I think that New Year’s Day is one of my top favorite holidays.  To me it is symbolic of a fresh start.  It renews my spirit with a sense of anything is possible.

Happy New Year!via

On January 1st 2010 I started a “diet” and through that year and into 2011 I lost 50 pounds and haven’t looked back.  It was such an amazing year for me.  I have grown so much since then.  I know so many people will be embarking on yet another “diet” and I would just like to encourage everyone that will be.  It is possible.  You are completely capable of it.  You are in control of your own life.

I would like to share some of the things that kept me personally motivated through that year.

1. “Treat” yourself without food.  For every 10 pounds I lost,  I rewarded myself.

  • Take a long hot bath with some special bath salts or bubble bath.  Listen to music, light candles, read a magazine.
  • Pedicure/Manicure
  • New clothes (about every ten pounds I needed new clothes anyway!)
  • Facial
  • Massage

2. Find other ways of coping with stress beside turning to food

  • read a magazine or book
  • take a long walk
  • listen to music
  • meditate
  • write

3. Change your mindset.

  • Envision yourself at a healthy weight.  What does your life look like? Focus on that like a hawk.  Create a vision board. Either in real life or on Pinterest!
  • Write down healthy mantras ex. “My stomach is not a wastebasket” “Shut up and Sweat” “I am one workout away from a good mood” One thing that I played over and over in my head was this “Would Jillian eat this?”
  • Realize that you were created for and worth more than a vicious cycle of defeat. You deserve the best that life has to offer.
  • I thought of the whole process as a project.  A challenge. It was one that only I was in control of.  It was one that I refused to fail at.

4. Renew your habits

  • If you always have something sweet after dinner, replace that habit with a peace of gum or a cup of herbal tea.
  • go to bed early
  • decide to only drink water
  • learn to say no and mean it.  “Would you like some cake?” “No…but thank you!”

Happy Habits


5. Find what motivates you and stick with it. These are the things that motivated me.

  • Fitness magazines and websites.  I recommend Women’s Health & Fitness Magazine
  • Watching The Biggest Loser. A new season starts on January 6th!!!!  With Jillian returning!!!! I am SO excited about that!!!
  • Thinking about my overall health.  How eating right and exercising is making my heart stronger.  Envisioning my legs getting stronger, my lungs healthier and more elastic. Lowering my cholesterol.  How good it would feel to go to the dr for my yearly exam and not have that horrid anxiety about stepping on the scale.
  • Being an example to my family.
  • Finding great workout music and making awesome playlists.

6.  Finally and possibly one of the most important things is DO NOT give up.

You will have days that you slip up on your diet.  This usually occurred about once a month for me.  I allowed myself to have a “treat day” once a month.  On this day I let myself eat anything I wanted without counting Points. (I used the Weight Watcher’s program)   It really renewed my determination and honestly helped keep me sane!  I think it’s very important that you have days like this every once in a while.  Be careful they don’t turn into “treat weeks”. Smile  Here is a GREAT little article about why having a cheat day is important!  I found it to be very accurate in my experience.

You will have times when working out is just not an option.  Whether its because of your schedule, an illness or injury, or you just are plain too tired.  But honestly, in my experience exercise was only about 10% of the equation.


It’s all about what food you are putting in your body. Think about the behavior and habits that got you to where you are and don’t do them anymore.  If you want to change, then you have to change.

Goals, not resolutions…

I don’t really set resolutions but I do like to set goals or things that I would like to accomplish in the coming year.

My first goal is to sell this house!  We definitely did not think it would take this long but over the past few months I have learned SO much.  There have been so many many things that I needed to see about myself that I never would have if our wish was granted in an instant.  I am so thankful for these last few months and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.  I am so looking forward to the blessing that will follow these trials.

After we sell the house, move into our new one & get settled, I am going to get my personal training certification! My original plan was to begin in January.  Well, I can’t very well do that when we could have an offer on our house any day now.  Then our lives would be turned upside down and I would be a mess.  One thing at a time is my motto. 

In the fall I am planning on going back to school!  I want to get certified as a registered dietician.  My long term goal is to have my own personal training and nutrition counseling business.  I’d like to help others focus on improving their over all health in a holistic natural way. 

There are some other personal goals I would like to work on spiritually and emotionally.

Some fun things:

  • Do one Pinterest craft project per week.  Silly I know….but for real there is some brilliant stuff on there!
  • Do Yoga with Aidan. 
  • Go on a date with Luke at least twice a month.  We never get “just us” time and he really enjoys it.  So do I!

I wishvia

I wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year.  Good luck with your goals!  You can and WILL do it!

Sites you may enjoy!

4 tips to keeping your New Year’s resolutions – Real Simple

Success Stories – Fitness Magazine


Dr. Oz 3 Day Detox Cleanse: Part 1

Earlier this week I wrote about how I fell into a bit of a funk over the last couple of months because of various challenging situations.  One thing I wasn’t doing was eating right.  Beginning with Luke’s birthday through Halloween and the weeks after,  my sugar addiction was full blown.  I have always had a “Sweet Tooth” but manage to keep it in control by keeping “contraband” out of the house.  Well this house was abounding in contraband and I was eating it left and right.  I wasn’t worried about it because the scale wasn’t showing any sign of my sugar binges.  Bottom line…..that is not how you should measure your health.  I was feeling like utter and complete crap.  Tired, anxious, irritable, moody, depressed, fatigued, headaches everyday, not sleeping well, foggy brain.  Not at all like me…..one day after many many many many……many M&M’s I had a stomach ache so bad and my heart was racing.  I thought ok……this is it.  I CAN NOT keep doing this to myself.   The thing I needed to change would require something drastic on my part. I am what they call an abstainer when it comes to dieting.  I have to just completely stay away from the thing in order to overcome it.  So I decided I was going into sugar rehab!!!

I started researching how to break a sugar addiction and the negative effects of sugar on the body.  I found a plethora of articles on it.  Apparently this is not an uncommon problem.  Around this same time I watched a DVR’d Dr. Oz that talked about how sugar affects your body and a 3 day cleanse to help reset your body.

Below is the link to the show I watched.

Dr. Oz Show

Everyone knows my infatuation with Dr. Oz. I just adore him. He is always bringing new information to the table for me. I think he is brilliant in many ways. As I have said before, I love his philosophy on using holistic means to heal the body, as I am a firm believer that food can kill you or heal you.

It was a sign.  I was going to do it!  I decided that after Thanksgiving would be a perfect time.  Jeremy would be off the three days after to help me through the nasty withdrawals and lend support.  Boy did he ever!  God Bless that man!

So without further adieu here is my experience with Dr. Oz’s 3 Day Detox Cleanse.


Dr Oz


The purpose of the cleanse is to “eliminate harmful toxins, restore your system, and reset your body” by pumping it full of nutrients.  Smoothies are a great way to get concentration of nutrients in at one meal. Can you imagine sitting down to a meal of 4 celery stalks, a cucumber, 1 cup of kale, half an apple, half a lime, a cup of pineapple, half a cup of almond milk with a tablespoon of coconut oil on top?  Me either.  Also because they are already broken down somewhat,  it makes them more easily digested and absorbed by your gut.

3 Day Detox_Final_REV2

First of all I was so excited about this printable.  So cute and simple!  You can find the original printable by clicking here.


Breakfast Drink

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The breakfast drink was really good.  Not much different than what I have made in the past.  This was the Snack Drink I chose also.  I added a lot of ice to it in order to make more volume and make the texture a little more satisfying like a smoothie.

Lunch Drink

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The recipe looked like it would taste good to me and it did.  It was the mealy texture that made it so hard to choke down.  I decided to use only 2 stalks of celery and half the cucumber the next two times.  The hard thing about recipes like this is that they don’t say how big or small the produce should be.  I also added tons of ice.  Doing it this way made it actually very good in my opinion.

Dinner Drink

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I am sorry I don’t have a picture of the dinner drink ingredients. By this point in the day I was super out of it.  This one had a very interesting mix of flavors.  It calls for cayenne pepper but just a little, only 1/4 tsp., but wow did it give it kick!  I also added ice to this one to help dilute the spiciness and to give it more volume.  The first time I made it I didn’t peel the mango.  I am not a fan of mango and have never eaten one whole like an apple.  I wasn’t aware that you shouldn’t eat the peel.  I Googled how to eat a mango and read that you aren’t supposed to eat the peel because it has toxins in it!!!  I immediately started to have a panic attack and then read further that that’s not necessarily the case. I also read that people generally don’t eat the peel because it’s bitter.  The drink did have a bitter taste to it. So the next night I peeled the mango and I used spinach instead of kale because it’s less bitter.  The drink was so much better this way in my opinion.

For the Epsom salt bath I was able to find a lavender Epsom salt for 4.99 at Target.

Dr Teals

Click here for the benefits of soaking in an Epsom salt bath.

This was SO necessary and wonderful by the end of the day.

Day 1

This day started out with green tea and lemon. It was so hard not having any coffee. But one of the things I hoped to accomplish was to completely eliminate coffee and drink tea instead or at least go to one cup instead of two. The rest of the day was relatively easy. I was just super tired and laid around most of the day.  I drank several cups of herbal tea which made such a huge difference.  It was soothing and comforting.  I also had a  slight headache most of the day.

Day 2

Oh my sweet mother of Mary. Let the caffeine headache and sugar withdrawals begin.  I woke up with a massive headache that lasted all day.  I slept in pretty late until about 8:30.  After I drank my tea, I tried to start on the housework and I just couldn’t get going. I felt like crying because I couldn’t get the things I needed to get done because of the fatigue and brain fog.  Poor Jeremy came over to take the broom from me and I snapped at him.  “I don’t NEED your help…..”  What? Of course I needed his help.  He looked at me like I had slapped him in the face!  As I was getting ready to leave for the afternoon we were talking in the bathroom.  He wasn’t understanding what I was saying and I flew off the handle.  He was like, “What the hell?”  I spewed something about how I’d rather starve than drink the lunch drink, and needing coffee, wanting oatmeal, drinking vegetables, he just doesn’t understand, that he can’t get mad at me for being irritable, I’m sorry for being such a (insert expletive) and to just leave!!!!!  It was very drama…. trust me.  The tantrum ended with me in tears and him apologizing and telling me to go get a pedicure.  God BLESS that man!  At that point I honestly thought I was going to give up.  I thought he would tell me to go eat a sandwich and make some coffee.  But he didn’t.  He just talked me through it, told me how proud he was of me and I could finish it like a boss!  That was exactly what I needed at that point.  The rest of the day I kept my cool but felt as though I was on the verge of boiling over at any point.  We were out the rest of the afternoon & I had to skip my snack drink.  NOT COOL!  When we got home I made the snack drink and then the dinner drink.   I wasn’t able to finish the dinner drink so I put it in the freezer for the next day.  I drank my herbal tea and had my bath. The bath felt so wonderful and was absolutely essential.   I was so ready for bed.  I just wanted the day to end.   I was happy I had made it through the second day and had just one more day to go.

Day 3

This day was so much better.  I woke up feeling awake and full of energy!  I was also super hungry and a little nauseated.  This was the only time I felt hunger the entire cleanse.  I was I was a little anxious because I was worried about making it all the way until 2 pm with out being able to have my drink.  I was volunteering in Aidan’s Sunday schools class and wouldn’t get out of there until around 1:30.  Jeremy had gone home after the service and set my leftover frozen dinner drink from the night before out to thaw so it would be ready for me when I got home.  I was so glad he did.  As soon as I pulled into the garage he walked out and handed it to me.  It was the best thing I had ever had in my life!  After I finished it I made my lunch drink and that was also the best thing I had ever had in my life!  I was amazed at how quickly my taste buds had changed!  After “lunch” I slept for 2 glorious hours and then got up to make my dinner drink.  I was so glad it was my last one and I was day dreaming of all the food I was going to eat the next day.  I prepped two batches of tuna salad and baked about 6 sweet potatoes.  I didn’t have my last bath because I just wanted to go straight to bed!


I will do a second post or a “Part 2”  about cleanse with the results.  How I am feeling, how much weight I lost, cravings, changed eating habits, and the endless energy I have now.

Stay tuned!!!

Women’s Intuition

I have some exciting news and some not so exciting news….Thumbs down But I will get to that in a minute.

It’s been a CRAZY few days.  Since Friday we have had so much going on that I honestly wouldn’t remember what we did if I didn’t have a couple of pictures to remind me!

Friday we ran some errands including taking my wedding ring in to be shipped off for inspection and polishing.  I have had numerous borderline panic attacks since Friday after trying to nervously twist it and it’s not there! We also went to Garden Ridge and Hobby Lobby to look for a Christmas tree!  We found one but are going to wait to buy it considering it isn’t even October yet Winking smile.

But look what I did buy!!!!

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I was over the moon about finding these at Garden Ridge on the cheap!!!!  I have wanted both of these for awhile now.  I haven’t tried them out yet but I will give a full review when I do!

Saturday was an epic grocery shopping trip that included 3 different stores.  We stopped for lunch at Corner Bakery because I had been craving the Spinach Sweet Crisp Salad & Tomato Soup for days!  As a matter of fact I am going to recreate the meal tonight! Minus the Sweet Crisps unfortunately…..Thumbs down

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Over lunch Jeremy and I had a life changing conversation.  I expressed some frustrations I had been having and that led us to an exciting decision that is in the works.  I won’t say what it is just yet.  We have a meeting about it Friday afternoon so maybe after that I can share!

So I have been busy the last few days because of this decision and haven’t had a spare second!  I have lost sleep over some of the things we had to consider first but it seems to all be working out perfectly.

So that’s the super exciting news!

Now for the not so exciting news.  First let me say it isn’t serious, everything is fine, but never under estimate the power of a woman’s intuition!

I have a condition/syndrome called Dysplastic Nevus.  Basically it puts me at greater risk for skin cancer and I am supposed to stay out of the sun (check) use sunscreen at all times (check) and be checked once a year for changes in my skin (ooooops, no check).

I learned I had it many years ago but disregarded it because I was young and stupid.  You know what else I did when I was young and stupid?  I tanned in a tanning bed.  For years…… Within the last few years my regular doctor removed one spot that came back normal and since then I have been diligent about checking spots for changes.  I haven’t had any real changes but something was telling me I needed to have a full skin check done by a dermatologist.  Since I didn’t have one, I visited my general doctor last week for a referral.  I was able to get an appointment right away.  She check me over but missed one area that I was concerned about.  When she checked it she was glad that I had showed her.  At first she instructed the assistant to put a watch on it but then after a few minutes she wanted to look at it again. At that point she decided to do a “shave biopsy” **cringe**.  It wasn’t bad.  Not even CLOSE to when I had the other spot removed from my hip.  OUCH!

With all the other excitement over the weekend I completely forgot that I would probably be hearing from them on Monday morning.  Around 10:30am and within the first 15 minutes of me vacuuming, the office called and of course I missed it.  I listened to the message and was immediately freaking out because on my new patient forms I checked for them to leave a message with normal test results.  This message said “call back so I can go over the pathology results of your biopsy with you.”  Commence Freak Out.  “Pathology results of the biopsy”?  Scary.  Plus, they were supposed to just leave a message.  WTH is going on?

I immediately called them back and what do you know?  I have to leave a message.  Let me tell you what, I am SO glad I had the “exciting news” to get ready for (and Target) to keep me distracted because after an additional phone call and message left by me, I finally heard back from them at 4pm!

“Hi Amanda, do you have a few minutes?”

“Yes! Of course!”

My heart is pounding out of my chest and I feel like I might hurl at any moment but yes of course I have a few minutes.  Disappointed smile

She said the spot came back as (long complicated term alert)

Atypical Melanocytic Hyperplasia

Definition: proliferation of melanocytes showing nuclear atypicality, especially as scattered single cells high in the epidermis; interpreted by some pathologists as malignant melanoma in situ. (source)

“An atypical or dysplastic (abnormal, irregular) mole or lesion are also known as atypical melanocytic hyperplasia, atypical mole, or dysplastic mole. The majority of these moles or lesions are benign (non cancerous). Some have a significant risk of actually being a melanoma or developing into melanoma. This is determined by physical examination or a biopsy by a physician.” (source)

I have an appointment on Thursday to have the rest of the area removed.  OH JOY!

I have always had a certain gift of discernment/woman’s intuition/whatever you will.  I used to dismiss it but have really honed in on it over the past few years.  I am glad I have and I am also glad that my Dermatologist seems to have it too.


Boys are coming home soon and dinner needs to get prepared for their hungry bellies! I guess I should do something about that!  Winking smile

Pity Party for One?

One of the things I love about sharing on this blog is that I can share my victories as well as my struggles.  This weekend was a struggle.  From Friday afternoon all the way until this morning when I had my final pity party and decided I needed to snap out of it.  I am not proud to admit that I handled my issues this weekend by turning to food.  I thought I had gotten it out of my system Friday. Saturday was really great!  But by Sunday afternoon, I was making terrible food choices again.  Jeremy had to work so I anticipated Sunday being hard. I even made many plans to stay busy, but because of a grumpy 5 year old who missed the concept of Mother’s Day, I was unable to follow through with those plans.  I felt like I was treading water just to make it through the day.  Turning to food for comfort, numbing the pain and the pity I felt for myself.

peanut M&Ms


This morning I woke up with a refreshed sense of well-being but several hours into the day I found myself completely overwhelmed and in yet another pity party (tears and all).  It’s true what they say about tears, they are healing.  I took some deep breaths and decided right then, in the middle of my kitchen still in my pajamas and bathrobe….I AM NOT going to do this.  I began to dig deep and remember a few things I have learned over the years.

First of all I remembered who I AM rather than who I AM NOT.  I recited some of my own personal Power Thoughts.

I remembered that I am no longer this woman.


I am THIS woman

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Strong, disciplined, of sound mind, a child of God, happy, healthy and incredibly blessed.

I thanked God for these,

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and their health and happiness.

Before I knew it, I began feeling less and less overwhelmed and sorry for myself.  The word of God is a double-edged sword.

I decided I would have a healthy breakfast

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  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 scoop EAS Lean 15 protein powder

And then do the Most Intense Work Out Ever, which surprisingly, wasn’t as intense as it has been in the past.  Don’t get me wrong, I was a sweaty mess and cursing that cute little Southern boy by the end, but, it was easier, and I use that term lightly.

I then had a snack of a yummy apple and some protein bread while I was heating up some soup.

Wolfgang Puck Soup

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I got myself cleaned up, make-up and all, then left for a mani-pedi and a coffee from Starbucks.

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Do you like my new ring?  It was my Mother’s Day gift!  I am in-love with it!

I made this AMAZING casserole tonight for dinner.

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Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas from Iowa Girl Eats

I didn’t like the pico de gallo (it was store bought) so I picked it off.  This was so so good!  Another great recipe from an awesome site!  I haven’t calculated the nutrition facts but I will and then post those.

I am glad I am feeling like myself again.  I am glad I remembered why I started this healthy living thing over 2 years ago and how it has changed my life.  Healthy eating and exercise are my anti-depressants.  I am glad I remembered that I have power over my thoughts and sometimes happiness is a choice.  When you set your mind on positive things, your life becomes more positive.

Here are the positive things that happened this weekend…..

“Munchin with Mom” Friday

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My White Kidney Bean Extract came in!

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I have decided that I am going to add it to the L-Carnitine/Raspberry Ketone supplement, which interestingly seems to be working!

Birthday Party Saturday.  Aidan is going through a phase of not liking to take pictures Annoyed

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My sweet Mother’s Day Cards!

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Aidan is graduating from Pre-School tomorrow!  I know it will be a total tear fest!  I better go get some clothes ironed and get myself to bed!

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7

I am Zen


How many of you can identify with this?  I know I can.

Sometimes life gets a little crazy and sometimes you just need to unplug and decompress.  I think it is essential, especially for mothers and wives, to do this.  We spend so much time   …..most  of our time…..ok pretty much every waking moment taking care of everyone else, we forget we need to be taken care of too.  Our spirits need to be filled, our bodies need rest and relaxation, and our minds need to be turned off.

So for two days I did just that.  It was LOVELY & I feel 1000% better.

I worked-out Wednesday morning on the treadmill and then did some abs and stretching.


I finally started Catching Fire Wednesday afternoon.

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I ironed.  This is relaxing for me…I never have time make time for ironing and it stresses me out.  I have many summer clothes that I can’t wear unless I iron them…so I am stuck with wash and wear stuff over and over.  It makes me sad when I go into my closet and see so much potential for cute outfits but I can’t wear any of it because I lack ironing discipline. So I ironed for two hours on Wednesday night and watched about 5 DVR’d  Joyce Meyer shows.  I record these but never get to actually sit and watch them.

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It was heavenly Winking smile

I also listened to about 5 or 6 of her podcasts while getting ready for my date with Prince Charming on Thursday.


I got pretty for my Prince.

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  • Shirt: Polo (It’s a youth size that I found at a children’s consignment shop when I was selling Aidan’s clothes to them)  I love it.  I rarely wear it though. Why?  Ironing.
  • Cami: Old Navy
  • Jeans: American Eagle
  • Shoes: TOMS
  • Accessories: Watch- Fossil, Bracelets- Coach and a gift from a friend.

We both thought this was funny.

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Clif MoJo bar.  It was delicious by the way!

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We had our Starbucks and then walked around the mall.  He wanted to take me ice skating because I keep saying like every week…..I want to go ice skating!  But wouldn’t you know, this would be the week I wouldn’t feel up to it!

So instead we had a long….looooooooong heart to heart and ate copious amounts of chocolate.

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On a Dessert for Lunch Date at Carino’s!  I think I have started a new trend.

He also got the best thing ever for this picky girl who can’t seem to find a new perfume.

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Sephora Fragrance Sampler for Her.

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This is brilliant.  You buy the box of 10 of their favorite fragrance samples.  Wear them, test them out, decide which one you like & return the gift voucher in the box for a full size bottle.  When we got home I had all 3 boys sitting on the bed with me smelling perfumes and getting their opinion.  It was adorable.  Today I am wearing the one we all liked the best, Marc Jacobs Oh, Lola.  It smells really lovely at first, but then the scent fades quickly.  Perfect example of why it’s good try it out first.

We picked up little A from school and went to get Jeremy’s hair cut and more sweets.  Copious I said.

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Later that afternoon I got the grocery shopping done.

grocery store vacationvia


By Thursday night I was Zen.


I slept like a rock last night, probably because I had another case of insomnia Wednesday night.  I found myself asleep sitting up in bed after trying to read just one chapter of Catching Fire.


My new favorite.

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.Chobani 2% Greek Yogurt, 1/2 an Orowheat Sandwich Thin, 1 tbsp. Sunbutter, 1/2 small banana and a sprinkle of cinnamon.


I did 30 minutes on the treadmill and 20 on the elliptical.  It felt really good and I got super sweaty.  I downloaded some new music from Itunes and I am pretty sure that had everything to do with it.  Music is essential for cardio.  It’s a non-negotiable for me.  These people who work out with no music are bionic or something.

  • Titanium (feat. Sia) – David Guetta & Sia
  • Give Your Heart a Break – Demi Lovato
  • Back in Time – Pitbull
  • Wild Ones (feat. Sia) – Flo Rida
  • Boyfriend – Justin Bieber (don’t judge me)
  • Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen

I am looking FORWARD to my sweat session tomorrow!


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  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 7 chopped baby carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup chopped red and green bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 2 tbsp. light balsamic vinaigrette.

Afternoon Pick-Me-Up

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A Granny Smith Apple the size of my face and a Cara Cara orange.

A little later, I had a serving of Blue Diamond natural almonds and the other half of the small banana from this morning.

I wasn’t hungry really at dinner time and now it’s after 9pm and wouldn’t you know my tummy us rumbling!  I am about to have 1/2 a Sandwich Thin with some PB.


I have not nor do I plan on reading the naughty little novel that is taking the women of this country by storm, but I thought this was hilarious!

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The first person I thought of when I saw this was my BFF Cheryl, who told me ALL about it!



  • What do YOU do to unplug and decompress?
  • Have you read Shades of Grey?  What did you think about it?

OF NOTE:  My Raspberry Ketone has been ordered and is on its way!

Recipes, workouts and a performance!

I wasn’t really hungry for breakfast at my usual time yesterday morning for two reasons.  First I slept in until 6:30 and also I had eaten dinner pretty late Thursday night.  I didn’t have time for my usual oats because I was wanting to get to the gym within the next hour or so.  Definitely not enough time to let those oats settle.  So I made something lighter.


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1/2 Thomas Whole Wheat Bagel Thin, 1 tbsp. JIF natural peanut butter, 1/2 small banana, & a sprinkle of cinnamon


My workout yesterday felt really good.  It was interesting to note my heart rate.  Normally when I run I have no problem getting it up into the zone it needs to be, even above.  But yesterday it was staying pretty low even though I kept turning up the speed.  This was going to be a perfect example of what the professionals mean when they say to change up your workouts if you have hit a weight loss plateau.  When you see that your weight loss has stalled, they always recommend changing up your workout.  Whether its to switch to a different cardio routine, increase the weight in your strength training, increase the speed, lengthen the duration, anything really.  Your body gets used to a certain exercise and adapts, therefore it doesn’t have to work as hard and in turn not burn as many calories.  This week I have been doing my runs outside.  It’s much easier to run on the treadmill (in my opinion) because it is essentially propelling you forward.  In an average hour long run I will burn over 500 calories, whether its on the treadmill or outside. Yesterday I only burned about 400 on the cardio alone.  I was going to run the whole time but was getting frustrated that I wasn’t able to get my heart rate up so I switched to the elliptical halfway through.  I haven’t done the elliptical in a long time because I never felt challenged enough.  Most of the time I wouldn’t even sweat. This was not the case yesterday.  I was working harder on it than I did in the 30 min I spent on the treadmill.  This was such a huge A-HA! moment for me.  I know you are supposed to change up your routine, but I have never actually experienced a time when it was so blatant.   This is also an example of how valuable a Heart Rate Monitor can be.  I would have never known what was going on if it weren’t for it.  And, no you can’t really trust the machine’s reading.  I use the Polar FT4 and highly recommend it.  I am hoping to get this one very soon!


After the cardio I cooled down with some core work and stretching


Post Workout Snack

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I had to finish up at home since we had run out of time for Aidan to be in the Kidzone at the gym.



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This salad had everything but the kitchen sink in it!


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protein bread + 1 teaspoon peanut butter

Last night we had a very important performance to attend!

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Aidan is in the Giraffes Class

I had never heard “Bushel and a Peck” so in order to help him learn it I had to look the song up on Youtube.  I have been singing this song for a solid week.  I bet you a million dollars you will too.

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I was so proud of him!  I am pretty certain he sang the loudest.

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Aidan and Maddie

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This kid……


Oh how I love Hungry Girl.  She uses mostly sugar-free/fat free/majorly processed diet foods which I really try to stay away from, but she does have many recipes that don’t.  If there is something that the recipe calls for, an ingredient I’d rather not eat, I will just make a substitution.  The recipe I used last night came from her 200 under 200 cookbook.  I love this cookbook.  I have used so many recipes from it.  Last night I made her Crispy White Pizza.  It was DELICIOUS!!!!  I am definitely making this many more times this week. This is a gem of a cookbook!

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Hungry Girl’s Crispy White Pizza

Have a wonderful and healthy weekend my friends!

Here is something to make you laugh!  I saw it on one of my favorite blogs Peanut Butter Fingers.

50 people you wish you knew in real life

and one last thing……


doesn't want your advice


Every child needs this shirt.  Many sizes available!

Nursing a Holiday Hangover

I was SO tired yesterday.  I am sure it was a combination of less than stellar eating, lack of exercise, Mrs. Murphy’s pending visitation and a lack of sleep.  I was really hungry all day too but I think I did a pretty good job of choosing the right foods and keeping in touch with my hunger levels.  I ended up getting so caught up in getting caught up, that I never did get a workout in.  I also felt like I really needed a day to chill out and do things for my soul & mind instead of my body.  Even though they tend to go hand in hand.  Hopefully my energy levels will increase through the week and I will start to feel more like myself again soon.

hey girl

Thanks Ryan, I needed to hear that.

I started the day with coffee and my oatmeal at about 8am and then I drank 3 24oz cups of water through the morning. That felt good. I could tell I was dehydrated. Then I got started on the house work that went by the wayside over the weekend.


@ about 11:30am

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Apple and string cheese


@ about 12:30pm

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Lots of mixed greens with strawberries, reduced-fat feta cheese, peanuts, 2 deviled eggs and fat-free raspberry vinaigrette.

Afternoon Snacks


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Carrot Cake Larabar

4:30 pm:

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1/2 a banana and 1/4 cup peanuts

We had 8 bananas that were ready to eat but I knew we wouldn’t eat all those in the next few days so I took 5 of them, cut them into pieces, put them in plastic baggies and put them in the freezer for smoothies or future baking.  I remember the first time I tried to freeze a banana.  I just put it in the freezer, peel and all and then when I took it out to use in a smoothie, I couldn’t peel it because the peel was frozen! I let it thaw but then it became a mushy mess of a banana. Live and learn.

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@about 6 pm

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Mixed Greens, Strawberries, Fat-Free Raspberry Vinaigrette, deviled eggs.

By dinner my appetite had finally settled down, but I did get hungry again a few hours later.

@ 8pm

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Archer Farms Simply Balanced Berry Blend Low-Fat Granola

I had a serving of this yummy cereal with a splash of almond milk and I was good the rest of the night thank goodness!

I am feeling TONS better this morning. I got a really good nights sleep and am ready to take on the day!  I am planning on a long cardio session at the gym this morning and then I have to complete the “grocery project” this afternoon. I wanted to try and wait until Friday to go but we are running out of everything!  You should see the creative lunch I put together for my children!

Side Note:

I have a love affair with my iPhone.  I don’t know how I ever lived without it and these are two things that are making my life better right now.


The clean comedy station on Pandora


and the photo app Pic Stitch.

It’s the simple things….

Coma Naps.

Right after I finished lunch yesterday I could NOT keep my eyes open.  I was looking through a magazine and I felt so tired and a bit disoriented.  I think with Jeremy being off, my body was saying, “Hey girl, it’s time to take a load off, SLEEP NOW.”  I laid down on the couch and the next thing I knew, Luke was walking through the door, home from school.  I had slept like a rock for 2 hours. This got me thinking about how important sleep is and I wanted to share some things I have learned over the past few years about it.

About the hormones Leptin and Ghrelin.

“Sleep affects the levels of several hormones in your body. Two hormones that play an important role in stimulating and suppressing your appetite are leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is produced by your body’s fat cells and is responsible for suppressing hunger. Ghrelin is released by your stomach, and stimulates your appetite. Lack of sleep lowers the levels of leptin in your blood and heightens the levels of ghrelin, which results in an increase of appetite. The reverse is also true: getting enough sleep decreases hunger and will therefore help you lose weight.”   fitday.com

About Cortisol.

“Getting eight hours of sleep at night helps you lower the cortisol levels in your blood, while lack of sleep raises your cortisol levels. Higher levels of cortisol lead to a lower metabolism. Breaking protein down into glucose is stimulated by cortisol. If you have too much glucose in your body, it will get stored as fat. On top of this, cortisol interferes with your body’s ability to build muscle mass. If you are trying to lose weight, you want to make sure that you have low cortisol levels in your blood. Getting enough sleep helps you do just that.” – fitday.com

I have also read that the body views lack of sleep as stress and therefore it produces cortisol.

“Although most people get around five to seven hours of sleep a night, experts caution that number should really be somewhere closer to eight hours of sleep. ‘The problem with being chronically sleep-deprived (as in, missing one to two hours nightly) is that the body perceives the sleep loss as a “stress,” which increases levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol (which interferes with insulin function),’ says Shawn Talbott, nutritional biochemist and author of “The Secret Vigor: How to Overcome Burnout, Restore Biochemical Balance, and Reclaim Your Natural Energy.” – Shape Magazine

Sleep is so incredibly important.  One of the things I have learned how to do is to distinguish whether or not I am hungry, or just need a nap.  Most of the time I am just in dire need of a nap.  Being up from 5am until 9pm or later is a LONG day.  I need a little rest in the middle and so do most people.  Unfortunately, not everyone CAN.  That’s why making sleep a priority is really crucial in weight loss,  as well as maintaining it.  In today’s society, we are encouraged to sleep less and work more.  There are never enough hours in the day. That kind of pressure takes a toll on our nervous systems, making us susceptible to a myriad of health problems. I would really encourage you to take the steps to make sleep a priority in you life.  It can make all the difference.

I was definitely feeling my lack of sleep from the get-go yesterday.  I DID NOT want to get up.  I must have sat on the bed for ten minutes before I finally made myself get up and get going.  I know that if I don’t get a head start on everyone, it sets a negative tone for the day.  I was trying to answer an e-mail at 5:30 am yesterday and trying to put my thoughts together was like a car that won’t start. Finally my first cup of coffee kicked in and I was able to finish it, hopefully intelligently.  By the end of my quiet time, I had drank 3 cups of joe.  Coffee cup

Breakfast was my usual and then it was time to hit the gym.  I planned an hour of elliptical work and thanks to the latest Fitness Magazine, it went by pretty quickly.  I wore my heart rate monitor just so I could make sure I wasn’t phoning it in.  When I run, I have no problem getting my heart rate up, but the elliptical takes a little more effort.

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505 calories burned per machine vs. 406 per HRM

This would be proof that you shouldn’t really pay any attention to how many calories the machine says you have burned.  I even entered my age and weight.  Confused smile

By the time I got home it was after 12pm and I was super hungry!  I snacked on an apple and a few almonds (7 to be exact) while I was figuring out what I wanted.

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Quorn Turk’y Burger w/ reduced-fat Colby Jack Cheese Panini on an Orowheat SandwichThin, 2 Cuties, blueberries and baby carrots.

I intended on going to Ulta right after lunch but proceeded to take a coma nap for 2 hours.  I had two coupons that I needed to use by Friday so I went when I got up instead.  Ulta is like the Mother Ship calling me home.  Every time I walk in there I hear angels singing.  I walked around smelling all the delicious scents and looking at make-up.  It was glorious!  Thanks to my coupons, I got some really good stuff.  I went in for foundation primer and a large round brush.  I got those things plus a free tube of lipstick and a free bottle of conditioner.  Bonus: the brush I wanted was half off.  HOLLA!  Side note: I totally recommend Ulta’s foundation primer called Fabulous Face.  It is half as much as the other primers and works so well.  I swear when I put it on, it looks like someone has gone over my skin with Photoshop.  It smooth’s fine lines & evens skin tone.  I wear it everyday whether I wear make-up or not.

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Red heart

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Happy Girl!

I needed a little pick me up so I stopped by a little piece of heaven on earth.

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Grande Non-Fat Misto – 2 Splendas


Dinner was another recipe similar to the one I made a few weeks ago.

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I made Crock Pot Sante Fe Chicken from the blog Iowa Girl Eats.  Can you tell I was craving Mexican Food last week when I made the menu for this week?  I served the mixture on white corn tortillas with reduced fat shredded cheese, a little bit of light sour cream, & fat free refried beans.  I have a secret love affair with my crock pot.  I love throwing together everything in the morning when I am at my best; before the exhaustion of the day takes over and I just throw in the towel.  My poor kids have eaten so many sandwiches and bowls of cereal for dinner.  What am I talking about, poor kids.  They would live on cereal and sandwiches if I let them!

This dish was good.  I think I like the other recipe better.  The chicken was a bit bland and sort of dry for some reason.  I think I should have made sure it was submerged in order to better soak up moisture and seasoning.  It made a lot and to that I am thankful.  I love to cook, but I don’t necessarily like to cook at dinner time.  Winking smile

Trixie liked it!

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Look at the desperation in those eyes!

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For dessert I had two pieces of Jamie’s Bread that I made yesterday.

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J and I are going to see The Hunger Games today and I couldn’t be MORE excited!  I hope that we can eat at Mimi’s but if not a cupcake will do!



of interest:

Top 8 Effects and Maladies Caused by Sleep Deprivation – About.com

Sleep and Weight Gain – WebMD

How to reduce cortisol and restore sleep – ehow.com


Finding Balance

Let me start by saying how GLORIOUS Date Day was.

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I don’t think there is much else I’d rather do than watch The Big Bang Theory, in my sweats, reading a magazine next to my sweetie. And that is what we did for 3 hours yesterday! It was perfect.

Around noon I got hungry so I made a salad that was so pretty, it looked like a rainbow.

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Romaine Lettuce, grapes, blueberries, strawberries, baby carrots, cucumbers, walnuts, fat-free feta cheese, whole wheat pita with fat free balsamic vinaigrette. Lovely.

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The perfect bite.

While we were eating, a fire truck drove down our street with it’s sirens on. We went outside to see where it was going and found that it was neither cold nor rainy outside! As a matter of fact, it was quite warm. Confused smile We walked back to the kitchen and saw a huge gust of wind blow through the back yard. Jeremy opened the door and it was at least another 10 degrees cooler. Then another fire truck drove down our street so we went back out the front to see what was the deal and it was even colder! Texas, you are bi-polar, that is for sure!



But my oh my how I love thee! She is one crazy broad!

At first I thought I might be ready to get out and go somewhere, but after that gust of wind blew straight through to my soul, that thought quickly diminished. Thumbs down

Jeremy went to pick up Aidan and I started to feel a little blue. I think I was having a little case of the SADs. Sad smile I didn’t want to workout. I didn’t want to go anywhere. I didn’t want to nap. I didn’t want to do….anything. My mind started to wonder to what might be in the pantry. I was a little hungry so I had two pieces of Jamie’s Pumpkin Bread. Then I wondered around. I don’t know what I did exactly. Laundry? Dishes? Who knows, but I am pretty sure I looked like this


Poor me, I am so sad Sad smile

So a little while later I had this

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You know what else? I am not even going to try anymore. It’s futile.

And seriously, I didn’t want anything else after it. They is my magic bars! (said a la Forest Gump)

Then I moped around a little bit more….not hungry at all but wondering what I had in my baking cabinet that I could make to make me feel better. Then like someone had slapped me. I said to myself:

“No, No, No, you are NOT going there today!”

I got myself dressed

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Shirt: Target

Vest: American Eagle

Jeans: Gap

Boots: Gift from my mother-in-law

I decided I would take the afternoon to go pamper myself a little, instead of beat myself up with food and negative self-talk. I was also feeling some exercise guilt for not “feeling” like working out.

I went to get my hair trimmed. Thank goodness my girl was there!

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Then I got my nails did.

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much better.

I gabbed on the phone with my best friend

Browsed Barnes & Noble

Found some drink coasters finally at World Market

and then came home.

I felt 100 times better. I also had a lot of time to clear my head of some things that had been bothering me. Why was I feeling this intense exercise guilt? I wrote last week about feeling burnt out, and out of balance. Yesterday I thought about how I could make my workouts more balanced. At the beginning of the year I wanted to place more emphasis on strength training so I decided to change my workouts from an hour of cardio M-F to M-W-F 30 min cardio/30 min strength training. Tues-Thurs cardio days. That was really working for me for a while but lately it seems to have really put me in a rut. I am exhausted by Thursday, and that day’s workout becomes a chore. I never want exercise to feel like a chore. It’s not. It’s something I am privileged to do. I think I was feeling exercise guilt because I had planned on working out but didn’t want to. For the last two years I have learned to “Shut Up and Sweat”. But what I realized while I was out is that I don’t have to work like that anymore. It’s such a huge adjustment shifting from actively dieting, to just maintaining and trying to stay healthy and balanced. Of course I am tired by Thursday. I was working out M-F and resting on Saturday and Sundays. Now I am going make a Rest Day of Thursdays. I will most likely turn that day into my Treat Day too since Jeremy and I USUALLY go somewhere to eat. I never feel guilty for not working out on Saturday or Sunday because I have scheduled those days not to workout. By Monday I am so ready to work out. Well duh, you have just taken two days to rest your body! I also feel that I am not eating enough to sustain my energy for the intense workouts, and that may be a factor. I was “on a diet” for so long, shifting is difficult. I have lost 3 pounds in the last few weeks and I am not looking to lose anymore weight. I am actually trying to work on my strength and muscle tone. I hope that by having a rest day in the middle of the week I can refuel my body with not only rest but extra calories. Healthy calories! At least I’ll try to make them healthy.

I made Gina’s Arugula Salad again last night. I had quite a bit of the ingredients left from last week to make at least two more salads, so that was on the menu for this week

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I added some walnuts on top.

Aidan loves it!

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So that was my “date day”. Even though I was feeling a little down, by the end of the day all that had passed and I was feeling refreshed!

Of interest: Beat Exercise Boredom – Fitness Magazine

Early to Bed, Early to Rise

On Tuesday night I stayed up way too late trying to find some new recipes, finding coupons, meal planning and making my grocery list.  Last night I was up too late also.

Tuesday night I found myself hungry around 9pm

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Luna Bar & an Apple

Last night I found myself hungry around 9pm

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M&M’s and a Quaker Granola Bar

We all have our diet down falls.  Mine was/is late night snacking.  Now, there is nothing wrong with having a little snack after dinner but when it begins to sabotage your healthy eating plan, it can become an issue.

When Jeremy was working nights right after I had Aidan, I found myself staying up until 12-1am.  I couldn’t go to bed because because,  1. I was worried about him,  2. I was lonely and 3. It was the only time I had to myself to read, watch T.V., chat with friends, and eat in peace.  I found myself eating more late at night than I did all day.  Pringles, Diet Cokes, snack cakes, you name it.  Anything salty, sweet, salty & sweet.  I was using food to soothe myself late at night when the loneliness was too much.

In Jan of 2010 when I started Weight Watchers,  I ate really good all day, and then when  I would be up late, I found myself fighting the Late Night Snack Monster.  One of the things I did while I was on the diet was make excuses for myself.  I deserve this bag of Goldfish, I am exhausted, I have been doing so good, I just need to have this and then I will be extra good tomorrow.  Jeremy had gone back to the night shift and subconsciously I was looking for a way to soothe my loneliness and stress again.

When I decided to lose the weight, I had a resolve that I had never had before.  One of the things that I did was make a list called “Solutions For My Excuses.” I wrote the excuse or problem;  ex. Not Exercising or Late Night Snacking.  And then underneath it I would brain storm solutions.

Excuse/Problem: Late Night Snacking

Solution:  “MAKE myself go to bed early.”

This will  be beneficial for two reasons:

  1. If I am in bed asleep, I can’t be in the kitchen eating.
  2. I read that being sleep deprived is one of the main culprits behind unhealthy cravings.  If I get more sleep, maybe I won’t be so hungry in the afternoon and at night.”



I started putting the boys to bed by 8pm and I was in bed by 9pm.  I wasn’t necessarily asleep, but I was on my way.  I wasn’t going to get up and eat if my teeth were brushed, I wasn’t going to get out of my comfortable bed and put down my gossip magazine to eat.  Over time this became easy for me.  I began looking forward to going to bed early and began counting the hours until my own bedtime.  I began getting up very early in order to have some time to myself, instead of staying up very late.  Now I get up at 5am and I am in bed as soon as I can get there.  Sometimes, I am in bed before Jeremy even gets home.

This brings me to the last two nights of late night snacking.  Even though I was legitimately hungry, I do get hungry every 2-3 hours, I wouldn’t have been if I was asleep.  Those snacks didn’t send me over what I try to keep my daily calorie intake at. I was legitimately hungry and I wasn’t emotionally eating.  However, it was a good reminder of  those days long ago and of why I changed my sleeping habits to the old saying, “Early to Bed Early to Rise”

You may also enjoy: WebMD – How sleep deprivation affects you weight.