Archive for January, 2013

Did you accomplish your goals for January? See how I fared with mine.

So it is the end of the month and you know what that means…. It is time to see how we did for the month of January!

  • My #2013PlyoParty I completed my challenge everyday for the month. So that goal gets a big fat check mark off the list! 🙂                                                                                                                                                                              
  • Packing up the house for the move. I am proud to say I am almost done!!! Basically just the things we are still using need to be packed. We have all the moving details done and just need to deep clean the house the last week of February. I am SO ready to be out of this neighborhood!!!!! 🙂 DSC_1710
  • I have been a water guzzling fool! Water has so many benefits and every time I start REALLY drinking enough, everything seems perfect! My skin, my weight loss, health, etc So I will continue to keep guzzling the good stuff!!! 
  • I not only have been keeping true to my diet, but I have sought the help of some of my NPC and IFBB Mentors. they were generous enough to assist me and tweak my diet to make sure I am completely on track. I am and I will stay that way!!! 
  • Shredding my fat and lowering my weight. Last month I was at 22.7% body fat and 142lbs. As of today I am at 21.3    % and 138.4 lbs  I have lost an inch in my waist, hips, and thighs. Woo Hoo!!! 

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    Lats and Delts are really starting to show!

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    Starting to lean out…. FINALLY lol

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    Traps and chest are starting to develop!!!

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    I was pretty stoked to get under 140lbs! I was stuck at 150lb for so long, to get down this low is phenomenal! My goal is becoming a reality!!!!! Woooo Hoooo!!!!

  • Gaaahhh… My #PlankADay I wish I could say I rocked this out, but I seem to have been forgetting to do this every night. I am hoping to be better at it this month! This one was a fail. DOH!              
  • Oh man Running….. To be honest the last time I ran it was cold and Zoe was miserable. When it did warm up, we had an incident with a neighbor and I just called it quits. I am NOT going to subject my child to an ignorant argument in the street of my neighborhood. I hate to let these people win, but with the fact I knew we were moving I figured running could wait. 4 more weeks!!! Have I mentioned I can’t wait to move? This one can be listed as a fail and I am okay with that! 
  • Last, but certainly not least is Zoe’s signs. She made it up to 269 signs this month. her goal was 275, but with the move I have not been concentrating on her lesson plans as much. I also decided that I didn’t want to push her so much when there is so much change happening. I am proud of how much she has already accomplished! I love my little pumpkin head!!!! 

So now I Mustache you a question???

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Are you ready to find out who the Saturn Supplements  and Krave Jerky Winners are?????

 

Drum roll please…………

For the Saturn Supplements we have Paula V.

and for the Krave Jerky we have Aph M.

I have emailed both of you! Congratulations!!! For the rest of you, keep your eyes peeled I have a pretty stellar giveaway coming soon!!!!

How did you fare in your goals this month? Have you set some more small goals for February? Let’s achieve our goals together!!!! Let’s really rock February out!

Vitacost.com

February Goals Are Set!!!!

Wow! Can you believe it already the 30th!?!?! Well, that only means one thing….. Time to set my February Goals!!!!

Setting small goals for yourself to reach every month, will help you achieve the big goals you have set for yourself! This year I working to compete in my first figure competition, so you will see my goals reflect that!

Be sure to set realistic goals that with hard work, you CAN and WILL reach. I have been seeing a lot of I want to lose 5-10lbs a week lately, and we all know that is not realistic or healthy. Weight loss takes time, but with proper diet and exercise ANYONE can lose the weight!!!!

Okay, let’s get started with my goals……

  1. I will do my #LoveMyAbs challenge everyday! I haven’t been doing my challenges on my rest days, due to the fact my body really does need the rest. I have however, been doing them twice the day following rest day. I will continue to do it this way! I want my abs/core to be as solid as possible! I want them to really POP when I get more of my body fat off! 

    As a reminder, My challenge is to strengthen my abs and core. Doing abdominal exercises will not give you the six pack look. To see the abs, your diet has to be on point!

     

  2. To drink as much water as possible daily. I have been better about drinking more, I just want to stick to it! Drinking plenty of water can mean the difference between maintaining weight and losing! If you are not properly hydrated, you will bloat and retain water. So drink up!!!!!                                                                           
  3. We tweaked my diet again mid January, because I started to plateau again. I had some of my mentors check out what I was eating, because I thought everything was on point. It wasn’t what I was eating that was off, it was when I was eating it. Who knew right??? Anyway, we changed my diet to where I eat the majority of my carbs as early as possible. My first 3 meals of the day are my higher carb meals and my last 3 are my lower carb. I am still eating 40/40/20 at 10 calories per lb ( well I guess it is actually over that now because I lost a few more pounds lol) I am not gonna lower my macros unless I plateau again. I am good right where they are! So, this goal is to just continue to eat how I have been, for optimal fat loss.                                                                                                           
  4.  To continue with the new workout plans that Josh has written for me. They are not only kicking my booty, but they are also a safer option for me while working out at home. He has them set up to where I am exhausting the muscle well before my bigger lifts and in turn, I am having to go lighter on them just to get through the workout. I feel like a wuss by the end, but I am definitely seeing some positive changes in my body and MOST definitely feeling the muscles tears and staying sore for a few days, so I know we are making some improvements. My workouts are longer and harder and I have to fight myself to finish them, but I am winning lol 😉                      

  5. I want to get my body fat % down to 20-15% closer to 15% the better, by the end of my cut. (Not the end of February) Last time I checked I was around 21% I will know all my results tomorrow, but I am hopeful that I can achieve this goal! For competition next year I will need to be below 12% which is why I need to lose so much before my bulk 😉 This way after a clean bulk, I will have less fat to lose before I compete.            
  6. I have gotten back in the habit of weighing myself much too often. Grrrr. We all have to remember that our body hears what our mind is saying. If I step on that scale and it is going the wrong way, I get negative. I start telling myself that I am doing something wrong or I am stuck again. I decided it is best for me to only step on the scale every 2 weeks to check in. I know the scale does NOT dictate my progress!!!!                           
  7. To DO the #PlankADay challenge. The Plank Police have been after me in January lol. Every time I get the notice on Twitter, I am like Doh!!!! So, I need to be better about it!             
  8. Finish up all the details of packing and cleaning this house for our big move! Just 4 more weeks and I can not express enough how ready we are to get out of this neighborhood!!!!!!                                    
  9. Normally, I would set a goal for Zoe to learn 25 more signs. We have both been super busy and stressed with the move. I don’t feel I need to put more on her plate. I sign to her regularly  so if she picks up on more great, if not it is not a big deal. I mean she has quite a large vocabulary both verbally and in ASL for a two year old!  Once we get settled into the new house we will get back on track with her overall lesson time. Right now we will take a short break 😉  

Have you set your goals for the month? Remember small goals get us to those big ones!!!! 2013 is gonna be a big year so let’s all get out there and make it happen!!! Hope you all have a fabulously fit day!!!!!

Vitacost.com

February Fitness Challenge #LoveMyAbs

This morning has been amusing to say the least. Zoe came into our bed late last night to cuddle. Josh woke us up to say he was leaving for work. She was in utter refusal to be bothered lol. As soon as we heard his car leave, Zoe pops up grabs my face and says “Come on mama it is time for breakfast and monsters!” I thought she wanted to watch Monsters Inc. She let me know how wrong I was lol She wanted to watch Little Monsters. You know the movie from the late 80’s with Ben Savage? She started watching it yesterday and I guess really like it. I turned it on while I started breakfast. She immediately let me know that Monsters aren’t real and it was just a movie lol. I loved this movie when I was a kid! 😉

While she enjoyed her breakfast and the movie, I sat down this morning and figured up what the challenge will be for February. It will be #LoveMyAbs

We all know that Abs are made in the kitchen, but like every other part of your body you can’t tone it up if there are no muscles there 😉 So I want to make sure we have a strong core! There are so many benefits to having a strong core!

  • A strong core is a prerequisite for a smooth functioning body
  • Core muscles are primary requisite for stability
  • It will reduces your chances of low back injury and backache which is getting so common, especially in women and athletes
  • A strong core helps you in all your lifts especially your bigger lifts and better in exercises like squats and clean & press
  • Core includes both abdominal muscles and lower back muscles. Training them both for balance and stability
  • Improvement in posture
  • Having a strong core is more appealing. You can lose body fat and build core muscles which hold the existing fat better this will make you appear skinnier

The #LoveMyAbs challenge will be one session of Tabatas that focus solely on our abdominals. In case you have missed my previous post about Tabatas, I will give you a quick run down.

Any exercise can be incorporated into the Tabata training. However the basic outline of the Tabata training method are as follows:
•     4 minutes long (whole Tabata Session)
•     20 seconds of intense training
•     10 seconds of rest
•     Total of 8 sessions or rounds each exercise being a round

You will need a Tabata timer. There are several apps you can download to your phone, but you can also find them online.

Okay this is what I have planned….

Start with Crunches Lie on your back hands behind your head and lift your upper back off the floor and crunch your abs. Do not lean your neck forward into the crunch , this can cause injury.

 

Toe Touchers Lie down with your back on the floor and your legs pointing straight up in the air or against the wall. Start by touching the floor behind your head with both hands, then touch your toes with both hand and repeat.

Rocky Sit Ups are just like regular sit ups except that you twist on the way up and punch to one side, changing sides every repetition.

Reverse Crunches. These are pretty self explanatory.

Mountain climbers You start in the position you would start a push up in then bring your knees to your chest

Cross Body Mountain Climbers Same starting position as last time, but instead of bringing your knees straight up to your chest, you will cross them over your chest.

Hip lifts Lie flat on your back legs straight up in the air and lift only your hips

Last but not least forearm plank

With the exception of the plank, you want to go as hard as you can with each exercise. try to get as many reps out in the 20 seconds ad possible. In your mind focus on what part of your abs you are working.

I always get excited to start a new challenge! Hope you all have a fabulously fit day!!!!

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Motivational Monday!!!!!!

Happy Motivational Monday all!!!! I a super sore this morning!!! Josh kicked my butt again in the gym last night. Yesterday was back day. We focused mainly on my middle back and trying to really get it developed. We really want my back muscled to just pop! Back day is one of my favorite days!

Josh is REALLY getting into training me lol He already sent me my workout via email before I woke up this morning. 😉 Today is Chest day and he has a hardcore workout written up for me. I have been loving his workouts! I love that he takes the time to put the workouts together for me! Ah, it must be love 😉

One of my mentors NPC Figure Competitor, Hope “Smallwonder” Trask has put together Lady Swole Mondays

Every Monday women from all over post their progress pics on her Facebook page. It is pretty awesome to see everyone’s progress and development. Zoe and I have been partaking for quite a while. Here is our submission for today.

I am pretty stoked that this month is almost over, not just to see where I stand, but because with Josh’s new workouts and the #2013PlyoParty I am seriously killing myself in the gym lol. Next month we will keep it more simple as far as my additional workout goes 😉 I need to get February’s goals lined up. Time is just flying by!!!!

I am getting ready to go kill my workout now, so before I go, let’s get motivated! It is Motivational Monday after all. 😉

Let’s get out there and punch today in the face! I hope you all have a fabulously fit day!!!!

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Food prep, packing, workouts, and ASL makes for a busy Sunday Funday!

Busy busy morning. Prepping more food for the week, trying to get the moving truck reserved and all the supplies we need ordered, packing, and cleaning. The house is looking more and more bare everyday. We are all getting VERY excited about the move!!! Zoe talks about the new house everyday lol She is in love with her bedroom because she has a giant “princess window”. That is what she calls it. 😉

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This is Zoe’s room although it is no longer striped. It is just plain white, but we will paint it for Zoe.

My addiction to Pinterest has reared it’s ugly head again lol. I have been looking at all things DIY to fix up the new house. I can NOT wait to move!!!! Doesn’t help that the day I posted about our disdain for the neighborhood, the police had to pay a visit because someone has been snooping in everyone’s backyard doing God knows what. The foot prints only went in my front yard they stopped at the fence. Guess having a 150+lb furbaby has it’s benefits lol. To boot the officer tell us that there are only 4 officers on duty at any given time because they are short handed. Wow, that makes us feel safe! Josh and I have been counting the days. Seriously, it’s just 4 1/2 weeks till moving day!

I have also been scouring the internet (Pinterest included) looking for NPC/IFBB competition info and related stuff. I am stoked about that as well. I decided yesterday that the NPC Figure competition is where I should start. Unfortunately for me the nearest one in here in St. Louis next month. I am not ready for competition just yet. So I plan on finishing this cut in the next 5-6 weeks. I am hoping I can be down between 125-135 pounds. From there I will begin my bulk. I will do a clean bulk. My whole intention is to build as much lean muscle as I can without too much fat, so my next cut will be a little easier and much more worth while. I am sure you all are tired of hearing about me wanting to compete lol TOO BAD 😉 This truly is a huge deal for me! I have never been more focused on a goal, than I am right now.

Figure is just a small step to getting to Physique. That is where I really want to compete. (Josh thinks I should set the bar a little higher and compete there next year. We will see lol. The women’s bodies in this division are phenomenal to me! The drive and dedication to build the muscle they have naturally is what intrigues me the most. You can’t look at one of these women and not know that she is disciplined beyond belief.

I know not everyone finds this look to be attractive on women, but since when do I care what others think lol. I do care what my husband thinks. Luckily for me he loves the physique look as much as I do 😉 I seriously can’t wait to walk across the stage! My only concern at this point is being able to hear the judges. Hopefully, I will be able to afford a hearing aid by then, which may or may not help considering there will be a substantial amount of background noise. We will see.

Speaking of hearing loss, I haven’t done an update on Zoe’s signs in a while, so I thought we would touch base on that today too. She has been doing awesome as always. We are a little behind on her signs this month, due to everything that has been going on. Her goal is 275, she is at 267. We are not gonna sweat it though, because with the move, I don’t want to stress her out anymore than we need to. Here are some of the signs she has learned this month. 🙂

SMELL

WORK

PAINT

MIRROR

FUNNY

She even learned the sign for I Love You. She has known the sign, but had issues getting her fingers to stay in the right position lol

It is one of my favorite workout days, Back day!!! Josh gets off earlier on Sundays so he promise to shred the muscles in my back, so should be an awesome workout!!! I hope everyone enjoys their Sunday and has a fabulously fit day!

Vitacost.com

Minor tweaks can mean a HUGE difference in your routine!

The past two family days have been awesome!

I seriously wish I had Josh in the gym with me everyday! The past two days he has been ripping my muscles up and I feel it today!!!! Talk about sore!!!

He has been addicted to watching Kai Greene (professional bodybuilder) workouts on youtube. This has benefited me greatly! We changed up my routine. Now instead of trying to go super heavy on my big lifts, we are pre-exhausting my muscles prior to the big lifts.The workouts are taking a bit longer, but so worth it!!!

Yesterday I did Shoulders. Here is a run down of how that went:

  • Cable Lateral Raises  I use resistance bands which work great! I did 4 sets of 15 or until failure                                                                                                                  
  • Cable Rear Delt Flyes These I also use resistance bands 4 sets of 15 or till failure                                                                                                      
  • Cable Upright Rows  Again, I used resistance bands. 4 sets of 15 or till failure                                                                                                                          
  • Behind the Back Upright Barbell Rows 4 sets of 15 or till failure                                                  
  • Barbell Shrugs                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
  • Front Dumbbell Raises                                                                                                                
  • Then last but not least the Shoulder Press                                                                               

I use to start with Shoulder press. I would go pretty heavy, but after killing my shoulders with everything else I could barely press 45# (just the barbell) which is crazy!!!! It was also super effective! I haven’t been this sore in quite a while. Kai Greene’s theory of pre-exhausting the muscles is spot on and works. With the fact that Josh is not always home when I lift, it also makes this method great for me. I won’t have to worry about being dangerous with my bigger lifts if I save them for last and can’t go dangerous heavy on them, therefore I reduce the risk of injury. If you are into bodybuilding and or lifting, it would be worth your while to look up some of Kai Greene’s workouts on youtube. His outside of the box approach to weight training is outstanding!!! I now am working smarter to get the body I want!!! FYI I have a been a fan of Kai’s for quite a while! 😉

We also did a little tweak to my diet, which has the scale moving again! No, I did not reduce my calories. I have a hard enough time only eating 1420 calories a day, there is NO way I would lower that amount!!! After talking to several of my mentors as well as doing some research I lowered my evening carb intake. Basically I eat most of my complex carbs early in the day and my fibrous carbs in the evening. I carb up on meals 1-3 then 4-6 are very low carb meals. This has made a HUGE difference!!!! I no longer feel bloated or hungry at night, which is awesome! I feel and look slimmer too!

It is amazing how a few minor tweaks to your routine can make a world of difference in your training. If you get in a slump, take the time to research new methods of training and tweak your diet. You will be surprised at how much of a difference minor adjustments can make!!! Always ask questions, but most importantly, be willing to try the advice. I see many people ask questions, which is awesome, but if they don’t like the answers they tend to not try it. Trust me when you ask someone who is in the industry a question, they are telling you what has worked for them. They were once in your shoes and took someone else’s advice. If you don’t try new things, you will always be in the same place that you are. Be willing to listen and change. 😀

Visualize your goal. I visualize what I want my body to look like. Will I look like Dana Linn Bailey?

No, because she is Dana Linn Bailey and I am Joanna 😉 Can I strive to get to her level? Absolutely!!!! Her body type is most definitely my goal!

I would normally end this with “I am gonna go hit the gym”, but I am taking the advice of a mentor and making sure I rest every 3 days. This is one thing I have always struggled with, because as you all know I have a gym addiction lol. I might do some light Ab work, but other than that I will allow my muscles to heal, so they can grow.

I hope you all have a fabulously fit day!!!!! Thank you for reading!!! 🙂

Vitacost.com

Happy Friday and a giveaway winner!!!!

Happy Friday all!!!!!

I am just popping in to wish you all a fabulously fit weekend AND to announce the winner of the Fit Phreak giveaway!!!!

And the winner is Jane K.G. I have sent you an email 🙂 Congratulations!!!!!!!

Just because it is the weekend, does not mean it is a free pass to ruin your progress. Stay strong and disciplined! Let’s reach our goals!!!!

Vitacost.com

Vitacost.com guest post! Move Over Milk! 5 Non-Dairy Alternatives You Should Try

 

Hello my lovelies!!!!  As you know Thursday is our Family fun day! I am taking the day off to enjoy it,so enjoy this informative post By: +Rebecca Chopin writer for Vitacost.com   😉 I hope you find it as informative as I have and you all have a fabulously fit day!!!!!

Move Over Milk! 5 Non-Dairy Alternatives You Should Try

Not long ago, if you wanted to dunk cookies or douse cereal, your options were limited to whole, 2 percent or skim. Milk came from one source—giant bovines nicknamed Bessy—and dairy cases were stocked with cartons and jugs of it, hauled home by families as a staple in everyday diets. Told milk was essential for strong bones and teeth, we guzzled it down, never questioning this “healthy” liquid we’d been introduced to as babies and enjoyed for most of our lives.

But today, milk drinkers are pouring fewer glasses, or ditching the drink altogether. From hysteria over hormone use to tummy troubles triggered by dairy consumption, the reasons for calling it quits on cow’s milk are many. Some simply prefer the variety of the many now-widely-available alternatives, with their unique tastes and surprising nutritional benefits.

There is no right or wrong to choosing a non-dairy milk, but knowing what’s out there might help you decide which to try first.

Soy

The darling of the non-dairy world, soy milk has been around for ages, said to have been first discovered 5,000 years ago by Chinese monks grinding soy beans into flour. Now you’ll find it right alongside cow’s milk in the dairy aisle, in light, full and flavored varieties. Soy milk is made by soaking dry soybeans in water, grinding them and filtering out the milk.

Benefits: Packed with soy protein, calcium and vitamins, soy milk is a nutritious alternative to cow’s milk. It has a creamy, smooth texture and substitutes well on its own or used in recipes.

Rice

Like soy milk, rice milk is now widely available. This grain-derived drink has a history dating back to 16th century Spain, when a beverage called “horchata”—brewed from rice, milk, cinnamon and vanilla—was enjoyed. Modern rice milk consists of the liquid collected when brown rice is steamed and leftover solids are pressed and filtered. It’s delicate and light, with a slightly sweeter taste than soy milk.

Benefits: Rice milk is low in cholesterol and calories, but it doesn’t provide the protein or vitamins that cow’s milk or other non-dairy milks do. Its sweet flavor, however, makes it great for baking.

Almond

Popular in the Middle Ages because it didn’t spoil quickly like cow’s milk, almond milk is a favorite once again, showing up on store shelves plain or jazzed up with flavorings. It’s easy enough to make at home—just soak almonds in water, blend and strain for a rich, creamy milk with true nutty flavor.

Benefits: Fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants—all naturally present in almonds—come in every glass of almond milk. It’s also known for its omega fatty acid (or “healthy fat”) content.

Coconut

Coconut milk—not to be confused with coconut water—is the liquid that comes from crushing and pressing the grated “meat” of a coconut (coconut water is liquid found inside the fruit). When served fresh and raw, it has a mild, slightly sweet taste without an overpowering coconut flavor. Store bought coconut milk is typically richer and sweeter than other non-dairy milks, making it a good choice for cooking, baking and blending up specialty drinks.

Benefits: Besides exceptional creaminess, coconut milk offers essential vitamins and minerals, protein and healthy fats—most notably medium chain fatty acids, which are used as a source of fuel (rather than being stored) by the body.

Hemp

A newcomer on the non-dairy milk scene, hemp milk has only been around for half a decade. With its nutty flavor—said to be similar to sunflower seeds or pine nuts—and thicker-than-cow’s milk texture, hemp milk makes a great addition to smoothies or a unique drink on its own. Like almond and other nut milks, it’s made by soaking and grinding the seeds, then straining to remove bits of solids.

Benefits: A nutrient-dense drink, hemp milk delivers omega fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. It’s perfect for people with nut allergies and may be better on the belly for some than soy milk, which contains hard-to-digest complex sugars.

This article has been provided by the folks at Vitacost.com. Offering more than just vitamins and supplements, Vitacost.com has a wide selection of over 35,000 organic, natural products for your healthy lifestyle. From organic foods and bath & beauty items to sports nutrition favorites and pet essentials, from elderberries to amino acids, Vitacost.com has your needs covered – for less! Take your shopping list to Vitacost.com and take the cost out of healthy living. Vitacost.com is not affiliated with this blog and isn’t responsible for content outside of this article.

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Trying a new product & focusing/planning to accomplish my goals!

My rest day was well spent. My body definitely needed it! I still feel a little tired this morning, but pumped as ever to hit the gym!!! I was sent some Pre-workout to try from HPN (High Performance Nutrition) called Pure Powder. I am pretty stoked to try it out. The nutrition facts look to be super clean and It is said to give incredible focus and pump!!!

No better day to try it than today, because it is leg day. I need the extra umph and focus while building my little stems into some nice tree trunks! 😉 I LOVE leg day!!!

Like I said the other day, I have been talking with a few others who are already competing and I took their advice and tweaked my diet just a little and I am already seeing a difference. I basically just up’ed my calories and carbs early in the day, so they stay low in the evenings. I have always been in the habit of having dinner be my largest meal, so I am still getting use to the idea of not having a big dinner as well as not eating at night. I know I eat at night out of boredom, because that is the only time I am just sitting around doing nothing. I now just guzzle water lol.

I have been keeping our dinners pretty simple just a small amount of carbs and some chicken. No more, no less.

I have also been researching posing coaches, trying to find out where, when, and what competitions are being held, what the rules and regulations are, etc. It is all very overwhelming for a newbie. I think I am going to go to a few local competitions and figure out where I stand. Regardless, I WILL be competing and I WILL place! 😉

Due to lack of funds, I think I will compete in the beginning of 2014. So, with that being said I have more than enough time to save money, learn more about the industry, train and build myself up better than ever! If there are smaller competitions in the Fall/Winter I might start there, it all depends on our financial situation.

One way or another things will work out! My other ambition for this year is to run a muddy obstacle race! Pretty stoked about that one too!!!

What are you working out today? What part of your diet do you think needs tweaking? What are your ambitions for this year??? Hope you all have a fabulously fit day!!!!!

Vitacost.com

Rest days, Cuddle time, and New beginnings!

Got to looking at my workout log, and realized that I should have taken a rest day yesterday. WHOOPS!

So needless to say, today is rest day lol I have the hardest time taking rest days! I know I need them, I just LOVE the gym!!!! Not taking rest days can cause a plateau, so rest I will.

I always have to remind myself Tear your muscles in the gym, Nourish them in the kitchen, and Grow them with rest.

So today I am being lazy. Zoe and I are bumming on the sofa and watching television, which is completely out of the norm for us. It is cold and snowy outside, so snuggled on the sofa is the best place to be 😉 and it’s good for you!

I am sure I will pack up some more boxes for the move too. I seriously CAN NOT wait to move!!! The house we found is perfect! The yard isn’t too big or too small, has a privacy fence, mature trees, it is a beautiful all brick spacious home, the neighbors are  lovely, in a family friendly neighborhood. We couldn’t ask for more!!!

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I am glad we took the time to research the area and the neighbors this time! I would hate to get stuck in the situation that we are in now. I just have to keep reminding myself, just 6 more weeks!!!!!!

We were blessed to have a few good neighbors here, but the rest all I can say is WOW! I would go into detail about the shenanigans in this subdivision, but it truly isn’t even worth typing. We will just say the drama we have had living here in just one year is more than enough to make someone want to move. It is weird, because it is one of the nicer neighborhoods in this city, well suppose to be anyway. We are very open minded people and do not typically associate with drama. After talking to several people on our street we felt better that it wasn’t just us that felt the way we do!  I will miss my next door neighbors though! They have been awesome and their little girls are just dolls. I wish we had gotten to know them sooner! They are seriously some of the nicest people we have ever met!!!  They should give lessons to the rest of the people here on how to be courteous Grown-ups/Parents/Neighbors. We are excited to start over again and hope all of our neighbors will be as awesome as the family we have been blessed to live next to!

We love moving around! A new start with new adventures is always a blessing! We learn so much from meeting new people. It is actually a mind opening experience, moving to new cities/towns because people are so different in different areas. We have lived in huge cities and very small towns across the US. Most we have loved and some have been nightmares. I have to say the smaller towns (not this one lol) the ones I am talking about are actually more quaint, those were the ones we learned that we do love having good neighbors and loved having the small town feel. The bigger cites we loved having all the options of things to do so close to home. Moving to Springfield we have both! It is a huge city (3rd largest in the state) but with a small town feel. We lived there last year, so even though it is 3 1/2 hours from our families and friends, it isn’t a big move for us, nor will anything be out of the norm. I will happily pack up this house to move there!!!

How often do you take rest days? What do you like to do on those days? Do you have a nasty neighbor story?

Here is to rest days, cuddle time, and new beginnings! I hope you all have a fabulously fit day!!!!!!
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It’s Motivational Monday, so let’s get after it!!!!!!

It is that time of week again!!! Motivational Monday!!!!While most hate them, I actually love Mondays! 🙂 It is the middle of the week for my family lol.  After being a little hard on myself yesterday, I took some time and looked at the big picture.

My saint of a husband pointed out that I have come further in the past month than I gave myself credit for. I was just looking at the past 2 weeks not 4. I have lost 4 pounds in the past month, 2 inches in my waist, and 1% body fat. When he made me look at it that way, I felt much better. It is amazing how much we can beat ourselves up. I am always my worst critic!!! I must remember that I am not perfect and I need to love myself. Especially in front of my daughter!!!!

It is hard sometimes, but I am getting better at it! By dinner time, I was back to loving me! 😉 Even with no make up on! Ow ow ow watch out now lol.

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So now that I am back in loving me mode, I can be motivated!!! Changing my body takes time and I am definitely much closer than I have ever been!!!

So let’s set an example for our loved ones! Let’s show them how to tackle obstacles and achieve their dreams! Let’s be their inspiration, their motivation!!!

Just a quick FYI Vitacost is having a HUGE sale running today only!!!! You can get 12% off EVERYTHING! They really have anything you can think of. We buy protein, supplements, Zoe’s vitamins, my skincare products, even part of our grocery list. There is something for the whole family. Their revolutionary Set and Save program makes it easy to get your routine products delivered to your door on the schedule of your choosing. They save me time and money 🙂 So much easier for me than having to run to several different stores. Not only do I save money on the products, but on my gas too!!!

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Just use the Promo code 123SAVE to get your discount!!!! Just CLICK HERE and start shopping!!!!

 

 

Plateauing again? Not this time, I got this!!!!

Been busy in my house lately. With packing up to move, getting donations ready, cleaning, and continuing my workout routines I have just been exhausted at night!

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I have been staying steady at 141 pounds for the past couple of weeks, which has had me frustrated.  I am down 1% in body fat and half and inch to one inch in all my measurements. I feel I should be further. After doing some research and talking with my mentors, I know it is because I have been eating too many carbs at night, so I am going to tweak my diet and eat most of my carbs during the day and eat mainly protein at night. My dinner will now be just a veggie and my chicken, instead of rice or sweet potatoes. Those carbs I will eat early on. This will make a HUGE difference and get me beyond this plateau, so I can make some more progress!!!!

I have also been researching figure competitions for later in the year. There is so much that goes into competing and I am excited to start! Although, I have been having a hard time figuring out where to even begin. It has all been a little overwhelming. I will look for a coach once we move to help get me competition ready. I want to start in figure then move up to physique. This is my goal!It is gonna be an exciting year!!!!

For now, I cut as much fat as I can before I start to bulk again. This next bulk I will do a “clean” bulk and try to eat as lean as possible so when I go to cut again there will be less fat to lose, but a ton of muscle!!!!

Jamie Nicole Pinder is an IFBB Pro and she made an amazing transformation from bikini to physique!!! She has a phenomenal body!!! It is ladies like this that let me know that anything is possible and that I CAN DO THIS!!!!

So today I do what I have been doing, which is packing, cleaning, getting donations ready, and working out. I hope you all have a fabulously fit Sunday!!!!! 🙂

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Recipe for Guilt-free Chocolaty Mint Protein Brownies!!!!

So I have been doing awesome on my cutting. We totally cheated a little on Thursday when we took our road trip to look at the house we will be moving to. Stoked about that by the way lol!!!! It is a lovely home in a perfect little neighborhood with super nice neighbors!!! Anyway, I did not cheat so bad. I had 2 Grilled chicken snack wraps from McDonalds. Bad, but not horrible. I had not planned on being gone as long as we were and we ran out of prepped food. It was late, I wanted to go home, and I was very hangry!!!!

Needless to say, yesterday I stayed on point with my eating. When we were in Springfield we were checking out the new Walmart  Markets. Not Super Walmarts, all they sell is food, no clothes, gadgets or other stuff, just food. While in there we noticed sugarfree cake and brownie mix and I had an epiphany!!! We could make protein snacks from these, to keep us from wanting to cheat!!! Sweets is something we both at times crave. There are some protein bars out there like Oh Yeah bars that take these cravings away, but most have sugar and a ton of fat. We bought some and started brainstorming on the way home. This was probably the cause for becoming hungry lol. 😉

So last night, we decided to attempt Chocolate Mint Brownies. I am not gonna lie, with all the talk about Girl Scout cookies lately we have been craving Thin Mints. Those were our inspiration! We started with a box of Sugar free brownie mix.

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We did substitute some of the ingredients. Instead of one whole egg, we used just an egg white. Instead of 1/3 cup of oil we used 1/3 cup of Fage 0% Total Plain Greek yogurt, and instead of 3 Tablespoons of water, we added 4.

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We also added a scoop of some of the most tasty protein I have EVER had!!!! Syntrax Matrix Mint Cookie. This protein alone tastes like Thin Mints, and I don’t mean similar to the cookie, I mean it straight up tastes like someone liquefied a box of those bad boys!!! (You can pick some up from Vitacost)

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Josh did all the work lol 😉 You gotta love a man in the kitchen!

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After mixed well, he poured the batter into an 8×8 pre-greased baking dish.

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Then placed it in the pre-heated oven (350 degrees) for about 26 mins or until a toothpick, or in our case fork came out clean. (I already packed the toothpicks lol)

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Now we could have just left it at that, but we like icing ha ha ha ha. So we took another scoop of the Mint Cookie Protein and mixed the tiniest amount of water until we got a thick icing like texture. We smothered the top of the Brownies and Voila!

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Mint Cookie perfection!!!!! Not the highest in Protein, but a nice sweet treat that doesn’t break the Macro bank!!! We cut the brownies into 12 equal squares. One square is 119 Calories, 3 Grams of Fat, 24 Grams of Carbs, and 6 Grams of Protein. Are they super good for you? NO, but they will satisfy a sweet tooth with you having to binge on the bad stuff 😉

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Today will be spent packing and cleaning. Of course hitting the gym too 😉 What cravings do you get? How are you all doing on your monthly goals? Hope you all have a fabulously fit day!!!!!!

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A Salute to our Servicemen & Women and Guest post from Vitacost.com

If you follow me, you know that last week I announced the special project that I had been working on with Vitacost! It is a Salute to Health for our Service men and women! It is a way to say Thank you for everything you do and sacrifice for us!

I was SO proud that my friend Ben Brokaw could be the first Service Man to kick off this campaign!

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Ben had contacted me a while for some fitness advice. He had explained that he had been injured in the service. He sent me a little back story

“I was a Corporal in the Marines and served four years honorably. I was stationed in Camp Lejeune, NC and I was a 0331, which is an infantry heavy machine gunner. I deployed to Fallujah Iraq in January 2007, and returned home in February of 2008. While there, I was the NCO in charge of our platoon’s armory; meaning I kept control and accountability of all our weapons and ammo. Also, I was the lead gunner. I was manning the first gun truck in our convoys. I was the guy looking for IED’s (aka roadside bombs.) The night of my injury, we rolled over a stack of three 121mm artillery shells, completely disabling the truck. The impact threw me from the top of truck, down inside the truck. We then started receiving small arms fire from AK 47’s in the nearby village. We pursued a firefight for 45 minutes. Eventually, no one was shooting back at us. We were then able to recovery the truck with a wrecker, and move out. I received three blown discs in my lumbar, and ended up with degenerative disc disease, and was also diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety and depression.”

This got me to thinking about what these men and women sacrifice for our freedom! How when they get back, especially with injuries, they get little to no help getting their lives back. I wanted to help Ben, even though I know I can’t heal him. I wanted him to know that his injury was not in vain and that his service is appreciated! I know that he can get into the best shape of his life and I truly wanted to help encourage him! Vitacost has been awesome for setting up this Salute to Health for these brave men and women!!!!

Ben received his care package of appreciation yesterday and was kind enough to send me some picture!

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I salute you Ben Brokaw and again Thank you and your family for the sacrifices you have made for us! Now get your butt in the gym Mister!!! 😉

I am also honored to have a guest blogger post today from Katie Kaleita with Vitacost.com Please, show her some love!

Five ways to make healthy eating fun

To call it a challenge would be an understatement. Anyone who has ever attempted to coerce their child into taking a bite of broccoli knows that it’d probably be easier to teach the family dog to play the piano. But it doesn’t have to be that way – we’ve compiled this handy list of simple tips to help get your kids on board with healthy eating:

1. Start your own garden. If you want your kids to fall in love with healthy foods, let them grow their own! Gardening is a great way to get kids interested in nutrition by teaching them where fruits and veggies come from and how they’re grown. Older kids can help with watering, while little ones can help you collect your crop. Start small and keep it simple – veggies such as potatoes, lettuce, cherry tomatoes and radishes are easy to grow and maintain. Don’t have a backyard? You can easily grow fresh herbs (or leafy lettuce) on a windowsill.

2. Get their help in the kitchen. Involving your kids in the cooking process can further their interest in healthy eating. Enlist their help with measuring, mixing, stirring and other simple kitchen tasks. Make things even more fun by letting your little chef get dressed for the occasion – with his or her very own apron, hat and kid-sized utensils.

3. Make mealtime fun. Different shapes, colors, textures and even funny names for foods (turn broccoli into a “baby tree” and suddenly it tastes better!) can encourage your kids to eat them more often. Cookie cutters are a crucial tool to accomplish this task – because nothing says “fun” like stars and hearts!

4. Turn healthy eating into a competition. A little sibling rivalry can be healthy now and then, especially when it involves servings of fruits and vegetables. Keep track of each child’s intake – whoever reaches their recommended amount first, wins! (Kids 3-6 should get at least 3 servings of veggies and 2 of fruit, while older kids need at 3-5 servings of veggies and 2-4 of fruit.)

5. Teach, don’t preach. Avoiding mandates will help you steer clear of mealtime meltdowns. Instead of saying, “Eat your fruits and vegetables,” teach kids about the importance of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients – and how your body obtains them from fruits, veggies and other healthy foods. Then let them decide whether or not to eat what’s on the dinner plate.

This article has been provided by the folks at Vitacost.com. Vitacost.com has been selling discount vitamins since 1994. Since then it’s grown into one of the biggest online marketplaces for healthy essentials-with vitamins and supplements being just one of their many helpful categories! Get the best price on vitamins, nutritional supplements, whole foods and diet products such as mushroom supplements and. Vitacost.com’s customers mean the world to them, and it’s their goal to provide you with the best nutritional supplements, natural foods and sports nutrition to help with your health and wellness. Vitacost.com is not affiliated with this blog, and isn’t responsible for content outside of this article.

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Birth Control, Has It Been Delaying My Progress???

I have been on an oral contraceptive since Zoe was born. So, just over 2 1/2 years. I was prescribed Sprintec.

I has done it’s job and done it well! 😉 However, I have never like the thought of taking something to regulate my hormones as well as stop my ability to reproduce. We did not want to take the risk of another surprise, so I reluctantly started taking the pill.

I started to feel different immediately after it entered my blood stream. I had more “emotional” moments, my acne flared up really bad, I started having dizzy spells, and my weight actually had gotten a little worse. I was post pregnancy, so I already had some extra weight, I didn’t need or want anymore. When I started weight training, I was more interested in just losing the weight. It was never about how much muscle I was building.

That quickly changed after I started to see how awesome muscles were making me feel and look! I wanted to build more! The addiction to lifting had set in. Even though I have been building some muscle and seeing awesome results, I have done a ton of research and talked to many in the industry and I know my birth control has been holding me back. Here is just a small fraction of some of the articles you can find online about the effects of BC and muscle building.

Research

In 2009, researchers at Texas A&M University presented the results of a study to determine whether oral contraceptives impact negatively on a woman’s ability to build muscle. In the study, 73 women between the ages of 18 and 34 completed 10 weeks of resistance training. Approximately half of the women who participated were taking birth control pills at the time of the study. Researchers concluded that the group that was taking the pill developed 40 percent less muscle mass than the group that was not taking the pill. Exercise physiologist Chang Woock Lee, one of the researchers involved in the study, attributes the difference in muscle-building ability to oral contraceptive use.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/553744-birth-control-muscle-building/#ixzz2I9lYgmHd

 

The effects that oral contraceptives have on muscle mass

A study was done to examine the effects that birth control pills had on female muscle mass. The study involved 73-women between the ages of 18-31, whose health was generally in good condition. The women were split into two groups, and both groups participated in resistance exercise training (RET). A total of 34 women who took oral contraceptives made up one group; 39 women who did not use oral contraceptives formed the second group.

The participants worked out three days a week for 10 weeks. A variety of strength training exercises were done, including the following:

* Chest presses

* Lateral pull downs

* Leg extensions

* Exercises for the triceps and biceps

* Crunches (for the abdomen)

Samples of blood were taken prior to and after exercise. They measured muscle building and muscle breaking blood hormone levels. The researches discovered that there were substantial variances in lean mass gains; whereas strength gains remained similar in both groups. The amount of anabolic hormones in the blood, both resting and fasting, were extremely lower in the females who took oral contraceptives. In addition, the cortisol levels were elevated in the oral contraceptive group.

Those who took birth control pills also had reduced DHEA levels at the end of the 10 weeks; the other group had levels that remained the same. The researchers stated, “We were surprised at the magnitude of differences in muscle gains between the two groups, with the non-OC women gaining more than 60% greater muscle mass than their OC counterpart.”

Read more: http://sports.yahoo.com/top/news?slug=ycn-10555693

The more I read, the more I disliked being on the pill. Josh and I have been discussing me stopping for quite a while. Well, my prescription ran out and I took my last pill 4 days ago! Obviously, we will take other precautions to not get pregnant. We are not ready for baby number 2 quite yet lol 😉

This is the year of accomplishing some fitness goals! After I accomplish them, then we can talk babies lol. I am actually really excited about my body going back to normal. Like I said before I noticed a difference from the get go. If you are on any contraceptive and have actually read the insert, it can be quite overwhelming to read all the possible side effects. These are the listed side effects to mine.

The following adverse reactions have been reported in patients receiving oral contraceptives and are believed to be drug-related:

  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms (such as abdominal cramps and bloating).
  • Breakthrough bleeding.
  • Spotting.
  • Change in menstrual flow.
  • Amenorrhea.
  • Temporary infertility after discontinuation of treatment.
  • Edema.
  • Melasma which may persist.
  • Breast changes: tenderness, enlargement, secretion.
  • Change in weight (increase or decrease).
  • Change in cervical erosion and secretion.
  • Diminution in lactation when given immediately postpartum.
  • Cholestatic jaundice.
  • Migraine.
  • Rash (allergic).
  • Mental depression.
  • Reduced tolerance to carbohydrates.
  • Vaginal candidiasis.
  • Change in corneal curvature (steepening).
  • Intolerance to contact lenses.

The following adverse reactions have been reported in users of oral contraceptives and the association has been neither confirmed nor refuted:

Read more: http://www.rxlist.com/sprintec-drug/side-effects-interactions.htm

Sounds awesome right??? So outside of ALL this, building less lean muscle mass, just put it over the top! Now that I have made the decision to stop taking it, I am ready now to see what changes I can make without it!!! I really want to accomplish my goal of competing in a Figure Competition, then after this small feat, on to Physique!!!! I am gonna smash my goals this year!!!! No if, ands, or buts about it! 2013 is gonna be AWESOME!!!!

What are your thought on birth control? What goals have you set for yourself? Hope you all have a fabulously fit day!!!!

Vitacost.com

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