Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter week eats!

...and there might have been a few bites of marshmallow bunnies along the way!

The week revolves around temptations , doesn't it? Whether its fattening foods with families or the wonderful candy aisles packed full of pastel-colored goodness! It's all around us but if we're smart, we can indulge a little without all of the guilt!

We prepped for the week and had plenty of salmon, turkey and chicken as well as lots of salads, veggies and fruit!

The week started with a special delivery from Sincerely Nuts garlic pistachios and Oh My Goodness...to.die.for good! Great flavor and a nice way to mix up the ordinary!
Then I decided to prepare plenty of boiled eggs for the week as a simple, grab and go snack option and it worked out great! Some days we are it with the yolk, other days we went for the white-only! Either way it makes a great snack when you're hungry and in between meal times! Remember, the key is STAYING prepared!!
I added the baked salmon, which is such a great protein that stays fresh all week long, to my salads. Seems as though I have a salad as lunch or dinner each day. Salads, made the healthy way, are a fantastic way to keep you fuller, longer while getting in your veggies and protein!
Easter egg dyeing was great this year, these tough guys only cracked one egg in the process! Yay, a successful experience!
Another prepped idea- baked sweet potatoes! I top mine with a little plain Greek yogurt, lentils from TJ ;-) and LF cheese. I went a little nuts with the toppings on this potato pictured here because it was Easter!! Gotta have a little fun right?
And lastly, my Easter Day snack that really hit the spot...a little natural almonds, garlic pistachios and a few peanut m&m's!!! Mmmm! So good!
Happy Easter and although you should enjoy time with family, and have some jelly beans and chocolate, keep focused on your goals! This week is a new week...make that change!! Be your BEST self ;-) it IS possible!

Get out there and enjoy working out outdoors! It's spring time and time to get out there & take it all in! I am going to focus on my running and try to kick it up while finding a great race to sign up for...my husband and I haven't participated in an organized race since February and we had a goal of one a month...gotta make up for March so maybe 2 in April?! We'll see!

Are you signed up for a fun, Spring race coming up?
How do you stay focused during a holiday filled with food and CANDY?!












Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Get INSPIRED!

I love finding inspiration, virtual running buddies, recipes and support through social media! It's amazing how it is so simple to share recipes via Instagram and to reach so many others who struggle with weight just as I did. We are all able to come together and be that support...pretty cool!
So for me, I ((shout out)) to many of my followers when they share an incredible recipe that inspires me to try, or run a great race with a PR that pushes me to go harder & faster in my workouts! We all have one another to share those workout moments that only we would understand! We share that struggle when we want that cheeseburger but know we should choose the grilled chicken salad! WE can inspire each other, every day!
Thanks to all of you that INSPIRE me ! I feel so grateful to have a husband who GETS ME! We understand and inspire each other through our diet, workouts, etc...
There are SO many "friends" on Instagram that have inspirational stories of weight loss, workouts, and more!
The most important thing?
FIND WHAT INSPIRES YOU!!!
Once you do, your life will change in such a positive way! I love helping people strive & reach for their health and fitness goals and once they begin to reach them and CRUSH them, I am inspired by them!

who INSPIRES YOU?!

I want to share some foods that will hopefully INSPIRE you to make the healthiest choices for you and your family this week! No more grocery carts filled with carb, carb and more processed carbs! If I can do it, YOU can too! I'm telling you, the thought of a pool full of delicious pretzels haunts me at night! We all have temptations, some different from others! And some not so silly like mine :-)

Here we go-
Cinnamon Greek dip! WARNING:sooooo good! I served with sliced apples but this would be tasty and filling with any fruit!
You'll need:
1 sm container Chobani plain
1 scoop vanilla protein powder-I used Isopure
Lots of cinnamon :-)
STIR & ENJOY!

Prepared salads, LOTS of salads!
I pre package lettuce, chopped veggies and then add hard boiled egg and a few craisins!

Easy baked Salmon fillets,
Salmon fillets
Lemon pepper or your favorite seasoning
Bake at 400 for 15 minutes! It bakes perfectly and I serve on salad or alongside veggies! I think I baked 15 of these yesterday! Yea, it's THAT good!

And I can't forget egg pockets!
Low carb/high fiber pita filled with scrambled egg/egg whites! Easy and a great on the go breakfast! Cook your eggs beforehand, refrigerate and then heat & serve in your pocket with an orange! A great, filling breakfast to alternate with oatmeal etc!

LEGS! Of course, for me it's where I lose weight & notice change the fastest! If my tummy would lean up as quickly as my legs, I'd be SO happy however, I'm making progress and it takes time and WORK! It's a way of life...the changes WILL come! We all must be reminded of that once in a while :-) but I am proud of how far I've come with clean eating and stepped up workouts so I must not get frustrated and single out body parts that are late to the party! Ha!!

This week:
Push through, work hard and EAT RIGHT! I am a firm believer in getting your foods in check!
Remember, BALANCE!!!
What are you focusing on this week?












Monday, March 25, 2013

EAT FRESH!

Even more reason to love SUBWAY! I love the heart healthy options and I guess the American Heart Association does too.

I love that's its a quick, go-to option when you're at work, running errands, having a picnic or maybe you're choosing not to eat what's available at a party, event, etc then stop & grab a sub to go :-)

My favorite six-inch is on 9-grain wheat, turkey or oven chicken, spinach, bell pepper, banana peppers, cucumber, lettuce, onion and vinegar!

What's your favorite Subway sandwich?


SUBWAY(R) RESTAURANTS RECOGNIZED AS INDUSTRY CHAMPIONS 2012
BY THE PRODUCE FOR BETTER HEALTH FOUNDATION
-Chain Remains Committed to Providing Fresh Ingredients and Healthier Options-

Milford, CT (March 25, 2013) –The SUBWAY(R) restaurant chain was named an Industry Champion recently by the Produce for Better Health Foundation.
The SUBWAY(R) brand was recognized for encouraging customers to build their sandwich or salad just the way they like it, with their choice of fresh vegetables and toppings. Messaging the importance of eating fruits and vegetables, SUBWAY(R) restaurants include the “Fruits and Veggies More Matters” logo on tray liners and other signage, in addition to radio spots and social media content.

“We’re extremely proud and appreciative of the efforts contributed by all these Role Models and Champions to remind consumers that increasing fruit and vegetable consumption is important through use of the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters logo and messaging,” said Elizabeth Pivonka, Ph.D., R.D., president and CEO of PBH.

When made to standard formula, a six-inch SUBWAY(R) sandwich includes two full servings of vegetables, essential nutrients vitamin A and iron, and are free of artificial trans-fat and rich in complex carbohydrates. All SUBWAY(R) bread is fortified with Calcium and Vitamin D, and a six inch sandwich includes the equivalent to a glass of milk. When made on 9-Grain Wheat or Honey Oat bread, each sandwich contains at least 20% daily value of fiber.

All SUBWAY(R) sandwiches and salads can be customized with an array of fresh, crisp vegetables, such as spinach, green peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions and cucumbers. Customers can also add banana peppers, jalapeños, pickles, black olives, and their choice of several low fat sauces, on a variety of freshly baked breads. Meals can be paired with fresh apple slices, strawberry yogurt parfait, or apple juice.

In 2012, SUBWAY(R) restaurants became the first Quick Service Restaurant chain with meals to earn the American Heart Association’s Heart Check mark that pass the certification program’s stringent criteria. The certification comes after nearly 12 years of supporting the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk, Jump Rope for Heart, and Hoops for Heart programs, promoting the importance of physical activity at any age, and is a reflection of SUBWAY(R) restaurants’ mission to continue offering better-for-you meal options that do not sacrifice taste or variety. The program guidelines include criteria that go beyond just calories, and include sodium, fat, trans fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and beneficial nutrient levels. The Heart Check mark can be found on SUBWAY FRESH FIT(R) meals featuring a variety of 6” inch subs served with apple slices and water, and SUBWAY FRESH FIT FOR KIDS(TM) meals served with apple slices and 12 ounce low-fat milk.

The SUBWAY(R) brand also recently introduced a Chopped Salad program that includes nine American Heart Association Heart Check certified salad meals, which are all less than 350 calories, and include sweet onion salad dressing, bottled water, and apple slices. At five servings of vegetables each, all Chopped Salads provide 100 percent of the recommended daily vegetable servings, as well as essential vitamins A, C, as well as iron and fiber.

Ordering heart healthy options is now even easier at SUBWAY(R) restaurants, as customers can simply look for the American Heart Association’s Heart Check mark on the menu.

About SUBWAY(R) Restaurants
Headquartered in Milford, Connecticut, and with regional offices in Amsterdam, Beirut, Brisbane, Miami and Singapore, the SUBWAY(R) brand was co-founded by Fred DeLuca and Dr. Peter Buck in 1965. Their partnership, which continues today, marked the beginning of a remarkable journey – one that has made it possible for thousands of individuals to build and succeed in their own business.

In 2012, SUBWAY(R) restaurants became the first restaurant to have meals that meet the American Heart Association's Heart-Check Meal Certification Program nutritional criteria.

This year, for the fourth straight year, the SUBWAY(R) brand was ranked "number one" by consumers in the Zagat® Fast Food Survey in the "Healthy Options," "Most Popular" and "Top Service" categories for food brands with 5,000 or more locations.
For more information about the SUBWAY(R) chain, visit http://www.subway.com.
Find us on Facebook: Facebook.com/subway. Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/subway
SUBWAY(R) is a registered trademark of Doctor's Associates Inc.

About Produce for Better Health Foundation
Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) fruit and vegetable education foundation. Since 1991, PBH works to motivate people to eat more fruits and vegetables to improve public health. PBH achieves success through industry and government collaboration, first with the 5 A Day program and now with the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters public health initiative. Fruits & Veggies—More Matters is the nation’s largest public-private, fruit and vegetable nutrition education initiative with Fruit and Vegetable Nutrition Coordinators in each state, territory and the military. To learn more, visit www.PBHFoundation.org and www.FruitsandVeggiesMoreMatters.org. Follow Fruits & Veggies—More Matters on Facebook or Twitter.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Fuel for thought!

If we change our minds from eating just to eat-to eating for fuel, we may notice a huge change! It's what I'm working on...
For example, my family gathers around food. We are Italian so every time there's a birthday, holiday, graduation or wedding-we EAT! I love my family and its how our older generations were raised however, times have changed. Foods are served & packaged in larger portions, we move less and eat more and uh...that should be the opposite :-( we eat more on-the-go meals for lack of time & energy. And then we must think, wow! No wonder we're in so much trouble as a nation. Frightening.

For me, I have a hard time NOT connecting my emotions with my foods. I am learning to really concentrate on eating for FUEL and not eating when I'm happy, bored, sad, or mad :-(

So, this week my goal is to focus on my foods, prepping-which makes clean eating so successful for us, and my workouts which have gone SO well lately!!

*keep your fridge stocked! Pack it with single-serving portions of washed berries, veggies that have been washed and sliced and protein-lots of protein!

What's in ours right now? Grilled chicken breasts, lean ground turkey, hard-boiled eggs, spring mix portioned into ziplock containers, fresh carrots-chopped and peeled, bell pepper-sliced, fresh broccoli-chopped, purple onion for added flavor, baked sweet potatoes, chopped and sautéed zucchini and string beans! Whew that's A LOT of options which means A LOT of ways to stay on track!

*Always stay prepared! Bring snacks on the go, eat for fuel...and shop the outsides of your grocery store! If you can't pronounce the ingredients on packaged foods, chances are...it can't be great for you :-( STICK TO THE BASICS! Lots of ways to make the healthy stuff taste BETTER than the processed junk!

And more go-to foods for us:
Greek yogurt mixed with a little dry Ranch and dipped with locally grown carrots which are SO much better than the small ones! Tried them?! You'll never go back!
Omelette packed with veggies a few times a week?! HECK YES!!! A nice change!
And always room for a good salad! Yum! Pack it with proteins and veggies and you can't go wrong! Your body will thank you for fueling it with the RIGHT foods!
What are your goals for the week?





Thursday, March 21, 2013

because they make you feel good!

I'm talking about healthy foods. Don't they make you feel good? I have some of my favorite eats to share with ya...my secret weapons that get me through the week! Ya know those foods that spice things up when you feel like you're eating the same foods every day!

It's crazy how eating a clean diet can really make you feel AMAZING! The other day my husband and I cheated and ate a few Oreo cookies(ahhhh!!!) and a half piece of our kids homemade pizza-which was SO good! Well, the next day WE FELT IT. Not necessarily the guilt but more the BLOAT! It was crazy the difference! Almost like a food hangover and although that "cheat" wasn't horrible, when you eat very well you feel the little stuff too. Of course it doesn't compare to that feeling when I was unhealthy and I'd hit up the Mexican food, consuming two baskets of chips with queso and a large meal but still...

My workouts have been really good lately, how about yours? tomorrow at noon I am SO excited to go to SPIN CLASS! I haven't been or participated in a spin class since 2006!!! How sad & pathetic is that? I mean, I enjoy my own version on my spin bike in my garage but honestly, it's cheap and not near the effective workout you'd typically get from a REAL class! I can't wait to see if I survive and if it hypes me up and pushes me to teach again like I once did!!!
My son LOVES running club! We had to show our muscles the other day before heading there and his are getting pretty big, i better step it up!! Although it means early mornings twice a week, it's worth it!! I usually run along with him and get a lighter workout in too! I am so thankful that his school has enough interest in the Fun & Fit Club and puts getting kids active as a priority!!!

Some secret weapons that make our clean, healthy eats manageable and interesting:
#1 I have perfected my cauliflower mashed "potatoes"!
And they're SO easy...they make a hearty meal without the calories and carbs! I served these with sirloin steak on the grill, and zucchini.
You'll Need:
Head of cauliflower
5-6 cloves of garlic
1/4c Neufchâtel cheese
Boil the cauliflower, chopped in bigger pieces with the garlic-I don't even chop it, just drop it in! Once it's cooked through, mash it and add 1/4c Neufchâtel cheese and blend well like you're whipping potatoes! SO easy & delicious! Yes, my boys eat healthy but we serve these at least once a week and they e never even questioned if they were not potatoes! Very sneaky ;-)

#2 change up breakfast! yea we all live oatmeal but making it different every once in a while will keep things interesting! if theres one thing I learned it's that you don't want to burnout on foods when its a LIFESTYLE NOT A DIET :-) So if it's an egg kinda morning, We love pairing them with a slice of cinnamon raisin Ezekiel at least once a week to make us feel like we're spoiling ourselves! It's SO good, especially toasted in the toaster oven! This one below is served with 2egg white/1egg omelette mixed with mushrooms, turkey and zucchini.

#3 PREPARE EVERYTHING AHEAD OF TIME!!! This is an easy one, "fail to plan, plan to fail" We now understand how true this statement is!!!!

#4 And lastly, I fell in love with the Starbucks protein box when I'm somewhere without great high protein food options so I try to create my own at home and doing some variations! This one is string cheese, almonds, 1/2 apple and 1/4 Naan bread topped with I serving pb2! Whew, it's so good and filling too! It's a great alternative to those days where you aren't wanting to make a mess in the kitchen and don't feel like eating a large salad with veggies! A nice way to change things up & keep your eats interesting!!!

What are your weekly secret weapons that get you through the week?!

Do you enjoy spin class? If you've never tried it, you should!!!












Sunday, March 17, 2013

some eats and a look back...

I have been terrible about taking pictures of our prep days!  Basically I take care of the cooked items and my husband washes, chops and packages our meals for the week!  It works well and although it's a lot of work that ONE day, it makes staying on track throughout the week SO much easier!  Like, the prepping is the reason we've been able to stay so focused! We make lots of salads with plenty of raw veggies, slice up our grilled chicken and brown some lean ground turkey and add some of the protein to our salad right before we eat them.  It totally helps me stay focused and what works for us, may not work for everyone.  You have to find what works for YOU.  

I decided to take a look back in honor of a lot of the Biggest Loser contestants coming back for the finale this week ( I can't wait!!), they have been posting their before/after pics so I decided I'd take a look at mine.  
When I lost so much weight back in 2001, I had allowed a little of it to creep back on through the years, two pregnancies...ya get the drift.  

So when I made that commitment on January 1st to REALLY eat clean & healthy and step up my workouts, adding strength training and more intense, interval running...I had no idea I'd make this much progress so quickly!  
The problem is I know the process, I know what works...the only thing that works.  I have a degree in it for goodness sake, I love helping people get their foods and workouts in order, but I secretly struggled with portion control on those "healthy" carbs!  I love to workout but my foods are always haunting me, it's a constant battle for me.  Those yummy carbohydrates that I crave so often. But I am training myself to love them in much more moderation and to know that because 15 baked wheat crackers are okay, 55 of them are not!!!  Even the good "healthy" stuff can be bad if we do not practice good moderation and portion control.  My rule is, if I can't control myself with a specific snack-GET THEM FAR, FAR AWAY!  For instance, I love pretzels which is okay but I'd eat way too many if I had a large bag so every now and then I'll stop, grab a 99 cent bag of them, eat half one day, half the next and then I'm done for a while!!!  It's what works for me and keeps me sane!
The picture on the left: January 1st 2013, middle: February 15, 2013 and right: TODAY!


First up is my Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo experience...
we had a great time and the boys enjoyed it 
BUT when it was time for lunch, nothing could have prepared me for it...
As you walked through the tents of endless restaurant stands (the restaurants set up a smaller menu list and you're able to order their foods), we saw piles of french fries, chili dogs, plates of nachos that were pouring over the sides, funnel cakes, cinnamon rolls the size of a small child, chocolate chip cookies that were the size of a dinner plate, and the fried desserts...uh yea, my jaw dropped.  Let's see there were fried pies, oreos, red velvet cake FRIED, snickers, and I'm sure much more...and although all shapes, sizes and ages were consuming these items...NONE of them should've been!  Even on a cheat meal, some of that just wasn't right.  FRIED RED VELVET CAKE?  BUT WHY???  Why would you fry cake?  Ugh...

    Basically I became very upset not only because I have a degree in health and nutrition, but also from working in cardiac rehab and know first hand what can happen to people who consume these items on a day to day basis, AND because it's no wonder Houston has such a high obese/overweight statistic...what are we teaching people?  
That because it's the Rodeo, we should consume endless calories and fat and clog every artery possible?  Ohhhh and yes I told my kids they could choose what they'd like for lunch and they did pick a corn dog, fries and an apple BUT STILL, we saw MUCH, MUCH worse!  
     I found it a little disgusting if you ask me.  It's like it's acceptable for people to eat like that...it was the norm and I think something is wrong with that, don't you? As I looked around, I was the one looking silly with my salad and am I the only one who feel it should be the opposite?  
For those who struggle with being overweight, having heart problems, diabetes...what message are we sending these people?  Or the children?  The rodeo prides itself on the youth organizations but majority of the children were overweight...SCARY. And were eating JUNK.  TONS OF JUNK.   And the "thin" people, they shouldn't be eating that stuff either.  Most of the heart attack victims I used to help weren't overweight, they had a poor diet and never felt like sweating on purpose.  Ughhhhh!
When will enough be ENOUGH?  Not sure if you can feel my anger but hopefully you understand my frustration...
     Out of all of those restaurants, not one had a salad option so I decided to go with a burrito from Freebirds.  I filled mine with grilled chicken, lettuce and black beans, poured it out of the whole wheat tortilla and ate it like a salad with a little salsa on top!  Ridiculous that it was the "healthiest" option there.  I could have gone with bbq, which I love but didn't want the potato salad and huge chunk of garlic bread that came with it...
COME ON HLSR, let's see some healthier choices next year!  
here's my Freebird minus the tortilla...it was actually really tasty!

and some random eats from this week.  For our camping trip, it was lots of prepared salads topped with chicken, dinner was bunless burgers and green beans and breakfast was my pre-baked breakfast casserole with breakfast turkey sausage and eggs!  
Today was this grilled chicken salad and I added a few kidney beans for added flavor!  Then I sliced some strawberries for dessert!  There is nothing like a super sweet, tasty strawberry and our local farm has the BEST!  I could eat them all day, every day!
What's your favorite fruit?

 And yesterday we spent the day at the beach :) so relaxing and FUN!  Our son told us he wanted to be a surfer and he's on the right track, he was on his boogie board catching waves and looking pretty impressive out there!  Guess there will be plenty of beach trips this summer.  It was nice to take the top off of my Jeep and enjoy a gorgeous Spring day!

What are your feelings about my Rodeo experience? 


Friday, March 15, 2013

ACTIVE & fun....and a little goal setting!

Our week was filled with a fun, camping trip! Seems as though its our favorite family getaway these days! A great way to get outside, spend quality time together and have FUN! Nothing better than that!
I woke up and went on a nice, three mile run each morning! My oldest son actually ran with me two of the days, which was a lot of fun and he earned miles for running club! Below are some pics from the trip, including the bike parade where all the kids rode their bikes throughout the park...very cool! Lots of swimming, sliding and laying by the pool-working on my tan!

And looking back on the previous week...
GOALS/SUCCESSES? YES.
I've added a progress picture and although some days I am frustrated at the lack of pounds coming off, inches are noticeably falling off! All of my clothes are fitting very LOOSE-which is good and I feel leaner and much stronger! What a great feeling!
Frustrations? YES.
As always but that's life. For starters I have really focused on my foods, prepping meals ahead of time and keeping our fridge stocked with proteins, fruits and veggies!

As I share my successes, it's almost like I have days where I feel invincible and days where I feel defeated.

Allow me to explain the good, invincible feeling:
this morning I woke up, did a great HIIT workout, showered and we took the boys to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo! A fun time and the boys enjoyed it but ya can't help noticing the calorie consumption in that place! CRAZY! Fried snickers, oreos, potatoes, moon pies...yes, they deep fry moon pies! If your jaw is dropping as you read, no worries-Mine did too!

My success: being able to control myself and ordering a tortilla-less burrito with grilled chicken black beans and lettuce! It felt great to not even WANT that nasty, deep fried craziness! Ya get to a point where it's just not worth it and you'd rather have a cheat meal with way more substance :-) make it worth it!
You also can't help but look around at what we've created. Scary to see children walking around with 2lb fried turkey legs, huge baskets of curly fried potatoes and cinnamon rolls the size of their heads...and let me tell ya, it was the norm out there, unfortunately. It's scary people. Very scary.

And back to me now...
When i feel defeated: I focus, push myself and maintain healthy habits YET I still fight the "fat girl" image in my head so frequently. I'm not even sure why??
I know I'm healthy, a size 6 yet I'm 5'10" and a bigger girl so naturally I feel LARGER than most women my age. I wear a size 11 running shoe so the word "petite" doesn't exist for me :-( at my heaviest or my lightest! Or since I am taller, I feel fatter...strange and ridiculous as it may sound, it's SO hard for me to shake that judgement that I have on myself...I'm SO critical that sometimes I think I overlook my successes with workouts, weight loss etc! Sad but true...
I know and hope that my body Is reflective of my hard work and Dedication and I must focus on my strength, my endurance and all that I've accomplished! It's still so hard for me to take a compliment...pathetic, right?

SO this week for me is about telling myself to BE PROUD. Live in the moment of all that I do each day to be my healthiest self for my family and I. To know that the dedication and hours that I put in, make me super healthy on the inside and out...and that's something to be proud of :-) even if I must remind myself not to be so critical EVERY day.
What's your goals this week?

Do you struggle with body image or shedding that "former self"?
For me, my heaviest weight was a long time ago and I still live in that mindset sometimes but I need to be reminded of what all I've accomplished...a small reminder of where I've been. I guess a look back can be so positive on our journey to our healthiest life!

And a sneak peak at part of my prepping for our camping trips, these apple protein muffins pictured below...yum!
*It's SO important and valuable to prep your meals for trips, we had ready made salads with protein to add. We also kept lots of prepared fruits and veggies on hand for snacking and it worked out great! I even made a large egg casserole to heat up in the mornings for quick breakfasts filled with protein!
Little preparation can make a huge impact on your long term success, so stay focused!
Hats off to a lot of my Instagram peeps, they help me with healthy recipes on the go and easy meal ideas to plan for our week! Keeping foods interesting and different can make all of the difference when it comes to your success! We can't live on chicken breasts and brown rice forever...right? RIGHT!











Saturday, March 9, 2013

START somewhere!

 I always stress the importance of BALANCE.  
Finding a way to make healthy eating and exercise work for you and your family!
For us, it's a work in progress...constantly changing.  Thankfully my boys catch on and really enjoy eating healthy and exercising with us.

My goals for my family are to always put our health as a top priority, we try to stick to a healthy diet with daily exercise and feed our boys good, nutritious foods and keep them active while having FUN!  
If you're just beginning your journey, want to get active and moving as a family, or simply lead a healthier lifestyle 
here are some tips to help you get started...

GET MOVING. It doesn't have to be running or spin class, keep in mind that moving can mean dancing, cycling, jogging, walking, playing basketball.  Choose the exercise that's right for you.  Finding what makes you happy is the key to long term success!  And MAKE IT FUN  :)

PLAN. If you can't go to the gym for 2 hours after work, that's okay.  Plan it out and if some days it's only 15 minutes before work or school and 10 minutes after...you are MOVING!  It's much better than nothing.  Write down your workout goals the evening before.  When you wake up refreshed, you'll able to see your goals written down and focus on how you'll achieve them throughout your day!  
*Planning is very important in the success of healthy living!

FIND OTHERS.  Find encouraging, supportive people to exercise with you or help to hold you accountable.  If you share your foods, workouts and habits with friends, it may help keep you focused and you can share and celebrate your successes with those people too!  
I am fortunate to have my husband there to support and push me every step of the way and I do the same for him!

PUSH.  Often times "moving" is great in itself, but push yourself a little more each day.  A leisurely walk down the street may be okay but if you kick it up into a brisk walk, you'll notice change in the way your body responds and you may surprise yourself and take off running!  

LUNCH ON THE GO.  Try changing things and if you're lunch break is 30 minutes, go for a 20 minute walk and eat afterward!  Or walk up and down the stairs for 20 minutes.  You'll amaze yourself at the quick calorie burn!  I used to have 45 minutes for lunch.  I'd use 30 minutes to run/walk intervals and eat the last 10-15 minutes!  It helps you stay focused with your healthy eating AND gets you moving without using your morning or evening time!  

GOALS/REWARDS.  Sign up for a local run or walk.  Once you reach that goal, splurge on new workout gear!  Set short term goals that are within reach, once you reach that one...set another and another!  Keep aiming higher and you'll amaze yourself at what you are capable of.


And for those of you who hear, "you're obsessed" all too often...
This stood out to me because I all too often hear, "you're obsessed" or "she won't eat that"...

NO I am not obsessed. 
I am dedicated. 
And you wanna know why? 
I know what doing NOTHING felt like and I didn't like it AT ALL.  
When I did nothing in terms of working out and eating healthy, I felt like nothing.  
Like I didn't matter.
When I finally started fueling my body with the RIGHT foods and exercising regularly, 
I finally felt alive.  
Like I was worth so much more than I gave myself credit for.  
So if people want to call you "obsessed" with exercise and nutrition, 
take it as a HUGE COMPLIMENT!!!






Tuesday, March 5, 2013

do your surroundings impact your health?

This morning at my son's school running club I ran with a friend who is a personal trainer, group fitness coordinator and instructor, former fitness competitor, a mother and wife!
Whew, she's got quite the title! Her and I ran while talking health and fitness. I was all pumped up talking half marathons, weight training and helping people get healthy. I left "practice" feeling so good, I went on another 4 mile run at home in the neighborhood! So it got me thinking...

Do our surrounding play a factor in our health, fitness and weight loss success?
For me if I'm around healthy eaters, people that workout on a regular basis and push themselves...it encourages me to do the same, or push harder. When I am around junk food junkies and people who don't take exercise seriously, I still love or like that person but will they get in the way of my fitness and health living goals?
As I drove home after talking healthy everything, I LOVED the fact that my husband and I were able to talk with someone else that is SO passionate about health and fitness! Now don't get me wrong, he and I have plenty of support from family and friends when it comes to our lifestyle but sometimes it's nice to totally share the passion, ya know?
I love talking ironman's, marathons, triathlons, although I've never done these it inspires me and I love hearing about others taking on these HUGE physical challenges! It's motivation for me. Ya know?
Sometimes finding the inspiration is half the battle.
So if we're surrounded by negative people, will we fail?
If we surround ourselves with positive people that share the same passions as we do, are we set up for success?

I think we must find BALANCE in all aspects of our lives and part of that is knowing to surround ourselves with positive, supportive people. I was so sad watching BL seeing one of the contestants going home and having to watch the people that they loved most, chowing down on fried, unhealthy foods! What a shame.
Of course people that we LOVE, we love all of them even if they aren't that ROCK or positive person we may need at that moment but in general, if we surround ourselves with goal-driven people who love the things we love, it can't hurt right?
Your thoughts?
*I loved reading all of your comments regarding some of my recent posts...shows me the passion you feel on these important issues as well! If we all stick together, we will create a healthier world!!!

Lots of recent eats! So many times I chow it down and forget to snap a picture!
First one is baked salmon, cauliflower mash and broccoli! It was delicious and EASY!
For the salmon fillets, I baked at 450 for 12 minutes and prepared fish with lemon pepper! SO good, this one was a family hit! And the next day I topped my salad with a salmon fillet so I was prepared and had healthy protein options ready to go!

And that last salad pictured was today's lunch, prepared by my hubby, using leftover turkey meatloaf! It was surprisingly a mix of great flavors! I was shocked because honestly, it didn't sound like a great mix to me! But whew...it was! Which is good because I was starving!!






Monday, March 4, 2013

Get your protein with Designer Whey!

When this delivery arrived, I was so excited!  
Designer Whey product line...
I was drooling the moment I opened the box!

 A little about Designer Whey, 

"In 1988, David Jenkins, a three-time Olympic silver medalist, who was simply passionate about the benefits of whey boldly decided to start a company that offered uniquely formulated protein products to fitness-minded consumers. It was the first of its kind.
NEXT Proteins grew into the leading developer of delicious, whey-based nutritional products, led by a group of passionate health and fitness enthusiasts. Our mission has been and always will be to help customers achieve their fitness goals and live healthier lives."


First up, I tried the Peanut Butter Crunch protein bar!  With 160 calories and 10g of protein, it tastes delicious and is very filling.  All of the flavors are delicious and contain 10g of protein in each bar!  If you see me out and about, I'll probably have one of these on hand in case hunger kicks in or I need a quick, pre or post workout snack!

The other day I decided to try the Designer Whey protein 2 go drink mix after my run!  So many great flavor options to choose from.  I tried Mixed Berry-very tasty!  Only 50 calories and 10g of protein in one of these packets, so what's not to love?  
I was able to get my protein up for the day in just one glass of water, how convenient and cool is that?!

I am most impressed with the way Designer Whey caters to our busy lives.  Lots of on the go options that are protein packed without the added calories and fat.  With all of the products out there, it can be confusing and most of the time they honestly taste terrible.  
That is NOT the case with these products at all.  
I am happy with taste, texture, convenience and price!  
They have found a way to keep us healthy, no matter how many things we have going on!  
No excuses and hassle free!

And with these protein 2 go drink mixes you simply fill a bottle of water, pour in the packet, stir and enjoy!!  That's IT!  



Today after my workout, I decided I'd try the White Chocolate protein powder, 100 calories and 100% premium whey protein, using a recipe on the back of the container..."White Chocolate Freeze" and let me tell you, I thought I was drinking dessert!  YUM!  
The flavor was amazing...beyond amazing!  

If you are looking for a great way to get that added amount of protein that we all need, while looking for great flavor too, then I suggest you give Designer Whey a try!  I always hear the complaint that protein bars and powders are gritty, they have little flavor and people can barely choke them down.  I honestly think you'll be impressed and will want to try all of their products!  My husband seems to be a bit picky when it comes to protein bars, powders, etc and he 100% approves the taste and texture of these product! I don't think he's ever found a product that he enjoys eating or drinking like he has these!  The other day he said it was, by far the best protein bar he had ever tasted!  Wow, impressive right?

Disclosure: I received free Designer Whey products to try in exchange for my honest review of their products.  No other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% mine.  These are simply my thoughts and suggestions after reviewing their product line.  

Friday, March 1, 2013

"kids don't have an obesity problem, parents do..."

Another former Biggest Loser contestant posted that quote yesterday...
Agree or disagree?

I want to give him credit because as I was scrolling through IG, it stopped me and made me truly think.  If you don't follow him and his amazing story of inspiration then you should!  I loved him on the show during his season!  

Do I agree with his statement or not?  Hmmm...
As a parent I think we are obligated to take care of our children.  We must keep them safe, healthy and teach them right from wrong.  
Are we falling short as a parent if we allow junk food into our home? 
Is it the parents fault if the child has two helpings of mashed potatoes at the dinner table?
Or if our child is overweight-are we responsible and should we take full blame?
Such a sensitive issue for so many parents today.  
I am sure there are two sides and I honestly haven't made up my mind how I feel about this...
I can't wait to hear your thoughts and comments.

 Today's Workout:  6 rounds on the bag(boxing) followed by a leg workout with weights via Gaiam TV.  I streamed the workout from my phone in our workout room and used our free weights to increase resistance!  It was a really good workout and I will have to do it more often!  I was drenched!

And when I finally stop worrying about the scale and the pounds falling off, I weighed for the first time today since Monday of last week and guess what?  I lost 2 pounds!  Woohoo!  I'll take that 2 pounds especially when I've freed myself from daily weigh-in's!  It feels great!

Last night's dinner was Kashi roasted veggie pizza topped with MANY extras!  I added purple onion, mushrooms, peas, sugar snap peas and zucchini!  YUM!!  Very filling and tasted great with a side salad!

Today's salad was red leaf and leafy romaine lettuce topped with strawberries, purple onion, a 1/2 lf string cheese cut up, sprinkled sunflower seeds, lemon juice and red wine vinegar for dressing!  Mmmm!  Very good!  I had this salad with 2 scrambled egg whites but ate them prior to snapping the picture...I was HUNGRY!!!  


Part of tonight's meal prepping, I made a pot of cauliflower mashed "potatoes" using a head of cauliflower, 5 cloves of garlic and 2 tbs neufchael cheese!  It has the perfect texture and I boiled the cauliflower with the garlic for lots of flavor, drained the water and added the neufchael cheese!  Whew, it's so good!  I will be serving these with fresh string beans and turkey meatloaves!  Mmmm!  I am also making baked Salmon so we'll see how that turns out.  


And onto a very serious topic that I would love you to support...

My uncle suffered and passed away from ALS.  He was an amazing father and the "FUN" Uncle!  I have so many childhood memories of him and how much fun we all had together.  I was young, but still remember watching this disease take his life.  It was something you'd never want to see a loved one go through.  
We have a dear friend that has a husband battling ALS right now.  He is a loving father and husband who needs to be with his family...to live a long and happy life with them.   

So when I was contacted to help raise funds through running, I knew I had to sign up and get involved...and the best part is that YOU CAN TOO, 


Want to have fun, get fit and help fund a charity?

Now until March 21, every mile you run or walk could generate a $1 donation to Augie’s Quest, an organization that supports treatment research for ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Life Fitnessthe leader in quality fitness equipment for health clubs and homes around the world, is teaming up with SoFit, a fitness tracking and rewards app, to encourage users to “run-raise” money. For every mile logged on the SoFit app for Augie’s Quest, Life Fitness and SoFit will each donate $1 in an effort to raise $10,000 in the fight against ALS.

Will you help us? Please help spread the word!

Amazing things can happen when the fitness community comes together! Lending support is easy – just download the free app, go for a walk or run and raise funds to help find a cure for ALS.



site designed by: Designs by Jamie