How to pit a cherry like a boss

How to pit cherries like a boss without a cherry picker
How to pit cherries like a boss without a cherry picker

So, we went cherry picking this past weekend and picked 6 1/2 pounds of sweet cherries.  That doesn’t even count the many we ate right off the trees in the fields… a benefit of picking your own.  I haven’t decided what I want to do with these sweet treats yet but I know that it involves pitting them all which takes FOREVER and I don’t have a cherry picker.  I saw somewhere that you can use a straw but thought it would break so I decided to use my hard plastic straw from my water cup and it worked like a dream!  I didn’t mention this in the video but wash your fruit before doing this and wash your hands!  Also, don’t wear white… this is a messy job.

The final product! Took me 30 minutes to pit 6 1/2 pounds of sweet cherries


You can see that you don’t waste a lot of the cherry which is also amazing!  Remember don’t wear white when you do this because it’s messy!! Now… what should I do with these cherries?!!?


Meal planning

Meal planning is probably one of the hardest part of any healthy lifestyle change.  It can be time consuming and overwhelming and for the most part it is NOT fun.  Thankfully I like to eat the same thing over and over so it makes planning a little easier when I can plan my leftovers.   When I’m meal planning I pull out all of my old plans and nutrition guides to make it easier.

meal plan quick tip

I just wanted a share a quick tip regarding meal planning. I try and get my meals planned the week BEFORE so that it’s DONE. Also, make your shopping list while you’re making your plan, seems like common sense but trust me people try to wing it in the store and are not prepared.

We travel a lot on the weekends and  I work Sunday afternoons and don’t always have time to hit the store up on Sunday (though I try really hard to make time).  One of the biggest excuses I hear is I don’t have time to plan my meals.  Having the plan done is half the battle, the other half is cooking and preparing the meals. Suck it up and get it done, it makes life SOOOO much easier to be prepared as possible.  That hour you’re watching TV in the evening…. open pinterest and find 1 new recipe for next week.   Write down what you need and add it to your planner.

Oh, and while we’re talking tips… print out a bunch of planners ahead of time so they are ready!  Or maybe you’re ahead of times and doing it digitally.. great!  I suggest saving all the different meal plans so you can go back and reference them. AHH so many great ideas I should actually write a better blog post about meal planning… hmmm… more to come!

What are some tips you have for making meal planning easier?

Vinegar Wash for Veggies and Fruit

You know by now that I support meal prepping as much as possible to set yourself up for a week of success.  One super easy way of doing this is by making sure all of your veggies and fruit are washed and ready for the week.  That way in a moment of hunger you’re not reaching for temptations when an already washed apple is sitting out waiting.  Every little bit you can prepare before hand is worth it.  I try and throw my veggies and fruit that need to be washed in the clean sink when I get home from the grocery store.  This way they soak while I put away grocery and are done when I’m finished.  Then I just need to dry them and put them away.  AND they last longer when they are washed and don’t taste like vinegar… I swear!

Quick, easy way to wash a lot of fruits/vegetables so they are ready for your week.
Quick, easy way to wash a lot of fruits/vegetables so they are ready for your week.

Vinegar Wash for Fruits and Vegetables

*1 cup white vinegar

  1. Fill your clean sink with cold water half way and add 1 cup of white vinegar
  2. Peel the stickers off of your fruit and add to the water
  3. Let soak for 10 minutes (about half way through I’ll rearrange the fruit/veggies so all sides get soaked)
  4. Drain water
  5. Rinse and scrub the fruits/veggies
  6. Remove fruit and let completely dry before storing
Air dry or towel dry after the rinse and before storing
Air dry or towel dry after the rinse and before storing

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

So, I love mexican inspired cuisine!  I think the only reason I can successfully be a vegetarian (who eats fish and dairy) is because I LOVE beans.  This stuffed pepper has EVERYTHING and it is delicious and filling.  This is 21 day fix approved but you should know that I count my beans as a red container since I’m a vegetarian, if you’re a meat-atrian you would count this as 2 yellows and 2 green.  I make the inside brown rice mixture at the beginning of the week and throw it in the pepper right before cooking so it’s already prepped and ready!

Vegetarian Stuffed Pepper

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers with black beans

Makes 4 stuffed peppers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees


  • 4 bell peppers ( I love red!)
  • 1 cup brown rice or quinoa
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (drained) or 2 fresh diced tomatoes
  • 1 can rinsed black beans
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • Taco Seasoning 
  • Fresh lime juice of 1/2 lime
  • OPTIONAL:  Shredded cheese, plain greek yogurt
  1. In a large saucepan add water and brown rice/quinoa.  Add taco seasoning , canned tomatoes (or diced), black beans and spinach- bring to a boil.
  2. Let cook for 20 minutes on medium-low, stirring occasionally.
  3. While you’re waiting, wash and cut the tops off of the bell peppers.  Remove the seeds (throw away) and set the bell peppers aside.  I cut the rest of the bell pepper off of the top and save for a salad later.
  4. Once the water has been absorbed remove from heat.
  5. If you’re making ahead of time, cool completely and store in the fridge until you’re ready to stuff the peppers.
  6. Stuff the brown rice/quinoa mixture into the pepper right before cooking.  Top with cheese (OPTIONAL) and put in baking dish with a little water on the bottom.  Cook for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
  7. Squirt half a lime before serving on top, add a dollop of plain greek yogurt and sprinkle with the smoky southwest seasoning!

Notes:  When picking your bell peppers look for flat bottom peppers or you can slice a little off the bottom so that they sit right in the pan and do not topple over.

21 day fix regular: 2 greens (spinach,pepper tomatoes), 2 yellows (rice, beans)

21 day fix vegetarian:  2 greens (spinach, pepper, tomatoes), 1 red (beans)1 yellow (rice)

21 Day Fix Extreme Mid Way Point!!


Alright, yesterday marked my official half way point through the 21 day fix extreme! I’m loving this program so much more than I thought I would. Below I’ll write what I’m thinking about the program as far as the workouts and nutrition but I’ll also list some tips for being successful on this program.


The workouts
They are hard! Autumn Calabrese is one tough cookie. You’re using weights or a resistance band every day so its built a lot around strength training which is amazing! The variety is refreshing. One day you’re focusing on arms, the next legs and there is a cardio day,  Pilates and yoga. She keeps things moving and my heart rate monitor assures me I’m getting a decent workout in! Some of the workouts I’m burning as much as I am with Insanity!!!!
It’s great they are only 30 minutes and I can do them in the comfort of my own home without people watching me attempt some of these crazy moves. Seriously, that dolphin move in pilates is TOUGH!!!


I’ve always struggled here and honestly I have not been perfect. I’ve learned over the past year to let that go. Sure, I miss all my unhealthy foods, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t.  I’m just tired of not having energy and not feeling healthy so it’s worth it to give up my favorite cheats.  I get cravings (chocolate!!!) And still struggle to not unravel. Sure, shakeology helps but I still get cravings now and then and I still surcomb to them. I’m still seeing and feeling the results despite some hiccups. I’m sure my numbers won’t be as amazing as I would want but I’m gearing up for round 2 already. A few bad days doesn’t define you and its certainly helped me realize this is a lifestyle change, not a “21 day fix” I can actually take this plan and incorporate it in to my life and still see/feel results!!


Tips for Success with the 21 day fix

  1. READ through all the materials they send you.  Then PLAN! I plan my menu the week before, at least for the first part of the week but  I try really hard to get the whole week planned.
  2. I plan leftovers by doubling recipes, freezing extras I wont use in a couple of days to make it easier for a grab and go meal.  Grilling 3 pieces of tilapia & 3 sweet potatoes is just as easy as grilling 1 piece of each.
  3. I plan simple meals when I either don’t have time to plan or cook.  This may be viewed as boring but it’s not something I do every day and it helps when I’m feeling overwhelmed or limited on time.  My favorite simple meal:  Grilled fish, veggies and sweet potato with cinnamon.   Simple meal are effective so find several simple meals to use as staples.  I also love my bean & cheese burrito for a quick lunch.
  4. I try new recipes when I’m feeling bored with my meals.  I have learned to easily adapt my already loved meals (see my Mexican Quinoa dish that I adapted pretty easily).  Pinterest has a TON of already “fix approved” meals.  When you have 5 extra minutes explore new recipes and save them.  This way you’re not trying to find new recipes, create your meal plan and create shopping list all at once.
  5. Keep staples in your cupboard and fridge for easy to throw together meals.  I always have beans, whole wheat pasta, tuna, eggs and yogurt on hand.  I also have tons of frozen fruit and vegetables in my freezer.  Frozen fruit can be used in oatmeal, yogurt or with my shakeology.  Frozen vegetables can be used in an omelet, a side dish for lunch or dinner.  Frozen vegetables are not my favorite but if I can’t get to the store it keeps me on track.
  6. Create a weekly MUST have grocery list of things you ALWAYS eat.  I definitely have several items I eat every week and having this already created shopping list makes it easy to not forget things.  On my list:  Spinach, Yogurt, Apples, Bananas, Eggs, Baby Carrots, frozen fruit.  I use the app Evernote to keep this list so it is always with me.
  7. Make your grocery list while making your weekly meal plan.
  8. Take your measurements  and before pictures.  These are  so valuable when your weight isn’t budging to gage your success with the program.  Focus on how you are feeling not on what the scale says.
  9. Use a meal planner and your workout schedule.  One benefit of having me as your coach is that you’ll get some bonus materials not included in your challenge pack.  You’ll get a meal planner like the one below and an extra printable workout schedule like I showed you above.  This way you can do several rounds of the fix with new FREE materials every time. Use these worksheets every day!
  10. Ask for help!  You can sign up for a free beachbody coach who will motivate and support you through your journey! They will help problem solve, share recipes and put you in private groups on facebook around the program you’re completing!  Did I mention a coach is FREE!   If you don’t have a coach you can sign up with me to be your coach.   Also, enlist help in your spouse, friends, co-workers and family.  Your loved ones want you to be healthy and want to support you so ask for help when you need someone to watch your kids so you can get the workout in, help you chop the vegetables or swap healthy recipes with one another.  Enlist a friend to go on this journey with you, the more people you surround yourself on the same mission the more support and motivation you’ll have which ultimately means you will more than likely succeed.
21 day fix free printable meal planner

The containers

I LOVE the little colored containers. I thought I would hate them and they would just add clutter to my already full Tupperware drawer. They make it so much easier to measure and toss in my bag on my way to the park or work. They don’t even make it to my Tupperware drawer because they’re always drying in the rack or packed for the next day.

It takes some time to get used to figuring out how much of what color container and when. Honestly, by the 2nd week you’ve figured it out and can enjoy and learn from the process. 21 df teaches you the value in preparing food and how to set yourself up for success by balancing your meals! If you’re not prepared you’re going to be rooting through cupboards looking for any unhealthy snacks possible, trust me I know from experience!!

Bottom line…. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished these past 11 days and looking forward to the last 10. I feel full and satisfied with my meals and am loving the commitment and accountability of my Facebook group. I have some challengers in my group who are going to get some seriously awesome results with all the hard work and dedication they’re putting in! I’m going to use their energy to help drive me in to my own motivation and dig in these finally days. Its only 21 days after all!!

Anyone interested in joining me for a 21 day fix group?  Join my team by  contacting me, !  Who wants to commit 21 days to a healthier version of themselves?!

21 Day Fix Extreme Starts TOMORROW!!!


I am BEYOND excited to start this new fitness program!  I’ve had my eye on the 21 day fix for about 6 months but honestly, I love Shaun T so much I was scared to make the jump in trainers.  Crazy, right?  I really struggle with nutrition.  I seriously could work out 3 hours and day and be fine but I can’t control the fork in the kitchen… what gives?!?  That’s probably the biggest factor in why I bought the 21 day fix Extreme.  I bought the Extreme over the regular because physically I’m ready for a challenge after doing P90x3, Insanity and most of Insanity Max 30.  I want to make sure that I’m pushing myself so that I can get the results I want (in only 21 days I might add!!!).

Challenge group

I’m running my first challenge group with the 21 day fix (2 of us are doing the extreme)!  I’m a little nervous as this is my first group to run by myself and it’s a totally new program but I like the challenge and I’ve done the nutrition part of this program for the past couple of weeks and I LOVE it.  It’s so easy and easy to adapt what you’re already eating.  If you need help, contact me, I’m more than happy to help!  That link takes you to my about me page where you can find my e-mail.

Anyway, the group has spent the last week prepping and I have everything ready for this week!!  I’m sure bumps will happen and that’s okay, I’m as ready/prepared as possible and that’s all I can do.  I went grocery shopping today and prepped most of the food, it only took me an hour.

Shopping at Trader Joe’s (in and out of the store in less than 20 minutes on a Sunday!)

I’m so excited to see what this group of ladies can do!  It’ll be fun to have some good friend and family on the journey with me to hold me accountable and vice versa.

What I did to prep

Last Thursday I sat down with the Nutrition guide and busted out my meal planner for this week!  My upline coach made an easy to use planner that is pretty amazing.  I make my grocery list right along with after finding recipes on pinterest and in my bonus guide.  Sunday I went shopping for all the goodies, even with my daughter I was in and out of the store with my list.  I came home and did a vinegar wash of my fruits and veggies while roasting veggies, cooking fish and prepping my lunches and snacks for the week.  That took me an hour!  That’s it, I’m done, I’m ready!  Let’s do this!

Meun planned! Workout schedule ready! Measurements taken!


Probably my least favorite thing is taking before measurements and photos.  But this is SO important and one of my largest regrets when I first started this journey was not taking them!  Measurements and photos show progress beyond what the scale does.  I love to see that number go down but I primarily focus on how I’m feeling and looking especially now that I’m so close to my goal weight!  Taking before photos is so awkward but here are mine anyways:


If you sign up for me to be your free coach I share all of my prep materials (food tracker/diary, workout schedule, bonus materials, recipes and more).  Plus I”ll add you to groups, support and motivate you so that you get the results you want!  Contact me below and we’ll talk.

I’ll keep you all posted on m progress as well as weekly reviews of this program.  I’m so excited to push play tomorrow!!