tres recipes: healthy quick enchies + faux fried beans + skinny margs 05.04.15


healthy quick enchies and faux fried beanshola. and happy cinco de mayo!  if you are planning on enjoying a few adult beverages today skip the the endless baskets of tortilla chips and burritos covered in sauce, why not make these healthy quick enchies and faux-fried beans instead?

this quick dish is a healthified version of my momma’s gringo enchiladas.  what are gringo enchiladas you might ask? they are ground beef enchiladas with white flour tortillas, red sauce and yellow cheese.  all the foods that real mexicanos don’t eat, hence: gringo.

i’ve enjoyed these since i was a wee one and the recipe still lives on today.  but of course, i had to create an equally tasty and a (lot) healthier version. this is a great go-to dinner to have on hand for healthy dinners during the week and of course for cinco de mayo.

i like to top these enchies with spinach, greek yogurt, avocado and hot sauce, but thesetaste just as good without any additional toppings.  and if you don’t like black beans, pinto beans work just as well.

skinny jalapeno margarita

so now excuse me while i dig into my healthy quick enchies + faux fried beans while enjoying a (spicy) skinny margarita. recipe a la derecha…de nada.

everything in moderation right?
¡buen provecho! 




#paperrocks: why writing down goals works. [video] 03.22.15


#paperrocksanybody else LOVE playing rock paper scissors growing up? to this day, i still see this child’s play as a truly viable way of making day-to-day decisions. disagreement with your kiddo (or heck, even business partner) on where to have dinner?  perplexed on which shoes to buy?  which workout to do? throw down some rock paper scissors. i’m tellin’ you, this is a highly under-rated way of taking quick action.

now, if only setting serious life goals were that easy. but i truly believe, that sometimes we make it too hard. what if i were to tell you that the only thing standing between you + your goals was a little thing called paper.

it’s no secret that i strongly believe in writing down your goals. i mean, the whole concept behind fitbook is write it down, make it happen.  i’m truly obsessed with pen + paper. like, all things paper. (journals, making hand-made cards, anything letterpress, collecting paper. heck, paper source is my favorite store!)

so i teamed up with fellow entrepreneur + paper pro whitney english (you may know her as the brilliant mind behind the day designer) to discuss why #paperrocks. this serial entrepreneur with over a dozen companies under her belt, is my mentor-turned-friend. we had a fab chat and as promised, i wanted to post the highlight reel+ links to the research i mentioned during our hour-long hangout:

  • paper works. plain + simple: a harvard mba study revealed that students who wrote down their goals earned 10x as much than the ones who hadn’t. this doesn’t apply to just how much money you make. this applies to ANY goal!
  • stack those habits: this experience life article sums it up really well, but the main idea is that you take your existing habits and build upon them to help create NEW habits.  here are a few examples: “every sunday while i’m prepping food,  i will plan my workouts for the week in my fitbook lite.or how about: “every morning while i’m waiting for my tea/coffee to brew, i will jot down the top 3 things i need to do today.”  you identify things you do every day/week/month (that are already built into your life) and attach a NEW habit so it becomes second nature.
  • 90 days is the magic number:  research shows that 12 weeks is a long enough period of time to see significant progress toward any goal, but short enough to stay motivated.  attainable goals for 3 months turn into life long habits. think it’s a mere coincidence that fitbook is 12 weeks? i think not.
  • dangle (baby) carrots: a study from USC found that setting a variety of mini prizes was more effective in reaching goals than setting one BIG reward. so reward yourself small + often!
  • grab a pen + tell a pal: this article on the habits of the world’s smartest people via entrepreneur magazine found that 76% of people who wrote down their goals AND shared them with a friend were more likely to achieve them.  accountability buddies rock!  so after you grab a pen + write it down, call/email/text a friend, or heck even post it for friends to see. but most importantly: ask 1 person specifically to help hold you accountable – and while you’re at it, ask how you can help hold them accountable to their goals! #winwin
  • paper + technology = winning combo:  as with anything, this isn’t all or nothing, people. both whitney + myself shared our fave apps during the chat + talk about how we use technology in conjunction WITH (not in replace of) our paper-based, goal-getting goods.  we both use our phones with iCal for managing our schedule…i use trello for managing team projects…and my jawbone app works perfectly with my fitbook to keep me movin’ + motivated.  but when it comes to to-do lists, goals + things you want to achieve, don’t poo-poo the idea of good ol’ fashioned pen + paper.

what is your#1 top goal-getting tip? or what did you learn from watching my chat with whitney?  share in the comments below.

in closing: a tip when playing rock paper scissors (shhh…)…throw the same one all 3 times and go for best of three. try it…it works! just don’t throw scissors, or rocks for that matter. go with paper. ’cause #paperrocks.


p.s. need something inspiring to watch while you’re doing some cardio at the gym? tune in to the video below for more inside tips from a goal-getting convo between two entrepreneurs!

p.p.s. does youtube hire someone to pick the most unflattering screen-captures when posting videos? i want that job.

#weareMOREthan: an honest chat about body image [video] 02.23.15

this may be my shortest blog post ever. because this video says it all. this is my why. why i do what i do. why i’m driven everyday to make a difference. why your stories make me want to be a better me. the fact is this: eating disorders are real, people. depression shows no mercy. they are gnarly and battles that even i struggle with to this day. this is me being me. i’d rather be open and honest than spend one more day feeling like a fake or a fraud. my fear is that by you seeing the real me, that i won’t be able to inspire you. but i’m learning that it’s not my story to keep to myself. if by sharing my struggle i can help even one person, it has served its purpose.

“i’m thankful for my struggle because without it I wouldn’t have stumbled across my strength.”

in this video, i am joined with fitness entrepreneur michelle myers.  she is the founder of Cross Training Couture, She Works His Way, triple elite BeachBody coach, and my dear friend. on this 1-hour chat we talk about:

  • fitspiration: is it inspiring or body shaming?
  • social media’s role in body image issues
  • 6 myths behind eating disorders
  • the fitness industry: helping or harming?
  • how to take back control: action items


p.s. comment on this blog post with what resonates most with you + i’ll send one person a signed fitbook AND a signed copy of michelle’s book, “The Look That Kills.” [watch + comment below]

entrepreneurs: 5 signs you drink too much ((coffee)) 01.08.15

you know the saying that entrepreneurs are driven by passion? well, i think it’s actually just coffee. okay, driven by passion, but definitely powered by coffee. i came to this realization while at peet’s today. after going there day after day for months (because it’s within walking distance from my office) the baristas asked what i do for a living. now, mind you, i know them all by name and they know me as “half-cup girl” (i can explain).  and all this time, i’m thinking to myself that they’ve probably all decided that i’m unemployed given how often i’m there. when i said that i own my own business, they all replied, “ooooh!!! now we know why you drink so much coffee!!” as though it finally all made sense.  i explained to them that while i have a cute little red office just right down the road, with like the sweetest employees ever, i get 10x more done at the coffee shop. i mean, my team actually kicks me out of the office when we’re on deadline because they know me so well.  am i alone in this? i think not.

you know you’ve been at the coffee shop working for far too long when one or all of the following occurs – in a single day:

  1. the baristas greet you after the holidays like a long lost family member, wanting to know why you haven’t been by in so long. i was gone only 12 days. i’m sure my absence put a ding in their in-store sales for the month of december. sorry, peet’s.
  2. they know you by name and/or have a nickname for you. yes, i’m half-cup girl. why? because i drink coffee slow when i’m working…and my coffee gets cold…and cold coffee makes me cranky. so as not to waste precious coffee, i pay for a full cup, they give me a half-cup, and about an hour later i get the other half. bizarre, i know.
  3. you’ve had anywhere from 2-3 (or 4) refills and they make you a free espresso shot, just ’cause. and they cheers you while they do a shot with you, making me feel oddly like norm bellied up to the bar in the show ‘cheers.’
  4. while they’re sweeping and cleaning the machines, they start offering you pastries that they’re going to throw out soon. (i politely decline.)
  5. your colleagues are texting to see if you need a ride home because it’s dark and you ever-so-smartly walked to the coffee shop in an attempt to get steps in on your jawbone.

and that, my friends, was just 1 day. 5 signs, 1 day.

and one (me being “one”) wonders why one doesn’t sleep at night. one knows that one shouldn’t drink coffee late in the day, but one has also learned to accept how God made her. just like my momma, i am a night owl. in fact, most of my creative work is done in the wee hours. every article you read says that successful people wake up early. and i’m not arguing that – i’m envious actually. but i’m just not wired that way.  so leave it to me to find research backing that being a night owl isn’t so bad after all. apparently, new research shows night owls are more creative and smarter, and surprisingly have lower levels of stress hormone cortisol. regardless of what research says, i know that i’ve created more products, presentations, pitches, and proposals past midnight than i can even count.

now, the health nut in me must clarify: being a night owl isn’t necessarily bad, but sleeping too little IS. like, sleep deprivation is really bad for you. choosing to go to bed at 2am isn’t necessarily horrible…as long as you’re still getting at least 7 hours, which they’re now saying is better than 8.

yeah, i don’t get enough sleep, so do as i say, not as i do. (i’m working on it)
[ha! she says as she's finishing up a blog post at 12:28am]

here’s the deal: i shall continue to caffeinate, try to get a bit more rest, and should seriously consider paying rent at peets.

nighty night,
half-cup girl

(ocd) procrastinator’s goal-getter guide + grid [download] 01.04.15

an idea is just a dream

pardon my tardiness to the new year’s goal-setting extravaganza that commenced jan 1st. as you know, my ocd-ness just does not allow for starting new goals on new year’s day when it falls on a thursday. i mean, really?  like, when did i have time to think about my goals when it just falls in the middle of the week like that? so if you’re like me and dead-set on really kicking off the new year on the first monday of 2015 (like any logical person would do), take a gander at my goal-getting tips for the (ocd) procrastinator + handy-dandy goal-getter grid (which, i created totally at the last minute, as i do most things).   but before we get to your plan of action, why not procrastinate a tad bit more?  here’s why being a procrastinating goal-getter actually works this time of year:

there’s plenty of time.
relaaaax…this is the beauty of being a procrastinator: you’ve got time. like all day. see there’s a whole slew of people who rushed to set their new year’s goals exactly on january 1st, operating on very little sleep, and quite possibly recovering from a holiday hangover. i mean, who sets goals in this state of mind? not us. we are efficient!  one of these years, the first is gonna fall on a monday and i’m gonna have to rethink my strategy here, but it’s a wonderful thing when i have a weekend to to sit back and relax, and then give some good thought to what i want my goals to be.  for me, having a company in the business of helping people set goals around their health means that december and january are a bit chaotic to say the least. then add to that the fact that regardless of my busyness/business, i choose to take time off between christmas and new years to be with family. because for me, that’s what really matters. so come jan 1, i appreciate the few days leading up to the first monday in the new year. because, who starts anything in the middle of the week? the holidays are stressful enough for most, so pardon me for wanting to just enjoy them, knowing full well i have a whole weekend to work on my new year’s goal while curled up on the couch with a hot cup of coffee. [heads up: we have until january 2018 to worry about this - that is the next time new year’s day falls on a monday.]

take it all in. 
talk about good material out there. all the good articles on productivity, goal-setting, motivation, achievement, etc. are all simultaneously published and posted anywhere from dec 31 through jan 2nd and i need some time to sift through all the goodness. what new research has been done? what motivates change? what tools must i have in my arsenal to be more productive this year? how can i effectively apply these things to my life? how can share them with my fitbookers in a way that helps you as well? as much as i create materials, i see myself as a purveyor of such information because not only does it guide me, but it also helps me to understand how i can better inspire others.  here’s a quick list of  the worthwhile reads that i saved to my phone to share with you:

let the noise die down. 
frankly, there’s information overload this time of year, if i must say so myself.  why must we condense all of our ambition to be our best into one day? as though we think it’s entirely possible to shift our behaviors, habits, goals, and complete trajectory of our life in one day that happens to begin with 01/01. the beauty in the new year is the fresh start…the hope for something better…the desire to bring about positive change. but it’s always been my prerogative to promote this message year round, not just on january first. so pardon my quietness and maybe lack of noise around 01/01 when you would expect this self-proclaimed “goal guru” to tout my “top tips to being your best you in 2015” or “5 ways this will be your best year ever.” the truth is, goal setting (and being a goal-getter) is not something that we should focus on just once a year. this is something that you should revisit frequently, some might say weekly or even daily. my approach has always been to take a big goal, then break it down into smaller, more achievable goals, because frankly, big goals can be overwhelming. often that big goal that was designed to inspire you, instead stares you right in the face and scares the pee-wodden (yes, that’s a term) out of you. big goals are effective in that they push us to achieve more; to set our sights on something greater. but when it’s a pie-in-the-sky ambition with no logical steps of how to achieve it, you’ll often find yourself falling flat on your face. and that’s no bueno.

so, given that now i sound like a new year’s goal setting scrooge, let me clarify that i do think there’s tremendous value in doing so, especially in the new year. there’s something wonderful about reflecting on where you are in life, who you want to be, how you can make positive changes + what you can do differently to bring about those changes. so here’s my approach to setting new year’s goals. yes, it’s a bit more involved, but i guarantee it will be more effective than setting immeasurable, fluffy goals that won’t last you through super bowl sunday. now….finally, post-rambling, here’s your (last-minute) plan of action to set some serious goals:

1. determine if you’re an ocd procrastinaor
hint: if you’re reading this, haven’t set your new year’s goals and/or feel awkwardly uncomfortable reading this because you feel like i’m reading your mind, the answer to #1 is yes. embrace it. i’m right there with you.

2. download + print out the goal-getting grid
i worked on it all morning at a coffee shop. i’m so last-minute, it entertains me actually. but i did it for you. okay, and for me too. this was designed for you to set goals in ALL areas of your life, not just weight loss and fitness. i mean, after all, you are MORE than the # on the scale, right?  okay, download it. (2nd link down)

3. block out 1 hour tonight to set your goals
curl up by the fireplace with a hot cup of tea + arm yourself with your goal-getting goods: the goal-setting grid print-out to set big goals for the year, fitbook to set weekly goals + plan your workouts, and a freshly printed copy of my 3-day KICKSTART ebook. (have you seen it? it’s pretty awesome…so if you need a guide for where to start on your health + fitness goals, download it!)

fitlosophy goal grid

[2nd link down once you click!]

  • identify your 7 key goal areas + list those across the top.
    to give you ideas, here are mine: family + friends, finances, faith, fitness + health, fitlosophy, free time, future. (note: yours don’t have to all start with f. again, ocd.)
  •  set a few BIG goals for each goal area.
    for example, my “free time” goal area might include: read 2 books per month, spend 1 hour per week writing my memoir + go horseback riding once a month. make them measurable + think about creating well-rounded goals that get you from where you are to where you want to be.  write those out in row 2 next to the little checkmarks.
  • map out when you want to focus on each goal
    for example, if one of your “faith” goals is to find a small group in your church, that’s a good goal to accomplish in january – so in the january column, jot that down. creating a “map” for the year makes it a bit less overwhelming. note: you may not have ALL boxes filled in…it’s only january! hence, the next step…
  • create a reminder in your phone to revisit goals monthly
    on the last sunday of each month, i block out an hour in the evening to reflect on what goals i accomplished for the previous month, revisit my big goals + reset them if necessary, and then determine what my action step is for the next month. add this to your smartphone + block off time. this step is pivotal!!!

it’s a time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished + also focus on where you want to go. so, let’s lose the resolutions and PLAN to rock some serious goals this year. you in?  now, off to plan my own goals…because well, i haven’t finished yet. :-)

happy new year, fitbookers.

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