Merry Fitmas!! … and a healthy new year!

merry fitmas beachbody challenge group 21 day fix 21 days best shape of your life autumn calabrese

What if I told you you could do one round of workouts & clean eating for 21 days —> then enjoy your Thanksgiving 🍗🍴🍂

Do another 21 day round —>  then enjoy your Christmas 🍴🎄🎁….

And ring in the New Year ️looking and feeling fabulous?!! 🎉 🎊 🌟
Would you be interested?

Who’s with me?!🙋🙋
Don’t wait until January to make your health a priority! Let’s get started!!

I am so excited to announce my 28 day “Merry Fitmas” fitness challenge group!

The holidays are fast approaching, which means it’s time to make some changes to your health and fitness. I am inviting you to join my event to learn more about my next group and how you can join me to get in the best shape of your life!

In the group, we will be using the 21 Day Fix to learn about healthy eating, moving our bodies and creating new habits. The first 7 days of the group is prep week (you don’t want to have to start your healthy habits during the week of Thanksgiving, right?!) where we will teach you how to shop for healthy food on a budget, learn how to plan time in your schedule to workout and meal prep and so much more. The last 21 days is when we start to put what we learned in prep week, into action! This is perfect timing for the holidays, as you’ll be feeling GREAT by Christmas!

You will be surrounded by other people who are working towards making healthy changes in their life, too. I can’t say enough about how much the group accountability helps as you go through this journey.

The group will be starting prep week on 11/23, but won’t start the actual eating/exercise plan until 11/30. Over the next few days I’ll be posting in this event to provide information and answer questions. If you have questions, never hesitate to post them in here or send me a message.

I only have TEN AVAILABLE SPOTS for new people in this group. If you’d like to reserve your spot today, comment below, join the facebook event or send me a message and we will go over the details!

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Eating Healthy With Kids

One of the things I hear all of the time as a health and fitness coach is “But what will I feed my family? I don’t want to make them eat what I am eating all the time…”

This has been especially true since the release of the 21 Day Fix. While following the program, you are learning HOW to eat. There are very specific things you can and cannot have, and it can be difficult to incorporate that into your family life, especially if you have picky kids. That is something I have struggled with as well.

21 day fix containers portion sizes control 21dayfix eating healthy with kids how can i

I homeschool so I am with my kids 24/7. And that means they eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack with me every day. Even if I wasn’t trying to follow a specific meal plan like the 21 Day Fix, preparing all those meals for three different picky children can be exhausting.

potatoe and leek pizza homemade picky kids how to eat healthy with kids

So a while back, I came up with a plan. I created a weekly meal plan for them, using healthy foods that they like (and are pretty easy to prepare from scratch). All of their breakfasts, lunches and snacks during the week are preplanned, and they are the same every week. In the morning, when they wake up, I tell them what the meals are for the day.

This actually saves me a ton of time and stress. I do make everything from scratch so I know what goes into it, but I make it up ahead of time because I already know what we will eat.  There is no arguing with my kids about what to eat, or thinking about it, or changing your mind. I’ve included all their favorites on the menu, and things the don’t like as well. So now I know what they are eating for every meal… That means I can plan my food schedule without having to worry about if they will like it or eat it.

Here is an example of what the kids weekly menu looks like:

amy allen fitness downloadable download meal plan for kids breakfast snack lunch dinner healthy wating with kids eating

You can download a blank copy of my Weekly Menu Plan here and plan your own weekly menu!

You may have noticed that the dinners are blank… as you can see above, I print this form off and put it in a plastic sleeve in our kitchen organization center, then I reuse it every week. I have already filled in the things that don’t change, but I leave our family meals blank so I can write them in. I’m not a short order cook, so the family eats whatever I make for dinner… so if I’m following the Ultimate Reset or the 21 Day Fix, everyone else is following that at dinner time as well. If they don’t like it, at least I know they ate during the day.

It’s nice because I can also customize this to my life. You’ll notice we go out to eat twice a week, every week. On Thursdays, we have a homeschool group, so I scheduled food that is quick and easy to pack for lunch.

As a side note, I will say that for years, people have told me that if kids are hungry enough, they will eat whatever you put in front of them.  I’m not saying that’s not true, but I know from my personal experience, it hasn’t worked that way.  My children are stubborn and they will choose not to eat for three days before they will try something they don’t want to.  So for me, this is a great compromise.  They are exposed to new foods at dinner, but the have enough healthy foods during the day that I know they aren’t starving if they choose not to eat what we are having.

So that’s my solution for healthy eating with kids. For my family, this has been one of the best things I have implemented and I hope it helps you!

Amy Allen star diamond coach

Grow your own Egghead Sprouts

After we grew our own organic sprouts a few weeks ago, Madison had the idea to grow eggheads.  I’m not sure where she saw this or how she came up with the idea, but its a great fun way to get your kids excited about eating something healthy and new, like sprouts, and it was a fun project for us to do together… and you know this healthy homeschool mama is always up for fun and messy projects to do with her kids.

Organic Egghead Sprouts

Ingredients:

1 egg

1 tsp organic sprouting seeds

water

all natural cotton

serrated knife

egg dish

markers

bowl

making your own egghead with kids homeschool project organic sprouts

Step One:

Cut the top off your egg.  I’m sure there is a better, more efficient and more practical way to do this, but we just grabbed a serrated knife and literally sawed the top off of our eggs.  And it worked really well.  If you are doing this with kids, you might want to do it for them, and if you are kid reading this, have an adult help you cut the top off.

Step Two: 

Once you have a decent hole in the top of your egg (about 1/5 of the way down the egg), dump the whole egg into a bowl.  You can use it for breakfast.  Now you have an empty but dirty egg.

Step Three:

Rinse the inside of the egg really well.  I suggest using some dish soap – you’re going to be growing something edible, so make sure all the egg is gone.

Step Four:

Dry off your egg and draw a face on it.  We just used regular markers.  If you have an egg dish, that’s really handy, but if not you can cut off a portion of your egg carton to have something to hold you egg while the sprouts grow.  Now you have a pot made out of an eggshell – time to plant your sprouts.

Step Five:

Fill your egg with a bit of all natural damp cotton. It will be mostly full – 3/4 of the way or more – with cotton. Put about a tsp of sprouting seeds on top and pour water over your seeds, then drain it.  The seeds will be very close to the top of the shell.  You want the seeds to be damp but not soaking wet.

Step Six:

Water your seeds for the next few days – sprouts grow in about 2-5 days.  After 2 days our sprouts looked like this:

making your own egghead with kids homeschool project organic sprouts

Remember to keep the seeds/sprouts damp everyday!  After four days, our sprouts looked like this:

making your own egghead with kids homeschool project organic sprouts

So after four days, they were long enough to EAT and enjoy on our salads.  You can pull them out or you can trim the tops and they will keep growing – the “hair” can get very long.  All three of my kids had a fun time pulling the sprouts out of the “head” and at least trying them – it’s fun, it’s healthy, and it’s a memory they will always enjoy.

Amy Allen star diamond coach

Homemade Cleaners

homemade cleanersAs part of my aggressive campaign to cut all chemicals out of my life, when we moved to Oklahoma, I threw out my embarassingly excessive collection of cleaners and narrowed it down to just these four (plus my homemade laundry detergent!).  This has had several huge benefits for me:

      • A large amount of space under my sink and in my laundry room became available.  Since I can use these to clean just about anything I need to, I don’t need a whole bunch of other chemicals!  I just kept these and tossed the rest.
    • I’m not worried about what will happen if one of these accidentally gets ingested.  Sure, dish soap and rubbing alcohol weren’t meant to be ingested but they are better than all those chemicals I can even name on the products I used to use!
        • I’m saving money!  These are very cost-effective to make, since the main ingredient in most of them is vinegar.  The most expensive thing I have been adding is essential oils but since it only takes a few drops, a bottle will last me a really long time.
      • And perhaps the biggest benefit for me – I’m not unnecessarily exposing myself to a bunch of chemicals, which is important to me in my life post cancer.  I’m doing everything in my power to keep my body healthy and one of those things is limiting my exposure to chemicals.

So here are the four cleaners I use on a daily basis to keep my house spic and span!  The bottles I use (which I bought from Wal-Mart for just a few dollars) hold more than 32 ounces, so I normally make up that much at a time but you could cut the recipe in half depending on the size of your bottle.

Granite Cleaner

  • 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol
  • 6 drops of dish soap
  • 5-10 drops of an essential oil
  • About 3 1/2 cups of water

Granite is a tricky surface to clean, and it doesn’t like the acid in a more traditional vinegar based cleaner.  This is a good alternative and it really makes the counters shine without destroying them.

Glass Cleaner

  • 2 c. rubbing alcohol
  • 2 c. water
  • 4 Tbsp vinegar
  • 5-10 drops of an essential oil

There are a lot of glass cleaner recipes out there, but this one was fairly simple and it works great.  I saw a few that used cornstarch and apparently that works very well but it concerns me that would gunk up your spray bottle, so I went with this and am very happy with it.  I use it to clean my windows and mirrors as well as the glass top on my stove.

All-Purpose Cleaner

  • 2 c. water
  • 2 c. vinegar
  • 5-10 drops of an essential oil

If you only make one of the cleaners I am recommending, it should be this one.  I use it for, well, everything that isn’t granite or glass, so most of my house.  I use white vinegar (I’ve seen some recipes that call for apple cider vinegar, but I like it better with the white).  The essential oils help mask the vinegar smell but it goes away pretty quickly without any help.

My “Secret Sauce”

  • 2 c. dish soap
  • 2 c. hot vinegar – it has to be warm!

This is my secret weapon.  It is perfect for hard to clean things – I use it for my sink (I have a copper sink so it’s tricky to keep clean!) and for the tub and my glass shower door.  It can clean ANYTHING.  No really.  I don’t know what to call it, since it’s not really designed to clean something specific… but it’s great to have in your arsenal.

If you want a recommendation for an organic dish soap to use in making your cleaners, I would recommend this one – Earth Friendly Products Dishmate.  I like the almond scent but there are several choices.

As far as essential oils go, I don’t use the same oil in each bottle.  You could – I just like the variety.  You can use whatever you have on hand, but for me, I use Young Living Oils.  They are one of the highest quality oils available on the market – many of them are ingestible.  I add Thieves to my all-purpose cleaner, Purification to my granite cleaner, and Lemon to my glass cleaner.  I don’t add any to the secret sauce, since the dish soap I use already has a scent.

As far as my floors go (I’m sure someone will have this question!), I use a steam mop with just really hot water.  If I find a stubborn spot, I will clean it by hand with my all-purpose cleaner (we have tile floors).

So there you have it – my homemade cleaner line up, along with my Homemade Laundry Detergent – it’s all I need to keep my house healthy and clean!

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