Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tips for Weekly Meal Planning

Woman cutting up veggies after doing her weekly meal planning.
Weekly meal planning is important for a healthy, active lifestyle - especially when you have a whole family to feed!

Tip #1: It WILL take time.  
I know we all hope there’s a magic trick to snap your fingers and the weekly meal planning would be done. I wish! But I’m sorry to say it does not happen that way. So, you will need to set apart some time to sit down, plan the meals and do the grocery shopping. If necessary, I recommend finding a babysitter once a week so you can fully concentrate on the task.

Tip #2: Choose Themes.
You can choose themes for particular days, like Mexican Food Monday, Soup Sunday, etc. It is much easier to find a recipe you will love if you have a particular category to look for. Weekly meal planning is made easy when planning is involved!

Tip #3: Plan Before You Shop.
Make sure you’ve done your weekly meal planning before you shop. This way, you can have an exact list of items you need to eliminate spending extra time and money at the store. Try to prep food right away when you return from the grocery store; this will save you time once you start cooking.

Tip #4: Keep it Simple.
Choose simple recipes when doing your weekly meal planning, especially at the beginning. Reserve the complicated recipes for the days you have company or for special celebrations. Simple is still delicious!

Tip #5: Keep a Journal.
Keep track of what you have already had for meals before and give them a rating based on how well you and your family enjoyed the meal. Then, you can check back on the list while doing your weekly meal planning for ideas and inspiration. You could also encourage your family members to submit requests of what kinds of foods they would like included in the planning.

Tip #6: Use the Freezer.
You can put leftovers and meals that are a few days away in the freezer. This will eliminate clutter in your refrigerator and give you extra options in case you end up feeding extra people or just need to eat an extra snack in between meals.

Tip #7: Don’t forget about the snacks.
Plan a couple snacks a week and make batches of them to last the whole week. It’s always a good idea to keep some snacks on hand at all times too, just in case. Fruits, veggies and nuts are my favorite snacks to have around when it’s time to snack on something that’s not in the meal plan.

Tip #8: Do Your Research.
There are a lot of online resources that can help you with recipes and plans, here are a couple that I found:

Weekly meal planning does take some effort, but implementing these tips will help you make the most of your meals to keep you and your family healthy. Let the weekly meal planning begin!

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Multitasking - Quick Exercises For the Busy Mom

Woman walking on a treadmill practicing a quick exercise.
Being a mom is so time-consuming, so I’ve put together a few ideas for incorporating quick exercises into your daily routine. These are great because they don’t take out any extra time from your day but are an easy way to stay fit and healthy. Even if you do have a scheduled workout time during your day, these are great to keep pushing the limits in fitness!

  • Legs: For quick exercises to tone the legs during your busy day, do a squat with a heel raiser every time you have to pick something up. Make sure you have the proper form with your chest up and back straight on the squat and push your heels as high into the air as possible with the heel raiser. You can also do this while doing more static activities like blow drying your hair or in between each bite while feeding your child.

  • Arms: There are a multitude of opportunities to work out your arms during daily activities. Every time you need to carry something heavy, do a bicep curl with it or lift it over your head to work on your shoulder muscles. This is especially good to do when putting away groceries or books. You can also put your arms out to the side and do medium sized arm circles with straight arms - these are perfect quick exercises to do while waiting for the microwave to be done or when supervising your children on activities they don’t need help with, such as brushing their teeth or combing their hair.

  • Core: You can activate your core muscles with pretty much any activity, especially ones where you are standing up, like sweeping the floor and walking. Simply squeeze your abdominal and buttocks muscles. While you are sitting, you can do quick exercises by engaging your core and holding your feet up or doing leg lifts. You can also take any moment that you are standing up to balance on one leg to flare up the core muscles. Just remember to keep breathing!

  • Cardio: With kids, cardio is easy. Challenge your children to a race in the yard or to pick up the toys. For additional quick exercises, you can try running up and down the stairs fast 2 or 3 times instead of just walking up once, it will take the same amount of time but you will get a nice cardio workout in. And my favorite cardio activity - dance! Dance all the time, whether you are cooking, cleaning, in the office or on a walk. Fitness and fun work better together!

  • Flexibility: You can also use quick exercises to work on your flexibility. Bend forward and try to touch your toes whenever you have to pick something up off the floor and make yourself twist and reach for things to stretch your muscles.

I can attest to the busy lifestyle that comes with motherhood, but there are always opportunities to work on fitness! Get into gear with these tips on incorporating quick exercises into your daily activities. These are also great to supplement the workouts you may already be doing. Don’t forget to check out our awesome Beachbody fitness programs to learn more about specifically designed workouts.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Delightful Fall Foods: The Pumpkin

A pile of fall foods including pumpkins!
It is no doubt that fall is a delicious time of year. The time when social media is flooded with those inviting photos of pumpkin spiced lattes, delicious pies and other beverages and fall foods. So let’s talk about one of the main contributors to awesome fall foods: the pumpkin.

What is a Pumpkin? A pumpkin is a squash plant that grows on a vine and is used for fall foods and recreation. It is also a common object of tradition, such as jack-o-lanterns for Halloween, pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving and pumpkin spiced lattes to kick-off the fall season.

What are the uses of a pumpkin?

  • Growing/Picking!
You can grow your own pumpkins or head to the nearest pumpkin patch to pick out your own freshly grown pumpkin for the freshest fall foods. All About Pumpkins has a great guide on how to grow pumpkins depending on growing conditions and intended use of the pumpkins.

Pumpkin patches are fun family activities and often include extra activities for you to enjoy like hayrides, gift shops with fall foods, corn mazes or petting zoos so you can make a fun family day out of it!

  • Eating!
Pumpkins are delicious to eat and are low in calories and high in antioxidant vitamins like A, C and E. Primally Inspired has an awesome list of top clean pumpkin recipes for you to try and you can find tons of other recipes all over the internet. You can toast pumpkin seeds for a delicious snack and add it to your collection of fall foods. And if you haven’t already, check out my healthy version of a pumpkin spice latte!

  • Carving!
When we’re not using pumpkin in our fall foods, there is the good old Halloween tradition of carving pumpkins and lighting a candle in them to make a jack-o-lantern. It’s a fun activity to do with the family, just don’t give the kids a difficult carving pattern to follow or you will end up doing all the work!

  • Chunkin!?
In my quest to learn all about pumpkins, I discovered a new use for pumpkins that I previously did not know about - punkin chunkin. It’s basically launching pumpkins from a catapult or catapult-like device to see how sturdy it is. There is even a Punkin Chunkin world championship! Personally, I prefer eating or carving pumpkins but whatever floats your boat!

Finally, I’d like to leave you with some fun pumpkin facts that I found at http://www.pumpkinfresh.com/facts.htm:

● Pumpkins are 90 percent water.

● Eighty percent of the pumpkins supply in the United States is available in October.

● Colonists sliced off pumpkin tips; removed seeds and filled the insides with milk, spices and honey. This was baked in hot ashes and is the origin of pumpkin pie.

● Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites.

● The largest "official" pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,340 pounds.

The joys of fall are upon us and the pumpkin is a significant factor in the delight of fall foods, beverages and activities. I hope you get to enjoy the diverse uses of a pumpkin this fall!
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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Inspiration for the Day - a Collection of Inspiring Quotes to Inspire Your Days

Inspiration for the day written in beautiful calligraphy.
Your inspiration for the day is here! I’ve compiled seven daily doses of inspirational quotes for your fit and healthy lifestyle. Let these knowledgeable nuggets inspire your days, morning, afternoon and evening!

Inspiration for the day - Monday
Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.” - John Wooden

“Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.”  - Plato

If you are not willing to risk the usual you will have to settle for the ordinary.” - Jim Rohn

Inspiration for the day - Tuesday
“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” - Walt Disney

“Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” - Edward Stanley

“Opportunities don't happen, you create them.” - Chris Grosser

Inspiration for the day - Wednesday
“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life - think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.” - Swami Vivekananda

“I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” - Thomas Jefferson

“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” - Buddha

Inspiration for the day - Thursday
“The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body. The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results.” - Anthony Robbins

Energy and persistence conquer all things.” – Benjamin Franklin

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” - Jim Rohn

Inspiration for the day - Friday
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” - Jim Rohn
“The greatest wealth is health.”  - Virgil
“It’s never too late to become what you might have been.” – George Elliot

Inspiration for the day - Saturday
“To insure good health: eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life.” - William Londen

“Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” – Harriet Beecher Stowe

“In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties.” –  Henri- Frederic Amiel
Inspiration for the day - Sunday
“I still need more healthy rest in order to work at my best. My health is the main capital I have and I want to administer it intelligently.” – Ernest Hemingway

“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” – John F. Kennedy

“Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” - John D. Rockefeller

Inspiration for the day - A Little Extra

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” - Michael John Bobak

I hope you are as inspired as I am be reading all of these nuggets of wisdom from some really inspiring people. Never give up on the healthy lifestyle!

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Friday, October 10, 2014

Bullet proof Hot Chocolate

Fall is here in PA, Winding and chilly at times but, beautiful watching the leaves change colors. I was having a craving for something warm and chocolately. I have been avoiding dairy and avoid artificial flavors like the plague. I have loved the effects of drinking my bullet proof coffee every morning and gave this a go last weekend.  DELICIOUS!!!


1/2 cup filtered water
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
2 tbsp pastured butter
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
dash cinnamon

1. Bring water and coconut to a boil in a small saucepan.
2. Mix together with the remaining ingredients in a small mixing bowl.
3. Blend with emersion blender or hand mixer until frothy
4. Transfer to your favorite mug and ENJOY!

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Pittsburgh Beachbody Super Saturday

Pittsburgh Leadership Council, Beachbody, Coach Training, Melanie Mitro, Top Coach, Elite, Success, Events

This past weekend the Pittsburgh Leadership Council hosted a quarterly Super Saturday event at the Sheraton in Station Square.  We had over 300 people attend this event including coaches, guests, friends and family. This event is open to anyone who wants to learn more about what being a Beachbody Coach is all about and it's for those that are already coaches and want to learn tips, tools, and strategies to grow their businesses.  
Pittsburgh Leadership Council, Beachbody, Coach Training, Melanie Mitro, Top Coach, Elite, Success, Events

Super Saturday is a corporate sponsored event where they talk about the upcoming product launches like Insanity Max30 and the 21 Day Fix Extreme and P90.  They also discussed the brand new leadership retreat for 2 Star Diamond Coaches in January to LA.  There was amazing coach training on growing your contact list and creating consistency in your business plus awesome success stories of coaches who have taken their lives and completely turned it around with their coaching experience.  Then, the Pittsburgh leadership council added a few special twists to the event.  We had 2 guest speakers share their transformation stories of how Beachbody fitness programs have made a difference in their lives and then we ended the event with a live group workout that was an Insanity/Piyo hybrid by our very own Pittsburgh Master Trainer, Kam Niskach.  

So what is the Leadership Council?  The Leadership council is a group of coaches who have been selected by corporate to represent the entire region.  We make decision about what trainings this region needs, what events to host and we plan all of the Super Saturday's for our area.  This is a volunteer position and we do conference calls on a regular basis to organize and plan these events.  It is something that we are always looking for new leadership with! Every 6 months this council is re elected to keep it fresh.
Super Saturday, Pittsburgh, Leadership, Melanie Mitro, Pittsburgh Coach
Pittsburgh Leaders

For this super saturday we did a black and gold theme and decided to offer some training from our market council on topics such as creating your power hour, vision, belief, challenge groups, developing your marketing strategy, consistency and making your fitness your business.  We did 10 minute power sessions and it was truly a great morning!  I could see everyone taking notes, asking questions and getting pumped for how to implement these things.  

Here are some of the slides that were presented at the event:  GREAT STUFF!!!!

Pittsburgh Leadership Council, Beachbody, Coach Training, Melanie Mitro, Top Coach, Elite, Success, Events

We discussed the daily power hour for one of our sessions. Each coach comes from a different background and most coaches actually work other full time jobs outside of Beachbody.  So time management becomes one of the most important things you can focus on when it comes to building your business.  At each level of the business you focus on different activities.  Outlined at the Coach, Emerald and Diamond level are some ideas of what to focus on during your power hour.
Pittsburgh Leadership Council, Beachbody, Coach Training, Melanie Mitro, Top Coach, Elite, Success, Events

Pittsburgh Leadership Council, Beachbody, Coach Training, Melanie Mitro, Top Coach, Elite, Success, Events

The key to having success with managing your time is staying FOCUSED!  You also have to remember that sacrifice is going to happen.  You just can't do it all!  You only have so many hours in the day.  So make your priority list, have a check list and use your work hours AS work hours!!!
Pittsburgh Leadership Council, Beachbody, Coach Training, Melanie Mitro, Top Coach, Elite, Success, Events

Pittsburgh Leadership Council, Beachbody, Coach Training, Melanie Mitro, Top Coach, Elite, Success, Events

Pittsburgh Leadership Council, Beachbody, Coach Training, Melanie Mitro, Top Coach, Elite, Success, Events

I am so incredibly blessed by my amazing DREAM TEAM!  It's pretty awesome to have some seriously talented leaders right here in Pittsburgh by my side.  Below are myself and 3 other  ELITE COACHES.  I am absolutely so proud of each of their accomplishments as coaches.  I get to not only work with my best friends but I get to help them succeed too!  I sat in that front row and was just really excited to watch them speak and see their teams show up and go all in!

Pittsburgh Leadership Council, Beachbody, Coach Training, Melanie Mitro, Top Coach, Elite, Success, Events, Dream Team, Elite
The Dream Team Elite Coaches

It's funny because as I think back to over very first Pittsburgh Super Saturday we only had about 30 people there.  Now we can easily bring in over 200 people to an event!  I also think about how small my team was when we started and now we take over the stage when we do a group photo!  Check out this amazing family of wonderful ROCK STARS! Each and every coach in this picture truly cares about being a coach because they love helping others.  We DESIRE to INSPIRE people to live healthy and fulfilling lives.  That is the BEST feeling in the world to know that we are HERE for ALL the RIGHT REASONS!!!!
Pittsburgh Leadership Council, Beachbody, Coach Training, Melanie Mitro, Top Coach, Elite, Success, Events
The Pittsburgh Dream Team

Its funny to look back and the little Alyssa Schomaker who was looking for a solution to get rid of her baby weight! Who would of thought I would be up on stage talking to hundreds of people about how to lead by example, inspire others to reach their goals and grow a business that can support your family!

It's crazy how it all works out!  I'm going with it!

If you live close to Pittsburgh I invite you to join us for the next Super Saturday event, January 10th 2015 in Pittsburgh PA! Details to come!

We are always expanding our DREAM TEAM and if you feel that Beachbody Coaching is something that you would like more information on please don't hesitate to reach out and contact me for information!
Here is my link to the form that will give you more information on coaching. HERE
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