My Two Favorite Chicken Recipes to Throw in the Crockpot

Wednesday, December 30, 2020



If someone would have told me that I'd be craving Crockpot chicken every day, I would have thought they were crazy! However, I've really grown to love it, and I actually look forward to eating it every single day.

I work from home, so (shhh...), I don't really meal prep. However, the one thing that's always readily made in Tupperware is my Crockpot chicken.. and I pull it out of the fridge often.

I have two variations that go in the Crockpot, and both of them are super simple to make, and super easy to mix up in different meals throughout the week! 

Lets take a look at the two recipes below:




#1
My Variation of Crack Chicken (shown above)


  • 1 Ranch Packet
  • 1/2 Buffalo Sauce Bottle

4 Hours on High (Shred at 3:30)


I don't add the cream cheese because I prefer to know how much is going into each individual meal. I also do a lot of meals with cheddar cheese or no cheese at all, so leaving it out allows for more variety throughout the week. However, general crack chicken is made with cream cheese as well if you want to throw it in with the above! I recommend the reduced fat cream cheese if it's available at your local grocery store.


#2
Salsa Chicken


  • 1 cup Salsa (Mild)
  • 1 Taco Seasoning Packet

4 Hours on High (Shred at 3:30)


Both of these are super easy to make in the beginning of the week, and easy to grab if you need a quick meal during the day. I have lots of variations on my Instagram and Facebook feeds, and will share some of my favorite chicken meals here soon! Let me know if you decide to try one of these Crockpot meals! 





5 Reasons Why You Need to Add Power Abs to Your Workout Routine!

Sunday, December 27, 2020


*DISCLOSURE: I'm an ambassador of Pearce Pointers, which at no additional cost to you, allows me to earn commission when you purchase using my links. However, all information above is my own review of the program, a program in which I purchased on my own. Thank you in advance for your support of my blog. I know you're going to love her programs! 

There aren't too many programs I immediately jump on board to promote, but Kari Pearce's Power Abs programming checks all the boxes!

I had been back in the gym for a couple of years post baby, and I still wasn't performing some of the movements as best as I knew I could. And with CrossFit, you're training it all, so I wanted a program specifically geared to strengthen my core so all of my movements would improve. My motivation was to perform better in the gym, but my abs sure are prettier to look at now too. 😄

If you're not familiar with Kari, she's a six time CrossFit Games participant, and the first woman in the US to stand on the CrossFit Games podium in 2020 since 2014. She's badass, and has some of the most amazing abs to back up the incredible program she launched. And the original Power Abs programming has been so successful that she now has multiple programs and an eating plan available!

Whether you're considering doing it for esthetics or performance, she has the programs to get them in to tip top shape! However, I didn't realize all that I was getting by purchasing this program, and I want to make sure it's not a secret to you. Here's my top five reasons for doing a Kari Pearce Power Abs program:


1. You Pay Once for the Program, and it's Yours! 

So many digital programs today are subscription based, meaning you pay monthly to utilize them. Not this one, and that makes it extremely attractive. She has many different sales throughout the year, making it usually around $1/day for one month (and free the rest of the time you use it). Honestly, trying this program is a serious no brainer.


2. There's Two Videos per Workout- One to Review Movements, One for the Actual Workout!

I love that before you actually start the workout, she has a quick video tutorial of how to do each movement. Genius! Once the workout begins, you already know what to do and can complete it at the speed you desire. And if you do it multiple times, you don't have to watch the intro. She does a quick "what's in the workout" on the screen for a couple seconds before you begin. 


3. There's Multiple Levels

Each program is different, but at minimum there will be a level one and two (meaning you can bounce between the movements based on your initial abilities, or you can complete the whole program at level one, and continue doing level two, etc.). Programs such as Summer Power Abs have three levels (and I have yet to even come close to mastering level three.. or anywhere close).


4. There's Multiple Programs

Since becoming an ambassador, Kari has really rounded out her programming to make sure everyone has an ab program that meets the person where they're at. There's Power Abs for Moms, Power Abs, Summer Power Abs, Extreme Power Abs, etc. So on top of different levels included with each one, there's also multiple Power Abs programs available to try. I'd be lying if I said most stop at one. 


5. The Community you Receive is Hands Down the Best!

I save this one for last, because I truly didn't know how much this would impact my every day life. Our ab community is filled with people at every level, every walk of life, every country. We all come together to cheer people on, celebrate success, cheer for Kari at the CrossFit Games and learn tips on how we all accomplish our Power Abs, so others can learn and be inspired.

If you could benefit from a strengthened core, or maybe your goal next year is to have a six pack, you HAVE to check out her programs! I'm an avid CrossFitter, so I started with Summer Power Abs, and I feel like it meets me where I'm at. If you're active and just need to tone up your abs, I would start with her original program, Power Abs. It's five different workouts, and comes with a 30-day calendar on how to complete the program.



Imagine Having a Six Pack 30 Days from Today!

👇👇👇

- 10 MINUTES A DAY

- 30 DAYS

- 0 EQUIPMENT NEEDED

- CAN BE DONE ANYWHERE, ANYTIME


Current Power Abs Programs (all links include a 50% discount on the program):


Intro to Power Abs

Power Abs (the Original) Program

Power Abs 2.0

Power Abs for Moms 

Summer Power Abs

Extreme Power Abs

Power Abs in the Kitchen

Power Glutes

Power Legs NEW!

Perfect Pull-Up

Partner Power Abs


Feel free to comment or send me a message if you have any questions at all. I'd be happy to help! 






Macro Egg Breakfast for One

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Breakfast has always been one of my favorite meals! You can be certain that I'm never missing the first meal of the day. Recently, it's been all about eggs! I love eggs, because it's really easy to throw in a bunch of egg whites and still have it taste good! It's also very macro friendly, and you can substitute here or there if you want to throw in bacon, veggies, etc. 😍


How I Make My Egg Breakfast


I first spray the pan, and stick it right on the scale. I've learned that this cuts down on dishes and time to get it to the stove. I highly recommend you do the same!

Next, I start with the egg whites to make sure I have the right amount. It takes up most of the pan, so don't be alarmed if they are new to you. 

Then I add my token egg (darn fats won't allow for more)!

From here I switch it up with seasonings, but I always add a dash of salt, flip them and add a sprinkle of cheese at the end. I also double toast my English Muffins. They taste better that way since I don't have enough fats for regular butter generally.


Macro Egg Breakfast for One


- Egg Whites
- One Egg
- Salt/Pepper
- Sprinkle of Cheese
- English Muffin
- I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spray

That's it! Start with the whole egg and adjust your egg whites, cheese and carbs accordingly.


Sample Breakfast with My Current Macros (as an example)


P: 30g
F: 10g
C: 35g

Cheese                        0.7oz
Eggs (whole)             1.8oz
Eggs (whites)             5.1oz
English Muffins         1.9 oz

This has been my go-to breakfast for so many mornings that I can do this one in my sleep. Let me know if you decide to give it a try!






Only Five Grams of Fat? No Problem.

Sometimes it takes a little creativity to get your macros just right. I know, because I've been there.. quite a few times. Sometimes you're looking at meal macros thinking 'how on Earth am I going to hit these just right'? Especially when you're stuck with numbers like 5g of fat and needing what seems like a million grams of protein and carbs (okay, I'm exaggerating a little bit, but it's pretty off balanced).

Let's take my meal this evening for instance. My 8 p.m. meal macros look like this:

Protein: 30g
Fat: 5g
Carbs: 35g

One may question how to get SO much protein and carbs, but with such little fat. 

Here's what I had this evening:

5g of Fat Meal


Greek Yogurt (1.2 cups)
1 bag Trader Joe's Kettle Corn
1.3 oz Blueberries
0.2 oz Honey
Topped with Chocolate Donut and Buttery Cinnamon Roll seasoning

Sounds terrible? I didn't think so. 😊
Don't overcomplicate macros. I promise there's something that fits exactly what you need (and will still be tasty).

Let me know if you end up trying this one!




Healthy Low Carb Pizza Recipe (Macro Pizza for One)


I've got really creative with my meals over the last few months, so I wanted to share with you some of my favorites! 

First on the list, PIZZA! I mean, who doesn't love pizza?! I've made so many variations lately, I honestly can't even count. But that's the best thing about making your own pizza.. it's very macro friendly, and can suit someone in fat loss, massing or maintenance. 


How I Make My Pizza


The pizza crust is pita bread. I've done the pita bread at Trader Joes, Safeway and ultimately continue buying a fluffy dough like version at my local market. Whatever kind you find should work!

Next up is the tomato paste. I've been doing Pizza Squeeze lately. It's just easy and stores in the fridge easily. 

I then pile on the seasonings.. garlic salt and Italian seasoning! 

Then comes the cheese, which is usually a blend that I grab from my local Costco Wholesale location. It's easy and works with many of my meals, so I always have it on hand. 

From here, the rest is really up in the air. Lately (like this whole week) I've been adding chicken, pineapple and red onion. It's amazing, and the only downside is that I can't have more. 😀


Macro Pizza for One

  • Pita Bread
  • Tomato Paste
  • Garlic Salt
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Cheese
  • Chicken
  • Pineapple
  • Red Onion

That's it, super easy! 




PIN ME FOR LATER

I hope you love this healthy low carb pizza recipe as much as I do! When you try it out, I'd love for you to comment below to tell me what you thought. You can also tag me on Instagram @dumbbellsnotblonde.


Don't forget to share with me how you made your macro pizza if you did something different below. I'd love to try your version as well!


The best compliment to say thank you for my post is to comment, share or pin! Thanks again for stopping by! 







View more meals here

My Top 7 Tips for Completing Your First Successful Fat Loss Phase! (2021)

*This page contains Amazon affiliate links for your convenience. If you purchase a product through one of them, I will receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you). For more information, here's a link to my terms of use.


Hi friends! 👋

I can't believe I'm writing this, but I JUST successfully completed my first fat loss phase cut, 100% compliant! If you're keeping track, that's 85 days through Halloween, Thanksgiving and a majority of the Christmas season.

Now I've had a few fat loss cycles prior, all resulting in some type of event or outing where I just gave in. Or maybe I went in wanting to be compliant the majority of the time, but wanted a few meals per week to splurge. If you're like this too, I get it! It's hard to mentally prepare yourself 100% of the time for what you're eating. It's hard to bring a small dinner and protein bar to a surprise party, or your large kitchen scale on vacation. And yes, these are things I did to remain focused and on track. Nothing was getting in my way this time. But what I didn't know until I did it fully, is how much more food you get when you're compliant. I didn't want to cheat myself with one meal, because I already knew what that next week would look like if I did. Have you heard of going into the hole before? If not, let me just tell you that it's awful. Let me also tell you that I didn't experience it once throughout this cut.

A lot of people have congratulated me, and followed up with "how did you do it"? Because of this, I wanted to provide my top seven tips for a successful fat loss phase.


1. Mentally Prepare Yourself, and really know your WHY


I know this sounds so simple, but this is a challenge. Challenges are made to test you, your patience, your perseverance, whether or not you can finish. Although this one isn't geared around a quick endurance race- don't discount it being very similar. It's longer. There's more room for error. There's more room for people to question you, and steer you away from what you're doing. There's more temptation involved. There's more time to lose focus.

My personal why? I knew I'd feel better around my pre-baby weight, and I knew I'd perform better in the gym too (it's a lot easier to do a strict pull-up at 135 pounds vs 150). Successfully finishing a cut meant that I would be able to successfully eat things that I love again, but also maintain a new lower weight that would also get me closer to my lifestyle goals. Give a little to have a whole lot more.

My Top 7 Tips for Completing Your First Successful Fat Loss Phase


2. Create Your Daily Skeleton


I can't stress this enough! Write out a full day of meals (for me four), and eat the same shit every single day. Get comfortable with it, enjoy it. I'm not saying eat chicken four times a day either.

My daily skeleton was very simple, and I suggest you do the same. I do egg whites, one egg and an English muffin in the morning. I do Greek yogurt with blueberries, granola and honey after WOD/lunch. I do chicken, cheese and bread for dinner. For my bedtime meal, I usually do a protein bar and either chicken or yogurt to meet my protein. (I post a lot of my meals on my Instagram if you want to take a look.)

My Top 7 Tips for Completing Your First Successful Fat Loss Phase


3. Venture One Meal on the Weekend at a Time


If you're looking at me like I'm crazy for saying you should eat the same thing every day, I get it. I ventured plenty, trust me- but not in the beginning. Not before I started seeing progress, not before I felt comfortable with what a typical meal looked like each time and day. Right now, I have an idea of what I need for all four meals. If I swap the gym at noon for later in the day, I know the routine and macros so well that I don't even need to update my schedule anymore. You'll get there, but not the first week. Allow yourself to be a beginner, to really see how much protein you need, make grocery shopping easy and slowly replace things here and there when need be.

My Top 7 Tips for Completing Your First Successful Fat Loss Phase


4. Have Your Fat Loss Trick Food and Drinks!


You will have cravings. I repeat, you are human and will want other food throughout an 85 day period. This is completely normal. I'm a corporate professional, and the second half of my day (the slower portion of my day), I am always hungry. I refer to it more to when you're bored on the couch and think you need chips or crackers. That's where I pull in my tricks and get myself to the next meal. (I share a lot of these on Instagram if you want to take a look.)

My Top 7 Tips for Completing Your First Successful Fat Loss Phase



5. Weigh Yourself Wednesday and Fridays


Ah, another super important one! I used to weigh myself every day, and every day that dang scale would move. I'd enter it in, and my graph would be all over the place. Sound familiar? What if you followed the process and use a couple weigh ins just to make sure your macros are on track?

This may be one of the better decisions I've made, as I no longer focus on the scale, but how I'm feeling, looking and really trusting the process. I know we're talking all fat loss cut success right now, but in maintenance I actually scale it down to one day a week! 

My Top 7 Tips for Completing Your First Successful Fat Loss Phase


6. Accountability


Another one of my favorites, which is why it's on the list! If people know what you're doing, you're more likely to do it. Right? I didn't have a big cheerleader when I first started my program, or the second... or third. I didn't have anyone really rooting me on, doing the same things or even accepting really what I was doing. "Why can't you just have one hamburger and fries, it's not going to hurt you?" would be a normal response I would get in the beginning. Have you heard something similar?

I decided to create a group of similar interests for myself, and put my story and progress on the line. Did I know all of these people? Some of them, most of them not. However, their daily goals were similar to mine, so I created an environment that was positive for me. They would also work out, they would too eat healthy.. and when I posted a Friday check-in, they were celebrating WITH me, encouraging me and were genuinely excited for me to finish on top. It motivated me, made me want to try harder and provided the community I was looking for. If you don't have this and are looking for it, message me so I can help!

My Top 7 Tips for Completing Your First Successful Fat Loss Phase


7. You Need a Plan, Period (and a Backup)


I'm a natural planner, so this one was easy for me. I also realize this may not come second nature for some. I put together a plan. In my planner, I wrote out days 1-85. I saw that my fat loss phase went over Halloween, a surprise birthday party, Thanksgiving and our only vacation of the year. Going back to the first item on the list, I mentally prepared myself for the long haul, the dates that would be different and honed in on what I needed to do. There was plenty of days where I could have easily been knocked off course. I planned eggs for our vacation breakfast, and our outdoor stove didn't cooperate (my only fast food the entire 85 days, and the first time I used the restaurant options to figure out what I could eat). I ate half of a sausage breakfast burrito from McDonald's, rushed to the store and finished the rest of my protein macros with yogurt. But I stayed on plan. My scale died on me (like completely), and I had to use my purse backup. It completely saved me for a day, and I recommend having one on hand! My program had a big update in the middle of my cut, and as a creature of habit, it threw me off a bit. Like I said, plenty of opportunities for me to throw in the towel and do something different. I stayed 100% on course, and I owe a lot to having a plan and backup.

My Top 7 Tips for Completing Your First Successful Fat Loss Phase


The hard part for me is now done! Do I have a bit more fat loss to go? Maybe 5-10 more pounds, but I definitely won't need a full 85 day phase to get there. It's all small changes and mini cuts from here on out, and I couldn't be more excited. Here's where I landed:

September 21st starting weight: 154.7 pounds

December 15th ending weight: 133.2 pounds

Hopefully this post is encouraging and really helps you to see that it IS possible to successfully complete a fat loss phase. Let me know which tips above you love in the comments below!


Ready for your turn? 

Click here to read why I love the RP Diet App!


Click here to read my Five Favorite Items for Fat Loss


To start your own journey, download the app here.





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Please read my full affiliate disclosure under terms of use for more information.

Carrying Extra Weight? I Can Relate!

Friday, December 25, 2020


I'm not a naturally thin person. I've had to work super hard to get to where I am, and if you're reading this, I'm guessing you'll need to too! I don't share my year of transformation for me (because I'm honestly disgusted just looking at any of my initial photos). I share this so you can see what's possible. I want you to hear how easy it was for me to put on the weight, and how long it really took for me to take it off. This is taking you off my highlight reel and letting you into a side of me that I'm honestly not the proudest of, the disgusting weight I held onto for too many years. However, this is where I started in 2020, at 164.2 pounds. 😥

Let's take a quick look at how I got here, and a quick glimpse into what I'll be sharing moving forward.


GAINING WEIGHT THROUGH PREGNANCY


I had my first child a couple of days after my 33rd birthday, and the second at age 35. Now, I was heavier going into my second pregnancy, but ended around the same weight with both. Neither time I was weighed coming into the hospital (and before pumping pitocin into my body on a drip system), but I was right around 200 pounds. That's a lot for my tiny petite frame! I was a size 0 at 32, and at my heaviest weight ever of 145 pounds when I found out I was initially pregnant... and I didn't hit that weight again until 2020. If you're counting, that's almost six years. 😬


Carrying Extra Weight, I Can Relate!


MY YEAR OF TRANSFORMATION


In 2020, I started the year at 164.2 pounds. I know, because I was motivated (by money) to do a DietBet Challenge. I can do a full post on this experience if you're interested, but basically I lost 11.5 pounds and won. Y'all, these pictures make me sick just looking back at. I was so heavy, I wasn't consistent with my eating, I wasn't motivated at all. I may be where you're at right now (and I'm so happy you're here!).

Sometimes it's easy to view everyone's highlight reel of success and feel like you can't relate. That these types of results just aren't possible for you. I've said this many times, and honestly it was my way of being okay with where I was at. It was my way of avoiding the work, admitting that I wasn't trying, etc.... you get the point. My family and career was front and center, and I wasn't prioritizing me at all. Like, none.

As I'm typing this, I'm currently sitting at 133 pounds. I can't even believe it! Did it happen overnight? Absolutely not. It took me a WHOLE YEAR (saying this extra loud for the people in the back!) to make a 30.5 pound difference. I tried different techniques, different foods, different motivation. In the end, I found what worked best for me, and I have a great game plan for the upcoming year. I was realistic, and didn't shoot for all the stars at once, I was patient and consistent. I found what truly works for me, and that excites me.

You may be asking if I've hit my overall goal this year, and the answer is actually no. I feel my best between 125-130 pounds, and right now I'm at 133. However, I know that good things take time, and I'm so close, so I know it's possible in the first quarter of the year to get there. I'm not trying to rush my end goal, because that will put me on a hamster wheel of focusing everything to get there and not making it part of my lifestyle. That would be a quick fix, and I know those are temporary. I'm looking for long term.

Here's where you come in. I want you to feel like me! I want you to feel happy about your success, even if you aren't "fully" to where you want to be. I want you to have the mindset to be optimistic about the future, and know that you'll get there eventually if you put in the work. I want you to see what I do, things I'm eating (everyone loves chips, popcorn and chocolate!), what programs I've done and where my mindset is. I'm busy, a lot of times a single parent with two toddlers. I have a stressful corporate position. I know what it's like to prioritize everything in the world but yourself first. Trust me, I do NOT have it easy and have worked really hard to get here. Want to know how? Follow me, as I will be sharing a lot of fun and simple ideas to help create those small habits towards success! 

Looking forward to being part of your journey, and thanks for being part of mine! 










Welcome to dumbbellsnotblonde!

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Welcome! 👋

Thank you for following my journey as I balance my family, career and a whole lot of crazy intense workouts! Let me tell you a little bit more about me. 😀  I'm a true Californian, born and raised in Northern California. To speed you up, I graduated college with a Public Relations and Marketing degree, and currently work for the largest networking company as an Enterprise Customer Success Manager. I love building relationships, helping others succeed and spreading positivity! I've been happily taken now for over nine years (married for over six!) to a handsome Fire Captain. I feel very lucky and will surely tell you more about how we met and continue to find balance with both of us in such demanding careers. I'll admit, being a fire wife is not for everyone, and most people can't comprehend just how hard it can be at times- but life is wonderful, and it's all worth it! Together, we have two rambunctious toddlers who remind me everyday what life is truly about. Everything I do is for them, and I hope one day they truly understand it. I love taking them fun places and experiencing life through their lens, so you'll definitely see them a time or two. 😉  I'm an avid CrossFitter and have been for over nine years. CrossFit saved me from a very stressful previous Senior Business Manager role, and has really shown me that anyone can get through difficult situations and come out stronger on the other side. I adore my entire CrossFit community and can honestly say I'm thankful for all the friends and relationships I've gained throughout the years! You'll hear a lot more about my fitness journey as we go along.. along with all the yummy food I love to eat (I get creative with my macro meals for one, so get ready for it).  So between heels and lifters, kids and corporate.. I'm hoping somewhere in between I can inspire you too, to live a purposeful life that you love!

If you're interested in seeing what products I use, what I eat, things I've learned (or still learning) along the way or just want the inside scoop on a California CrossFit mom, please subscribe and follow me on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

I look forward to getting to know you!

XOXO


Let's Get Started! 
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