Superbowl Ready with Healthy Recipes

Don’t let Superbowl Sunday be an excuse to ruin all the hard work you have done during the week with your exercise plan.  My son Peyton is a huge Peyton Manning and Broncos fan (no he wasn’t named after the quarterback but he likes to think he is.)  You can make lots of great party food that won’t increase your waistline.  All of the recipes are 21 Day Fix approved.

Your guests will love this refreshing margarita when they arrive. You can drink this without feeling guilty.

skinny margarita

For Appetizers, start your Super Bowl Party off with this Creamy Ranch Dip 21 Day Fix Approved dressing.  Cut up your favorite veggies to dip.  Your guests will love it.
ranch dressing

For a sweeter appetizer try these easy fruit kabobs.  You can use your favorite fruit.

Kids snack 1


For an easy entree I like to throw everything in the crock pot and let the Cilantro Lime Chicken cook while I get ready for guests.  I love crock pot meals because I can throw the ingredients in, let it go, and it turns out delicious.

Crockpot Cilantro Lime Chicken

Chocolate Shakeology Kisses are some my family’s favorite.  I love anything that has chocolate, these included.   These cookies are easy and do not have to be baked so can be done last minute.
Chocolate Shakeology Kisses Recipe jpg

Parties don’t have to mean lots of junk food, you can enjoy delicious food without all the empty calories.  Have a great Superbowl Sunday!

Go Broncos!


Christmas Survival Tips

Christmas is such a special, magical time of year.  As kids, we all experience the magic. As we grow into adults with more responsibilities, gifts to buy, cards to send, meals to prepare, baking to do, this time of year can become a time of stress and anxiety.  Let’s not forget the true meaning of the season and follow these tips below to make you feel less stressed.

christmas begins

1. No matter how busy your day gets, don’t skip your daily exercise.  Take at least 30 minutes a day to break away from the hustle and bustle.  Your mind and body will thank you and you will have more energy to get more crossed off your list when you are back at it.  It is also important to stay hydrated.  I like to keep my water bottle close by when running errands, shopping, or cooking in the kitchen.

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2.  Don’t stress too much about the condition of your house during the holidays. People are coming over to visit and ENJOY FAMILY, not inspect your home for dust on that high shelf. I bet they won’t be wearing white gloves.

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3.  Plan your shopping and budget ahead of time.  This will keep you more calm and relaxed knowing you don’t have to finish your shopping on Christmas Eve.

4.  Shop online.  This is a great way to compare prices or find just what you are looking for before you hit the local stores and shops. Many stores have reduced or free shipping right to your door this time of year.

5.  Prepare your dishes or treats ahead of time if possible. This can help keep you organized and save you stress right before your guests arrive.

6.  Be conscious of what you eat, but don’t beat yourself up over eating a cookie (or two).  When eating dinner chew slowly, savor the food, and drink water in between bites. When choosing sweets, choose only those that you truly love and in smaller doses.  Before I go to a big meal I like to drink my Shakeology, which is a great source of protein and helps with my sweet cravings.  Eating something a couple of hours before a big meal is a great way to avoid overeating.

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I would love to hear from you!  What are some of your family’s Christmas Traditions? How do you plan on staying on track with your fitness and nutrition this holiday season?

christmas cartoon

There are so many exciting things happening in 2016!  On January 4 I will be starting the new Master’s Hammer & Chisel workout and invite you to join my online accountability group.  Together we will choose an exercise and nutrition plan that fits your life. The group includes daily motivation, healthy recipes, fitness tips, step by step meal prep tips, and prizes!  Now is the perfect time to start planning for your New Year’s Resolutions.  I am here to help you every step of the way.  Contact me for more details on how you can get on track for a healthy 2016!

From my Family to Yours-Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy New Year!

Avocado Salad Dressing or Veggie Dip


Summer Chicken Waldorf Salad with Avocado

chicken waldorf salad

Easy Dijon Chicken

Dijon Chicken Recipe

Taco Tuesday Recipes

Taco Tuesday is a well known saying but almost everyday may as well be Tuesday at my house.   I LOVE tacos.  I have always loved tacos but the fact that I can make them quick, easy, and healthy makes them even better.  Tacos are great for hiding veggies from your kids or husband (in some cases).   If you slice and dice the veggies up really fine they won’t even know they are in there.  Luckily my family loves tacos and will eat them often.  I make a variety of taco recipes. Here they are.

One of my favorite ways to prep my food for the week is to grill chicken breasts ahead of time.  I throw them on the grill on Sunday and have them for the entire week. I can easily use them to make tacos, fajitas, or one of my favorites, taco salad.  I throw spinach, romaine lettuce, chicken with a little taco seasoning,  fresh tomatoes, fresh peppers, onion, and cilantro and toss it.  Smashed avocado and salsa make a delicious healthy dressing.

Chicken Fajita Casserole

A very quick easy way to make a Chicken Fajita Casserole is in a Pampered Chef Stoneware.  Just slice the veggies into the casserole, set the raw, thawed chicken breasts on top, add the seasonings, and microwave for 30 minutes.  Make this casserole or the one above to your family’s liking. I actually left out the fresh onion and peppers in the recipe above.

Crockpot Cilantro Lime Chicken

This recipe for crock pot cilantro lime chicken is delicious.  I leave out the jalapeno peppers when my kids are eating but otherwise it has become a family favorite.

What about tacos when it gets really cold.  If you would like a different twist on tacos, throw together a Taco Soup. This is another one of my favorite crock pot meals in the winter.  I throw together chicken or lean cooked hamburger with tomato juice, taco seasoning, black beans, and my favorite veggies. I love onions, peppers, and tomatoes but you can make it to your family’s liking.

Tacos can be so delicious, quick, easy, and versatile. Tacos are staples in my family’s diet.

The Amazing Avocado

Amazing AvocadoAvocados are great food to incorporate into your diet, especially if you want to lose weight and eat healthier.  They are delicious, nutritious and so easy to add into any meal or snack.


Avocados have a substantial amount of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients with few calories. One fifth an avocado (1 oz. serving) has 20 vitamins and minerals, less than 1 gram of sugar,  at only 50 calories.  Over 75% of the fat in avocado is unsaturated (the healthy kind) that will help fill you up.

Avocados make a great baby food due to it’s health benefits and the smooth, creamy texture.  The unsaturated fat used in the development of the Central Nervous System and brain is very important for babies.


I love them on my sandwiches and wraps. I use avocado in place of mayo.  They are a healthy alternative to the empty calories and fat in lots of sandwich spreads.  I also like to slice them and eat them along side my scrambled eggs in the morning.  One of my favorite snacks is a homemade guacamole.  I smash the avocado into salsa.  There are so many versatile ways you can eat them and tons of great recipes.


When you buy avocados you can buy them at different stages.  The green ones will be firm and will be ready in approximately 3-4 days.  If you purchase an avocado with some spots it is a little further along and will be ready in 2-3 days.  The black ones that are a little less firm but not mushy, are ready to eat now.  I like to buy some at different stages so I have some for the next week or so.  If you want to speed up the ripening of an avocado leave it out on the counter.  You can also put in in a paper sack to speed up the ripening. Avocados that are ready to eat should be kept refrigerated.


Cut the avocado down the middle.  Remove the seed and scoop out the middle or peel the skin away to slice up nicely for salads.  If you are only using part of the avocado keep the seed in the half that you are going to use later and wrap tightly in saran wrap to avoid oxidation.

Check out these healthy recipes that include avocados.




Visit for more healthy recipes!




3 Day Refresh Review

This last week was very crazy in the Gress house!  My son was showing pigs at the Charter Oak Achievement Days, which is our home town fair.  It is a fun time and very hectic.  Fair time means that besides all the day to day chores and work at home I make an average of 4 trips to town a day to run Dawson to and from the fair, go in for activities, and help him with his fair chores.

This doesn’t give me much spare time so I thought I might be a little crazy trying the 3 Day Refresh during three of the most busiest days of the summer.  Once I made up my mind, I decided I was going to do it, and do it right.  After a trip to Las Vegas and the 4th of July, where I indulged in restaurant meals, sugary sweets, and a few adult beverages, I needed to detox and get my body back on track.

3 Day Refresh

The New 3 Day Refresh…Lose weight and break those bad eating habits in 3 Days!

I scheduled my 3 Day Refresh for Monday through Wednesday.  On Sunday, I read through all the information that came with the kit.  The information was simple and to the point.  I loved how the guide was easy to follow.  The menu instructions have “fill in the blank” lines when it came to planning what kind of food I was going to eat each day.  This made grocery shopping easy.  Each day it gave you the information about what you were to eat for each meal and snack.  You would choose from a list and select a healthy fat, vegetable, or fruit, depending on what the meal called for. It made planning ahead so easy and the Refresh very easy to follow, even with my busier than normal schedule.  Although the 3 Day Refresh is only about 900 calories a day, you eat very nutrient dense food and get everything your body needs in those 3 days.  You can find my “day by day” comments on my Facebook page

My Shakeology Shaker cup was my best friend during the 3 Day Refresh.  I took it with me on the run so I could get my Shakeology, Vanilla Fresh protein shake, or fiber in daily.  This made following the plan very easy.

I also prepared all my snacks and meals ahead of time. When I was running I chose snacks such as carrot sticks and hummus or celery sticks and smashed avocado,  which were easy to transport.  For dinner each night I planned accordingly depending on if I was going to be home or not. On two out of three of the nights I was on the run so I ate a spinach salad. The salad was a great choice because there was no cooking involved and I was able to make both salads at the same time since one salad called for half a tomato, cucumber, and red pepper. I simply cut up the entire vegetable to make two salads. I found out I really enjoyed the dressing of fresh lemon juice and olive oil.

I gotta be honest….the 3 Day Refresh started out rough for me!  I really enjoy eating healthy and have finally, after years of struggling, gotten a pretty good grasp on my nutrition; however, doing the 3 Day Refresh, and especially reporting in to my clients, gave me anxiety.  It sounds silly, but I was really nervous, but a person can do anything for 3 days, right?

The first day of my 3 Day Refresh I was starving.  I woke up and drank my water, had my Shakeology for breakfast, which is part of my normal routine and something I look forward to like others look forward to their morning coffee, and didn’t have a problem with the fiber drink midmorning.  (Tip-don’t let it sit, mix it up and drink right away.)  I passed on the optional tea every morning and afternoon because that isn’t my thing.  By the time lunch came around I was starving.  I ate my entire lunch and Vanilla Fresh shake (which was good), but felt so full that I was almost sick. I felt like I was going to explode, but I was determined to stick to the program.  By midafternoon I was ready for my snack and hungrily ate it. Fast forward to dinner…once again a meal and Vanilla Fresh protein shake.  I just couldn’t finish it all, it was too much food for my tummy.  That night I went to bed hungry as the shake and food were long digested.  Although I wanted to get a workout in I felt like I just didn’t have the energy.

On day 2 I decided to modify a little bit.  I followed the program but spread out my Vanilla Fresh Shakes and meals during the day, eating them one hour apart.  Day 2 and 3 were much easier and I was satisfied.  Even though I was at the fair all three days, surrounded by homemade pie, soda, and burgers, I managed to stick to the program. I even got a PiYo workout in and felt great.  I could have done better drinking water, as that is something I constantly struggle with and I didn’t pack enough filtered water due to the fact that my three year old son and I ended up sharing at the fair.  Overall it was successful and it is definetly something I will do again.

I lost 1/2 inch, 3 pounds, and had better definition of my ab muscles afterwards. I felt great and kicked some bad eating habits I had developed in the previous weeks.  The 3 Day Refresh is a great jump start to weight loss, good for gently detoxing the body getting back into clean eating.



June Healthy Recipes 2

Cooked Carrot RecipeThis week I am sharing three recipes that my kids love.  Start your kids eating healthy early and they will develop good eating habits for life. If you think it is too late and your kids will never like their veggies be sure to reintroduce veggies over and over again. I ask my boys to take a couple bites of all the vegetables I make at every meal. They have learned to like some veggies.

The next two recipes have become a favorite in our house.  I heard so much about spaghetti squash and how people are replacing it with pasta so I decided to give it a try.  When you compare one cup of spaghetti squash to a cup of white enriched spaghetti noodles the spaghetti noodles contain 220 calories, 42 grams of carbohydrates, and few nutrients.  A cup of spaghetti squash contains 42 calories, 10 grams of carbohydrates, vitamin A, potassium,  and 2 grams of fiber to make you feel full.  Spaghetti squash provides more nutrition with less calories and carbohydrates.  I tried out the spaghetti squash on my husband and three boys the other night and they loved it.  It will be a new staple at our house.  We love the Skinny Alfredo Recipe with our squash but marinara sauce is good too.

Spaghetti Squash

The picture to the left is spaghetti squash with a Skinny Alfredo Sauce.  Alfredo sauce is not without calories but I have run across a recipe that does not contain any cream.  Try this recipe when you are craving alfredo sauce but do not want all the calories. I like to put grilled chicken, fresh garlic, and broccoli in my sauce to liven it up.

Skinny Alfredo Sauce

I would love to hear from you. What are some of your family’s favorite healthy recipes?  You can find more healthy recipes at




June Healthy Recipes #1

Broccoli Grape SaladJune is here. It is a crazy busy time of year.  Families are rushing here and there for baseball, softball, swimming, camps, and all other kinds of activities. I think summertime is crazier at my house than any other time of the year.

This week’s healthy recipes are simple and quick.  The first recipe is for a Broccoli Salad. You have to be careful when eating salads. Many times they are packed with empty calories due to mayonnaise or dressings.  I replace half the mayonnaise with yogurt in this recipe to cut down on the calories.  The bacon is also optional. This recipe is delicious and perfect for a picnic. It is also a recipe that your kids will eat.  This is a good way to get some broccoli into their diet.



Grilled almond chicken craisin salad

The Grilled Chicken, Craisin, & Almond Salad is a quick refreshing lunch for summertime. I also cut the mayonnaise in half and replace it with yogurt to cut down on the calories.  My husband eats his Grilled Chicken Craisin, & Almond Salad on a Romaine lettuce leaf due to gluten intolerance.





The third healthy recipe this week is a delicious, refreshing Shakeology.  Try the Strawberry Avocado Dream made with Strawberry Shakeology. It is a delicious meal when you are on the go and out in the heat.

Please feel free to comment on the recipes below and share your favorites with me. I am always looking for new healthy recipes to try on my family.   To learn more about Shakeology go to

Strawberry Avocado Dream Shake recipe jpg