Sunday, April 21, 2013

Jump Start Menu Plan from the Beginning of my Weight Loss Journey

Consumers who use Herbalife® Formula 1 twice per 
day as part of a healthy lifestyle can generally expect to 
lose around 0.5 to 1 pound per week. Participants in 
a 12-week single-blind study used Formula 1 twice per 
day (once as a meal and once as a snack) with a reduced 
calorie diet and a goal of 30 minutes of exercise per 
day. Participants followed either a high protein diet or 
a standard protein diet. Participants in both groups lost 
about 8.5 pounds. 

I have changed my Instagram to @FitClubUnited
where you may follow my weight loss journey.
Consumers who use Herbalife® Formula 1 twice per 
day as part of a healthy lifestyle can generally expect to 
lose around 0.5 to 1 pound per week. Participants in 
a 12-week single-blind study used Formula 1 twice per 
day (once as a meal and once as a snack) with a reduced 
calorie diet and a goal of 30 minutes of exercise per 
day. Participants followed either a high protein diet or 
a standard protein diet. Participants in both groups lost 
about 8.5 pounds. 

(Current progress photo update above, as of April 2014)

Many of you have asked for my story of how I've lost weight fast and how I'm currently still loosing weight on "this diet?"  Well first of all, it's not a "diet," it's a change in lifestyle.  As a graphic designer with constant projects night after night sitting on the computer + mom of 2 little ones, life became a challenge for me since I simply didn't have time for myself anymore.  I would barely sleep and skipped meals throughout the day because of all the stress and opted to eat as I went.  In a matter of months, without a doubt of realization It wasn't until i visited my sister whom lives out-of-state to ask me, "Val, what happened to you?!?!"  It wasn't until that moment that I truly realized I had to change....not change myself only, but change my family's lifestyle as well.  I learned that I needed to plan my meals ahead of time and turned to Weight Watcher's where I learned to count my points and bought a bunch of healthy eating cookbooks in order to turn my fridge around from having just "food" to colorful fruits & veggies.  I have made alterations that have made a big difference in my weight loss.  Simple habits like not using regular oils to cook but rather sauté my veggies, egg whites, and meats with a teaspoon of coconut oil or cooking spray and season with a pinch of sea-salt or no-salt substitutions like Mrs. Dash, fresh green onions, garlic, Italian herbs, and much more.  See below a list of healthy seasonings and condiments.

Clean out the Fridge & Pantry and starting Filling it with these Healthy Options:

How does Herbalife Shakes work with all this?  

Not everyone has the luxury of time to cook a healthy home cooked meal 3 times a day, especially me!  Therefore, instead of skipping breakfast, I chose to bring in Herbalife Shakes into my meals as a meal replacement 2 times a day for a jump start in my weight loss in order to get myself motivated.  Everyone needs a big boost in the beginning in order to motivate themselves to keep going and feel that they can do it.  These shakes when I first started my weight loss journey were a great option since it was a meal replacement shake that contained up to 20 vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients.  Along with 9 grams of protein and healthy fiber that helps support weight management.

Below you may find three Meal Plan samples that work with this protein meal replacement plan, followed by categorized lists of fruits, veggies, grains, protein meals, and protein snacks along with their according portion size (be strict with your portion size and DO NOT EXCEED IT).  I personally started with meal plan B and slowly progressed to meal plan A; however, everyone's plan is different and your wellness coach can help you with this. 

All this information below is what has helped me personally to follow my own plan; however, it is important you contact your wellness coach so that they can help you accordingly to your goals.

(The below will promote energy boost + smooth digestion) 
HOT TEA: With each meal, I make sure to drink a cup of Herbalife Raspberry Concentrate Tea (1/2 teaspoon) in water with Aloe Concentrate in Mango Flavor (1-2 capfuls). 
ICED TEA: Prepare 1/2 Gallon Jug of water (equals 8 glasses of water) for the day and add 1 tablespoon of Herbalife Raspberry Tea Concentrate + 3-4 capfuls of Aloe Concentrate in Mango flavor and let it chill to drink it as Iced Tea throughout the day.

*My husband and I prefer the *Iced Tea* method in a 1/2 gallon jug everyday chilled, since it's so refreshing to drink throughout the day when on the run or at work (I even take mine to the gym to stay hydrated between workouts)!

Yes, the occasional 1 cup of wine each day is okay to add to your diet (just do not exceed your 1 cup portion size, the less the better, since wine is very high in calories especially when you are seeking to loose weight).  

*Wine Facts* 
Five ounces white or red wine = approximately 120 calories.  
Drink a bottle of wine (4 glasses), and you’ll be consuming about 480 calories 
(that’s the equivalent of two 20-ounce Cokes!).


• Exercise at least 3x a week for 30 mins (cardio, walk, or do Insanity video's from your home).  I enjoy either of the following 3 times a week: cardio, pilates, and sauna. 

• Watch your portion sizes and stick to the attached guides and measurements listed above.

• Make sure to eat 3 hours before going to sleep!  Do not eat anything before you go to sleep if you are hungry drink water + Herbalife aloe (infuse some natural fruit slices for a sweet and natural refreshing taste) to keep you full and fulfill any sweet temptations that you may get.

• As for quick meals or to learn how to cook clean, I signed up to where I receive "eat clean" recipes that are sent via email each week that are simple and delicious to make. 

• Don't skip your meals and snacks so that your metabolism can keep working throughout the day!  Herbalife makes it easy for you to take your shakes, meal bars, and snacks when your on the go.  Otherwise, if you have time the night before, meal prep before hand your food for the next day; this is very important! 


Well balanced Herbalife Shake
• 1 cup of original almond milk, nonfat milk, or water
• Formula 1 Meal Replacement, available in a variety of flavors (2 scoops)
• Personalized Protein Powder (1 scoop)
• Prolessa Duo (1 scoop) - optional for fat burn
[Add the *Prolessa Duo* last to the mix, after 5 seconds of mixing everything else]

Your serving of fruit can be added to the shake and you may get creative as long as you
do not exceed in your portion size or exceed your max calories.


This Diet Plan above was what worked for me personally to jump start my weight loss.

 However, I am still working towards reaching my weight loss goals.  I strongly believe that eating healthy and incorporating veggies and fruits, in the proper portions along with the combination of exercise and a strong mind set you can achieve this success.

If you are looking to loose weight, stay's a lifestyle change not only for your body but your mind as well. <3


DietBet - Lose weight. Have fun. Win money! (Join the Bet...starts Wednesday, April 24th!)

Someone just introduced me into a new and exciting way to hold you accountable for your weight loss!  A new online diet betting game called...
 Lose weight. Have fun. Win money.

DietBet is a game where you've got 4 weeks to lose 4% of your starting weight. To begin, everyone puts money into the pot. After four weeks, whoever's hit their 4% goal is a winner and splits the pot.

Watch the video on how this works:

This sounds quite interesting; therefore, I decided to start my own bet to try it out!  The dietbet starts on Wednesday, April 24th, 2013.  Sign-up and bet $25 into the pot to enter the game.

It will be my first time doing this, as it probably will be for many of you.  Therefore, to read more step by on how this works, visit the following link:

Brief Summary of how DietBet Works:

ON THE GO?!  Download the DietBet iPhone App below: 

(Screen shot images above and active links on how this work, may be found via

Good Luck! :) 

*Make sure to follow me on Instagram (@FitClubUnited)*

Healthy Apple Pie Shake

Healthy Apple Pie Shake

This delicious and refreshing Apple Pie shake is a quick breakfast that you can make on your way to work to get a boost in Vitamin C, Zinc, Iron, Calcium, and many other essential vitamin & minerals.  Perfect for when your on-the-go!  Get your blender or shaker cup ready and mix together the following:

• Scoop of your favorite Protein Powder Meal Replacement.
• 1 cup of of almond milk
• 1/4 cup of diced apples or apple sauce
• 1 tsp of nutmeg
• 1 tsp of ground cinnamon.

Cinnamon Apple Spiced Oatmeal

Great breakfast recipe from:

Cinnamon Apple Spiced Oatmeal

Oatmeal topped with homemade apple butter, cinnamon and low fat granola.

I love starting my morning with a bowl of oatmeal, it's heart healthy comfort food in a bowl. I eat a lot of oatmeal because high cholesterol runs in the family and oatmeal is known for reducing cholesterol. In addition, it's high in fiber, a perfect way to fuel my morning.

My perfect bowl of oatmeal is all about the toppings. I love to add a combination of flavors and textures such as dried fruit, granola, nuts, cinnamon, or whatever I'm in the mood for that day. I also like to switch things up because I'm not the type of person to eat the same thing every day, so it may be pumpkin spiced oatmeal one morning, brown sugar and walnuts the next. 

When I'm not enjoying my oatmeal hot, I usually make avena, which is a delicious oatmeal smoothie, an easy on-the-go breakfast. I'm thinking a cinnamon spiced apple avena may be tomorrow's breakfast! Or what about no-cook pumpkin overnight oats in a jar... yum.

Do you have a favorite oatmeal combination? Do tell! 

Cinnamon Apple Spiced Oatmeal

Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes 
Servings: 1 • Serving Size: 1 bowl • Old Points: 4 pts  Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 228.7 • Fat: 2.5 g • Protein: 5.2 g • Carb: 50.2 g • Fiber: 5.6 g 

  • 1/3 cup uncooked quick oats
  • 2 tbsp apple butter
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp low fat granola 


Cook oatmeal in water according to package directions. Pour cooked oatmeal in a bowl and top with apple butter, granola, cinnamon. You can add a little skim milk if you like your oatmeal thinner. Enjoy!

Grilled Garlic Dijon Herb Salmon

Here's a great simple and delicious salmon recipe from

Grilled Garlic Dijon Herb Salmon

Salmon fillets seasoned with a garlic, Dijon herb sauce and served with a squeeze of fresh lemon... delicious!! 

Happy Wednesday! I'm busy as a bee, working on my cookbook so I wanted to share a recipe from the archives. Salmon is one of my favorite fish dishes to make, and this is a fabulous way to prepare it!

Salmon is a fatty fish, rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and vitamin A. When buying salmon, I prefer to go to my local fish store rather than the supermarket and try to look for wild Alaskan salmon, a sustainable fish that lives in pristine waters and consumes a diverse, healthy diet. It's available frozen year round.

I used a cast iron grill pan to make this but an outdoor grill works just the same, be sure the grates are clean and oiled to prevent sticking. If you don't own a grill, this can also be made in the broiler of your oven adding the mustard sauce during the last minute of cooking.

Grilled Garlic Dijon Herb Salmon 
4 • Serving Size: 1 fillet w lemon • Old Points: 5 pt • Points+: 6 pt
233.6 • Fat: 7.9 g • Protein: 34.7 g • Carb: 3.1 g • Fiber: 0.1 g • Sugar: 0.2 g
240.6 mg (without salt)


  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp dried Herbs de Provence
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • olive oil spray (I used my misto)
  • 4 (6 oz) wild salmon fillets, 1" thick (if frozen, thaw first)
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 4 lemon wedges for serving


In a mini food processor, or using a mortar and pestle mash garlic with the herbs, vinegar, oil, and Dijon mustard until it becomes a paste. Set aside.

Season salmon with a pinch of salt and fresh pepper. Heat a grill or grill pan over high heat until hot. Spray the pan lightly with oil and reduce the heat to medium-low. Placethe salmon on the hot grill pan and cook without moving for 5 minutes.  

Turn and cook the other side for an additional 3-4 minutes spooning on half of the garlic herb mustard sauce.

Turn and cook 1 more minute spooning the other side of the fish with remaining sauce. Turn once again and let the fish finish cooking about one more minute. Note: the fish should have a total cooking time of about 9-10 minutes per inch. If your fish is thinner, reduce the total cooking time.

Transfer the fillets to plates and serve with fresh lemon wedges.