Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Strength?

On this journey I have noticed that I can have complete control when it comes to my workouts.  It takes little effort to motivate me off of the couch and up working out HOWEVER I have huge issues with food, as most of you already know.  

It's a pep talk each morning when I roll outta bed...
This statement is SUCH truth.  Celebrate each moment that you make a healthy choice.  Is it a workout?  Did you balance your meals and choose wisely today?  Did you drive right past that fast food place that whispers your name-this is soooo me!?  Did you peel yourself outta bed, put on your workout clothes and hit the gym or pavement for a run?  CELEBRATE IT.

We each have our own story.  Our own battles that we fight daily.  Mine just happens to be my emotional ties to food.  All food.  I have a feeling, an emotion that goes and comforts each one IF and only IF I allow it.  And today I choose to NOT give in.  To not allow those feelings to control me.  You MUST do the same in order to reach your goals and to succeed at healthy living.  The hardest part for you may be different and if it is, take control...TODAY AND EVERY DAY :)

This photo brings tears to my eyes and while I kept it distant to avoid using the child's faces, I wanted to share how these children INSPIRED me yesterday!  We put our running club kiddos through a boot camp and they ROCKED IT.  Coming from a child that would have totally feared things like this, these children faced it head on!  Tall, short, heavy or slim, young and older...they all pushed hard!  And the best part?  They actually ENJOYED it!  
Makes me so proud to be a part of something like this.  Keeping kids active and healthy.  Children need direction TOO.  When it comes to healthy living, we must take responsibility for our family too.  It's about permanent change for ALL of us.  Oh to do it all over again in my childhood, the things I would've changed...




And the Move It Mommas keep GROWING...and SHRINKING!!!!  These ladies inspire me, inspire one another!  They are AMAZING!!!  Step out of your comfort zone, find what makes you happy and healthy and GO FOR IT :)  every day...go for it!



A look back...again.
Wow to think how much we've changed since 2010.  Yikes.  And as I've said before, I thought I was eating "healthy" back then.  
Listen Up!  If a box claims to be low-fat, reduced fat, fat free...BE CAREFUL.  
If we fuel the body with the RIGHT foods, we won't need or want the "healthy" boxed options.  

What has changed the most for me?  My foods.  I nourish with whole foods.  Fruits, vegetables, proteins and little processed or packaged goods.  The packaged options can be okay in moderation but that's where my problem lies.  I have big issues with portion control.  Stopping after starting.  I can box it up, take out one serving, freeze portions but I will still over eat.  I have to control by drinking water before meals, controlling myself by eating the vegetables first, then proteins and fruit or grains.  Ending with knowing although I could keep eating, MY CHOICE IS TO STOP AND WALK AWAY!  It's a battle I fight DAILY.  And sadly it hasn't gotten easier, but it is 110% worth it for the way I feel, look and perform in my workouts and daily routines!  The mom that I am has improved, the wife that I am to my husband, the daughter I am to my mother, the friend and family member that I am...all a reflection of the NEW ME!!!!!  

As it is clear in these pictures, I have issues with ALL food.  Healthy or unhealthy.  It's a FACT.  
FIGHT BACK!  Like in the beginning, STRENGTH is being healthy, making healthy choices.  Foods, exercise, all of it balanced and working together to achieve the results we want and need!  STILL cannot believe that was my husband and I.  Guess LOVE is unconditional because neither of us remember being this heavy in 2010 :(  Eeek!  

And a thumb's up for this Trader Joes MISO SOUP!
I lloooovvvee miso soup and this one is no different!  SO delicious, not bad with the sodium and very tasty and filling.  I served this with leftover salmon patties :)  Mmmm!

A trick with your morning oats:
1/2 cup oats, cooked.  1/4 cup berries-frozen.  
Mix and allow the berries to thaw into the oatmeal and it creates sweetness throughout.  Serve with a little spoon of almond butter, PB or a scrambled egg!  Mmmmm, nourish the body from the start and you're setting your day up for success!  BOOM!!!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Houston Half RECAP!!!!

Wow!  I often times reflect on all of us TOGETHER but this time I am taking the time to congratulate myself, my husband and a college friend of mine!  WE DID IT!  We conquered 13.1 miles yesterday and I'm still amazed at how much FUN it was.  Yes I said FUN...


The morning started EARLY with a little sprinkling but as soon as we made it to the START line it started to pour, thunder, lightening and we thought for sure the race would be cancelled.  
Instead...
We heard the announcement that they postponed for an hour so we were able to talk to runners and stay dry UNDER the bridge of the freeway :)

LOVED this at the halfway point...SUCH TRUTH!  If we want something and want to appreciate the steps it will take to get there, WE CAN'T DO IT HALFWAY!!!  Time to suck it up and keep going...
For yesterday's race I promised myself that I would reflect on EVERY mile and that's exactly what I did.  As I'd pass mile marker after mile marker, I focused on the journey.  How it all began...
How I went from little to no activity TO RUNNING A HALF MARATHON!  My first half marathon in 2012 was NOT so pretty.  I felt awful.  My head and heart weren't in it.  I was about 40lbs heavier than I am today and I felt sluggish.  I was running most days but paid less attention to the foods that I put into my body.  The difference?  Back then it was a lot more processed "healthy" foods rather than more fruits, veggies and protein as I do now.  WOW what a difference.  Crazy to think all that "junk" we throw into our bodies can really make that LARGE of an impact.  Isn't it?  Wow.

Back to the recap:
I took time to snap pics with Amanda throughout the race, I soaked it all in...even the rain.  Yep it rained the ENTIRE race but that didn't stop any of us!  Not for a second. At mile 12 my body started to feel it.  Achy back and ankles, legs felt like JELL-O but we kept going.  We were so close.  I started to cry...then I saw my husband running toward me on the opposite side of the road!  He was looking for me and when he found me, he was SO happy.  He was wearing his medal and decided to come and finish the race with me!  He had crossed a while before we did and thank goodness he came out and met me because I was hurting...going through some major self-doubt but there he was.  He told me I had this and the finish line was right up ahead.  We pushed EVEN harder and he finished it off with me :)  Wow!  There are NO words to express how thankful I am for this journey.  Each step I have learned SOMETHING new.  I know that my husband and I doing this TOGETHER means more to me than you'll ever know...that words will ever express.  We were sick and tired of being lazy, overweight, unhealthy...JUST SICK OF IT.  We were sick of saying Monday we'd make a change.  We had gained weight together and we got fed up TOGETHER!  NO LOOKING BACK ONLY MOVING FORWARD!!!!!

And here we are at Mile 12 yesterday!
...and a little congratulations KISS!!!  Sorry, close your eyes if it's too much :)

WOOHOOO!!!!!  I met Amanda in college and while I had lost quite a bit of weight when I decided to change the path of my life, I was still on the journey...I've come so far even since then.  SO proud of the two of us!

My man and I enjoying a post-race BEER!!!!!  Well-deserved after burning 1800+ calories!


And on the ride home, you better believe I TORE open that soft pretzel stick from Trader Joe's!  I told my Move It Momma's that I'd split it with Brandon but he opted for more beer carbs and I of course WENT FO THE PRETZEL!!!  I ate the entire thing and it was SO delicious!  Sad really, that my weakness and main trigger food is a darn PRETZEL isn't it?  LOL!
Overall my experience was INCREDIBLE!  A feeling that every person should experience in their life.  The feeling to push further than you thought possible.  No obstacle too large.  Especially coming from a girl who FEARED running...who feared trying new things and always felt set up to fail before starting ANYTHING.  I did it!  Nobody did it for me, I pushed MYSELF.  We all have obstacles in our life, things that TRY to hold us back from living our best life.  BUT we must push past those fears and obstacles to truly find ourselves.  My journey will never end and I will keep pushing, striving, setting goals, and helping others who feel lost. 

My wish is for ALL of you to get up, conquer your fears and FEEL what it feels like to be free.  Free from what holds you back in your life.  I had to free myself of my life being controlled by food.  Sounds silly but I allowed FOOD to control my moods, my way of life, my self-esteem, my lack of courage...all of it.  How sad.  Whatever you face, PUSH PAST IT TODAY and EVERYDAY!

Some reflections of our own and sorry they are phone snapshots

The former McClellen's...
Brandon and I at my surprise 30th birthday party in 2010:
For me it is mind-blowing how quickly we can lose sight of our goals.  Yes I already had the passion to help others, I was not at my heaviest and did not allow myself to fully lose sight of the journey BUT I did push it back in my life.  As you can very well see.  Sad to me.  When I look at this, I see sadness.  Yes we were happy, enjoying time with friends but I still see sadness.  We were growing old together without the RIGHT priorities.  Weren't we?  What we were showing our children?  That it's okay to put ourselves last?  To allow old fears and food to control your life? NO WAY.  It's hard for me to look at these because I hadn't realized how far off track I had gotten.  Do you see why I always say DO NOT LOSE SIGHT OF THE JOURNEY.  ALWAYS REACH FOR NEW GOALS, NEW HEALTHY WAYS TO PUSH FURTHER...because I lived the life of back and forth, back and forth FOR YEARS  Ugghhh to have it all back?  I'd give anything.  
Our first half marathon in 2012!
While my husband was and still has remained at his healthiest weight, I was obviously still struggling.  I still can't believe that's me?  I didn't feel that heavy at the time but I do know that our foods were NOT like they are now.  Whew...what a difference it can make.  I always say exercise is SO important and IT IS but the foods play a huge role too...a HUGE ROLE.  

The journey is HARD, it will never end!  When you stop exercising, eating healthy or taking care of yourself....those old fears and feelings WILL RETURN.  I've lived it, I'm sad that I have allowed it to creep back in a time or two :( but it does NOT mean that I will quit- EVER!  I made up my mind in 2001 to NEVER allow that former girl to come back into my life and while she has made an appearance a few times as life's changes come our way, I REFUSE TO LET HER WIN.  I've got this.  I am in control and I must remind myself of that DAILY.  There are no days to quit, to lose focus, to lose sight of what I want out of life.  My husband and I are happy and HEALTHY TOGETHER and there's nothing that can erase that feeling that we feel right now.  My second half marathon is in the books and I'm proud to say that I'm at my lowest weight EVER, I'm leaner than EVER and for once in my life I have my foods totally in control which is HUGE for me.  The hard part?  Not slipping up now that I'm on a roll.  
I've done it in the past and I'm trying my hardest to not let it happen in my future.  Each day is worth celebrating and being proud of all we've accomplished.
If you've played the yo-yo game as I have for SOOOOO long, it's time to jump on track for good.  The food and what I know now is so powerful and plays such a HUGE role in our success.  It's a BALANCE of all aspects in order to find true success.  It's not just exercise, not just eating healthy...it's about all of it working perfectly and helping our body to perform at its best, always!


Saturday, October 26, 2013

TJ fav's and thoughts on the journey...

We had our first Move It Mommas "field trip" the other day and it was a HUGE success!  
We had a great time, Trader Joes treated us like royalty and we can't wait to do it again!  
For so many years I wanted to grab up a group of strong women and start a workout group!  I feared that it wouldn't catch on...and that fear drove me to waiting and waiting...and waiting.  Finally I decided to take a leap of faith and just TRY IT!  Put myself out there, which is often difficult for me to do.  Then all of a sudden...THIS HAPPENED!  
I couldn't have asked for a better group of Momma's.  They support one another like they've been friends their whole lives!  Amazing!  And we all have FUN while we improve our health.  That is SO important to me.  Often times people use exercise as a burden.  Something they "have" to do and they dread it, put it off and never really stick to it.  That's sad to me since exercise and healthy living is obviously a HUGE passion of mine.  I wanted to change all of that...
I wanted to have these ladies associate exercise and getting healthy with FUN!  I think we're on the right track :)

Some finds:
This DIP!  WOWZA it's good!  I dipped with celery and it was UHmazing!  Definitely worth a try.

I love Ezekiel bread!  Like LOVE it!  So it was hard for me to try the TJ's brand alternative but with 90 calories/slice, 5g of protein and 5g of fiber I was SOLD!  But does it taste good?  YESSSSS!
IT was so delicious wrapped up with Arugula and low sodium turkey.  I also had a small, snack-size apple with a spoonful of PB!  


My thoughts:

SET YOUR MOOD!  
YOU ARE IN CONTROL!
YOU ARE IN CHARGE OF PUTTING YOURSELF AS A PRIORITY IN YOUR LIFE!


I think in our minds we want things to come easily.  Little to no effort and BAM! we are magically healthy, happy and fit!  Is that reality?  Absolutely NOT.  The quick fix sounds better doesn't it?  
We wake up one day healthier still able to hit the gym or treadmill twice a week, drink margaritas and eat chips and salsa on a Friday night and indulge throughout the weekend?  But we'll watch our portions throughout the week, won't we?  Well yes except for that great girls night out Thursday night?  And then we'll have to eat out after the soccer game Wednesday night too...and on and on.  Seems like it gets away from us SO quickly.  So the easy way would be better, wouldn't it?  UGH absolutely BUT if it were easy, we'd slip into the old ways so much faster.  We wouldn't appreciate the journey NEAR as much.  This is why each day is part of the journey to be proud of.  Taking things one day at a time, slow and steady and celebrating each day that we've improved our health and the health of our family members.  Is it okay to have not-so-perfect days when it comes to foods and exercise?  Well YES.  The trouble comes when we allow those "once in a while" days to make their way into our lives every, single day.  And it happens before we even realize it.  
I've been there.  We go strong for weeks, even months but then one night we indulge.  Pizza?  Maybe.  So we allow ourselves a few slices and move on, which is okay.  But then the next weekend comes along and let's order pizza again?  YES!  Uh oh...then it turns into every Friday night, or every few nights...YIKES now we have a problem.  This coming from the girl that "needed" fast food every day to survive or so I thought.  Isn't it strange how our minds can take total control of our bodies?  Strange.  
For some of us that have issues with food, the mind can make or break our success.  If we make up our minds that THIS time will be different...it WILL BE DIFFERENT. 

Our mind is a powerful thing.  Trust it and do not allow the mind to prevent you from success AGAIN.  After many failed attempts at healthy living I had pretty much given up.  Thrown in the towel and said, "Oh well, this is what my life is suppose to be I guess."  WRONG!  So WRONG!
I am worth more.  YOU are worth more.  Don't settle in life...in all aspects of life.  You are worth more than settling for the way things are today.  There's always room to push harder.  
Make the impossible POSSIBLE!

Move It Mommas mashed "potatoes"....shhhhh, it's cauliflower!
I've posted this several times but it's so good I don't want you to miss out.  Easy, delicious and my kids eat it up!
1 head cauliflower
5-6 cloves of garlic, whole
1 cup water
Cup up cauliflower and place in 1 cup water, simmering on stove.  Add garlic cloves, whole.  Allow to steam with lid until very tender.  
Drain all of the water and add 1/2 cup Neufchatel cheese and whip until creamy.  TRUST ME if you cook cauliflower long enough, it WILL BE CREAMY :)
Serve and ENJOY.  
I served this with fresh string beans and back strap deer meat!  Mmmmm!  


I run my second half marathon THIS weekend!  Eeeek!  I am terrified, excited and nervous!  I will cross the finish line yet again and I'm not worried about a time, a pace or a specific goal.  I am running for ME.  I am pushing myself 13.1 miles because I CAN.  Because I WILL and because I AM STRONG.  Make your impossible a reality.  Make up your mind and DO IT!  
Now let's hope I survive.  I haven't trained AT ALL but these Move It Mommas have pushed me in our workouts, that's for sure!  I will focus on the journey...each step closer to my goal.  That's all that I can ask of myself today and every day!  SO happy I'll be running with my college friend, Amanda.  Together we will finish that race.  My husband will be running too but he's so fast he'll most likely have showered and eaten lunch before we cross...hehe!  KIDDING!

GOOD LUCK to all three of us...and whoever else out there is running this weekend :)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mmm Mmm recipes!

Many have asked from my Instagram and Facebook pics for this yummy Turkey Meatball stew!  Oh is it tasty and SO easy!  Like ridiculous EASY :)


Move It Momma's Turkey Meatball Stew:
You'll Need:
1 bag frozen turkey meatballs (I used Trader Joes brand)
3 fresh zucchini chopped
1/2 onion, chopped or sliced
bag of frozen carrots
bag of frozen peas
1 can diced tomatoes-no salt added
1 small jar turkey gravy-I used Heinz and although this is probably not the best, it does add flavor! 
 I also filled up half the empty jar of water and added to make more soup-like :)

And finishing product??
OH SO tasty and add a little sprinkled Parmesan cheese and your whole fam will thank you!  And probably applaud you since it lasts for days, tastes delicious, hearty and fairly healthy too folks!!

Ready for recipe?
**PAY CLOSE ATTENTION**
DUMP ALL AND SET TO COOK LOW 8 HOURS :)
Serve and enjoy as your family says how fabulous you are for making them a healthy, delicious soup!  

Other tasty treats we've created this week,
Move It Momma's Greek egg salad:
You'll Need:
6 large eggs, boiled, chopped
1/4 c plain Greek yogurt
1/4 c yellow mustard

Stir and serve on lettuce mix-I used Arugula and hearts of romaine.  Pictured above is that with a slice of toasted Ezekiel sesame bread.  


Pumpkin and Greek cream cheese on apple cinnamon rice cake:
The pumpkin Greek dip is simply a 5oz container of plain Greek yogurt mixed with 1/4 c pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger-equal parts, splash of vanilla extract and 1 tbs sugar-or more if still bitter.  Add SPARINGLY!
Stir and serve with sliced apples or on a rice cake topped with a little Greek cream cheese for dessert!


FAIL TO PLAN, PLAN TO FAIL is the truth!
If we are not prepared ahead of time, my husband and I will quickly lose focus.  It happens so quick that sometimes we don't even realize.  Then before ya know it, you're eating random things with less nutrients, little protein and high starch....because it's "easy".  NOT how to be successful.  Here is a cup of string beans that were sauteed ahead of time, mixed with 5oz ground turkey and onion, prepared ahead of time and packaged for the week and 1/2 c long grain brown rice, which was steamed in the bag (Birdseye brand Steamables!)


DO NOT LOSE SIGHT OF WHAT YOU WANT!

After my first son was born, I allowed some old habits to slowly make their way back into my life.  It happens right?  We allow life to get in the way of what we want and need for ourselves.  Trouble is, we aren't worth much to our family if we're always tired, complaining that this or that doesn't fit, we are achy, don't feel like heading outside to play and be active with our kids, are we?!  

When I set out on this lifelong journey, I told myself it would be DIFFERENT.  Never as it was before.  I would change the lives of my children too.  I never wanted them to feel unhealthy.  Never wanted them to be the children out of breath as they headed around the track in P.E.  Nope, I wanted and still want MORE for them.  I don't want the battles that I fought as a child to affect them as well.  NEVER.  So it wasn't until January of this year that I really gained a whole new focus.  I decided to reach out, dig deep and fight HARDER.  

Ya see we are ALL capable of more than we think...MUCH more.  So if we reach down when we think we have used all of the energy and fight, we surprisingly find even more strength!  Wow, crazy isn't it?  Our minds are SO strong and powerful that they sometimes play tricks on our bodies.  Telling us that we're out of shape, too tired to finish, give up because the road seems SO long, the journey isn't worth the fight, we are too weak and have let ourselves go for far too long?  Any of this sound familiar?  If so, you're normal.  Just feeling those honest and raw emotions and struggles that we ALL go through in some way.  

What makes us STRONGER?  Is to keep fighting.  Keep reaching.  Keep setting goals.  The road will NEVER end and you will find yourself slowly creeping back into those old, "easy" ways throughout life.  DON'T LET IT WIN.  You must be stronger than that voice inside your head that sometimes tells you to quit.  Well ya know what?  I QUIT for too long, too many times and it got me nowhere but further back from the starting line.  I didn't want to do that anymore.  I was tired of being TIRED, feeling low, feeling lazy and out of shape.  I was tired of DEPENDING on food to set my moods, tired of using food to "comfort" me when things were hard.  
GET TIRED OF IT TOO.  GET FED UP!  NO MORE EXCUSES!!!!  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

we can



Do you believe you can?

For so long I know I did not.  I doubted myself in school, with family and friends, in almost every aspect of my life.  
Seems like I started almost every sentence with "I can't because..."

I made so many excuses for myself that I truly stopped believing that I could actually accomplish something that I had set out to finish.  
  
And people often ask, what changed?  How did I finally start believing in myself?
I wish I had an answer, but somewhere down that lonely road I had been walking on...
I CAN.
I am capable.
I deserve happiness and I should not fear change, I should embrace it!

Maybe I was sick and tired of starting at the beginning.  Tired of working so hard only to fall short and slip back into my old ways over and over...and over again.  ??
I know that I use my past struggles as proof to myself that I did it!  I reflect on the positive.  

When you start to tell yourself, "I CAN" the road is still far from over.  
I am proof that a goal is only worth fighting for if you continue to set goals behind it!
You reach a goal, set another and another...and another!  NEVER QUIT!
It's what keeps that CAN attitude close to your heart.  

How do I stay focused on the positive?  Well I don't 100% of the time because like you, I am human.  We all make mistakes and learn from them. 

But I do TRY my best to focus on learning from my past.  I don't want to forget that dark place, I just want to NEVER return to it.  
I am no longer that girl that feared EVERYTHING.  
I am no longer that woman that turned to food to find comfort in life.  
When I want to give up, quit and just throw in the towel I think about that girl...

     I was standing in my apartment, had just devoured a #7 from McDonald's.  Yes that would be the TWO cheeseburger meal-not even sure if that exists anymore but I sure hope not.  
     I was going home alone again.  I had spent most of the night drinking heavily so I wouldn't have to think about the fact that ALL of my friends were asked to dance except for me and MOST of my friends had boyfriends except for me.  I couldn't wait to leave that bar and head to the nearest fast food joint.  Was I hungry?  Absolutely not.  But you better believe I had convinced myself that I was starving.  It would "fix" those feelings that I had felt that night, wouldn't it?
     I ate in my car A LOT.  This way people wouldn't see me eating.  See that's what I did best.  Ate very little at parties, dinner with friends and family, but once I was alone...uh oh.  I had food hidden throughout my apartment, in my car, everywhere.  I am not a doctor and never claim to be but honestly...I feel like food was a drug for me.  In my mind it "fixed" everything.  I turned to it when I was happy, sad, angry or upset.  No matter the mood, I had a food to fix it every time.  Sometimes I'd cry WHILE I was eating.  
     But no matter what, each night would end the same.  Crying myself to sleep, knowing I had failed myself again.  Tomorrow would be better?  Yes, tomorrow will be better I'd tell myself but tomorrow would come and go with a similar outcome.  Once I had let myself down enough times, I started to believe that I truly CAN'T change...
     And why am I sharing all of this?  So YOU understand how I am able to keep telling myself I CAN.  I push through knowing how dark and lost I truly was for SO many years. It makes me ANGRY that I allowed something to control my life the way that it did.  It had complete control.  I had none.  
   
WHATEVER is keeping you from living your healthiest life, IT STOPS TODAY!  
Gain control.  Fight back and tell yourself that you CAN.
Let nothing stand in your way.  NOTHING.   

Your story will be much different than mine.  
Maybe you lack exercise?  You hate veggies and fruits?  Drink too many soft drinks?  You want to stop taking blood pressure medication?  You want to fight that risk of heart disease that runs high in your family?  Or maybe you are just tired of your pants fitting a little too snug these days?

WHATEVER THE REASON, FIGHT BACK!  
You CAN and you are capable of far more than you think.  



Thursday, October 17, 2013

Lets EAT

Did you watch Biggest Loser this week?  I am SO excited that my favorite show is back for another season.  This show ALWAYS gets to me.  I love it.  The part that bothers me is that these contestants feel that getting on the show is the only way they will change...not true.
Wouldn't you agree?
I want ALL people...men, women, short, tall, old and young to know that there is HOPE.  
That change is possible.
There shouldn't be one thing that MUST happen in order for the change to occur like being on this show.  
We can ALL change and be our best selves.  It's possible and within each of us.  

We have to WANT it, we have to WORK FOR IT and we have to FIGHT HARD.  
For so long in my life, I felt sorry for myself and asked the question, why?  For everything.  
Why do I struggle with my weight when all of my friends can eat or drink whatever they want and not be considered "fat"?  Why do I have to work so hard each day to reach my goals?  Why am I so tall?  Why am I considered "large boned"?  Why can't I stop myself when diving into a bag of chips?  WHY WHY WHY??  Why me?
It gets very old.  My life didn't change when I asked WHY?  It only allowed me to feel more sorry for myself and continue on that destructive path I couldn't seem to break.  That's NO way to live.  
Always asking the same question when the answer is always the same.  
Who cares about the WHY.  
It's the WHY NOT we should be thinking about!  Right?
Why not be our healthiest self? Why not push ourselves harder each day? Why not be determined enough to reach and exceed goals each and every day, week or month? Why not give ourselves credit for making small, positive changes to our health?  
It's when we stop feeling sorry for ourselves and start making steps to better ourselves that our lives truly CHANGE!  Let nothing stand in your way...EVER!


I'm giving you 3 meal options and 3 snack options today so ENJOY!!!
Lots of weekly eats!  
I think I take so many pictures of our food that my boys are starting to take pictures of their food too!
I'd like to share some weekly meal ideas, that are easy and can be prepped ahead of time.  

I'm all about healthy AND quick.  I don't like to spend a lot of time in my kitchen because then I want to munch on unhealthy options...and once the snacking begins, I can't STOP.  The key is to keep things prepared and easy to grab and go.  I make things so simple that I don't want to get off track.  You can too!

Meal idea 1: 1 cup Arugula/romaine mix topped with sprinkle of sunflower seeds, extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar.  
1/3 sweet potato topped with 5oz pulled pork and 1 tbs plain Greek yogurt!  
This combo is AMAZING...just trust me on this one!


Snack idea 1: 
Looking for a way to curb the sweet tooth?  My boys threw a fit over these creations :)
Move It Momma Cookie Butter Banana Boats
Slice banana into serving sizes-each banana sliced in half.  Keep half of the peel attached as seen in the picture above.  Place small amount of TJ's Cookie & Cocoa Swirl on top, then sprinkle with Uncle Sam Original cereal-tastes like granola.  
Allow your family to enjoy and drool at the same time :)

Snack idea 2: Apple Cinnamon rice cake topped with Greek cream cheese and sprinkled with cinnamon.  Served with 1/4 c frozen berry medley.  


Meal idea 2:
NAAN whole wheat pizza (half as a serving) topped with Organic pizza sauce (Trader Joes), chicken sausage and 2% mozzarella cheese.  Served with steamed edamame-right from the package!  I heated these in my convection oven and it took only minutes.


Meal 3:
BBQ grilled chicken, 1/3 c long grain brown rice and steamed veggies.  All prepared ahead of time and heated in the microwave!

Snack idea 3:
KIND PLUS bar!  Yum, Yum and YUM!  I grabbed this while out running errands the other day.  Sure beats the options I USED to choose like Chex Mix, Cheetos and Dr. Pepper :(  
YOU MAKE THE CHOICE!!!!  It's in our control...choose wisely!

Monday, October 14, 2013

CHASE IT

If you want something, GO FOR IT.
Don't wait around for it...CHASE IT!

If you're tired of saying "tomorrow" then do something about it TODAY!  
I lived that life of "tomorrow" and it did nothing for me.  If anything, it helped me doubt myself even more :(  

Get the tools needed to succeed and take it wherever you want to go!  
I am here to provide my struggles and successes, recipes, tips, workouts and MORE.  
Don't go at it alone.  Find that support system that will stand by you no matter what.  Family and friends are out there so CHASE THEM!  Well don't really chase them, but ya know what I mean!  Ha!!  

Some tools?

Tip: It's very important to SHOP SMART at the grocery store.  
Choose items wisely and do NOT put items in your cart that are an issue for you.  Issue as in, TRIGGER FOODS.  If those foods are going to call out your name in the middle of the night or haunt you throughout the day, GET RID OF THEM OR NEVER BRING THEM HOME!  There ya go: PROBLEM SOLVED.  
For me, I have an issue with pretzels.
Sounds silly...how could pretzels be harmful right?  Well I have NO control when I'm near a bag of the unsalted, sourdough, sticks, twists, super size...ANY pretzel :(  so if they make it into my basket at the store, it goes downhill from there.  I have to be smart, never go to the store hungry and I must stick to the list...

Took a trip to Trader Joes today-one of my favorite stores.  BUT there are unhealthy options everywhere, TJ's has them too so you must be smart, stay focused and stick to the LIST!
Here's a snapshot of our goods!
The goods: frozen fruits, veggies and brown rice, oranges, bananas, apples, arugula and romaine lettuce, brown rice pasta, pistachios and almonds, Sesame Ezekiel bread, NAAN whole wheat, Organic tomato sauce, celery, extra virgin olive oil, Coconut Oil spray for cooking/baking, red wine vinegar dressing and PUMPKIN BUTTER!  While not a healthy choice, the pumpkin butter will be used sparingly on a rice cake with PB or added to the top of my eggs and Ezekiel toast in the morning!  Figured it's a better option than the pumpkin bread and waffles that were sitting right next to it?!  Ha!  SHOP SMART and STICK TO THE LIST!

Lunch today was all prepared ahead of time!  
Took minutes to heat up and eat!  No excuses!
1 cup spring mix topped with sprinkle of sunflower seeds and 1/2 of a Laughing Cow wedge with red wine vinegar TJ's dressing-it's YUMMY!  One slice Ezekiel garlic toast and BBQ leftovers!  Mmmm!  There was another little piece of meat under the toast-it's hiding!


Tip: Find NEW things!  
Look at this find at Kroger!  Greek cream cheese!  I compared it to both 1/3 less fat cream cheese and Neufchael cheese and it has less calories, fat, and TWICE THE PROTEIN/serving!  Woohoo!  
Tip:  A great snack- 1 apple cinnamon rice cake topped with 1 serving cream cheese and sprinkled with cinnamon!  Flavorful and tastes like dessert!  Definitely kicks the sweet tooth to the curb :)  Next time I'll try with my NEW FIND!  


Tip: HATERS ARE MOTIVATORS!
If you won't listen to me then listen to my son's shirt!  LOL!
It's true.
Do NOT allow others to enable you to fail.  Push yourself.  You are your ONLY competition each and every day.  BUT allow those "haters" to act as added fuel to your motivation!  Allow that fuel to light the fire inside of you and say THIS TIME WILL BE DIFFERENT!  
I am in control and NOBODY is going to stop me!  Boom :)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Embrace It!

Don't be afraid of change!
EMBRACE IT! 
We don't give ourselves credit for the little victories each day! BUT we should! They all count for something. 

You avoid the vending machine at work? A victory.
Order a lighter menu item when out with friends?
A victory.
Set a goal to workout 5 times this week and reach it? 
VICTORY! 

Listen, working out and eating healthy is TOUGH. 
We are surrounded by life's obstacles down every path. 
If we lose sight of the small stuff-the little victories along the way, then we may lose sight of the big picture, of our goals and what we want to change! 
DON'T allow that to happen in your life but if it has happened, as it did to me...JUMP back on track today. 
Find that drive and determination that pushed you in the first place. It's there...find it within yourself! 
As life's moments come into your life, happy or sad, you must use those times to strengthen you and not allow you to become weak. 

Back in January I found myself allowing those obstacles to re enter my life :( for a brief time, I had lost sight of it and my fear was that changing couldn't be possible AGAIN?! 

The good news? I have A LOT of fight left in me. I refuse to allow my emotional eating and issues with food to control my life. I use these weaker moments to strengthen me not to make me afraid! 
I embrace this change AGAIN and I am now trying to pay it forward with strong, beautiful women that are looking for guidance on their health & fitness journey...

I want to be a sense of hope and determination because if I can do it 
THEY CAN TOO! 
YOU CAN TOO!! 

My post from IG this week! I had no clue I had slipped up this much until the side by side comparison! WOW! What a wake up call... 
Left: January 2 Middle: June 1 Right:present 

And my symbol of strength! These boys!
Because of our choices, these boys want to exercise, eat healthy-most of the time! And take care of themselves by fueling with the right foods, drinks and adding exercise! They look forward to running club EVERY week and they take it VERY seriously! Could not be more proud!

And another reason to embrace change and not fear it....
These women! 
Fighting hard for change! Not quitting or making excuses! 

And because no post is complete without some healthy tips! 
A great snack I created yesterday!! 
Rice cake, 1tbs PB, Uncle Sam original cereal on top! Oh the flavors! Seriously filling & tasted GREAT! 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Are you set up?

For success or failure? 
It's a choice that we are in control of making each day. 
It's up to us whether we choose to fail once again or finally succeed! 
When you are tired of giving up on yourself you'll find that you have strength, determination and are set up to reach your goals whether it's to lose weight, get leaner, gain muscle, fight high cholesterol or heart disease...
For me, I was so exhausted from trying hard only to give up on myself days, weeks or months later...
And it's no way to live your life. A cycle that seemed never ending 
Let's make up our minds once and for all, TOGETHER! 

Keep using the hashtag #moveitmommas on Instagram and Twitter...hope you've checked out the inspiration and will join so we can fight for what we want as a team! You & me...and anybody else that is ready for change!! 

Eggplant DELICIOUSNESS! 
I guess it's what I'll call this because it was DELICIOUS!!! 
It's a whole wheat pita topped with salt free-organic tomato sauce, turkey meatballs and roasted eggplant! Ahhhh so yummy right? YES! 
I popped it in the oven at 375 until warmed and a little crispy, topped with sprinkled Parmesan cheese. 
*tip: all items were made ahead of time do it was simply layering and baking the "pizzas" and I made 8 so we had them for a few nights last week! 
Keep it EASY& DELICIOUS, Momma's! 

Move It Momma Fajita Bowl
Oh yum! My husband has a cowboy wok that fits over the boiler/propane stand, we layer bell pepper and onion with boneless skinless chicken breasts, and there's what it looks like! As you can see, it's a lot of chicken so we're easily meal-prepped with chicken for the week! 
Past few nights dinner has been THIS meat layered with spring mix lettuce, 1/3 avocado, plain Greek yogurt and with dinner at 4pm yesterday we added 1/2 c long grain brown rice to it! And salsa...can't forget the kick of salsa for my husband ;) 
And for our boys, regular fajitas on a tortilla rolled up with a little 2% cheese! Served with a fruit salad! 

I cannot stress enough, the importance if keeping things easy and changing up your planned meals! So we have lots of chicken, I can turn this into so many different meals, quickly! Be creative and BALANCE your foods! Limit your sugar in the evening and eat plenty of fresh foods, less of those empty foods from a box! 
In a meal that is normally starch-heavy, add PLENTY of veggies prepared the way you like and eat those PRIOR to the starchy-high sugar meal! BALANCE! 

Now go out there, set up for success and be amazing!!!!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

ON FIRE!

I have always stood firm in the fact that I want to impact lives! I want to give women the hope and courage that they need to push through and reach every goal possible!  

Growing up as an overweight teenager, I always felt defeated.  I was always two steps behind and couldn't quite catch up.  I never wanted to push myself to reach weight loss goals because they seemed too far out of reach and I didn't want to be that girl, "oh here she goes, starting another diet...let's see how long she lasts this time"...it was always my fear that others were just waiting for me to fail.  
Why did I think the world was out to get me?  
After the weight loss I realized it's not about who's waiting for you to fail, it's about who's waiting for you to succeed!  It's about YOU.  It's YOU and you only.  Who cares what others say or do...it's about YOU!
Why do you want this?  Are you tired of giving up?  
Think about it, write it down, make up your mind and give it everything you've got!

If you haven't joined the challenge, what's holding you back?  
We're on day 2 and I see lots of #moveitmommas hashtagin' taking place!  If you feel frustrated or want to quit, just go to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and click on The Move It Momma or #moveitmommas and you will see recipes, workouts, groups of women out there pushing themselves, healthy foods, weight loss, before and after pictures...it's the PROOF that we are in this together.  I want this to BLOW UP, GET HUGE and Momma's from all over the world can go there for support and encouragement! Never alone.  Every step of the way, someone, somewhere knows what you're going through and wants to support you.  

I LOVE my blog, my Move It Momma's following and what it gives people everywhere...
a sense of HOPE.  
The hope that they too can rise above, get healthy, change their life and the lives of others...TOGETHER!

You see change is always possible but we must reach down DEEP, find our strength and USE IT to conquer things that we never thought possible.
Temptation is all around us, no matter what our weakness may be.  
For me, FOOD.  
I have said it before...food is like a drug for me.  It haunts me and is a battle I face daily.  Do I allow it to control and defeat me?  NO.  NEVER AGAIN.
Somewhere along the way there came a point where I said enough was enough and MEANT IT.  
Stand up for what you want.  Fight for it.  You will gain strength, determination and a healthier life.  Take what frustrates you and USE IT AS FUEL.  As determination to reach those goals once and for all.  
STOP saying tomorrow, STOP saying it's too hard, STOP making excuses and MEAN IT.  

When I started the Move It Momma's fit camp, it was honestly to just make an impact in the lives of a few women in my community.  A way for me to take what I've learned, my struggles and successes and share them with these women.  

The first week, a few ladies joined me and we worked HARD.  They pushed themselves and I was SO proud to be a part of their transformation, to have impacted their life in some small way.  
Week 2 and 3, I was impressed by the growth of the class in just one week...I think I had 5 or 6, the next day almost 10!  
THIS WEEK?
I'm totally blown away.
Speechless.  And that usually never happens to me...like EVER.  Ha!
I started this boot camp because I wanted to be different, not like any other.  I hold strong to the fact that NOBODY will be left behind.  None of these ladies are allowed to feel intimidated or discouraged.  We support one another, lift them up and constantly encourage one another to push harder.  If someone is struggling, we all step in and help.  
I am SO blessed to be in this position.  Makes all those years of self-doubt, where I never believed in myself, WORTH IT.  
The road is NEVER easy.  I spent nights crying, achy muscles and joints, tired, hungry and allowing those food cravings to creep into my mind day after day...BUT I was sick of it.  Sick of quitting.  Sick of giving up.  Sick of feeling like I was letting myself down every, single day.  
I AM WORTH MORE THAN THAT AND YOU ARE TOO :)  
Hold your head up high and know that we're in this together!  

And our week in pictures...brings tears to my eyes just looking at these STRONG, BEAUTIFUL WOMEN that never give up!  I will never give up on them as I hope they will never give up on me.





Would ya look at all those ladies?  I am crying.  They had to park all along the streets because they FILLED THE PARKING LOT!!!  AMAZED. BLESSED.  HONORED.  WOWZA!!!!!!!!!!!
We've got this ladies!  And if you don't live nearby, FIND YOUR STRENGTH!  
PUSH YOURSELF!

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