March: Sparkle or Dull

Oh hey, friends! Halfway through April and I haven’t shared my March beauty finds! Sometimes I slack….I’m sorry about that!

I’ve been trying really hard to try out the products that a lot of people have been talking about….but lately there have been so many of them! I’ve seriously considered upping the number of products I review each month, but I haven’t decided for sure yet.

Here are the two products I chose for the month of March!

Product 1Silisponge

EVERYONE and their mother has been trying out this silicone makeup blender, which helped skyrocket it to the top of my “must try” list. A silicone sponge thing? Could it really evenly distribute my foundation??? I was skeptical.

If you have been reading my blog for awhile, back in 2015 I shared my favorite finds of the year, which included the Bare Mineral Perfecting Face brush. That brush is what I have religiously used to apply my foundation ever since its discovery. I knew it would be tough to beat!

Initial thoughts on this applicator: Man, it is much different than I thought it would be! I thought the applicator would be a thinner more flexible item….this was thick and not very bendy. Look at this thing!

I tried it using my normal foundation, good ol Kat Von D, which blends really well and is a full coverage foundation. Did I like how the sponge worked? NO! I can’t even tell you how disappointed I was in this product. When you are trying to apply foundation evenly, a brush is great….you can get into every nook and cranny. With this thing…..not even close. I applied my foundation and then realized there were parts of my face (like around my nose) that were not covered, causing me to grab my brush to complete my face.

FINAL VERDICT: DULL! I know this product seems appealing (price wise they run between $4-$10), but save that money and invest in a quality brush. Trust me, it is worth it.

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Product #2: Photobalm Powder Foundation

I follow a lot of makeup pros on Youtube….there are so many great tutorials out there. One of my favorites, Christen Dominique, shared her love for Photobalm’s powder foundation, which she used as a setting powder. Since I love a matte finish, I opted to give this a try and give my trusty old Banana powder a break. I also was hoping to fall in love with the powder so it could accompany me on my upcoming trip to Punta Cana.

Right away I loved the look of this product…the packaging had a cute little pinup like girl on it, so you know I was into it! Since Photobalm is technically a foundation, I decided to try this as a foundation by itself and also as a setting powder like my gal Christen did in on her youtube channel.

Thoughts on it as a foundation: MINIMAL coverage. I felt like I just had a layer or loose powder on my face, and that wasn’t the look I wanted. However, if you like a very minimalist look, you may enjoy it.

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Thoughts on a setting powder: Surprisingly, it was very disappointing. It was a nice product…but there are lots of nice products out there. The coverage was so so on top of my foundation, and it wasn’t as matte as the product reviews claimed it would be. Is there a huge difference between this $26 product and a $4 Cover Girl compact? Nope. At least not to me!

FINAL VERDICT: DULL

Two dulls….that’s something that doesn’t happen regularly. I guess you can’t win them all in the makeup department.

Speaking of my Punta Cana trip, I have a group on facebook created where I will be sharing lots of live video, photos, and fun with a few of my best gals! The group begins on Saturday, so if you want to see what’s happening, just click HERE!

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sparkleon

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Top Secret Mission: Success!

Earlier last week I was made privy to a super big secret….a secret that, other than our team at corporate, only one other person knew about. I was told to not tell anyone…not even the other Market Council members, and I have to be honest….it was so hard!!!

I hate secrets….and I’ve always been a terrible liar. How was I going to avoid my friends and team and the other coaches in the area and not spill the beans?!?!?!

Somehow I did it.

The secret? At our quarterly event, one where corporate announces new products and fun things, a brand new program would be announced, and the super trainer for that program was going to be the special guest at OUR event.

Guys, this was HUUGGEEE!!!!

With over 500,000 coaches out there and thousands and thousands of Super Saturdays across the country, the Cleveland/Akron area was going to be able to provide an event NO OTHER event could duplicate…….our coaches would get to meet this brand new trainer after the new programs were released and would be able to have an exclusive meet and greet!

Want to see the minute I announced what was going on and the crowd went bananas? Here it is:

So who is this new super trainer????

Chris Downing!!!!! His new program, Shift Shop, will launch at our Coach Summit in July! I cannot waittttttttttttttt! July, get here soon!

And the best part? He is from the Canton, Ohio area, so he is local to me! I always love being able to support local talent! Chris has been in the fitness arena for years, training and running his own successful gym. Getting to meet him and hear a little bit of his story….incredible! Everyone was blown away by his passion and positivity, and I know this guy is going to have a tremendous future! Our market council is definitely looking forward to partnering up with him for future events.

These events mean so much to me….it allows me to connect with other people who share the same fire and passion as I do…it allows us to learn from some of the best in the business and grow…they are such a huge part of our business. I’m thankful every day for the community I found when I became a coach. It has changed my life, and it continues to change it for the better one day and one event at a time.

Here’s a look at some of the fun at Super Saturday!

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We are already planning out our next big event…..I hope you will join me for it! You never know what surprises will be in store!

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Rock the Reset: Day 19-20-21

Guysssssssssss!

I did it! I freakin did it! I finished The Ultimate Reset!

The last three days were much easier than I thought they would be….well, Saturday aka Day 20 was a little tricky. Since I was so close to being done I had a few moments where I said to myself, “Oh, I can do whatever I want today….I’ve made it this far.” Somehow something snapped in my brain every time this happened and got me back on track.

Sunday was an awesome day….I was traveling and somehow stayed on track until the evening, where I celebrated the Reset being over with a tiny piece of the homemade coconut cake I made for my mom’s birthday. I made this decision because I had completed all of my supplements so everything was technically over, and I wanted to celebrate my mom. I have no regrets.

Waking up this morning I felt wicked awesome. I snapped this picture really fast after i put my contacts in because I was incredibly anxious to compare what I saw in the mirror to the before photos I took Day 1. I was very pleased. I’ll be sharing my official photos a little later, but let me drop a few numbers with you….over the 21 days I lost 9 pounds and almost 3 inches from my waist. I also lost about 1/2 each from each of my thighs. I’m very much okay with those numbers.

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Yes, losing some weight and inches is cool and all, but my motive for doing this program wasn’t to have a massive transformation. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do this program…..I knew it was more mental than anything. I wanted to see if I could really live the vegetarian lifestyle….and if I could avoid my friends coffee, cheese, and doughnuts. Most importantly, I wanted the result that many people rave about after completion: a strong appreciation for food in general and how it impacted my body.

Let me share a few other takeaways from the Reset with you (other than the inches from my waistline):

My sleep improved: I think we all know I’m a night owl that survives on a strange amount of sleep. I work mostly at night and often don’t have the best night’s sleep. I now realize how much the quality of food I eat impacts the quality of my sleep. During these three weeks I slept like a baby….I woke up rested and felt terrific. On the few occasions where I slipped up (Krista’s baby shower and the doughnut incident especially), my sleep was off and I noticed a difference.

Skin clarity: I usually have pretty clear skin, which I attribute to my daily dose of Shakeology, however, with the focus I had on my water intake each day I saw even more improvement. Even during that time of the month (sorry, dudes who are reading this), I didn’t have any breakouts or issues.

No digestive issues or bloat: Well, the majority of the time. On those occasions where I messed up my stomach let me know what was up immediately. If you recall, on one of the occasions I shared a photo here on the blog where I looked pregnant because of how bloated I was (thanks, little piece of pizza). I had the same issue with the doughnut. Currently I am reading the book Wheat Belly, which discusses how gluten can impact your body. After my isolated incidents during the Reset, I can attest to the fact that my body and gluten do not get along….which I’ve always suspected. Awhile back a doctor told me I had celiac disease, which was later proven to be a false diagnosis, but I always questioned whether or not I had an intolerance. Moving forward I am going to be majorly avoiding gluten.

An appreciation for how great my body feels: I shared this image and quote awhile back, and it continues to ring true with this experience. Internally, my body felt incredible….it’s hard to describe. It just felt clean and good.

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But……

Since I am being honest with you guys, I did struggle with this challenge, and it wasn’t just because I was without my BFF Coffee. Don’t get me wrong….it was tough and there were moments I felt like a drug addict going through withdrawal, but I didn’t cheat one time with coffee.

The biggest struggle for me: the exercise and lack thereof. I finished the 3 Week Yoga Retreat, but I hated every minute of it. Like I said before, it just wasn’t for me, and even as a fitness professional there will be workouts that don’t gel with me. This is one of them. Sorry, yogis. You can keep your cow and downward dog poses….i’m happy to return to munchkin claps and genie tuck jumps.

Exercise is something so much more to me, and I don’t know if I can ever properly describe it. It’s therapy for me; it’s the one part of my day where I feel like a normal human being….the one part of my day where i momentarily forget about the huge hole in my heart and the grief I live with daily. It’s the time where I get out my emotions…my anger…my sadness…and my frustrations. Going three weeks without a serious sweat session did a number on me. I felt moody and depressed, and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t exactly a peach to be around. So the emotional aspect of this Reset…..yeah, it was rough for me.

Today I resumed normal exercise, starting back with the 21 Day Fix since the workout calendar aligns perfectly with my upcoming trip to Punta Cana. It felt amazing to be sweating and jumping and tossing around weights. I had coffee…pretty much immediately, and it was such a lovely reunion. I introduced eggs and meat back into my diet and my body felt sluggish and uncomfortable most of the day. I knew that would happen as I reintroduced foods to my body. Overall, my mood returned to normal….I was happy to be back in my normal routine.

Would I recommend The Ultimate Reset? Yes, I would. I think everyone should do it once. You learn things about yourself….not only about what foods cause problems, but how much you appreciate other foods and what they can do for your body. You learn about willpower and getting through something incredibly challenging. You just grow as a person.

Am I upset I had a few slip ups? Not at all. In fact, I think everyone doing this program should have a few. Why? I immediately saw how that food impacted my body, and I could associate the negative feelings and effects to one particular food. When you are focused on a restricted diet it is much easier to do that. I am thankful for those “bad” moments during the Reset; I truly think I had a better appreciation for my body and the foods I ate after that because I could see the difference.

I’m glad I did it, but as glad as I am that I did it, I’m even happier that it is over.

Would I do this again? Possibly. If I was ever on bed rest or restricted from exercise, then yes. That is the only way though….I’m not giving up exercise again unless a doctor says so.

I’ve got to give a huge shoutout to all of you and those in my daily life who have been holding me accountable…..I know I have been a challenge, but you all have kept me on track and helped me so much.

Crossing The Ultimate Reset off my 2017 Vision Board and moving onto the next adventure.

Oh yeah, and about that vegetarian thing….no way in hell. I’m a carnivore, and there’s no tap dancing around it.

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Back with my boo coffee. 

 

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Rock the Reset: Day 17-18

Today is Day 19.

DAY FREAKING NINETEEN!!!!!

The end is so close I can taste it!

Let me recap the past two days for you.

For some reason, I am still more focused this week than I have the previous two weeks. I swear, people in my life have been tempting the heck out of me, but I have not fallen victim once. NOT ONE CHEAT…not ONE!

I ended up changing up my meal plan a little bit because i fell so in love with the Coconut Collard Greens that I have been eating them with every dinner…..you have to try them. I’m already working on my meal plan for next week and guess what….they are making an appearance again!

I’ve been chatting with a lot of people about my Ultimate Reset experience lately….so many people have questions about what I’ve been doing. Here’s a few answer to the questions I have been getting the most:

1. How am I surviving without coffee?
To be honest, I am still riding the struggle bus with this…..coffee is such a huge part of my daily routine, and I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have gone to grab a mug from the cupboard and make a cup. I thought for sure I would cheat and have a cup at least once, especially with all my travel….I pass Dunkin and Starbucks on nearly every trip. Not giving in to coffee is something that I am extremely proud of myself for doing. I’ve saved a lot of money by not stopping, I will tell you that.

2. Have I been using my pre workout, Energize?
No. Energize is all natural, and some people claimed to have used it while on the UR. Since I was only doing yoga, I didn’t feel like I needed the extra jump on my workout. You better believe I’ll be back at it Monday. I love that stuff!

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2 Days Left of Yoga!

3. What has been the hardest part of the Reset?
For me, not doing intense workouts. I know a lot of people love yoga…bless your hearts….but it isn’t for me. All of us have workouts we love and workouts we don’t connect to as much….this just happened to be that workout for me.

Besides the fact that I love high intensity workouts and a solid sweat, workouts truly are therapy for me. Ever since my dad passed away, I have relied on my workouts to help me feel better. They put me in a good mood and give me a sense of accomplishment, plus I know my dad would be proud since he was always very focused on living a quality, healthy life. My mood has been very much a roller coaster, and I’ve been more depressed over these few weeks than I have for a long time. I truly feel like this is tied directly to exercise.

4. Am I really eating only fruit for breakfast?
Yes, yes I am, and I actually like it. Since I have always struggled with my purple containers, this helps me get them in early. I also have all day to burn them off, which is great because of the slow to digest sugar found in it, as well as the carbohydrates.

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5. What am I craving?
I have no idea why, but Filet O Fish sandwiches from McDonalds. I don’t even like them, but they have been on my mind 24/7. WTF. They say the foods you crave the most are the foods that are the worst for you…..clearly I am an example of this.

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The warmer weather has helped me get outside a bit more….the dogs love walks, and it makes me feel like I am kind of exercising when Im not really. I finally was able to break in one of my new pairs of shoes….how cute are these? Incredibly comfortable, too.

Hope you all are having a great Friday! Don’t forget, if you want to jump in my Operation: Fit-ish Online Challenge Group, deadline to register is Monday! To register, please complete the quick form HERE. It’s going to be a lot of fun….I’ll be doing the 21 Day Fix, but it is an open Beachbody group, meaning any program you want! Can’t wait to get Fit-ish AF with y’all!

Fitish1

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Rock the Reset: Days 15-16

Tomorrow I’ll be at the halfway mark of the final week of this adventure! In some aspects, I can’t believe this is almost over….in other aspects it feels like it has been forever since coffee and I were together. I can’t wait to rekindle our relationship.

This week has been going great…I don’t know if it is because I know I am thisclose to completing the Reset and checking it off my goal board for the year, or if it is just the focus I have to end this thing with a bang. Regardless, I am cruising through the week with ease.

Can I tell you the best thing that has happened to me regarding the Reset?

THIS MEAL!!!!

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Every program I do there is one recipe that becomes a staple in my meal plans moving forward…this is definitely the one from the Reset that I am going to remain obsessed with!

-Marinated Tempeh
-Coconut Collard Greens
-Sweet Potato

First of all….to address the elephant in the room…let’s talk about WTF tempeh is. Tempeh is made by fermenting soybeans in a mold…..which is a little different from tofu, not only by how it is made but by how it tastes. Tempeh is very firm, and you are able to see the whole soybeans in it.  It also has more protein and is not as processed as tofu. I tried tofu…and we did not get along….that texture! Ugh! Tempeh, on the other hand, has an amazing taste and can also be purchased in different flavors. For this recipe I used a Reset recipe for a marinade.

The coconut collard greens…..SHUT UPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!! These things were so freaking good….and so easy! All I did was chop up an onion and brown it, then added the collard greens, 1/4 cup coconut milk, and a dash of pink Himalayan salt. Try it!

I also served this with a sweet potato, but I did spirals. Since I was being lazy and didn’t feel like using my Veggetti, I bought them pre made from one of my go to grocery stores, Earthfare…..they also carry spiraled beets and other veggies. I imagine Trader Joe’s or other healthy supermarkets carry the same or similar items.

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Workouts are still going….I can tell the yoga is getting more challenging, so I am doing my best to keep up. I always feel mentally checked out when I do these workouts, and I hate that. Isn’t yoga supposed to get my mind right?

The hardest part of this week….the supplements.

I’ve been really trying with these things….you guys all know I hide pills in pudding because I am a giant child, so to take these straight up with water has been a challenge. This week I take more supplements than the other weeks. I’m getting them down…maybe with a little gagging, but I’m making it work.

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Five days left……you know the first thing I will be enjoying? The big ass homemade from scratch coconut cake I’m making for my Mom’s birthday.

With a coffee of course 🙂

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Rock the Reset: Day 14

ONE MORE WEEK!!!!!!!!

Can y’all hear the jubilation through my typing????!!!!!

Don’t get me wrong….I love how I am feeling internally, how I’m sleeping, and the food I am eating, but I definitely am looking forward to getting back into my normal routine.

Coffee….Energize….workouts….I can’t wait to be reunited. I honestly cannot believe I have not cheated with COFFEE once!!!!! I’m very impressed with myself.

This week is the Restore section of the detox, meaning legumes and grains are eliminated and my focus is on simple nutrition. I also add in a new supplement, Revitalize, which helps restore the healthy bacteria in my digestive tract.

So how did Week Two end up? Well, let me tell you…..

Earlier in the week I connected with two local bakers who own a start up vegan doughnut company in the area. I loved all of the info on the company, and they invited me to a doughnut tasting they were hosting today. Knowing this was something awesome and something my bloggers would absolutely love to know about, I attended the tasting with my friend Julie and new friend Erica. I’ll be blogging about the company very soon, so be on the lookout, but let’s just say…..this happened:

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I can’t wait to share about these beauties!

The bonus to trying the doughnut samples….I had extra calories, so I was able to get in a lovely 3 mile run. On this beautiful March day, I have to say….it was exactly what I needed to recharge my batteries and refocus me for this final Reset week. Tomorrow, back to yoga…but only for another week.

Here’s a look at my meal plan this week:

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My final week!

This week I am finally giving tempeh a try. I’ve heard many great things about the recipe that came with the program, and since I’m trying lots of new things with this Reset I figured I would build it into this final week. Other than that I am incorporating my favorite recipe thus far, the zucchini cashew soup! It’s so easy and good!

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Let’s see how this goes. 

Tomorrow I will weigh in to see how I’m doing, as well as take measurements. I’m not super focused on the numbers on the scale….I’m more focused on just getting through this week!

Shoutout to my Shakeology for pretty much saving my life. It’s nice to still have a serving of chocolate every day…makes me feel like I’m having a cheat when I’m not.

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend! This week is going to be a great one, I just know it!

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Rock the Reset: Day 12 and 13

I’m pretty pleased with myself today….I successfully said NO to pierogis!!!!

Seriously, friends….I really like pierogis, and I haven’t one in forever! It took everything in my body to say No, but I did it!!! Victory!!!!

With just a week left, I have promised myself that I won’t mess up once, and I’ve stuck to that promise so far. I mean…it’s the homestretch!!!!!

Like I said earlier in the week, I’ve been doing the same meals each day to help stay on track (I love repetition). Lots of fruit in the morning, a big salad for lunch, and veggies and a sweet potato for dinner. I like that the foods I’m eating are things I usually eat, so that makes it easier.


Yesterday I didn’t feel too well….a little sinus headache (shoutout to Ohio for weird weather shifts), so I didn’t eat lunch and just had my shake earlier. Lots of sleep and watching Prison Break seemed to help…I’m feeling better today.  I was also able to get everything all planned out for my upcoming Fit-ish Challenge group!


I’m getting ready to work on my meal for the final week….I’m not sure what all I cut out this week, but we shall see!

Hope you have a great Saturday!

Rock the Reset: Day 10 and 11

Over the halfway mark!

Everyone said this week was an emotional week while doing the Reset, but I haven’t had that issue yet….I definitely thought last week was harder. 

One thing I’ll never do….complain about the 3 Day Refresh again. I honestly feel like when I complete the rest of this Reset I’ll be able to conquer anything. 

Physically I’m not seeing a huge change yet, but internally I feel really good. I haven’t had any issues with cramping, bloat, or digestion. My coffee withdrawals are gone, but I am definitely looking forward to a big cup when this is over. 

One change I have noticed: how I view food. I’m looking at it much differently and no longer as a reward. So many days I’d have a killer workout and be like “I deserve this treat because I did so great today” etc. I’m not feeling like that anymore…. definitely hoping that will stick. 

Still loving my fruit breakfast….especially because I’ve been sharing Jackfruit with some of my pals. Everyone who has tried it has loved it! I could live off of sweet potatoes, so I’ve been loving them big time with dinner. 

You know what else I love? How well I’m sleeping at night. I know these changes in my diet have something to do with that. 

Another day down…. thanks for helping me get through this, friends! 

Rock the Reset: Days 8-9

Happy Week Two of the Ultimate Reset, friends!

Week Two is what resetters refer to as “Release”. During this week, we add in a Detox supplement, which surprisingly I liked! It has a lemony flavor and is best when mixed with super cold water and stirred consistently. This supplement isn’t one that makes you go to the bathroom a lot, so don’t worry about that if you are considering the Reset.

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Yesterday I weighed in with the start of the week and was down two pounds and two inches. Like I said before, I’m not really as concerned with a huge weight loss; my goal was to feel better internally and have a better relationship with food. Even with my few little slip ups, I felt good about my progress and how I was feeling overall.

Here’s a look at what I have been eating this week in addition to my supplements (detox, optimize, power greens, and soothe):

BREAKFAST: A big ass plate of fruit…..which I have thoroughly been enjoying. I’ve always struggled with getting my fruit in during the day, so this has helped me realize that eating it first thing in the morning helps me get those portions in while feeling full and having all day to burn them off.

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Rainbows are good…very good. 

LUNCH: Microgreen Salads or Quinoa Salads

Microgreen Salads were on my meal plan last week, and I loved them so much I chose them for this week as well. If you love something, why change? I love having a simple salad packed full of veggies for my lunch, and the creamy garlic dressing recipe is AH-MAZ-ING. I don’t even use dressing in real life, but during this reset I’m into it.

SNACK: Shakeology

This has been my saving grace….as a self diagnosed choc-o-holic, this is my sweet treat every day…..it’s also something I haven’t missed a day of in years, and I would never do anything that would force me not to have it.

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DINNER: Stir fried veggies and a sweet potato

I fell in love with a slightly similar recipe during my 3 Day Refresh days, so this was a no brainer for me. I also love having sweet potatoes.

Today I went out to dinner with two of my friends before we went to see Beauty and the Beast. I was so happy when they agreed to go to The Mustard Seed, a local vegan/gluten free market and cafe. Here’s what I had for dinner:

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Quinoa Stir Fry Bowl

I knew I could find something that was similar to the Reset recipes, and I was right! I had looked on the menu before I left my house to make sure…that’s what I always do when I am following a meal plan. It helps me stay on track!

Yoga….it’s going…..One day at a time. I see so many benefits of this program and why people like it, but I still am looking forward to jumping into the 21 Day Fix again once this ends.

Everyone says this week is emotional….I’m wondering if it will be for me. We shall see!

Hope your week is going well so far!

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What the hell is that?

Over the weekend I heard that question so many times…and it was all because of this picture:

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It’s like a baby….but a fruit. 

Most people had never even heard of this fruit, let alone seen a picture of it, so when I shared on The Sparkle Fitness Babe that I had gotten this item, I was bombarded with comments, messages, texts, and questions.

This, my friends, is a jackfruit.

Awhile back I wrote about one of my favorite local places, All Good Things, a place where my mom and I had fallen in love with their jackfruit tacos and jackfruit pizza. After trying it for the first time, I decided I wanted to get my one of my own and try to make some recipes with it for my meal plan.

So what the hell is a jackfruit anyway? It’s a fruit that is a relative of the fig and breadfruit and believed to have originated in Asia….and, as my picture shows, it is a fruit rather large in size.

The fruit itself can be used in a variety of ways. When brownish green, like the one I am holding, it can be used as a meat substitute, similar to pulled pork. As the fruit ripens and begins a brighter green, it is much sweeter (you can eat it at any state) but you won’t want to necessarily use it as a meat when it is this sweet.

Its taste? It is kind of hard to describe….but the best I can do is a blend between a mango, banana, and pineapple. There are SO many recipes for jackfruit (don’t believe me, look at Pinterest!).

I wanted to show you all how to clean this huge fruit as well as what the inside looks like. It’s an interesting fruit, as it is made up of arils, tiny fleshy chunks that contain a seed in each one. The seeds can be boiled and taste like potatoes!

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A jackfruit, after the flesh has been removed. 

Don’t be scared of this weird looking fruit…it is so delicious and versatile…and if you are trying to go meat-less, this is a great alternative!

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