Thursday, November 28, 2013

Turkey Trot...and SO much more!

It started with a few Momma's saying they'd like to run as a group and THEN? 

As you can see, the picture taking was THE most fun! But we did actually run...after more and more pictures! 

And after pictures, the race began ;) 

We took off!!! 
It was 5K time and I hadn't run a 5K in over a year so I knew I wanted to run a PR race but wasn't focused on it, I just wanted everyone to burn calories and have fun! 
It was at that moment that I realized MY journey has now become so much more. And being the emotional person that I am, I started to cry as I ran. It's not only about my journey or my husbands's about ALL OF THESE WOMEN. They have found inspiration through me, just as I have found it through each of them. They all have their own story, struggles and goals. They each have reasons why they want to be healthy and reasons why they have become part of this group. This group of amazing, strong and beautiful women...Momma's to be exact! 

I FINISHED STRONG! I PR'ed!!!! Fastest 5K I've ever run at 29:18! I'm not fast now either but my first 5K ever was in 49 minutes and fastest before today was 33:27 so I was very proud of myself as I crossed that finish line today!!! 

After crossing I also immediately ran to the side and started cheering for my fellow Momma's. Ya see what I have started is changing my life. Sure I have huge personal goals but I also have goals and hopes for each of these women. I knew today as I was super proud of myself, I was also equally proud to share this morning and race with these women. 
For some it was their first race, others hadn't run in years and for some it was just another milestone to check off the list...
Whatever the reason, we did it TOGETHER-What I always wanted when I started my journey years ago. I NEVER wanted others to go at it alone-ever! It can be a lonely road and tough at times so I wanted to make sure that I could be there 100% for others that shared similar struggles with their health. TODAY, at this race, I felt like my dreams and hopes are coming true each day, in these women. I am inspired more than ever. We cheered for each other, pushed one another, and celebrated together!!!!! What a beautiful feeling. 
As each of them finished, I felt so PROUD. And although they thank me(not sure why, they push hard and do the work each day!) I must thank them for sharing their journey with ME. It is truly changing my life and I believe that I was given my past struggles to share and help others. I feel EXACTLY where I need to be and I hope they sincerely know how much each of them have impacted my life today and every day! 


WOOHOO!!!!! WE ALL DID IT TOGETHER!!!!!! Whew, I hope these ladies never leave my side! I'll sure never leave them ;) Stay tuned, I have big plans for these ladies in the future. 
Share your passion and do what you love. Help others, inspire others and it'll change your life forever. 

Today I am thankful for my husband, boys, pup, family, friends, blog readers, fellow FitFluential friends AND MY MOVE IT MOMMAS!!!!! 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

heart health WITH the kids

I had the pleasure of working with my Move It Mommas AND their kids today! 
Yes it was freezing cold (we're pathetic here in TX) but we pushed through.  The kids were excited and enthusiastic about exercise and that makes me HAPPY! 
Very proud of each of them!! 
As a child that was overweight and inactive most of my childhood, I cherish the moments where kids WANT to be healthy, exercise and learn more about taking care of their bodies and heart.  Our children desire to live healthy lives but if all they are exposed to is junk food and TV then what message are we sending?  Be that role model for them...they deserve it more than you know. 
I can remember being a child in PE and dreading the running, sit ups, relays and pull ups.  Eeek.  I was terrible and I knew that the entire class would be able to perform far better than me.  So here came the foot hurts, stomach ache, headache, whatever would work.  Unfortunately most of the time I'd be able to get out of performing the activity, which did NOT help me at all.  So I'd sit and watch my friends be active while I watched from the sidelines...oh how that would be such a key part of my former life.  The sidelines.  I recall walking into my 8th grade dance (in a dress that was poofy and 80's LOL) standing there all alone while my friends were asked to dance time and time again.  Whew it started so young.  Although I wasn't "HUGE", I stood out.  I was tall, broad shoulders and overweight...geez, not a great combo for middle school.  I felt awful and rejected so to cover that emotion, I'd eat.  And eat and eat.  I just remember so often being uncomfortable in my own skin.  I was unaware of how to change, to be better so I simply continued to self-destruct.  Some may say being overweight is not the end of the world and that's SO true.  It's not.  BUT when it takes over many aspects of your life and causes you to stop living then YES it is a bad thing.  That was me.  And it only got worse throughout the years.  Sure I'd try Weight Watchers, Quick Weight Loss Centers, grapefruit diet and the cabbage soup diet.  I'd lose a few pounds, some times quite a bit and then as soon as I'd have a bad moment, mood or emotion...BOOM! Here came that cycle all over again.  Ugh. 
So YES children and teens struggle with self-image, weight issues and self-esteem just as much as least I did and I know I wasn't alone. 
I honestly believe that my mom tried her best but being a single Mom that worked full-time, she could only control so much.  When I was home alone, the binging would start.  I had nobody telling me different so I would continue the pattern.  My mom would come home, we'd eat dinner and I'd have seconds and thirds-knowing I had already consumed far too much food BEFORE dinner was even served :( 
Then I believe she didn't know how to help without hurting my feelings.  Ya know when you tell a child OR an adult they are unhealthy or they need to lose weight, it tends to send the opposite message and the person sinks deeper into that hole...not always but it develops an insecurity that no child should deal with, or even an adult.  Funny thing?  I remember EVERY, SINGLE time in my life that someone called me "heavy" in some way.  Call me sensitive but it hurt.  Each time, it pushed me further down.  These days to stay positive, I still use those moments to reflect and grow.  I am 99% sure that none of the people that said those things to me MEANT to hurt me but it did.  More than they'll ever know.  Be careful when talking with your kids about being healthy.  Stay positive.  Make it FUN and for the whole family! 
Today I spoke with the children about their heart and how to take care of it. 
Heart health is SO important for these children as they grow.  We do not want to be raising smart, UNhealthy children so expose them to exercise and healthy eating NOW!  Never too late.  And if your child does not have issues with their weight, we still must TEACH HEALTHY LIVING because our outside apperance doesn't always follow what's happening on the inside of our bodies.  I worked with many heart patients that seemed in great health and they proved me wrong. 
I watched my grandmother battle heart disease-congestive heart failure and it left me wanting to know why?  What happens with heart disease and how can we prevent it?  So after college, I teamed up with American Heart Association, raised money and supported as much as possible to raise heart disease awareness and prevention!  At some of the schools I taught, we'd dedicate a day to heart disease.  We'd exercise and talk about prevention and warning signs of a heart attack and stroke.  So I'd like to share some AHA facts and a delicious side dish you might consider serving to your family on Thursday. 
You Can Make A Difference
The fact is more women die from heart disease than all forms of cancer combined. Go Red For Women raises funds for lifesaving research so fewer women will die from our No. 1 killer. Make a difference between life and death. Make a difference for as little as $25.

Portable fruits and vegetables

If it’s portable and preferred by your kids, pack it. Laska suggests cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, fruit slices (such as apple or pear) and any kind of whole fruit that packs well. Strive for a variety of color and textures to keep it interesting. Try making a fruit salad for a special treat.

Individual dips

While fruits and veggies are packed with vitamins and nutrients, they don’t always fill you up. Choose a dip that complements the fruit or vegetables, such as individual packages of hummus (or homemade hummus) or peanut butter (choose peanut butter with no added sugars or added salt). We recommend these heart-healthy snack options:
  • Apple and pear slices to dip into low fat or non-fat plain yogurt mixed with peanut butter.
  • Carrot, celery and sweet pepper strips to dip into hummus, fresh salsa or homemade bean dip.
  • Whole grain crackers (choose crackers low in sodium, saturated and trans fats) or slices of grilled low sodium tofu (a soybean product) to dunk into low-sodium vegetable or tomato soup.
  • Unsalted sunflower seeds, crushed whole wheat cereal and sliced banana to mix into low fat vanilla yogurt (no added sugars) to eat with a spoon like a sundae.
“For some kids, dips make fruits and vegetables more appealing. They can also provide a contrast in nutrients so you’re getting a protein or healthy fat along with the fruits and vegetables to make the snack more satiating,” says Laska.

Whole-grain salads

If you and your kids are able (and willing) to take along a plastic container and fork, whole-grain pasta salads are a great way to mix things up. Choose brown rice, whole-grain penne, couscous or other items and load it up with your favorite vegetables or even fruits. Check out this recipe for a Brown Rice and Black Bean Salad or this Couscous and Fruit Salad.

Talk to your kids about what they want

When you involve your kids in their nutrition decisions, you’ll get valuable input, enthusiasm and a chance to talk about food choices. Ask your children what they like, take them shopping with you and let them help pack at least part of the lunch. “Just having your child be a part of the process can help the acceptance of the lunch and ensure that you’re giving something that they’ll eat,” says Laska. “It can also be nice family time together, where you’re providing conversation around health and healthy foods. I would definitely encourage that.”
Learn more ideas on how to pack a healthy school lunch at
Asparagus Sald with Lemon Garlic Dressing
You'll Need:
2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
1 tablespoon low-fat buttermilk or fat-free milk
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 medium garlic clove, minced
24 medium asparagus spears, trimmed
Poppy seeds (optional)

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 34
Total Fat 0.0 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 1 mg
Sodium 10 mg
Carbohydrates 7 g
Fiber 3 g
Sugars 3 g
Protein 3 g

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, buttermilk, lemon zest, and garlic. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.
  2. In a large saucepan or skillet, pour in enough water to barely cover the asparagus. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus and cook for 5 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Drain in a colander. Rinse with cold water and drain well. If desired, cut on the diagonal into bite-size pieces. Transfer to a serving bowl.
  3. Add the dressing, tossing gently to coat. Lightly sprinkle with poppy seeds.
    © American Heart Association

Friday, November 22, 2013

Balance is about BOTH

The question I get most often is "What did you change? more workouts or better food choices?"  The answer is BOTH.  
Both must come together, you must find YOUR BALANCE and then it all falls into place.  I keep things interesting, always looking for ways to make the same foods taste different.  If you find yourself eating the same foods every day, every day you'll burn out, get frustrated and want to give up.  DON'T.  If you wake up saying, "oh time for _____ again", make something new and different!  There are a million ways to jazz up oats or scramble eggs with many flavor variations.   
The tough part is keeping that balance through the holidays, stresses and more.  But if we stay strong together, I truly believe the sky is the limit for each of us!  

Below I will share some tips and recipes that I use each week 
that seem to work for myself and our family: 

My most favorite cereal MUST be shared.  I have mentioned it before but want to make sure none of you miss it.  It's crunchy, slightly sweet and is great in a baggie with almonds or yummy with Almond Milk.  I also serve this as the crunch to my Greek yogurt parfaits which are yogurt, frozen berries and these on top.  I seriously eat this stuff several times a week :)

I was a HUGE Ezekiel fan but this stuff is SO MUCH BETTER!  TJ's makes their own sprouted bread and it's delicious!  I keep it in the freezer and pull out what I want and toast it.  Simple and tastes great with scrambled eggs on top, chicken or egg salad prepared with Greek yogurt, or made as a pizza which I'll share with you further in this post...

Sadly running club has ended for the Fall season.  We'll start back up in the Spring but it sure was FUN!  Hard work getting up and out of the door with these two by 6:40am but its worth it to watch them improve their health while having FUN!  
They love earning beads and counting up their mileage which makes my husband and I so proud.  We were never "runners" as kids.  I love that they truly ENJOY running.  I didn't find a love for running until after having kids, so my hope for these two is that they'll appreciate what running and exercise does for their bodies at an EARLY age and will keep those healthy habits with them for a lifetime... 

How about a protein mixture that'll serve for THREE different meals?  Oh yea, ya thought you loved me before now you'll really thank me!  Takes the stress out of that question "What's for dinner?" each night and makes for quick, healthy and delicious meals!  
I took 3-4lbs combined of turkey breakfast sausage, lean Axis hamburger meat and browned with onion, garlic and one bag of veggie stir fry blend and one bag vegetable soup blend!  EASY

1. This is delicious and great for a quick lunch on the go-(my husband packs this up the evening before work and its ready to go.  He also prepares a side salad topped with fresh veggies.  
1/2 c long grain brown rice, meat mixture with veggies and added fresh string beans
2. NOT PICTURED, but I use the meat mixture with eggs, Scramble and serve topped with salsa for my husband and with 1 tbs cheese for the boys and I.  Sounds kinda crazy but it's delicious and SO quick.  

3.  Side salad and sprouted bread pizza!  Mmmmm...
Salad is mixed power greens, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds and flaxseed topped with lemon juice.  
PIZZA is TJ's pizza sauce, meat mixture, bell peppers and 1/2 lowfat string cheese.  Pop it in the toaster oven and dinner is served.  variation for kids- I used whole wheat buns, turkey pepperoni's and topped it with more low fat cheese blend and served with salad and Greek ranch.  I prepared many of these so I'm not making them each time and wrapped in foil or a Tupperware they'll last all week!  

I shared this on The Move It Momma FB fan page but wanted to make sure you could see what all has changed in my life to get me where I am today...

If I was driving through Chick Fil A, I'd usually order a #1 which is their fried Original Chicken Sandwich with fries and a drink.  Hmmm, seen those calories?  It adds up QUICK.  While I prefer Chick Fil A over many other fast food chains, I still have an issue with seeing items on the menu that go well over 1000 calories.  It makes me hope that no children or teenagers are consuming it and certainly an adult would put on the breaks when they'd see that content right?  
Who am I kidding?  In my old ways, I would turn my cheek-pretend I didn't see the #'s, ordered what I wanted and moved on...Yikes!

Today I think much differently.  I think about fuel, balance and portions.  I know how hard I workout to get results and take care of my body and heart so why would I blow all that hard work on one, little meal?  No way.  
These days it looks a little more like this.  I like their salads but the dressing that I enjoy tends to be higher in calories and fat, so this time I decided to go with their grilled chicken sandwich, no dressing and half the bun but I keep those pickles...Mmmm!  I could have ordered a side of fruit but instead came home and created my own side salad with grapes, 1/2 Laughing Cow and a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Vinegar.  
Soooo tasty and makes me feel much better than the way I used to do things.  
As I ordered I thought about the bloated feeling I'd get from my former choices.  I was a fast food addict.  Is that even possible?  Heck yes.  I took it seriously.  Once or twice a day, every day.  Scares me just thinking about it.  I'd drive through, order the usual and have it knocked out before pulling up to my apartment in college.  They'd make me feel blah so to cover up that blah feeling, I'd eat MORE and that cycle would play out time and time again...Ugh, to turn back time.  

He won 1st place for his grade level in running club for most miles!!!!  HE DID AWESOME!  
I wish I would've recorded his reaction when they called his name.  As one of the coaches, I had seen the mileage so I knew ahead of time but didn't want to spoil it for him!  It was priceless.  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Turkey TIME!

It's that time of year again!  
Time to bake the turkey, glaze the ham and EAT!  But that doesn't mean that you have to throw in the towel.  There are ways to keep your holidays well-balanced...and with the help of The Doctors, 
maybe this Thanksgiving will be a healthy, happy success! 

I'm frequently asked, "What do you eat for Thanksgiving and Christmas?"  The answer is simple.  I keep things balanced throughout the year, so the holidays aren't any different.  While there are plenty of UNhealthy options out there at your family gatherings, if you stay prepared and focused-you'll have a great time with family while being able to button your pants the following day :)

Some tips:  BE PREPARED, as always.  Bring some healthy options for snacking!  This way you avoid being too hungry when the meal is served.  Munching on raw veggies and fruit before the meal, while drinking water is a great way to fill up before hitting the carb-loaded side dishes.  Make sure you take the skin off of the turkey and watch your portions...but most importantly, ENJOY YOURSELF, MAKE MEMORIES AND HAVE FUN!  

Three Quick Tips to Avoid Overeating on Thanksgiving:
· Eat Walnuts: Eat a handful before your meal. They will help fill you up, and the antioxidants can improve your artery function and reduce inflammation.
· Limit yourself to two alcoholic drinks: Alcohol removes your inhibitions, so if you drink before you eat, you're going to overeat.
· Sit down and chew your food: You will enjoy your food more if you chew it slowly.
Healthy Holiday Snacking Tips:
Beware of foods loaded with butter and cheese: Steamed broccoli is healthy and low in fat, but when smothered in cheese and butter, it can pack an additional 215 calories and 16 grams of fat in just one cup!
Watch out for salads: Leafy greens and salads seem like a healthy choice, but when loaded with high-fat, high-cholesterol cheeses and dressing, such as a Cobb salad, these verdant concoctions contain more than 1,000 calories and 71 grams of fat!
Avoid saturated fats and fried foods: These are guaranteed to heavily increase the calorie count. Opt for baked options, rather than fried and reach for lean meats such as white turkey.
Beat-the-Bloat Tricks for Feeling Less Full:
· Wear a watch: Keeping track of time and eating slower will help you notice when you’re getting full. Wait a couple minutes before returning for seconds – this will give your body the chance to digest food intake.
· Drink Water: This may seem like a no-brainer, but drinking a glass of water before a meal can help you eat 20% few calories. If you feel bloated, have a glass of peppermint tea instead, which helps prevent the feeling of being extremely full.
· Incorporate papaya and pineapple: These super foods have digestive enzymes that assist with digestion and help you feel less full after a large meal.

*Tune in to THE DOCTORS (check your local listings) for more tips for a healthy holiday season.
Disclosure: BWR PR shared this information with me to share with my readers.  No compensation was received.  

Monday, November 18, 2013

recap and recipes!

Without words, hopefully THIS picture sums up my experience yesterday?!

An incredible experience but at the same time, one of the hardest things we've ever done...EVER!  A tough race, 6 miles on a really steep bridge!  We had to run the bridge TWICE and while the first time wasn't so rough, the second time almost killed us :)  BUT we pushed through and finished!  
I promised myself I wouldn't quit and you better believe I kept that promise!  
VERY cool medals to add to our collection...YES, we have a collection!  Woohoo!!!!

One of my favorite pictures, ME at the top of that bridge!  
Like the half marathon a few weeks ago, I took the time to reflect and soak in that feeling. 
What feeling?  
It was so quiet at the top.  It was almost surreal.  I have come SO far from that unhealthy girl.  I wouldn't trade my journey for anything in the world because I honestly believe it makes me appreciate life so much more.  I appreciate the process of becoming healthy, of the work it takes to reach your goals, of knowing what it feels like to work HARD and see results all on your own...nobody else, just YOU!  Sure I have bad days, who doesn't?  BUT on the good days I really live them up and the bad days?  Well I just find the good in those days too. I have my weak moments, as we all do and the road isn't easy but I guess I try to focus on what healthy FEELS LIKE.  If I spent my time thinking about what healthy looks like or what others think healthy looks or feels like, well then I'm wasting time not reaching my goals that I've set for myself and there's no time to waste!!  Surround yourself with positive people who want nothing but the best for you, no matter what.  That's what matters.  Life is a beautiful thing that needs to be LIVED, enjoyed, soaked in.  I used to watch life pass me by, hop in every now and then and move on but NOT ANYMORE!    As part of the reflection at the top of that bridge, I thought about the people that have doubted me along the way.  I ran for them too.  See, I know that sometimes we fear when others succeed, its human nature BUT we should never discourage someone from becoming healthy!  Healthy is what we should all strive for no matter our age, gender, lifestyle, family, friends, height, weight, activity level...we should all strive to be HEALTHY!  Anyone that wants you to live differently...well there are few words for that.  

WOWZA!!!!  Seeing it in pictures does not do it justice.  It was HUGE!  

My man and I before completing half marathon #3!  I always take the time to tell him how much it means to me that we support one another, our healthy lifestyles and workouts...always together! The journey doesn't get easier but having the support of the people you love most is SO important...there aren't enough words to express my love for him and how proud I am that he changed his life for himself, for me and for our family :)

My Momma's!  They are the reason we took on this race in the first place!  I have only known these women a short time, but feels like forever!  What incredible women they are!  STRONG, INCREDIBLE WOMEN!  They completed their first half marathon and I was lucky enough to be there!  INSPIRED.  They are on their journey to healthy living today.  They have lost weight, changed their lives and hit a huge milestone yesterday- Crossing that finish line!!  I am amazed by their strength and determination.  They push me.  Although they think I am the one that inspires them, they have it wrong...
Overall that race was THE hardest thing we've ever done.  My husband and I both agreed.  It definitely helps you understand how strong the mind and body truly can be.  I am happy for each of us.  I am proud. My legs wanted to quit at mile 12 but I did NOT quit.  I may have slowed to turtle speed and felt like I was going to fall onto my face but I NEVER QUIT.  

When life's obstacles (or a race!) come your way, you must dig deep and find your strength.  Do not compare your journey, your struggles or obstacles to anyone else!  it's YOUR journey.  YOUR life.  YOU are responsible for what you want out of it!  
GET OUT THERE AND START LIVING!!!!!!  Conquer new goals, lose weight once and for all, get healthy and get your family healthy too!  

Let those creative juices flow when it comes to healthy eating.  It doesn't have to be hard.  The other morning I was short on time, didn't want a big mess so I popped a mini whole wheat bagel in the toaster and topped it with 1 tbs Neuftchael cheese and flaxseed meal.  Served with 1/2 apple and 1tbs peanut butter with cinnamon.  YUM!  Breakfast in minutes

What about lunch?  Don't have anything prepared but you're hungry?  GREAT!  TRY THIS:
spring mix lettuce topped with low sodium turkey sliced, walnuts and almonds, 1 tbs feta, sprinkle of dried cranberries and lemon juice for dressing.  Mmmmm!

If you follow me on social media, you've already seen this but I wanted to share my AH HA moment the other day!  I was scrolling through phone pics and noticed a picture from July I was wearing the same shirt.  I immediately pulled up the picture, noticed a HUGE difference with how the shirt fit but until I saw the picture-I was baffled!  WHAT??!  

Sometimes its hard to see where we can go, but we just keep reaching...that's what I did and am still doing.  I will keep reaching, keep setting new goals and keep helping others do the same!  I hope you will do that with me.  Set your goals, keep reaching, 
keep pushing HARD and you'll amaze yourself :)  

Saturday, November 16, 2013

the night before...

our THIRD half marathon.  
I'm terrified, anxious, excited, happy, fearful and PROUD.  All rolled into one.
I'll be reflecting yet again, mile after mile on where this all began.  I'll be dancing, singing and probably taking my own picture more than once and why not?  I want to have FUN!  

In 2001, a lonely girl so afraid to change and find herself took a chance.  
I TOOK THE FIRST STEP and started my journey.  
That girl is only a memory today...
This girl today, she's strong and ready to conquer her 3rd half marathon among other things.  I now know my limits and how to challenge them.  Each mile will be a reflection of how much I doubted myself, how she lacked self-confidence and had little control over her own life.  THAT girl is gone.  
It will also be a reflection of THIS girl.  I am strong.  I have cleared my mind of can't and this obstacle tomorrow will be no different than those in my past and future.  I will take it on knowing I am capable.  I will finish and I will NEVER QUIT.  

My husband will be right by my side at the starting line and then we'll meet again at the finish! We ran our first half marathon on our 7th wedding anniversary, I was 50lbs heavier than I am today but I FINISHED.  I NEVER QUIT.  I NEVER GAVE UP.  HE FINISHED STRONG AND QUALIFIED FOR FUTURE RACES.  He's what drives me.  He never gives up, I never give up...we do this TOGETHER.  
Two of my fellow "Move It Mommas" Tammy and Leslie are the reason we are running tomorrow.  They have lost weight, changed their lives and will take on their first half marathon in the morning.  They are such beautiful, strong women.  They have overcome obstacles, fought back and changed their lives and this is only a stepping stone to the places they'll go in the future!  I am proud to be running this race with them and being a small part of their journey....Good luck ladies, I love ya both!!!!

Tomorrow will hurt, but nothing hurts more than living a life from the sidelines.  I did it for SO long but not anymore...never again.  Enough is Enough...lets do this :)

Our medal count is at TWO and tomorrow it will be THREE!  YES!!!!

Push your limits today and EVERY day!  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

the old me...

I look back so often to help push me forward again and again...  
Sometimes I get discouraged and knocked down, 
wondering if it's worth it to get up AGAIN and fight back?

The answer is simple: 

I hid behind food.  It was my comfort.  Food couldn't hurt me or let me down.  People can, people will hurt you, they will want you to fail...sometimes this world can be cruel.  

Having the privilege to know and meet some incredible Mom's in my Move It Mommas crew, I have seen their hurt.  They have shared their stories and I feel like I can relate...we can all relate to being hurt by someone we love.  They've had a person they loved call them "fat" or tell them they needed to lose weight, that they were unhealthy, that they needed to stop eating this or that.  CRUEL.  
I carried those things with me...heck I still do.  These women have a place to feel comfortable, to voice their discouragements and defeats.  But as we vent our frustrations, we become stronger.  Find a way to come out of the struggles as a stronger, more powerful person.
 NOW if someone tries to discourage me, I use it as fuel for the fight instead of reverting back to my ways of finding comfort in FOOD.  
Stop believing the negative.  It's always EASY to believe the bad stuff because we've been told it, we lack self-esteem so we just accept it.  
We deserve SO much more.  

Healthy Kids?
My heart aches for the unhealthy children these days.  They want help, they want to change but don't have the proper tools.  The family MUST set the positive example.  If there's unhealthy foods all around and one of the children has "issues" with food as I did but the others do not, does that make it okay?  Absolutely NOT.  Do we want our children to suffer from health-related illnesses?  Do we want our children to be the best that they can be?  YES!  
To do that, we must properly fuel their bodies too.  They WILL adapt.  
My children deserve knowing what being healthy feels like.  I didn't have that for quite a bit of my childhood.  I was worried about the next meal while friends were playing and having fun.  I worried that in PE the teacher was going to call me out for the sit up test and the partner that held my feet was going to laugh at the fact that I could barely complete 2.  I showed up for my first day of soccer practice SCARED TO DEATH that I'd be called fat or I couldn't keep up with my friends.  That is a feeling that shouldn't be carried around daily as a child.  EVER.  
For me when the house was empty, I'd EAT.  My mom would leave for work and I'd head straight to the kitchen, ready to fill up on empty calories hoping to fill an emotion while I was at it.  Ugh.  Makes me sick thinking about eating the leftovers from the night before with a spoon, fridge door wide open and I'd eat it so fast that I'd make myself sick.  But WHY?!  Why would I intentionally do that to myself?  A LOT of personal discovery led me to knowing that I ate to take the place of my father leaving...I felt abandoned so the food acted as a crutch.  The food wouldn't let me down or disappoint.  I felt as though he gave up on us, so I gave up on myself too.  WHATEVER your struggles, triumphs, illness, injury, not let anything stand in your way.  
Overcome it and watch yourself be AMAZING :)  

The FORMER McClellen's

The NEW McClellen's!
I realize that many of you fight this battle ALONE.  Having family sit around eating unhealthy foods, drinking sodas and lacking exercise.  It's hard to motivate an entire household but you must TRY.  I was very fortunate to have found my husband, who battled weight for quite a bit of his life.  He was his heaviest in 2009, after the birth of our second son.  He went for his physical and the doctor explained that his blood pressure was too high to continue.  It was his wake up call and he hasn't looked back since...
We changed together.  For ourselves, one another and our children.  We MUST be that example for our children.  All of us.  They are watching every move that we make.  Show them that life is worth living at its fullest.  A healthy child is always a happy child.  Exercise feels good.  Eating right feels good and we want ALL children to learn that from the earliest age possible.  No short cuts, no easy way out...just plain old hard work and dedication to our bodies, to our health.  

The emotional stuff is outta the way- 
Who's hungry?!  

Meal idea 1: breakfast turkey sausage sauteed with a southwestern medley of onion, peppers, very small amount of corn and black beans.  Served with a toasted Ole high fiber/low carb tortilla and topped with power mix lettuce :)  Quick, easy and delicious!

meal idea 2:
1 slice Trader Joes sprouted bread-my new fav!  toasted and topped with 1 Laughing cow wedge-creamy Swiss, then 2 eggs and 1 egg white-scrambled.  Served with handful of grapes!
As I've said a million times, healthy eating doesn't have to be difficult.  

healthy kids!
meal idea 3:
whole wheat bread, low sodium Boars Head oven turkey and a Laughing Cow Swiss taking the place of dressing!  Served with sliced apples and a Chobani Champions blueberry yogurt tube :)

Find people with the same interests as you and your family!  Find a family that enjoys being active and eats healthy.  Do things TOGETHER!  Make exercise FUN!  A family hike, bike ride or walk to the park is something your entire family can take part in so take advantage of it and have fun.  Have the kids get involved in the kitchen.  Allow them to help cut veggies and fruit, stir the eggs or make my delicious breakfast banana cookies :)  
Who's with me??


Sunday, November 10, 2013


When that train is right in front of us, we have a choice.  To hop on or let it once again, pass us by?
Focus on GETTING ON, not the long road ahead.  
Climbing aboard is sometimes the hardest step, isn't it?
Climb up and hang on!  
It will have ups, downs and all around but each step is WELL worth it.  
Trust in that and keep pushing forward.  

That road can seem endless so it may be difficult to see what you're fighting for.  
Take each day at a time and focus on the fact that you were brave enough and determined to get ON!  

YES we should be healthy for us but what about our families?   
If we have triggers all around us, won't it make it harder to succeed?  Get the family on board as well :)
Not only to ensure your success but we want our children to be healthy from a young age right?  
If we are practicing healthy behaviors but our kids are raiding the chip that effective?  
YES there's a fine line because we don't want to deprive our children but at the same time if it's not in the house as often-they will not go to it as often :)  Simple as that.  BUT you must show them that there are everyday foods and there are special/treat foods!  They are called TREATS for a reason, aren't they?!

If I'm prepared on the go, I am less likely to grab the unhealthy options, I'll be less hungry when I finally get around to meal time at home.  I will want to stop, grab something crunchy and most-likely unhealthy so I make a promise to myself and take the extra 5 minutes a day to PREPARE!

The other day was brown rice rice cakes from Trader Joes.  Very yummy, full of flavor and extra delicious topped with almond butter and cinnamon :)  
The foods do not have to take hours.  Most of my options are quick and take less than 5 minutes.

I am proud to represent such a fabulous company.  I love their focus, their clothing and so much more.  These pants are AMAZING!  So comfy, handled my long workout so nicely and I'd wear them everyday if possible :)??  But I guess I should wash them every now and then?! Ha!

And #moveitmommas are at it again!  Each week I look forward to this group.  There are days when some cannot make it, others bring new friends, new kids arrive with their Mommas and more!  Each and every day is a new adventure, ya never know what these ladies will do next!  
So often these women will say to me, they have had no energy to play with their children, they have been told something cruel by other women, that they wanna give up because so many attempts have only led them to failure...
I want to change all of that.  If they will put themselves out there, CLIMB ON BOARD and put forth the effort-they will never want to look back!  This time they can say NEVER AGAIN!!!  
and we'll do that TOGETHER!

disclosure:  I was asked to sample the Athleta compression pants and was given a free pair as part of the FitFluential campaign.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are 100% mine.  

Monday, November 4, 2013

our strength within

is what makes us great!  
It is what makes us unique.  
We strive to find our inner strength in all aspects of our lives.
Fitness and Health should be the same way...
The journey to the healthier YOU will have obstacles, struggles, triumphs, moments of strength and greatness as well as moments of weakness and failure.  
FOCUS on how you pick yourself up and keep pushing forward from day to day.  We get knocked down and our strength is what makes us get back up and keep trying, never giving up :)

Our strength can be determined by our willingness to succeed.  It takes strength to set goals and REACH them.  Strength to put ourselves out there, admitting that we want to CHANGE, that we want to be healthier.  
It takes tremendous STRENGTH to avoid temptation and put our health as a priority in a world troubled with health-related illnesses.  
STRENGTH to lose weight while it seems as though all of our family and friends are going to dinner, celebrating with cake and ice cream on the weekends, thinking about the Thanksgiving FEAST and all of its carb-loaded goodness, 

To be faced with all of this and more...yet still we PUSH TO REACH AND EXCEED OUR HEALTH AND FITNESS GOALS-  THIS TAKES STRENGTH!
We all have it within us, but sometimes we must reach down deep to find it!  
Be that reminder for yourself.  When things seem too hard and we want to give up...

I love this!  I shared it on IG and Facebook this morning...SUCH TRUTH!

Some recipes that I've used lately that are effortless and delicious too!

Move It Momma Greek Tuna Salad-
Combine 5oz can drained solid white Tuna, 2tbs plain Greek yogurt, 1 tbs sweet relish.  Stir.  Serve however you'd like.  I enjoyed mine on a slice of Ezekiel sesame, toasted with a side salad that consisted of 1 cup romaine, 1/2 clementine, sprinkle of sunflower seeds and lemon juice as dressing!  Simple, effortless and BALANCED.

*Tip- I stress the importance of BALANCE because often times we focus on fat, calories, low fat and fat free, high fiber, protein...FOCUS ON BALANCE.  Portion control is SO important.  BALANCE.  I used to tell my health students, "it's not only about what you eat, it's important to focus on how much and how often you're eating it!" Yes we want added fiber and protein, less of the processed foods but we're all human, going to give in and enjoy ourselves a little more from time to time but if we keep that BALANCE with each and every meal, we are set up for success.  

As a person who struggles with portion control and overindulging on the foods I love...I must pay close attention to that balance.  I was eating backwards, if that makes sense.  A lot of starch and processed foods with a little sprinkle of protein, fruit and veggie here and there.  EEEK!  Not a way to live but a great way to set myself up for diabetes, heart disease and obesity...and boy was I on the right track before I decided to change my life FOREVER!  Change your mind.  Make better choices for your body.  It deserves to feel its best, so don't take that away.  

My Monday Momma's
Our largest Monday class to date!  I struggle to find the right words because I'm afraid there aren't any for the way I feel about this group of women that continues to grow each day.  I am surrounded by incredible women that have ONE THING IN COMMON...
we all want better for ourselves.  We all want to be healthy for ourselves and our families.  
We will NOT put ourselves last.  We will become STRONGER, TOGETHER!

Lunch was ready and fully cooked for me so that after my workout, I could heat and eat!  BOOM!
Brussels that I steam, then top with a little Parmesan cheese and red wine vinegar.  
1/2 cup long grain brown rice and 5oz ground breakfast turkey sausage with onion.  I combine all of the fully cooked foods, warm them up and enjoy :)  

Dinner was about the same...all prepped ahead of time so no room for error!
I watch my starches in the evenings, so ordinarily during the day I'd eat the entire tortilla but tonight was 1/2 Ole brand tortilla topped with tbs TJ's tomato sauce, 4 turkey pepperoni's, ground turkey-browned, 1 tbs mozzarella cheese.  Heat in the toaster oven at 400 until crispy.  Served with green beans and 1 cup hearts of romaine lettuce.  


Each Momma, working hard at her level.  Amazing isn't it?  Some are marching in place, others are jumping-high knees as fast as they can!  ALL FITNESS LEVELS, ALL WORKING HARD TO IMPROVE THEIR HEALTH.  Nothing more amazing than that.  I wish I would've have a group like this when my journey started years ago.  A support system of women, all different shapes, sizes and levels.  Amazing how we all come together to fight hard for what we want.  
The common goal is simple-

Friday, November 1, 2013


Before I share with you some phone snapshots of our half marathon race proofs, I wanted to share some EATS!

This soup came highly recommended by our local Trader Joe's manager, David-who is incredible!!!
It is DELICIOUS!!!  Thick, hearty and full of flavor...makes a great addition to a side salad or my NAAN bread pizzas!
Trader Joe's low sodium Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper soup with a sprinkle of Parmesan :)
It's in a carton, so simply pour, heat and it's ready to EAT!  Oh my goodness, I just totally made that rhyme!!!  How cool :)  LOL!

Pictured below: Breakfast made SIMPLE!
Eggs in the microwave?  Oh YES.  Keep in mind that I keep things easy in this house.  The less I dirty the dishes, the better I feel.  
This is a low carb/high fiber Ole brand tortilla that has been heated/toasted in my convection oven on 400 for about 8-10 minutes or until crispy.  
For the eggs:
Combine 2 eggs/2 egg whites and scramble with a splash of Almond Milk and 1/2 tbs butter.  Stir and cover with a paper towel.  Microwave for 1 minute.  Stir.  Repeat.  Continue to microwave for 30 seconds until cooked through.  Stir cooked eggs and fluff with fork!  I sprinkled each serving with 1 tbs low fat cheese and placed on toasted tortilla.  This was YUMMY!  Quick, easy and delicious as most of my meals are.  

Don't make HEALTHY EATING more difficult than it has to be.  Keep things easy, find great go-to foods and you'll be set up for success for years to come :)  

And more race photos...the PROOF versions!  Ha!
What amazed me?  I am SO stinkin' happy in all of these photos this time around.  My first half marathon, I looked drained.  I looked defeated.  I promised myself I'd enjoy each step of this one and that is exactly what I did!  I took each mile as a reflection of my past.  Where it all began.  I used the "doubters" to help me focus on what I wanted out of this race.  All of the people who told me I was crazy.  
In life there will always be people trying to drag you down.  Kick you when you're headed in the right direction.  It's sad but so true.  I'd like to think ALL people want what's best for all of us but when they see you succeeding, there's a chance that the jealousy might creep in.  I am still dealing with doubters, the ones that secretly are waiting for that moment of weakness to come into my life.  SO it's what I have all of you for, right?  And it's what you have me for as well!  We can lean on one another because we've been there, lived it, live it each day.  Nobody will ever understand your true struggle and we don't want them to.  
We each have a separate story to tell.  Share it.  Let it help others.  
Honestly in the above pic I have NO idea what I was thinking but it looks like I'm darn happy at mile 9 doesn't it?  
The girl who grew up afraid to succeed, afraid to try new things for fear of being knocked down, SHE DID IT!  I DID IT!  I ran 13.1 miles.  And the best part?  I was never a RUNNER.  EVER.  I dreaded it, got of out if every chance that I could as a child.  If it was "running" in PE, I'd fake a tummy ache for fear of standing out in the crowd of my peers.  I'd make them laugh so they would keep the focus OFF of the fact that I was out of breath after ONE lap around the track :(  Argh!  I use that as fuel to this day.  

Use your struggles to make you STRONGER NOT WEAKER! 

Again, is that me DANCING?  Look at Amanda and I go!  LOVE THIS!  Obviously I was having a wee bit of fun here and it had to have been a pretty good song to get me moving like that huh?!  

And there's my hubby and I, wearing finisher medals!  We've both come SO far.  When the road seems so far and out of reach I use days like this, accomplishments like THIS to add to my desire to be healthy.  To help others.  To achieve all of the goals I set out to reach as that lost girl back in 2001.

Determination?  YES that would be my husband.  He's amazing.  If it's possible, I love him more today than I ever have.  I respect his WANT and DESIRE to change his life, his unhealthy ways.  We wanted to be better for one another, better for our boys, our families...for US.

One thing I know for sure...
this road does NOT get easier.  It does have perks.  Many, many perks!  Rewards that make each day worth fighting for.  Although this road has had bumps, I wouldn't change it for the WORLD. The climb is worth it.  I hope you all understand that.  When it seems so lost, so far away...focus on TODAY.  Focus on the baby steps that make us each stronger, greater, HEALTHIER.    

I am able to do what I love, inspire and hopefully help others see that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.  That IT'S NEVER TOO LATE FOR CHANGE!  
My life is better because I decided to take that leap.  YES it was scary.  I was deathly afraid of change because I feared FAILURE.  I had to make up my mind that failure was no longer an option.  Each diet that I started and quit, each workout that I stopped and QUIT, each pound that I proudly lost only to shame & gain once again...I turned it around and made it fuel to my fire.  To my desire to be more.  I wasn't truly living.  I was hiding.  Hiding behind the shame of my addiction to food.  I was in a hole and it seemed like there was no way out.  Many days I feel like I'm moving backwards, deeper in that hole but I REFUSE TO QUIT!  
We must all REFUSE TO QUIT!
Stop making excuses, stop saying it's not fair...we each have our battles.  For some it's to lose 5lbs, to fit into jeans we haven't worn since before we were married or before having children.  For some it's to break the cycle of heart disease or diabetes that runs in the family.  To help your children see that healthy living is a HUGE importance in your life.  
To start actively participating in LIFE!

What are your goals?  Celebrate the victories EVERY day...big or small!

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