Oatmeal

This Banana Nut Paleo Oatmeal is an oat-free alternative to traditional oatmeal is warm comfort food for breakfast. The texture is similar to that of bread pudding and the sweetness of the bananas and the nuttiness of the walnuts add dimension and flavor to this breakfast option. Try topping with a drizzle of maple syrup, fresh berries, or your other favorite oatmeal toppings for added variety.

paleo oatmeal

Paleo "Oatmeal" - Warm, comforting Oat-free "Oatmeal" - egg whites, almond milk (Unsweetened Vanilla), ground flaxseed, banana, cinnamon, crushed walnuts (optional), Mash 1/2 banana and mix with remaining ingredients. ; Cook mixture over medium low heat stirring occasionally until mixture reaches the consistency of oatmeal; about 5 minutes. ; Slice remaining 1/2 banana on top of 'oatmeal,' sprinkle with crushed walnuts and serve.; - <strong>Calories (per serving): </strong>343 kCal Protein: 23 g Carbs: 43 g Fat: 12 g

Egg and Veggie Breakfast Muffins


Egg and Veggie Breakfast Muffins

These Egg and Veggie Breakfast Muffins are a great make-ahead option for busy mornings. Packed full of healthy protein and nutritious veggies these provide a complete breakfast even when you are on the go.


Egg and Veggie Breakfast Muffins - Bake up these easy and delicious Egg and Veggie Breakfast Muffins for a quick, grab-on-the-go healthy breakfast option on busy mornings. - egg whites, whole eggs, bacon, baby spinach, broccoli florets, bell pepper (any color), onion, garlic, In a pan, brown the bacon then remove and set aside. ; Saute chopped broccoli, onion, garlic and bell pepper in bacon grease until tender then toss in the spinach and heat until slightly wilted, remove from heat and toss in a bowl with crumbled bacon. ; Beat together eggs and whites and pour over the veggie mixture, mixing well to fully coat. ; Spoon the egg, veggie and bacon mixture into a greased or lined muffin pan and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.; - <strong>Calories (per serving):</strong> 235 kCal Protein: 19 g Carbs: 5 g Fat: 14 g
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