Budget Friendly (and healthy) Carb Choices

Hey everyone! If you have just joined us, you are just in time. We have been talking about budget friendly ways of filling our 21 Day/Portion Fix colored buckets. I’ve saved everyone’s favorite yellow bucket for last! Most people I talk to have no difficulties getting all their yellow buckets in, but I still want to help you find the most economic way possible. So onward to the yellow bucket!

Corn tortilla
Tortillas are a staple in my home, in fact they have replaced bread entirely. Whole wheat ones, while they are not extremely pricey, do tend to creep up in price when you only get 8-10 in a pack. Corn tortillas can come in stacks of thirty while being under $2 and even at two per serving that’s quite a bargain.

There are so many varieties of beans out there and they are full of fiber! It is so good to add these little carbs into your meal plan. You can find cans of beans for under seventy cents, but the real budget cutting ones come dry and in a bag. They require a little extra work but if you are serious about cutting costs this is a big help!

Brown Rice
Another cost saving gem is brown rice. You don’t have to pick the fancy stuff, the unbranded or store brand works just as well for a side of rice, unless of course you’re making sushi, but that just doesn’t fit with the cost cutting budget.

Another great “dry good” that saves you money! Small batches really last and you could easily have a bag that lasts two to four weeks that costs you under $3!

Okay, I might be pushing it here, but based on the size of the yellow bucket, I feel like you can get a lot of servings depending on the type of potato and the season. My favorite is a sweet potato, but those little red new potatoes can be pretty cost effective during the right season.

Budget Friendly Fruit Choices

We are currently talking about filling our 21 Day Fix colored buckets with budget friendly foods. Last time, we discussed proteins or our red bucket fodder. Today we’re going to talk about my favorite bucket! The purple bucket is filled with fruit and there isn’t a bucket I like more.

Shop “In Season”
Our budget friendly purples start with the idea to choose “in season” varieties. Choosing produce with current harvest times will help your food budget stretch further. So ideally during this current fall season apples will be the most budget friendly and coming up next in winter you will typically find citrus fruits to be the most economical. Spring will be bountiful with strawberries and blueberries topping your list and summer provides an awesome combination, but melons are the cheapest for the amount of servings per individual fruit.

Outside of in season harvest options, here are a few staple budget friendly fruits.

These are great! Full of potassium and around $.50 pound, you can stock up regularly. The bonus is that one banana is two purples, so you get 2 for 1 in this deal!

So many varieties available, including cotton candy flavored! These can even be frozen and eaten as a sweet icy treat.

Chock full of vitamin C and so juicy! A bag of navel oranges can run around $3.00 for around 10-12 oranges. That’s pretty budget friendly if you ask me!

These are definitely the most bang for your buck! A $5.00 watermelon can fill your buckets for two full weeks! The bonus here is that watermelon freezes pretty well and helps keep you hydrated!

Core de Force Results

My Total Results: 60 days of Core de Force and the 3 Day Refresh

Right Arm11.25"12"
Left Arm11"11.5"


The picture above is 30 days. The left side picture was taken after the 3 Day Refresh and is at 125 pounds. The picture on the right side is me 35 days later, but also at 125 pounds! See, the scale doesn’t always tell the whole story.

I would love to help you have your own transformation! Our challenge group will provide recipes, tips, how to set yourself up for meal prep success, accountability, motivation, and daily support. We all do better when we have people cheering us on, let me be your personal cheerleader!

Let’s do this together!

Sign up for the 30 Day Accountability Group

Transformation Tuesday: The Purpose of IntentionallyFit

First, I want to say thank you. Thank you for trusting me with your health and fitness journey, allowing me to speak into your life, and pushing me to become a better coach. I am honored that you are here.

I want to share a little bit of the how and why behind IntentionallyFit. To do this, I will need to travel back a bit and share some of my story with you.


This is me on my 30th birthday. It’s the best picture, really. I had a three year old son and a 1 month old daughter. I look back on this picture with mixed emotions. I LOVED becoming a mom. I loved having a family (still do, in fact!), but I was so unhappy with me. Fear, insecurity, and an overall sense of shame for WHO I had become, or let myself become plagued me. I was depressed and really unhappy. This all came to a head in the most inconvenient of places, a dressing room at Target.

The summer after I turned thirty my little brother got married. I was in his wedding. The dress was a size 16. If this wasn’t enough, I had absolutely no shorts to wear, in public anyhow. I took my babies with me to Target and proceeded to try things on. The only pair of shorts I could squeeeeeeeeze into were size 15, and that was with the lay down, hop around, stuff myself in dance. So, right then and there I fell apart, with my two kids just staring at me, trying to figure out what was wrong with Mommie.


To make a long story short, I later found Beachbody in a hotel room on the way home from that wedding. I started Power90 at the beginning of January. I worked hard. Sometimes the logistics of exercising with a 4 year old and a nine month old required some creativity, but I did it. I didn’t know it then, but I was drastically changing my health and not just a diet, but a real lasting lifestyle change. During this time period I learned that health and fitness is not limited to just the physical aspect, but includes mental, emotional, and spiritual areas as well.


I say all this to tell you. I know how hard it is to change your life. I know how hard it is when nobody is helping and people are criticizing instead of encouraging. I know how hard it is when the kids are begging for attention and all you want to do is sleep (well, after you stuff a big burger or enchilada down your throat). We didn’t have coaches then or challenge groups to help. I don’t tell you this to get pity, but so you know it can be done. You can do it. I know it, because if I could with nobody helping, then you DEFINITELY can because I will help you every step of the way. I will be here for you. I will encourage and not criticize. I will cheer you on, but you still have to do the work. I can’t do that part, but I know you can. Join one of our Challenge Groups and get started on your own journey!


Should I Eat Before I Workout?

This question has been asked over and over and many times the answer is different. It has even been different at different times in my own health and fitness journey. Why? The quick answer is that this depends on you. Just as our goals change throughout our journey, so does the way we approach our fitness regimen.


Fasted Cardio

This is the concept that you perform a high intensity cardio workout after fasting, so not eating for an extended period of time. Typically this is an early morning workout completed prior to any consumption of food. It aids in quick fat loss and is good for those people with an excess of weight to lose or those trying to significantly lean out for some sort of competition or transformation goal.

I actually have lived for a long time doing this type of workout. I found that it was really important to have had a good solid meal chuck full of protein the night before though. If I hadn’t fueled well the night before my workout would tend to be lack luster and I even bonked! The intensity of your workout matters with this too. As I started doing higher level cardio work, like Insanity and Asylum, I found that I need something small to eat to keep my body functioning well.


Nutrient Timing

This is a fancy way of saying that you should plan when and what you eat around a special schedule designed for your goals. It has a bit of controversy surrounding it due to lack of true “evidence” to support the theory. Basically it says that you have a specific time frame prior to and after your workout in which your body is greedy and absorbs nutrients efficiently to support your specific goal. It has been popular with elite athletes, endurance athletes, and fitness/bodybuilding competitors.


But what about those of us who are just trying to make healthier choices, move our bodies more, and generally improve our health and fitness? The good news is that we’re all different! J So, there is no simple one shot answer. I hope you are starting to see that our health and fitness journeys are personal and specific to our own bodies. While that makes it a tad difficult to give out a basic statement about eating before working out, it also gives you a lot of freedom. If your body feels like it needs more fuel when you workout first thing in the morning, then eat about an hour before you do. If your body works really well, and the thought of eating before a workout makes you slightly nauseous, then I would avoid it and make sure to eat well after! Experiment with what and when you eat and see how your body responds the best, then choose that way of eating.

Eliminate the “Uh Oh Effect”

Your challenge for the next 21 days is to plan your week in advance, make some extra protein, and eliminate that “Uh It’s 5:30 and the day has been crazy, school, library, grocery store, post office, and you just realized that the chicken you pulled out of the freezer is still frozen! ARRRRGGGH! What’s a mom to do? Guess we’ll have to run and get something on the way to soccer…

This is what we’ve dubbed the “Uh Oh Effect.” It’s what causes most cases of “drive thru on the way syndrome.” I know this, because I have lived and sometimes am still living this. I have the best intentions of fitting a family meal in between the scheduled places we need to be. The problem is that I am not that good at planning, so my half-hearted attempts at getting something ready completely backfire and my family ends up paying for it. They, of course, don’t realize that they are paying for it, but think that it’s awesome to go to the pizza buffet. Now it’s not a bad thing to have pizza every once in a while, but when we do this 3-4 times a week we are teaching our family that this is the way to eat.

The only way to eliminate the “Uh Oh Effect” is to plan. UGH!!! I am so baaaad at planning. When do I fit this in? Seriously I need to do one more thing? Yes, yes you do. I do too. The amazing thing about this kind of planning is that it will make your life so much easier! It will bring your stress level down immensely, provide a better family morale, and teach your family how to live a healthier lifestyle.

Okay, so how do we do this planning thing? You’ll need to pick a day that you have at least an hour to use. Sit down and plan your week’s menu. The days that you have very little time between things, assign a meal you can cook in the crock pot or something that is already made and frozen (turkey meatloaf works well for this).

It’s also important to plan for your meals throughout the day. It is sometimes difficult to come up with a protein for your meals when you haven’t planned well enough. One of the things that I have found that works best is to make extra chicken breasts while I am making dinner on a weekend. Just grill up three or four times as much as you would normally use for one meal. You can then separate them into serving portions and either freeze or place in the fridge for later. These can be added to salad, tortillas, veggies, just about anything!


Food Prep Friday: Phase 1 Portion and Frequency

We’ve grown up in a society that has touted having three square meals a day as a healthy lifestyle. What exactly does that mean? How do we determine what makes a meal square? How much food do we need at this square meal? And why am I hungry in between the meal times? Is this still how we should eat?

Have you noticed how the serving sizes of things have grown out of proportion? I noticed a man at a gas station filling up a “mug” the size of a small keg at the fountain drinks. Seriously this cup was at least 2 gallons. Really? Who needs to drink 2 gallons of Dr. Pepper?! I can see where we are getting mixed signals and having difficulty choosing correct portions.

Now, you and I both know that the appetizer platter that comes to us at a restaurant is meant to be shared, but the size of your meal should be a serving, right? Well, not always. Some of those meals have enough food on them for three to four servings! How are you supposed to know when to quit?

A few years ago, @richarddubay and I followed the “Body For Life” plan. The plan is fantastic and a great place to start for people brand new to health and fitness. (check out the “Eating For Life” cookbook, it’s still my favorite!) Anyway, Bill Phillips gave the very simple guideline of portion control. I’ve used this for years and it’s a great way to keep on track in a restaurant. Your plate should consist of three sections, 1 protein that is the size of the palm of your hand (no fingers), 1 veggie that is the size of your whole hand (flat), and then a portion of carbs that measure roughly the size of your closed fist (this is not a lot of noodles people!). Now, this does not always equal out to accurate caloric measures, so bring your measuring cups if you are counting calories.

Those of you who are on strict carb diets, this is not going to be entirely accurate either. Remember that veggies are also “technically” carbs, but slower digesting in comparison to breads, grains, and fruits.

Now what about those three meals? Our bodies require fuel to work. If you ran your car on fumes, would it run efficiently? If you tried to push it as far as you could before getting gas, what would happen? Right, it would run out of fuel and stop moving. Your body will do this. Ever experience that 3:00 sluggish slump in the day? That’s a lull in your metabolism. It would be best to eat every two and a half to three hours to keep your “engine” running smoothly. And whatever you do DO NOT SKIP BREAKFAST!!! Seriously people, this is important. Eating breakfast gives a jump start to your metabolism. It wakes your body up and says, “Wow! I have work to do!” and starts your body’s consumption of energy. (that by the way, is what calories are)

Okay, so all of that brings us to the conclusion of Phase 1 of helping your family eat healthy. Let’s go over the big points.

  1. Eat breakfast!
  2. Eat every 2-3 hours
  3. Your meal should consist of 1 protein (size of your palm), 1 veggie (flat open hand), and 1 carb (closed fist)

Start with this first. If you add too much change to your family all at once they will revolt. I promise. Small changes done over a couple weeks, 21 days, will be much more welcome and not so overwhelming.