Meal Planning For Your Entire Week (without losing your soul or your sh*T)

Hi darlings! I know, it’s been an age. Life is real different when you’re home all day long homeschooling a 4 year old and only work nights! I am dedicating the majority of my time in the evening working with my fitness clients and my new business partners SO I have NOT been focused on content creation.

That being said, I really wanted to share my meal planning strategy and some of my favorite cook books and tools because they make my life SO EASY and help me stay on track with my food! I am plant based pretty much 95% of the time so the cookbooks I will feature are Vegan with the exception of one which is mixed!

So let’s get right into my process for effective meal planning that will save you TONS of time and make sure you have great food all week long and don’t miss a beat!

STEP 1 : Decide when you’re going to sit and PLAN.

This step is REALLY important. You have to pick a day to do this. It may take you an hour, but it will save you so much time and so many poor choices. For me, I sit down and do this on Sundays. Maybe it’s in the morning with my cup of coffee while my son watches a cartoon show, I’ll pull out all my materials and sit down at my dining room table and get to work!

Step 2: Collect your materials -good materials make it SO EASY.

Here are some of my FAVORITE tools for making this an easy experience:

  • My magnetic Meal/Grocery Pad! This stuff is amazing! It even has a removable grocery list so you can tear it out and take it with you to grocery shop and leave your meals on your fridge. On the left side of this pad where the days are listed (Monday-Sunday) I write the name of the recipe and in parentheses the name of the book I found it in and the page number. On the right side where it says “Groceries” I then list the ingredients that correspond to each meal. As I go along during the week if ingredients repeat, I will place a number next to it like so –> (3), to let me know how much of it I need that week.
  • COOKBOOKS! I love using books and I have a bookstand to help me prop up the book to the correct recipe page so I can complete the meal without interruption. Here are my top three: 1.) Oh She Glows by Angela Lidden – everything in this book is literally magical. Many of the recipes are time consuming and take LOTS of ingredients, but you will never be disappointed by how they taste. Because of this book I fell in love with vegan cooking and use her recipes often for events and all kinds of occasions. 2) Forks Over Knives – The cookbook by Del Sroufe – this book is JAM PACKED with recipes. There aren’t many images but it doesn’t matter. The recipes are, for the most part, really quick to whip together, creative and tasty! I may have repeated a recipe twice and I’ve been using this cookbook for about 6 months straight. 3.) Fixate – by Autumn Calabrese – this book was created by one of my favorite personal trainers whose programs changed my life and I still help many of my clients with. This book is a combination of meat and meatless recipes and also identifies gluten free options.
  • My cookbook holder! This is such a simple tool but makes your life so easy so you don’t dirty your book or waste time flipping pages.

Step 3 : Flip through your books and pick your recipes!

I like to keep my recipes varied, so I will do one casserole, one soup, one salad with protein, maybe a pasta dish, maybe a burger dish – I try to keep it as varied as possible so we don’t get bored of eating the same kinds of food.

I list the name of the meal under the appropriate day: Monday – Baked Ziti + cesar side salad. If I’m following a specific recipe I then list the name of the book and the page number where it’s found.

I do this until I fill the entire week.

Step 4: Tear out your grocery list and decide when you’ll shop

By the end of that you should have a sizable grocery list as well as some staples – bread, milk, nut butters , fruits. Those are the things we use mostly for breakfast and snacks. I only ever keep one type of snackbar in my house at a time until, it’s all gone and then I shop for more. Here’s one of my favorite vegan ones.

My grocery shopping day is next day Monday. So the rest of Sunday, I’ll clean out my friend and make sure all the old food is taken out, dumped and tupperware cleaned so that when I shop Monday, only relevant food is going in the fridge.

On portions and how you will MAXIMIZE your ONE meal that you plan each day

I’m about to blow your mind and save you a lot of time. You’ve written down one meal per day, but what about LUNCH? Here’s where magic happens.

The meal you make on Monday in the evening you will make double portions of (two per household member) so that you can package what’s left and serve it as LUNCH the next day. The following day you will have dinner for lunch and that evening you will make a whole new meal!

Why is this genius?

Because now you only have to consider TWO things:

  1. What am I having for breakfast?
  2. What am I making for dinner?

If you keep your breakfast the SAME relatively day to day – an awesome shake (here’s my favorite), toast and fruit, granola, etc you have a MUCH simpler meal plan.

And VOILA! Here is how I meal plan every single week and stay on track!

I am considering offering a free vegan meal plan for anyone interested in some ideas that are plant based and that they can implement right away. Is this something you’d be interested in? Let me know!

Did this help you? Drop me a comment below and share with a friend! Happy Meal Planning!

xo,

Shakti

PS. My NEXT virtual Barre group begins MARCH 16th! If you’d like to learn about Barre Blend and apply to join our upcoming group visit my blog post and check out a trailer of the program!

How To Finally Lose The Weight You’ve Been Trying To Lose For 10 Years. (Not What You Think.)

So it’s the beginning of the year – heyo what’s up 2020!- and MANY of us are back at it DETERMINED to make it the year we finally lose that stubborn a** weight we’ve been trying to lose since 2010 (or 1999 or 89 or 79 okay, you’ve lost track). So all the gym memberships are purchased, and the meal planning is tackled, and the personal trainer is hired, and you are IN, sister! This is YOUR year. You know it. You can feel it! This is it.

And then three weeks in, “life happens” and you skip a gym sesh, cancel on the trainer, pick up that Chic fil A on the way home and then berate yourself for hours after your kids are in bed for “failing” again.

What happened?

You were SO committed! You were SO excited! You KNEW this was your year!!

Do you have no willpower? Are you lazy? Are you unmotivated? Do you not care?

NO. None of that. Here is where EVERYONE drops the ball when taking on the HUGE task of changing your lifestyle – your philosophy never changes.

Make no mistake about it, creating healthy habits requires a level of discipline, focus, and commitment that you cannot turn on over night. Especially if you’ve spent YEARS doing the total opposite of all of that. You don’t just become a different person immediately. The person you are NOW has certain habits. The person who has the lifestyle you want is a totally different person with totally different habits.

So the answer then is: Become the person who has the life you want.

Now, you’re probably reading this like, alright Shakti, that’s great and all but HOW do I become that person? What are the steps, girl? HELP.

Got you. BREATHE. Cuz this is big. You ready? Alright…

The way you become the kind of person that maintains the habits you are trying to adopt long enough to SEE the results you are trying to achieve is to fall in love with the process itself.

Here is where the philosophy shift becomes imperative. Up until now, most of y’all think of exercise and eating cleanly as, “something I gotta do to lose weight.” And another percentage of y’all are thinking about it as deprivation, starvation, sacrifice, punishment, etc. etc.

NOW – if YOU were a BRAIN, and you received messages like THAT, would you be pumped about this new lifestyle?

HELL NO.

You’d be trying EVERYTHING you could to abort mission as FAST as possible so you don’t have to suffer. Because your brain is designed to keep you SAFE and if it feels like you are in DANGER or you are going to SUFFER it is going to pull out real quick.

This is why you quit every time.

You change the behaviors –> without changing the philosophy –> the brain panics –> a slight inconvenience occurs –> gives the brain a reason to stop –> you stop.

Then momentum takes over and you’re done done.

How you get it to STICK is starting with your philosophy.

When you believe that exercising is FUN, that you feel AMAZING when you do it, that you get ENERGY, that you look RADIANT, that you feel STRONG, that you come ALIVE when you workout – you gonna wanna workout.

When you believe that nourishing your body cleanly equals self love and self respect, that you’ll sleep better, move better, thinking more clearly, have more stable moods, be a better person, avoid dangerous diseases, and heal from any diseases you might have – you gonna wanna eat right.

Your results depend 100% on the processing mechanism of your mind.

Meaning, your results depend 100% on the philosophy with which you FRAME the experience you’re having.

And guess what? The person you are trying to become? They love the process.

The person you are wanting to become already fell in love with moving, eating well, sleeping well and THAT is why they kept going and THAT is why they have the result you want.

So before you go all out on a bunch of action to get you going – make sure you have your PHILOSOPHY right. The rest is a walk in the park, or on the treadmill.

Love you,

Shakti

PS. If you’re looking for FUN and dynamic workouts and EASY nutrition plans to follow check out my fitness page and join us for our next focus group which will be a VIRTUAL Barre Studio Experience! You can catch samples of the workouts you’ll be doing on my facebook and instagram stories!

Beginning A New Life

Well Hey Podcast Stranger!  Let’s talk about a new life!

In today’s episode I share about my most recent MAJOR MOVE to Florida and how it really was a line in the sand (super relevant as I now live VERY close to the beach!) in my personal and professional world.

Beginning a new phase of life is TOUGH, even when it’s good and something you’re really happy about! So let’s talk about the energy I’ve cultivated to help me through it so that you can have your own beautiful beginnings.

Just want to say that moving where we live now was absolutely one of the BEST decisions I’ve ever made and I was absolutely terrified the ENTIRE way through this process. Scary doesn’t equal bad. If often equals EXACTLY what we need!

AMP – Ep. 43

4 Questions To Ask Yourself At the Start of Your 2020 Fitness Journey

It’s the start of the New Year and SO many of us are gearing up for a brand new adventure in fitness and claiming our health!

Some of us have been setting the S A M E intentions for YEARS, tho.

We mean well. We KNOW we need the change. We want it. But after two weeks of trying our hardest to keep our new baby habit going, we always end up fizzling out, procrastinating, and then telling ourselves we’ll handle it next year.

Except we won’t. Because we didn’t already. Most likely, because we dropped the ball on one of these four things.

It’s really important that you understand that it’s not about willpower. It’s not that you’re not strong enough or smart enough. It’s your BRAIN.

Your brain is wired for COMFORT. It’s wired for familiar. It is NOT wired for new things, personal fulfillment, or adventure. In fact all of those things TERRIFY your brain. It wants nothing to do with that because frankly, all those new things are inefficient. Anything that’s going to take MORE energy from your brain is a NO GO for it.

So in order for you to have the success you want, you have to have systems in place to support you. Systems that take into account that you WILL want to bail and that you WILL find this super freaking hard.

It’s also OKAY that it’s hard.

It’s OKAY that you’ll want to bail.

It’s OKAY that you haven’t nailed this yet.

Because it’s a NEW time now. A NEW part of your life. A NEW amazing frontier for you. It’s such an exciting time for you.

Below I’m going to share the four key things you need to ask yourself before you gear up for your 2020 fitness journey from someone who has spent nearly 4 years helping others achieve their health and fitness goals.

If you’d like to join us for our January group focused on simple nutrition and a virtual Barre experience that begins January 13th, contact me and I’ll send you more details.

You can read all about the virtual barre experience and watch a preview of it here.

The Invaluable Necessity of Failure

Yesterday I took my son for a haircut. He sat beautifully and cooperated and afterwards I asked him what he’d like to do to celebrate and he requested ice cream from a local shop close to where we were.

The day was GRIZZLY.

Gray, freezing and raining, it was the kind of day when all you really want to do is stay in bed or on your couch wrapped in the softest, fluffiest blanket you can find drinking hot cocoa and ignoring the cold that’s burrowing into your bones even inside your house.

When we got to the spot, I unbuckled him and tried to quickly usher him out of the rain, under an overhang surrounding the shops and into the donut/ice cream shop.

My son is 4. He’s at the age when taking on a challenge – any challenge – feels like the literal best idea in the world.

He saw a sidewalk ledge under the overhang and decided he wanted to jump it and clear it with both feet at the same time. He’s also a petite kid and a late walker, jumping is a relatively NEW experience for him and he gets very excited when he gets to do cool physical feats.

I saw what was about to happen from a mile away and I didn’t stop him.

He ran, jumped, MISSED, and face planted palms down on to the cold, wet, HARD ASF sidewalk. He laid there in silence as I walked over to him and asked him if he was okay, helped him stand up, and checked him to make sure he didn’t bust his face open.

He looked down at this pants and his shirt and in a very disappointed little voice said, “Ugghh. I’m all wet. I missed.”

[Enter very significant teaching moment.]

I got him under the overhang, knelt down and told him this.

“Yes. You missed. And it sucks. You are all wet and that’s very uncomfortable. When we get inside, I will help you dry this up, you will have your treat and we will go home and change. But here’s what I want you to know. I know you missed that jump. And it’s OKAY. You tried it. You will never know what you CAN or CANNOT do unless you TRY. There will come a time when you DO make that jump and you will feel so proud. Don’t ever stop taking jumps. It’s worth the wet pants and raw hands.”

He looked at me and took in every word. Then, in his very wise 4-year-old way, said to me. “OKay.” And walked happily into the shop.

We dried up, he enjoyed his ice cream (see pictured) and we went home to the warmth of our house.

That moment has since been forgotten by him, but it stayed with me the whole drive home, the rest of the day and today. It was a moment I realize most parents would’ve handled differently, including myself a few years ago.

Maybe I would’ve said, “That’s why you have to be careful! Don’t go jumping when you don’t think you can make it! That’s not safe! Be careful!” And of course, I would’ve meant well because we as parents ALWAYS DO.

But I think about what that messaging did to me and does to so many as we get older; when the jumps stop being a 4 inch high side walk and they start being opening a business, moving to a new country, or saying yes to a relationship. I think about how that messaging stays with us and creates an overly cautious, insecure, risk-averse adult.

I’ve had to undo this programming MY ENTIRE LIFE.

As a child born with a VERY scary health condition, if my mother could’ve kept me in a bubble forever – she would have. So I grew up with this understanding of my own fragility that made me HYPER aware of risk. Luckily, I don’t listen very well and have since crushed every limitation placed on me for that.

But it’s been WORK. And I’m sure you have remnants of this, too.

It’s why you haven’t started that business, it’s why you haven’t lost the weight, it’s why you haven’t said YES to calling in true love, it’s why you didn’t take that job or that move – because inside you’re a 4 year old kid scared to skin his knee.

So, because your parents didn’t tell you – I’m gonna.

Take the jump. All the jumps. EVERY jump. Even if you miss it 1000 times. Keep taking them. Eventually, you WON’T miss and it’ll be worth all the wet pants and scraped palms.

You’ve got this. I’m rooting for you.

Happy Holidays.

Loving you,

Shakti Rios

PS. If you’re willing to take a change on a new fitness routine for the new year, I have a group starting January 13th that includes 1:1 coaching time with me.

The Most Valuable Lesson I’ve Learned As An Online Business Owner.

This morning after dropping off my son at school I decided to spend the rest of the morning at a coffee spot to complete some work and enjoy some local coffee here in the great ATL before we move to Florida in January.

Not gonna front – my mind is still REELING realizing the time for leaving this city is so close.

Yesterday was my 32nd birthday and it was also the day we finalized the sale of our home here in Atlanta – our first home as a family; to say that the emotions were high is a massive understatement.

If I thought buying our first home was intense, selling it was moreso.

Alongside the sale of our home, purchase of a new home, and relocation details of our entire family is the complete overhaul of my professional identity.

For the past 8 years I have, quite proudly, identified as a highly skilled chronic pain & injury massage therapist. It has been my pride and joy.

That skillset has facilitated healing in thousands across different cities and states and has taught me an IMMEASURABLE amount about the relationships between body-mind and trauma healing. It deepened my spirituality and my connection to humanity and also gave me a solid base of professionalism from which I was able to blossom financially.

In the past 3 years (since having my son) I shifted gears somewhat and began the – seemingly insurmountable task – of growing an online business focusing on a different passion of mine – fitness, nutrition, and mindset. I chose to do this alongside my career as a therapist. Truly the two fit hand in glove – I was physically helping people heal AND I was helping them create a lifestyle of sustainable health at home.

Very quickly two things became apparent simultaneously: bodywork was becoming increasingly more taxing on me energetically, and my work online with health clients was becoming increasingly more fun and appealing.

It wasn’t long before I made the decision that at some point “soon” I would be closing the chapter of my career as a therapist and would transition full time to serving others in a NEW way; a way that would allow me to continue to be a servant leader AND offer me time freedom, flexibility, unlimited income earning potential, and an ability to bite into the entrepreneur lifestyle I ALWAYS wanted.

Let me just insert this disclaimer here: I have been opening and closing businesses since I was 21. This was NOT my first business rodeo. But it was my first ONLINE business rodeo.

I LOVED business. From the moment I opened my first one I knew this was the life for me. So much creativity, freedom, expansion was possible for an entrepreneur as well as crazy income earning potential. AND so much risk management and stress management as well. However, compared to the brick and mortar business I had in the past – the online world was a GAME CHANGER.

It’s been three years since I opened my online business helping busy women with simple fitness and nutrition tools. It’s also been three years since I started mentoring up and coming fitness entrepreneurs in this business so they can do the same work I do.

Am I exactly where I want to be long term with my success? No.

Do I feel like I still have SO MUCH to learn and grow in? Yep.

Are there days I want to quit and throw in the towel and throw tantrums? YES and I do.

Are there also days when I feel proud and amazing and inspired? YES.

The GREATEST mistake the budding entrepreneurs who join me make is not giving themselves enough time to REALLY become. Become the kind of person who blossoms INTO a real entrepreneur with a REAL profitable business.

Here’s the thing – it takes time. Somtimes, a long time. Like a decade. Would you still be game?

Because if the answer is NO, the entrepreneur life is not for you. Cut your losses short and dip.

Are there people who make a mint fast? Yes.

Do I think that’s healthy? No. Because often times, that person struck GOLD with no time to BECOME the kind of person who could HOLD ON to the gold. So what good is it to strike it, if you aren’t a wise steward of it and know how to replicate it?

I don’t wanna strike gold.

I want to learn how to MAKE gold – forever.

I absolutely LOVE helping women heal their food drama, recover their love of self image AND make a MINT. Helping women become profitable and financially solvent IS a form of self-care. And it matters TREMENDOUSLY.

When women are financially FREE they can make choices based on their SOUL and HEART not on their circumstances. This inevitably leads to a happier home, happier relationships, happier children and a happier world.

But it WILL take you time. It WILL require that you go all in. It WILL require work. But if you’re game sister – the world is yours.

What I know is that come January 10th I will be able to close my laptop, move to an entirely new city and state, and be able to open it and continue to earn income with zero interruption. That, my friends, is worth EVERY effort you can muster.

Loving you all the way,

Shakti

PS. To learn how you can join our coach community and turn your passion for fitness into a profitable online career visit here and watch the 11 minute video below and fill out the application featured.

Ready for some Barre?

Frankly, I was not.

Ballet was NOT in my repertoire of things I enjoyed or ever wanted to enjoy.

I have as much grace leaping in the air as a baby elephant – that being said, I’ve never turned down a challenge.

So when my fitness company announced we would be launching a barre/pilates/cardio program I perked my ears and said, aiiiiight.

Mostly, because I absolutely ADORE Elise Joan. She was one of the four yoga instructors that created our 3 Week Yoga Retreat program and my personal favorite. If she was doing this – it had to be good.

So I did the sample workout as SOON as it came available.

Then I died a short death right after.

HOLY BALLS.

I did not realize a 2 lb weight could feel like a small car in my hands. It was brutal and my leaping was VERY baby elephant level. No grace. At all.

HOWEVER, I was S W E A T I N G and I felt elated in the strangest way! I couldn’t stop smiling, and I felt strong and like my posture was INSTANTLY better. Whatever this program was, I knew it was special. I was actually excited to train in a more feminine way including elements like GRACE into my movement.

Here’s a trailer of the program itself:

Trailer for the program Barre Blend

As a result of this enthusiasm I decided to start my own fitness challenge group for this particular program starting January 13th! That’s THE day we close on our new house in Florida (surprise we’re moving!) and the PERFECT way to start 2020 feeling LIT.

Here’s a video where I talk about what’s included in the group I’m hosting and what to expect!

Whhhhattttttt?! TWO GROUPS!? YEP.

One group will be dedicated to Barre Blend and the other will be committed to cleaning up our relationship to food! So no matter where you are on your journey or what goals you have, you will have a place to check in and get SUPPORT.

If this sounds exciting to you and you’d like to consider joining our group and/or try the sample workout, fill out the health assessment form below so I can get to know you on a deeper level. I’m so excited to help you fall in love with taking care of you in 2020.

My Own 8 Week Barre Results:

So after completing my FIRST round of Barre Blend here are my results! I could not believe how much changed for me after my first 8 weeks. I’m so excited to do a second round and share those results.

This changed my relationship to my body permanently.

My whole life my relationship to my body was about aesthetic.

It was ALWAYS about how I looked and specifically how thin I could make myself or how well I could disguise my imperfections.

Once I started THIS I suddenly saw myself in an entirely different way.

And then the effects spread out into the rest of my life becoming a cornerstone game-changer for how I operated in EVERY area of my life.

Not only did I become remarkably healthy in my view of self, but every other relationship in my life improved drastically.

Join me in today’s episode as I unpack this and share how I radically changed my life and became the person I always wanted to be.

AMP Ep. 42

Ps. Currently having a PHENOMENAL holiday special on all my favorite fitness gear, supps, and bundles here >> SHOP MY FIT SALES <<

AND you can catch yourself some awesome rates of EFT Life Coaching and packages as well!

Alignment & Decision Making

Hey! Yes I’m still alive!

This month has been W I L D. After a month long kidney infection, I am back and ready to talk about something that is actually REALLY apropo for this season – DECISION MAKING.

This is the time when we start looking forward to 2020 and start asking ourselves, “How do I want this next year to be different than this one?”

Understanding how alignment plays into this is PIVOTAL so you know how to manage your energy, focus it, and get the MOST out of your manifestation game. Right now we are in the middle of some BIG decisions. So, let’s unpack this together so you can have an amazing end of year and a ROCKSTAR 2020.

Also stay tuned until the end for some EXCITING options for kicking off your 2020 feeling your BEST.

AMP Ep. 41

3 Gifts My Dis-ease Brought Me

These past 10 days have been really harrowing health wise. What started as a simple diagnosis quickly evolved into a more complex and dangerous one. A trip to urgent care and many medications later, along with massive amounts of herbal support, water, and alternative treatments – I am recovering.

During this period of high stress, 3 things came in REALLY clearly.

3 things that I realized also apply to all of us whenever we are traversing a crisis situation. In any difficult situation there are always three things you can look to:

-Gratitude

-Message

-Reflection

In this episode I break down exactly what I mean by these three and share a very vulnerable story that is unraveling for me.

Can you relate to this experience? Is this helpful to you? Leave a comment below.

AMP Ep. 40