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nutrition

80/20 Rule

If you’ve know me or have read my blog long enough, you know I like the less healthy finer food choices in life. When I began to lose weight, I knew all the delicious “junk food” would have to go but I knew completely cutting it out of my life was setting me up for failure. I had tried in the past to cut them out completely and then would begin to crave them and over indulge. This time around, I knew better and knew that, for me, it wasn’t the way to go. Instead, I told myself I would still allow those treats in my diet but I needed to allow them in moderation.

But just how much is enough? I adopted the 80/20. Most people know about the 80/20 rule but for those don’t, it’s a “rule” where you eat healthy 80% of the time and you can eat unhealthy 20% of the time. Sounds simple doesn’t it? I have 21 meals each week so 4 meals each week can be whatever I want, right? No. It doesn’t really work out to well for you if you choose to do it that way. Using that logic, you could find yourself eating a day’s worth of calories for each of those meals if you go out to eat and aren’t careful.

A good way to make sure you’re not going over 20% is to indulge on only 20% of your calories. When losing or even maintaining your weight, it helps to know how many calories you should be eating each day. Without knowing how much you should be eating every day, you might find yourself eating too little or too much. Once you know how many calories you should be eating, you can then begin to use one of two methods to decide on how you want to divide up your calories.

20% of daily calorie allowance

Once you know how many calories you should be eating each day, you can then figure out how many fall into the 80% and how many fall into the 20%.

For example, let’s say you should be eating 1400 calories per day.

1,400 (daily calorie allowance) x .8 (percent of your healthy calories) = 1,120 of your calories should be healthy calories every day.

1,400 (total calories) – 1,120 (healthy calories) = 280 indulgent calories

The remaining 280 calories can be made up of your indulgences. Maybe some of that chocolate you’ve been craving or a small piece of cake at your co-workers going away party. Something to satisfy that craving you’ve been having.

I love this method because it allows you to have a little treat each day if you choose. Of course, you may have days where you don’t want that treat and that’s totally fine. Good for you! This method just allows you work one in each day.

20% of our weekly calories

Another method you can try is making not allowing yourself to go over 20% of your weekly calorie allowance with your indulgence.
Sticking with the 1400 calorie per day example:
1400 (calories per day) x 7 days per week = 9,800 total calories per week
9,800 (calories per week) x .80 (percent of calories that should be healthy) = 7,840 healthy calories 
9,800 (calories per week) – 7,840 (healthy calories) = 1,960 indulgent calories
Wow! That’s a lot of indulgent calories, but this could be especially helpful if you’re going out to eat with friends on a Saturday night and you don’t want to be quite so careful or you if you’re have a party to go to. The trick with this method it make sure you don’t go over your total calories for the week, which could be easy to do if you’re not careful.
I personally choose the method 20% daily method. I like being able to have a small treat each day and I know I won’t go over my calories. When I do choose my treats, I try to choose ones that are better for me though. I might choose snacks like Popchips, or dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. I’ll go for homemade cookies or cake over processed store-bought (and homemade always tastes better).
I found that moderation was the key to my success, so hopefully it’s the key to yours as well. 
Do you follow the 80/20 rule? How do you interpret the rule?
nutrition, sponsored

Flavorfy with Dasani Drops (And My Very First Giveaway!)

***Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Influenster and Dasani Drops. I received these products as compensation to review but all opinions are my own. 

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Yesterday, I shared with you some ways to help you make sure you get your water in for the day. One of the tips, I shared was flavoring your water with fruit. Today, I’m bringing you another way to flavor your water: Dasani Drops
Dasani Drops are a great way and easy way to add a little flavor to your water. Just a squeeze a small amount into your bottle of water, close the cap, shake it up and you’re good to go. You can add as little or as much as you want. The more you add, the more flavor you will get. I, personally, don’t add much. I don’t need a lot of flavor.
Dasani Drops comes in 6 different flavors: Strawberry Kiwi, Pink Lemonade, Pineapple Coconut, Mixed Berry, Cherry Pomegrante and Grape. I tried both the grape and cherry pomegrante flavors. The grape was a very typically grape flavor. I liked it, but I also like grape flavored foods. The cherry pomegrante was SO good! That’s the one I’ve used the most. I love sticking it in my purse and taking it out with me. If we’re out and decide to get something drink or go out to eat, I can order a water and add some Dasani Drops to my water. Having a way to “flavorfy” my water on the go is great!
And one more cool tip about these drops; you can mix the flavors to come up with new flavors, or add other ingredients for new drinks. I mixed grape and cherry pomegrante together and made a new flavor I call “Fushia Fusion.”
And here’s your chance to try two flavors from Dasani Drops. One lucky winner will receive two different flavors to try. 
Just enter the giveaway belows and tell me; what flavors would you like to try?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

nutrition

Ways To Get That Water In!

It’s summertime and the weather is hot! With hot temperatures comes the need to be more diligent than ever about your water consumption. Did you know that standard 64 oz of water per day is not necessarily right for everyone? While each person’s daily water needs is different and can vary for you as individual from day to day, there are a few things you can do to figure out your recommended daily amount.

The first thing you need to know is your weight. Your minimum daily water intake should be half your weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you should drink at least 70 oz of water per day. This is the bare minimum for your day. There are other factors you need to look as well that will usually up your water intake. Some of these factors are if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, if you live in a dry climate, live at a high altitude, or live in an area with extreme temperatures (I totally get this is subjective seeing as I would probably say Savannah has some extreme temperatures (hot temps) at times and the average person will say I’m crazy. lol).

How much more water do you add, you may ask? This amount will also vary. For me, I use an app (which I’ll go more in detail about in another post soon), but one thing I have noticed is that this app will tell me to drink an extra oz of water for every 10 minutes of exercise, so for a 45 minute workout it will suggest 4.5 oz more. If I have an especially intense workout or it’s a pretty hot and humid day outside, then I, personally, will add a few more oz to that.

As for getting all that water in, I sometimes struggle with it. I have gotten a lot better than I used to be but I could always improve a little more. Sometimes, I need a little variety with my water, or I find myself at the end of the day with a ton of water left to drink. I need to come with some new ways to get my water consumption up. I asked around on two Facebook fitness groups I’m apart of for their help and what they do. Together, I think, a helpful list was formed

Start your day with 8 oz of water. Try drinking 8 oz before anything else, and yes that means before your coffee. I know that’s tough, but I started doing this about a month ago and saw a major improvement in my daily water consumption. Each night before bed I put 8 oz of water in the fridge so it’s ready and cold in the mornings. Try it! You’ll be 8 oz closer to your goal before coffee!

Mark your bottles. This was suggested by one of the members of a group I’m part of and it is something I have seen floating around on Pinterest. All it takes, is a reusable water bottle and a sharpie marker. Just mark off spots on your water bottle and write a time you want to be done. For example if you want to be halfway done with your water bottle at noon, make a mark at the halfway point and write 12 pm. I think this is a cool idea but not for me. I’m a weirdo who doesn’t like writing on my water bottles. I don’t even like to write my name on it, but I will if I have to (or I’ll use my label maker…..nerd alert!).

Set time goals. For anyone out there that doesn’t like writing on their water bottles like me, you can also just set time goals. Maybe you know you need to drink 4 bottles of water by the end of the day. You know you need to be finished with the each one every 4 hours, or however you want to set it up.

Add fruit to your water. Adding fruit to your water can give it a little bit of flavor and help with the, “I’m tired of water feeling.” Does anyone else get that? Just me. Well sometimes, I need a little variety in my water. Even adding a few slices of lemon, cucumber, or even berries can liven up your water.

Add a splash of juice. Not a fan of actual fruit in your water? Don’t worry. I used to be that way. Another way to add a little flavor to you water is to add a splash, and I mean a little diving splash, not a cannon ball splash of juice to your water. You just want a hint of flavor. And with all the varieties of juice out there, you have so many possibilities.

Partner with friends. Sometimes all you need is a little push and motivation from friends and family to get you going. It works that way for fitness, why can’t it work that way for water consumption too? With a little encouragement and push from friends, it can work to get you drinking (water, that is). A few simple texts, facebook messages, or tweets throughout the day to check in with each other is all it takes to help each other out.

Reward system. I know this sounds juvenile but hear me out on this one. You’ve heard of reward systems for weight loss, workouts, and even healthy eating; so can’t the same idea be applied to water consumption? I will never take your morning coffee away (some of you may bite me if I did that) but after you drink your coffee, tell yourself you can only have water until you reach your goal. Once you do, you can reward yourself with another beverage of choice. This could especially work for people who drink a lot of other beverages throughout the day, such as soda and tea.

Apps for your phone. There are tons of apps out that that can help you track your water. I will go more in detail in another post about some of the apps that I think are the best but some are basic, while some are a bit more intricate. While my favorite app is not free, there are a good number of free apps that are just as great too.

These are just some ways to help make sure you get your water consumption for the day. And with the summer heat, it’s important to make sure you get yours in.

How do you make sure you get your water consumption in? 

family, kids, nutrition

Healthy Lunches for Back To School

I can’t believe it’s almost time! In just 6 short days, Dylan will go back to school and be in 3rd grade. I can’t believe how fast he’s growing. Before I know he’ll be in high school, and not wanting my help. But until then, I’m going to soak up all the “help” I can give.

One of those ways is to make sure I send him to school with a healthy well balanced lunch. Thursday, I shared my nutrition goals for the month, and I mentioned how with Dylan going back to school, I wanted to prepare and create our own healthier snacks, especially for Dylan’s lunches. With that, also comes healthier entrees as well. 
I’ve been doing a little pinterest and internet research for some lunch ideas, along with coming up with some of my own for Dylan to take to school. And today, I’m going to share with you a list of what I have come up with. This is not all there is out there, of course, but I will be honest, I was keeping my 7 year old in mind, when I was making this list.

PB&J on a whole wheat mini bagel Dylan is a huge fan of Peanut Butter and Jelly. If I let him, he’d have it for lunch everyday. And while I don’t typically have a problem with it as lunch, a normal size sandwich just is a larger portion size than I would like, so instead I would often make him half a sandwich. Then it occured to me while shopping one day to use mini bagels, or slider buns for that matter. Dylan likes bagels better so this is perfect. And the smaller sandwich allows for more heathier side and snack options

Mini Chicken Club Sandwiches This pretty much goes right along with the mini peanut butter idea, but I would most likely use whole wheat slider buns for this. Just grill up some chicken and cut it up the night before or on Sunday when you do the rest of your meal prep, and all you have to do in the morning is put the sandwich together.

Mini pita pockets This was an idea I found on the internet, but unfortunately I can’t remember where. I have always done half a pita pocket for Dylan. I had no idea they made mini pita pockets. I am now on the serious hunt for mini pitas for Dylan’s lunch. You can add tuna, chicken salad, grilled chicken with veggies and a vinegarette dressing, and tons more ideas.

Healthy pizza I think this is one of my favorite ideas. It’s something I have thought of, but haven’t done it. It is also something I found on the internet as well. What I love the most about this recipe is that your kids can help you make this. Just make your favorite pizza dough recipe (if you have a good, preferably whole wheat one, please share. I don’t have a favorite yet), and your kids help spread the sauce and add the ingredients they choose. You can even divide the piza dough up to create mini pizzas so each child can have their own pizza.

Salad (green leafy, bean, pasta) Oh, we can go into the many different kinds of salads out there and share recipe after recipe (Ok, I’m sharing one below), but basically, you can pack your kids salad for lunch. I’m sure you’ve pack it for your own lunch before, so you know it does fine. Any salad you can think, an know they’ll eat: green leafy salads, bean salads, pasta salads, they all sound delicious. Just be sure to pack the salad dressing from any green leafy salads, so that it doesn’t get soggy.

Corn, Black Bean and Mango Salad This recipe looks too good not to share. To me, I think this would be good wam or cold, but if they prefer it warm, just heat it up in the morning and pop it in a thermos. Check it out here.

Chili Even though Savannah doesn’t get as cold as I would like it to get (I want snow in the winter), it doesn cool down enough for some good chili in the fall and winter. We love chili in our house. And this year, I plan on sending Dylan to school with some leftover chili. I haven’t yet picked up a thermos, but it’s on my list of back to school supplies for him. Putting some heated leftover chili in a thermos for lunch has to be one of the easiest lunch preps ever. I will love for those days!

Soup I will also live for soup days. It’s another super easy lunch day. And just like chili, is perfect for lunch in a thermos the next day. I love soup and am constantly trying out new soup recipes on my family. Our favorite (and one I plan on making multiple times this fall and winter) is this tomato soup recipe from Jenn over at Peas and Crayons complete with the Baked Mozzarella Balls. It is hands down  my favorite tomato soup recipe and one of my all time favorite meals. My husband has put this at the top of his Top 10 meals I’ve made, and my kids kept asking for more, even after it was gone. It was a soup, I originally thought would be my lunch the next day. Everyone liked it so much, there were no leftovers. Seriously, you HAVE TO make this soup!

Mac-N-Cheese A kid favorite, this list couldn’t not include some good ol’ mac-n-cheese. But I’m not talking about the boxed kind, I’m talking about the homemade kind. While this isn’t the healthiest option on the list, you can do things to make it a little healthier, like using whole wheat pasta, soy milk, or low-fat cheese. You can also try this Quinoa Mac N Cheese recipe, another favorite in our house.

Corn & Zucchini Fritters This idea came from Bon Appetit and is actually an idea I have yet tried with Dylan and not really sure if he will like. However, I do love it and am hoping it’s a success. Prepare a batch of whole wheat pancake batter, using about 1/2 the liquid. Stir in a cup thawed frozen corn, one small grated zucchini and a handful of Parmesan, and a sliced scallion. The zucchini will add moisture; add more liquid if the batter is too stiff. Cook until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Pack with Greek yogurt for dipping.

BLTA wraps (or any other kind of wrap) Wraps are a fun and different take on a sandwich. At least that’s what Dylan thinks. I make these frequently and he loves them. His only complaint: that the wraps would fall apart on him, so when I made them, I started wrapping the finished wrap in parchment or wax paper (just depended on what I had at the moment). I told him when it was lunch time, to just unwrap a little of the paper and eat the wrap so it would stay closed. He said that it was much better. Just like sandwiches, the possibilities are endless, like an amazingly awesome BLTA wrap. A BLT with avocado anyone? Sounds like my kind of lunch.

Smoothies This idea is not mine. I wish it was. I want to claim this one as my own genius idea. Instead, I have to leave the credit to Lisa from 100 Days of Real Food. Dylan loves smoothies. I think the kid could live off smoothies and PB&J, so when I found this idea, I knew I had to include it in the post. Lisa uses these freeze pop molds, which I will be ordering soon to freeze the smoothies in. You can make any smoothie you want. I say load it with all the veggies you can. And then when you pack your kid’s lunch, just pull one out of the freezer and it will still be cold, but partially thawed for lunch time.

Last, I want to share this post by Lisa Leake over at 100 Days of Real Food. When I was searching the internet for more ideas, I came across her School Lunch Round-up post and immediately knew this was a post worth pinning. She has way too many ideas to mention in this post, so instead, I want to share the entire post with you. If you have school-aged kids, you should totally check this post out.

Some of these sound so delicious that they will actually be going on my lunch menu too, as well as Jordyn’s menu. It’s going to make lunch time at our house so easy. And be on the lookout next week for Part 2 to this post: Healthy Snacks for Kids. 

10K, fitness, goals, Green Living, nutrition, running

August Goals

Wow! Is it August already? This summer is flying by! And this month I have decided to start a monthly post where I share my goals with you! Mostly, I’ll share fitness goals with you, but I’m also going to share a few nutrition goals and sometimes some personal goals as well. Getting them all out there will realy make me accountable for each of these goals. So let’s get to it, shall we?

Fitness Goals

  • Continue with my 10K training.
    • Last month, I started a 10K training plan that will take me right through the end of October, where a Trick or Trot 10K will be held. It will be my first 10K and I’m super excited about it. While I know a lot of people, don’t need training plans for running a 10K, I like following a plan and I think this is the best approach for me. I’m looking to improve my speed while training, so I’m really hoping this will do it. 
  • Cross-train 2 times a week
    • I’m really bad at this. I run, and never do any sort of cross-training on my off days. Not cool, Sabrina, not cool. However, the past two weeks, I went to the aquatic center for a morning swim. I have really enjoyed those swims. I find them relaxing and peaceful. It’s definitely something I want to continue but the cost can add up, so I’m investing in the punch cards (where it’s slightly cheaper and the hours I can go are better). I think adding at least one swim a week with some yoga will be perfect for my cross-training. And who knows, maybe I’ll squeeze in twice a week. And if you know of any really good yoga videos (preferably some inexpensive or free ones), please let me know
  • Strength-train 2-3 times a week
    • This is another area I am awful at. I do not strength train nearly enough, and I know how absolutely important it is. I really need to get with the program and just do it already. For this, I’m thinking I’ll add it after each run, except for my long run.

Nutrition Goals

  • Do a better job with meal planning
    • I typicaly go grocery shopping every Friday or Saturday for the following week, but before I go, I do my best to plan out the meals for the week. While I have beeb doing this for while, I haven’t done the best job I possibly could. I often find myself so busy during the week, that it’s Thursday night or even Friday morning before I sit down to meal plan and by that time, I feel rushed and just pick meals that may not be the healthiest or I pick meals we’ve had a few too many times but I just write them down to get the plan done. This isn’t really a benefit to us. I need to spend more time planning meals so we can try new ones.
  • Prepare our own snacks
    • With Dylan going back to school in less than 2 weeks, my morning routine will go back to including lunch prep. I would like to start including healthier snack options for his lunch, but in order to do that, I need to stop buying conveniece foods and actually make them. I don’t want to overwhelm myself with too many at once, but if I can make 1-2 a week (3 if I can pick some easy ones), I can get hime set with some good healthy snacks for his lunch, on top of the fruits and veggies he brings.
  • Meal prep for the week
    • This pretty much goes along with the first two goals. If I can meal (and snack) prep on Sundays (or even Saturdays if we have time), then this will make every meal that much easier. It will also be a lot harder to “go grab a pizza” if I already have the meals prepped and ready to cook as much as possible.

Green Goals

I have been working on slowly becoming more green (there will be a post on this), but sometimes it feels slightly overwhelming. Setting a few small goals each month will help be go green in a manageable, non-overwhelming way.
  • Unplugging any electronics we aren’t using
    • In our house, we already turn off all the lights in our house when we leave, or are not in the room. Well everyone, except for TJ. He’s so bad about leaving his “mancave,” aka the garage, light on. But it’s an easy way to begin going green. Another easy way, is to plug any electronics we are not using. Even when your electronics are off and plugged in they are still using energy. One of the best ways to conserve energy is ti simply unplug them. This includes chargers, bedside lamps, hair dryers, Scentsy warmers that are not on, even your coffee pot. This is an area that we really need to work on. It’s so easy but always forgotten. I unplug my phone every morning, but don’t ever think to unplug the charger and put it in my night stand. In fact, I just stopped to go do that now. haha!
  • Finding a green recipe for my dishwashing detergent
    • We will be running of dishwashing detergent, so what better to accomplish this goal then to start researching a good recipe for my own. We already already use homemade green laundry detergent and I love it! I have no doubt that I will find a great green recipe for our dishwashing detergent too. Slowly I will get rid of our chemical-filled cleaning supplies.
  • Use our resuable totes on every shopping trip
    • I already use them every week for grocery shopping, but I often forget when I run to other places like the pharmacy, the mall, Goodwill and even Target. Sometimes when I only need one or two items, I just don’t think about it. I have purchased a lot of these bags but I think I need a few small ones for the small trips too. Maybe I’ll make some! 
I think that just about wraps my August goals. I have such high hopes for these goals that my mind is already racing towards September goals, but I know I need to slow down. 
Do you set goals each month? What are your goals for August? 
family, fitness, nutrition, running, weightloss progress

Sent Away

Good evening! How is everyone tonight? I’m not one to typically post at night but TJ has sent me away to the bedroom tonight.

What? I know. Crazy, right?!? I have mentioned before that TJ is attending the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). His major is sound design. His ultimate dream is to make sound effects for movies and TV shows. One of the classes he is taking this quarter is called “Field Recording.” Most of his assignments involve him having to go out and record his own sounds to help build his own library of sound effects.
Unfortunately, for me, he has borrowed super sensitive equipment from the school, and my quiet typing was being picked up by the microphone so I had to leave my craft room/office. But honestly, I don’t mind. I’m so proud of him for going after what he really wants to do. He could have easily chosen to go to a school and major in something that would guarantee him a job when he was done. Something that he knew would work, but he wouldn’t be truly happy in. He’s going after his passion and what he really wants. So, I am happy to support him and help him in whatever he needs to help him through school and find his ultimate dream job. 
Besides, I get a chance to catch up on The Bachelor too, without him making fun of every little thing. LOL!
And yes for those that keep up with The Bachelor, I am behind and watching the 2nd episode. Oops! πŸ˜‰
And with my laptop and my iPad, I figured I’d pop on in with a quick update on me.
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Over the holidays, I slacked off with working out but did maintain healthier eating. I luckily did not gain any of my weight back, but I didn’t lose any either. Since the last time I updated about my weight loss progress there has been a loss though. As of tonight, I have lost a total of 29 pounds and have 11 pounds to go. While I am ecstatic about my weight loss, I’m not as toned as I would like to be.
I started running more consistently again and am now actively working to build my base weekly mileage as well as my distance per run. Once per week, I have been going for a “long” run. These long runs are not long…yet, but I’m working on it. Sunday, I ran 4 miles, which is closest to my longest distance, but this coming Sunday, I will go for 5. This will officially become my longest run and then hope to steadily increase my long runs. For me, I feel like I have a long way to go to be where I want to be as a runner, but I have to say I am really enjoying seeing the progress I am making. Just to see how far I have come from when I started is pretty cool to me.
While I have been doing really well with my runs but I am noticing that I am lacking some strength training big time. I think, I know this lack of strength training is also a reason I am not as toned as I would like to be. Sometimes when it comes to strenth training, I feel a bit lost, but I am determined to figure out what will be best for me and work on it.
And on that note, I am off to find some good strength training workouts. Have a happy Wednesday night everyone!
5K, fitness, goals, nutrition, running, Savannah, weightloss progress

Happy New Year and New Goals!

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First, let’s just to state the obvious….I’m a bit behind on the New Year post. I really wanted this written and up on Tuesday but I was super busy and that just didn’t happen. Bad blogger. And speaking of bad blogger, you may notice there are a few missing recaps. I never got around to sharing my first race experience with the Savannah Bridge Run, nor did I share any Christmas stories, or anything about my trip to Atlanta, which I sadly never even mentioned. Talk about awful. They’re coming all in the next week. Don’t mind the delay. I’m working on it.
And while I could share one of those stories today, I’m instead going to share some goals I have set for myself for the new year. Some are running, some are personal, and some re blog-related. None the less, I feel writing them down and sharing them with you will help in not only seeing what I want to accomplish, but also hold some accountability for myself.
Health & Fitness
  • Last month I signed up for 1000 Miles for Smiles set up by the fabulous Victoria Runs. It’s a challenge to run 1000 miles in 2013 and the money used to register is donated to a charity. There are prizes, winners as well. You should definitely check it out. For me, this is going to be HUGE and TOUGH! I didn’t even come close to that last year, and while I don’t know if this is a goal I can actually complete, I’m going to try. I signed up for the challenge to give me motivation to run more and because  the cause is great! Realistically, if I can complete 450 miles, I’ll be ecstatic, but I’m using this challenge as a push to do more.
  • I want to get fitted for running shoes. I’ve never done this but I know how important this can be. I know I will need new running shoes in the next couple of months so this goal should be crossed off then.
  • I want to run at least 3 races, hopefully 4, one of which is a 10K. I know this doesn’t sound like a lot but while my husband is in school and only working part-time, we have a budget. If we can fit more into our budget, that would be great. I really need to start looking at which races I would like to do and sign up.
  • Eat healthier and get my family eating healthier. While I ate a lot healthier last year, I still have lots of room for improvement. My family, especially my husband, isn’t as big on the healthy eating kick, but is willing to try. With his help, I hope to keep junk food out of the house, and only have healthy snacks on hand for all of us.
  • Strength train 2-3 times a week. I admit, I’m awful when it comes to strength training. I know how important it is, but I just don’t do it like I should. I need, and want, to be better and stronger. This is a must.
  • Lose that last 15 pounds. I have hit a stand still with my weightloss but I am deermined to lose this last 15.
Personal/Family Goals
  • Organize my house and keep it organized. This involves so much, including having TJ and the kids help. I want to start small and focus on one room and go from there. I also would like us to go through our stuff once a month for 20-30 minutes and see what we can get rid of that we don’t use. I think these small tasks will help in the long run
  • Make a budget and put it on paper. This year, my husband and I want to work on paying off a few loans we have and saving some money. Change is in our future. Not in the immediate future, but in the future and we have to start planning for those changes now, even if they won’t happen for a few years. We want to start planning and saving for when the time comes to leave Savannah and move on somewhere else. And what better time to start, then now with a budget to help us do that.
  • Become more consistent with my meal planning. I meal plan now, but not every week and sometimes I’m just not in the mood to have what I have planned. I want to become better at it.
  • An active family day. My kids get outside but not as much as I would like. I want to take one day a month (to start with and then work towards more later) where we plan to spend the day as family outdoors doing something active. It doesn’t have to cost a lot but it could be as simple as a day at the park running around, or a day at the beach swimming in the ocean. We could make it educational and head to Ft Pulaski, or walk around downtown. I just want to do something that gets all of us moving more and together as a family. 
Blogging Goals
  • Begin to consistently post. I work full-time and when I get home, I sometimes just want to spend time with my family or relax. But since starting this blog, I have realized that I enjoy to write and share my life experiences, whether good or bad. The days I post I feel more positive about myself and have found an inner peace. I hope that if I can post more consistently that inner peace and positive energy will stay and that I can also begin to grow my blog into something that I strive for it to be.
  • Come up with a new, more personalized design that better represents me and my blog. I have been thinking about some ideas for a while now. I just know I need a little help in getting it all put together and out there. Do you know of someone who can help me with that?
  • Post some informative and helpful posts. I post mostly about my personal experiences but I would love for people to be able to come here for information as well. And maybe I’ll throw in a few recipes in there too!
  • Comment on my favorite blogger posts more often. I do what I can but I know how I appreciate every time I get a comment, I would like to do the same for them.
Career Goals
  • I have been slowly working on building a portfolio to start my own photography business. It’s slow going, but I want to make sure I do everything correctly and don’t fail in my first two years. Finishing my portfolio would be a great step to help get me started. Do you live in the Savannah area and want some pictures taken? Go ahead and shoot me an email and we’ll meet up, I’ll show you some of my work and see what we can work out. You help me, and I’ll help you! πŸ˜‰
  • Get all the paperwork I need to file for my business license in Savannah.
  • Get my business running by the end of the year. I plan to start out part time (I need to keep my current job as a steady source of income) but hope that once I grow and have enough clients, I could go full-time.
Well I guess that about covers it! It seems like a lot but I fully believe every single one of these goals will be doable. They won’t all be easy, and I know there will be times when I feel like they will be impossible, but I will just have to keep telling myself all of these will be worth it and make me a better overall person.
fitness, Friday Faves, nutrition

Friday Faves

Hi! Welcome back to another installment of Friday Faves. I hope you all are enjoying them. I’m working on a little graphic to go with these posts but I’m new at this so be patient. πŸ™‚

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83 Healthy Recipe Substitutions from Greatist: We’ve all heard of different ways we can make our recipes healthier. We can substitute whole wheat flour for white flour, unsweetened applesauce for oil and butter, plain greek yogurt for sour cream or mayo, just to name a few. Greatist compiled a HUGE (83 to be exact) list of substituitions to make your dishes healthier. Check them out. You may be surprised at what you find!


Urban Jogging May Be Making You Dumber from MSNBC: I found this post this morning on Savannah Running’s facebook page. It talks about how the pollutants in the air can slow down reaction time, and offers other places to run. It’s definitely interesting and worth a read.


Candy Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookie Bars from Lean Green Bean: Holy cookie bar! Lindsay is quickly turning into my new BFF! She also shares fabulous recipes, workouts, and tips. Today is no different. I don’t even have to make these (but I’m totally going to) to know these are delicious! They look delicious! I want one NOW! Lindsay took a classic Betty Crocker recipe and substitued a few not-so-healthy ingredients for some much healthier ingredients. I’m not promising you eating more than one is within your calorie limit but I think a little splurge now and then is perfectly acceptable. And I now what I’m splurging on.


How To Create a Healthy Meal/Snack from Fitness Perks: Annette is here to share some great tips on how to build a completely healthy snack/meal. She almost explains in a step-by-step process that is great!

How To Juice Using A Food Processor from Food, Fitness and Family: Madeline recently talked about she was using her food processor to create her own juices. After reading her post, I kept wondering how she did it. And then it was as if she read my mind. The next day was this post explaining how she did it. This is fabulous for those that don’t have a juicer or the money to shell out for one right now. Definitely check this out!
fitness, Friday Faves, nutrition

Friday Faves

Welcome back to second installment of Friday Faves!

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Race Preparation Tips from The Happy Runner: Felice has run a lot of races, and I mean A LOT! She shares her Top 8 tips for race preparation that work for her. I will absolutely be keeping these in mind for my next race.

15 Ways To Save Big Bucks on Healthy Groceries from Sparkpeople: Who doesn’t like saving money? I know I do, and grocery shopping is one of those necessities that can add up. Sparkpeople shares 15 great ways to help you save money grocery shopping without using coupons and still buying the healthy stuff.

Best Body Bootcamp Registration Round 4 from Best Body Fitness: The new year is right around the corner and with that comes new resolutions and goals. If becoming healthier is on that list, you should definitely check out Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp. You know what? Even if it’s not on your list, you should check it out. Best Body Bootcamp is an 8 week program to help you improve your lifestyle. Along the way, you get support from Tina, fellow bootcampers and can even win prizes!!! I did Round 2 and will be signing up shortly for Round 4! Hope to see you there!

Is It Safe To Exercise In The Cold? from Greatist: Summer is over (FINALLY!) and winter is {almost} here. The weather is getting colder (unless you live in Savannah, like me where it’s been in the 70’s all week) and many people may be wondering just how safe it it to workout in cold. Greatist is here to share some fabulous tips for exercising in cold (and by cold, I mean colder than Savannah, not 50 degrees) weather. 

Banana Bread Cupcakes from Jessie Loves To Run: We all need a little sweetness in our life and who better to share a sweet recipe than AMAZING (and amazingly sweet) Jessie. Jessie is one of my favorite bloggers. She has been a huge supporter of me along the way. You often find her sharing her smoothie creations, which are always great, sharing her own experiences and knowledge, as well as her gratitude for everyone, and everything, she has in her life. But today she shares a superb recipe for some delicious-looking cupcakes. You should definitely check them out!

Does Social Media Mean Better Running? from Runner’s World: Social media has changed our lives in so many ways. Just one aspect it has changed our lives? Fitness. And in particular, running. In this article Runner’s World talks about running through social media and how it can help, or hurt, depending on how you look at it, our running. What do you think? Does it help us?

13 Smart Ways To Boost Workout Intensity from Greatist: Greatist makes the list for 2nd time this week with another fabulous post! This post talks about ways to increase calorie burn and have an overall more effective workout. Check it out! Maybe there’s a tip in there you hadn’t thought of

fitness, Friday Faves, nutrition

Friday Faves

Happy Friday everyone! Just a few more hours until the weekend officially starts! WAHOO!!!!

All week long, I read some pretty fabulous articles across the internet (and in my Google reader). They range from recipes, fitness tips, workouts, nutrition info and inspiring stories. With so many great reads out there, I’d thought I’d share some of my favorites.

My goal is to do this each week, but let’s be honest, life happens and sometimes things don’t always work out the way we plan, so there may be a few weeks that I don’t have a post due to hectic schedules and busy lives. I also have no set goal on how many posts I’ll share. I know that some weeks, I’ll have loads to share, while others I may only find a few that strike me. In any case, check out some of my favorite posts from the week.

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5 Reasons To Workout During The Holidays from Honey We’re Healthy: Thanksgiving is over and we are back to the daily grind. And while Christmas and all the parties that come with will be in full swing anytime now, Megan reminds of some great reasons we shouldn’t let all the hustle and bustle of the holidays stop us from working out.

Savory Spinach & Artichoke Cheesecake from Peas and Crayons: Jenn is at it again with another fabulous recipe. She has taken one of my all-time favorite restaurant appetizers and made it home, in both a smaller sharing (that is, if you can break away from it long enough to let anyone else have any) size perfect for our little family, and in a larger party size. She goes the extra mile and gives you an optional cracker crust for the bottom and her presentation skills and pictures make you want to run out and buy the ingredients NOW!

8 Resistance Band Exercises for Home or Travel from Fitnikchik: The holidays bring busy times and often times, traveling. A great piece if exercise equipment that takes up very little space at home or in your suitcase is a resistance band (or two). Tamara shares 8 great exercises using a resistance band that takes very little time and can be done anywhere. She gives no excuses for a great workout when traveling or with little time. So, what are you waiting for? Get to it!


Healthy Holiday Eating WITHOUT Over-Thinking from Best Body Fitness: Parties are bountiful this time of year. And these parties are chock-full of food and drinks, many of which are not the healthiest options. Tina shares 5 tips to help you avoid over-eating and stay on track with your nutrition, without obsessing and over analyzing each detail. These are fabulous tips that I am going to remember for the holidays!


Health Benefits Of Mushrooms from Fitnikchik: Another fabulous post from Tamara! I have to be honest, I’m not the hugest fan of mushrooms, and when I do eat them, I don’t want very many and I would prefer if they chopped so they’re small. However, after reading Tamara’s post, she has really got wanting to eat mushrooms more often despite them not being a favorite of mine. Maybe mixed in with some pasta, or eggs, or try I’ll try out Tamara’s Hungarian Mushroom Soup She shares in the post.


How To Do The Perfect Squat from Greatist: We all know how important form is when exercising. Are you performing your exercises correctly? How about your squats? Do you want to double check? Greatist shares how to do the perfect squat with and without weights. Take a few moments to read through this excellent post to make sure you’re doing the them correctly and read as well the most common mistakes.


I Found Him! from The T-Rex Runner: Wasting time on Facebook while I was a work the other day, I stumbled upon a photo shared by Runner’s World. It’s of a man running a half marathon wearing an amazingly motivating (slightly irritating, depending on who you are) shirt. I absolutely LOVE this shirt. And with this shirt comes an interview with the man wearing the shirt. Danielle had me cracking up at parts of her post, along with Thomas’s responses. I honestly have never read Danielle’s blog before but if they’re all light-hearted and can make me laugh and giggle like this one, you might find me reading more.