Thursday, May 30, 2013

seeing THAT girl

I am strong.
I work to be the best woman, wife, mother and daughter that I can be. 
I work hard to see results.
I push myself beyond my limits.
I set, reach and exceed fitness and health goals that I set for myself.
and NO I'm not bragging but I do find it difficult to see THIS girl sometimes...THIS woman I am TODAY but EVERY day I try to focus on how far I've come. 
The little moments and achievements sometimes count the most on our journey...

As I am preparing my healthy foods, beginning my workout or run, I often remember THIS girl:
Look at me, I was trapped.  
:sometimes this old me comes creeping in and distorts the STRONG me that I have become.
I was LAZY.  I never worked out, ate very few foods that were actually GOOD for me.
I often think, how could I have let myself get so out of control?  And then I stop and think...

WOW, maybe others feel this same way that I once did? 
Maybe some feel stuck and not sure how to BEGIN their journey?  
How can I help each of them?  
How will I show them that it's all worth's such a better life around the corner, if they could only see...

I sat down with a friend of mine that's looking to lose weight and get healthy.  She works out HARD but can't get her foods quite on track.  She's beautiful and you can see how badly she wants to CHANGE.  As we were talking, I found it so difficult to SHOW her the'd think I would know the "secret" right?  I kept trying to explain my "ah ha" moment...the moment where things clicked for me and I would never look back but I couldn't put it into words.  
This was crazy to me, since I love to talk...I would talk to a wall if it would listen!  Ha!  
But I wanted to cry for her because she kept describing my same issues with food, the struggles, the binging followed by the guilt.  
It all sounded TOO familiar but why couldn't I give her the solution? 
Our stories, our lives so similar.  
I felt like she was describing my former self so many times during our conversation but WHY couldn't I help her?  
I listened to her.  I gave her tools, recipes, things to do when she feels like munching or binging.  I told her stories of how I used to be and she'd shake her head YES, that she's been there too.  I wanted to give her a magic pill and all of a sudden it would all make sense.  I couldn't sleep that night.  I felt like I had let her down.  I told her to call, email, text...anything she needed, I'd be there for SUPPORT, GUIDANCE, HELP...anything!  

Have you ever found yourself at a loss for words when trying to help someone?  
As I look back on our conversation, there's SO much more that could have been said.  Ugh, I hate that...

Monday, May 27, 2013

a reminder

Sometimes it takes a look back to see how far you've come...and I met a family yesterday that helped me remember when my journey began...I don't even know this girl anymore but I sure remember the sadness, weakness and emptiness. 
Me: fall 2001 size:18
Me: may 2013 size 6
Although I lost most of my weight back in 2002, I had allowed 30lbs to creep back on, over time. I don't dwell on it, just look at it as a learning experience. For me, diet and exercise must be at 99% in order for me to feel & look my best! 
    We had a busy day yesterday, full of family parties and I must say that I was absolutely inspired & amazed by a family that I met yesterday! 
    They introduced themselves and started off by saying they had read my weight loss story, that they were inspired and wanted to talk more. So we all sat down and talked for a long time, sharing stories, recipes and more! 
     It was a really cool moment for me. Almost like a moment where I realized, WOW my words, struggles, obstacles and triumphs that I share on here REALLY do impact other lives!! 
    They probably don't know it, but they were pretty inspiring to me too. Such a beautiful family and they ALL put their health as a priority! There's nothing more beautiful than that! I loved sharing words with a family that truly wanted to know our lifestyle...they weren't judging or saying, "oh that's can you do that...etc" they listened, they actually LISTENED! I hope they're reading so they know it meant SO much to me! 
    My dream job would be where I could speak to families that WANTED to listen, wanted help and I could somehow make a difference for them. Make their road to healthy living a bit easier by sharing my experience and knowledge so they gave me a glimpse of that :-) 
    Too often I find families judge our lifestyle from the start. I'm not even sure why because I NEVER push our lifestyle on anyone...I wouldn't dare. But to know that through those moments, out pops a family, a person that I have touched...I have helped them feel strong and worth it! 
     The thing is, we are ALL worth it but it must be when each of us is ready! If we're not ready & committed...the change will not last. When you feel strong and push yourself beyond your limits, it makes you feel good...SO good! And that good feeling will trickle down to your loved ones. Before you know it, you have this amazing group of supportive people that are in it TOGETHER!! You have someone to lean on, to guide you, help you when you're feeling weak and remind you of your strength! 
    Make today AMAZING! Set goals and fight for what you want! Keep in mind that BALANCE must be found! You have to find your balance which may, and probably will be different than mine and that's okay. 

Since we attended party after party yesterday, with not many healthy options I decided since I stayed on track I wanted a little sweet treat! Thanks to my blogger friend, BackAtSquareZero she posted this "cookie dough" recipe at the perfect time! 
Since it was already late, I made just a few spoonfuls but SO good! 
1/2c plain Greek yogurt
1tbs pb2 
Handful chocolate chips
Mix and ENJOY!!
I mean, as she explains, it doesn't taste like "cookie dough" but it definitely makes you feel like you're having a sweet treat:-)

And to begin this beautiful Memorial Day, my friend and I ran 6.21 miles!!! 
     Will you sweat today? I was a mess

Remember all of our military men & women today...and every day! Their strength, determination and love for our country should be celebrated. Especially for those who died for the beautiful USA! 
Have a beautiful and safe Memorial Day!!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

SweatFest in Texas...and BBQ recipes too!

Nope, that's not the name of a cool, local 5K....
it's the description I have for these hot and humid Texas temps and it's only the end of May!  YIKES!  It is literally like running through a bowl of hot exaggeration!  It's BRUTAL!  BUT no excuses, you make time and put in the energy to get it done :)

On Thursday it was 6.2 miles, yesterday Bob Harper's Cardio Conditioning. Today I was able to push out 4.2 sweaty miles but let me tell ya I was sticky and dripping by the time I was done!  
And you are so welcome for this sweaty pic to follow :) 
Weekly Workouts:  I have been alternating Bob Harper's 4 pack of DVD's that I purchased at Target!  They include the Ultimate Cardio workout that I already owned, but it was worth the four-pack purchase!  Great workouts!! I HIGHLY recommend!  Even if you must start small, pause the video and modify to your fitness level, it's a great series!  TWO THUMBS UP!

UA SWAG!!!  
I was so excited when this package arrived on my doorstep!  It totally made my day.  
It's the goodies I received from Under Armour since I am a participant in their #whatsbeautiful campaign!  If you haven't heard, UA is striving to make ALL WOMEN FEEL STRONG AND BEAUTIFUL!  It's time we give ourselves credit for the beautiful, strong women that we are right?  RIGHT!  
Not too late to sign up to join my team, just go HERE for details! 
 and of course I had to model my gear before yesterday's workout!  SO fun!  The shoes are SO comfy and look at those colors...what's not to love?!  The tank was so comfy and was very sweat-friendly!  I love the headbands, so stylish and functional!  A great reminder that we are ALL #whatsbeautiful.  
**Thank you Under Armour for helping me find another load of's what I need to really push me to reach and exceed more health and fitness goals!  
It's never time to stop reaching goals, so if you reach one...set another, and another :) 

Our newest obsession?  Ezekiel english muffins!  Great flavor and texture!  I might like these more than the bread.  
These are delicious...hard to find around here, but delicious!  The first time we tried, we ate one each but we soon realized that they are thick and filling so limiting to half of one is perfect to go with egg/egg whites and whatever else you can think of!  

My family all met up at a restaurant to celebrate my cousins 16th birthday and it was an Italian restaurant with LOTS of carb-loaded
 My husband and I decided to split a PIZZA!!!!  Yes a PIZZA!!!  
That delicious masterpiece is topped with zucchini slices, arugula and a little ricotta.  Thin crust and very light!  Tasted ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS!!!  We haven't had pizza in ages because I was afraid after eating so healthy, the rich and fattening pizza toppings would upset my tummy :( so I figured I'd take the risk the other night and it was worth it.  It didn't have red sauce and not full of flavor but just delicious!  We ordered an arugula salad for appetizer so lots of arugula for us that night!  Ha!  We figured we did pretty good considering my family all ordered creamy pasta and shrimp, pizza topped with Italian sausage and peppers, etc!  Who cares though, every now and they we gotta splurge right?  

And hope you guys are planning to have a great Memorial Day weekend, but here's some light and healthy recipes from Fitness Magazine. to share with family and friends so your weekend is filled with healthy eats too!  

Pork and Veggie Kabobs recipe HERE plus more!  
8 healthy BBQ recipes that'll sure make your celebration a success this weekend :)  ENJOY!!!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

#whatsbeautiful to you?

Join Team Move It Mommas HERE 
Sign up for your free account, search Team Move It Momma request to join, set your goal and show everyone #whatsbeautiful 

For me it means many different things, 

#whatsbeautiful is putting my health and the health of my family as a top priority
every day I strive to set a good example for my family and the people around me.  
To me, there's nothing more beautiful than a woman who can juggle all that motherhood brings-which is A LOT and still manage to keep their health and their families health in check!

STRENGTH is #whatsbeautiful 
There's nothing more beautiful than a strong, healthy woman...wouldn't you agree?

a person who makes NO EXCUSES is #whatsbeautiful
I totally admire a person that can tell it like it is, no excuses.  They admit their faults and want to work on making themselves happier and healthier.  There's something so genuine about that.

CONFIDENCE is #whatsbeautiful
I work on this one often.  I have a hard time building my self-esteem and confidence but I admit this as a fault of mine that I want to improve.  It's so hard to be a former-fat girl and see a different image in the mirror.  I know I'm a different, stronger woman but it's so hard to tell my mind to believe what my heart feels!  

#whatsbeautiful...pushing my son in the stroller on my run this morning.  I made no excuses and decided I'd get my workout in, regardless of the busy day ahead.

And I hope in some way I can be part of that for you...
If there's anything that you take from my blog, I hope it is that I truly want this world to be happy, healthy place.  I cringe seeing what Americans consume in a day, with little or no exercise.  
It is SCARY. Wouldn't you agree?
Whether you're young or old, overweight or thin, we ALL need to put our health as a top priority.  We should have the energy to be active with our families.  We deserve that, don't we?  We should all have the determination to reach for the impossible.  We should all feel STRONG and CONFIDENT when it comes to setting health and fitness goals.  There should be no goal too high or too out of reach.  

Believe in yourself and the impossible can happen! 
Even if you have no support with your family and friends.  Dig deep and find it in YOURSELF. 
We are ALL worth it.
If someone is discouraging you or holding you back from your health and fitness goals, find more positive, uplifting people to be around.  

I get very upset when I hear that someone trying to lose weight or get healthy doesn't have support at home.  Why would loved ones not want you to be healthy?  That's awful to think about, isn't it?  You never know what someone struggles with at home, so that's why I always stress that I WAS that overweight, lost girl for so long.  I can and will be that support and person they can turn to when things get hard.  They must learn to lean on themselves but they also need someone in their corner...someone cheering them on each step of the way.  Unless you've lived that life, I think it's harder for people to relate.  Each personal struggle has its own lessons learned and mine were given to me for a help people.  I truly believe that.  
My heart breaks for all those lost people out there that have forgotten that they are #whatsbeautiful.  
Lets come together and remind each and every woman that we are ALL BEAUTIFUL.  We can all do amazing things if we set our hearts and minds to it.  
Lets come together and DREAM BIG!!!
If you haven't joined my team, there's still time...join now!  
It will also earn you added entries into my Reebok Spartan Race giveaway!!!  
That's right, you join my team and you'll earn not one, but TWO extra entries!!!!  
JOIN NOW, set your goal and lets do this together!!!  
Sign up on my team page, Team Move It Mommas HERE  and leave a comment letting me know!

What's for dinner?
I'm addicted to making homemade pizzas.  They are quick, easy and delicious!  
For these I used NAAN whole wheat bread topped with tomatoes, mixed veggies and ground turkey.  A little cheese on top just because :)
I served it with steamed artichoke that I drizzled with light Italian dressing and lemon.  YUM! and some steamed broccoli, the kids' favorite veggie!

If you take the time once a week to brown lean ground turkey meat, you'll be surprised at how many healthy meals it'll make.  I used these 2lbs of ground turkey for baked burritos, you'll find on my recipe page! then for the pizzas and again tonight to add to our salads.  You can add flavorings to make the turkey blend with all meal ideas and the possibilities are pretty much, endless!  
**I cannot say enough that when you are prepared, there's no room for failure.  You can reach in your fridge and pack a healthy lunch in 5 minutes or less!  What's not to love about that?  EVERY, SINGLE day I am able to pack healthy foods or prepare healthy foods in little to no time because of these make-ahead proteins and veggies.  Then dinner making takes minutes and you have your fruits, grains, vegetables and protein for days of healthy lunches and dinners :) 

My lean ground turkey being layered on a low carb/high fiber tortilla and mixed with black beans, kidney beans and chick peas.  I wrap them up and bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until slightly crispy.  I serve on a bed of lettuce and topped with sliced avocado and a spoon of plain Greek yogurt!!!  

My thoughts and prayers go out to Oklahoma's all I can think about.  

disclosure: I am part of the Under Armour #whatsbeautiful sponsored campaign.  

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Spartan Race giveaway...and the trails!

If you haven't learned by now I have a true passion for helping my readers, family and friends reach and exceed their health and fitness goals.  
Sometimes it's a simple commitment to fitness 3-4 times a week, or changing eating habits but other times it's MUCH more. 

Some people like to push themselves beyond their limits and really see what they are capable of...and for you, I have a race that might get you excited:

Please tell me you've heard of this race series?  An event just took place in Texas this past weekend and I was asked to cover the race, but sadly couldn't attend because of my son's last baseball game and party!

What is the Reebok Spartan Race series?
*It's the world leader in obstacle races
*There are races all over the globe
*Different distances for all levels
*Although each race is different there is fire, mud, water, barbed wire, and MORE!

Want to know if a race is coming to your area? check HERE and click on their events page.  Their events page is PACKED full for the 2013-2014 season, so what are you waiting for?  Check it out and see if it's something you'd like to experience and if you create a team, the pricing is lowered by the amount of team members...pretty cool huh? 

Registration usually ranges from $60-$85 depending on event and time of registration.

How'd ya like to WIN A FREE ENTRY??
The folks at Reebok Spartan Race would like to offer one of my lucky readers the chance to do something amazing, something different, 
something that will surely be an experience you will never forget!  

Mandatory- Tell me why you'd like to compete in a Reebok Spartan Race? (1 entry)
Follow me via Istagram- Move It Marissa (1 entry- leave a comment telling me you do)
Follow me via Twitter- @TheMoveItMomma (1 entry-leave comment telling me you do)
Blog, Tweet, IG or FB about the giveaway linking back to this post( 2 entries!!)

Speaking of pushing yourself, my husband and I decided to try trail running last week!  It was something we've never done but had been inspired to try!  It was HOT and HUMID but we survived!  We completed 4.92 miles at noon.  A very different experience and great scenery but honestly, I felt much more exhausted than pavement running?  Parts of the trails were wooded, some were right on the water-which was beautiful and parts were just parallel to the streets but it was a neat change!  We pushed hard and I maintained a pretty good pace throughout.  
My husband is a machine, he could go for miles and miles so truthfully I think sometimes I hold him back but he's so sweet, he stays with me :)

And more trails?  How about TRAIL MIX?  
This was yummy, simple and perfect for on the go!  Trader Joe's Raisin Bran, dark chocolate chips, natural almonds and sunflower seeds!  SO good!  You can use any combination you have on hand but I'd choose a high fiber, low sugar cereal with a good amount of protein.  I'd also add some dried fruits and nuts-always a great combo.  This took minutes to prepare but hit the spot when we needed a snack!  Much better than grabbing a bag of chips!!!  

I say it often but want to stress how important it truly is.  
If you are NOT prepared, you will usually make poor snacking/eating decisions.  Sad but true for most of us, not all of us.
If you reach the point of hunger, you're on the go and some fattening, trigger foods are around you, won't you be more likely to give in if you have nothing to curb that hunger?  I would :(  but if you are prepared, then you grab your healthy lunch/snacks and move on about your day!  
Simple as that!  
Pictured above: hard boiled eggs, avocado, purple grapes, string cheese 
and our ready to go salads 
which include spring mix, almonds, string beans, green peas and Trader Joe's steamed lentils!  
I chopped the egg and avocado to add to our salads and it turned out perfectly.  

**I've shared this salad-packing tip before but would like to share it again for those of you that missed-

Pack your salad upside down!!!  
Begin by stacking your protein, veggies then put your lettuce on top!  It keeps the soggy veggies, fruits, etc from saturating the lettuce!  Then when it's time to serve, dump the container out onto the plate and your salad will be "right side up!"  BRILLIANT!!  
This works for onion, strawberries, apples, grapes...pack it all on the bottom, 
top with the lettuce and you're good to go!  No soggy lettuce leaves here :)

Disclosure: I was given a free entry code in exchange for my honest review and agreement to host a giveaway for a free entry.  All opinions are 100% mine and no other compensation was received.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

lunch on the go and more!

Some great tips I'd like to share from, 

A simple trick that makes a big difference: Instead of a bag, wrap sandwiches in tin foil to prevent drying out, and keep raw vegetables crisp.  And if you’re interested, here are a few other ways to keep your foods crisp until lunchtime:

·         Ditch the cutting board: Save on prep & cleaning time on busy mornings by making the sandwich directly on a sheet of recyclable foil, wrapping it up in the same sheet.
·         Keep it crisp: If you are including tomato and lettuce, wrap them separately in foil, and add to the sandwich at lunchtime.
·         Make your own veggie tray: Peeled baby carrots and a container of low-fat ranch dressing are an easy healthy choice.  For variety, slice up a rainbow of peppers, celery, broccoli, or cauliflower and then wrap in foil.
·         Stay organized: Use a permanent marker to label what everything is.

I figure these are great tips for those of you that struggle to find the time to pack healthy, eat healthy and exercise!  Just an added step in helping to make HEALTHY LIVING a bit easier for the busy families out there!  Lets face it, life can get hectic quite frequently so tools that make daily life a little simplified are always great!!!  

Yesterday's Workout: for me was one of the best runs I've had in a LONG time...maybe in forever!  I ran a 28 minute 5K, which may not sound impressive but for me-it's HUGE!  I have improved my pace so much lately and I've been working hard at it.  

My first 5K back in 2007 was finished in 44 minutes!  So to be able to run 3.1 in less than 30 minutes was a milestone for me that I will be grateful for and use as fuel for crushing future running and workout goals!  A little post-run flexing because I was so proud!  Ha!

Tried something new yesterday, Almond Breeze unsweetened blend!  Combining almondmilk and thoughts?  It sort of tasted like I was eating suntan lotion in my cereal :( but I'm not used to a strong coconut flavor since the coconut milk I purchase from Trader Joes doesn't have that strong flavor!  Not sure, but I'd love to know if you tried and your thoughts??  It was definitely different but I will not let it go to waste...I'll finish it off and then go back to unsweetned almondmilk!  

And a little afternoon indulgence yesterday!  Apple slices with a little COOKIE BUTTER-I've limited to eating once a week as a treat!  And sprinkled with cinnamon!  Mmmmm!!!!  It's the simple pleasures in life, so thanks to Trader Joe's for a little pep in my apple slices snack from time to time!

And I have to ask WHY?
When I am around people that I don't see often, why do they question our lifestyle?  Why must people bring it up and ask questions like we're from another planet??  I swear, it's like I have to DEFEND our healthy lifestyle CONSTANTLY...and I need help understanding why?  Shouldn't it be the other way around where we question those that eat terribly?  Those that consume far too many high caloric and artery clogging foods?  Ughhhh!  
I just needed to let out a little frustration but ya know what??  
Those are the questions and people that add fuel to my THANK YOU!!!!  
I do not preach to people to eat healthy, to exercise however I will help and offer to help whenever possible because it is my passion.  I want to help others find their best quality of life, but I will not initiate that conversation unless someone asks me first.  I feel that's the right and proper thing to do because in my prior life, I wouldn't want to be pressured into anything at all.  BUT it obviously means they feel the need to bring it up with me, 
"What is that stuff you're eating?", "You eat some strange foods", "Your kids actually eat that?" "Your children never get junk food, how sad."...and that's just to name a few....

Seriously, am I alone in this one?  I need some blogger/health nut support here!!!!???  Please tell me you've dealt with this in some way and I need to know how to not get upset over it...but as I said, it's giving me FUEL today for my first trail run, wish me LUCK!!!!!  

Monday, May 13, 2013

the quick fix?

Is there a quick fix for weight loss?  
For toning up those problem areas?
Or a quick fix for getting off of high blood pressure medication or managing your diabetes?

I'm not a doctor but I'd say NO to all of the questions above.  And you?  
Unfortunately there's a reason that the health industry makes billions each year and a lot of it has to do with the HOPE of finding that "quick fix"...
Who wouldn't want to wake up and mysteriously be our "perfect" self?  
Quick usually means short-lasting results..meaning those results won't last long, AT ALL.  
But shouldn't we focus on first loving ourselves then on the lifestyle change that will impact our health and the health of our families?  YES! 
Then we'd need to change our thinking from the quick fix to thinking of the JOURNEY that lies ahead!

My personal experience with the "quick fix", 
I used to eat poorly throughout the week then on Sunday night I'd tell myself, tomorrow WILL be different.  I WILL eat right, get to the gym and change tomorrow!  
I'd last a day or two and then one, small kink in the road and I'd throw it all away.  
I wanted the quick fix.  I didn't want to make slow progress.  I thought I deserved more.  
The truth?  I always said tomorrow. Tomorrow would come and my same, old ways would creep in.
I put the weight ON by eating poorly and not exercising, so did I think it would magically fall off just because I wanted to lose the weight?  

When I stopped saying tomorrow and started living TODAY, my life changed! 
...and that's when yours will too :)
The journey is how we find ourselves and it's worth every second.  Don't you agree?  
NO EXCUSES!  There should be nothing standing in the way of you and your journey.  
Nothing stopping you from being the best you can be.  Get out there and PUSH!  Push hard and know from the start, there is NO quick fix but that's okay.  Accept that it will be work...hard work!  
I now use my emotions for my workouts.  They give me fuel!  When I go for a run or strap on my boxing gloves, it's time to PUSH!  When you get in that zone, there's nothing that can stand in your way.  I hope all people are able to experience that exercise "high"...where you could go for hours and the more you sweat, the harder you push!  Ahhh it's incredible right?  

And I can't help but notice those "lost" people as I once was, those that are waiting for their journey to begin...
Yesterday at our Mother's Day brunch we noticed so many (too many) overweight children.  They were eating all of the wrong foods, too much of those foods and it worried me.  
Did it worry me because I remember being that child?  A child at an endless brunch buffet that has emotional eating or portion control issues, can be a dangerous combination.  That was me.  
Did I worry because the children were only mocking Mom and Dad's behavior, which was also out of control?  I'm not sure. 
Did I worry because there's no way to help those that don't seek help?
Let me clarify, I do NOT judge others and their lifestyles.  
However when I see obese children that are clearly unhealthy that have piles of unhealthy foods on their plate and not one fruit or vegetable...I worry.  
I worry for all of our children, everywhere.  I just want them to understand how important their health should be.  How food habits and active lifestyles should start young as possible.  It's never too early to stress the importance of their health, their heart.  I watched too many children struggling because of their weight.  Struggling to fit in.  Struggling to be active with their friends, to play sports, to just BE a child.  And that worries me more than anything.  

Your thoughts?  

And now onto a challenge that I thought you might enjoy!  I have tried a lot of their products and have been impressed but I am really excited about this challenge!  Just another way for all of us to stay motivated and focused!  It started today, so there's still time!  HURRY!!  I like these online challenges to help keep me focused on my short and long-term goals!  
Here are the details if interested...

Plus they share a daily workout...I did this one today along with my outdoor run!

...and a yummy recipe!  So what's not to love?  And just in time for bathing suit season!!!  Eeek!

I hope you all had a lovely Mother's Day!! 
My husband and boys spoiled me rotten, so I feel very blessed.  I woke up to gifts, breakfast and coffee in bed!  My husband made me eggs and Ezekiel toast!  YUM!!   We were able to stick to healthy eats at brunch and enjoy lots of fresh fruit and steamed veggies!  Mmmm! See there are ways to eat healthy while out celebrating with family!  You just have to remember your goals and what you want out of your life.   
**You only get out of it, what you put into it...remember that!  

My hubby and I yesterday!  
Yes, I actually hopped out of the workout clothes for a bit and dressed up!  

And today's workout was AWESOME!  Perfect weather for an outdoor run, followed by the Designer Whey workout!  Anything that keeps you moving and dripping in sweat is a great workout to me!  

Friday, May 10, 2013

a CHALLENGE for you and your family!

If you haven't joined my whatsbeautiful Under Armour team, please do!  
Join "Move It Mommas" team HERE .  
You join, set personal goals and then request to be on my team!
I have some exciting challenges for the Mommas out there(of course you don't have to be a Mom) and I'd love for you to complete them with us!  I am really focusing my team goals on FAMILY!  Let's face it, the Moms are the ring leaders of the family so we are the positive role models our children need and look up to!  

Today's Workout: a 30 minute bag workout with my sidekick!  He loves to crank up the tunes and punch right along with me.  He gets upset that I won't allow him to lift weights with Momma, but I told him...the older he gets, the more he can participate!  Then it was 45 minutes of weights!  I have really focused on adding strength training about 3-4 times a week, along with my cardio.  I am one of those cardio junkies that would totally leave out strength training if I could HOWEVER I know it's important so I dedicate the time!  

A Challenge for you and your kids, grandchildren, nieces, nephews...whoever:
In our house we call it, "commercial competition" 
Basically during the commercial or homework/reading breaks, we EXERCISE!  It's not long, but it's effective and FUN!  As a group, we set each break up as follows,
At break #1 we'll do as many jumping jacks as possible in the given time.  If it's a commercial break, we go until the show returns but since we rarely sit around watching TV, we usually go along with music on my iPhone! At the chorus, we workout!  We make it competitive and see who wins...the faster we move, the harder we're working :) but the kids will obviously just see it as FUN!  Your family will be laughing, cheering and probably trying to out-work the others!  
Next break, a wall sit for the time allowed!  See who can hold it without stopping.  Maybe go lower on the wall, really challenge the family.  
Quick options: jumping jacks, jumping rope, sit ups, push ups, wall sits, hopping on one foot, burpees, mountain climbers...obviously as you improve, you will challenge the family with more intense moves but even jogging or marching in place!  It's a MUCH better option than sitting on the couch :) 

My workout buddy and I before an intense bag session!  
Why do I feel SO strong and tough when I strap on those gloves and punch the bag?  I LOVE IT!  

Since we've been making weekly Trader Joe's's about 30 minutes from home!  I decided to pick up a bag of brown rice pasta!  I've heard the hype and now I'm ready to taste it for myself!  
Hmmm, what to go with it?  
I've seen lots of sauces made with plain Greek yogurt, I'll let ya know what I create! 
*brown rice pasta is made from ground brown rice instead of wheat-like traditional pastas which makes brown rice pasta gluten-free.  A great alternative to those with celiac disease or any gluten sensitivities.

Exciting news to share:
I am a Bulu Box Ambassador!  

What is it?
 "Bulu Box is the best way to discover vitamin, supplement and health products. Each box is filled with 4 to 5 premium products selected to help you feel your best. Look forward to a new mix monthly for both women and men that include: vitamins, weight loss, energy, protein, digestion, sleep support and more."

It's a great way to TRY products before purchasing a large amount! I am looking forward to my first Bulu Box that I ordered last night :)
**To order go to my personal link HERE and use coupon code BULUGAN914  to receive your first Bulu Box FREE or $10 off any subscription!**

Disclosure:  I'm part of a sponsored campaign for the What's Beautiful program and I'd love for you to join my team.
I am a Bulu Box Ambassador that receives free subscription and commission for all sales through my site/coupon code.  All opinions are 100% mine. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Do you know your own strength?

I have to thank Under Armour and their what's beautiful campaign because it is already helping me focus on my STRENGTH.  On what I am capable of as a fit woman, wife, mother and daughter!  

As I set out for my run yesterday, I thought about how often I push through when things get hard.  
How I went from one lifestyle to another because of my own STRENGTH.  One day I was TIRED.  TIRED of living that same old life.  Tired of feeling sorry for myself and asking "why me?"  I was ready to say, I DID IT.  I was ready to celebrate me and know that I was worth much more than what I had given myself credit for.  

I think sometimes as Mom's we forget how strong we are.  
We have the weight of the world on our shoulders....or sometimes we feel like we do?   
I know there are days when I'm preparing meals, cleaning house, running the kids to school-baseball-running club-and any other activities, I feel like WHEW where did that day go.  If I added a full-time job outside of our home into the mix, my head would be spinning!! 

HOWEVER, we must appreciate our strength and take time to work on it, physically.  As a mom with so much on our to-do list each day, we MUST take the time for us.  We deserve to be our happiest and healthiest self right?  My workouts are MY time.  Time for me to focus on my health.  

What good am I to my family if I'm winded by walking up a flight of stairs or if I feel tired and bloated from those over processed foods found all around us?  The triggers of life will surround us always, they will never go away.  

Let me know if this rings a bell....

We get home, we're tired and that couch is calling our name but there's work to be done right?  You can't leave the kids and head to the gym for an hour...there's no instead, bring your kids with you!  Workout as a family.  A bike ride, a walk through the neighborhood, a set of jump ropes and start with 2-3 minute intervals on your back porch!  
Is it 45 minutes in a spin class?  No.  
Are you moving, burning calories and taking care of your heart?  YES!
Are you being that positive role model for your children?  YES!

And isn't that what being a Momma is all about?  
Showing and teaching our children right from wrong, giving them love and support and guiding them in the RIGHT direction for the rest of their lives.
By working out and eating healthy, feeding your kids healthy...we are modeling that behavior they NEED to see.  Too often children see negative behaviors like sitting on the couch, hearing "I'm too tired", eating poor foods because we're "tired" so they then pick up those behaviors.  
If we're a mother that's struggled with weight and health issues, do we want our children to struggle in that same way?  Absolutely NOT!  
That's part of what fuels me and gives me added STRENGTH.  I was that child.  I never want my children to feel intimidated about running a mile in their PE class (as I did), I never want them to crave junk food because it hides the hurt (as I did), I never want them to feel hopeless, powerless and as if they don't know their own strength (as I did).  

If you are a Momma and you have forgotten your own is YOUR time.
Find it again.  Find it for the first time.  Go for your dreams.  
If you want to show up at the gym with confidence, determination and motivation...DO IT!  
If you want to run 13.1 miles and cross the finish line of your first race...DO IT!  
If you want to lose 50lbs and find that energy and greater quality of life...DO IT!
If you want to play with your kids and grandkids without feeling exhausted...DO IT!

Make time for yourself TODAY!

1 cup Isopure vanilla whey
frozen berry mix from TJ's
1 pineapple chunk
1/4 banana

One of my most favorite treats is the Sabra hummus that includes the pretzel thins.  I've told you I have an addiction to pretzels...some like sweets, I LOVE pretzels! So this satisfies that craving and it's SO delicious...I enjoy it with a side salad and it's very filling!  
**You can get these little Sabra hummus/pretzel duo's at any grocery store, Target has them the cheapest :)

Dinner last night was AMAZING!  My husband prepared grilled chicken fajitas, grilled the chicken with onion and bell peppers, then we served on a low carb/high fiber Ole wrap, topped with chicken, plain Greek Chobani, and sliced avocado!  We enjoyed this meal with a 1/2 c brown rice, 1/2 black beans!  It was delicious and our boys LOVED it just as much as we did.  
Tip: If you serve your family healthy meals, your children will adapt and learn that healthy foods are prepared in your home, so if they wanna stay healthy, they will eat what is served.  
**No specialty orders in this pbj or grilled cheese if they don't like dinner!  It may sound cruel but I lived my life on chicken nuggets, french fries, mashed potatoes, grilled cheese and chips...I refuse to allow my children to do the same!  :)

And look at this neat find at our local CVS!   I was walking around the store, waiting on a prescription and stumbled onto these!  how neat!  Love the portioned sections and the little smiley face "happy" foods!  Not too sure that I love the cheeseburger face in the "protein" section but's still a step in the right direction!  Just an idea, when women give birth in the hospital-remember how you receive that diaper bag full of formula and various other goodies?  I think they should stick a plate in their too!  This way parents are equipped from the get-go on what healthy foods and portions they should be feeding their family.  It's true.  Not all families know what's healthy, what's the correct portion for children and adults.  We NEED all families to know this before our obesity epidemic grows even more out of control!

If you are ready to take on a new goal for yourself, join my team!  You are #whatsbeautiful!  Show the world that we can and WILL do this together!  Set a goal, we'll reach it together and I promise to help and support you as much as possible.  Whatever the goal, join my team, state your goal and we will achieve it TOGETHER!!!  Lets do this MOMMAS!!!!
If you are unable to join the team, email me at 
and I will send you a direct invite :)

Disclosure: I'm part of a sponsored campaign for the What's Beautiful program and I'd love for you to join my team.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

WhatsBeautiful by UA and YOU!

I am SO excited to be a part of this movement!   It is time for us to come together and find our inner strength, to push harder than before and to reach goals that we never thought possible!  LET'S DO THIS!!!

What is it:
It's a MOVEMENT helping to empower ALL women! 

To join:Team Move It Mommas (my team) simply click on "sign up to request invite" and after you enter your Facebook info or sign up for the FREE account-this is just to track the traffic to their pages, I will receive your request and then be able to add you to the team. My goal of "Momma's Moving" can have YOUR personal goals added to it by simply typing in your personal goal after I WILL. Although its an 8-week campaign, we can set long term goals too. 

It's more about spreading the positive message and pushing each of us to find out how strong and beautiful we all are!  
for example-I've received goals via email of some of you wanting to run/walk your first 5k and that can be together as a group or on your own! I am ALWAYS here to help you reach and exceed these goals or you can do them 100% on your own if you choose!

How it works: The more traffic we drive, as a team to the UA campaign site, the more our team moves up and gains prizes, recognition and MORE!! So tell everyone! Get excited, motivated and talk it up!
It's about us, setting a goal TOGETHER and reaching it! and it can be anything you'd like but make sure it pushes you to exercise more, eat healthy and build a better YOU!  
And the more you talk about, hashtag #iwill and #whatsbeautiful the more UA sees that we deserve SWAG!!!! aka:FREE STUFF!!!!!! 

**my team link is located at the bottom of this post!**

This is a nationwide campaign and they have chosen over 300 women around the world to help empower women in their communities and across the world!  I have been chosen as one of the lucky women to set team goals, help motivate others and allow us to reach those goals TOGETHER!  This is our chance to do something huge.  To impact our lives and the lives of our families...together.

On behalf of Under Armour and FitFluential, I have created a #whatsbeautiful team. And the great news is that we don't have to live near each other for us to be on the same team...we can be miles and miles away while still having a great goal in mind so tell your family and friends...tell everyone!
Details on the campaign can be found here:

I am always amazed that a girl, who grew up overweight and out of shape, can go out there and push hard to reach my goals that I've set for myself time and time again so I have decided to focus my team campaign on 
helping Momma's MOVE!  Momma's get busy, they put themselves last but we should be a priority...our health is a priority. 
The #whatsbeautiful campaign by UA focuses on empowering women.  Women of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels!  It is a reminder that we are all STRONG.  We can all push ourselves beyond our limits!  So let this be your chance to stop saying "tomorrow" and start doing TODAY! 

The details for my team- 
My team goal is simple, 
I have focused on Momma's are BEAUTIFUL I will run a 10K PR while helping others set a goal to run their fastest time or help you run or walk your first 5K or 10K race.  Maybe you'd like to set a personal goal that is different and that is perfectly okay too...maybe it's a weight loss goal? or pushing yourself to get moving at least 45 minutes a day/4 times a week?  eating more healthy and less processed foods?  We can set/add as many goals as possible, so please email me with the goal you'd like to add to the list!
**I'd also like us to show our children that being active and healthy is BEAUTIFUL.  We know our children look up to us and we are responsible for modeling that positive behavior!  
We have 8 weeks to attain that goal!  
Train to run or walk that set distance in less time that we've done before 
or for the very first time. 
Together we will find #whatsbeautiful in living our healthiest life!  

If you have further questions, please email me and hopefully I can help!

Disclosure: I'm part of a sponsored campaign for the What's Beautiful program and I'd love for you to join my team.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Just RUN!

That's what I've been doing and it's working!
My pace has improved SO much and today with my husbands help, I ran almost five miles at a 9min/mile pace!! That's huge for me and it only helps me realize that when we put our minds to something, ANYTHING is possible!!
Last year, at this time I was running at a 10:30 pace which is good but I always knew I had more in me!
We are ALL stronger than we think :) and with registration for the Houston half marathon coming up, I am more ready now than ever!!
My boys have been running a lot with us too and that means the world to us! Get your kids involved with your fitness. Show them that it can be fun. These healthy habits will stick with them for a lifetime!

Below, just a few post-run pics!
A few years ago I would have never called myself a "runner". Even just the word was intimidating for me. Once you cross the finish line of your first race, it becomes part of you. Whether you run or walk, just get out there and move! Push yourself. Don't compare yourself to others and their abilities...find YOUR strength!
Some of the best workouts are the ones when I clear my mind and just RUN!

What will this weeks workout and goals be for you?
Whatever it is, MAKE IT GREAT!!

***I have some HUGE opportunities coming from UNDER ARMOUR and FITFLUENTIAL so get ready!!!
Let this be your time to say #IWILL and find #whatsbeautiful inside yourself!! Stop saying "tomorrow" and start today!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

are you succeeding

when it comes to your health and fitness goals, do you feel successful?

If not, it's time to look again!  
If you are putting money and time into a particular diet and not getting the results that you want, 
I often hear, "I do the ____ diet" "I try to eat five fruits and veggies a day", or "I don't drink any soft drinks and limit my sugar" 
BUT if you are seeking weight loss or fitness results and you aren't getting them it's time for CHANGE!
It's time to succeed in your journey!  And you want that success to be long-term so you must change the way that you think.  We must focus on a new way of thinking.  
Focus on nourishing our bodies, fueling our bodies to achieve a healthy life!  
To reach your goals, you must commit.  When you commit, the success will follow but it's crazy to say that it'll be easy.  Truth is, it'll be hard.  A lot of times you'll wish things could be easier, different, and at times you'll feel like the results aren't coming fast enough...
BUT stick with it and it's ALL worth it!

For me, I must commit 110% to my foods and my workouts. It's what keeps me focused and on track. It's also important to keep things interesting, always changing it up so you don't get tired of the same foods.  Here are some ideas that work for me...

Quick Breakfast idea:  1 cup Chobani plain Greek, topped with frozen raspberries(they are delicious frozen and not thawed!) and a little crumbled granola from Cascadian Farms or any high protein and fiber-rich cereal. 

Snack Idea:  I love LUNA so I allow myself to have these once a week!  I was given the opportunity to try their newest flavor, "Carrot Cake" and it was pretty tasty. I am a HUGE fan of their "lemon zest" and "chocolate dipped pretzel" but this one did hit the spot!  
*And LUNA also has a vending machine making its way around social media, I think they are looking for a lucky office to hold the machine filled with all of their delicious flavors...
I want it for my kitchen!!!  

Quick, Lunch idea: and you can pack this one easily while on the go.  
*If you pack the salad ahead of time, to avoid soggy lettuce, build it upside down!  Meaning stack your veggies, fruit and protein on the bottom, lettuce on top and it stays crispy and fresh for DAYS!  Seriously, we prepare these for trips and they stay fresh for the entire weekend, if not longer :)
For this option, I did a low carb/high protein "Ole" brand wrap filled with steamed lentils, lf cheese, grilled chicken and broccoli slaw, wrapped up in foil so it stays nice and wrapped up! The salad is mixed greens, kale, green beans, peas, dried cranberries, chick peas and extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar sprinkled on top! Delicious and filling too!

Dinner idea: Whole wheat Tandoori NAAN bread from TJ's, topped with no salt/sugar tomato sauce, zucchini, broccoli and cauliflower, little low fat cheese and bake in the oven at 400 for 25-30 minutes until the bread gets CRISPY!  I served with steamed artichoke drizzled with Italian dressing!  SO yummy and very filling!  If you pile the veggies onto your foods, you will be fuller, longer and be adding much-needed nutrients to your diet!  It's a win-win!

Quick Breakfast option that's freezable and perfect for on-the-go: My bananaberry muffins!

This batch I prepared half with only the bananas and half with raspberries, instead of the usual blueberries :)
You can find the recipe HERE
(under breakfast ideas, "bananaberry muffins")

While they do contain some sugar, it's a much healthier option than most!  
Watch your servings here and only grab 1-2, although these are a great option, you can easily over eat and make them just as unhealthy as a bacon and cheese biscuit from a fast food joint!  

I make these mini/bite-style and usually have 1-2 with protein such as a hard boiled egg, scrambled egg whites or a string cheese!  And to thaw, grab the amount you'll need, splash with a small dash of water(barely!) and wrap in paper towel, microwave for about 15 seconds and it's READY!  No excuses here!  a breakfast that will take less than 30 seconds...especially if you have prepared your hard boiled eggs! 

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