Browse Category by nutrition
goals, nutrition, weightloss

August Goals

How is August here already? I felt like it was just a few months ago, it was August of 2015 and we just moved to NJ. Now, we’ve been here almost a year. It’s crazy how time flies the older you get.

August is our final month of summer. September is going to mark the beginning of a crazy and busy period in our lives (I’ll go into that more in another post). Knowing how busy our lives are going to become soon, I sat down and really started to think about my past goals, why I haven’t done very well with them and how I can make August’s goals the best of 2016. One thing that came to mind when reviewing my goals was I think I was making everything too complicated and giving myself too much. I tried to think back to what I did and why I was so successful last time I went through my weight loss journey. I realized I kept everything simple. I had a few goals I wanted to work towards and didn’t overload myself with so many super detailed goals that just weren’t attainable for the time in my life. I set goals that were going to work for my lifestyle and my schedule.

That’s exactly what I’m going back with my August goals. I looked at TJ’s schedule and when he’s realistically home to watch the kids if I want to leave the house for a workout. I’ve looked at my schedule with the kids and what’s realistic for me to get a workout in. I’ve looked at my work schedule, and what I believe is going to work for that as well. All of these factors and more played HUGE roles in defining my August goals. But I know being aware of everything going on in our life, will allow me to set attainable goals that will motivate me to keep going.

So, let’s get on with the goals already!

Workout 3-4x/week
I actually had a slightly higher goal for this but when looking at the time I realistically have each week caused me to lower this a bit.  I’m going to start the C25K program over and schedule those runs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday with the hopes of another workout during the week, which I plan to make a strength workout of some sort. 
I miss running a lot but actually getting outside right now just isn’t likely with the type of schedule we have. I’m working long days every weekend so in reality a weekend run is probably not going to happen. My plan is to get the C25K runs in during the week. If an opportunity pops up where I can get a run in outside on the weekends, I’ll take it but I will not be scheduling them in due to work.

As for my strength training workout, I haven’t decided what that will be but I plan to mix it up and hopefully add one or two in after my runs as well, but I’m not going to stress if they don’t happen. Right now, the habit needs to be formed and once that is down, then I can move on to adding more. If I can a strength workout in on Tuesday or Thursdays, I’d be happy, and then I can try to get out with the kids before school starts. Maybe a walk, bike ride or swim at the park. Something to get us all moving.

Meal Prep each week
I use to meal prep every week. It took up several hours of my Sunday but it was totally worth it. We ate at home more often and it made dinners so much easier every night. I got out of the habit when I was working at the elementary school and only sporadically picked it up here and there. 
With me working on the weekends, a Sunday meal prep session isn’t going to happen, but I can definitely move it to Mondays and maybe enlist the kids to help. I know how important meal prep is for staying on track with meals and this is a MUST for me for reaching my weightloss goals and limited workout time. My nutrition is actually going to be the most important part for me (well isn’t it for everyone?).
Lose 3-4 pounds this month
I feel that as long as I watch my portions and calories, and stick to my workouts, then this will happen naturally for me. But I know if I don’t do either of those things, this will not happen. This is the measurable part of the month’s goals to show that I’m doing what needs to be done to hit my goal weight/fit level. 
I definitely have a weightloss number I want to hit but I’m realistic in that it’s more about being fit and healthy than the number on the scale. If that means I don’t ht my goal weight, I will be ok, but the number on the scale is going to be a big motivator and indicator in the beginning for me. 
Read 2 books this month
This is not fitness or nutrition related but more mental health related. I would like to read 1 personal development book in August and 1 just-for-fun book. I feel personal development books are good for everyone, whether they are health-based, business-based, hobby-based or faith-based. We can always working toward becoming a better or more improved version of ourselves and I’m interested in learning all I can to be a better person. As for a just-for-fun book, I find that I get myself so wrapped in what needs to be done for the house and everyone in the family, that I don’t always make time for me to just relax. Making time to read a good book is the perfect way to relax and decompress from the day.

I know some people can read books in a matter of a few days but if I can read just two in the month of August, I will call myself a success.  

That covers my goals for the month. I’m focusing on the basics of creating a routine and habit right now. Something that I can truly incorporate into my life that will hopefully be simple enough to carry over to the soon-to-be busy period beginning in September.

What are your goals for August? Do you have suggestions or tips that have worked for you when incorporating workouts into a busy lifesytle?

healthy living, nutrition

Kicking the Soda Habit

Soda Caps

Soda. It can taste so good and be so addicting. Millions of people consume it everyday. And millions of people reap the unhealthy side effects from it. I was, and sometimes still can be, one of those millions. I was never one of those people that consumed 3 cans a day, or anything like that, but I so like soda, and there have been times when I’ve had too much. 
But I know how bad it is for you. You’ve most likely seen images floating around the internet displaying just how much sugar is a 20 oz bottle of soda. It’s absurd, but unfortnately it doesn’t seem to be enough to stop people from drinking all that soda. What about the fact that most sodas are also loaded with artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and other chemicals harmful to our bodies? Nope, that’s not stopping them either. 
Why is that? Could it be that soda is addicting? It could be, but addictions can be handled and broken. And if you’re reading this wondering how you can break your soda addiction, I want to share a few ways that helped me break my soda habit. 

Get it out of the house and don’t bring it back in. 

I know, this sounds simple but it can make all the difference in the world. When you have soda, or any junk food for that matter, it’s so easy to have a little here, a little there and before you know it’s gone. Keeping it out of the house will really have to make you work for it if you want it. Not only will you have to spend the money on it, but you’ll have to go to the store to get it. And if it’s late at night, and you’re already in pajamas? Then you have to change, unless going to the store in PJ’s is your thing. That’s a lot of work for some empty calories and I don’t know if it’s worth it for me. 

Find an alternate energy booster. 

I get it, there are days when we all need an energy boost mid-day. Soda, however, is not the way to go, especially with all the chemicals in it. Try an all-natural energy booster instead. Try drinks like green tea, a green smoothie, or some Xinja Red by Young Living. You can also try my favorites; some deep breathing or simply get moving. Sometimes standing up and walking around is enough to give a boost of energy to get you going. 

Try sparkling water. 

There are times when we crave soda. It’s not because we want caffeine but because we want a little something with carbonation. If that’s the case for you, try some flavored or unflavored sparkling water. It might be the ticket you need to replace that soda habit. Try brands like San Pellegrino, La Croix or even your store’s generic brand. 

Try flavored water. 

 OK, so wanting a little carbonation may not be what you want. Maybe you aren’t a water fan. Maybe it’s too bland for you. Try drinking naturally flavored water or making your own by adding some of your favorite to your water. The combinations are endless and it’s so delicious. 

Tell someone else about your “No soda” plans. 

It may sound silly, but when you tell someone else, especially someone who you are around all the time, like spouse, a close friend or another family member, you are more likely to stick to it. That person makes a great accountaboloty partner and when that soda temptation starts creeping in, you have somewhere there to remind you of your goals. and perhaps, just sharing your goals will spark someone into doing the same. 
I wish I could end this post telling you that if you did these simple tips taht you would break that soda habit in no time, but that’s not true. Breaking habit or addiction is hard and takes time and discipline, but if you keep your eyes on the future, you can do this. Just take it one day at a time.

Have you ever had a soda habit? How did you break it?

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clean eating, nutrition

5 Easy Meal Planning Tips

It’s no secret that meal planning has a multitude of benefits. It’s great in helping you stay on track, saves you time during the week, relieves the “what’s for dinner” stress every night and saves you money just to name a few. But it can be a lot of work and if you’re not planner (I am a big planner), it can be a bit of a challenge to think about what you want to for dinner tonight, let alone everyday for the next week. Ask my husband. He never knows. 
As hard as it can be though, it’s a pretty important step when it comes eating and living a healthier life. So today, I want share a few tips, I find helpful when I sit down to meal plan for the week. 

Look at the next week’s schedule 

Before you sit down and try to plan your meals for next week, take a few minutes to look at your calendar and jot down any events you have that may limit your time to cook a meal in the kitchen. Any days you have something going on, make sure plan easy, quick meals that either be prepped ahead of time or be thrown together in a few minutes. Crockpot meals are great for busy days. Just taking an extra few minutes before sitting down to plan can save you time in the planning stage, o on the day of an event when you realize you accidentally planned a time-consuming meal. Better yet, bring that calendar to the table, couch, desk, or wherever you’re sitting down to meal plan. You’ll be able to keep a constant eye on your plans for the week.

Take inventory of your cabinets and fridge


After you grab your calendar (or before if it’s easier for you) take a peek at what you have left in your cabinets, refrigerator and freezer. See what you have and what needs to be used up. If you can’t remember and don’t want to keep getting up to check, jot the items down on a sheet of paper so you know to look for recipes containing those ingredients. Not only will eliminate some unnecessary food waste, but you will also save even more money buy not accidentally buying something you already have.

Plan dinner first

Dinner is often the hardest meal to plan. Dinner is more often than not the only meal where everyone sits down together at one time for a meal, so you have to plan around everyone’s tastes and schedules, so start here.  Breakfast and lunch isn’t usually like that. These meals can be vary in what’s eaten by each person in the house. Starting with dinner though, not only allows you to get the hardest meal out of the way first, it can also pave the way for lunches. If your house is like ours, there’s almost always leftovers from dinner. If you plan a meal that you know is going to have leftovers, you automatically have lunch for the next day, making planning for lunch that much easier. 
If you’re worried about what everyone else will eat for lunch, plan out something for them. In our house, I don’t intentionally plan out breakfasts or lunches for the kids or my husband. I always make sure there are healthy options for each of those meals to choose from and allow them to pick. For example, I have cereal, eggs, homemade instant oatmeal packs and fruit on hand, so the choice is up to them what they have. I also make muffins, baked oatmeal or pancakes (healthier versions) on Sundays as well that they can choose from. These items will freeze well and I can just pop them in the toaster oven for a quick weekday breakfast. But allowing my kids to choose brings me to my next point.

Ask your husband and kids what they want

I know it sounds obvious, but trust me when I say it’s not always thought about. When I first started meal planning, I never really asked my family what they thought they might like for dinner the next week. It wasn’t intentional but I didn’t really think they cared to have an input or about what we were having. It wasn’t until one particular week that I was having a hard time with coming up with some meals. I wanted something different, but didn’t know if anyone else would eat it. I went to TJ asking if he would be willing to try a particular meal and it wasn’t appealing to him at all, but he did suggest another meal I hadn’t made in a long time and just kind of forgot about. Then Dylan asked if we could have some black bean and corn quesadillas, a dinner he loves. And just like that I had 2 of our dinners planned and 2 lunches, since both meals were ones I knew would have leftovers. Since then I’ve made it a point to ask what they would like for dinner the next week. Admittedly, I don’t always ask, but it’s great knowing when you’re stuck for an idea, your family can probably think of something you haven’t thought about in a while. 

Be flexible

Seriously, it’s fine if you come home after a hard day at work and you don’t want cook that lasagna you had planned . It’s also ok if you planned chicken on Tuesday and pumpkin pasta (a favorite in our house) on Friday, doesn’t mean you can’t switch the days since you forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer last night. It happens. It’s happened to me on many occasions. A meal plan doesn’t mean you can’t be flexible with it.

With healthy staples hand, you can always make some nutritious and healthy. If you have fresh veggies in the house, a simple salad is always an easy and quick option for nights you don’t feel like cooking. 

Schedule in a leftover or “Fend for yourself” day

These are great to have at the end of the week when a week of work has worn you out and cooking is the last thing you want to do. They are also great for busy nights where it seems like everyone has something going on. This became huge for us. Not only did it immediately take my dinner planning down to 6 dinners, it also gave us the chance to use up any leftovers we have in the fridge before the grocery shopping trip. Since my kids aren’t old enough to make their own dinners yet (that will be changing in the fall with Dylan. He will be learning to cook more), I can heat them up any leftovers from the week, make them a sandwich or anything else they find interesting. This is also when they can choose, with a little but of guidance of course. 
Meal planning doesn’t have to be hard or too terribly time-consuming (unless of course you’re new recipe hunting on Pinterest), but it does take a little bit of patience and a little work. Give it some time and I bet after you consistently meal plan for a month, you’ll have it down, and may even know what it’s in your cabinets and fridge without having to check.

Do you meal plan each week? What’s your favorite meal planning tip? Share it with me below and maybe I’ll share your tip on a future meal planning post, or on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. 

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3 Day Refresh, BeachBody, nutrition

3 Day Refresh Day 3 Recap

It’s the final day of the 3 Day Refresh. See how my last day went below! And be sure to check in for my final post tomorrow to find out if I lost any weight, and how much, my overall thoughts, and if I would do it again.


Click here for if you’re interested in ordering your own or email with any questions. 
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3 Day Refresh, BeachBody, nutrition

3 Day Refresh Day 2 Recap

I’m at the end of Day 2 of the 3 Day Refresh. Are you curious to know if it went as well as Day 1? Watch the video to find out!


Well now you now you know how the second day went. Interested in your own 3 Day Refresh? Click here for more info.
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3 Day Refresh, BeachBody, clean eating, nutrition, weightloss

3 Day Refresh: What exactly is in the program?

Last week, I shared a post about the 3-Day Refresh, Beachbody’s newest clean eating program. My package finally arrived Friday and as I’m going through the box, I thought it might be fun to share a video with what exactly comes in the box and another run-down of the program in case you missed last week’s post. I know, who would have thought after yesterday’s post and sharing my nervousness about making a video, that I would make another. 
Here I go, again!


Hopefully that gives a better understanding of the program and be on the lookout tomorrow for a new video. I started the 3 Day Refresh today and I’ll be sharing all my Day 1 experiences tomorrow. 
What do you think? Are you intrigued to try the 3 Day Refresh?
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3 Day Refresh, clean eating, nutrition, weightloss

3 Day Refresh

Can you believe the 4th of July is just 2 days away? I feel like 2014 is flying by. The year is already halfway over! That’s crazy! 

Seriously, with the 4th of July right round the corner, everyone is preparing for some fun outdoor cookouts and celebrations. The holidays tend to bring some unhealthy food choices, especially when coupled with friends and beer. But when the holidays are over, it’s time to get yourself back on track and there’s no better way to do that than with Beachbody’s newest program, 3-Day Refresh



The 3-Day Refresh is an easy-to-follow, low calorie 3 day clean eating program designed to offer quick weight loss, help break bad eating habits, improve irregularity, and make you feel lighter and healthier overall. It’s great for helping to get rid of all the processed foods you’ve eaten over the holiday or as part of monthly routine to hep get your month started right each month. 
What does Beachbody say about it?

The 3-Day Refresh is a scientifically designed program that helps you
fast-track your weight loss, kick-start healthy eating, and get a clean
break from bad nutrition habits. 3-Day Refresh is a simple, straightforward
program that will help cleanse your body and improve the way you feel—
without starving yourself. Unlike juice cleanses or liquid fasts which tend
to be high in sugar and low in protein (leaving you feeling weak, hungry,
and sluggish), this easy-to-follow program helps support your metabolism
while nourishing your vital organs.
For 3 days you’ll follow a program of 3 shakes a day, a fiber drink, plenty
of filtered water, plus a wide array of fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthy
fats throughout the day to keep your energy and metabolism going.

You might be wondering why choose the 3 Day Refresh over a traditional juice and short term cleanses. Most other cleanses don’t supply adequate nutrition and thus promote muscle loss instead of fat loss. They also tend not to have enough protein and fiber and have too much sugar which can lead to rebounds. They also can cost more, anywhere from $25-47 a day more. The 3 Day Refresh is just $23 a day. Just think about if you went out to eat for every meal for 3 days. It could cost the same or more.

What are my personal thoughts? I’ll let you know soon. Mine is on the way and I will be getting started as soon as it arrives. Follow me through each day as I go through the cleanse and report to you how I feel, and what I think.

Still not convinced? Check out the video.


I am pretty pumped for this program to arrive. If you’re convinced, I’d love for you to do it with me. Click here to get the Challenge Pack, a fantastic deal that includes a month of Shakeology to help you continue your weight loss and healthy eating after the 3 days and the 3 Day Refresh for just $140. That’s like getting the Refresh program for only $10! But hurry that deal expires July 31st!

Not interested in a month of Shakeology? Click here to order just the Refresh program with enough Shakeology to get you through the program.

Already have Shakeology? We’ve got you covered. Order the program without Shakeology to save even more.

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challenges, healthy living, nutrition

July Challenge…Are You In?

Can you believe it’s almost July already? It’s crazy how fast time is flying. TJ’s graduation will be here before I know it (my husband graduates from SCAD in March 2015). I know it’s still kind of far away but we’re in the final year people!

OK, where were we? Oh yes, July! July brings lots of fun. 4th of July celebrations, my anniversary, beach days and more. For much of the country, it also brings some of the hottest temperatures of the year.
In an effort to battle the heat, we need to drink more water. When we don’t drink enough water, we can become dehyrdated. And dehydration can lead to heat related injuries, swelling of the brain, seizures and more. The problem is, most of us don’t drink nearly as much as should. Which is why in July I want to invite you. I want invite you to take the Water Challenge.

What is the Water Challenge?
The water challenge is a 10-Day challenge to help you slowly increase your water intake each day so that by Day 10 you will be consuming your daily water intake.
When will take place?
July 1st – July 10th
Where will it take place?
In a special private Facebook group just for the challenge where you will receive tips, advice, support and encouragement each day.
Bonus: The group will be open for 31 days to continue to provide support and encouragement to kepp up your daily water intake levels and make this a habit and way of life. Those who stick with the challenge and offer additional support throughout the 31 days will be entered to win a prize at the end!
How do I sign up?
Sign up for a free Beachbody account so I know where to send your prize if you win. And yes, the account is 100% free, and is a great tool for monitoring all your health and fitness goals as well as a fantastic community of support and motivation. Seriously, it’s free! The whole challenge is. You’ve gotten nothing to lose. Click here to sign up!
Do you struggle with getting your water in for the day? What helps you make sure you do get it in? Join me in this month’s challenge. And if you have any other questions about signing up, the challenge or the Beachbody account, please feel free to ask! I can’t wait to see you in the group!
desserts, holidays, nutrition, recipes

Pumpkin “Ice Cream”

I LOVE fall and it’s color changing leaves and cooler temperatures. But since I live in Savannah and don’t really see either, I like indulge in my 3rd favorite part of fall: all things pumpkin. There’s pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin bread and anything else you can think to add pumpkin too.

And while I love all things pumpkin, may of these are cooler weather treats. What I needed was a warm weather treat. What I needed was a treat that was perfect for Savannah’s 85 degree October days. What I needed was ice cream.
But ice cream is not the best for you, even though it tastes so good, so I knew I wanted to come up with something that was better for you, or at the very least, lower in calories. And that’s when it hit me. I had seen that chocolate banana “ice cream” on Pinterest, where you blend a banana until it’s creamy to resemble soft serve ice cream. Maybe I could use that as my base and add some pumpkin too. And so I tried it. It was SO good, that I knew I had to share it with you guys.

Pumpkin “Ice Cream”

Ingredients

1 banana
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4-1/2 cup milk almond milk (any kind will work though)
1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp of no calorie sweetener (about 2 packets if you have packets)

Directions

This recipe requires a little day ahead prep. First you need to peel your banana and then slice it up and stick it in your freezer. You will also need to freeze your pumpkin puree. Rather than measure out your pumpkin and stick a heaping mound in the freezer, I suggest you divide it up. It will make it easier for the blender to crush up later. I use an ice cube tray. For me, 1/2 cup measured out to about 4 frozen pumpkin puree cubes, but actually went ahead and filled the whole tray so I could have more ready to go when the pumpkin ice cream mood struck me. (note: You don’t have to freeze your pumpkin but if you don’t your “ice cream” will be kinda soupy)
Now go to bed. Or don’t, but it may take a little but for them to freeze, so finding something else to do would be good. Maybe a workout or read a good book or clean the house that you probably should have done yesterday (and don’t kid me, I know I’m right 😉 ).
Fast forward to the next day, or whenever your banana and pumpkin puree is frozen. Dump your banana slices into your blender. I actually don’t have a blender per se; I have a Ninja and this works amazingly for it. It’s actually how we make our smoothies too. Anyway, after you add your banana, add 4 pumpkin cubes (remember that’s about 1/2 cup of puree). If you want it a little more pumpkin-y, add another cube or two, if you want it a little less, don’t add 4 cubes. Simple, right?
And then add your pumpkin pie spice and milk and blend until creamy!
Finally, put it in a bowl and have at it. I added a sprinkle of cinnamon to mine but I bet you could dip a few graham crackers in it too and it would also be delicious!

Have you tried it? What do you think of pumpkin? Can something be too pumpkin-y?
fitness, nutrition

What is Healthy?

I feel like that is such a broad question with so many answers. For some, the answer may be as simple as staying fit and eating healthy, but for me I feel it’s more than that. Of course staying fit and eating healthy are on the list but I think being mentally healthy is important as well living green.

source

Having an active lifestyle through exercise is an important component to living your healthiest life.  Aside from helping to control weight, exercise can help combat health conditions as well as boost your mood and energy levels, and promote better sleep, something as a busy mom, I feel like I never get enough of.

Exercise and eating healthy definitely go hand in hand. In fact, when trying to lose weight, your nutrition plays an even bigger role, but should also include some exercise. Eating healthy, wholesome foods full of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, to name a few, will help combat health conditions. Wait, didn’t I just write that about exercise? I did. Sounds like a double punch on those health conditions. Eating healthy can also boost your mood and energy (hey, more double punches), give you a stronger immune system and boost your mental alertness. As you can see healthy eating plays a much bigger role than just keeping that waistline slim and trim.

An aspect of being healthy that some people may not consider is your mental health. I think we look towards the outer appearance and if you look healthy and fit, then you think that’s good enough. But I feel having a positive self image about yourself, as well as not overloading and overwhelming yourself is just as important. We’ve all read how stress can aid in weight gain or put a stop to our weight less, but think about what it does for your mind and the inner struggles you may have. Many of us feel we need to be perfect or constantly be in the go, but that’s just not true. We don’t need to be perfect parents, spouses or even people. It’s ok not to do everything or be perfect at everything you do do. Knowing that is OK to leave a few things undone can really help make you feel better. Taking time each day to destress by meditating, sitting in a quiet room, relaxing on the souch or unwinding from the day can help clear our minds and leave us at ease. It can also help us be more productive the next day. We need to stop telling ourselves we’re not good enough, thin enough and smart enough. When you feel the urge to have negative thoughts about yourself, start thinking about the good qualities that encompass who you are. It can boost your mood and put your mind at ease. And I think a peaceful mind can truly help becoming the healthiest person we can be inside and out.

And finally, for me, I think the last component to becoming the healthiest person I can be is to live as green as we possibly can. So many of our products, and even foods, contain chemicals and pesticides. These chemicals and pesticides are meant to keep bugs away from crops or give us the best cleaning power but they are harmful to our bodies. These chemicals and pesticides are linked to health problems, so I’m doing my best to become as green as possible. It is, however, a fairly large and overwhelming process, so I’m taking it one baby step at a time. I first started making our own laundry detergent and have since moved on to our own dishwashing detergent. I also only use my reusable totes when shopping, whether it’s to the grocery store or Target. I have also begun buying organic and all natural foods. Now, not everything I buy is organic or all natural, but I’m starting small with a few things and working my up. It is more expensive but if you learn to reprioritize and cut back on some of the processed foods you don’t need, you can make work. We also stopped buying cleaning products with chemicals in them, as well do things such as shutting all the lights off when we’re not in the room, and recycle everythin we can. We’re not fully green yet, but we’re working on getting as close as we can. One of my goals is to start composting too. That will realy help with waste.

That’s pretty much what I feel healthy is to me. Of course everyone’s definition is different and no one definition is right or wrong. It’s all about what your opinion is.

SO……….what is healthy to you?