Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday Mommy Transformation

-What was your life like before you started your journey to better health? 
Before I started my journey I was a very athletic person, so I just played sports and being fit just came without thought. I could eat whatever I wanted and it never really crossed my mind if it was good for my body or not.

-What motivated you to make a change? I first started to make my change around my junior year of college, I was 21 years old.  I was not playing sports in college so I had really put on some pounds and I could see on the scale and in pictures but also in the fit of my clothes and my mood. At that point I just started eating healthier things and making it a point to get the campus gym in between classes each day during the week and I was successful for a while until I got married and moved to Florida.  My husband and I would cook all the time and I didn't add a ton of weight back, but it was definitely noticeable and then I got pregnant and I was one of those people who had that thought "oh I am pregnant so this is a free pass to eat whatever I wanted and just to sit around and relax". (Never time around, I will have a totally different outlook!!) So then I had my son and when he was about 3 months old I still had a lot of weight on my body. With the pregnancy I gained about 50 pounds and at that 3 months mark I had only lost about 20 of it, so that is when I made the decision then to make a change not only for myself but for my son and husband. At that point I was extremely out of shape so I started walking with my son in the jogging stroller everyday and I would slowly increase the amount of time I was jogging and I would do some light lifting at home with hand weights. After that I decided I needed more so I joined a gym with one of my friends that offered childcare while I worked out, this gave me more time and more options when it came to working out. I also really concentrated on my food and picking healthier options.

-How do you involve your family in your journey?  Now that my son is two and is really active, I take him to the park at least twice a week and run the 1.75 loop around the park with him a couple times with the promise that he gets to play on the playground after and he loves it and I get a great workout in.  When it comes to my husband I just had to explain to him what my goals were and how he could support me because when it comes to him he is one of those people that have a really high metabolism and he can eat whatever he wants and do whatever and still remain skinny. He has been very supportive with helping me cook healthier meals and watching my son so I can go to the gym. And as our son gets older we are trying to incorportate more active activities into our lives as a gamily.

-What is your biggest accomplishment so far? My biggest accomplishment so far is not eating any fried foods for a year and a half.  I made this resolution for myself and have stuck to it. Also, I am 4 sizes smaller than I was in highschool/pre-baby!  I also ran my first 5K when my son was about 7 months old and have been running them ever since.

-Who inspires you? My son is my biggest inspiration. When I am fit and active, I feel happier and healthier and it all rubs off on him because he deserves to have the healthiest and happiest mommy.  Also, all of my friends who have decided to live an active and healthy life. I love to read about their journeys, what they are doing and to take from their experiences things that I can incorporate into my own life.

-When your in a slump what do you do to shake it?  I plan. I sit down and plan out my meals and workouts. It makes me feel more in control of everything and it helps me focus. Then once I accomplish everything on that first day, I check it off and have that feeling of "I can do this!"
-What future goals do you have for yourself? Have a couple more babies and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle before, during and after pregnancy. I am at a weight that I am happy with right now, so I really would like to just get more toned!

-How did you do it? At first just running with my son and doing at home workout videos and light lifting. Now I continue to run with my son but I also go to the gym and cross-train on different cardio machines and weight light 3 times a week. Food wise I tracked all of my food at first to see the types of nutrients that I was consuming and how many calories I was consuming. Now I just make healthier choicess and really examine everything before I eat it since I have more knowledge on more foods.

-What is one of your favorite recipes? Turkey stuffed peppers, Turkey chili, Teriyaki pineapple chicken sandwhiches, Chicken & veggie kabobs on the grill and ANY crockpot recipe that I can tweak to be clean and yummy!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday Mommy Transformation

Krisse from Airman Getting Strong is next up to offer inspiration! 

-What was your life like before you started your journey to better health?
I would always just take diet pills to lose weight and I never lifted weights. I was scared of them. Instead I would just b-line to the ellipticals and call it a day.
-What motivated you to make a change?
Pregnancy for sure. Right before I became pregnancy I was thinking that I need to step up my fitness level. But then I was so incredibly sick my first timester that I was barely able to leave the house for a walk. Then my second trimester came around and I got moving and started eating healthier! I started walking every night (still not lifting for some reason). Once I had my baby girl, I made a vow to become healthy and strong for her and myself. 
-How do you involve your family in your journey?
My baby girl is only 7 months old so she can't workout with me... yet. She loves flying baby, so I try to hold her above my head for as long as I can to get that extra burn in for the day. My husband compromises fat and flavor at dinner time. :) But I do my best to change up the meals often and boost the flavor while still remaining healthy.
-What is your biggest accomplishment so far?
Push ups!!! I'm in the Air Force, and part of our physical assessments are push ups. I've always been horrible at them but after I had the baby I couldn't even do one... but 6 months after baby I went for my test and was able to do 37 in one minute!!! One month later I can do 40 now. 
-When your in a slump what do you do to shake it?
That is where I am at now. I lost the 30 pounds I gained during pregnacy plus I lost another 5 but I've been stuck for 6 weeks now. I'm not seeing the muscle that I want. So, I went back to basics. I just started following Jamie Eason's LiveFit Program.
-What future goals do you have for yourself?
I want muscle, muscle, and more muscle. I wouldn't care if I didn't lose another pound, just as long as I had some visible muscle. My triceps bother me the most so that is my main goal for now.

-How did you do it?
3 weeks after giving birth I went straight to the gym. I went to my go to cardio, Mr. elliptical, but this time I would set goals like to burn 800 calories in 45 minutes. I also started lifting and I fell in love. But my work had a different agenda. They wanted us to workout together during work hours. I kept up 2 a days for probably a month. But a guy I work with introduced me to beast workouts. This is not something you can find on the internet, these are just workouts that we created on our own. We would do them outside at work. We used sand bags and chains as weights, a sledge hammer, truck tire, and pretty much anything heavy that we could move around. We realized that we incorported Crossfit into our workouts without even knowing. We also took it to the road and would run... a lot. We would also sprint suicides in between sets. It got me to a 13 minute 1.5 mile (Air Force assessment also). Then we went to our gym on base and took the intro to Crossfit class and fell in love! We do that at least once a week.  
-What is one of your favorite recipes?
My comfort food is my favorite recipe! I sprinkle a raw tuna steak with seseme seeds and sear it on all sides with a cast iron skillet. I steam a little bit of jasmine rice and I make a dipping sauce made from rice vinegar, Mirin (sweet rice seasoning), and low sodium soy sauce. I also steam zuchini and squash to complete my perfect meal. 

Krisse can be found on Facebook HERE. Check her out and like her page!

Sunday, November 11, 2012


A while back I was watching an episode on the Discovery Channel where Andew Zimmern gave an inside look of a Spirulina Algae farm. He spoke of its benefits and how natural it was for your body...then I wondered where the heck would I ever find something like that and then changed the channel.
Fast forward a couple years later...

After seeing Energybits all over Twitter I decided to look into it since I'm always looking for new items in health and fitness. Turns out Energy Bits are just little bits of algae that are taken to improve energy and overall health. The best part is the ingredients- Spirulina Algae. Thats it! ONE calorie per bit and ONE ingredient to help increase energy and all 100% natural.
This all natural product works a lot like a cup of coffee or energy drink without that crappy feeling your left with after the caffeine has worn off. Talk about a miracle!
So what exactly are Energybits? 
Made from 100% organicallly grown spirulina algae and loaded with 40 nutrients, ENERGYbits® algae tabs have the highest concentration of protein in the world (64%) all for just one calorie per tab.
What is even more appealing is that this isn't considered a supplement, its actually a food...we all know how much I love food!

My Experience with Energy Bits:
Being that I live overseas I find it hard to find new things to try so I was hoping I'd get this chance! I received an email response from Jonathan Levitt, Brand Manager/Pro Sports soon after contacting him.  I was immediately excited when I was offered the chance to try out Energybits!

As a mom to 2 boys, I am constantly trying to boost my energy through out the day and once I cut coffee from my daily diet I noticed a bit of a slump towards the afternoon...Here enters Energy bits! I need to get up with my boys at 530am make it through the day (workout) and well into the night with my newborn.

Heres how you take them:
For best results, take at least 30 ENERGYbits® (or more) before any workout, run, game or intense physical or mental activity. They will improve your energy and endurance. Also take whenever you are tired, hungry or don’t have time to eat or cook. They are a terrific high protein, low calorie snack or meal on the go.  A favorite of Olympic athletes. Swallow with beverage or chew them as you would a handful of nuts. Remember, they’re “bits” of food (not pills).”
The Energy Bits website lays everything out and explains exactly how every person, be it athletes, children, or moms like me, can benefit from Spirulina Algea. Thats right...I said children. When I read that I was completely blown away! Not only can you stop a cold from getting worse but they help prevent them as well!
Algae has the same nutrients as leafy green vegetable so what better way to give your entire family a boost of nutrients and protein!

Day 1 and 2
I was given enough to take them 2x so I popped open my cute little tin on Tuesday and Wednesday morning and gave it a go. The first day I decided to try chewing some for the heck of it (they recommend swallowing them because you'll end up with some green in your mouth). I figured either way my son would get a kick out his mom's tongue being completely green!

BAD IDEA! The taste was kind of like a pork rind (weird huh?) and my mouth was definitely green!
I would also recommend swallowing them! 4 or 5 at a time would be pretty easy with a glass of water.  (Although It would be more convenient if they were combined into maybe 1-2 pills instead of 30!) Once I finished I went about my day! I did my workout, ran some errands, took my son to the park and made a late dinner....THEN stayed up taking care of my new little man. To see what Skinnyfitchick thought about Energybits click here.

The end result
I didn't feel the drop in energy like I usually do around 3pm (the one where I just cant seem to keep my eyes open) so this is what I needed. Even though I didn't feel more energized in my workout than I usually do, I felt it more through out the length of the entire day (maybe a placebo effect?)

I would also add that I believe 2 days of taking the Energybits isn't going to give me the best impression of this product. I'm sure taking these over a period of time and getting the nutrients in your system would help gauge the amount of energy I could have.

Energybits can be found HERE and on FACEBOOK

**I was given this product free of charge to review. I did not promise a positive review nor was I paid to endorse this product. These opinions are solely my own. 

Energy bits via Skinny Fit Chick!!

Overall, I give them a 4 out of 10.
Taste: 3 out of 10

Ease of use: 2 out of 10 (who wants to swallow 30+ tablets? Let alone chew!)
Chewing test: 1 is easy to take but chewing 30 was a horrible idea! They turn pasty as you chew and get stuck everywhere in your mouth. 

Day1: I took these after getting 8 hours of test, on an empty stomach and then ate breakfast & headed to the gym. Honestly i was super exhausted & ended up cutting my workout in half. I had no energy what-so-ever.
Day 2: I took them in pill form, swallowing 3-4 at a time. They upset my stomach a little & i really was not looking forward to taking them. I took these after breakfast, before my workout. I stayed at the gym for the full time today but my energy level was no different than it is everyday that i normally hit the gym. Perhaps taking more than 30 would help but i really dont find it necessary & its more of a pain than anything to take SO many!

-Skinny Fit Chick

Monday, November 5, 2012

Eat to Live

Something I am constantly working on is purposeful eating. I have always had a love for food and growing up we always planned trips around restaurants we wanted to try. One of the first things I asked my husband was if he was willing to try new foods...this was the only way things were going to work!
Once I started eating cleaner and eventually Paleo I started to look at food differently. It may have taken over a year to fully understand it but now the battle to balance what my body wants compared to what it needs is a small one.
When it comes to treating myself to what I want I hate calling it a cheat! I think of it more as a special meal that I put a lot of thought into. I want it to be something Ill enjoy...not something that Ill feel regret, guilt and ashamed about. I wouldnt want to put junk in my body no matter how good it tasted! Yes, Ive had cake over the last year but too many days of "cheating" only hurts your body in the long run. 

I try to do one special meal a month and I try to make it something that still mimics the real thing, like Dark chocolate mousse made from coconut milk or something I don't get to have very often like raw tuna. Even trying a new recipe is a great way to show your taste buds some love!  All while still making smart choices!

Monday Mommy Transformation

This week Im featuring Jessica's journey! Ive been following her on facebook for quite a while so when I heard she was a Sweat Pink Ambassador I jumped at the chance to share her story! Enjoy!!

What was your life like before you started your journey to better health? 
Before I started my journey to health & fitness I was depressed. I had no self esteem, self worth or confidence in myself. I didn't know anything about being healthy or how to eat clean. I always thought "eat less, weigh less" and I tried ever diet pill, extreme diet etc you can think of! I would lose weight a lot of the time but gain it right back & usually double.

What motivated you to make a change? Well, I started my journey in September 2010 for the first time at the weight of 181 ...and I admit back then it was for the wrong reasons..I just wanted to get skinny then. I didn't even consider fit. By December 2010 I was down 29 lbs but in January 2011 found out I was pregnant with twins. While pregnant I changed my whole outlook. I researched fitness & healthy eating..I was very motivated to get it right this time. After I had my twins August 19th, 2011 I walked out of the hospital at 183. I was motivated bigger than life!! I had 6 weeks of C-section recovery time and it was HARD to keep myself recovering! Haha. Having my daughters changed everything for me. I wanted to get healthy for them..I wanted to set an example for them. I never wanted to be too out of shape to keep up with them! So..this time..I did it for the right daughters!

How do you involve your family in your journey? I have a jogging stroller & on the weekends I will take the girls out on a run with me. Or my husband, me & the kids will take long walks on this gorgeous trail we have where we live. Also, I love doing races so my family is always on the sidelines cheering me on :) 

What is your biggest accomplishment so far? This one if tough for me because everything I have accomplished so far is far beyond my wildest expectations!! But, I used to hate running so knowing I found a passion in a great accomplishment in my eyes. 

Who inspires you? My daughters mostly! And other moms who set aside excuses & make it happen!

When your in a slump what do you do to shake it? Remind myself where I started. I never want to be that unhealthy person again so giving up is not an option!
-What future goals do you have for yourself? I have SO many! I love strength training so really challenging myself in the weight room is one. Also, I  have been training for a marathon that I will take on in 2013. In a few years when my daughters are older I really want to train & compete in a bikini reason for waiting on that is my daughters. They are only babies once & I do not want to miss one minute of them growing up!! But, I WILL do it someday!! For now, my goals are just to keep up in the gym 5 days a week, get my long runs in on Sundays and be healthy, happy, eat clean & train mean!

How did you do it? No excuses!!! I don't always have the time to workout or eat clean, I mean my whole journey has been while my daughters were infants...but it's important to me so I do it!! I get up at 4 am before my husband or the babies are up and I get my butt in the gym. I prep my food daily and journal everything. I don't let myself have excuses because when I do that's when things crumble!

What is one of your favorite recipes? Jamie Eason's turkey muffins...I'm obsessed :)

Click HERE to check her out on Facebook!
Instagram: jessicansmith12 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Meal Prep

This MEAL PREP post can be found by clicking:

Egg cups

For a quick and easy breakfast that you can eat through out the week egg cups are a must! With or without meat they still taste amazing!


  • 2 Green onion
  • Mushrooms
  • 2 Zucchini 
  • 2C Spinach
  • 12 eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoke flavoring/spices
  • Bacon (or other meat, optional)
( I halved this recipe to try it out)

Preheat oven to 350. Oil cupcake pan.
Beat eggs in a bowl, set aside. 
In a food processor or vitamix blend onion, mushrooms and zucchini (and meat if using). Add to eggs. Blend spinach and combine with egg mixture. Salt and pepper and add smoke flavoring or other spices. Pour 1/4 cup of eggs in each cupcake spot. 
Bake for 25 minutes or until center is cooked. 

Top with avocado and enjoy!

These can be reheated through out the week for a quick snack or breakfast. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thankful Thursdays

During the month of November Ill be doing my Thankful Thursday Link up with some other blogs. This is a way to really keep my heart and head where it belongs and remember what is important.
  • This week I am thankful for the safety of my family. As many of you know my husband, mother and sister were all visiting family in NY and NJ this past weekend and their trips took a horrible turn with the arrival of Sandy. Every single person Im related to (minus my brother and father) were affected by Sandy. I feel for all the families that have lost things they hold dear. {Red cross donations can be made HERE}
  • I am thankful for my children. For the first time I am a mom to 2 boys and taking care of them alone has been quite the learning lesson! I am reminded to be patient and understanding. 
  • Im thankful for will power! Halloween has been a true test to that! With many pounds of candy sitting on my table (and my son constantly looking over it) I am tempted by the smells of chocolate and sour treats. I've stayed strong and avoided eating any!
  • Im thankful for the Navy. The men and women on this base have kept us safe through the bomb threats made earlier this week. As frustrating as some of it may be, I feel safer knowing we are protective by brave men and women on a daily basis. 
  • I am so thankful for my friends. I have an amazing group of ladies doing a Paleo challenge that started this week! Even though I may not actually know many of them, Im glad to have their support and support them on a daily basis! Keeps me honest and ready for more!