Tuesday, May 31, 2016

From Binge to Balance


From Binge to Balance

Never compare your BEGINNING to someone else's MIDDLE. 


Sometimes we forget that we ALL start somewhere.

It's taken me 25 years to come to terms with my body type, gain some self-esteem, and give my body the respect it deserves.

You want to know the last time I've worn a bikini and felt confident? Never. But I did wear one on my recent cruise because the people I was around made me feel beautiful, no matter my shape, no matter how awkward and uncomfortable I felt. 

Bikinis/bathing suits, in general, have always been my nemesis. 

Swim party? Fuck that I'm not going. Beach? I'll be in a sundress.

But it was never about the bikini; it was about feeling COMFORTABLE in my skin. On the left here, I was wearing long jean shorts and my brother's motocross shirt. I also had a tank top on under it. 

I was SO uncomfortable in my skin, and it's visible on my face. I would pack on the layers, even in the crazy heat, wear black to avoid any attention, and stay in my "comfort zone" which was more like a body shaming prison. 

Face Your Fears


I remember when this picture on the left was taken. My family and I were about to climb Vernal Falls in Yosemite National Park (my happy place!). I couldn't make it even half way. That was not the first time--I've collapsed on the stairs to the mist trail before, wheezing, crying, so embarrassed.

Dudes, I'm still in my MIDDLE. Just because I felt light and happy and confident in a swimsuit at Target here does NOT mean I'm all about tight clothes and confidence all the time. Confidence can be LEARNED, and with working out, proper nutrition, and my vegan lifestyle, I'm still learning. 

Now, I can say that because of my commitment to my workouts, I've not only surpassed that damn bridge to Vernal, I've kept going, and hiked Half Dome TWICE, which rests at 8,839 elevations compared to 3,327 at Vernal.

Being Vegan

I'm prouder of that accomplishment than any other physical feat or weight loss. I defeated that damn waterfall number one on the way to a HUGE mountain where I climbed the back of it. 

Realize that we all have our mountains to climb. They might be literal; they might be wearing a bikini and rocking it, or they might be looking in the mirror in jeans and feeling DAMN PROUD of yourself.

Whatever it is, climb that damn mountain and DO NOT give up. You're worth it babe.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Easy Low Carb Hearty Vegan Recipe

Hearty Vegan Recipe


There’s a few ingredients that are a MUST when I do my weekly whole foods shopping, and zoodles are one of them! If you don’t know by now, zoodles are noodle shaped zucchini that are an amazing alternative to high-carb pasta and are perfect for easy vegan recipes.
You can make your own with a spiralizer or get them pre-cut like I do at Whole Foods. You can even order them ahead to make sure they have them in stock when you stop in.
This simple vegan recipe I am about to share with you is a delicious low carb hearty vegan dinner that won’t break your bank account! ;)


What You Need:
-         -Zoodles
-        - Meatless Beef Crumbles (I used Beyond Beef)
-         -Tomato Sauce (I used Mia’s Kitchen- Authentic Pasta Sauce in Siracha Flavor)
-         -Go Veggie Parmesan Cheese for an alternative topping to my absolute favorite nutritional yeast aka nooch lol
-         -Olive oil


Simple Vegan Recipe


 1. Prep zoodles by draining out all of the water. You can see how to do that here.

2. Put zoodles in a pan on medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook like a stir fry, turning zoodles every couple minutes to evenly cook on all sides. I add some garlic and cayenne for some spice!
 3.   In a separate pan, add another table spoon of olive oil on medium-high heat and cook Beyond Beef meatless meat crumbles. Stir every couple minutes to ensure that the crumbles are cooked.
4. Add pasta sauce to meatless meat crumbles.
 5. Top cooked zoodles with sauced up meatless crumbles.
6.  Finish by plating the dish, and sprinkling Vegan Parmesan cheese or nooch on top of crumbles.

This easy vegan recipe will make at least two servings and is perfect for meal prep! If the sauce is too thick, add more sauce on top of the crumbles!
Being vegan doesn’t have to be a challenge! There are plenty of simple recipes that are equally as delicious to their omnivore counterparts, and I am dedicated to only bringing you the best vegan meals that I’ve made so far! :)

This simple recipe is great because you can add in any extra veggies that you want to spice it up!

If you try this recipe, be sure to comment below!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Body Shame or Body Love? Your Choice

Love Yourself


If there is one thing I’ve learned through my entire fitness/self-love journey, it’s to take care of your body.

You know why? It's the only one you'll ever have! 

Sore? Stretch.

Anxiety? Yoga.
Sluggish? Water.
Bad Mood? Dance/Cardio/Lift

We can cure a bad mood with workouts, we can fuel our bodies with the right nutrition to avoid many ailments, and we can take care of and love our bodies every single day.
Life is about balance, but make sure you don't treat your body like a trash can--not just with proper nutrition, but talk about your body like you would your best friends.
Would you call your best friend fat? Ugly? Make up excuses why she can't work out?


No, I hope most of us wouldn't! What we constantly tell ourselves...we believe. A healthy body comes from a mindset shift. Trust me, it's been a very long road to self-love and I still struggle with it daily.

Social media can have 2 extremes: body shame or body love.
I choose love! Even when I hate how I look in an outfit, even when I gain a few pounds, even when I feel like giving up, I push through.
 I no longer cry when looking in the mirror. I no longer binge like crazy and then step on the scale every day and punish myself.
 I no longer eat like shit and then burn more calories than I consume.
Yes, I'm a work in progress. But that's it...progress, not perfection. Take care of your body--all of it, body, mindset, self-esteem, and muscles, all of it.
Throw the scale away if it makes you unhappy. Use measuring tape to track progress...or just how you're feeling! Be proud of who you are, flaunt what you want, and be kind to yourself.

How to find balance


I learned all of this through my fitness journey that I started with a little program called Turbo Fire. As a college student, spending most of my days hating myself, I decided that way of life had to end! I started Turbo Fire, and quickly saw my life turn around.

A few months later, Turbo Fire led to becoming a coach full-time. Talk about LIFE CHANGING! Not only did I lose 40 pounds, become more confident, and learn how to love myself, I also created an entire at home business and met some of the most amazing people who are now some of my best friends!

I am now in the process of re-doing the entire Turbo Fire program, and man has it opened my eyes once again! If you are struggling with your weight, with self-love, with how to properly treat your 
body, I would love to become your mentor.


I’ve been there, and I would love nothing more than to guide you through your journey too. If you are interested in trying out the Turbo Fire program, (or we can find a specific one for your goals) and joining my accountability group starting June 1st please send an email to LaurenMcHugh14@gmail.com

Remember to always LOVE YOURSELF <3

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

One-Step Chocolate Peanut Butter Vegan Smoothie Bowl


Easy Vegan Recipe

Eating clean doesn’t have to be boring….or gross!
Everything I make is absolutely delicious, I don’t even realize I’m “eating clean,” it’s just a lifestyle now! :D
If you’re transitioning to a healthy way of life, I seriously encourage you to try this delicious smoothie bowl! 

What you need:
-         1 Cup Coconut/Almond Milk Blend
-         1 Packet Chocolate Vegan Shakeology
-         1 frozen banana
-         Ice
-         Splash of water
-         Handful of frozen spinach

Vegan Smoothie Bowl

How to make:
1.      Put all ingredients in a blender and blend!

That’s it! Literally, the easiest meal to make ever and it is so good!
You can top your bowl as desired. I used unsweetened coconut shreds, 1 tablespoon of extra pea protein peanut butter, Engine 2 pumpkin granola and ½ a chocolate coconut Vega protein bar.


This is great for breakfast, for a snack, or you can even freeze for 20-30 minutes and eat as ice cream!


Seriously, try this y’all and let me know what you think!!! :)

Friday, May 20, 2016

It's Called Balance


Life is about balance

The struggle can be so REAL when you battle with balance, self-love, and eating issues. Life is short, but that doesn't mean scarfing down pizza every night will make it better.

Self Love

"Work hard so you can eat something without feeling guilty." That is the mentality that causes people to fall back into unhealthy habits. I find that way of thinking pretty harmful. How about, "work hard so you can live life to the fullest, feel your best, shine out positivity, and eat vegan pizza and treats every once in a while because you are a real human being and that shit makes you happy?"

Vegan Veggies

Balance is something I work on daily, but I like to follow the 80/20 rule. What does this mean? It means you should treat your body to exercise, self-love, green juice, veggies, fruit, salads, etc. 80% of the time and enjoy fries and vegan pizza now and then.

Vegan Feminist

One thing that has helped me stick to this rule is finding new vegan recipes that feel like they should be a "cheat" meal but are incredibly healthy and delicious! My vegan mac & cheese recipe is super easy to make and will help you feel like there are fewer limitations on your diet. 


But seriously, cheat day shmeat day! Life is definitely too short to hate what you eat all week, and you look forward to that one day a week you can binge.

Let's try BALANCE by working on our mindsets and thinking about the way we FEEL after we eat certain foods. If it feels good, do it! Get to the place where you can indulge occasionally and not feel guilty afterwards. Coming from someone who has had eating issues, this takes TIME!

You may only live once, but pay attention to HOW you're living. Don't you want to FEEL amazing?! <3

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Simple Tofu Taco Lettuce Cups

Simple Tofu Taco Recipe


It's no secret that my favorite vegan recipes are ones that are easy to make and can be cooked in bulk. This Simple Tofu Taco Lettuce Cup recipe was perfect for my meal prep! It does not involve that many ingredients and can be made to eat throughout the week!

(This recipe does involve tofu, something new vegans might not be used to making. I have to be honest, it can be tricky to get it right at first, so if you need help cooking your tofu click here. )

What You Will Need:
-1 package cubed extra firm tofu
-salsa
-black beans
-quinoa 
-bell peppers
-avocado
-nutritional yeast
-cayenne pepper
-olive oil
-garlic powder
-one head of lettuce

Easy Vegan Recipe


1. First, start by draining and drying out your tofu. My "How to Properly Cook Tofu" blog explains exactly how to go through this process. 

2. After tofu is drained, put cubed tofu in a pan with a tablespoon of olive oil heated to medium heat. 

3. Season tofu with nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper to your taste. Continue flipping tofu until golden brown. 

4. Next, cook black beans and quinoa according to package directions. I just use canned low sodium black beans and mix the two together!

5. While quinoa is cooking, chop up bell peppers and saute them with olive oil and your choice of spices--I prefer cayenne and garlic powder! 

6. Once tofu, black beans, quinoa, and bell peppers are finished, combine in a large pan. 

7. To complete your meal, peel off lettuce leaves and stuff with tofu filling. Top with avocado and salsa!

Best Vegan Dinner

This recipe is perfect for meal prep! If you would like to see any other traditionally omnivore recipes turned vegan, let me know! You can comment below and send an email to LaurenMcHugh14@gmail.com :)

Friday, May 13, 2016

Dream BIG then take ACTION


Live Your Dreams
The majority of people settle. They wake up, go to work, pay their bills, and go to sleep. Now, I’m not saying anything is wrong with that, but at what point do you DECIDE that living for the weekends is what life is about? Why not LIVE life to the fullest, work towards our DREAMS every single day, and be GRATEFUL for what we do have?! We have a LONG life to live, so live the life that people write novels about. :) 
How? Make like Grandmother Willow and listen with your heart ;)
Do you have a BIG dream you've always wanted to accomplish? It always seemed unrealistic...but you also never broke it down to make it attainable?
Fitness Coaching

Trust me, I know how scary this can be. You WILL be scared! There is plenty that will be left unknown, but if you don’t take a risk you will NEVER see the benefits!!!
What is the first step to living your dreams? Replace “I can’t” with “How can I?” Look at the possibilities!! THEY ARE ENDLESS!!!
We weren't put here to just pay bills, stay in one place, and then leave this world. Make your presence FELT!!
Yolo is real Yo ;)
You Only Live ONCE!! We get so caught up in our daily activities and the work grind that we fail to realize how short life is, and we need to be HAPPY, appreciate what we have, and strive to make a plan ASAP to make our Dreams into our daily Reality!
Beyond Your Comfort Zone

It's taken me way too long to realize this, but I'm no longer holding back. We all have the potential to do great things, do not let fear stop you from pursuing them. 

Punch fear in the FACE and go after them! You only live once, might as well live it up in the best way possible!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Student to CEO: Empowering Women Through Virtual Fitness Coaching

Positivity

Many people might think I just post positive posts for fun.
I'm sure some of these thoughts have even crossed your mind: "That's cool, she's lost over 40 pounds," "She must really love vegan food," "How does she play on social media for a job? That's cute."


Weightloss Transformation

Behind all the positive posts, affirmations, 40+ pound weight loss, and the outpouring of veganism and women empowerment, is a girl who started from the bottom, with the hopes of potentially doing something great someday.

I started this dream with zero following and zero ideas. I was hoping to inspire anyone out there while I jumped around my dorm room kickboxing with my idol Chalene Johnson. 
Now, behind all of my posts is an entrepreneur with a purpose to SERVE.

Team High Voltage

I'm not just aimlessly posting positivity, I have a TEAM of women who I mentor on how to build their businesses online. Yes, it is health related, yes it is about empowerment, but my TEAM is my family.

We are friends from all over the U.S. and Canada. I talk about them nonstop, because they are my driving force, the women I strive to help daily lead happier, more fulfilling lives. I teach self-love, balance, a healthy lifestyle, veganism, body positivity, and just so much more.

Woman Crush Wednesday

I woke up this morning excited to talk to more go-getters who are PUMPED and ready for a positive change, and I woke up to this INCREDIBLE video my amazing coach put together with some of the leaders on my team! I was just SO overcome with emotion!

After I finished bawling and reaching out to them, I thought I'd share this with you all--because my business is not about ME, it's about the women that bring me to tears even thinking about how they can now stay at home with their kids, travel more, not have to commute in the snow, they can rely on themselves, and THAT is called women empowerment. 

wink emoticoMy team starts at 21:59, and yes that is our theme song <3heart emoticon

Team High Voltage, you mean everything to me!!!




If you have seen what I do as a coach and want to learn how to do it too, please reach out to me! You can send an email to LaurenMcHugh14@gmail.com. I would love to help you create a life you LOVE to live the same way I did for myself!

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Coach Life...Revealed!

Beachbody Coaching

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!! WE START TOMORROW!! smile emoticon
Tuesday, May 10th!! :)

I want to INVITE you to my *Free* 3 day backstage view into what I do as a coach!! I'm so excited to be starting up this BRAND NEW 3 Day Sneak Peek group! 
I will be sharing some pretty exclusive info to give you a REAL in depth view at what I actually do everyday as a Coach :)heart emoticon
I'm going to be pulling back the curtain and taking you with me throughout my days.
In the group, I will be posting a daily video covering everything there is to know about what I do!!
I know I personally had a TON of BIG questions and concerns when I first heard about this whole coaching thing, so it's my MISSION in this group to ANSWER IT ALL!! :)


My journey from Binge Eating to Balanced Eating, from college student, to being my own boss! 
heart emoticon

I want to share with you exactly what it's taken me to become a successful virtual fitness coach, make a full time income online, with my own business hours, and how I can travel 8+ times a year 🤘🏻💕

I'm sharing it ALL in my BRAND NEW 3 day private Sneak Peek into Coaching group. 3 days of all the info, all your questions answered, and my journey from student to successful coach.
We start this TUESDAY! Simply click here to join--no strings, just info🏻️💕 
Or you can email me: LaurenMcHugh14@gmail.com :)

*US/Canada only please, 19+
I cant wait to start!! Even if you are just curious, you can be a fly on the wall for the next 3 days 
heart emoticon
 See you there! <3
wink emoticon

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Easy Vegan Breakfast: Tofu Scramble

Easy Vegan Breakfast


If there’s one thing you know I love, it's easy vegan recipes! This Tofu Scramble is from my Oh She Glows Vegan Cookbook (shocker, I know lol), and it’s amazing!! It was super easy to make and could even be done in bulk for meal prep. I also made this with avocado toast and roasted sweet potatoes which made for a perfectly balanced vegan meal!

What You Need For Tofu Scramble:
-        2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
-        2 cloves garlic, minced
-        ½ cup diced onions – tip: light candle while dicing to prevent tears J
-        1 red bell pepper, chopped
-        1 or 2 cups baby spinach or kale
-        1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
-        ¼ teaspoon paprika
-        1 package extra firm tofu, drained and pressed – see how to make tofu here.

Tofu Scramble


1.      In a large pan, start by combining olive oil, onions, garlic, and mushrooms over medium-high heat.
2.      Saute for 5 to 10 minutes until most of the mushroom and onion liquids are released and evaporated.

Vegan Recipe

3.      Add the bell pepper, spinach, nutritional yeast, and paprika, stirring well. Continue cooking on medium-high heat.

Easy Vegan Meal

4.      Crumble tofu and add to the pan, stirring well to combine.

Vegan Breakfast

5.      Reduce the heat to medium, and saute for another 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes if you'd like--I didn't. If the mixture becomes too dry at any point, you can add a splash some vegetable broth and reduce heat as needed--I didn't need to!

What You Need for Avocado Toast:
-        ¼ avocado
-        1 slice whole wheat sprouted bread

1.      Toast 1 slice of whole wheat sprouted bread
2.      Mash ¼ avocado until smooth
3.      Spread avocado on slice of toast, and devour


What You Need for Roasted Potatoes:
-        2 medium sweet potatoes, unpeeled
-        ¼ teaspoon sea salt
-        1 ½ teaspoon coconut oil, melted

1.      Preheat oven to 425 degrees, and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
2.      Dice the sweet potatoes into ½ inch or smaller cubes (the smaller they are the faster they will cook)
3.      In a large bowl, combine the diced potatoes, coconut oil, and sea salt until mixed thoroughly

4.      Spread the potatoes in an even layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes then flip and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more or until crispy, golden-brown, and fork tender. 

Oh She Glows Recipe

This was just a great, and easy vegan breakfast! I would recommend putting the potatoes in the oven while you are making the tofu scramble to cut down on cook time! 

Happy Cooking! :)

Thursday, May 5, 2016

How to be Vegan on a Cruise!



how to be vegan on a cruise




In the month of March I received an all-expenses paid cruise to the Bahamas for TWO on the biggest Royal Caribbean cruise ship, the Oasis of the Seas. How did I get this? Just by helping three people a month get started on their health and fitness journey, which is my JOB! Amazing, I know!

I worked out next to Tony Horton, drank rum out of a pineapple, bonded with my team, and even got fancy (for once lol) for formal dinners on the ship. 

vegan options


None of this amazingness would have happened if I hadn't made the decision to be a coach, to better myself, and in turn, help others regain their confidence, badassness, and find an amazing community of love and support!


Of all the challenges I have faced, I knew being vegan on this incredible cruise was going to be one of them! It’s not difficult to be vegan at home, but on a cruise I knew this was going to be tough! If I have learned anything, it’s to get out of your comfort zone! So that is what I did, and I came up with some really great tips for my vegan girls who are looking to set sail this summer!




Here are my Top 5 Tips on How to be Vegan on a Cruise:


1. ASK what's in the food! This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s something we might not think about! If you ask, the chef will come out and tell you! If you assume that it’s most likely not vegan, you will be missing out on so many amazing food choices that you didn’t know you could eat! Also, by asking, you will know what you can remove or substitute if possible! Just by taking the time to ask, I had so many more items available to me to eat for the week.


easy vegan meal
Veggie Stir Fry in the Dining Room :)

2. Embrace all the veggies! If they're out and aren't slathered in butter, FUEL UP! As vegans, especially new ones, you might often look to carbs as your go-to option. Carbs are okay sometimes, but you don’t want that to be your only food source! I can’t tell you how much my life has changed ever since I did the 21 Day Ultimate Reset and learned the value of eating vegetables. They are a major source of nutrients, and fill you up with fiber so that you don’t turn to the crappy foods! Hello, maintaining your clean eating ON A CRUISE!? Yes! It’s possible!

best vegan recipe
Salad Bar in the Dining Room :)

3. Be on a coach cruise so they provide alternative options like veggie stir fries. Lol, okay I know this isn’t always an option, but if a special cruise is available…. Or maybe another coaching trip, BE THERE! It was so amazing to have items specially made vegan for me! I have a behind the scenes group opening up next week to see what exactly I do as a coach, so if you would like to be a fly on the wall, shoot me an email: LaurenMcHugh14@gmail.com :)

easy vegan dinner


4. Bring snacks like protein bars and nuts. You are allowed to bring on food in both your carry on, and your checked luggage, so stock up! If you’re also trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you don’t want to be hanging around the buffet all day. Stick to a meal plan like usual, which typically means a couple snacks throughout the day. I brought on protein bars and nuts and ate them while I was in the room relaxing, or by the pool. If you’ve been vegan, you know how we roll… aka bringing our own food to special events, lol! Cruising is no different, make sure you have some guaranteed options with you so you can switch it up.


love yourself
Personalized Pizza from a Pizza Place on the Ship :) Just ask for no cheese!

5. Realize that life is about balance, and eating tons of fruit and vegan pizza is ok if they're your only stable options. Heck, you’re on vacation!!!! EAT THE PIZZA <3 



Vacations are a time to have fun, but it doesn't mean you have to veer off from your lifestyle. Yes, there is balance and it is okay to have vegan pizza and wine! Part of balance, though, is finding ways to stick to what you know. I hope the next time you take a cruise, you are able to use these tips! 

:)
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