Archive for October, 2012

Let’s see where I stand on my October goals & let’s not forget to announce the Vitacost Giveaway winner!!!!

So First thing is first, I would like to announce the winner of the Vitacost Giveaway……

It is  Cynthia W. I have sent you an email. Please respond promptly so I can ship you your prize package!

Now onto my goals from October. Let’s see where I stand!

  1. Get my weight down to 140 lbs from 148.6. I should have thought that goal through better lol I started bulking again mid month so instead of losing weight, I gained. Am I upset by this? Absolutely not! 
  2. Next was to run 25 miles for the month. I ran 26.79, so goal accomplished! 🙂
  3. The Renegade Challenge I smashed! At the beginning of the month I struggled with it, but now i can pump out 120 Renegades in no time flat! 
  4. We got our first date night. It was kind of disappointing dinner wise, but we will get a redo this month!
  5. Plank A Day I did every night with my Renegades mid month I even added in the Girls Gone Sporty Challenge Wicked Wallies Zoe LOVED those!!!! 
  6. I did great on keeping up with my water intake. For whatever reason, I love apple cider vinegar in my water. I started it this month and I am so addicted to it! 
  7. Even though Tempted several times, I did not touch the scale till this morning! 🙂
  8. Zoe smashed her goal for the month of 25 signs! She ended up at 29. I am a super proud mama!!! Here is just a few signs she learned 😉 watch?v=yBW05du_7gU&feature=share&list=UUtHWSAE1G7U0itDya0Ne-fA

So overall, I am happy with where I stand on my October goals! I feel like I have made great strides in my fitness adventure this month!

I did these backwards Whoops beginning of October on the right latest pic on the left

I have my November Goals posted and I am ready to smash those too!!! Zoe is super excited to go trick or treating tonight! I am sticking to my guns. We will keep a small reasonable portion of candy for her, then the rest is going to the troops! If you are interested in finding a place in your area check out www.halloweencandybuyback.com 

Have a safe and Happy Halloween!!!!

She said she wasn’t ready lol She is an Owl this year!

Hoot Hoot!

AND A HUGE THANK YOU TO MY AFFILIATE OF THE MONTH VITACOST! BE SURE TO CHECK THEM OUT!!! THEY HAVE AWESOME DEALS GOING RIGHT NOW!!!!
Vitacost.com

Prepping snacks and a Simple but effective Shoulder workout!

Today I am getting ready for tomorrow. Since I will be gone tomorrow afternoon, I need to make sure I have enough food prepped to take with me. Being on the go doesn’t mean you have to have a cheat day, or skimp on your food choices. You just have to be smart about planning and prepping your food! It is also a learning experience for your kiddos. I keep Zoe involved in all food prep and cooking, so she will care about what we eat too!

Here are some things I will bring with me. Note I will only be gone a few hours and this food will be for Zoe too! 😉

  • Protein shakes. They are easy for on the go. Just add water and drink.
  • Grapefruit to snack on.
  • Protein Bar. It is high in carbs and protein.
  • A couple of baked Eggs for Zoe’s source of protein.
  • Small bag of grapes
  • and a shaped sandwich or kiddy sushi (Peanut butter and jelly rolled up and cut to look like sushi) 😉

It seems like a lot, but we eat a late dinner and with Trick-or-treating tomorrow will be no different. I try to stick to simple snacks when I know we aren’t gonna be gone too long. If we are gone all day I prep way more food.  Zoe may not eat all of her food, but anyone with a toddler knows it is better to just be prepared 😉 I find Zoe is a lot happier on our little outings when she has plenty to drink and plenty to snack on!

I have been struggling to get all my carbs and protein in. I am suppose to be taking in 2660 calories a day. I have been getting around 2100.  Some days I feel like I am starving and I go through the calories really fast, other days I feel so stuffed.  I thought yesterday with doing HIIT in the morning I would be more hungry, but it was quite the opposite. I almost felt sick every time I ate instead. I get frustrated with this and the bloated feeling. Does anyone else have this issue?

This pretty much says it all lol

Today is just weight training day. I will be working on my shoulders. I LOVE working on my shoulders!!!!

My workouts are simple, but effective!

  • Arnold press
  • Lateral raises
  • Bent over rear delt raises
  • Gymnastic Ring handstand
  • Ring Roll out (Those work Abs and Shoulders)

It is a pretty fun workout! You can see why I love shoulder day!!!! What is your fitness plan today?

I know with Hurricane Sandy aka Frankenstorm hitting the East Coast, a lot are without power, or even displaced from their homes. We are lifting you all in prayer. Hoping you all are safe!!!

My VitaCost GIVEAWAY is coming to a close today, so be sure you get entered to win!!!!

Vitacost.com

November is right around the corner! Who has their Goals ready to tackle?

I got on the MyFitnessPal bandwagon lol. I have been just writing my food down in a food journal, but it has become quite tedious to sit down in the evening and figure out carbs, protein, and fat counts. It is a pretty program to follow. I don’t think I will load my workouts, but it is great to keep track of my macros! I saw that it is it’s own social network too, so if you would like to find me on there, just look for SportsBrasandSippyCups 😉

Yesterday, I said I was working on my Goal list for November. I decided to make some changes on my goals, because what I was doing wasn’t working for me.  I have no idea where I stand on my weight goal for October, since I have yet to get on the scale 😉 That is one goal I am not really worried about right now. I am eating to gain muscle mass, or what most call “Bulking”, so not losing weight, but gaining is to be expected. My running goal for October was to run 25 miles for the month. For November I am changing that too. Running for distance, while a great stress reliever, I wasn’t pushing myself like I should have been, so I am going back to my old method of HIIT while running. Remember, set short term goals to get to your long term goals! Who is ready to rock out November??? This lady is!!!!! 🙂

November Goals

  1. Stick to my 40/40/20 macros at 18 calories per pound till November 18th then starting cutting. Go back to the 40/40/20 macros at 10 calories per pound.
  2. Concentrate on HIIT, running as hard as I can for 1 min then walking 2 mins for 1.59 miles 3 days a week. 
  3. Date Night redo 😉 Thanks to The Cheesecake Factory, we will get a redo of date night, ON THEM! Kudos to The Cheesecake Factory for caring about the service they provide!!!! 🙂
  4. I will continue the NO looking at the scale. Even though I get curious and tempted, I feel better about myself when I am not obsessing about my weight! After all, I am setting an example for Zoe. If I love myself, she will learn from that and love herself! 
  5. This month the fitness challenge will be #ShowMeYourGuns We will be doing 4 sets of 30 concentration curls. By December, we will all be selling tickets to the gun show 😉 
  6. I am going to continue with the #PlankADay I will focus on trying to get to at least 2 mins a day in proper form. It works so many muscles, and is so beneficial!
  7. I will also take on the Girls Gone Sporty Challenge, whatever it might be. For October it was #WickedWallies. I wish I had started them at the beginning of the month. I was afraid of putting too much on my plate. I added them mid to end month and just LOVED them! I have super strong legs and these really helped make them stronger as well as tighten my booty! They were definitely WICKED lol
  8. NOT overindulging during Thanksgiving. I have set myself some rules and tips (Holiday Tips) to follow and I am determined to keep them! 
  9. To get my website Logo complete. I had a friend working on it, but we just couldn’t agree on a drawing. I am okay at drawing, but I wasn’t confident enough to do it myself. I have started a logo and I really like it! I am putting the final touches on it and will be changing my logo this month, so I am excited about that! 
  10. Of course I will still hold Zoe to learning 25 signs again this month 🙂 She does well when she has a goal to hit too. She loves checking everyday to see how many she has learned for the month and how many more she has to go! 

I am pretty proud today! I am being featured by Lina on Mom’s Butt is on Fire! She has an awesome blog! I started following her back in September and she is so motivating!!!! I was ecstatic when she asked if I would like to participate in her blog! You definitely have to check her out!!!

Make sure you guys take advantage of my GIVEAWAYS! The Vitacost giveaway is winding down and I will be drawing the winner very soon, so get entered to win!!!!

Vitacost.com

 

 

The big debate, Cardio vs Weight Training

I have been seeing a lot of debate going on regarding Cardio vs Weight Training.

Although I agree that cardio is great for you, I disagree with it being someone’s ONLY source for weight loss. It seems that with cardio lovers, they only pay attention to calories burned. You are only in the gym for a short portion of your day. Your body burns calories all day. When you have built lean muscle mass, your body burns even more calories/fat.

Most ladies love cardio. Many of my friends believe it is going to give them the toned look and that weight training will make them bulky. I have gone over this SO many times! Unless your body is producing extremely high amounts of testosterone (highly doubtful), you are NOT going to get bulky no matter how much weight you lift. Not to mention, you can’t have toned muscles if you don’t have any. 😉

When women get large from weight training and have more manly features, chances are they have changed their hormone balance. You can not do this by just lifting weights. Some women also think they are getting bulky when they actually just have a high percent of body fat. Yes, doing some cardio does aid in body fat loss, but most of it lies in your diet. You can not out exercise a bad diet. Your diet will determine 80% of your weight loss. Your workout helps you maintain. And when I say diet, I do not mean restricting your calories below 2000. There is a reason they base a healthy diet on 2000 calories. Anything less is not enough! You just need to make better food choices. I love the saying, “If it has a shelf life, it will reduce yours.” We buy everything fresh. I need my carbs and my proteins. I try my best to reduce my fats, but my calorie intake stays well over 2000 a day!

Do I do cardio? Absolutely! Cardio, like I said, has many health benefits. I prefer HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training, over just running. When I go running I try to stick to this plan, I run as hard as I can for 1 min, then walk for two. I do this for just over 2 miles. This pushes my heart to the max. This also burns more fat in a short amount of time without risking any muscle loss. Even better, paired with weight training, it puts your metabolism to work! Your body becomes a lean mean fat burning machine!

The great thing with HIIT is, you don’t always have to run. It can be equipment free and there are several things you can do! Running, jump rope, jumping squats, high knees, biking, just anything that gets your heart pumping.

HIIT paired with weight training is by far the best fat burner I have found! The shape my body is taking from building muscles is amazing too!!! When I was young and Skinny fat, I had no curves, no detail to my body. When I was fat, I was just fat. Now I am getting the sleek and toned look I have wanted all these years. I finally have a round booty too lol.

So in the war of Cardio vs Weight Training, I say you need weight training over cardio. If you want to add cardio, going with HIIT is your best bet. Nothing wrong with going for a long run, but adding weight training can do so much more for your body and your health! 🙂

What are your workouts of choice? Do you incorporate weights? Have you tried HIIT?

Don’t forget the GIVEAWAYS I have going on! Don’t miss out on your chance to win!!!!

I am getting ready to hit the gym! I missed yesterday due to a migraine, so today is back and leg day! Hope everyone enjoys this beautiful day!!!!

Vitacost.com

November Challenge and tips on staying fit this holiday season!

A follow up to The Cheesecake Factory/date night story. The Cheesecake Factory actually reached out to me on Twitter,shortly after my post. I was contacted by the Manager of the Chesterfield location. They were super apologetic and offered us a redo on date night! So, stay tuned for a recap on that!!!! 🙂

October is quickly coming to an end. I am SO excited to go over my monthly goals and see if I reached them!!! I have been thinking hard on what challenge for November would awesome for us to tackle! October has been #RenegadeChallenge  month and that has blasted our backs, chest, and shoulders. I really want to concentrate on our guns this month!

I figure with the holidays fast approaching, we all want to look our best! So the challenge for November will be #ShowMeYourGuns  We will do 4 sets of 30 Concentration curls with the weight amount of your choice. This will lead to sleek and sexy arms for those holiday get togethers!

Speaking of the holidays, I was fortunate to be part of a Twitter chat the other night with several great people from FitFluential, where we discussed tips on how to not go overboard on holiday treats. The holidays totally did me in last year! I got off track and ruined all of the hard work I had put in. The holidays can be quite daunting!!!!

Well, they don’t have to be!!!! I LOVE food! Especially holiday food. The problem lies with my mind not my belly. Every year I convince myself that “It’s the holidays so I can indulge.” I don’t just indulge though, I OVER indulge. This year is different!!!! I have put in too much time and work to ruin it over the next two months. Yes, I say two months. Let’s be straight we all see holiday treats everywhere between November and December. It starts with Halloween. Whether you are handing candy out or you are bringing it in with your kids, there is always an overabundance and we end up dipping into the candy stash way too much!

This year I have a plan 🙂 I had heard of this when I lived in Amarillo, but I thought it was just something they did there. I found out this year that it is actually done nationwide! Dentist offices are buying back your kids candy! Most do it for about $1 a pound they will give your kids a toothbrush and info on keeping their teeth healthy, but this isn’t even the greatest part! They make care packages with these treats and send them to our soldiers! How awesome is that???? You can check it out at http://www.halloweencandybuyback.com/ Of course I will allow Zoe to keep a reasonable amount of candy for herself to have occasional treats, but the rest is going straight to the dentist. This is gonna help for the month of November! No treats in the house will keep me from indulging. Now for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Here are some of the tips I am gonna try, to keep me on my path of being fit and healthy!

  • Have plenty of Protein before headed to any gathering. The protein will keep you full.
  • Instead of loading your plate with potatoes, dressing, and gravy, just stick to loading up on lean turkey and lots of veggies. Try to avoid the dressing, potatoes, gravy, and other condiments. They seem to be the worst part of the meal (health wise) lol Hard, I know! those are my favorite parts too!
  • Drink a ton of water throughout the day
  • Try to stay active. If your family is anything like mine, they sit in front of the TV for hours. Suggest a walk with your loved ones. Try to break that TV tradition. 😉
  • Holiday sweets are hard to avoid. Avoiding them is not actually necessary,  but limiting them is. Pick your favorites and make a very small plate. Take time to savor and indulge in every bite. DO NOT GO BACK FOR MORE!
  • If you need to, bring some of your own healthy snacks like fresh veggies, fruit, granola, nuts, etc.
  • Steer clear of alcohol. If you are going to drink, stick to no more than 2 drinks.
  • Brush your teeth after your meal.
  • Wear a tighter clothing. Obviously something that still fits 😉 Typically if you wear something just a bit tighter you are less likely to gorge on food.
  • Stay strong and positive! Strong, because you will not only be tempted by the delicious food, but sometime friends and family can make you feel guilty for not indulging. Don’t let them! It is your body, your health, and your happiness you are looking after! They are not working their tail off in the gym, you are. Protect your investment!

This holiday season I AM IN CONTROL!!!! I will not allow the holidays to be my downfall!!!! This holiday, do not say it is impossible, say I’M possible!

Don’t forget about the two GIVEAWAYS I still have going on! I will be adding more soon, so keep checking back!!!!

Vitacost.com
 

Giveaways, baby signs, and family fun/cheat days :-)

Been a busy couple of days! Sorry I have been MIA  😉

No worries, this missing Mama has returned. I have been busy setting up up reviews and giveaways for November as well as December! It is mind boggling how many companies cater to women who are looking to get into shape! Being a busy mother, who is also seeking to make it in the bodybuilding industry, I am particular when it comes to the companies I post on my site as well as what products I will try. This I why I spend a lot of time researching companies and products! I am in the works now with some truly amazing companies and hope to share many great things with you all soon!!!!

I have also been spending a ton of time working on Zoe’s signs. She was at 175 signs when we last checked in. We have been all over the place with the words she learns lol. I never have words planned out that I want to teach her. We typically just go with the flow. When she sees something she likes in a book, show, or when we are out and about, I teach her the sign for it. It seems to work better for us that way 😉 Here are some of the words she learned so far this month…

Chocolate
Every girl should know this sign 😉

Zoe signing Frankenstein

Cute is one of her new favorite words

Deer

Her signing is getting so good and she is using it more regularly. 🙂 I am so very proud of her!

Today was spent out and about. It was family fun day! 🙂 We spent the day window shopping the store fronts of Main Street in beautiful St. Charles, Missouri. Everything about it is historic, lovely, and quaint. There is a story behind everything you look at!

It was a lovely fall day too! Cooler weather and sun shining! Truly a perfect day!

What family fun day would be complete with a Family cheat treat 😉 We swung into Cold Stone Creamery to indulge in a little ice cream. Okay it was a lot of ice cream lol We all split a Caramel and pumpkin pie ice cream. It was SO good!!!!

Guilt???? Nope not a one! I work hard at my diet and my workouts, so I do not worry about an occasional indulgence. 🙂

Keep checking in for added GIVEAWAYS and get entered to win!!!!

Vitacost.com

 

 

 

Mental reboot & noticing progress!!!! #GIVEAWAYS

I woke up this morning sore from yesterday’s workout. This means I made progress, so I am happy!

Monday I had such a hard time staying motivated. This morning, I woke up lacking motivation, but once I had my gear on, I was more than ready to get my run done! It’s like my mind rebooted itself back into “Let’s do this!” mode. I sat down early yesterday and thought about my goals and why I started this. I thought about every negative thought I have had in the past that made me want to change to begin with. THAT brought me back!

I also had several questions yesterday about my diet. Someone asked how many calories I consumed a day and what my exact Macros were. Well, I will tell you 😉 Mind you, I am bulking right now, or trying to build mass. I am going off what my weight was at my last weigh in on October 1st which was 148lbs Based on the equation I showed you yesterday, My Total calories in a day are 2664 My Macros are 40/40/20 which means 40% Carbs, 40% Protein,  and 20% Fat   This is 265 grams of Carbs, 265 Grams of Protein, and 59 Grams of fat The fat is where I have my biggest weakness. 59 grams is VERY low lol. I will do this for probably 4-6 weeks to build muscle, then reduce my macros to lean out more. It is a process, but very worth it!

I feel like I am getting closer to my goal body. I see little things in the mirror and in pictures and I am like hey, when did that happen? Lol 🙂 It is a great feeling to start loving yourself. Life really does become a lot easier when you try to put a positive spin on everything vs negative. We all have our days, apparently mine was Monday lol

Check out the little cut I am getting between my shoulder and bicep!!! Ah, it’s the little things lol

We have just a week left before we check into our goals! How has everyone been doing? I have been doing better than I originally thought. I am not so sure I have gotten down to my goal weight, because  have had SO many cheats this month lol. The rest of my goals have been doing great though! The Renegade challenge is still killing me! It has gotten a little easier, but not easy enough! 😉 Granted if it was easy, then it wouldn’t be working!

I have to get Zoe started on her lesson plan for today 🙂 I hope you all have a fabulous and fit day and don’t forget to check out my GIVEAWAYS page! I have two going on still, but will be adding more very very soon!!!!

Vitacost.com

 

 

Building lean muscle mass in women and a quick review on Nutrabolics Isobolic Protein

So, today I want to talk about how long it takes to build lean muscle mass in women. This is something that I think is important for women, who like myself are looking to have the lean muscular look.

Building muscles does not happen overnight, or even in a month. It can take years of hard work to see the results I personally am looking for.

Men can get muscular faster, because they process more testosterone. This makes it much harder for women. We really have to push our bodies to the limit to get results! There are key aspects to building lean muscle mass.

  • Intense workouts. Being female I know that I have to push myself to the extremes. I need those muscles to get ripped up, so on rest days they heal and grow bigger. I put down the Barbie weights years ago! You have to lift heavy if you want to replace the fat with lean muscle! I can not emphasize enough, that you will not turn into a man or look manly by lifting. You need testosterone for that! 😉
  •  You need your rest days. Again, this is when the muscles you just tore and ripped, heal and grow. Without rest you are just spinning your wheels. I had to learn this the hard way!!!
  • Increasing your calorie intake. Most women I know are counting calories, but they are trying to reduce them. With building lean muscle mass, you do the opposite. You increase your intake. This is awesome! Everyone loves to eat 😉 I do this a different way than just counting calories. This is what I learned from doing Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Trainer and what works for me.

I take my bodyweight x 18 calories = total daily calories

Then TC x .40 = Carb Calories

TC x .40 = Protein Calories

TC x .20 = Fat Calories

Now you find your grams…

There are 4 calories for every gram of protein and carb

There are 9 calories for every gram of fat

Take your Total Carb calories / 4 = grams of carbs per day

Repeat with your Total Protein calories /4 = grams of protein per day

Then your total fat calories /9= grams of fat per day

This makes a 40/40/20 Macro diet It sounds confusing, but it really is easier than you think.

  • Protein. This is something you will eat a lot of! Finding a good protein is VERY important! I actually won some protein in a giveaway from Nutrabolics. Once you really get into bodybuilding, you realize you spend most of your money on Protein lol. You can imagine how stoked I was to open a box of not just one container, but THREE 2lb containers of Isobolic Protein!!!

Talk about an awesome prize! I got 2 flavors strawberry and banana. I am so excited about this protein, because it is not your run of the mill protein. It is 25 grams per serving. They have designed this protein to keep your muscles in an anabolic state for 8 hours!!!!! What does this mean for you? When your body goes into an anabloic state, it means your muscles are repairing and building. Rest and high protein diets are important for this. The fact that one serving of this keep you in an anabolic state for 8 hours is amazing! This is actually formulated to maximize your anabolic drive.

This protein is also infused with CLA. It will increase your metabolism, support fat loss,  and enhance muscle growth I talked about CLA earlier this month. You can click here to learn more about the benefits.

The other things I love about this protein are it is low in sugar, mixes well, it does not upset my belly, and it tastes great! The strawberry reminded me of when I was little and my dad would get me strawberry nesquik lol It is worth checking into!!!

So, HUGE THANK YOU to Nutrabolics for having the giveaway!!! I, as you can see am stoked to be your winner and try your protein!!!

Speaking of GIVEAWAYS, I still have 2 going on so make sure you are entered to win!!!!

Vitacost.com

 

 

Motivational Monday! I don’t know about you, but I need it!!!! #GIVEAWAYS

So this morning started a little slow. I did NOT want to get out of bed!!!!!!

Luckily for me, I have a toddler who is great at getting me up! 😉 We got dressed and saw Josh off to work. Zoe was a little whiny this morning and in quite the mood. I tried to perk her up and hoped she would feel better once we got outside.

Eh…. not so much :-/ I left the house and she immediately wanted to go home. We got up the first hill and my chest was already burning, my shins had the sharpest pain, and my child’s shrill was already pushing my patience. I was wanting to turn around and crawl back into bed. I know that is not an option, so I pushed forward. I did not finish my 3.25 miles this morning. I only got 2.19 in, so I am disappointed with myself. I know I could have finished despite Zoe’s screaming, I just was done listening to it. I have been lacking in motivation lately. In my head I’m like YEAH let’s do this, but when I run or hit the gym I feel like UGH. I have to snap out of it this week!!!!! It is Motivational Monday, so I am going to try to get myself motivated and try to help you get motivated as well!!!! I know this week will get better and I am actually excited to see where I stand in my goals for the month! Next week is the end of the month, so I have to work super hard this week!!!!! Let’s get motivated together!

Now let’s get out there and crush our goals!!!! I hope everyone has a happy day!!!!! 🙂 Don’t forget I still have 2 GIVEAWAYS going on!!!! Get entered to win!!!!!

Vitacost.com

The Cheescake Factory #FAIL. Salvaging date night.

Josh and I finally got our first date night in! I was a little worried it wasn’t gonna happen again. His car broke down yesterday. He spent all day trying to figure out what was wrong, but couldn’t. I told him we should cancel, but being the awesome husband he is, he said “I know you have been looking forward to tonight and I want to go have fun with you.” He said he would figure the car out later.

I got ready and eagerly waited for him lol.

We headed out and arrived at Chesterfield mall. At this point is when he  told me he was taking us to The Cheesecake Factory. He wanted me to indulge in some of my favorites. I had never been there before, but I have always heard great things about the food!

I was super excited! We didn’t call ahead and they were VERY busy. To be expected for a Friday evening. The wait wasn’t horrible 30-35 mins is what we told, it ended up being more like 45, but again for a Friday evening, still not horrible. When we were shown to our table it was instant disappointment. They sat us in between several families with little children. Not well behaved children either. :-/  These children were running around us, waving their cloth napkins over their heads and pretending they were helicopters. Who brings their kids to a nice restaurant on a Friday night??? Luckily, with a rambunctious two year old at home,we were able to just ignore them. Our table was seriously less than a foot and a half from theirs. I could reach over and touch their table.

Sitting by children was the least of our issues. Our server was horrible!!!! She came to take our order for our drinks and appetizer. We both ordered drinks and waters. She brought us waters and someone else brought us our appetizer. 20 mins later lol we got our drinks. at this point, Josh was pretty mad and ready to leave. At least the appetizer was good lol we had Chicken nachos. YUM!

When we finally got our drinks and meal, we were pleased with the overall appearance and taste of the food! I ordered Grilled Fish Tacos, Josh had a Mushroom and Swiss burger with Fries. They were both better than we imagined. We couldn’t finish our dinners, because there was SO much food between the appetizer and our main courses, so we tried to flag down our server who had time to fraternize with several of the other tables, but left us to the way side. We actually had to ask other servers to remove dishes from our table so we had room.

Finally we got her attention and she yells I will bring your check, before we could even say anything she was gone. We still wanted dessert! Who goes to The Cheesecake Factory and doesn’t order dessert? She comes back with the check and we asked to have our dinner wrapped up and we ordered our desserts to go. She actually got snide with us and snatched the check back and walked away. She came back with a small bag in her hand and our check. Well, so we thought. Josh opened it and it was $20 less than what we had actually spent. Yes, most people would have chalked it up to being her fault and taken the discount, but we are honest people and thought we would help her out. We flagged her down again and let her know what had happened. Instead of being over joyed that we didn’t rip her off, she got mad. We had no idea why she was so rude to us. We really never got rude with her or asked more of her than others did. We finally got the right bill paid and left. Our dinner took so much longer than anticipated.

By the time we left we were pretty much just ready to go home. 🙁 We decided to stop and look for a costume for Zoe. We have been looking since the last week of September. Seems most costumes for girls, even little toddlers, are quite provocative, that or really lame. We found a cute Owl costume that Zoe will LOVE! We picked her up from her grandparents house and headed home. We were SO excited to get into our Desserts!!!!

Well, disappointed again. We opened the bag and we only got one dessert and just a few bites of our dinner left overs. What she did with the rest is beyond me! So, we paid for food that we didn’t even get to enjoy. The one Cheesecake slice that did make it home, was enjoyed greatly by all of us! Luckily, they serve huge servings. We all cuddled on the sofa and enjoyed the cake together. We decided that despite The Cheesecake factory FAIL, date night was a great idea and we need to do it more often! We did enjoy our time alone together!

Pineapple upside down cheesecake

I am not sure that we will pick The Cheesecake factory for a date night again. If we do, it won’t be that location, due to bad service and too many children. Overall, not a horrible night. We did enjoy each other’s company and the food that we did get! I certainly did cheat last night lol Hitting the gym hard today!

What do you do for date night? How often do you take date night? What bad experiences have you had at restaurants? Would you take your children to a hot date spot on a busy Friday night?

Don’t forget I still have two GIVEAWAYS going on! Be sure to get entered to win and keep checking back, because I have several more lined up!!!!!!

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And the Winner of the Kombucha Giveaway is……..

Hello! Today is the day I announce the winners of the Kombucha Giveaway! In case you missed what Kombucha is, click here for a quick run down 😉 and don’t forget to checkout www.GetKombucha.com for all your Kombucha needs!!!!

And the winners are……..

Sam B. and Jennifer H.   🙂

I have sent you both an email please respond by Monday, so I can get your prizes out to you! Thank you all for entering to win! Don’t forget I still have 2 more GIVEAWAYS going on and many more to come!!!! November looks as promising as this month!!!!

Now I have to get this house clean, hit the gym, do  Zoe’s lesson plan done, and to start getting all dolled up for date night! This will be our first in almost 2 1/2 years so I am SO excited!!!!! Happy Friday!!!!

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Sticking to my goals and unexpected rest days. #GIVEAWAYS

I took an early rest day yesterday. I spent the day with my parents. If you haven’t been following me, last month my dad was rushed to the hospital, because they thought he had a stroke. His face was numb and drooping on one side. it ended up being Bells palsy, but he did have a small stroke as well. They believe the Bells Palsy happened, because he was having Chemo treatments at the time and his white blood cell count was down. He has since been on break from Chemo therapy, which is awesome. His face is not back to normal yet, but it is getting there slowly. 😉

I even had a great visit with my mom. It was nice to sit and talk without any drama! These are visits that I cherish!!!

I was great about sticking to my clean eating, although my mom did try several times to sway me. I was even tempted to weigh myself on their scale. It was in the bathroom, so every time I went, or took Zoe to go, it was just sitting there staring at me lol I stayed true to my goal for the month, and I stayed off the scale!

From my parent’s house I went to dinner with my husband and his lovely parents! We wanted to celebrate all of our birthdays together. We went to 54th Street bar and Grill. Zoe acted really good! It helped that I brought her a mini container of playdough, but there was so much to look at inside that she was kept very busy! I did good with my meal order too. I researched the night before online which meal would be the best health wise. I wasn’t concerned too much with taste, because everything there is so awesome!! I ordered the Coyote Chicken. It pretty much is what dreams are made of lol. 😉

I did however cheat with a few handfuls of Jelly Bellys. They are a weakness of mine. Not clean or good for me, but oh so tasty lol.  I was so exhausted from the day that when we arrived home, I did not do my renegade challenge or plank a day. Tonight I will make up for those. Yes, that means 240 renegade push-ups and 2 rounds of planks for time today, but I am a beast 😉 I will get them done! I also did not get my run in yesterday, so I will run longer tomorrow! Gotta make up for missed days! I have goals to reach!!!

I feel better about my progress this month than I have in a long time! Maybe it is because I am not looking at the scale. I don’t know what it is? Not to toot my own horn, but I feel and look great, so TOOT! 🙂 I also have been winning giveaways like crazy this week! I got a box of Detour protein bars in this morning. That always makes for a great day too!!! Today is family fun day, so I am headed out with the two loves of my life for a fun filled day!!! I hope all of you are enjoying the day too!!!!

Don’t forget about the GIVEAWAYS I have going on!!! The GetKombucha giveaway is getting ready to end! I LOVE the stuff, and know you will too!!! You have to get entered to win!!!!

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Savory Roasted Pumpkin recipe using Fresh Pumpkin!

 

We only had one pumpkin grow in our garden this year. Pathetic, I know lol 😛 I do not have a green thumb whatsoever and We neglected our garden when it got too hot to be outside. We had others, they just all fell off the vine. The one we got to keep, actually fell off too soon as well, but was still salvageable. A lot of people buy canned pumpkin and typically make pumpkin pie or other sweet pumpkin dishes. I LOVE fresh pumpkin! I also am not big on sweet things, I am more of a savory kind of gal 😉 I wanted to share a Pumpkin recipe that not only is savory, but utilizes the whole pumpkin.

Our cute little pumpkin

To make this dish, you will need the following:

  • A small pumpkin
  • 4 slices of Hog Jowls or Thick cut bacon
  • 1/4 cup of diced onions
  • 1/2 cup of chopped spinach
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 tsp sage
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • and Kosher salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 and Wash the pumpkin thoroughly, then cut the stem and bottom core out. I just cut a small square around both and pop them out. Cut the pumpkin in half and clean all the seeds and pulp out really well! Be sure to save your seeds! They are awesome roasted!!!

I placed the pumpkins face down on a shallow pan

Cover with foil and pop in the oven for about and hour

When the pumpkin is almost done, you can start chopping the other ingredients. I chop up the onions and Hog jowls and brown them in a pan.

While those are browning I get the rest of the ingredients prepped. Once the pumpkin is done, let it cool so you can handle it. We are only going to use half of the pumpkin for this recipe. We are a small family, so 4 servings is more than enough for us! 😉 I cut the pumpkin into cubes. YES keep the rind on, it is just like eating squash! 😉 Trust me it is tasty! I put all the igredients into an oven safe pan.

Mix well then pop the pan back into the oven for about 25 mins

I then turn the broiler on for 5-8 mins just to get a good brown on top before serving

It is a nice twist to your regular pumpkin recipes and makes for a great side dish!!!

Nutrition Facts

 

  4 Servings

 

Amount Per Serving
  Calories 196.7
  Total Fat 16.5 g
  Saturated Fat 5.7 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
  Cholesterol 16.7 mg
  Sodium 476.4 mg
  Potassium 393.6 mg
  Total Carbohydrate 8.8 g
  Dietary Fiber 2.1 g
  Sugars 1.6 g
  Protein 3.7 g
  Vitamin A 160.1 %
  Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
  Vitamin B-6 4.6 %
  Vitamin C 15.1 %
  Vitamin D 0.0 %
  Vitamin E 0.4 %
  Calcium 3.2 %
  Copper 7.7 %
  Folate 5.9 %
  Iron 6.1 %
  Magnesium 4.7 %
  Manganese 9.8 %
  Niacin 3.4 %
  Pantothenic Acid     3.2 %
  Phosphorus     5.2 %
  Riboflavin 7.6 %
  Selenium 0.6 %
  Thiamin 3.8 %
  Zinc 2.7 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

 

Hope you enjoy! Don’t forget to get entered to win on my GIVEAWAYS page!!!!
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Who needs some motivation this morning? I do!!! #GIVEAWAYS

Happy Motivational Monday! I really needed to dig deep this morning to do my run! Zoe has night terrors. I have had them my whole life, so I truly feel for her. :’-( I am hoping she out grows hers though. She was up most of the night, just too terrified to sleep, so we spent a lot of time sitting in the living room reading stories, so we didn’t interrupt Josh’s sleep, since he had to work. She finally fell into a good sleep around 5ish this morning. That made 8 am seem HORRIBLE lol.

I gave myself a million reasons why I shouldn’t run today. I have GOALS, if I want to complete them, I have to stick to them no matter what. An excuse is NOT going to get me the body I want or keep me healthy. So, I put on my gear got Zoe dressed and we headed out the door for our 3.22 mile run. I am not gonna lie, I was pretty proud of myself for pushing through!!! Even though the run was harder than usual, I did it. I overcame the hardest obstacle, which is MYSELF!!!!! GO ME!!!!

I really want a nap now lol, but it is lesson time for Zoe then I must hit the gym for my weight training! Good thing it is Motivational Monday lol. Hope everyone is striving to hit their goals!!! I know I am! I can’t wait to compare my pictures this month and get on the scale to see if I hit my weight goal!!!! I know I feel great and Josh tells me everyday I am looking great. (I swear I am blessed with the best husband EVER) 🙂 Have a happy day!!!! Don’t forget to get entered in my GIVEAWAYS!!!!

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Who’s starving? I eat all day! A Simply review & of course the 3 giveaways. Don’t miss out!

So yesterday I posted one of my cheats. I received an email from a friend who stated although they thought my journey has been inspiring, they just couldn’t imagine starving everyday to maintain a physical appearance. I was a little taken back by that. I certainly do NOT starve lol.

I explained that actually the opposite was true. I use to eat one or two meals a day mixed in with a bunch of junk food. I now eat 5-6 small meals a day. All of which are quite filling! This is an example of one of my daily meals.

Steamed broccoli, sliced pears, pan seared salmon on a bed of spinach.

I definitely wasn’t starving, nor was I craving more flavor. I do not look at healthy eating as a diet, it is my lifestyle. Cheats are not exactly necessary for me, but there are things that I don’t normally eat, that I do like to indulge in. I just don’t eat them all the time. When I say I am picky about my indulgences, it isn’t because I feel I don’t get enough of them, I am just more picky about what I put into my body!

I never understood fad diets, or people who think they can eat whatever they want as long as they hit the gym. You can’t out exercise a bad diet. Healthy eating does not mean I am missing out on anything! I eat phenomenal tasting meals. The difference between my meals and the ones this particular person was describing to me, is I cooked my food. It wasn’t prepackaged crap that you throw in the microwave or the oven to reheat nor a box meal with powdered mixes that you have no clue what they are. I actually prepare my meals.

As a society I think it is sad that people are more concerned with convenience over quality. I am not sure when catching your favorite television shows over took preparing a healthy and tasty meal for your family? Most of the people I know prepare box meals and their family parks in front of the TV while they eat. What happened to family time and setting examples for our children?

Slowly I am seeing more people wanting to get fit. Hopefully they make the change for their health too and not just the aesthetics of it. I believe we need to teach our children healthy habits while they are young. I strive to set an example for my daughter, not just in the gym, but in the kitchen as well.

Yes, my journey is about making my physical appearance better and looking the way I want, but it is also about being healthy and living healthy. I want Zoe to not have the body image issue that I have had. I want her to be proud of herself and to know that she is healthy! I also don’t want to be spinning my wheels in the gym 😉 I have worked hard to get where I am and I am far from done.

Anyway, my point is that I eat well! I am not starving and the food My family and I eat tastes better than the prepackaged crap you can buy in the store. If you are worried about getting started on your fitness journey because you think that you will starve or you won’t like the food options, trust me that is SO far from true. Do some research and find recipes. Clean eating doesn’t mean sacrificing flavor, it simply means cutting out artificial crap that does harm to your body.

With all that being said, I was sent some protein bars from Wellness Foods called Simply Bars. They are all natural “clean”, milk free, gluten free, vegan, non GMO, kosher, and low gycemic.

There are 6 flavors, I was sent a box of 4 . The flavors I received were Lemon Coconut, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Cinnamon pecan, and Caramel Peanut. The 2 I have yet to try are Cocoa Coffee and Cocoa Raspberry. The story on the company is that the founder, C. Richards, has Crohn’s disease and had issues find snacks that wouldn’t upset her stomach. She also wanted something more clean, so developed these bars.  It is an all woman company started in Canada in 2002.

Back to the bars. 😉 They are much like rice crispy treats, but less sweet.

Which, if you are like me is a great thing! Each bar only has a mere 3 grams of sugar and 16 grams of protein. The first bar I tried was the Cinnamon Pecan. I really appreciated the natural flavor! It was nice to taste REAL cinnamon in every bite! The cinnamon pecan and the Caramel peanut were by far my favorites!!! The Lemon Coconut I am not a huge fan of. It isn’t bad, it just has a strong lemon flavor that didn’t bide well with me. Josh is always skeptical about anything clean lol he is a junk food junky. At first he told me he didn’t care for them, but by the end of the week, he was stealing them from my stash so he could snack on them at work. Turns out even the hardest critic in this household was sold on them too! 😉 Zoe enjoyed them as well! She loved stealing bits from both of our bars!

I think what got me the most excited about this company is that they have Protein Chips. Yeah I know right!?!? Chips!!! How exciting is that!!! Unfortunately, they are sold out right now, so I wan’t able to sample those. They come in 2 flavors, Herb and Chili. I am more of a savory than sweet kind of gal, so the fact that a company even produces these has me sold!!! LOL

You can check out their whole selection on their website www.TheSimplyBar.com They are well worth the look!!!

Don’t forget I still have 3 yes 3 GIVEAWAYS going on!!!! Get entered to win fabulous prizes from VitaCost, FringeSport, and GetKombucha. You certainly don’t want to miss out!!!!

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