Monthly Archives: November 2015

Healthy Lunch Ideas & How to Pack a Healthier Lunch (As Seen on ABC Chicago)

Get the scoop on how to pack a better lunch from Women’s Weight Loss Coach and Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour. Check out her recent interview on ABC 7 Chicago in which she goes over five simple ways to pack fast, healthy lunches that are good for you and the kids!

The morning is busy enough, so you definitely don’t want to put off packing the day’s lunches to right before rushing out the door. As I like to remind my private weight loss clients  one of the keys to success is careful planning.

Plan With Purpose

Take a look at your upcoming schedule, utilize a planner or a calendar, and write down how many lunches you need to prepare for yourself and your kid(s) vs. how many meals might be eaten outside of the home. Take the number of meals you need and base your shopping list off of it.

Shop ‘Til You Drop

Now that you have your number of lunches needed and your grocery list you can get to the store and grab everything you need in one full swoop! For example if you decided you need four lunches for yourself for the week, that means you need to be shopping for four proteins, four greens, four snacks, etc.

Pack Mindfully

Nobody wants to eat a soggy salad. Make it easy on yourself by investing in plenty of different-sized ziploc containers. Pack your proteins separately from your greens, and your dressing measured out in its own container.

Keep yourself from going overboard on your daily amount of healthy fats by pre-packaging out your almonds, pistachios, and nut butters. Portioning out serving sizes of hummus is a good idea as well! And bonus, buying nuts in bulk and packing them into smaller containers yourself is easier on your wallet than buying those individual packages.

Do all your food packing the night before so they’re ready to grab ‘n go in the morning!

Bulk Up!

An important part of any sustainable weight loss program is to have enough healthy options available that when hunger pangs strike you won’t derail. For this reason I recommend adding an extra piece of fruit into your lunch bag. Something delicious and fiber filled like an apple is wonderful.

Satisfy That Sweet Tooth

Yes, best news ever, desserts can be healthy! Pack yourself a healthy dessert to enjoy post-lunch and curb any sugar cravings that might creep up on you in the afternoons. My favorites are a sweet potato warmed up in the microwave, a granola bar, or even a little bit of dark chocolate. Aim for one that’s over 70% cocoa for the best benefits.

 

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As a private weight loss coach and a private fitness coach for women, I specialize in helping successful women lose weight.

If you’re looking for a life coach, a wellness coach, or a confidence coach in Chicago and beyond, you’ve come to the right place! As a certified personal trainer for women, Yoga Instructor in Chicago, Pilates Instructor in Chicagoland, and certified professional life coach in Chicago, I work with successful women across the country as a private weight loss coach for women.

For more inspiration, join our FREE 21 Day Challenge at stepitupchallenge.com

 

5 Ways to Boost Your Immune System Holistically (As Seen On Fox 32 Chicago)

Women’s Weight Loss Coach and Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour was featured on Fox 32  in Chicago to discuss holistic remedies for the upcoming cold and flu season. These are five simple things you can easily add into your existing daily routine to keep your health at a maximum.

I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that every time colder weather rolls around, people start falling sick with the same bug. Whether you opt to get the flu shot or not, these natural remedies can help you fight inflammation in your body and they come with zero health risks.

Let’s start bright and early.

Are you an avid coffee or tea drinker in the morning? You don’t have to ditch your beverage of choice, but try getting in the habit of having a cup of hot water and lemon first thing in the morning. You can boil the water in the microwave if you’re short on time. Squeeze the juice from half a lemon in there, sip, and you’re good to go! The reason is twofold; lemon is very detoxifying and it’s going to help reduce inflammation.

Or, maybe you’re more of a morning smoothie drinker. If that’s the case, try adding one to two cups spinach to get the same anti-inflammatory benefits plus that boost of Vitamin C.

That Dreaded Midday Crash

Do you find yourself reaching for more coffee in the afternoons to keep yourself going? Let me introduce you to a better option, Bru Broth. Bru Broth is the freshest bone broth on the market and contains just the right amount of protein to wake you up out of that afternoon slump! It’s loaded with collagen which is great for your skin, and it’s amazing for your overall gut health.

They come in easy-to-pack, portable bottles, are available in a variety of fun flavors, and they’re 100% organic! Win, win, win! They also sell a line called RESET for anyone interested in doing a bone broth cleanse. Unlike most juice cleanses that can be pretty high in sugars, the Bru Broth cleanse boasts less than one gram of sugar per serving.

The Evening Meal

Dinner is the perfect time to play up the spices. Depending on your spice tolerance consider adding one of the following to your nightly stir-fry or soup: turmeric, ginger, garlic, or even some cayenne pepper.

What we’re looking for here is just enough spice to speed up your metabolism and keep that digestive system running smoothly. Gut health is essential, especially when trying to fight off or avoid the flu.

No Days off, Right?

Wrong. Like I always tell my private weight loss clients, it is absolutely okay to stop your workouts if you feel yourself getting sick. If your body is aching, kick back and treat yourself to some self-massage. You can use a foot roller, or roll out on a foam roller if you have one handy. Go easy on yourself.

Get That Healing Sleep

Right after fluids, “get some rest” is the top prescribed remedy for fighting off sickness. Motivate yourself to go to bed earlier with a cushy sleep mask and/or an aromatherapy ball. If you know a lush sleeping set-up is waiting for you, you’ll be more apt to hustle under those covers!

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As a private weight loss coach and a private fitness coach for women, I specialize in helping successful women lose weight.

If you’re looking for a life coach, a wellness coach, or a confidence coach in Chicago and beyond, you’ve come to the right place! As a certified personal trainer for women, Yoga Instructor in Chicago, Pilates Instructor in Chicagoland, and certified professional life coach in Chicago, I work with successful women across the country as a private weight loss coach for women.

For more inspiration, join our FREE 21 Day Challenge at stepitupchallenge.com

How To Get Back Into A Fitness Routine (As Seen On CBS Chicago)

With kids going back to school, it’s the perfect time to revamp your fitness routine. Weight Loss Coach and Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour stopped by CBS Chicago to provide some new and easy habits that help you shape up and stay in it to win it!

A large percentage of my private weight loss clients are busy career women. A common point I like to touch on is that staying well-nourished is equally as important as making the time to workout.

When you’re constantly on the go it can be hard to find time to slow down and cook yourself a healthy meal. That’s why my first habit recommendations to start with is–meal prepping!

Meal Prep To the Max

To smoothly integrate meal-prepping into your weekly habits–plan in advance. Plan a menu, list out all ingredients needed, then pick a day when you are less busy to go grocery shopping. Don’t forget the list!!

Cook your food, then take it a step further and portion the food out in individual containers. Do this so that when you’re rushing out the door in the morning it’s as simple as grab-n-go!

Click here to purchase a copy of my 7-Day Easy Meal Plan + Recipe Book!

Ditch Lofty Workout Goals

This may sounds counter intuitive, but hear me out! If you haven’t been in a routine, you may be tempted to go from zero to full throttle. Thinking you’ll be able to jump into a full time gym schedule may lead to feelings of overwhelm and burn out before the habit has even taken hold.

Pull back a little and start with committing to working out just five minutes a day. I recommend movements you can even do while watching TV, such as, foam rolling, squeezing a yoga block between your thighs, or using a yoga strap to get some stretching in.

Want to do something that makes your body feel good? When we feel flexible, loosened up, and relaxed, we’re more likely to want to keep those good feelings going by say, going for a walk or trying a workout! For a bit of body therapy, I recommend the Original Worm Foam Roller to all my private weight loss clients.

And if you don’t already own a yoga block or strap I love products by Gaiam!

Bite-Sized Ways to Eat Healthier

Healthy sources of fats like almonds and nut butters are great to keep with you during the day for snacking. They can also be a little too easy to overindulge in, so I advise pre-portioning them out in small to-go containers. You can even buy individual serving sizes of nut butters from brands like NuttZo. Deliciously convenient!

Another bite-sized way to achieve your goal of eating healthier is to add one specific food to each major meal of the day.

Breakfast – Add a healthy fat such as chia or flax seeds into your oatmeal, smoothies, or yogurt.
Lunch– Pack your favorite brand of protein bar to have as a snack after lunch (just make sure it has at least 10g of protein in it)!
Dinner– For dinner, simply add in an extra veggie!

Reward Yourself Like a Child

When a child does something well, you encourage them, right? Whether with hugs or a high-five, it’s a confidence boost that associates a set action with a positive outcome. Treat yourself the same way. Did you do your five minute workout today? Pat yourself on the back! Meal prepped so your nutrition was accounted for all day? Give yourself a big ol’ hug, you deserve it!

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As a private weight loss coach and a private fitness coach for women, I specialize in helping successful women lose weight.

If you’re looking for a life coach, a wellness coach, or a confidence coach in Chicago and beyond, you’ve come to the right place! As a certified personal trainer for women, Yoga Instructor in Chicago, Pilates Instructor in Chicagoland, and certified professional life coach in Chicago, I work with successful women across the country as a private weight loss coach for women.

For more inspiration, join our FREE 21 Day Challenge at stepitupchallenge.com

Stephanie High-Fiving Anchor

Top 5 Healthiest Foods at BBQs (As Seen on Fox 32)

Barbecues and cookouts aren’t over for the year just yet. Is there a way for you to stay on track with your fitness goals without missing out on fun events? Weight Loss Coach and Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour is back in action on Fox 32 to discuss five of the most fattening foods to avoid this Labor Day and what to reach for instead.

1. Approaching the Appetizers

Loser = Creamy dips

These are sneaky food items, especially if they’re homemade because you have no control over how much of any one fattening ingredient has been added! Plus they won’t fill you up, so it’s much too easy to over-eat. I know those dips can be hard to turn down, but I have an alternative that is just as tasty and more nutrient-dense!

Winner = Hummus

Yum. I love how hummus pairs so well with veggies. Also, it’s made from chickpeas so it’s loaded up with healthy fats and protein!

2. Stay The Main Course

Loser = A fully loaded cheeseburger.

These bad boys can run you upwards of 1,000 calories- whoa! Now you don’t have to skip the burger entirely, which brings us to our…

Winner = An open-faced sandwich

You have several options here. You can opt for no bun and do a lettuce wrap, or just leave one bun. I always advise my private weight loss clients to pair their protein with veggies, so add a lot of lettuce to your open-faced sandwich and/or grab whatever other vegetables are available (maybe some from that hummus tray!).

3. Sidling Up to That Side Dish

Loser = Pasta salads

Much like the creamy dips, these can be sneaky about their ingredients, and pretty heavy on the calories while being low on the nutrients.

Winner = Veggie based salad

People are getting pretty creative these days with their side dishes, so look for things like a carrot-cabbage slaw (one that isn’t heavy on the mayo), or a cucumber or tomato salad, etc.

4. Don’t Derail at Dessert

Loser = Those ever-popular fluffy cakes.

Sheet cakes are purchased for just about every occasion these days, but that giant slice is not only loaded with fat, it’s got a hefty dose of sugar that will knock you for a loop! Best to just say no, but you can still have a dessert!

Winner = A bite-sized brownie or a smaller cookie.

Doing this simple swap is worth it. These sweet choices are around one third the calories of that wedge of cake.

5. Curb Your Cocktail Cravings

Loser = Frozen drinks

The margaritas, the daiquiris, the pina coladas, these are the big calorie, high-sugar offenders of the adult beverage barbecue scene!

Winner = Sip instead on a refreshing wine cooler, half a glass of wine mixed with sparkling water.

Choosing this route should keep you feeling good not only on the event day, but also the morning after!

 

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As a private weight loss coach and a private fitness coach for women, I specialize in helping successful women lose weight.

If you’re looking for a life coach, a wellness coach, or a confidence coach in Chicago and beyond, you’ve come to the right place! As a certified personal trainer for women, Yoga Instructor in Chicago, Pilates Instructor in Chicagoland, and certified professional life coach in Chicago, I work with successful women across the country as a private weight loss coach for women.

For more inspiration, join our FREE 21 Day Challenge at stepitupchallenge.com

Steph with Fox 32 Anchor

Partner Workout: Pilates Half Roll Down with Jenny Milkowski

Ready for a fun Pilates move that’ll whip you into shape? We thought so! Weight Loss Coach and Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour teams up with TV Personality Jenny Milkowski to show you an exercise that serves double-duty by challenging both your core muscles and your shoulders.

All you need for this awesome workout is a buddy and a light pair of dumbbells. Okay, and a good attitude is optional, but highly recommended!

Start seated, hold hands and leeeeean back. Actually it’s more of a roll back, but you get the idea! Keep your heels on the ground, abs in tight, then press your weight above your head. Reverse the movement to come back and go again. Don’t forget to switch sides at some point.

Happy Lifting!

XO,

Steph and Jenny

As a private weight loss coach and a private fitness coach for women, I specialize in helping successful women lose weight.

If you’re looking for a life coach, a wellness coach, or a confidence coach in Chicago and beyond, you’ve come to the right place! As a certified personal trainer for women, Yoga Instructor in Chicago, Pilates Instructor in Chicagoland, and certified professional life coach in Chicago, I work with successful women across the country as a private weight loss coach for women.

For more inspiration, join our FREE 21 Day Challenge at stepitupchallenge.com

Steph & Jenny Lean Back