Tag Archive | real food

Get The Meaningful, Fulfilled (Soulful, Joyful, Healthful) Life You Want. Simplified + Supported.

As women, we tend to be constantly pushing the envelope of exhaustion. We rarely create time and space to recharge outside of working out and perhaps, eating well.

For me, I move often and eat well to FEEL amazing in and connected to my body. These are the foundations of healthy living (and truthfully, non-negotiables if we wish to feel our best); but we are SO much bigger than our bodies and too often, even the source of movement we choose and our relationship to food is another stressor and takes energy versus serving to recharge us.

Photo credit: Kate Porter Photography

In order to bring your best self to the table and create a life and body you are excited about, you must be willing to look deeper than surface level. You must be nourished on all levels – physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. You must seek inspiration and embrace growth. And yes, this often involves doing hard things. Digging under what’s holding you back so that you can move forward – with self-love and grace. But you and me? We were made for this work, we are strong. And we must take a stand for this so that we can live a FULLfilled life: joyFULL, soulFULL, healthFULL, meaningFULL + grateFULL.

Because when your LIFE is fulfilled, you can stop searching outside yourself for health and happiness. The need to fill the holes with food dissipates. You’ll begin to heal your relationship with food, inviting joy + pleasure back to the table and into your life on the daily. Food can become a way you love yourself up versus tear yourself down, beat yourself up. You’ll no longer seek fullness in belly for what’s missing in life. Most important of all, the love that’s so often sought outside yourself will be found within. So that you begin to create new standards of living for yourself and the emptiness that once invited food in, will be eternally filled with self-love, grace + gratitude (and believe it or not, my sweet sister, no one else can ever do this for you, it’s a solo journey).

This way of being is what I call Living FULLy: living from your gut – your place of intuition and inner wisdom – versus up in your head where the “to do’s”, “should’s” and stories you tell yourself that keep you busy, starved (emotionally + physically for nourishment) and exhausted. Living Fully connects the desires of your mind + heart to manifestation: the actual creation of a life where you are nourished and connected from the inside-out. Which, as it turns out, is how you also create a body and life you are excited about with more ease, joy and simplicity.

I know what you’re thinking – this all sounds nice, but how is it possible? And where do you start?

The truth is, you already have everything you need inside you right now; and you always have. The problem is that you’ve been bossing your body around for so long – telling her when + what to eat, how to exercise, what to feel and what to stuff down, what’s “acceptable” and what’s beautiful (I could keep going forever here…) – that you’ve forgotten where your power comes from: within. Within the quiet whisperings of your soul, the innate wisdom of your body and the fierce desires of your heart. Tuning IN to that power is the key to unlocking your natural vibrancy and creating a life + body you love.

For reals, friends: I’ve been in the health + wellness industry for almost ten years. I’ve whit-nessed all the ways and crazy things people do in the name of “getting healthy” or losing weight. And how all these well-intended women (and men) directly tie their (lack of) “success” and reaching of their goals to their self-worth; beating themselves up and sliding (yet again) into a shame + guilt spiral that never seems to end and keeps them stuck. Can you relate? Have you been there?

Photo credit: Sarah Heitman Photography

Me too. For a long time, I thought being healthy meant working out hard and eating all the “right” foods. It meant meal prepping, only high intensity exercise, post-workout nutrient timing and staying away from “bad” foods. And within that thinking, I also believed that happiness was created and came from that same space. But the hard, no-way-around-it truth is this: having a body and life that you’re excited about won’t be found in going to the gym daily or even in eating all the kale and veggies you can stomach. If you want to make impactFULL shifts in your life, that inspire joy and create meaning, you’ve got to start small, not big. You’ve got to start inside, not out.

I’ve been there and seen it all: frustrated + stuck, feeling like nothing done ever works; that achieving desires isn’t possible (physically yes, but truthfully, in all areas of life), being on and off the wagon, doing everything we “should” to be healthy + happy, but not actually ever feeling healthy + happy. Sound familiar? I personally know how utterly hopeless it can feel and can empathize fully in the desire to throw up your hands and say “screw it”. Except for the fact that you really, really want it – for things to just be simple + to feel good in your own skin, to not feel like you’re constantly chasing vibrant health.

Here’s what I know: contrary to popular belief, it’s not about what you know or what you do. If it were, you’d already have #allthethings figured out, right? Instead, it’s about your why. WHY you desire _________ (to lose weight, make more money, get that promotion, fall in love) and how you want to FEEL on the daily that will actually inspire a beautiful, soulful, joyful and healthful life.

Photo credit: Kate Porter Photography

And that, my lovelies, is my favorite work. Most of my clients seek out my health coaching services because they’ve “tried everything”. And that right there, is both the problem and also where my work begins. Instead of trying so hard, what we all really need is to slow down, stop doing more and start listening; to begin the lifelong journey of tuning in and acting on that wisdom that’s been inside you all along. But if you’ve never done that before or been avoiding it, beginning can be intimidating…and paralyzing. And also so easy to keep putting off, because you’ve been taught that there’s always a quick fix. But if your track record is anything like mine was, in the back of your mind, you know there isn’t. You want to believe there is, because, well, that’d be so much easier, right?

So I’m here to help bridge that gap: the gap between the unknown of how to begin Living Fully and to help you shut out all the noise of what you “should” be doing. To provide you with the space TO feel and listen to your desires, while being supported + heard. This work doesn’t happen in big, audacious ways – no big diet overhauls or eliminating food groups, no working out every day or killing yourself at the gym. It’s done in the quiet, on the daily, in small ways where we become tuned into the whisperings of our soul + intuition.

And beyond that, perhaps even before that, it’s about choosing (self-) love over (self-) loathing. Nourishment over starvation. Grace over exhaustion. The path towards Living Fully involves taking yourself off autopilot and into mindful awareness, learning the standards you’ve set for yourself that are keeping you stuck and being honest about what you’ve been avoiding + stuffing down. Because at the end of the day, there are two approaches: effective ones (where you love yourself forward to be nourished on all levels) and destructive ones (where you self-loathe yourself into change that doesn’t stick).

I believe you are here, (still) reading this, because you want that. You desire to take up a new path that is simplified and supported. Intuitive and doable. One that makes you feel GOOD every. step. of the way.

You desire a life that’s FULL of joy, meaning, success, flavor, impact, soul, zest and ease.

You yearn to FEEL wonderful, healthful, playful, powerful (and empowered), grateful, mindful, restful and beautiful.

You know there’s a better way, a way that involves less stress, but the results you want. And you’re right. There is.

I’m here because I want to support you in that journey. To be, if you will, the guiding light and sounding board to get you started and re-introduce you to your magnificence, your vibrance, your intuition and desires. To help you learn to Live FULLy by empowering your inner knowing so that you can begin trusting yourself and listening to your body’s wisdom. Ultimately, it’s about thriving.

Photo credit: Kate Porter Photography

You were made to thrive. To experience outrageous joy. To feel good in your own skin and be excited about both your body + life. And so my newest program, Living Fully: JoyFULL, SoulFULL and HealthFULL was created for you, to do just that, my love. Created to show you how to love up and nourish your body through amazing, delicious and simple food that makes you feel great without food restrictions or cutting out the things you love {yes, wine, chocolate and buttery popcorn are all invited to this thrive-fest}. Designed to guide you through the step-by-step process of how to manifest an inspired, soulful way of living in just six short weeks.

More details to come {like recipes + weekly game changing topics we’ll cover}, but here’s what you can expect to have created when you’re done: more confidence. more ease. more clarity, freedom and pleasure around food and your relationship to it. more rested. more rejuvenated. more connected (to yourself and others). more self-love and grace. more energy + focus. more power + strength. more empowered to listen to your body’s needs + desires and know what to do with those messages to create a life and body you LOVE.

Photo credit: Kate Porter Photography

This program will change your life. It’s not a quick fix, it’s not a diet and it’s doesn’t deal in extremes. It’s for being able to weather all of life’s seasons + cycles, both the highs and the lows. It’s my final “challenge” – where you get all the amazing things you’ve come to expect from my programs {like grocery lists, meal plans, delicious recipes + countless bonuses on how to simplify your time + work in the kitchen, to name a few}, but with the guidance + support that’s usually exclusive to my one-on-one health coaching clients.

I’m SO excited {like giddy} for sign-ups to open next week. The party starts Wed, June 14th. I can’t wait to do this with you!

Also available, at the same time will be two other options, depending on where you’re currently at in your journey: a digital recipe book or the full spring + summer meal plan (for those seeking inspiration in their kitchen, but not quite ready to dig deeper into their relationship with body, soul and food). 

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Say Goodbye to Sugar Cravings!

Winter blues can tend to bring sweet cravings – as we miss the energy, lightness and joy of summer – but did you know that these can often be helped or eliminated by increasing our uptake in sweet vegetables? God knew what he was doing when he made most winter vegetables hearty (comforting) and sweet!!! I’m talking squash, yams, parsnips and beets baby! And speaking of… THIS. My newest winter salad.

So. Freaking. Good.

The Sweet Winter Wonder Salad. Please, please make it today. ‪#‎winnerwinnerHEALTHYdinner‬.

20151215_182136INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1 bunch roasted beets + 2 parsnips + 2 carrots, all organic, all peeled and diced
  • 1 cup Quinoa, soaked, sprouted and cooked
  • Seeds from 1/2 pomegranate, seeds removed by cutting pom in half, placing face down in bowl of water and opening/pulling seeds out)
  • Feta Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Currants
  • 1/2 cup sliced Almonds
  • Handful of fresh basil, chopped
  • Dash of Coconut Oil to toast almonds
  • Olive Oil + Sea Salt for vegetables
  • Olive Oil + Balsamic Vinegar whisked for dressing

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Toss vegetables with EVOO + salt. Roast for 60 min.
  3. Combine {cooked} quinoa, pomegranate, currants and feta.
  4. Toast almonds, add to salad.
  5. Toss finished vegetables and dressing with salad, then top with fresh basil.
  6. Be prepared for your tastebuds to die and go to heaven. 🙂

A Little Help

I clearly remember ringing in the start of 2014, recounting with Regan how fast 2013 went and looking ahead on the upcoming year with excitement. Then I blinked and now it’s November. The holidays are just around the corner and my calendar is starting to get super busy. Sound familiar?

A Little Help #2It’s times like these especially that I am grateful for the healthy living practices I’ve been putting into place all year-long. The meal-planning that translates into wallet-saving grocery shopping; the consistency + variety of movement that makes my body feel good; the meditation, visualization + morning wake-up and evening wind-down routines, along with the constant practice of slowing down and tuning in to my intuition. Although each small pieces themselves, they all add up to more energy, less stress, higher productivity, more time for things & people I love and quite frankly, a happier + healthier Whitney.

But what’s been even more eye-opening for me in 2014 has been the realization of how much I was taking the impact of these small practices for granted and how much of a difference they really DO make. I’m going to tell you a little secret — I didn’t expect to get pregnant…so quick. When Regan and I decided we were “ready”, I think we both figured it’d take some little time and that we’d be able to adjust to the “idea” before it actually happened. God apparently had a different plan and in what seemed like literal moments later, I had a positive pregnancy stick in my hand.

A Little Help Blog PostI’m not going to lie. The first trimester rocked my world — that is, the world in where I have “control” over my body, my energy levels, my creative spark and my ability to “do” things. I suddenly had none of those things and only my intuition and habits to fall back on. And can I say, THANK. GOD. I’ll touch more on all this in a different blog post, but when I was finally able to come up for air from this new phase, I was able to see so clearly how fundamentally important it is to have healthy habits in place. Practices we do on a daily basis to improve our well-being because want to feel good in our own skin. Because what we do on a daily basis MATTERS because it sews the seeds for our future well-being + happiness.

In truth, there’s really nothing in life we can control. We have to learn to roll with the punches, navigate the busy and know that regardless of the season, work deadline or number of events on our calendar — we have a plan + practices in place that allow us to feel good, look good and thrive on a daily basis.

And that, my friends, is why I created Holiday Helpers, a free 2-week series designed to help you do just that – feel awesome in your own skin on a daily basis. To give you the tools needed to create a plan that helps build habits to help you navigate the looming busy-ness of the fast-approaching holidays. Because you deserve, no you owe it to yourself to thrive. And it’s my passion to bring that to you — before the holidays start.

We’ve never done anything like this before…and you’re not going to want to miss it. By the way, did I mention, it’s free?!

Sign-ups are happening right now – over at our website [click here for details + to get on board] and the fun begins this Saturday, November 8th — giving you 2+ weeks to get your feet underneath you and that vibrant health brewing before the holidays hit. The series includes 5 recipes, 2 workouts [complete with exercise video tutorials] and 14 days of tips + tools you can fall back on to have a thriving holiday season and beyond.

On top of your series packet + daily emails, you’ll be getting tons of bonuses, because we love to spoil our clients. Join the movement for vibrant health + thriving life NOW! Visit http://www.macksmo.com/holidayhelpers.

PS: There’s more…of course. 🙂 For this series, I am partnering with some of the people who bring ME the most inspiration all the year-round – for my body, my mind and my soul, including: 
Sarah Kaler of Soul Powered
Claire Gould of Friendspire Fitness
Emily Newman of Move Your Booty
Sarah Adler of Simply Real Health
Molly Scott of Fuel Fitness
Kari Gran of Kari Gran Skincare

What It Means to Have Health Freedom

This past Saturday, Regan and I launched the Freedom Prescription (Rx) Challenge – and are so excited to share our newest edition of Macks Mo Nutrition + Workout Programming, along with Lifestyle Coaching Techniques with you.

The Freedom Rx Pic.jpgIn the January 2014 Momentum Challenge, as a group, we lost 318 lbs., 212 inches & had a 48% average improvement on fitness tests in just 4 weeks [check out their stories + our experience here]. Inspired by this and due to popular demand, we created the Freedom Rx Challenge for the season where you want to feel & look your best in a body you’re proud to bare.

Now before you write off the idea of taking it on [because you have no time to “fit it in”], let me tell you we created this Challenge precisely to meet you there – in the midst of your busy social calendar, with Memorial Day + 4th of July, the end of school and fun in the sun.We created it for all the moments you’ll be traveling and the times spent at weddings and summer BBQ’s with drink in hand – this Challenge was designed to help you achieve vibrant health, in a way you’ve never experienced, without having to compromise any other important areas [or events] in your life.

This Challenge is for YOU if:

  • You think you’re healthy, but you don’t feel vibrant and struggle to find the energy to get through the day. You’re know you’re irritable and moody, unmotivated and lack mental focus but can’t seem to get “out of the funk”.
  • You feel like you eat well and know you workout hard, but still aren’t seeing the results you want. You’re frustrated and constantly beating yourself up for not being able to “get it right”.
  • You want to upgrade or spice up your food choices and/or find a balanced exercise routine that WORKS.
  • You sleep “well”, but still wake up fatigued, needing pick-me-ups like coffee and sweets to get you through.
  • You’re sick of yo-yo dieting and feeling out of control with your food choices + emotions.
  • You’re tired of feeling heavy and bloated or suffering from other physical issues like indigestion, gas, headaches + overall body fatigue.
  • You’re always thinking about food – categorizing it as “good” or “bad” and are constantly worried about the repercussions of your food decisions.
  • You feel like a teenager again, but not in a good way – suffering from acne or other skin related issues.
  • Cravings rule your life – you have a “sweet tooth that’s out of control” or images of carbs that dance in your head. You need coffee in the AM to get you moving and PM to keep you going.
  • You want to make health an integral part of your life, but not have it “rule” your life and suck up all your time.
  • You feel like “something is missing” from your life, but can’t figure it out. You want to add meaning and purpose to your life.
  • You struggle with balancing the “fun” in your life – eating out, hanging out and eating healthy don’t fit together.

If you are any or all of these things, this Challenge was created for you. Created not so that you can experience “health” but instead VIBRANT health. You see, at Macks Mo, we don’t believe that the absence of disease or an “illness” = health. We don’t even think that exercising hard or eating real, whole foods fully constitutes health or makes you “healthy”.

We believe vibrant health stems from an inner energy that doesn’t stop. It involves a whole health approach that encompasses your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. It focuses on changing your inner landscape so that the external changes you make [like eating healthy + working out] actually stick and make a difference. We want you to be inspired and full of energy all the live long days – because if you’re always tired, feeling like crap or frustrated with where you’re “at”, then life is no fun. And who wants to live a life that’s no fun? Even if you fill your life with “fun things”, living in a body that’s weighing you down – physically, energetically and emotionally, will always limit the amount of true happiness you can experience. So if you’re ready to finally let that go – let go of the control you’re trying to exercise on your life to “be” healthy and instead learn the steps to actually LIVE it, then I would love to have you join us for the Freedom Rx Challenge.

Check out this promo video to learn more here, then check out these extra details below:

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT BY MERELY PARTICIPATING IN THE CHALLENGE (Level #1):

  • Coaching videos + handouts with exercises and information to set you free of health barriers holding you captive and bring you towards vibrant health from the inside-out.
  • The tools to create a richer, more meaningful life lived in the freedom of boundless energy and rooted in radical self-acceptance & love.
  • Macks Mo Skin Care 101 – a guide to transitioning your beauty products from toxic to ones that support glowing skin and healthy hair.
  • Food Rules – the “skinny” on need-to-know food information to empower your decisions behind knowledge that makes sense and is applicable into your busy life.
  • Learn how to live a life that supports goals for your body + life without the need to compromise, but instead teaching how to get MORE out of your life while shedding excess physical + emotional weight.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM THE ONLINE NUTRITIONAL PROGRAMMING (Level #2A):

  • 6 weeks of nutritional programming – including over 40 new, seasonal new recipes from Macks Mo and featuring recipes from local Seattle chef Aubrey Jenkins of drumbeets.com – we’re talking breakfast, lunch, brunch, party + BBQ favorites, dinner, snacks, drinks and sweet treats.
  • 6 weeks of grocery lists + prep to set you up for success every week.
  • Gain confidence in the kitchen and freedom from low energy, wasted food and stubborn weight – all while eating delicious, real food combinations that make you feel amazing!
  • Macks Mo Pantry Basics – a guide to having the food you need on hand at all times so you can whip up a healthy meal in record time without needing to run to the grocery store.
  • Making Meals Work – a guide to repurposing leftovers; cooking once, but reaping the benefits of that effort to recreate two to three different meals beyond that; meaning less time over the stove for you.
  • The Macks Mo Plate – a guide to understanding how the things we bring to the table [food + more] affect the way we assimilate that food into our bodies. Leads you through the process of intuitive eating and understanding portions.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM THE ONLINE WORKOUT PROGRAMMING (Level #2B):

  • 9 New Macks Mo workouts that can be done anywhere – your home, at the gym, in a park, at a track or in your hotel room that take 30 minutes or less and require just your body weight or dumbbells.
  • The workouts vary in intensity and are designed to meet you where you’re at, regardless of fitness level. Each full-body workout was created to build balanced muscle definition, a stronger core, while challenging & increasing your strength and cardiovascular endurance.
  • Online video tutorials for every workout so that you understand form + posture on exercises and know which muscles you’re targeting. This allows you to maximize your time + effort into efficient movement that WORK every time.
  • Written guidelines to understand the workout formats + journal to track your results and progress.
  • Videos and articles to support you in learning how to maximize your metabolic turn while teaching you the Macks Mo Method of getting the most out of your workouts.
  • Increase your body awareness, improve your posture, gain confidence and experience the freedom of moving your body in a balanced way that leaves you feeling taller, more tuned in and energized.

The Challenge has 4 Levels to Enter:
   – #1: Level 1 includes challenge entry [which makes you or your group eligible for prizes] and also the “what you can expect” material for just joining the Challenge. A $500 value for just $40.
– #2A: Level 1 + Online Nutritional Programming. An $700 value for just $125.
– #2B: Level 1 + Online Workout Programming. A $650 value for just $125.
– #3: Level 1 + both Online Nutrition + Workout Programming. An $800 value for just $220.

Group ShotHOWEVER…we know it’s more fun to work in groups or with a partner – not to mention the added accountability + support that comes with working towards to same goal, so for this challenge we are excited to offer PARTNER + GROUP DISCOUNTS. Get together with your significant other or make a group of 3+ people and receive 30% off whichever level you choose. And group members can participate at different levels – some could just enter at Level #1, while others choose #2 or #3. It doesn’t matter what level you choose or where you’re at – everyone in your group gets 30% off their total purchase.

At checkout, enter “getmosupport” to receive the Group Discount or “sexyrexy” for the Couples Discount [please note that couples need to purchase an additional Level #1 on top of whatever level they choose to participate in].

Like always, we determine Challenge Winners based on measurements [inches lost], weight loss and the percentage improvement made on fitness tests [for couples and groups, we combine your team’s improvements for a total percentage]. We will be offering over $750 worth of prizes to:

  • The #1 and #2 individual finishers
  • The Top Couple
  • The Top Group

We hope that you’ll join us and make the decision to finally free yourself from the things holding you back from experiencing vibrant health. It’s our passion to share this message with you – and we look forward to sharing in your journey!

Visit macksmo.com and join by clicking “Sign Up”, then selecting your Level of Choice. If you’re participating in a group or as a couple, make sure to send us a note to let you know whose on your team! Please email with questions. Challenge begins Monday, May 19th as a “prep week”. If you’re participating in Levels #2A, #2B or #3, you’ll receive the materials to get you started on Saturday, 5/17. Everyone participating will receive your “Freedom Rx” packet on Monday 5/19. Challenge ends on Wednesday, July 3rd.

How to Increase Energy + Focus, While Creating MO(re) JOY in Your Life

AZIf you’re like me, the drear of winter seems to become more present by the time February rolls around. For this reason and the fact that within our business we always do a group challenge at the beginning of the year, Regan & I have made it a habit to schedule yearly sunny getaways in February. This vacation I had one prerogative – to actually recharge my batteries so I could come back with more enthusiasm & passion for my work. I was coming off of 8 weeks of intense working hours – writing, conducting and wrapping up our 2014 Momentum Challenge. We stayed in a condo rented through VRBO.com and went to the grocery store to load ourselves up with good food [mostly fresh fruits + veggies] for the week. The daily routine went like this – sleep in [like a serious, extra 5 hours more than usual sleep in], enjoy a cup of coffee together, move our bodies then cool down/stretch in the sun, eat breakfast, then head to the pool until we lost the sun – doing a little work, a little reading, a lot of relaxing. Then, in the evenings we would pretty much repeat the daytime, except with a fireplace instead of sun.

I have to say, this vacation, felt totally different than any other vacation we’ve taken, because I actually came back in better spirits, shape and frame of mine then when I left. So, my goal since I have been back is to recreate this nourishment every day in some way. Because who says we have to go on vacation to actually take good care of ourselves every day? Can you relate to working yourself “to death” for the weekend or an upcoming vacation? Then find you’re just exhausted all weekend or all vacation? Or maybe feeling the need to pack everything in and live it up because Monday is looming just around the corner?

recharge moreIf your answer is “yes”, I have a challenge for you – to schedule into your day, [at least almost] every day, something that you look forward to. A moment, an activity, a meal, a meet up – whatever. But something that you really can’t wait to do; and hold yourself accountable for doing it. Treat it like a mandatory meeting with your boss; you have to show up. Sometimes in order to be more productive, we don’t need to work more, we need to recharge more {tweet it if you agree – @macksmo}. And I am not talking about doing something for anyone else [even if you do receive joy in doing things for others], I am talking about doing something for YOU. Even if you love your job [like I do], we all need to step away from the work and recharge.

For many of us, we don’t realize how joy-less, stressed or over-worked we are until we take a step back and get committed to slowing down. Believe it or not, there is a direct correlation between the above three factors and poor health, lack of energy, lack of mental clarity + focus, cravings for anything – especially sweets/caffeine/salt and the inability to lose weight. So if you’re feeling “stuck”, like you can’t get ahead or perplexed as to why you can’t lose weight or never feel rested, I have a proposition for you – to embark on a 30 Day commitment to creating more joy in your life.

What would happen if you took a bath and turned on some relaxing music instead of watching your usual Tuesday night TV show line up? Would you sleep better? Instead of forcing yourself through another high-intensity workout when you’re tired & sore, what if you gave yourself permission to attend a soothing yoga class? Or instead of your usual Friday night happy hour, what if you and your gal pals met up for a cardio striptease class [just sayin’…]. Buy some flowers at the grocery store, call your best friend back, walk to the grocery store, play hookie from work, get a massage, learn to make a new recipe [click here for our newest!] or try a new restaurant, do a date night with your partner, pamper yourself with an at-home spa day [try searching Pinterest for DIY facials made from real food!], go to bed 30 minutes earlier – the options are endless! And I promise, the more you start taking care of you – in little ways, every day, the more energized, focused, clear and happy you’ll feel. Are you in? To help you with this, I created this Get More Joy Challenge chart for you to record your daily joys. At the beginning of each week [I suggest Sundays], write out one thing [or more!] each day that you can look forward to and keep it in a place where you can see it every morning – posted on the fridge, inside your closet door, your office, whatever works. I mean, come on – who doesn’t want an excuse to have a little more fun?
—————– —————

If you like this blog post, but would like more support, we’re here to help! Last week we announced the re-launch of our Momentum Challenge for March in 3 separate flights (you could join 3/3, 3/10 or 3/17). Our January group of 50+ participants lost a total of 318 inches, 212 lbs. and had an average of 49% improvement on their fitness tests. And beyond the weight loss, they all increased energy, joy, self-love and gained a piece of their lives back. And we want to meet you where you’re at, so created 3 separate levels to participate based on your needs: 

  • Level 1 – $30: Includes Building Momentum [opening] and Maintaining Momentum [closing] packets that provide you with the tools to transform your world, while creating a body and life you love. Plus bonus articles, along with group support and discussions created through our closed Facebook group and online access to myself and Regan 24/7 to answer your questions and help facilitate a personal experience for you; complete with individualized check-ins and health coaching.
  • Level 2A – $75: NUTRITION PACKAGE includes Level 1 + plus 4-week complete Nutrition Program with grocery list, 30+ new recipes and articles to change your relationship with food and increase your knowledge ($75 savings from typical Macks Mo pricing!).
  • Level 2B – $75: WORKOUT PACKAGE includes Level 1 + 4-week Online Workout Program with exercise video tutorials and tools to create body-transforming results. All workouts take under 30 minutes, require only dumbbells and are designed so you can do them in the comfort of your home ($25 savings!).
  • Level 3 – $150: MOMENTUM COMBO includes both Nutrition + Workout Programming and 2 Challenge Packets ($30 savings!).

*If you’re ready to take the steps towards transforming your life all while creating a life and body you love, the Momentum Challenge is waiting for you, just click here: SIGN ME UP!

Italian Lamb Stew + Apple Thyme Muffins {YUM!}

italian lamb stewNothing warms the body and soul like a savory soup and hot-outta-the-oven muffins, am I right? My kitchen has been stew-possessed lately and there’s nary an ingredient that hasn’t been thrown into the pot lately. And I figured it was time to spread the love. So, fresh from my oven to yours, you’ve got to try this Italian Lamb Stew + Savory Apple Thyme Muffins!
*Options for stove top or crockpot. If cooking on the stove – preheat the oven then start the stew. While stew cooks, make the muffins, they should finish around the same time!

ITALIAN LAMB STEW:

Ingredients:
1 package organic, grass fed lamb [for crockpot = stew meat, for stove top = ground]
1 leek, washed & chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped fine
2 cups organic vegetable broth
2 Tbls. olive oil
1 (15 oz.) can San Marzano diced tomatoes
Cannellini beans [for crockpot = 1 cup dried & soaked overnight, for stove top = 2 (15 oz.) cans drained & rinsed)|
1/2 lbs. small fingerling potatoes
1 red bell pepper, chopped into small pieces
1/2 bunch of kale [recommend Lacinato, but any kind works; spinach or chard great too]
1 Tbls. each: oregano + thyme
1 tsp. each: rosemary + red chili flakes [latter optional]
Sea salt + pepper to taste

  1. In a dutch oven [or large pot], add olive oil, leek + garlic and saute for 1 min – making sure not to brown the garlic. Then add the ground lamb and cook until browned.
  2. Add remaining ingredients [minus kale] and cook on medium heat for 30-45 minutes.
  3. 5 minutes before done, add kale or leaf green of choice!
    FOR CROCKPOT: Use lamb stew meat vs. ground and add all ingredients minus kale in together. 5 minutes before ready to serve, add kale to soften. Eazy breezy! 🙂

apple thyme muffinsSAVORY APPLE THYME MUFFINS: Original recipe from our fabulous client Heather and one of her Paleo cookbooks. I tweaked it by adding nuts, carrots and oats + adjusting flour ratio and swapping out some other ingredients. These muffins are dense like brownies vs. fluffy like a cake [my personal preference] and to die for. You will need an electric mixer (I use my Kitchen-Aid) and a food processor.
Ingredients:
DRY: 2 cups almond flour [you can process whole almonds in a food processor to make the flour – go until it becomes “flour-like” consistency], 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. each of: ground ginger + sea salt, 1 Tbls. thyme
FOOD PROCESSOR #1: 1/2 cup each rolled, organic oats + cashews (pecan or walnut yummy too) and 1 peeled/washed carrot
FOOD PROCESSOR #2 [WET INGREDIENTS]: 1 medium, cored organic apple [Gala or Pink Lady] – chopped a bit, 1/2 cup organic maple syrup or raw honey, 2 large eggs, 3 Tbls. coconut oil

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place food processor #1 ingredients in a food processor and chop into fine chunks. Add to electric mixing bowl.
  3. Add other dry ingredients to mixing bowl and combine.
  4. In the same food processor [no need to clean], add the wet ingredients and blend until all liquid.
  5. Add wet ingredients to the mixing bowl and stir on low until all mixed.
  6. Divide the batter into 12 lined muffin cups [I have reusable silicon ones that are amazing] and cook for 20-25 minutes.


*If you like this post, share the love and don’t forget to tag us “@macksmo”.  And in case you haven’t heard — as of last week, we re-launched our over-the-top successful Momentum Challenge and you still have 2 chances to join [beginning either 3/10 or 3/17]. 
Our January group of 50+ participants lost a total of 318 inches, 212 lbs. and had an average of 49% improvement on their fitness tests. And beyond the weight loss, they all increased energy, joy, self-love and gained a piece of their lives back. And we want to meet you where you’re at, so created 3 separate levels to participate based on your needs: 

  • Level 1 – $30: Includes Building Momentum [opening] and Maintaining Momentum [closing] packets that provide you with the tools to transform your world, while creating a body and life you love. Plus bonus articles, along with group support and discussions created through our closed Facebook group and online access to myself and Regan 24/7 to answer your questions and help facilitate a personal experience for you; complete with individualized check-ins and health coaching.
  • Level 2A – $75: NUTRITION PACKAGE includes Level 1 + plus 4-week complete Nutrition Program with grocery list, 30+ new recipes and articles to change your relationship with food and increase your knowledge ($75 savings from typical Macks Mo pricing!).
  • Level 2B – $75: WORKOUT PACKAGE includes Level 1 + 4-week Online Workout Program with exercise video tutorials and tools to create body-transforming results. All workouts take under 30 minutes, require only dumbbells and are designed so you can do them in the comfort of your home ($25 savings!).
  • Level 3 – $150: MOMENTUM COMBO includes both Nutrition + Workout Programming and 2 Challenge Packets ($30 savings!).


*If you’re ready to take the steps towards transforming your life all while creating a life and body you love, the Momentum Challenge is waiting for you, just click here: SIGN ME UP!

The Weight Loss Secret No One is Telling You

There is something I have to tell you. And it’s what no one else in the weight loss, fitness or health industry is telling you. Why? Because it would mean the eminent death of the “big business” that is health today. shape magHave you ever stood in line at the grocery store and read all the headlines for various health, fitness and weight loss magazines:
– “Lose Stubborn Belly Fat Once and For All!
–  “Love Your Lower Body – Lift & Tone Your Way to Shapely Legs”
– “The 5 Day Diet – The New Foods Plan to Help You Lose Weight FAST”
– “Slim for Life – 7 Secrets for Lasting Weight Loss”

Or gone to your local bookstore and been bombarded with the countless number of diet books that all claim to be the be-all, end-all “scientifically-proven, only way to lose weight and keep it off”? Sound familiar? I have to say, I pity the writer who has to constantly come up with these “hot new stories” every month or write the newest diet fad, must be exhausting. But let’s be real – if these mags, books or other media sources didn’t make these catchy claims, would you buy it? Why did you decide to read this blog I am writing? Because of the title? In truth, every media headline and corresponding article like those written above, every marketing claim made on packaged food, every “guaranteed” solution to your fast weight loss is a farce. And in most cases, a flat out lie.

For all my clients [past, present & future], friends, family and everyone I know – I want you to able to make the best, most well-informed choices for your health, so in order to do so, I want to provide you with the knowledge. And you can only have knowledge if you have the whole truth – the big picture. More Important Than FoodMoving your body and what we eat is definitely important. The food we eat literally becomes our body – our blood, our cells, our tissues, our organs, our skin, our hair and even our thoughts. In essence, your body is a compilation of everything you’ve taken in – all the food you’ve eaten up to this point in time.

But here’s the truth – even more important to health + happiness are the things that feed us on an emotional, psychological and spiritual level. Believe it or not, all the organic, non-GMO broccoli, kale and spinach won’t make a world of difference if you don’t address what’s going on in your heart and your life. kale The reasons why diets, weight loss plans and our best intentions to make workouts part of our daily life don’t stick is because they all fail to address the elephant in the room – the “WHY” behind what we do.

Anyone in the world who has [including myself] struggled or currently struggles with weight loss all have perfectly good and justifiable reasons for eating the way we do. And it’s not “the what” [FOOD] we’re eating that matters SO much [although it’s of course an important piece of the puzzle], but what’s making us eat the way we do that counts. And those “what’s and why’s” are all wrapped up in our individual lifestyle choices + habits, along with our emotional, psychological and spiritual well-being.Essentially – every diet, fitness or weight loss plan out there doesn’t address YOU. You in all your uniqueness, beautiful imperfections and meet you where you’re at in your life right now. food-fill-you

So the fact is, you can upgrade your food all you want, but it doesn’t feed your soul and it doesn’t make you happy. Don’t get me wrong – as a Board Certified Health Coach and ACE + AFFA certified fitness professional, I firmly believe and advocate that eating true, clean food [grown from the ground or humanely-raised on green grass in pastures] will definitely upgrade your life – increase your energy, help you lose weight and create a positive ripple effect into other areas of your being. But what stops those changes from “sticking” and what holds you back from achieving all the happiness possible for your life goes farther than fork to mouth.

There are many “food associated” factors that lead to weight gain – such as inadequate nutrition, chronic dieting, poor digestion and really, just consuming too much processed, chemicalized, toxic junk. But changing those doesn’t eliminate the stress, change your limiting beliefs, alleviate your emotional suffering. It doesn’t fill in for the lack of a fulfilling career, substitute for a spiritual practice, change lifestyle habits, create meaningful connection & relationships in your life OR help you find a form of movement you enjoy that works for your body. Upgrading your food choices can be revolutionary, but what makes those food upgrades life-altering is by actually addressing all the “lifestyle concerns” first. uprading your food

Every BODY is different – we have different physical needs [fitness and food-wise]. We carry around different emotional “stories” that sabotage our progress and limit our potential for happiness; and we certainly all have different demands placed on our lives + time by various people and situations. And there is only one person who can truly know what works best for you – and that is YOURSELF! To me, that’s exciting. To some, it’s overwhelming [okay, it’s overwhelming to me sometimes too] – because it means that instead of the quick-fix, you have to do a little digging. You have to be a detective and you have to decipher through all the headlines and “personal stories of success” to figure out whether or not the healthy habit, fitness plan or way of eating serves you.

It ultimately means that you have to slow down and get to know you. It takes time, effort and sometimes, tough self-reflection and choices – which some people aren’t ready for…yet or maybe ever. But IT IS the weight loss secret that no one is telling you. My school – the Institute for Integrative Nutrition calls these essential lifestyle pieces your “primary food” – they are fundamentally the real food that will transform your life. Being fulfilled in your primary food means having [or at least actively working towards]:
– meaningful relationships
– a rewarding career
– a spiritual practice
– engaging in [almost] daily physical movement you enjoy

…and it’s where the magic happens – where your ability to lose weight is super-charged by your focus on figuring out what really makes you happy and being willing to address and let go of the real “life weight” that’s been holding you down.   It my passion and life’s mission to support clients in finding this for themselves. And it’s my desire in wanting to help you too.

So I am writing this article to share the truth with you and perhaps shed some light on why your efforts to lose weight or find a maintainable healthy lifestyle haven’t been successful in the past. I encourage you to stop “waiting on the weight” to find your happiness and begin living your life. Instead, shift your focus to addressing your primary food and weight loss will become a non-issue…it just happens. Sometimes it happens right away – depending on where you or any of our the clients are at in his/her life and sometimes it happens months down the road. But like I said earlier – I want you to know the truth, to have the knowledge and the tools to make the best, most well-informed choices for your health. And that’s what our 2014 Momentum Challenge and all our programs are about was about and why we create them – and truly what ALL mine and Regan’s work is about – about you getting to know YOU and what works FOR you; while having our support and guidance in the process. And we’re learning right alongside you. I can tell you that I learn more from my clients every day than I ever could’ve imagined. We are in the journey together. So whether it’s via social media, coaching, in classes + training or through one of our programs, I hope this blog can move you away from “media-driven solutions” and towards a road of life-transforming self-reflection as you dig deeper into your own primary food.

— If you liked this blog, share the love! And connect with us via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+. If you have questions about programs or offerings, feel free to email me at whitney@macksmo.com or check out our website www.macksmo.com to sign up today! —