Chicken Sausage & Veggies Skillet

You know what I love more than delicious food?  Recipes made with very few dishes.  This recipe has a lot of the work done for you, takes less than 20 minutes and is beautifully balanced with chicken sausage, vegetables, and rice.


6 Members Mark (Sam’s Club) brand precooked chicken sausage, thinly sliced
2 T of minced garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 package of steam-in-bag broccoli, cooked
1/2 cup chicken broth or water
1/2 cup tomato sauce (spaghetti sauce is also yummy with an Italian twist!)
2 cups of instant rice
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


Heat oil and garlic in skillet, add sausage slices and saute a couple minutes until warmed.  Add bell pepper, onion, broth and tomato sauce and simmer for 10 minutes until veggies are tender and liquid is absorbed.  While veggies are cooking, cook the broccoli & prepare the rice according to instructions.  Stir cooked broccoli & rice into the skillet, sprinkle with cheese and serve.

My picky 3 year old even enjoyed this one! I hope you do too!


Write Like No One is Reading.

I have given a lot of thought on sharing this over the last couple months. So speaking freely, with no rhyme or reason, I’m going to share something. Try to stay with me.

I blog a lot about Intuitive Eating, body positivity, and self-acceptance. And… I have *gasp* fat loss goals.

I’ve had a lot of hesitance in sharing this for many reasons. For starters, diet culture. Have you ever noticed how women bond over sharing diety mindsets, hating our bodies, and other such misery? I don’t want to get roped into discussion about fad diets, how bad you think gluten and sugar is, cheat days, how people think being fat=unhealthy, etc etc… Let’s talk about reasonable, balanced living and stop judging each other. We are more than our bodies, you are not a bad person for eating cake at your kids birthday.
Next- I don’t want someone to try and sell me anything. I don’t want it. Being in the fitness world I’m already offered all sorts of products to try and by admitting I have fat loss goals could open up another box of sales pitches.
What else? Because when I share something personal like this I honestly feel like I owe an explanation for wanting something for myself, for the skin I’m in otherwise my message gets misinterpreted. I worried about what if people unfollow my page? Or think I’m a hypocrite? (And if you do- it’s your choice. I’m making peace with that) As I’ve been a relatively active member in the body positive and intuitive eating communities by encouraging others to pursue their dreams at any size (such as teaching group fitness, trying something new, initiating sexy time when they feel insecure) it’s also discouraging to see women get torn down for admitting they are uncomfortable in their new body, struggling to adapt to freedom from undieting, and completing an absolute 180 in mental health- it’s such a complicated process inside and out. We are still telling women how to live and what to feel. We CAN love our bodies as they are, AND choose methods of self-care that may lead to differences in body composition.

A few weeks ago I watched the movie “Embrace” and this line from the movie sums up exactly how I feel about my health and body.

“This body of mine, it’s not an ornament. It’s a vehicle. So I want to fuel it well, and I want to move it and be healthy BUT I want to do it on MY terms.”

One of the gaps of understanding I refuse to restrict food groups, count calories and make my life revolve around weight loss while also acknowledging I have goals to live a balanced life is the process to get there. In many ways it appears on the outside there are 2 polar opposites: The dieting industry which encourages rules, rigidity and weight loss; and the body positive world which is all about accepting yourself no matter what and pretty blunt that weight loss should never be encouraged. It’s a very confusing process when you feel like you go from one extreme to the other trying to find that sweet spot. Our society is struggling to find BALANCE in nearly every aspect of our lives and it’s driving us to extremes.

I got lucky. At the end of the holiday season last year I finally found my balance. The safe place where I could say “I love my body, I love my life, and I love intuitive eating. I’m wanting to change a few things without going back to old habits and I don’t know how to do it”. They didn’t judge or finger wag or tell me that my goals were irrelevant because I was surrounded by diet culture. A place that valued my whole health and lived out what they taught. They didn’t try to “no excuses” me to death or tell me what diet to try to lose weight fast. It was a place where they KNEW exactly how I felt because they had been in that exact place. A place where there was BALANCE and support, in the Balance 365 program. They meet you exactly where you are, support your whole health and encourage self-care, with the option to support fat loss goals IF it’s what YOU want. It’s up to YOU.

If you find yourself in the same position, I’d encourage you to watch their video below that goes into their backgrounds and philosophy. Then- get involved in their Healthy Habits Happy Moms community. Jen, Annie and Lauren are amazing and aren’t afraid to be in the sticky middle to help women balance their lives.


Books to Help Better Your Body Image

Today I’m excited to share some books that have helped me to shift my mindset about my body. For years, I would punish my body and had the mentally that “if only I could lose the weight, my life would be better.” Through lots of hard work inside and out I’ve learned to be in a much happier place and now it’s time to pay it forward. Here are some of my favorite books to help YOU get started on ditching diets and discovering body peace.

Based on her original research, Hillary L McBride shares the true stories of young women, and their mothers, and provides unique insights into how our relationships with our bodies are shaped by what we see around us and the specific things we can do to have healthier relationships with our appearance, and all the other parts of ourselves that make us women.  This book is not only informational, but reflective and has definitely helped me think about how I talk about my body around my children.

Body Kindness is based on four principles.
WHAT YOU DO: the choices you make about food, exercise, sleep, and more
HOW YOU FEEL: befriending your emotions and standing up to the unhelpful voice in your head
WHO YOU ARE: goal-setting based on your personal values
WHERE YOU BELONG: body-loving support from people and communities that help you create a meaningful life.
This book will meet you where you’re at and take you to leading a full life with the “spiral up” method.  It’s about being YOUR best version and clarifying YOUR values.

The Intuitive Eating book & Workbook are THE books you need to dig deep and finally establish a healthy relationship with food.  Get ready to become reacquainted with your bodies natural design for hunger, fullness and weight.

A fabulous book of memoirs, Big Girl chronicles one woman’s journey from diet junkie to intuitive eater and peace with her body.

Mom Dance and Yoga Pants is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to These books contain my Amazon affiliate code and helps support my personal goal of providing women with body positive content, supporting my family, as well as helping me give back to my readers and community. Your support is appreciated ❤

Will Zumba Help Me Lose Weight?

In a society obsessed with health, steps, weight and appearances, I can’t blame anyone for asking this question. Today we’re going to get down to business and discuss how Zumba can help us reach a variety of health related goals.

1. Increased likelihood of consistency: Zumba is FUN. When I begin helping people decide what form of fitness is best for them, I help them evaluate what they enjoy. If you enjoy dancing, loud music and a workout that will take you on a global vacation then Zumba is perfect for you. When you find what you love, you are more likely to continue it regularly, make it a habit and those classes can contribute to increased calorie expenditure- thus increasing a likelihood for fat/weight loss if you were previously sedentary.

2. Your Zumba class *should* have a variety of high and low intensity throughout the class (this was taught in our training), which can contribute to your metabolism staying elevated post-exercise. This benefit applies for any interval training workout as well, not just Zumba so make sure to mix up what you’re doing rather than maintaining the same intensity for long periods of time.

3. Regular Zumba classes can lead to increased flexibility, core stability, balance, muscle tone and cardiovascular endurance. That’s a lotta fancy words for you are gonna FEEL better because you can physically function at a higher level. Feeling better about moving and your body can lead to more movement and higher self-esteem- it’s a beautiful thing. Who doesn’t want that?!

4. Ultimately, changing your body composition through fat loss or weight loss will still depend largely on your nutrition habits. Diets that ban food groups, involve restriction, calorie counting, anything with a numerical end (ie 21 Day Fix, 24 Day Challenge, Whole 30 etc) have low success rates for low term weight loss. So instead what should you focus on? Focus on changing your eating habits slowly, focus on foods that help your body function well, and add foods versus taking away. An example: Try swapping your drive thru donuts and venti latte for an egg sandwich (more protein) and non-fat grande latte (still satisfies your coffee habit with a smaller portion and slightly less fat). Eventually, see if you can prepare your own meal from home, adding more veggies or fruit to create a balanced, satisfying meal. As time goes on you can focus on your other meals. The goal is to be happy and feel good about your foods and exercises, not miserable and predisposed for a binge thanks to restrictive extremes.

At the end of the day, I encourage my students to focus on the process versus an outcome. When you are deciding to change your habits to lead to weight or fat loss, make sure you are slowly stacking habits that are sustainable for your whole life and not dependent on a specific outcome. If it leads to weight loss then it’s all part of their personal process.

By doing what you love and incorporating habits slowly you are setting yourself up for a long term lifestyle rather than temporary results.  Hope to see you in class soon!


Mom Dance and Yoga Pants is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Occasionally these posts contain my Amazon affiliate code and helps support my personal goal of providing women with providing women tips for living a healthy lifestyle free of diets, supporting my family, as well as helping me give back to my readers and community. Your support is appreciated

Fearless Friday- Just Jack

The challenge. Every Friday share a moment from your life where you have overcome fear, personal bias or done something out of your normal.

Fearless is just one of my words this year, but also my primary focus. I’ve spent a lot of time being fearful of what others think of say, looking silly, being imperfect, fear of judgement, worrying about spending too much money, letting people down, allowing fear to hold me back from some really great experiences in life. Fear can paralyze or motivate. So what happens when we say forget everyone else, I’m ready to enjoy life! This is what happens:

Moms go crazy jumping on trampolines with their kids. They don’t worry about a little extra jiggle, making a fool of themselves or getting a little messy.

They take the plunge and enjoy swimming with their kids (this is the only picture I have from swim lessons this week) without being self-conscious in a swimsuit or getting wet. They focus on the laughter and fun.

They play peek-a-boo in clothing racks while shopping instead of stressing over keeping their kid as silent as possible.

They begin to embrace the chaos! How are you being fearless today?

Words Of Intent

Oh hey 2018, we have arrived. I no longer set resolutions but I love waking up the first day of the year and seeing 365 days of possibility ahead.

Since I stopped setting resolutions I choose a word to focus on this year. I’m having trouble narrowing it down- my top 3: celebrate, intentional, fearless. So I might just go with all 3 😂 These words mean a lot to me for a few different reasons. My priorities are changing as our kids are getting older and I’m focusing on my future goals.

Intentional- has to do with my time. I’ve struggled with time management and maintaining habits up until recently and I’m looking forward to slowly building more. Being deliberate and silencing the social media, opinions, and focusing my valuable time on personal growth. Who am I surrounding myself with? How am I using my time to help others? Time is precious.

Celebrate- continuing to celebrate my accomplishments rather than telling myself I could do better or minimizing successes. Celebrating life, love, family. Celebrating ME *gasp*

Fearless- overcoming fears of success, attention, being visible, and going for big crazy goals. Growing my business. Being open with struggles. Fearlessly being open to God’s plan for this life. Keeping my eyes and arms open to a variety to opportunities to grow. Every Friday I will be sharing a Fearless Friday moment from the week on my Facebook page.

It won’t all be fabulous, but good or bad I’m looking forward to looking back a year from now and seeing the difference a year can make.

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