Beachbody Coach Vanessa’s Favorite Lean and Quickfix Meals

Hello My Wellness Family,

I wanted to share a post with all of you written by Beachbody Coach Vanessa Olivieri because her decision to change her lifestyle is one of the most inspiring transitions I’ve seen. Her results are dramatically impressive and she looks and feels fantastic! She is constantly posting pics of healthy meals in addition to motivational posts. Feel free to follow her on IG @vee0la to gain some daily inspiration. I hope you all enjoy these yummy and simple meals!

Written By: Vanessa Olivieri

Hi Guys! I’d like to start off with letting you know that the transition into a healthier lifestyle starts with eating real food. Eliminate processed, high sugar, high saturated fat food. The longer the shelf life, the worse it is for your body. Reading labels is important and the ingredients should be simple and easy to read. Below are some of the recipes I enjoy. They’re not only healthy and delicious but convenient if you are pressed for time.


Overnight oats are fun because you can add anything in them to keep them interesting and tasty and the oats soak up all the flavor making it so much more delicious! The picture below has 1/3 cup of old fashioned oats, 1/3 cup of NF plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 tsp of cinnamon, 1tsp of stevia, 2 tsp of natural peanut butter, half banana, ¼ cup blackberries, 2 strawberries ½ tbsp. flaxseed meal, ½ tbsp. chia seeds! So easy to prepare, and delicious! You just leave it in the fridge overnight or over a couple hours in the day, and the oats soak up all the flavors and taste delicious!

Protein pancakes: I blended in blender 1 medium banana, 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder, 2 egg whites, about 1 tsp baking powder, maybe like 1 tbsp of stevia, 1/2tbsp Greek yogurt, 2 Tbsp old fashioned oats, little splash of water if the batter is too thick, and a little Himalayan salt. Then just cook on pan like a pancake! Top with natural peanut butter/almond butter, greek yogurt, or agave/honey

Chicken Sandwich: 2 slices of sesame Ezekiel bread, 3oz chicken breast, spinach, 1/4 hass avocado, baked sweet potatoe slices and drizzled some apple cider vinegar or lemon

Egg white omelet with spinach, onions, mushrooms (and anything else you would like to add to it) can top with a little mozzarella cheese
egg white om

chicken breast seasoned with himalayian salt, black pepper, garlic, paprika, and sriracha hot sauce cooked in pan till brown, then add in tomatoes, any color bellpeppers, red onion. Serve with a side of brown rice/quinoa.

Spaghetti Squash and meatballs in tomatoes sauce. Cut spaghetti squash in half, bake for about 1 hour at 350 degrees (if squash noodles are still hard, can microwave for about 5 minutes or more till squash noodles are soft). Pull the noodles out with a fork as pictured. season to taste salt/pepper etc.

green apple with 1tbsp of natural peanut butter

Peanut butter banana sandwiches with a little cinnamon, you can dip them in greek yogurt or leave them as is and freeze for a very delicious snack or dessert.

1 ripe banana, cocoa powder, 1egg, 1big tbsp PB. Mash it all together. Microwave for about 2 min! And the cream is Greek yogurt, i changed alittle bc didnt hve maple syrup so i used agave, a tspn of stevia, and shredded coconut! Topped with a tbspn PB

Meditation: Short list of benefits

The Chopra Foundation shares an interesting article with us about the many benefits of Meditating. Here is my quick recap:

Healing Benefits:
-decreased blood pressure and hypertension
-lower cholesterol
-reduces stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline)
-more oxygen to the body
-decreases production of anti aging hormones
-improves immunity
-decreases anxiety depression and insomnia

-ability to learn
-problem-solving skills

Helps you create harmonious loving relationships


*Meditation is the birthplace of happiness* For more info please read the rest of the article

Easy Peasy Snacks on the Go

Some of us may not realize the impact that eating good healthy clean food has on us. It can improve your mood, energy levels and prevent various health conditions. I’ve heard time and time again that eating clean can be a drag and time consuming. Chopping veggies, washing fruit, cooking. Who’s got that kind of time! Well I think we can all afford to set aside less than one hour to food prep. You can shop for what you need on Sunday , prep it and store it! Food prepping prepares you for the week so all you have to do is open the fridge, grab and GO. This consists of peeling and washing your fruits/veggies and preparing whatever concoction you may have in mind. You then chop fruits/veggies to your size preference and store in the fridge in containers or baggies. You can always message me for more details on this. Now remember we should all be eating 5-6 times a day to not only trigger your metabolism but to incorporate all healthy nutrients into your daily food intake (I refrained from saying diet because we are not on a diet! We are enhancing our healthy lifestyle). This blog entry will focus on 10 snacks I find easy to take with me on the go and I will include my favorite brands for some. I would suggest your first snack between 10:30-11 am, lunch around 1-1:30 and the second snack around 3-3:30. Snacks are great because they keep the body fueled and make you less hungry during your next meal. Try to keep 2 hours between meals to avoid acid reflux and allow your metabolism to function properly. ***Lastly please portion your snacks appropriately*** If your snack is looking more like a meal let’s cut back a little. Remember you have four other meals to enjoy! Please feel free to comment and share your favorite on the go snacks. The more information we share the more knowledge people will have 🙂 Okay here we go:

1. Veggies:Celery carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, avocado I personally love taking veggies as a snack. Prepping celery and carrots is probably my top two. There is so much you can mix them with including items listed below. You can have them with hummus, peanut butter or the low fat dressing of your choice! My favorite is a snack called ants on a log. Celery+ peanut putter and 2-3 raisins on top. Deeeelish!

2. Trail Mix I prefer to make my own but many super markets and gourmet food stores sell them already made. You can get creative: almonds, walnuts, raisins, dried cranberry, any other dried fruits, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds. Go nuts! Try to make sure almonds walnuts and raisins are always included though!

3. Granola/Trail Mix bars I prefer the brand Kashi as their ingredients are all natural and low in calorie and sugar content. This kind of snack puts a smile on my face when I’m in a big time rush to work!

4. Almond Butter/ Peanut Butter Few of us don’t appreciate the taste of almond butter. In that case stick with the peanut butter although the almond butter is better for you. I like to stick to stores like Fairway where I can make my own almond butter. Not only is it fun to do but it can’t get much more natural and clean than that. This is great because you can mix it with fruits, veggies and brown rice cakes. One of my personal favorites that kills a sweet craving: brown rice cake, almond butter, 3-4 slices of banana.

5. Hummus Who knew mashed chick peas could taste so good. Most stores will sell pre-portioned containers of these. They are super nutritious and a great mix with veggies or wheat crackers.

6. Fruits Most fruits are super easy to take on the go: bananas kiwi, apple, orange, grapefruit, grapes. Most supermarkets also sell pre-cut containers with mixed fruit or single fruits. I’m always a sucker for these because I can toss a variety into a smaller baggie or container and mix with either yogurt or cottage cheese. ** If you eat a banana as a snack you can do 1 banana or 1/2 mixed with a few almonds. Don’t overdo it because of the sugar content*

7. Cottage Cheese Some brands such as Breakstone’s sell cottage cheese pre-portioned as well. Try and stick with the low fat kind. This snack is a bit filling and tastes great with fruit. I love it most with pineapple.

8. Non Fat Yogurt I prefer Chobani Yogurt. They have a variety of flavors and taste great. You can throw some granola or trail mix in a baggie or fruits to mix it with.

9. Brown Rice Cakes These are great! You can eat them alone, with peanut butter or my choice: sliced avocado.

10. Bean salad Make large bowl of this on Sunday. To eat entirely clean you can buy all ingredients fresh but you don’t have to. There are organic low sodium cans of all the ingredients. My fave recipe is : green beans, pinto beans, black beans and chick peas. You can throw in some red peppers too. Add 1 1/2 tbsp of white vinegar , ex. Virgin olive oil, oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Yum!

Feel free to share your favorite on the go snacks!!

Getting Started: Working Out

Working out….. Sigh. Let’s be honest Facebook and Instagram alone can be depressing. Seeing a him or her with a jacked up body holding dumbbells with sweat dripping down their six pack posting “Went hard at the gym” can make anyone wish they looked like that or even had the motivation to do that! Who is to say that cannot be you and why is it that you can’t find those working out motivational posts….hmm motivating? As I stated in my “About Us” section I’m not a stickler to tell you what exactly to do but I can help in offering a different perspective as to how we may be able to get that motivation kicking in. The truth is this. It’s not about working out and eating right to look great and posting your progress on FB or Instagram it’s about YOU and about how YOU need to always do what’s best for you and fortunately what’s best for you is to be healthy! Do you want to suffer from weak bones, high cholesterol, cancer, diabetes, obesity…. The list goes on! Do you want to be the one who can’t run around with your kids and enjoy the fruits of all the physical activity life has to offer? I don’t think you want to shorten your life span and I know deep down you do have your best interest at heart. Perhaps some of the tips I am going to offer in getting you started may address some of why you’ve been holding back.

Making it a habit. The hardest part of creating a workout regimen is sticking to it and doing it 3-5x a week. Maybe because we put working out on some high untouchable pedestal. We tell ourselves it will be hard, it will take long, where will I work out, I don’t have that much time. Well my friend, do you have 20 minutes a day? Then you have time! Making it a habit doesn’t mean starting with a hard core workout regimen. What I’m referring to when suggesting you create a habit is to do anything physical for 20 minutes a day. You can start with walking for 20 minutes a day. Shake your butt and dance in your room for 20 minutes in front of the mirror. Stretch for 20 minutes. Pick the activity of your choice and do it for 20 minutes a day. Dedicate yourself to that allotted time without placing an unrealistic goal of doing an hour long workout and you will open a space in your day that cannot be touched. Once the habit is formed you can start from there. You can begin incorporating a higher level of fitness and eventually you will see an hour has passed at the gym and you didn’t even notice!

Start when you are ready. Okay so now you know we only need to start with short amount of time each day. You can start tomorrow right? WRONG! You have to start somewhere and sometime but DO NOT embark on any goal or start any program or begin any plan until you are ready. What exactly do I mean by that? Unless you are ready to commit to something and you’ve had enough time to let it realistically saturate in your mind that this is what you are going to be doing from now on PERMANENTLY do yourself a favor and hold off. While you’re at it toss that favorite word of yours “tomorrow” out the window too. Refraining from saying tomorrow will do wonders. The more you give yourself time to plan ahead for this the higher the probability that you will stick to it. Mark your “ready to start” date in your calendar and then let your fitness journey take off!

Choose an activity you enjoy I don’t know about you but when I enjoy doing something I find it less difficult to commit to it. Perhaps you do not find joy in running every day. That can get boring and I don’t blame you. The more you spice your fitness life up the more you won’t find it being a drag or something on your “to do” list. Add music to your workout. Get a friend to join you. Start a group with friends where you meet weekly and each person chooses a different activity. By exploring your options and looking at this as something exciting and new that you are going to begin doing you will not only make this an appointment that cannot be missed but you will probably perform to your maximum capacity. Remember this isn’t about just looking good this is about getting you to commit to what’s best for you and that is bein healthy! You can always message me for some ideas!

Fuel Okay this one is the last but most important. Your car runs best on the fuel that suits it correct? Look at your body in this way. If you are putting high refined sugars, fried foods, food high in saturated fats and heavy no good carbs in your body how is it supposed to perform? The only place these habits will take you is right to the couch to watch more of that god awful life sucking vortex some of us like to call the TV. This is one of those things that you will only see the difference when you’ve made a change. You will be surprised how much energy you will feel if you clean up the meals even a little bit. If we can start by making sure at least 70% of what you are eating is good fuel than not only will you gain some energy to move your butt but you will be surprised how you perform when you do so! Fruits and veggies are fast foods! They taste great and most can be eaten as is, or prepared a 1,000 different ways! I will write more on this in my next blog but in the meantime there are great pages on FB, Twitter and Instagram you can begin following for more insight, ideas and inspiration!

I’m excited for you to get started! If you have any feedback, additional commentaries that may assist or questions feel free to comment or even shoot me an email:

Your internal fire: Agni Sara

First and foremost welcome to the Way to Wellness blog! I’m pretty new to this so please lets forgive any blog 101 rules I may have not followed. Feel free to leave feedback and suggestions though!

For starters it took me sometime to open my mind to anything that involved working on spiritual self. Most of us cannot be blamed for this as society has set us up to accomplish all that is money, being thin and glamour. Luckily for me my mom never stopped trying to force her Yogic followings, readings and discoveries down my throat. I wasn’t embracive or open minded about learning the power behind any of the teachings, practices or readings and the more she persisted the more I did not budge! I remember the first time I listened to a meditation guidance and was like “Who is this guy sounds like the love guru!” I really underestimated not so much the practice, but what the findings (because that’s what they are in my opinion findings that some such as myself label as blessings) could really do for me. I was always very big on ” I am my answer and I have all I need”…. And it’s true but what if there are some tools that can help guide us in discovering this more effectively. Let’s just say the unavoidable happened…. I went through a troubling time in which I felt myself drowning and desperate for an answer to just fill this internal vacancy I had found within myself. One always knows what they are capable of and what they can achieve but there may be more than just fear as an obstacle. So I did what WE ALLLL end up doing at one point or another and I listened to my mom. I attended a 10 day Yoga Retreat. Let’s just say I wasn’t in downward dog all day. I attended a few lectures , practiced meditation and learned that Yoga is not just a physical practice but more a spiritual enlightenment and way of life. There was a lecture given by MD Carrie Demers that will always stick with me. It was about the practice of “Agni Sara”.

Let’s introduce the thought process behind all of this by presenting the concept this way: You, my dear friend, do not go to the bank and retrieve funds when your account has a zero balance or when it’s in negative. Do you? No, because there is nothing there of monetary value that you can do anything with. So it leaves you broke and incapable of moving forward. You cannot buy food, invest or do something as simple as putting gas in your car. You’re stuck. Correct? Well let’s pretend that you have an internal Bank account. Work, life at home , relationships… whatever stressors you may have has contributed to the depletion of some of your funds. Rather than stopping in your tracks to continue investing in yourself what tends to happen is you also contribute to the depletion. You may eat unhealthy food, give into bad habits, leave out any physical activity in your day, feed into the negativity and stress that you and the rest of us are set up to drown in. So you finally have a zero balance…. You are stuck…again . How can you be resourceful at work, or to your kids or significant others if you have no internal funds/resources….You can’t! The worst part is if you are not resourceful to yourself you cannot be resourceful to those around you. Our “Agni” can also be looked at this way.

Agni meaning fire in this case is referred to as the internal flame found in our navel center and is what links our body and mind. The practice of nourishing that element of fire is Agni Sara. This practice surprisingly can help us in many physiological ways but more importantly Sandra Anderson from the Himalayan Institute mentions “it Increases in vitality resulting from agni sara translate emotionally into less anxiety and a persistent steadiness in the face of life’s challenges. Regular practice increases our capacity to manage emotional distress and prompts a sense of enthusiasm and spiritual confidence. Agni sara prevents the downward collapse of not only physical but also mental and emotional energy, and maintains vigor in all aspects of our being”.

By raising our awareness about the depletion of our funds/fire we are bringing our attention inwards. We are focusing on that vacancy and it is only then that we can begin to work on igniting our center. We can use tools such as the practice of Agni Sara to enhance what we already know lies within. We can continuously ignite the fire within that helps maintain our body and mind…. Our fire cannot be of use to us with a bunch of wet logs on it from stress anxiety and problems. The nourishment of mind body and spirit work collaboratively to provide wellness to our being. It is important that we remember that. It is important that you remain resourceful to yourself before all because the rest falls effortlessly in to place when this is done. If your fire is maintained others will want to surround themselves in the comfort of your contagious warmth. So nourish your body with healthy food and some agni sara today, nourish your mind with awareness that you know what lies within but cannot always do it on your own and may need some help and nourish your spirit with the eternal love and investing you will be doing in yourself.

If you are interested in Agni Sara practice there is more information here: