Thursday, August 21, 2014

21 Day Fix Review

What intrigued me most about this program is the focus on nutrition.  It's 21 days focusing on eating not only healthy food, but the right portion size.  Along with 30 minute workouts to follow each day.  Autumn Calbrese is the creator of this program.  I started the program mainly for the nutrition aspect of it.  I love the simplified eating plan.  It tells me what I can eat and exactly how much.  Even though I completed Focus T25 and started P90X3, my weight loss has been at a standstill.  It didn't take long into starting this program that I realized how far off my nutrition has been.  I am a little upset with myself for spending a year of doing hard workouts while feeding my body the wrong foods.  I feel like I wasted so much time getting to my goal.  The previous programs came with a meal plan that I pretty much read over and forget about.  This program forced me to really focus on what I was eating.  Here is what you are allowed to eat:

My weight calculation allowed me 4 red, 3 green, 2 purple, 2 yellow, 1 blue and 1 orange.  NO CALORIE COUNTING!  When I first opened the box and saw the containers I had a minor freak out.  "I can't fit enough food in these containers to satisfy me all day!"  I thought no way was I going to be satisfied eating out of such little containers.  As I planned my first day and laid out all the food, I thought just the opposite.  "This is way too much food to eat"

Normally I skip breakfast all together.  I eat a pretty big lunch and dinner with no snacks in between.  So laying out all the food looked like way to much.  It also took me a long time to get everything laid out and ready to go.  Trying to figure out what I can have in each container and how I could mix them was not easy.  I was determined though and stuck to the plan.  After a couple days I realized that the food was more than enough.  I wasn't starving once I learned how to space out my foods.  One night I saved my two yellow containers (carbs) for my late dinner after a closing shift.  By 6:00 pm I was running low on fuel and getting very hungry!  Since then I learned to eat at least one of my yellow containers with my lunch.  When you are eating healthy non-processed food you don't need as much to fill you up.  I am not very adventurous when it comes to food so I ate mostly the same things.  Here is what a typical day for me looked like:

Breakfast       Shakeology (1 RED)

SNACK         2 Hard Boiled Eggs (1 RED)

LUNCH        Chicken (1 Red)
                      Whole Grain Tortilla (1 Yellow)
                      Green beans (1 Green)

SNACK        Apple (1 Purple)

DINNER       Chicken (1 Red)
                      Brown Rice (1 Yellow)
                      Green Beans (1 Green)

Here are a few pictures of some of my meals.  I will link recipes to them soon.






The first few days of planning and preparing were time consuming.  Trying to plan the meals and make sure I was getting all my containers in took some time.  After a few days it got easier and it was worth it!

I initially got the program for the nutrition aspect, but really ended up loving the workouts.  You do each move for 1 minute and then have a 20 second rest.  They way the exercises are broken down into one minute at a time, the workouts fly by!  It's also easy to focus for that one minute and push myself to work harder.  Autumn says, "You can do anything for one minute!"  It is so true!  You feel the pain the next day!

I ended up losing 9 pounds.   This is really a great program for anyone wanting to lose weight or just better their nutrition.  I am sticking with this eating plan until I lose my last 10 pounds and get down to my ultimate weight.  If you are struggling with losing weight, I suggest you look into this program.  You may think you are eating healthy or the right amount, but this program will truly show you what to eat and how much to eat.  The workouts have a modifier to follow along with for any moves that you can't do.  The only equipment needed is weights or resistance bands.  

You can work out all you want but if you don't eat right you won't see the results.  I learned that the hard way!  So take it from me, if you want to lose weight, START in the KITCHEN!  Eat whole processed foods and the correct portions.  If you need help with that try this program.  I would love to help you get started on your health and fitness journey.  Message me for more information! 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

4 Clean Eating Tips

My 5 day eating clean challenge was tough!  I learned a lot about how good I feel when I eat clean real foods.  Eating 100% clean all the time is almost impossible.  I do plan on incorporating much more clean eating into my nutrition.  Here are 4 tips that I think are important before you start a clean eating plan:


This is the first and most important step.  It's hard to find clean foods when you are in rush.  You can't just go threw a drive-thru and get a clean meal.  All convenient food is pretty much processed junk.  You have to plan your meals in advance.  Plan all your meals and snacks the week before.  When you are making your menu, make sure it is ONLY CLEAN food.  Leave your cheats for those times that you have no choice, like when you are eating out with friends and family.  Or when a change of plans at the last minute means you can't eat what you prepared.


I learned through my challenge that eating clean takes TIME.  We are so used to fast and convenient meals we can throw in the microwave, a pan, or in the oven.  With eating clean you have to prepare most meals from scratch.  That involves cleaning produce, cutting, chopping and cooking.  My biggest struggle was coming home from work trying to prepare my dinner with two kids hanging on me.  I barely had time to make the meals I planned.  So set at least an hour or two to prep your food each week.  Have your meals ready to throw in the oven, pan or crock pot.  Have snacks prepared and easy to take with you.  Don't be caught hungry with no good choices around!


Your local farmers will have less processed and artificial flavoring.  Healthy food can get costly.  It's cheaper than when you shop out of major grocery store chains.


You want most of your meals to be prepared at home. However, it is impossible to avoid going to out to eat.  You don't want to turn down dinner invitations and stay at home all the time.  So before you go, review the menu online before you go.  Call the restaurant if you have questions.  Don't be shy about creating your own entree.  You can replace cheese sauce with salsa.  Load up on veggies.  Fast food is very tricky.  When I did eat out last week I choose Chipolte.  Chipolte has mostly natural ingredients.  Panera Bread may seem like a good choice but I discovered they are not!  Educate yourself and be prepared before you go.

We have been putting so much fast proccessed junk in our bodies, it's time to take control and learn what you are eating.  And more importantly what that food is doing to your body!

I would love to help you reach your health and fitness goals!  Contact me for more information or if you are interested in joining a Clean Eating Challenge Group.  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

My 5 Day Eating Clean Challenge

This week I did a 5 Day Challenge with a group of 8 women to eat 100% clean and workout 30 minutes a day.  I know 5 days seems like such a short challenge.   For me I had to start out small to be successful.  I have heard about eating clean but really didn't know too much about it until this week.  Last week I did some research and found the basic principles of eating clean.  I found so many different views on clean eating.  For instance some people said no dairy while others said it's okay.  As with anything their are different extremes you can follow.  My main goal was to:

Eat whole, natural foods and eliminate processed foods

I started over the weekend with finding recipes and snacks I could eat.  I prepared this 5 day menu for the week along with the following shopping list.  This is based on foods I knew I would actually eat or try.  Sorry I am not more diverse in my eating!

Sunday night I went shopping to get my ingredients.  My shopping trip took me a lot longer than normal. When looking for clean food you want to shop the outside aisles and avoid packaged foods.  Anything that was packaged should have no more than 3 ingredients.  Those ingredients should be natural, for instance names you can pronounce.  It was a lot harder than I thought it would be!  I was amazed at how many things I thought were healthy had so many artificial ingredients and flavors in it.  Why does peanut butter have to have salt, hydrogenated vegetable oil, dextrose, corn syrup and honey added to it?  It makes the peanut butter smoother and the shelf life longer, but at what cost? The added sugar is just extra fat as well.  I found natural peanut butter, that only contained peanuts.  It tasted great!  It was a few dollars more but I may stick with that from now on.   One recipe called for whole-grain wraps, which I couldn't find.  By the time I finished my grocery trip I was too tired to prepare the food for the week.   I found later that to be a BIG mistake!

The week started out good.  I was able to stay away from the bag of Doritos my husband was so nice to bring in the house on Sunday!  I was finding myself hungry at night the first couple nights.  I learned the importance of eating 5-6 small meals throughout the day.  When I actually found the time to do that I wasn't as starving when meal time came around.  I found myself eating less even though I was eating more often throughout the day.  Breakfast is always a hard one for me to get in.  I love having my chocolate shake for breakfast.  I also learned to stay hydrated.  Drinking water is so important to your diet.  I only drank water and one cup of coffee a day the whole week.  

My bad planning had me scrambling for dinner at night.  Trying to chop vegetables with a cranky 8 month old and whiny 3 year old was stressful.  My plan was to prepare all that the week before.  I never did find the whole grain tortillas.  Two of my recipes called for wraps so I just ended up eating them out of a bowl instead.  On Wednesday my little girl surprised me at work.  I couldn't turn that face away without spending my lunch break with her.  Luckily I had researched clean eating restaurants and found my favorite, Chipolte, to be a decent all natural meal.  As a rule though anytime you eat out you are going to get some processed foods.  So that was a cheat!  Other than that meal and a few pretzels my husband thought was funny to shove in my mouth, I was able to complete the 5 days.  

RESULTS:  I feel great!  Honestly, I do. I lost 3 lbs. overall!  Another person in my group lost 5 pounds and another 8!  My workouts were easier.  I felt stronger.  I will probably do a longer challenge later on in the month.  It was great to completely focus on my diet for 5 days.  While clean eating is important, I will not become obsessed with it.  I learned a lot about how to eat clean this week.  I will try to eat whole and natural foods the majority of my meals.  I plan to incorporate it my families diet as well.  I learned that quinoa actually tastes good.  I can drink coffee without my creamer.  I can survive without energy drinks.  I am going to try and stay away from fast food as much as I can.  I will plan my meals and eat clean as often as I can!  

Stay tuned for an post on how you can incorporate clean eating into your life.  If you would like to learn more and possibly try a clean eating challenge please contact me!  I would love to help you reach your goals!

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Exercise & The Busy Mom

Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, finding time to take care of yourself is hard.  Stay at home mom's are usually working off of one income which makes gym memberships a financial burden.  Working moms like myself tend to feel guilty about spending time away from their kids.  Exercise is so important to add to our routine for ourselves and our families.  I know I want to live a healthy life to be around for my kids for many years to come.  I also want to raise my children to live healthy lives.  Being active gives me the energy to have fun with my kids.

Being a mommy is a non-stop unpredictable job!  You never know what the day will hold.  I know for me when my kids are awake I barely have five minutes to myself.  So how do you find the time to exercise?  I want to share with you 4 tips that have worked for me.

1.  Get your exercise done when the kids are sleeping.

The most efficient workout I have is early in the morning before the kids our up.  Getting up just 30 minutes before the kids gives me time to get my workout done with no interruptions.  I normally set my alarm for 5:00 a.m., an hour before my kids wake up.   That gives me 30 minutes of devotion while waking up with my pre-workout drink and 30 minutes of exercise.  For you it may be during nap time or after the kids or sleeping.  I know it's not always easy to get up earlier when you are going on so little sleep already.  You will find though that working out gives you an energy you didn't have before.  You may find it easier to get your workout done during nap time or after you put the kids to bed.  I also have had my husband help out in the evenings.  I have him do bath time giving me time to exercise.  It's easier to stay focused and complete your workout without hearing "Mommy, I need you!" every five minutes.

2.  Entertain your kids with a special activity or toy.

As we all know kids are unpredictable and they may decide to wake up early or not take a nap.  Most popular workouts are 30 minutes or less.  It's not too hard to find something to keep your kids occupied for 30 minutes.   With my three year old I usually put her favorite program on the iPad along with giving her a snack.  Otherwise I like to pull out an activity that she doesn't do often to keep her occupied.  Play-doh works great to keep her busy.  Giving her a craft she can do herself or even just coloring.  My youngest is only 8 months old.  As an infant he would just lay and watch me.  He then progressed to a bouncy seat where he enjoyed just laughing at me.  Apparently my jumping jacks and burpees are pretty hilarious.  Now that he has started crawling and getting into everything, I set up an area with some toys to occupy him.  As you can see in my pictures, that doesn't ALWAYS work too well either!  He is fascinated these days by my hot pink sneakers.  So now I get him in his walker with a snack so he isn't crawling around me.  Every kid depending on age and interest will differ.

The important thing is to find what works for your child.  For some just watching mommy jump around is enough entertainment.  Build this time into your routine. Your children will expect to see you workout everyday.  My three year old knows by the end of her favorite program I will be done.  "Most" of the time she lets me!  You are setting a great example for them.

3.  Let your kids workout with you.

My three year old loves to copy the trainers on TV.  We have a great time working out together.  I even purchased her a pair of 1 lb. dumbbells to use.  She loves to copy me and Shaun T.  Older children can be an even better workout partner.  Make it a family activity and get everyone involved.  Go for a run or walk with your children.  You can push them in the stroller or have them ride along beside you.

4.  Utilize your children's energy to your advantage.

We all know children are FULL of energy.  Take them for walks, play dates, and play sports with them.  A game of tag will help you burn calories and make precious memories with your children!  Once the warmer weather hits I love to dust off my jogging stroller.  I run the kids to the park as often as I can.  I get my exercise in on the way there and when I get there.  I don't just sit on the bench playing with my phone.  I use the monkey bars and do pull-ups.  I run up and down the playground with my little girl.  She gets her energy out which is a must for a peaceful evening and I get my exercise in.

Jumping always gets some giggles!

"I am coming to get you Mom!"

"Need some extra weight resistance?"
Exercising doesn't mean you have to pay costly gym memberships.  You don't have to spend hours in the gym away from your kids.  Don't let your children be your excuse to live an unhealthy life.  Taking care of them means taking care of yourself and teaching them a healthy lifestyle.

I would love to help you reach your health and fitness goals.  CLICK here to send me an email and tell me your goals.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Challenge Group may be just what YOU need

You start a new "diet".
You join a gym.
You purchase a DVD workout program.
You purchase an elliptical or treadmill.
You start the New Year out and tell yourself "this will be the year you make a change!"

At one time or another EVERYONE has done one, if not all, of the above.  We have all been there.  We get tired of feeling sluggish.  We can't fit into our clothes anymore.  We are embarrassed looking at ourselves in the mirror.  We look at that number on the scale and want to cry.  We see the disappointed look in our kids faces when we can't chase them around the park.  We receive a bad doctor's report.  So we say "enough is enough!"  We say we are going to cut calories, carbs or junk food.  We are going to workout everyday.  We may do good for a day, a week or even a month.  All of sudden you decide to skip a workout one day. You start to increase your "cheat meals".  Go to a gym in January and see the wait lines for the treadmills.  Go back in February and notice the empty treadmills.  Look on the internet and you will always be able to find "barely used" or "never used" workout equipment people are trying to sell.

I know this story all too well because this has been me for so many years.  I have set goals and never seen them through.  I give in just a little until I eventually give up.  How do we break this cycle?  CHALLENGE GROUPS!  Beachbody has come up with an amazing support system that I am so proud to be a part of.  Challenge groups are all about accountability.  With the Challenge Packs it is all simplified.  Let me first explain the basics of a Challenge group:

1.  You pick a workout program that you would like to do.  Programs range from 21 days to 90 days & from beginner to advanced.
2.  You follow the nutrition guide that is provided along with replacing one meal a day with Shakeology.
3.  You participate in a private Facebook group along with other people following the same program as you.

The basis of this is FITNESS + SUPPORT + NUTRITION = SUCCESS!  The support and encouragement is what keeps you on track everyday.  This significantly increases your chances of seeing your desired result.    You must be 100% committed to getting results.  It will only work if you are really ready to make a change.  I can tell you from personal experience that being in a Challenge Group helped me lose my first 10 pounds.  I enjoyed the group so much I decided to take it a step further and run my own challenge groups.  I want to help people feel better and live healthy happy lives.  I also know that by being a coach I am being looked at.  I need the accountability and work right alongside you!

If you are ready to reach your health and fitness goals I strongly suggest you join a Challenge Group. It's not about fad diets that don't last.  In the Challenge Group you will learn how to eat healthy so you will never have to "diet" again.  Check out this video:

What are the requirements?

1.  Be 100% committed.  To get the results you want you have to be committed to your health and fitness. You have to commit to the fitness program and your nutrition.  

2.  Purchase a Challenge Pack.  You get the fitness program of your choice, complete nutrition guide, 30 days of Shakeology, and a 30 day Beachbody Club membership.  The Challenge Packs save you $54 or more!  If you already have a program, you can just make your Shakeology purchase.

How do I sign up?

Go to my Beachbody Website and click Join.  Pick the Challenge Pack that is right for you.  Please contact me if you need help deciding which program would be best for you.  If you already have a workout program, just go to Shakeology Website and purchase your Shakeology.

BONUS!  Beachbody gives daily prizes for those in a Challenge.  Everyday they give away $500 to one Challenger!  Monthly they give away $1000!  Quarterly winners receiver $5000, plus a paid trip.  A grand $100,000 prize is also up for grabs!  GET PAID TO WORKOUT!

So what are you waiting for?  Don't waste money on a fad diet or costly gym membership.  Challenge Groups are proven to be successful time and time again.  Just take a look at these success stories:

There is always a Challenge Group going on monthly.  For more information on which one you would like to join contact me!  I look forward to helping you achieve your weight loss and health goals.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Is Shakeology worth it?


 Shakeology is a dense nutrition shake filled with nutrients, vitamins, proteins and minerals.  More than 70 superfoods in one meal!  You can choose between 4 flavors: Chocolate, vanilla, tropical strawberry, and green berry.  They even make a vegan shake.  One shake is the equivalent of $41 worth or fruits and vegetables.  Even the healthiest of people can't get that much nutrition in one day.  It is NOT just a protein shake for people working out.  Everyone can benefit from drinking Shakeology!

The one and only complaint I here is "It's too expensive!".   And I'll be honest, it IS expensive until you see all the benefits!  It equals out to a little over $4 a shake for customers, or $3 if you sign up to be a coach.   And yes you can be a discount coach!  In today's economy we all have to be careful where we spend our money.  So you are probably wondering if it's worth the $4 a shake? Here are some of the benefits and ingredients:

I want to share my personal experience with you.  I recieved my first month supply of Shakeology with my T25 challenge pack.  I started drinking it daily for breakfast.  I fell in love with my chocolate shake instantly!  My shake replaced my red bull and egg biscuit in the morning.  It gave me energy and kept me full preventing me overeating.  No secret that I despise vegetables and don't really care too much for fruits.  I have such a hard time eating healthy because I am as picky as my toddler.  What I love about the shakes is I get all my nutrition in one meal.  It also taste great!  On busy days I just mix it with water.  However I enjoy blending it to give it more of a shake consistency.  With a little peanut butter or banana it taste just like a dessert shake!  Beachbody has a ton of recipes, but thats how I drank mine 95% of the time.  After my shake I was able to make better choices throughout the day as well.  I lost 10 pounds in those two months!  Then I made a very bad decision.  With christmas around the corner I decided to cancel my Shakeology order for a few months.  Everyone needs a little extra money during the holidays.  What a mistake!  I went back to drinking more energy drinks.  Energy drinks cost at least $3-$4 a piece.  I was drinking two a day sometimes.  When you stop and add that up, I was already spending more than I would have been on my Shakeolgy.  I was skipping breakfast.  I was so hungry at lunch time I began to make bad decisions and eat more.  I didn't feel as good and healthy as I did the previous months.  Your body needs good nutritious food.  I was feeling so much better when I was drinking my Shakeology everyday.
  So is Shakeology worth $4 a shake?  I would say YES!  Take a look at this comparison:

You can spend $4 on a Starbucks coffee, or in my case an energy drink, and get no nutritional value.  A fast food lunch is at least $5.  We all no the horrible amount of calories and sodium in fast food.  You can easily blow $4 a day on things you don't need.  Things that are bad for you.  Or you can cut those things out of your life and invest in YOU!  There is no price tag you can put on your health.  Shakeology is proven to be a great nutrition shake.  You get all your servings of fruits and veggies.  It's fast and convenient.  

So what are you waiting for?  It's the NEW YEAR!  Time to make a change.  Start small by replacing one meal a day with Shakeology!  Free shipping when you sign up for home direct orders.  You can cancel at anytime.  Beachbody also stands behind there product.  They offer a 30 day money back guarantee.  

For more info check out this video:

If you have any questions please contact me!
If you are ready to order just go here:

Friday, December 13, 2013

Focus T25 Review

I completed Shaun T's Focus T25 and absolutely LOVED it!  I was very skeptical about trying an at-home fitness DVD.  I always loved going to the gym and found it hard to really focus at home.  However with two small kids and working full time getting to the gym is almost impossible.  I already hate leaving my kids for work so I didn't want to spend more time away from them at the gym.  What really attracted me to this workout program was that it was only 25 minutes a day!  I was blown away after my first workout!  I didn't think that I would be able to get a good workout in such a short period of time.  Not even 10 minutes into I was already sweating.  I knew I was getting a good workout in when I woke up sore the next day!

So in 10 weeks I went from 183 to 173.  10 pounds lost.  I was a little discouraged at first that I didn't lose more after seeing others losing 25 pounds or more.  However I am still very proud of my 10 pounds I lost.  T25 gives you great workouts.  It's only 25 minutes a day.  Being that it's only a 25 minute workout, you really have to FOCUS (hence the name) and give it your all.

T25 is a 10 week long program.  Its broken up into two parts- 5 weeks of Alpha Cycle and 5 weeks of Beta Cycle.  Each cycle has 5 workouts that rotate on a calendar provided.  I was nervous to move to the Beta Cycle since I still wasn't nailing all the Alpha workouts.  Beta was my favorite!   I loved incorporating weights into my workout.  The calendar has you scheduled to workout 5 days a week.  Friday is a double day where you complete 2 workouts.  Saturday is a day to do the bonus stretch video and Sunday is a rest day.  If you are unable to complete the double day on Friday, you can do one on Friday and the other on Saturday.  Since I had more time to workout on Saturday or Sunday, I would normally do my doubles on those days.

Like everyone I had days where I really didn't feel like working out.  Being only 25 minutes a day, I really had NO EXCUSES.  Once I hit play, within 5 minutes I was pushing myself to finish and nail the workout. Shaun T is a great trainer and keeps it entertaining.  I didn't get bored with the workouts.  I loved Tania who is the modifier.  Following her I was still getting a great workout.  And many times I NEEDED to follow her. She keeps it low-impact so that everyone can do the workouts.  When I started I couldn't do the "V Hold" at all.  Within a few weeks I could!  I also can do a few push-ups now.  I felt stronger everyday.

Nutrition really goes hand in hand with the program.  You can't just workout for 25 minutes and eat C.R.A.P. all day.  A meal plan is provided, which I regretfully tossed to the side.  I know the reason I didn't lose more weight was because I didn't follow the nutrition guide.  I did change my diet a little.  I was eating healthier meals and drinking Shakeology.  Every morning I would drink my shake and it gave me energy and helped me eat smaller portions.   My "cheat meal" however would become a "cheat day", or worse a "cheat weekend".  All the hard work I would put into my 25 minutes a day I would ruin by not controlling my eating.  Nutrition has always been my downfall, which I have confessed before.

All in all T25 is the perfect workout for all fitness levels.  The #1 reason people don't workout is because they don't have enough time.  EVERYONE can find 25 minutes in their day.  It's not about finding the time, its about putting in the work.  You can wake up just 30 minutes earlier.  Give up a little TV time in the evening to get it done.  Learn from my mistake and make sure you follow through on the nutrition aspect!  Remember it's 70% diet and 30% exercise.

If you are ready to put the excuses down and make a change, I would love to coach you through this program.  You can go to and click JOIN.  Order the Challenge Pack that includes the 10 workouts + a bonus workout, 30 day supply of Shakeology (your choice of flavor), and meal plan.  Contact me for more info!