Hi, I'm a trainer. And I'm out of shape. by Candice Clem

I am not going to compare myself to other women.  My body is different than theirs.  My pregnancy was different.  My hormones are different.  And they probably didn't eat as much Ben & Jerry's as I did.  Important side note: Did you know that Ben & Jerry's stopped using Heath bar in their toffee crunch bar?  It's BS.  The new stuff is fairtrade and real sugar, but it makes the ice cream taste like it's fortified.  My husband and I were so upset about this, I think we sent them an e-mail.  Yeah, that's how much ice cream we ate.  Enough to notice a taste difference and write them an email.

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Top 5 easy, healthy and quick meals by Candice Clem

Life seems harder with three kids.  Actually, life was hard even with two kids.  But with three, I feel like giving up when it comes to eating healthy.  I would rather grab from the secret Ding-Dong stash, or eat whatever is free or $1.  Which ends up being whatever I can mooch off my mom and friends at their houses, or a quick drive through this one place that has big yellow arches outside.

I'm making this list for me as much as it is for you.

I tried to wipe up my dirty plate... it didn't work. =/

I tried to wipe up my dirty plate... it didn't work. =/

Trader Joe's Stir Fried Shrimp (frozen section)

One bag of this is only $4.29.  I don't personally use the flavor packet.  Instead, I like to use a 1 tablespoon of the Soyaki sauce (make your own out of amino acid and honey if you want to keep it super clean.)  I found that one tablespoon is enough to give it enough flavor, you could also add more.  Then, I do my usual drizzle of Siracha.  

Tip: One packet is enough for one [hungry] or two people.  Actually, technically, it says it is 2.5 servings.  Whatever, man.  Serve on top of cauliflower rice or brown rice.  I usually have a couple bags of frozen brown rice in the freezer that I can just throw in the microwave when I'm ready to use it.  Yup, I still use a microwave.


BAS is a term that fitness/business expert, Jill Coleman, came up with.  She has some great articles about nutrition and life, check it out here.

Here's what you do: Pick a protein.  Pick a green.  And throw whatever else in there that you can find.  What kind of protein do you have?  Left over chicken?  Steak?  Eggs?  Deli meat?  Chop it up, throw it in a bowl.  Then add any greens: broccoli, arugula, lettuce, chard, kale, cabbage.  Chop it however you like, but I personally like my greens cut into small pieces. Then, throw in whatever else you may find: carrots, celery, tomatoes, mushrooms, beets, green onion, seeds, nuts, etc.  I like to use homemade dressing with a little vinegar, mayo and sugar.  I know that's not the healthiest... but that's just what my taste buds like right now, and I'm not going to fight with them more than I have to.  

Tip:  A salad chopper will save you a lot of time.  This one is great.  Just make sure you don't try to chop too much at one time -- that's how mine broke the first time.

Protein and veggies - on the bbq grill

I'm only including this because at my house, my husband does all the grilling, so all I need to do to get that ready is to slice up the necessary veggies and marinate the necessary proteins.  We often times use foil to wrap up the veggies so they don't burn on the BBQ.  

Here are a few ideas and combos:

  • flank steak marinated in Soyaki sauce & green beans with butter, S&P 
  • chicken breast or thighs marinated in lemon/honey brine & asparagus topped with butter, S&P
  • ribeye (my fave!) & onions and mushrooms grilled on the stove
  • bunless burgers with grilled pineapple slices

Tip: Just remember to marinade 2-4 hours before it's ready to be put on the grill.

Chicken soup with veggies

My mom makes this for my kids, especially when it's cold outside.  It is surprisingly quick and easy to make.

Boil chicken tenderloins in water.  Boil until it's cooked.  While you're waiting for chicken to finish cooking, chop up celery, carrots and onions.  When the chicken is pretty much done, throw in your mirepoix, lower the heat to simmer and put the lid on.  Let it simmer on low for at least 10-15 minutes, and it's ready to eat.  You can either shred the chicken, cut into cubes, or serve them as tenderloins.

Tip:  Adding cilantro and little pieces of tomato at the end makes it extra yummy.  You could also serve it with spiralized zucchinis noodles.  Add siracha and hoisin sauce, if you want to eat pho all the time, like I do.

pizza with premade pizza dough

The other day, my friend brought over frozen pizza that had kale and sweet potatoes on it.  It felt healthy.  Um, I know pizza isn't healthy, but this is just me being real.  Pizza is going to stay on the menu, as long as we have children living in our house.  So why not try to make it as "healthy" as possible, since it's not going anywhere!  If you have time, I would really recommend trying the eggplant/cauiflower crusts.  They are really tasty, in my opinion.

I grab premade pizza dough from Trader Joe's.  (It's $1.19)  I get the white flour kind because if I'm going to eat flour, I'm going to eat the good stuff.  I don't usually grab the pizza sauce right next to the dough, because it's kind of pricey for something so simple to make with a 99 cents can of tomato paste.  Just add salt and oregano to tomato paste and it tastes just as good.  Don't forget to grab whatever cheese you want to use while you're at the store.  My go to is whole fat mozzarella.  Grab whatever veggies and protein you want to put on there.

Tip:  Now for the semi-healthy part.  Roll out your pizza dough until it's thin.  I like it thin because it's less flour in a bite, and it turns out a bit crispier.  I also add greens: kale, arugula, spinach.  You'll need to play around with it, but usually, I like to add the lighter greens (like arugula and spinach) at the end of the cooking time.  This way, it doesn't get all shriveled up, but the heat from the pizza still makes it calm down.  Kale, you'll probably need to cook with it on there.

What is your favorite go to meal when you need something healthy, quick and simple?  Tell me below in the comments!  And if you liked this post, please share it with your friends!

A night time routine for better sleep and mood by Candice Clem

I am out of control.  I often time wake up grumpy, irritated with the kids.  I often times stay grumpy into the late morning.  And sometimes, go to bed angry and frustrated that I had a crappy day and escape to my Netflix account into the wee hours of the night.  

There's nothing wrong with watching TV at the end of a day.  Sometimes, it's my favorite thing to do, but puts me into a downward spiral when I don't have enough self control to turn the TV off and end up watching 4-6 episodes.  Because, guess what happens in the morning?  Yup, Mrs. Grumpy.

I am not a creature of habit, and love and appreciate spontaneity.  But much to my distain, I thrive when there is a routine.  Just like a little kid does.  Just like an elderly grandma.  

  1. Take a warm bath after I ask John to put the laundry in the dryer for me, hehe.
  2. Drink chamomile tea on my blue couch or bed
  3. Read a book that is interesting but not invigorating -- works every time to make me sleepy
  4. Use lavender essential oil by rubbing a drop on my hands and taking deep breaths in

There are a couple of things that put a wrench in the gear, though.  Such as: drinking to much coffee during the day or taking a too long of a nap around 3pm.  I'm not worried, as long as it doesn't happen all the time.

Do you have a night time routine?  What is it?  Have you noticed anything that stands in the way of going to bed at a decent hour?  Or are you a night owl and find yourself the most productive in the middle of the night?

Four ways to make your plate bigger by Candice Clem

The simple answer?  You don't need to.  Whatever your plate size, whatever you can handle -- without going insane or coo-coo, is okay.

1.  Thank you, Social Media!  

What would we have done without Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest?  How in the world would our parties and organizing be as fabulous as they are now?  It seems as though social media has put some pressure on women to "perform."  And that is in addition to all the comparing that women naturally tend to do even without pictures and comments to compare ourselves too.

I love Pinterest, and I love Instagram. . . but there have been many times that partaking and being on there was doing me more harm, than good.  I've had to step away.  

2.  Focus on what is on your plate.  And do it well.  

When I was training everyday for my kettlebell certification, I remember people telling me they wish they had time to do something like that.  The truth is, the reason I had time for it, was because it was one of the couple things on my plate, after getting my kids fed.  My house was a mess, I wasn't playing in a band anymore, I wasn't keeping up with laundry.  It was what was on my plate, and my time and energy went into it.

My point is this -- whatever you choose or have to put on your plate -- embrace it and do it well.  There are different seasons for different plate sizes, but we can embrace whatever size plate we have and choose to enjoy the things that are on our tiny/medium/huge plates.

3.  Pick the top one two things to focus on

My husband always tells me that I want to do too many things.  I want a dog, I want to school my kids, I want to teach essential oil classes, I want to organize conferences, start new businesses, go back to school, etc.  I don't have time to do all these different things.  That doesn't mean that I won't be able to do all of these things someday, it just means -- not everything right now.

Picking the top things to put on your plate may be a given, or it may need some prayer and lists made.  I know for myself, my top priority is my family -- to stay close and connected with them.  This means that I have to say no to some other things during the week and weekend, so that we have the chance to spend time together.  I still struggle with saying "no" to people, but the more I've done it, the more freedom I feel to say "no".

4.  Get rid of the stuff on your plate that doesn't nourish you or taste good

If we have a salad plate in front of us, and we have one chance to fill it up and take it back to our table, some of us may pick one entree to focus on.  Or some of us may fill it up with little bits of everything -- because we want to try everything.  One way to actually make more room on your plate will be to get rid of the sides that don't need to be there.   You wouldn't take the parsley that is there for decoration and load them on your plate.  If you can take the extra fluff off, you'll have more room for the entrees or side dishes that you actually want, that will actually fill you up, and nourish you.

How to heal from bitterness by Candice Clem

If you've ever been bitter towards someone before, you know what I'm saying when I say that it makes me miserable.  It's weird that something triggered by another person can effect our hearts so much.  It's even weirder that while we punish them in our minds (for the wrong thing/s they've done) in a sense, we find ourselves in our own little prison of gross feelings and expressions.

Bitterness leads to death.  Death of relationships, death of kindness, death of beauty.  There is nothing beautiful about bitterness -- and sadly, I truly believe that it seeps out of our words, tones and body language, even when we're trying to hide it.

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Get Moving: It’s not about our goals, it’s about Him by Candice Clem

Exercise was never my forte.  As a short and stumpy girl, I excelled in math and music, but P.E. and cross country never suited me.

Maybe you have the same history with P.E.? Some of us have no coordination; we trip over our own two feet and run into bed corners. And some of us feel like we’re going to pass out walking up a flight of stairs. However, we can’t avoid exercise just because we are not good at it. Katie wrote about her #1 goal killer being perfectionism. And Alisha reminded us on Tuesdaythat God calls us to do everything “in Him,” even if it’s not perfectly.

You can read the full article at HelloMornings.org

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Finding a rhythm that leads to exercise by Candice Clem

So far for our MOVE challenge, we’ve asked God to align our hearts with His regarding exercise, and spent two days putting intentional movement on our to-do list. Today we’ll look at another important factor to making exercise a part of our everyday lives.

Finding a rhythm.

When it comes to exercise, finding a rhythm throughout your days will help you make it a consistent part of your life in such a way that it no longer needs to be in your “three things” for the day. It becomes a given that movement will occur.

The challenge is finding what works for you, for your current stage of life.

Read the full article at HelloMornings.org

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How I'm going to lose 20 pounds by Candice Clem

I hate resolutions.  I think they are cliche and it bugs me that so many gyms make 90% of their income in January.  Most of these memberships don't last until March.  With all that said, I've been wanting to lose some weight after a crazy year of eating, coping and drinking after a couple of miscarriages, job changes, two moves and life -- that has all happened in the last 15 months.  It's time to step out of survival mode.

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Is your food making you depressed? by Candice Clem

Even if food is spot on and you're only eating non processed, organic and perfect, depression can be caused by many different things: some being your deficiency in neurotransmitters, hormone imbalance, life events (death or loss, financial problems, stress,) and early childhood trauma. Mayo Clinic writes that people with depression has physical changes in their brains, but the significance of these changes are still not certain.  If you have depression, there is probably not just one cause.  For myself, I remember it starting as early as when I was 7 years old when a friend's mom started spreading a rumor about my parents.

To battle mild depression -- here are my recommendations.

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