PECAN PIE BARS RECIPE- VEGAN, EGG FREE, GLUTEN FREE, DAIRY FREE, LOW CARB/LOW SUGAR

IMG_5310

INGREDIENTS

Crust:

  • 1/3 Coconut Oil or Vegan butter such as Earth Balance
  • 3 Tbsp Maple syrup- sugar free or Agave Maple
  • 3/4 Coconut flour
  • Pinch of Salt

Pecan filling:

(Flax and Water is how you create an egg- this meathod can be used or you may use a premix such as “The Neat Egg”)

  • 2 Tbsp flax meal
  • 5 Tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Coconut Oil or Vegan butter such as Earth Balance
  • 3 Tbsp Maple syrup- sugar free or Agave Maple
  • 1/2 Coconut sugar, brown sugar, or half and half of sweeteners of choice
  • 1 C Pecans
  • 1/4 tsp Salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use  8×8 inch baking pan & line with parchment paper. Generously rub or spray the sides of the pan with coconut oil or olive oil.IMG_5286
  1. In a bowl mix maple syrup and coconut oil together until creamy and well combined. Stir in the coconut flour and salt until it forms a dough.
  2. With your fingers/hands, press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan and bake until the edges  re a deep golden brown, and the middle is lightly golden, about 14-15 minutes. Let cool for 1 hour before starting the topping- this is important and you may speed up the process by placing it in the fidge.IMG_5293
  3. As that is cooling, mix the flax meal with the warm water and refrigerate, so the egg can gel upforthe hour that the crust is cooling.
  4. While that is in the fridge, place the pecans onto a baking pan and bake them into the oven until  hey darken and smell “nutty” about 8-10 minutes- Be careful NOT to let them burn. Let cool and then roughly chop and setaside.
  5. Take the cooled crust out. In a pot on the stove, combine the remaining IMG_5301pecan filling ingredients  oconut oil, maple syrup, coconut sugar and salt. Use medium heat and
  6. bring to a boil. Bol for 1 min. stirring frequently and then remove from heat. Let the mixture stand at room temperature for 5
    minutes.
  7. Once it has sat, add the chilled “flax eggs” and mix well. Finally, stir in the chopped pecans until they are coated in the sugar mixture.
  8. Pour the topping over the crust, using a spoon to spread out and make sure the sugar mixture and IMG_5307pecans are evenly coating the crust. Press the pecans lightly so they lay flat.
  9. Bake until the filling looks set, about 20 minutes. Let stand until it comes down to room temperature. Then, refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours or – overnight **

 

  • Chill before eating so they set & they can be serves cold or warm.
  • When cooking, make sure your crust is golden & the filling is firm!
  • SHARE your treats with friends and family! :)

Hi Friends,

Empowering Body LLC, my transformation programs & myself have been spreading out all over the world working towards intensifying the connection of MIND, BODY, & SPIRIT! Balance is something we all hope to achieve & with proper guidance we can build our lives with intentional practices that will enhance not only our physical body but the mind & spirit as well which means we become more happy, peaceful, & our lives are enriched with success & love so deep that money could never buy!

As most of you know, I have traveled the world over the last 7 years & what started as a hobby & literal journey, turned into a deep need to explore, seek, & deepen my knowledge and love for many other cultures, people, nature, & Earth as a whole. I am truly connected to myself when I an immersed in nature & amongst the most unfamiliar surrounding I feel most centered & at ease. I began to realize that the old saying was right…

Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere. And sometimes in the middl of nowhere, you find yourself!

So as an personally acclaimed “seeker” & now find myself MINDFUL: growing, learning, & perfecting the art of transformation in all area on my life. My body is my temple and home of the time I am here on Earth, my mind is capable of taking me to new heights & gives me the ability to share and communicate with others how they can unlock and reach their own potential, empowering them to take charge & make changes that will forever pave their way. And my soul, my spirit, & light is something I have carried with me through many lifetimes- its my connection to source, it is source & as soon as I realized that truth and began allowing and surrendering to it all, that is when my true transformation occurred. After years of attending retreats & creating my own oasis of retreats on my travels, I am now going full force giving other the opportunity to have a taste & a huge serving of total transforming and in the most wonderful location, Bali! The retreat I have created is for the Mindful-Goodess or Mindful-Warrior, whichever you relate to most. And it is based on the idea that we have the ability to manifest all that we desire- we hold the key and always have & when we become mindful of our truth, we begin to change ourselves and the world we live in! For a more local-smaller scale experience, our bootcamps will be conducted along the coast of southern California with the next ones coming up June, 27th in Temescal Canyon: Inspirational Affirmations & short workshop, a Hike, Yoga, Stretching, Meditation, & some food at the end- healthy and delicious of course! Perfect of the whole family! (details below)

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________________________________

2016

MINDFUL TRANSFORMATION RETREATS

SCHEDULE & EVENTS

_____________________________________________________

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FIND US ON FACEBOOK
US & Caribbean
Kauai &/or St Lucia- March/April or August
•Island adventures- volcano hikes, beach, snorkeling, surfing, yoga/meditation, private chef, spiritual & relaxing!
South America
Peru & Machu Picchu- June/July
•Luxury Retreat, Cusco Carnevale Celebrations, 7 wonders of the world- this place is powerful! Machu Picchu- Inca trail hike, spiritual & glorious experience in nature, yoga/meditation, private chef/special menu!
Asia
India (Southern)&/or Indonesia (Bali)- October/November
Thailand, Ecuador, Galapagos, Bali, & Africa- TBA

These retreat trips are always as eco friendly as possible, totally Off the Beaten Path of your typical vacations, not “touristy” at all, & will enlighten you & engage you in a whole new way! These retreats will truly be the experience of a lifetime whether you’re looking for tranquility & inner peace, fitness & health benefits, new friendships & experiences, or adventure & fun… The Mindful Retreats have it all!

If you have any “special requests” &/or feedback, please share!

________________________________________________________________________

 
I also offer bootcamps, day retreats, & weekend retreats throughout the year so please stay tuned for announcements! Click here for inquires or questions: CONTACT MICHELE
HERE IS AN EXAMPLE FROM OUR PREVIOUS DAY RETREATS, HIKES, & BOOTCAMPS:  

hikespeak.com

We will begin with a short intro & Mindful thoughts to think on as we start our 
hike (all levels welcome) to the top of Temescal Canyon. There we will conduct a short mediation overlooking the Pacific ocean (views to die for) & before we descend back down the hill, we will have a mini mindful playful activity/ceremony releasing all of our stresses & worries! Back down at the Tree, our instructor will conducts some yoga flow, stretching & Vinyasa. Ending the day we will have beverages and snacks (a variety  to fit all needs from gluten free to vegetarian/vegan, & just healthy and delicious!
 
________________________________________________________________________
 
bali 2015You may have heard about…

BALI 

We just turned from our Mindful Warrior Bali Retreat back in August/September & the experience was out of this world! To have had the chance to bring people from around the world all into one place to experience not only a transformation but an awakening of their awareness & an opening of the soul, was special! 
HERE IS A SUMMERY OF OUR LAST RETREAT EXPERIENCE
& RETREAT REVIEWS FROM THOSE WHO ATTENDED

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OUR BALI RETREAT was a combination of healthy foods (vegetarian dishes if you choose, or  regular protein options), fitness/bodywork, yoga, meditation, hiking, temple excursuses, massages, Reiki massages, & Chakra healing work, Medicine man & villager visits, Rejuvenation, relaxation, & realignment with the Mind, Body, & Spirit, all with the purpose of bringing you back to your mindful self!
 
 
 
Mindful Warrior & Mindful Goddess International Transformation Retreats https://www.facebook.com/MindfulWarriorRetreats I was on the hunt for something fresh and new, something to rattle my tree and shake my cage. I have always been cavalier, but tend to think with my head, and sadly, rarely have I ever followed my heart. I did not know Michele nor the other Warriors, and living in South Africa, was passively drawn to this through a Facebook post by our yoga instructor, Nathania, who went to school with me 20 years ago. But something special called me to this – in fact it tugged so hard on my heart that my mind couldn’t ignore it and was sold on the idea just a few hours later. Throwing caution to the wind, I said, “I’m in!”.

Michele asked us to cast our expectations aside… But secretly, I had a tall ask: make me feel alive!

In terms of the finer details, Michele was incredibly thoughtful when it came to our needs ahead of and during the Retreat. In the middle of a magical setting with delicious, healthy food, the variety of physical activities and experiences brought me greater personal awareness and peace; this is my journey and I can trust myself. Mindful. Grateful for the moment and of being alive.

12141766_1642836099297331_5380504736503186017_nMy Bali experience resulted from and in a series of new and deeper connections with beautiful and authentic people, whom I lost myself in with fun, tears and laughter. I left Bali glowing with positive energy in body, mind and heart(!), renewed gratitude for my close and stable relationships, rich new friendships and a reignited desire to live a spectacular and varied life.Thank you to everyone that made this experience as meaningful as it was, and specifically to Michele and Nathania.

~Erin Ferguson Ormond, South Africa

 

 

Mindful Warrior & Mindful Goddess International Transformation Retreats 

https://www.facebook.com/MindfulWarriorRetreats 

It is difficult to put into words how wonderful Michele’s Mindful Warrior & Mindful Goddess Transformation Retreat to Bali was. I think I can safely say that everyone left the retreat touched and changed in some way. Michele constructed a space for an experience that was at once profoundly spiritual, physically challenging, adventurous, philanthropic and purposefully mindful. Ten people came together from different walks of life, at different stages of their personal growth journey with different levels of understanding of what it meant to live mindfully. The experience reflected back at each participant what he or she was meant to get from the trip and we all walked away with a deeper understanding of ourselves and of compassion, perseverance, support and love.

It’s very difficult to pinpoint a highlight or what I liked best about the retreat. There were so many aspects that were incredibly unique – from the fully self-sustainable eco lodge where we stayed to the Balinese healers we visited, to the mountain we climbed through the night to watch the sun rise over a view that takes your breath away; to the afternoon we spent with village school children making decorations for their bare classroom walls; to the discipline of a twice-daily yoga practice, the mouth-watering food prepared with ingredients grown just outside the dining room; to sleeping with walls open to the jungle, taking in the sounds and feeling enveloped by nature. I don’t even know where to begin – this doesn’t even scratch the surface. I never wanted it to end, and I can’t wait until I can go back, though I know it will never be the same as this retreat was. I would absolutely attend another retreat with Michele.

~Nathania Stambouli, Israel 

12065705_1638967393017535_1002132468474168257_nNot only has Bali been on my bucket list, It was synchronicity that led me to the amazing Michele!! Michele made this trip more than U could ever imagine..if I went alone I would have never done the things we did. Meeting 2 spiritual healers, climbing a 5,600ft volcano, meeting withchildren at the local school, living on an organic sustainable farm in the jungle and most of all bonding with people I’ve just met who will now be lifelong friends!! Thank you Michele for this lifechanging, mindful retreat. 

~Shana Klimeczko., NY, NY 

 

 

Mindful Warrior & Mindful Goddess International Transformation Retreats 

https://www.facebook.com/MindfulWarriorRetreats 

I am 28 year old girl who lives in Southern California that has become a personal trainer. This line of work is perfect for me because it lets me be creative by sculpting a women’s physique, as well as, rewarding by helping them feel better about themselves inside and out. This lifestyle takes on a different mindset and with the help of this retreat I have become such a better motivator, coach, trainer, friend, and individual!

I didn’t really know what to expect, other than we were going to do some yoga and hiking, but the fact is, I have had such an amazing LIFE experience in such a small amount of time! This was my first retreat, but I have traveled outside of country before to France, Italy and Switzerland which was quite beautiful. The way Michele orchestrated all of the workshops and day excursions, made us ask ourselves questions that we wouldn’t ask ourselves in a normal vacationing setting. This pushed us to mentally step out of our comfort zones and is why I have suggested to all of my family members and clients to try one of Michele’s retreats. Everyone, no matter what their occupation or lifestyle, can grow and learn from this type of experience.

I would definitely go on another Mindful Warrior & Mindful Goddess International Transformation Retreat in a second! I would love to visit a country that has a Fair Trade Producer such as India, Colombia, Sri Lanka, or Africa.

~Simone Basile, Santa Clarita, CA 

For me it was a once in a lifetime experience. The location was breathtaking. I loved the program especially the yoga. I got to meet new and interesting people . I highly recommend this kind of retreat. I would definitely do it again.
~Hany Weizman 

Mindful Warrior & Mindful Goddess International Transformation Retreats 

https://www.facebook.com/MindfulWarriorRetreats 

So to start off, I want to say that this retreat was the best trip of my life!

I’m a really busy person day to day with my career. I was looking for a little R&R get away. I heard about the Mindful Warrior & Mindful Goddess Transformation Retreat to Bali, from a friend. I immediately was interested when I read the info about it via email.

I went with an open mind and had no expectations. I just wanted to get away. Everything that unfolded during the retreat was pretty amazing. I realized I wasn’t just there to relax, but I was there for a reason. I was spiritually awakened! From the yoga for the 1st time, to meditation, to concurring a 3 hour volcano hike, to living in the jungle (just a few things to mention).

And although we were there with a group, there was a lot of individual self achievements and rewards.

I personally had a lot of growth throughout this retreat. There was things that I had neglected about myself and I realized them on this retreat. If I was to do this trip differently……….. I wouldn’t change a thing. It was what I was looking for and didn’t know it.

And as far as Michele the owner, she was very thorough with all the info we needed from travel, to what to bring, etc.
She really knows how to do it in a very personable and professional way.

I would definitely recommend these retreats to all. I already have my deposit in for the next one and I don’t even know where the next one is!

~Vince Luizzi, Burbank, CA 

 

11221779_1636140899966851_8108237440879347882_nMindful Warrior & Mindful Goddess International Transformation Retreats 

https://www.facebook.com/MindfulWarriorRetreats 

The Mindful retreat in Bali was my first experience attending a retreat. My overall experience was beyond anything that I expected! The location was perfect, in the jungle among rice paddies. We were about 2-hours from the nearest city and there were no outside noises other than the sounds of the jungle and running water from the nearby waterfalls and mountain streams. Michele D’Angona helped to make this retreat all that it was: sharing her ‘words of wisdom’, her enthusiasm, her thoughtfulness, and her own experiences as she travels around the world. I would definitely attend another retreat and know that the experience would be well worth it.

The accommodations were excellent and the staff very friendly. My room was ideal. I shared my lodge with four other people whom I did not know prior to attending the retreat. The like-mindedness of all of us who attended the retreat helped to enhance the experience. As part of the retreat we visited a local village school. The children were amazing, so appreciative of all the school supplies we donated as part of our Mindful retreat. I also looked forward to visiting a ‘Balinese Healer’ as this was on my ‘bucket list’! All my expectations were met with the two ‘healers’ we visited. As part of the retreat we had the privilege of having a yoga instructor among us. Waking up in the morning and then again in the late afternoon we did yoga in an outside patio area covered by a thatched roof with the jungle all around us. Meditating in such a peaceful place was ideal.

I would definitely want to attend another retreat, possibly in India. I’d like to experience the spirituality of Hinduism and/or Buddhism in a retreat environment.
~Elaine Paletz, CA 

Mindful Warrior & Mindful Goddess International Transformation Retreats 

https://www.facebook.com/MindfulWarriorRetreats 

Michele DAngona organized an amazing retreat in Bali. The itinerary was well put together. We saw city life in Ubda, spirituality with an healer, sunrise hiking silence meditation day, volunteer in school and yoga sessions with an amazing instructor. Michele put a personal touch by giving every person in the retreat gift bag and special thank you card. Michele really chose a good dynamic group of people, who were strangers at the beginning of the retreat and at the end of the retreat became good friends. If Michele does another retreat ,I’ll definitely attend it.

~Ravit D., Los Angeles, CA 

The Mindful Transformation Retreat in Bali was a journey to heaven For me. I did not know what to expect before i left Los Angeles until I got to the Bali Eco Stay. The place surrounded by beautiful palm trees, gardens, waterfall and rice paddies. Sporadic sounds of colorful birds whispering from every corner of the skies on an early clear day it’s nostalgic feelings of happiness I have not had since childhood and I am having hard time to express. our morning started with one and a half hours of yoga that was included breathing followed by a combination moves of Hatha, and relaxation poses.

The food was amazing it was prepared by local chefs from the nearest village. A combination of fresh fruits, greens, salads and home made breads and of course, rice. The staff were always respectful, supportive and smiley ( real smile not LA smile :) you can feel the karma vibe and willingness to assist you on anything either emotional or physical.

During the time we were in Bali we did a lot of hiking, traveling to nears cities, visiting a spiritual healer and local school where we interacted with the Kids and gave them some school supplies.

After 10 days we returned home energized with good karma, health and gratitude. I also learned a lot about my self. Michele D’Angelo really did a great job organize and plan this retreat. Everyday was a great experience. I highly recommend it and in future I’m planing to go with Michele again.
~Michelle Osnat Shabtay 

 

 
 

GLUTEN FREE, LOW CARB, LOW SUGAR, HIGH PROTEIN

BANANA LOAF

❤️My homemade, high protein, low carb, low sugar, healthy version BANANA LOAF RECIPE with have you smiling & satisfied from head to toe!!! It’s great as a pre/post WORKOUT MEAL. This particular recipe was actually adapted from a foodfaithfitness.com #Paleo version Recipe & can also be a #Vegan or #Vegetarian Recipe- you can alter your back to that if you wish by removing the eggs and protein powder… Here is the HIGH PROTEIN VERSION RECIPE:

 

 

LOW SUGAR, LOW CARB, GLUTEN FREE, HEALTHIER VERSION

BANANA BREAD RECIPE
Serves: 12 slices
Ingredients
For the glazed bananas:
1 Tbsp Coconut oil, melted
2 Tbsps agave or sugar free syrup
3 Large bananas, sliced (about 2 cups of slices)
For the Bread:
½ Cup Coconut flour & 1 scoop Protein
¼ tsp Baking soda
½ tsp Baking powder
½ tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
¼ Cup agave or sugar free syrup
¼ Cup Coconut oil, melted
2 tsps Vanilla extract
4 Whole Eggs, separated
2 Egg whites
¾ tsp Apple cider vinegar
For the cinnamon pecan center:
⅓ Cup Pecans, finely chopped
1 Tbsp Coconut sugar
For the Pecan struesel topping:
⅓ Cup Pecans, roughly chopped
¼ tsp Cinnamon
2 Tbsps Coconut sugar
¼ Cup Coconut flour
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Coconut oil,melted
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil and set aside.
  2. Begin by making the glazed bananas:
  3. In a medium sauce pan over medium/high heat add 1 Tbsp of melted coconut oil and 2 Tbsp agave. Mix well.
  4. Chop the bananas and add them into the pan, stiring to coat evenly. Let the glaze reduce and slightly thicken while the bananas get nice and soft, about 5 minutes.
  5. While the banana cooks, measure the coconut flour, sift and remeasure. Place it into a medium mixing bowl.
  6. Into the flour & Protein Powder & add the baking soda, baking powder, salt and 1 Tbsp cinnamon. Mix well and set aside.
  7. Separate your egg yolks into a large mixing bowl and the egg whites, plus the additional 2 egg whites into a medium mixing bowl. Set the egg whites aside.
  8. Beat the egg yolks together with the ¼ cup agave and ¼ cup oil.
  9. Add the cooked banana and glaze into the honey and oil mixture, along with the vanilla and beat until the batter is smooth and the banana is well mixed. Set aside
  10. Add the ¾ tsp apple cider vinegar to the egg whites and beat with an electric mixer until they are light and foamy, 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
  11. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet and stir until just moistened.
  12. Gently fold in the beaten egg whites, being careful not to over mix. Let the batter stand for 5-10 minutes so that the coconut flour can start to adsorb the liquid.
  13. While the batter stands, it’s time to make the filling and streusel.
  14. For the filling: Finely chop ⅓ cup of pecans and mix in a small bowl with 2 Tbsps coconut sugar. Set aside.
  15. For the struesel topping:
  16. Roughly chop ⅓ cup of pecans and mix it in a medium bowl with ¼ tsp cinnamon, 2 Tbsps coconut sugar and ¼ cup coconut flour. Pour in the 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp of melted coconut oil and mix with your fingers until crumbly.
  17. To assemble the bread:
  18. Pour half the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
  19. Sprinkle with the pecan/cinnamon mixture until the batter is totally covered.
  20. Pour the remaining half of batter over top of the pecan filling, the pecan mixture will get mixed all in under the force of the batter, this is a good thing,
  21. Sprinkle the top of the pecan/coconut oil streusel, making sure it is evenly dispersed.
  22. Bake for 40-45 minutes until dark golden brown and a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  23. Let cool in the loaf pan 10-15 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
  24. ENJOY!!!

1456696_725316804166768_1523135485_nYes, genetics play a role in the amount of cellulite one carries, the elasticity of the skin, the smoothness & tightness, & the texture & thickness of your body/skin- but that doesn’t mean you are condemned to a life of rippled, jiggly, or cellulite bumps on your body.

Diet plays a major role in the way your body looks and feels & diet plays THE MAJOR ROLE in how smooth & flawless one can look. My programs are designed to not only take your physique to whatever level of fitness you desire, but inevitably because you are eating clean, your skin begins to tighten in texture, looks smoother, & literally becomes shrink wrapped to your muscle as time goes on. This does NOT happen over night- there are no special creams, lotions, or positions to speed up the process either. The change in your body occurs over time- as you gain lean muscle, raise your metabolism, and continue to eat clean & purify your body, your physique will begin to change, be reshaped, & become flawless. Diet kicks in within the first two weeks and most of my clients begin seeing a noticeable difference during that time. The body continues to shrink & becomes firmer only when you are consistent with the diet- stop and go & yo-yo dieting/clean eating is NOT going to cut it. What makes my programs so remarkable is NOT that my clients are transforming as that is possible for anyone to achieve, but whats most notable is the timeframe in which I take bodies of all shapes and sizes to that next level! What some may think would take 6 months, a year, or a lifetime to attain, I provide a plan that takes one body to the ultimate level of fitness in less than 3 months!

Training (specifically weight training) is essential to the transformation program as building lean muscle is vital to raising ones metabolism. The more lean muscle you carry, the more fat you will be burning even at rest! Muscle does not replace fat and fat does not replace muscle- they are two separate things that can both coexist together. My clients are NOT spending 4 hours a day in the gym! Their cardio is kept to a minimum- possibly 20-40 minutes depending on where their body is at and what we are trying to achieve. Weight training is a regular session lasting anywhere from 35-65 minutes a day- that is it! I remind my clients to think in terms of QUALITY NOT QUANTITY! Its not the amount of time you spend in the gym but rather the efficiency in the effort and work you do and put into the process.

IMG_19201472637_10153522424590627_1154890984_o

1456696_725316804166768_1523135485_nIMG_1920IMG_1765 IMG_2730How to get rid of cellulite... NO SURGERY REQUIRED!

Yes, genetics play a role in the amount of cellulite one carries, the elasticity of the skin, the smoothness & tightness, & the texture & thickness of your body/skin- but that doesn’t mean you are condemned to a life of rippled, jiggly, or cellulite bumps on your body.

Diet plays a major role in the way your body looks and feels & diet plays THE MAJOR ROLE in how smooth & flawless one can look. My programs are designed to not only take your physique to whatever level of fitness you desire, but inevitably because you are eating clean, your skin begins to tighten in texture, looks smoother, & literally becomes shrink wrapped to your muscle as time goes on. This does NOT happen over night- there are no special creams, lotions, or positions to speed up the process either. The change in your body occurs over time- as you gain lean muscle, raise your metabolism, and continue to eat clean & purify your body, your physique will begin to change, be reshaped, & become flawless. Diet kicks in within the first two weeks and most of my clients begin seeing a noticeable difference during that time. The body continues to shrink & becomes firmer only when you are consistent with the diet- stop and go & yo-yo dieting/clean eating is NOT going to cut it. What makes my programs so remarkable is NOT that my clients are transforming as that is possible for anyone to achieve, but whats most notable is the timeframe in which I take bodies of all shapes and sizes to that next level! What some may think would take 6 months, a year, or a lifetime to attain, I provide a plan that takes one body to the ultimate level of fitness in less than 3 months!

Training (specifically weight training) is essential to the transformation program as building lean muscle is vital to raising ones metabolism. The more lean muscle you carry, the more fat you will be burning even at rest! Muscle does not replace fat and fat does not replace muscle- they are two separate things that can both coexist together. My clients are NOT spending 4 hours a day in the gym! Their cardio is kept to a minimum- possibly 20-40 minutes depending on where their body is at and what we are trying to achieve. Weight training is a regular session lasting anywhere from 35-65 minutes a day- that is it! I remind my clients to think in terms of QUALITY NOT QUANTITY! Its not the amount of time you spend in the gym but rather the efficiency in the effort and work you do and put into the process.

There are no quick fixes, no magic pills, no surgeries that will instantly zap on muscle, raise your metabolism, give you total health, or instantly transform your mind set to positive thinking. Maybe this is an unfortunate thing to hear as you were hoping that my clients transformations were done with a special laser that gets rid of cellulite or a lotion or cream that tightens, firms, & shrink wraps the skin to the muscle, or a certain pills that magically burns body fat. I’m sorry to disappoint you but that is NOT the case. When it comes down to TRANSFORMING your body, your mind, & your lifestyle it’s going to take some work and that work starts from within. Luckily, if you have the correct tools, the right people around you, & the true desire for change, you CAN & WILL reach your goals…and then some! Take this as a life lesson- THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS TO ANY PLACE WORTH GOING! 

Trust Yourself! Get clear on what you want! Let go of the things holding you back, set boundaries, & weed out the unnecessary “baggage” you may be carrying. When you put energy & passion behind what you DESIRE, you begin to build power to manifest this into your REALITY!   

What I do, what I don’t, & my personal purpose & goal for all my clients:

1. My MISSION as a TRANSFORMATION SPECIALIST is to get my clients to realize their potential, to take positive control over their thoughts, their lives, & their actions (body, mind, & soul connection), & to help them to discover their inner strength and confidence from within to accomplish their dreams & goals, & life’s aspirations. With one client empowered I hope to greatly influence a dozen others- people inspiring, motivating, and influencing others in a positive way, paying it forward, and greatly impacting each others lives!

2. My JOB as a PERSONAL TRAINER, NUTRITIONIST, & LIFE COACH/INSTRUCTOR is to TEACH the lifestyle so that my clients may become knowledgable about living a healthy life & gaining greater understanding of their bodies- internally and externally. I am working to educate them on proper nutrition & training techniques/form, & exposing them to the positive effects that living this way has on their bodies and their lives. This knowledge can be passed down to their children’s, friends, and generations to come. Also, feeling educated and comfortable in the gym, in the kitchen, & in your own skin initiates the building blocks necessary to create a world only imagined and dreamed of for oneself. Knowledgeable & purposeful positive thoughts drive action, action creates change, & this type of positive change can only lead to greatness!

3. My ROLE as a COMPETITION COACH is to assist my clients in being 100% ready & prepared- physically, emotionally, & mentally for their show. Whether it be a fitness competition, a triathlon, or other sort of competition I coach them with all the necessary TOOL providing them with diet & nutrition guidance which is necessary to be in the right health, create a personal training plan so that physically they are at the peek necessary to complete their tasks/goals, & of course coaching the mental aspects to keep them pushing through inertia & take their minds to a higher level necessary as a competitor in any sport. Its not about receiving a physical trophy, medal, or prize (although that is an added benefit) but rather having completed the goal one sets out to accomplish- that puts a notch on the belt & drives one even further in all aspects of their lives!

WWW.EMPOWERINGBODY.COM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKkllbJfItQ

If you have been following my YouTube & Instagram posts lately, then you’ve noticed I’m working on my own personal transformation. I have 3 weeks to transform my body for a fantastic photo shoot I will be doing with the world renowned photographer, Alex Ardenti (www.AlexArdenti.com).

I eat clean all year round and maintain my body both in and out of the gym so that I can afford to splurge, cheat, & enjoy the foods I love- all in moderation of course. This “balance” that I found was not easy but it is possible to achieve. I’m definitely no stranger to dieting, but regardless of how many times I’ve gone through this process, there are moments when its just not that easy- even for me! Being “forced” to buckle down & stick to a regimen  (my own regimen for that matter) is hard but not so bad, as I know the results are priceless & it will all be worth the sacrifice in the end.

CHECK OUT my LATEST VLOG on YOUTUBE: My 5 DAY PROGRESS CHECK IN VIDEO AS PART OF MY 3 WEEK TRANSFORMATION!

DAY 1

DAY 1

DAY 4 PROGRESS

DAY 4 PROGRESS

DAY 5 PROGRESS

DAY 5 PROGRESS

In my experience with both myself & my clients, the first 2 weeks of any new diet can be the easiest or the hardest. In this case, it has been pretty tough- at 3 days in I was already bored out of my mind with chicken breast and asparagus… Feeling restricted, controlled by food, & unable to enjoy night’s out with friends, I decided to take another route as I ventured down this familiar road of dieting. My theory is, if I get as creative as possible in the beginning with making foods that taste amazing, gourmet, scrumptious, delicious, etc…but still staying in the criteria of “clean” eating & dieting, then I will never really feel deprived! Later on as the diet progresses and my energy level diminishes, I won’t even have the desire to cook & food will become just fuel for my body which means grilled chicken breast, steamed veggies, & plain baked yams will do the trick! LOL!

A typical and vey common breakfast side dish for dieters is a bowl of oatmeal. This can be a treat in itself but on occasion, I truly do miss the bite of bread-y, sweet, tasty  texture you get from breads. And so my recipe, the OAT BRAN BREAKFAST MUFFIN, was born! This muffin is a great carb replacement, gluten-free, low carb, low sugar/ sugar-free, & AMAZINGLY YUMMY!

Oat Bran MuffinsGLUTEN FREE OAT BRAN MUFFINS

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil melted, slightly cooled
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten (or egg whites equal to 3 eggs)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 2 1/4 cups oat bran
  • 1 cup splenda or stevia
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts & berries (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare muffin cups- 12 cup muffin tin.
  3. Mix the wet ingredients together in a small bowl.
  4. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a larger bowl.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mix well.
  6. Add the walnuts & berries, if desired.
  7. Spoon into the muffin tin–fill each cup about 3/4 of the way up.
  8. Bake 18-20 minutes.
  9. Let cool 2 minutes in the pan, then cool completely on rack.

Muffins can be frozen and thawed if you aren’t going to eat them right away.

So, my friend and client, former Extra TV Host, Dayna Devon recently posted a recipe for Paella on her blog and it looked amazing.  I got to wondering how I can make a healthier version for those days when carbs are a necessity and here’s what I came up with.  If you try it, please let me know how you like it and if you made any modifications.  This tasty, skinny Paella cooks in half the time but tastes just as authentic.  Don’t overdo it…only one serving of this a day and save the rest for leftovers!

Michele’s Skinny Paella

Recipe inspired by Dayna Devon and Tyler Florence’s Ultimate PaellaMichele's Skinny Paella

1.5lb chicken breast (cut into 1/2 inch chunks)

3 Links hot chicken or turkey sausage (casings removed)

2 cups yellow onion (diced)

1 cup red bell pepper (diced)

2 cloves garlic (minced)

1/2 cup flat leaf parsley (chopped, plus extra for garnish)

14oz can whole tomatoes (drained)

2 cups short-grain brown minute rice

2.5 cups fat-free low sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup dry white cooking wine

1 large pinch Spanish saffron

4oz shrimp (peeled, deveined)

1 cup sweet peas (defrosted)

S&P (to taste)

Chicken rub

1 tablespoon paprika

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Directions:

Step 1:  Combine chicken rub ingredients in a medium size bowl or large zip top bag. Add chicken breast, and toss or shake to coat evenly. Cover and marinate in the fridge for one hour.

Step 2:  Heat a large pot coated with cooking spray over medium high heat. Once hot, add the sausage. Break apart sausage with your spatula, and cook until no longer pink. Remove sausage from pot and set aside. Add additional cooking spray to pot, if needed, and then add chicken pieces. Sear chicken on all sides then remove from pot and set aside.

Step 3:  Add onions, red pepper, garlic, and parsley to the pot, season with S&P, to taste, reduce heat to medium. Cook for 3 minutes, using your spatula to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes and crush with your spatula. Season with S&P. Add uncooked rice to the pot and stir to combine. Once the liquid is absorbed, add chicken broth and cooking wine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Step 4:  Add the sausage, chicken, and saffron to the pot and stir to combine. Add the shrimp, pushing them down into the rice. Simmer for 15 minutes then add the peas. Garnish with remaining parsley.

Per serving: Serving size ½ cup 274 calories, 27g carbs, 4g fat, 31g protein, 3g fiber

Empowering BodyAfter a long day at the office or at home running after kids and managing a household, how many of you really want to lace up our running shoes and hit the pavement? That’s where self-motivation comes in. We are all motivated to lose weight by different things. Whether it be getting into your wedding dress, an upcoming class reunion, or something simple yet profound like teaching your children how important exercise is, in the end, only you can motivate yourself to get up, get out, and do something. But, before you jump into a workout regime, it’s important to identify your motivation to lose weight. Let your goals be your guide and then create a workout that is tailored to those goals. Here are some quick tips on how to get and stay motivated to lose weight so you can lead a happier, healthier life.

1. WRITE IT OUT-Whatever your motivation may be, getting it out of your head and onto a piece of paper will make your goals tangible. Your brain sees goals as written instructions, and therefore more real, which provides concrete motivation for you to strive to reach them. So today, take a few minutes, find a pen, pencil, and some paper, and write down your motivation to lose weight.
2. SET SHORT, ATTAINABLE GOALS-After you write down your motivation, take a few minutes and set some realistic short term goals. These goals can be to work out 3 times a week for 30 minutes, or to fit into those too tight jeans that are hanging in your closet in 30 days. Don’t set yourself up for failure by trying to do too much too fast, or by expecting big results too soon. Keep your life in mind when setting these short term goals and include activities that suit your needs.
3. BUY THE RIGHT CLOTHES AND EQUIPMENT-When you invest in yourself, you’re telling your brain that you intend on making these goals a reality. Go get some new running shoes, or buy a yoga mat. Take some time out for you, and spend the money you would’ve spent on fast food, on something that will make you live longer life. You can hit up Old Navy for inexpensive, yet quality workout clothes and accessories, or even get some used equipment for half the price off Amazon.com.
4. START AT A SLOWER PACE- Remember that this is going to be a lifestyle change. You can’t go from sedentary to over active in a week’s span. You have to give your body some time to adjust. Start out slow, and then build your way up to longer, more intense workouts. Initially, if you can only walk for 20 minutes at a time, don’t feel bad. Instead congratulate yourself for even walking at all. Start with 20 minutes, and then add 10 minutes every week until you’re up to 60 minutes. That way you’ll give your body time to adjust and you’ll see how far you’ve come.
5. REWARD YOURSELF-After you’ve attained one of your short term goals, take some time to reflect on how far you have come. Reward yourself…not with food….but with a new book, or some better fitting clothes, or even take yourself out on a date. You deserve it! If you have missed a couple of workouts, you still deserve kudos for being more active than you used to be. We are so hard on ourselves sometimes, forgetting to see the trees instead of the forest. Stop cutting yourself down, as that’s what helped to contribute to your previous unhealthy lifestyle. Instead, encourage, motivate, and reward yourself for the small things you do. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, but when it was finally finished, it was spectacular…and you will be too.

Now that you’re all motivated to start losing weight, stay motivated by referring back to that initial list you wrote from time to time, just as a reminder when the aches and pains of building a better you become too much to bear at times. Also, trying new activities like weight lifting, Cardio Barre, or training for a 5K can also help you stay motivated. When all else fails, find your favorite motivating jam, turn it up loud, and just dance. Music has a way of reaching the soul, rejuvenating and uplifting you when you need it the most. Remember…it’s the little things that make a huge difference in our lives.

BE HAPPY!