Posts Tagged ‘Family’

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. ūüėČ

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. ūüėČ

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 ūüėČ 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! ūüôā 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!!!!

Vitacost.com

Halloween craft, Cheat meals, getting back in the gym, and oh don’t forget about the 3 GIVEAWAYS!!!!

Been an awesome couple of days! I got second place in the photo contest. I originally did not think I was going to get a prize, but they awarded me one too! To boot, I made like 10 more Facebook friends who are also as into fitness as I am. To me, that is a prize in itself! ūüôā

Cardinals won last night, after a HUGE come back!!! that was awesome to see!!! I am stoked they won! Bring on the Giants!!! The Cards won on my birthday, Wednesday. Today is my husband Josh’s birthday, so how awesome they won again!

HAPPY 27th  BIRTHDAY to my gorgeous and perfect to me husband!!!!

Unfortunately he had to work today, but the past two days he has been off and we had wonderful family fun days!!! I saw the cutest craft on The Naptime Review! Julie had made a pumpkin candle holder. Looked so cute and super easy! I didn’t have orange tissue paper, so orginally I was going to use white and make a ghost, but of course, I couldn’t find my white tissue paper. I am in the process of packing up the house lol so I tend to forget where things are. ūüėČ I did find green streamers from Zoe’s birthday last year. Green means Frankenstein!!! Lol Which works out better for us because Zoe hadn’t learned the ASL Sign for Frankenstein yet. So I gathered all the materials I wanted to use and set Zoe up at the table.

Materials Used

  • Some sort of jar. I used an old Yankee candle that was burned up.
  • Green tissue paper. I used green streamers.
  • Black construction paper. I cut out hair, a mouth, a nose, and the back part of his eyes.
  • White construction paper just for the big part of his eyes. I¬†originally¬†had cut out ovals for the eyes, but ended up cutting them in half, because it looked better.
  • ModPodge
  • Sponge Brush
  • 2 Bottle caps
  • Silver marker to color the caps inside (optional)
  • Eager child

Zoe painted on the ModPodge and put the pieces of green paper on

It definitely got messy lol

Once she had all the green paper on, we smoothed it down and gave another good coat of ModPodge. Then, she was ready to start on the hair.

Once we got the hair lined up we put the face on and put yet another coat of ModPodge on

Zoe loves craft time lol She was singing our Haunted house song the whole time

The last thing we put on was the bottle caps. We put the ModPodge on the tops of them and put them on his neck upside down. Zoe showing the American Sign language sign for Frankenstein ūüôā Both fingers pointing to your neck where the bolts go.

It turned out pretty cute!

Zoe is very proud of her Frankenstein!

The past two days have been my rest days/cheat days. I really didn’t cheat a ton. I had a couple of Lindor Truffles. They gave out free vouchers on Facebook the other day for 6oz bags. I got 2 vouchers, but we only redeemed 1. I figured I was less likely to cheat that way lol. Last night Josh smoked Sausage egg balls. Oh my goodness good!!!! The sausage was the cheat, and we actually only put a thin layer around the eggs so we wouldn’t indulge too much. ūüėČ

It was a ball of breakfast goodness lol

I do not feel guilty at all about my cheat days! I consider them refuel days. It is not bad to confuse your body with a treat every once in a while. Obviously, do not over indulge. These treats confuse our metabolisms and help us keep our sanity. Because I do not overindulge, I am very picky about what my cheats will be lol.

Today I am back in the gym and stoked about it! It is shoulder day, which is one of my favorites!!! Granted, there really isn’t a day I dislike in the gym lol. I am kind of an addict. ūüėČ My shoulders are finally starting to cap and my triceps have gotten way more defined.

I am hoping to get my BF% down a lot more this month so I can see even more definition. I have to say the Renegade Challenge has been HUGE for my arms, shoulders, chest, and core. WOW  A Challenge it is!!!

Do you have a Halloween craft to share? What is your favorite cheat day treat? What workout is your favorite?

Don’t forget I have 3 GIVEAWAYS going on so get entered to win! I have more lined up for next month, it is going to be exciting!!!!

Vitacost.com

 

 

Staying positive, running to lose fat NOT muscle, & Building up my guns!!!

Zoe and I had a great run this morning! I swear on run days, Zoe wakes up extra early lol. I haven’t been sleeping well, so she had to drag me out of bed this morning. It actually worked out well, because Josh had to leave earlier than normal, because his debit card info got stolen. Someone in Florida was on a shopping spree, so he had to run by the bank to fill out some paper work to get his account settled. ¬†Luckily the bank caught it! YIKES! We have NO idea how they got his info. It’s kinda stupid really. Whomever it was made purchases from stores in Florida in person. So with knowing the time, date, and location, some of the stores could have cameras, therefore busted criminal. Not the wisest heist lol, (criminals aren’t usually the brightest people though). Hopefully they get caught and learn their lesson!

We aren’t the type of people to play victim. We shrug it off as bad luck and move on! ūüôā Just stay positive and keep smiling, that is our motto!

Hard not to smile when we wake up to this everyday! ūüėČ

Okay, back to the run lol. Zoe and I always get ready together. Wash faces, brush teeth, get dressed, and slather on sunblock. Even on the gloomiest of days, which incidentally today qualified for.

She likes to help put the sunscreen on

I’m ready to run Mama!!!!

Like I said though, we were all smiles! Zoe even made fun of me while I warmed up. Apparently watching mama do a few warm up exercises is hilarious!!!

We went 1.72 miles with a time of ¬†23:43 Which isn’t horrible, since we had to stop to put the rain cover over Zoe, then she ran the last stretch. She is really getting into running! She puts her all into it, that’s for sure!!!

Thumbs up from Zoe on our run!

Once home, I sat down and started reviewing my goals from September and making my new goal list for October! Gotta make sure you are on point with your goals! I for one do not want to be spinning my wheels, so I make sure I have all my short term goals ready! You have to check off the short term goals to reach the BIG ones!!! Tell yourself I’m going to succeed, and DO IT!!!

With my new found love for running, I have had concerns with losing my muscle mass. So like everything else, I started researching! I now know with running my body can go into a catabolic state (tissue burning) rather than the anabolic state (which I need to build muscle).

When I run my energy is burnt in this order;

1) Carbohydrates (both stored and direct from foods)

2) Fats (from foods and as stored cells)

3) Proteins (amino acids from muscle tissue)

I also learned that Cardio exercise actually helps you build muscle by enhancing your recovery from weight training by promoting blood flow and oxygen transport to your muscles.

I also learned that I want to keep my target heart rate at 75-85% ¬†At 75% my heart rate should be 155 at a 1 minute count. I used the 220- age formula to get that number.¬†The simple formula: Take 220 and minus your age which is accurate to approximately +15 BPM. You then take that number and multiply it by .75 – .85, which will give you your percentages of 75% — 85% of your Max. HR.¬†Or you can run till you know your heart is really pumping and you can still talk without being¬†extremely¬†out of breath. I prefer the more precise method!

I decided I will continue to run 3 days a week. One day I will run around 3 miles, the other two I will run 1.5-2 miles. Staying with the 75% max HR will burn fat and not my muscle!

Speaking of muscles, ūüėČ Today is bicep day! I LOVE working on my guns!!!! LOL

Today’s workout

Close grip EZ bar curls 4 sets of 12 or till muscle failure w/100 jump ropes between each set

Cross body hammer curls 4 sets of 12 or till muscle failure

Preacher curls 4 sets of 12 or till muscle failure

I am off to work on my guns!!!! ūüôā

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Try Quest Protein Bars!

 

 

 

 

 

Get Fit Tips that have helped me so far!

 

If you are like me, you started your fitness adventure hopeful and determined of getting the body you always dreamed of! I jumped right in to fitness and started to see small changes in my body. That got me excited, so I continued to work hard and eat what I thought was healthy.

Although I did see some results, a lot of my views on fitness and eating healthy were incorrect and my results were thwarted. I hit a plateau and got frustrated. I thought I was doing everything right! How could I be working so hard, but nothing happening?

There were several things that were slowing my progress down. There is a learning curve to everything you do and I was right at the beginning of it! After many trials and errors as well as a ton of research, I am finally getting the results I have been wanting! Although I am no where near my goal, I am getting closer everyday!

Here are some tips that I have learned so far:

  • The scale does not determine health! I weigh more now, but look slimmer ¬†than I did when I was 10lbs lighter. The media has led us to believe that all women should be 110lbs of perfectness. Fact of the matter is, we all come in different shapes and sizes. I weigh more than most would believe, but that does not make me fat, nor does it dictate my health or worth!

 

  • Just because it says it is healthy, doesn’t mean it is! By this, I mean food and drink items. Diet drinks do not help you lose weight. Chances are they will help you get bloated and look more overweight. Not to mention the adverse effects of all the chemicals. Food items like Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice, Smart Ones, Etc, um yeah just throw those away! They are so far from healthy is is sick! My key to grocery shopping is stay to the outside and only buy fresh. The only time I enter the red zone or inner¬†aisles is when I need to get my dried bean, brown rice, quinoa, etc. I always have a list for the red zone and I NEVER go off of it!

 

  • Food is NOT the enemy! I use to eat very little. Like many, I believed that if I cut back on my food, my body would cut back on fat. SO NOT TRUE! Your body goes into starvation mode, in turn it starts storing fat. So eat up. I eat 6 small meals a day. Yes, I said meals and I enjoy every one of them!

  • Do NOT skip rest days and make sure you are scheduling yourself plenty of sleep. My post yesterday is all about skipping rest days. It has been a problem for me in the past, but now I get it! As far as sleep goes, I was¬†diagnosed¬†with insomnia at a young age. I have tried several medications and what works best for me is having a routine. I go to bed at the same time every night, sleep on a good mattress and pillow, make sure I am dressed comfy, no lights, no tv, I do my Bible study, Reflect on what I am thankful for then close my eyes. ¬†Rest is very important!

  • Cut back on alcohol. I enjoy a great beer like anyone else, but if it means losing the body I am working towards, then I can put the bottle down! Alcohol¬†increases your blood sugar, which makes your body store more fat in your stomach. This is where the term beer belly came from lol. ¬†If you really want to lose fat, you‚Äôve got to limit your alcohol intake to one to two drinks once or twice a week. Period.

  • Start Weight Training and actually lift enough weight to build muscle. Ladies, you will NOT bulk up by lifting heavy. It is a fact that the more muscle you build, the more fat you burn.¬†If you can get afterburn, which is really another way of saying your metabolism¬†increases for several hours or longer after a particular exercise, then that is a bonus because you burn fat during the exercise and after you stop. Will the fun ever end! ūüėČ

  • Don’t make exercise your excuse. Meaning, don’t eat horrible for a whole day then say “I will do extra workouts tomorrow to burn those calories off” It doesn’t work that way. It is fine to indulge once in a while, I actually¬†encourage¬†it, but do not expect to eat like that all the time and be able to just work it off in the gym.

 

  • Cut sugar from your diet and add more fiber. Sugar has been proven to be the leading cause of¬†obesity. They were actually just talking about it on the news this morning! I have been known to have a horrible sweet tooth. Quitting sugar for me was as hard as quitting smoking, but I did it! Yes I still have the¬†occasional¬†piece¬†of candy or cake, but they are far, few, and¬†in-between!¬†¬†I fill up on slow cooked oats, fruits, and veggies! To be honest when I get a sweet craving now, I grab some fruit and it is so much more¬†satisfying! Zoe calls it sports candy lol.

  • Slow down and eat with your family at the table. You know the thing in the kitchen everyone uses to throw their stuff on. ūüėČ When you sit in front of the television, you tend to lose track of how much you ate. Some people will continue to over stuff themselves, because they are captivated by what is on t.v. Make it a habit at every meal to turn off the t.v. and sit together as a family and eat your meal. You will find that you will eat slower, eat less, and actually have some family bonding time!

  • Surround yourself with positive and supportive people. As sad as it is, sometimes you just have to let go of people who try to drag you down and belittle your goals and dreams. If someone truly cares about you, they will care about what makes you happy. Find a support group. I have several groups of online friends who have been there for me since day one! They answer questions, give me advice, they always lift my spirits and I always try to do the same for them! Sometimes life changes let you see who your true friends are. It can be pretty bittersweet experience.

  • Love yourself! This is something I still have trouble with sometimes, but I have come a long way! I now look at myself in the mirror and find 3 things I love about myself. It is easier now than it use to be lol. I have been making Zoe do the same everyday. She has gotten to the point where she tells me what she loves about me too and I do the same for her. I think it is important to love yourself, because not only does it make you a happier person, but it makes it easier to work towards your goals!

  • Last but not least, set realistic goals! I set long and short term goals. If you write them down, or in this day in age lol, post them. ūüėČ You feel more accountable for what needs to be done. You are constantly reminded of the work you need to put in. ¬†Let me tell you, nothing is more¬†satisfying¬†than reaching a goal and making a new one!

It is never too late to start making a healthier and happier life for not just yourself, but your family! I started this journey, because I hated myself and when I looked into my daughter’s eyes, I knew that was not the mother I wanted to be! I want more for my daughter than a life of self pity and self hate. I want her to embrace who she is and be proud of herself. To set goals for herself and work hard to achieve them! In order to set that example, I have to live it! Children learn what they live!

Get out there and start achieving your goals and loving yourself today!

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More about October’s Giveaway and Where I am at with my September Goals!

It has been an awesome morning so far! I just got exciting news on what will be in next month’s giveaway package from VitaCost!!! There will be a Therasage Mini 2, an Olympian Labs Get Ripped Get Fit Complete Starter Kit, and a VitaCost tote to carry it all in!!!

I am not gonna lie, I would love to get this stuff too lol VitaCost is pretty awesome to sponser this giveaway!!! Do me a favor and check them out!!! They sell EVERYTHING!!! All your supplement needs as well as things like coconut oil, chia seeds, and so much more!!! It is awesome to be able to get all of your shopping done in one convenient place!!!!
Vitacost.com

Then, Josh surprised me with all the workout gear that I thought had gone back! He reworked the budget so I could keep it all. If you didn’t know, my husband lives to spoil my daughter and I! I just adore that man!!!

I decide to change our running route this morning. It added up to be just under 2 miles. My left leg has shin splints horribly bad. I have been icing it down, doing exercises, and I have been focused on my form when running. It has all helped greatly! Josh got me new running shoes and some compression socks, so I am hoping those help even more!!! Zoe wanted to run today, so I let her out of the stroller as we got closer to the house and that child did not want to stop running!!! LOL

We had a great run! I felt like I did awesome!!! After talking with a personal trainer friend, I decided to NOT worry about my time right now. I have been pushing myself too hard. I need to just concentrate on getting a good quality run in. Today, I did just that!

Hot sweaty mess!!!

I botched some of my September goals. ūüôĀ ¬†I am down 2 lbs with 5 lbs left to go for goal #1 I still have a little time, so I am optimistic about that one! The no sugar other than natural sugar did not happen. I have had 2 energy drinks and some caramel popcorn in the past week. I CHEATED!!!! I am human, and I am not going to beat myself up about it. Just brush it off and move forward!!! I have been doing great with my running! I missed last Friday, but made up for it this morning. My weight training I have NOT been slacking on. I am pretty routine when it comes to that! ūüėČ I am saving the fitting into old jeans for the end of the month. I am still hopeful on that one too lol. Zoe still needs to learn 17 more signs this month, which I am a little behind, but again I have 2 weeks to get her where I want her. We still have not had a date night . It has been to hard to schedule with everything that happened with my dad then Josh’s car breaking down. Still hopeful for that one too lol. I added plank a day and handstand a day to try to improve my times on both and I have been slacking on them as well, but I am back in my groove today!!!

Plank time today was 2:43 not horrible, but I want to do 3 mins a day regularly.

Zoe does her workout with mama lol My handstand was just 52 seconds, so I need to work on that too I get woozy and just can’t stay up.

I still have my weight training to do today. (Shoulder day) ūüôā I love shoulder day! Granted, I love all my weight training lol.

If I can squeeze it in,  I am going to try to get some healthy pumpkin muffins made!!!!! It is an experimental recipe, so if it turns out good, I will post it tomorrow!

Are you as excited as I am for the awesome giveaway next month???  How are you doing on your September goals??? Were you like me and have too many cheats? Do you beat yourself up about them or just move on???
Also check out the affiliate of the month for September! They have awesome and CLEAN protein bars!!! We LOVE them!!!! They are a great meal replacement when you are on the run!!!
Try Quest Protein Bars!

Thank you for reading and have a fabulous and blessed day!!!!!

Running, “Clean” eating snacks on the go, Future Giveaways and more!

¬† ¬† Zoe and I went on our second run this morning! I was a little concerned heading out, because my legs are still very sore from leg day in the gym. However, I did pretty good! I beat the first run’s time by almost a minute. Today it was 16:20, still an awful time lol, but better ūüôā Zoe was excited that we were going on a run!¬†

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¬† ¬† I am so happy she enjoys it!!! The weather is still a little warm and humid for my liking. We started our run a little earlier this morning than last time, hoping it wouldn’t be as bad, it was just as hot lol. The first hill is the easiest for me.¬†

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¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†It isn’t horribly steep and Zoe yells “Go Mama Go” the whole time lol. She hates it when I walk. She has the need for speed! ūüėČ Her encouraging yells keep me going for sure. She is quite the motivator!!! If I slow down too much she does not hesitate to turn around and let me know it!¬†

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        So all in all, my second time out was a success! I need to ditch this stroller and get a decent jogging stroller though! This one will work for now, but I am afraid not for long lol.

¬† ¬† ¬†I am also anxiously awaiting the UPS man today!!! As you know from previous posts, that we are trying to eat as “Clean” as possible. Some things that we still want to have in our diets, but have a hard time finding without all the artificial additives and preservatives. Protein bars being one of those items. I love protein bars, because they are easy when you are on the go! High protein snacks are a must. Ones that you don’t have to keep in a cooler are a HUGE plus!!!! Typically we bring baked eggs to snack on when heading out and about, but you need a cooler for them and they can still be stinky. Baked eggs are like boiled eggs, just baked. They have a creamier texture and with baking them, they come out perfect every time! Zoe refuses to eat boiled eggs, but LOVES baked eggs. The child can tell every time if I try to give her a boiled one.

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¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Anyway, back to¬†Protein¬†bars ūüėČ As I was saying finding “Clean” protein bars are a little difficult to find! I have had several brands that I LOVE, but they truly are not good for us at all! When I came across a brand that actually is clean, I was not only happy, but super excited to try them! I reached out to the company to see if they would allow me to review the bars and they happily obliged!

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    I have heard excellent reviews on them so far!!! So, that is what I am waiting so anxiously for today! If I love them as much as I think I am going to, they will become an affiliate of this page! I will also add some to a small plethora of items for a future giveaway, so you guys will be able to try them too! Keep your eyes peeled for that!!! 

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 How often do you run?  What are your favorite on the go snacks? Do you find yourself lugging a small cooler around for your snacks? What is your favorite Protein bar flavor or brand?

   Josh is off tomorrow and Friday, so we are getting ready for our family fun days! Hope everyone enjoys this lovely day!!!!! 

 

 

To achieve greatness, you must set GOALS!!!

So last night I did a Twitter chat with many great people associated with FitFluential and ViewSport. It was fun and I really enjoyed it! The topic was Goals and Goal setting. I did miss some of the conversation, due to trying to cook a late dinner and control an unruly toddler lol. What I did catch was awesome!

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¬† ¬† I have my ultimate goal, which is to be able to compete in Women’s Physique competitions.

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¬† ¬†I have smaller goals to help me get there! One of my smaller goals is to run (with Zoe in a stroller) in a 5k. I think they look fun and would be a great accomplishment for both of us! I know she would love it!!! We started running yesterday ūüôā I had planned what I thought was the perfect route around our subdivision. It was 1.2 miles. I did not take into consideration that I would be pushing a 30lb two year old in a large clunky stroller, or that I routed us to go up 2 large hills lol. To boot, it was super humid out!!! Our time was 17:18. I was proud that we got out there and did it, but I was disappointed with my time. ¬†I do know that I will continue to run 2 or 3 times a week and that my time will improve!

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¬† ¬†I didn’t think that there would be much quality time for us while running. Surprisingly enough, there really was! We were always talking about pretty flowers, trees, dogs, and anything else we saw on our short running journey. I am hoping to get Josh out there with us once a week! I think it would be another great way to have family fun time! we shall see if he agrees lol ūüėČ

 I believe setting goals is a great example for Zoe! I want her to learn that in order to get what she wants, she need to make a plan, set goals, then work hard to accomplish them!

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    We have accomplished several small goals to get us where we are now. Things like: Drinking more water, keeping our sugar intake less than 35 grams a day, cutting out artificial sugars, throwing out anything that has artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, learning to cook healthier meals, and consistently weight training!

We have both (Josh and I) had slip ups and times where we have gotten lazy or off track. The great thing about sharing our goals with each other, is we do keep each other accountable! I believe in marriage you have to work as a team. Supporting each other and pushing each other is very important! In this house we are very goal oriented and love helping each other achieve greatness!!!

Do you have a goal? Do you have smaller goals to help you achieve the main goal? Who in your life inspires and pushes you? Do you involve your family in your dreams?

Get out there and accomplish your goals! Do not let any set back hold you down from your greatest achievements!!!

I thought it was just another “Diet Pill” Wow, was I wrong!!!!

A couple of weeks ago I heard about a product called SkinnyBits. At first I did not pay much attention to it, because I don’t usually fall into a diet pill fads. I started seeing more people talking about. Out of¬†curiosity¬†I looked it up and saw that it was in fact NOT a supplement or “Magic” diet pill. It IS in fact 100% Spirulina Algae tabs. This did actually perked my curiosity more and I was pretty stoked to score a sample to try them out!

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This is the actual sample I received ūüôā

While waiting on their arrival, I wanted to do more research on Spirulina Algae. I have a friend who has been ordering it from a different company and mixing it with their food and shakes for years! What strikes me as amazing, is how high in protein it is! Protein is a huge part of my diet. It helps me build lean muscle mass when I am weight training.

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   Raw protein is not the only valuable benefit though! It is also full of major vitamins: A1, B1, B2, B6, B12 , C and E. It also contains beta-carotene, all the essential fatty acids, as well being 62% amino acids. It is also is full of important minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, and the list goes on and on! Pretty impressive really!!!

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   Upon more research, I found that the blue-green algae is great for several things: weight loss, stress, fatigue, anxiety, diabetes, ADHD, depression, PMS, improving your memory, lowering your cholesterol, increasing your metabolism, preventing heart disease, this list actually goes on and on too!

I even found some recipes that incorporate it! Algae smoothies, Guacamole, even Energy bars!

It is widely available in many forms and in many price ranges. With SkinnyBits or any of their HealthBits, you can order a bag of the tabs and they send a tin (like the sample one) that you can refill and carry with you. There is a smell to the tabs when you first open them. I just swallowed them like pills, but the paperwork that came with them said you can eat them too. It did warn that it is an¬†acquired¬†taste though ūüėČ LOL I wasn’t quite ready to¬†acquire¬†it. I was impressed with the product and will probably be adding Spirulina Algae to our diet. I would definitely check them out!!! By the way,I am not being paid by HeathBits for reviewing their product, I simply am impressed by the health benefits of Spirulina Algae. I would however use/or promote their product, because I do believe in it’s benefits! You will never see a product on my blog, that I would not use myself or give to my family!

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What the tabs actually look like!

Like I said, you can buy it in many forms and many different price ranges. I still have questions about the quality if buying from a different company at a cheaper price? Being a frugal mama, I obviously want the best bang for my buck! Certainly, I do believe it will greatly benefit my family and I, but I always want to make sure I am getting the best price too!

Huge thank you to SkinnyBits for allowing me to sample your product! If you have more questions about SkinnyBits, you can click on their name anywhere in my blog to go to their website. You can also get a 10% discount on any of the HealthBits by using the code BLOG! Definitely check them out!!!!

Have you ever tried Spirulina Algae? What are your thoughts on the health benefits? Would this be something you would add to your family’s diet? I love¬†input¬†from my readers, so if you have comments or questions, fire away!!!

Zoe and I are going to start running today! I have her stroller ready, snacks all packed, and our route mapped out! Should be fun!!! Hope you all enjoy your day!!!

Food or Poison? What are you feeding your family???

When I was pregnant I was very¬†adamant about not consuming artificial colors or additives, due to the risk of it harming my baby. I got a lot of guff from friends and family!¬†¬†Even at my baby shower!!! I didn’t want to eat the cake lol. It was a cute cake, I was just scared to risk anything. I had waited a long time for this blessing!!! I did end up having a piece out of guilt lol. ūüėČ

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      Having a horrible craving for fruity candy. As you may have guessed, I had the hardest time finding anything without all the colors. I was told Red 40, Blue 1, and Yellow 6 were the worst. Well, you would not believe how many things, not just candy, have these colors in them!!!! Cereal, candy, chips, juice, soda, yogurt, cheese, Lunchables, heck even pickles!!!

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¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Needless to say, I was not a happy pregnant lady lol. I did my best to stay strong. At this point in my life, I had never heard of “Clean Eating”. My diet before pregnancy was anything but healthy! ¬†You ask, what could I have possibly read that made me decide to have a more restrictive diet?

As CSPI reported:

“Almost all the toxicological studies on dyes were commissioned, conducted, and analyzed by the chemical industry and academic consultants. Ideally, dyes (and other regulated chemicals) would be tested by independent researchers.

Furthermore, virtually all the studies tested individual dyes, whereas many foods and diets contain mixtures of dyes (and other ingredients) that might lead to additive or synergistic effects.

In addition to considerations of organ damage, cancer, birth defects, and allergic reactions, mixtures of dyes (and Yellow 5 tested alone) cause hyperactivity and other behavioral problems in some children.

… Because of those toxicological considerations, including carcinogenicity, hypersensitivity reactions, and behavioral effects, food dyes cannot be considered safe. The FDA should ban food dyes, which serve no purpose other than a cosmetic effect, though quirks in the law make it difficult to do so (the law should be amended to make it no more difficult to ban food colorings than other food additives).

In the meantime, companies voluntarily should replace dyes with safer, natural colorings.”

      If you click on the CSPI link you can get everything in more detail. It basically says that after extensive testing, they linked artificial colors to organ damage, cancer, birth defects, hyperactivity, difficulty focusing, allergies, learning disabilities, and this is just the tip of the iceberg! What is even more astonishing is that if you buy food products in the UK, their government will not allow these artificial colors in the food without a WARNING label! Why? for health reasons of course! So why is the FDA allowing it in our food? Why is our country being poisoned?

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¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† I am not gonna say that in my household,we never eat artificial colors. I can honestly say, we have nothing in the pantry or fridge that has artificial colors! We don’t buy things with them. I love to bake, but have put my colorful cakes on hold till I can figure out a way to naturally color them. (My chocolate cake has always been the favorite anyway. No added color needed lol)

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† I do get frustrated a lot, because I get labeled “The mean mama” ¬†or “The over protector” when it comes to birthday parties and children’s gatherings. I don’t want Zoe having the junk, even if it is only once in a while! Zoe is a very active child on her own, without sugar or artificial colors! Anyone who knows her, knows she never sits still. She can focus and is very smart! She has impressed every doctor she has seen with her knowledge!¬†Josh and I noticed a huge change when we allow her to have colors or¬†preservatives. She spends more time in “Time-Out” than actually playing.¬†We have seen first hand what it does to a child! She rarely has colors or preservatives now. Unfortunately, we can not help what people give her when we are not there or when we aren’t looking. (Grandparents always get a pass on spoiling her lol)

     When she was about 1 year old, we started learning more about eating clean. It opened a whole new world for us! Zoe up till this point was on a pretty clean diet already, because we made her baby food. Josh and I however, were not. We thought we were eating healthy. Boy were we wrong!!! I have since been learning ways to cook and serve more clean meals! We do still have slip ups here and there. Zoe has even had some too. :-/ With everything, there is a learning curve. We are certainly learning more and more everyday!

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Until you start really reading labels, you never realize how much toxic stuff is in our food supply! ¬†Did you know that the dyes in your food, are also in your toothpaste, mouthwash, medicines, shampoos, some vitamins,etc. and even worse, the dyes are made from petroleum! Yeah, the same stuff that fuels your car! Horrible to think that if you feed your child the wrong brand of cheese, you could be giving them something you would put in your car’s gas tank! YUCK!!!

   You may be asking yourself, why do they put dyes in foods? They put them there to make our food look more appealing. Basically make-up for food. They believe it will make the food more palatable for everyone. For instance, cheesy chips should have that orange/yellow color that comes off on your hands, so you believe that it is in fact cheese. It is actually nothing more than cheese flavored powder. The chips themselves are flavored too artificially of course! All junk and all horrible for you and your kids!!! Our children are our future, so why are we feeding them the worst trash possible???

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¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Some say it is more expensive to eat healthier. Well, it is true in the fact that your rarely see coupons for fresh veggies or fruit. All the sales are always on soda and chips. I will definitely agree with that! However, my family is on a very fixed income and we make it just fine. We never buy junk food. Everything is homemade in our house. That brings me to the next excuse I hear a lot “I don’t have time to cook!” Our meals do not take any longer than 30 to 45 mins to prep and cook. Snacks in this house are fruit, veggies, nuts, or something we concoct. If we want chips, we buy clean corn tortillas and we bake our own. Nothing is ever that time consuming and it keeps us from needlessly eating, as many people do when they get bored. If you have time to sit in front of the computer or Television, then you have time to make something for your family. (It is actually a gesture of love to get off your tush and serve your family)

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Lemon and blueberry sorbet. Made in my kitchen!

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Clean Garlic and Dill chips made fresh!

¬† ¬†There are some companies that make candy, chips, cookies, and several other foods that do not have all the crap in them. You just have to read labels!!!! ¬†My pregnancy go to candy was Mambas. No, they are not healthy, but they also do not have artificial colors. They always got me through my craving for fruity sweet treats! I have recently discovered UnReal brand candy! I haven’t tried them as of yet, but Zoe and I are going to treat ourselves very soon!!! Once we do I will let you know what we think!!! Stacy’s brand snacks have all natural chips! So, as you can see there are options out there! You just have to do your research.

     People need to be aware of what they are actually consuming or having your family consume! I am astonished at how many kids and adults live on Hot Pockets and microwave dinners!!! It is disappointing to know there are parents out there who would rather be at the bar, watching television, or sitting on Facebook than providing a healthy meal for their family. We make cooking a family thing. If Josh is working, then it is just Zoe and I. She is always eager to help! Whatever she helps make, you can guarantee she is gonna eat too!!!! When Josh is home we all three tackle the job! It is fun and it keeps us close as a family! The meals are made with love, which makes them perfect for us!

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† We like knowing what we are eating! I hope this opens at least one person’s eyes to what is going on with our food in this country! If they have to put “make-up” on your food, what are they covering up???

Have your children been diagnosed with ADHD or ADD? Have you tried changing their diet as opposed to drugs?

We are always looking for new healthy treats! Do have any all natural snacks that you like to indulge on?

 I hope everyone has a healthy and happy Wednesday!!!

Stop Hating and Start Motivating!

We all have days where we just don’t wanna get up and do anything! Some people have more of those than others. ūüėČ Sometimes, you just need some way to get that motivation and kick your butt in to gear!!!

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¬† ¬† ¬† I see many who spend more time sulking about what they are unhappy with than getting up and doing something about it. I get it, I have been there! You don’t have to go through life unhappy, angry, depressed, and all around hateful? You CAN change!

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¬† ¬† If you really want to change things and how you feel about yourself, posting your self hate on social media sites probably won’t get you there. ūüėČ Another approach is getting up and getting started! Making small changes in your daily diet and activities is a great start! Maybe cutting soda out or walking in the evenings after dinner. Start with small steps and small goals that will help you get to where you want to be!

¬† ¬†STOP making excuses!!! If you want to be fit and be happy with your body, you have to be willing to make the changes! Making excuses is just saying it is that it isn’t important to you. It took me a long time to get beyond my excusititus (that’s what I call it lol) It is an illness, spread by negative thoughts and in some cases negative people. You have to not only start changing how you think, but you may also need to separate yourself from the negative aspects in your life. You start thinking more positive, you will stop making excuses!

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¬† ¬† ¬†I try to surround myself with positive people. In the past I had people in my life who would give me reasons why I couldn’t or shouldn’t do something and others who were so caught up in finding the negative in their own lives and expecting me to help pick them back up. I couldn’t do it for myself, let alone others around me. When there is no positive people in your life, who will pick you up when you really need it? I have seeked out several motivating and positive fitness minded individuals on social media sites. Some are like me, just regular people looking to change their body and life, some are professional¬†athletes, fitness models, body builders, etc. ¬†Most professionals are more than happy to answer questions and help you get where you want to be! Seeking guidance from a personal trainer at your gym can also be a huge help. Most of them have made quite the life transformations themselves!!!!

 Foe example, this is Kelsey Byers. I follow her on Facebook. She is a fitness model and a super friendly lady! She is a great example of a motivating person to follow and is always glad to lend some advice or a friendly word.

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¬† ¬† ¬†Sometimes just chatting with other people on the same journey or looking at their before and after pictures motivates me. Other days, putting on my workout gear and shoes will make me hit the gym! You have to change the mentality of I don’t feel it, to let’s do this!

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¬† ¬†No one can do anything about your body, but you! No one can make you love yourself, that is something you have to want to change. It took me many years to learn that! It’s funny, 5 years ago the only bar I would hit served liquor. Now my happy hour is lifting the bar in my gym! ūüėČ

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¬† ¬† I made changes not only for my well being, but to teach my daughter that she needs to love herself. I can’t set that example for her if I continue to hate myself. Right now, she looks in the mirror and says “Mama I so pretty.” That is something I want to here her say every day of her life!

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     Moments like that, also get my butt in gym. I want to show her that I love myself too!

What motivates you? Do have negative people in your life? Are you willing to let go of your negative lifestyle to get the things you want? Making the decision to change my life, made me happy! What is gonna make you find your happy?

           Happy Sunday to all of you and much love and blessing to you and your families!

Plan to avoid the plateaus…

So this week was chaotic for me and I only hit the gym 3 times vs my normal 5-6 times. I tend to beat myself up about it, when in all¬†actuality¬†sometimes a break isn’t a horrible thing.

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        This week I am changing my routine up a little, mainly because I think my body has hit the dreaded plateau again. I actually love change, because it makes everything new and exciting again! I am adding some cardio drills to my routine and changing my lifts around.

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     I workout at home and typically, I research online to figure out a new plan of attack. Josh is a huge help too! He knows a ton about lifting and has taught me a lot about how to work muscle groups properly. When lifting, I do one muscle group a day. For example today is shoulders, so I will do 4 lifts. I only do one muscle group, so I can concentrate on every aspect of the muscle rather than rushing through a full body workout. I have experienced in the past, that less is more. With the shoulders there are 3 main areas you want to hit, the Anterior head (Front portion of the shoulder muscle), Middle head (Middle side of your shoulder), Posterior head (or your rear delt, back of shoulders)

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¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†That being said, each muscle group has certain areas that get worked with certain exercises. I research each muscle group like this and find different lifts to change up my routine. With having the internet, it is quite easy to come up with a different routine every month or so. I typically use Bodybuilding.com, because they are easy to navigate. Plus, they have a ton of info not to mention a bunch of ¬†free 12 week programs already written up. However, now I just like to write my own. ūüôā

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¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† I started to add a bit of cardio this past week, but like I said I slacked, so didn’t see a change. I am writing up some cardio drills to start doing. I am not a fan of cardio, but I know in order to burn off a little extra body fat I need buck up and do some lol. I have built a ton of muscle over the past few months, but it is somewhat hidden under a layer of body fat. In a perfect world, I would own a treadmill and or swimming pool lol, but alas I do not. It is hard for me to go run, because I have an overzealous toddler who doesn’t like to cooperate and a hubby who works long hours, so my other option is to come up with cardio drills that I can do here at home. It actually works out great, because Zoe does them too and enjoys them very much! Kids and cardio mix quite well!!!

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¬† ¬†As much as I hate cardio, it will mean the difference between me looking like this…..

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¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† To something more like this……

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      I have small goals I need to accomplish before I can get to my ultimate goal. I know every week when I look at my pictures, I am getting closer and closer!!!

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     Do you have a plan of attack to accomplish your goals? How often do you change your routine? Do you involve your kiddos or family in your workouts?

Beyond my Daddy’s smile….

   My Daddy is the happiest, funniest, and strongest person I have ever met! You would never know from seeing him that every Thursday, my dad has chemo treatment. He has Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. He has had it for a few years now. When first diagnosed we were told that it is a very slow progressing disease and that he would probably pass from old age and not from the leukemia. He of course got a second opinion and was told differently. He has an aggressive form of CLL and had to start treatment right away. 

  He has done well with treatment up until recently. He has, for the most part just been sleepy and losing some weight. Nothing really horrible. This is my dad about a year after he was first diagnosed.

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¬† ¬†My dad got to skip treatment last week due to his White Blood Cell count being low. All they did was give him a G-CSF to help raise his WBC so he could continue treatment. Chemo does a number on your body. One of the things it does is lowers your WBC, which makes it hard to fight infection. Since being¬†diagnosed, my dad hads had a problem with infections. We are all very¬†cautious around him, so he won’t get sick. Flus, colds, and staph infections have been his past down falls.¬†

  He started to do a little better when I got a new dog in 2009 lol. I strongly believe in pet therapy. He was still getting treatments, but they were more spread out and he seemed happier!

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   Then he found out I was pregnant, he seemed to miraculously feel better! His treatments stopped and he said he felt great!  He is the proudest Grandpa!

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¬† ¬† ¬†He went treatment free for about 9 months. His lymph nodes and spleen started to become more enlarged and they decided to start treatment again ūüôĀ The doctor decided this treatment needed to be a little more aggressive than before. My dad was a champ with treatment! He said he still felt fine other than being tired. I know sometimes they tell me he feels fine even when he doesn’t, just because they don’t want me to worry. I am a worrier, that is just how I am. :-/ I worry so much about random things Josh has made my theme song Pat Benetar’s “I am the Warrior”, but we change Warrior to worrier. I know, I know we are dorks ha!

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¬† They installed a Chemotherapy port in his chest, back in March. They said it is¬†necessary¬†for chemo patients whose veins are no longer easily¬†accessible and some of the treatments they wanted to try on him could only be administered via the port. This is what it looks like…..

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¬† ¬†¬† Well, this week they made up for the missed day last week. I assumed he wouldn’t feel very well after treatment. It seems that every week since March his treatments sessions have been more aggressive and longer. Vomiting, nausea and extreme tiredness seem to be what he is suffering from now. It is just hard knowing you can not do anything to make your parents feel better. My greatest wish is that he does not have to suffer. I love my daddy very much and this whole process has been hard on our family since day one.

  Something I admire about my dad is that he is a very positive and happy person! Even with everything that is going on, he typically keeps his humor and has fun! 

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¬† ¬† ¬†I know things can and will get worse and I know that there are others in much worse situations than ours. I have been trying hard to be as strong as my dad has been, last night was just a rough one for me. Knowing he just wants to be alone and sleep¬†lets me know that he is really just not feeling well. I am a daddy’s girl! he is the first man I ever loved….

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         Does anyone in your family suffer from cancer? What does your family do to cope with the stress? How do you explain what is going on to children? 

¬† ¬† ¬†I have many friends whose families are going through the same or even worse situations right now. We are lifting you all up in prayer! Thank you to all those who have done the same for our family!!!! Hope everyone enjoys the day!!! ūüôā

Family fun day at the Zoo

We chose to have our family fun day this week at St Louis Zoo! It is by far the best Zoo we have been to in the country so far! Not only because it is quite large and has many animals, but is is also one of the few FREE Zoos left in the country! I have been to quite a few in the past 10 years and none have compared to this one, well not yet anyway!

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¬† ¬† Josh and I grew up coming to this zoo, but Zoe’s first time was back in October. Zoe was one and a half and at the time we didn’t live close. We actually took a detour to visit with family and friends here while on our way to KC on a business trip. Zoe didn’t care much for looking at animals or even being at the zoo, so needless to say we walked one big loop and left. We were barely there for an hour. This is the only picture we got that day at the zoo lol.

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       We moved back to the STL area in December and were anxious for when we thought Zoe would be ready for a return visit! Josh and I are like giddy kids when it comes to seeing animals. It is rather silly since we end up feeling bad for most of them for being caged up. I do give STL zoo credit for giving the animals more space than most zoos! I have been to some that were pretty bad!

¬† ¬† Zoe had learned quite a few ASL signs for several animals in the zoo last fall before we went the first time, so we spent the week brushing up on the ones she knew and adding quite a few more. Once she realized we were actually going to the zoo, she was stoked!!! She just couldn’t wait to see some animals! She wanted to show them what she knew lol. She has matured quite a bit since turning two in June, so we thought she was ready to try again!

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¬† ¬†With a recently potty trained toddler and an hour drive, we made a mad dash for the entrance so we could get her to the potty before an accident¬†occurred. ūüėČ

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   After the close call we were ready to venture in! She was pretty convinced that the Malaysian Sun Bears were monkeys lol.

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   Her favorite exhibits were probably seeing the monkeys, penguins, hippos, and elephants. It would have been better had many of the adults stepped back to allow the small children a chance to see the animals, but it is what it is. I was proud she waited patiently for her turn.

¬† ¬†Seeing the penguins was pretty cool because you could actually touch them. Josh said I probably wasn’t suppose to lol, but they didn’t seem to mind the attention. It was by far my favorite exhibit, just because it was SO hot and humid outside!

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¬† ¬†Needless to say we had a blast today! We also all got quite a workout in walking around the 90 acre park to see as many of the 700¬†species¬†of animals as we could before Zoe needed a nap. ūüėČ ¬†I was pretty proud of how independent she was today. She was very polite with everyone she spoke with and wanted to walk and explore everything on her own.

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   Not sure when our precious little baby grew into such a big girl, but we are beaming with pride either way!

Do you have routine family fun days? What types of things do you like to do together? Where do you love to have your family outings?

 Get out and get active with your family! Family fun days are a wonderful time to catch up after a busy week and spend some great quality time! Hope you enjoyed your day as much as we did!!!

Setting goals and examples!

Typically, everyone who decides to get up and start a fitness regimen has an ultimate goal. Be it losing weight, gaining muscle, health reasons, sports conditioning, etc Setting realistic goals is a huge step to accomplishing them!

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   The only way to accomplishing your goals is with dedication and hard work. There are no magic potions, pills, or gadgets that are gonna do the work for you! I have had SO many conversations with people over HCG diets, magic pills that promise you the perfect body, and useless gadgets that do nothing for you, but waste your hard earned money! If any of those things worked, everyone would be healthy and gorgeous! The reality is 500 calorie diets and pills and gadgets that promise to reduce your weight and help sculpt a healthy physique are anything but healthy and are a sure way to have you rebounding back to your current weight or worse, gaining more weight and or more health problems, not to mention the example you set for your family!

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  Typically, women have more body image issues than men, but men and even children have them too! I have several male friends who are more self conscious about what they look like than most women I know! A healthy self image is important. When you think negatively about yourself, it not only affects you, but those around you. Trying to go from thinking negatively about yourself, to positive is a hard thing to do. I know, because I suffer from depression and it has taken me years to think more positive about myself!  It is very easy to look in the mirror and find everything wrong with your body. I now make a choice to stand in front of the mirror at least once a day and try to find 3 things I love about myself. It truly has helped me a lot! With having a more positive outlook on myself, I have an easier time assessing what goals I need to accomplish to improve the other things that I look at negatively. I also encourage Zoe to do the same everyday! I help her look at herself in the mirror and tell herself that she is beautiful. we discuss what features she has that she likes!

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  I am not saying loving yourself is easy! I have an easier time ripping my self esteem apart that I do lifting myself up, but I will never get to my goal body by hating myself and neither will you! I make small strides every week. I take weekly pictures to help encourage myself. I post them online to keep me accountable! Scales have never done anything for me, but keep my mind negative. I try hard to ignore the scale at all cost. (Super hard thing to do!) I strictly go by what my pictures look like. Some weeks I think I have not accomplished anything, then I look at my pictures and realize I really have!

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   Diet is probably the variable that holds me back the most. I do tend to have too many junk days, but I do not let one or two set backs keep me from forging ahead to my goal! Even with a few set backs I have made HUGE strides!!!

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  Josh and I strive to not only build the bodies we have always wanted, but to set healthy examples for Zoe. We both have grown up with self image issues. We want her to have a healthy and happy childhood and be proud of the body she is in! I feel bad some days, because we see so many children who are starting their life with poor food choices and no one to set an example for their diet and activities. They too, will struggle with their body image and health problems at a young age! You hear more and more everyday about children with high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, bone/joint problems, even liver disease, and the list goes on and on. They all stem from poor diets and no exercise. these issues can be prevented!!!!

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¬† Unfortunately, obese children are becoming a normal sight when out and about. I take Zoe on play dates where it is normal for the other children’s snack time to consist of soda, cookies, and chips. I am not saying my child has never had junk food, because she has. However, we do not keep items like this in the house and it is on rare¬†occasion that she has had them! She loves having veggies, fruit, milk, and water. Those are her normal snack time food and drink choices. When she doesn’t have other options, then they do not become choices! Kids will enjoy healthy snacks as much as the junk food ones! With a healthier diet they will be more inclined to lead more active lifestyles, versus sitting in front of the television. I think I almost find it more disturbing when parents tell me their kids aren’t over weight, because that justifies them having a poor diet. News flash, your child doesn’t have to be overweight to develop health issues from a poor diet!

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¬† As adults and parents, I believe it is not only our¬†responsibly, but our obligation to our families, to make sure they are making the healthiest choices they can! In our house,we make our goals as a family, to keep us all accountable and to help each other stay motivated. Obviously with Zoe only being 2, her goals are small. ūüėČ (Her goals are to eat healthy and have an exercise/activity time for 45 mins to 1 hour everyday) As she grows up, she can develop her goals to whatever she desires them to be.¬†I think setting goals for not only yourself, but for your family as well, will not only help make your personal goals more attainable, but also keep your family healthy and happy! It teaches everyone¬†responsibility.

  Do you have goals for yourself? Do you push your family to keep a healthy lifestyle? What healthy foods do your kids love? What is their favorite activity?

I hope you are striving to keep your family happy and healthy!!! If you have any questions or comments. please feel free to contact me! As always I love hearing back from you!!!

A day in the life of my toddler ;-)

I always get a lot of questions about what type of lessons plans I do with Zoe. We started Sign language when she was born, but started doing lesson time with her when she was around 6 or 7 months old. With her being so young back then, lesson time consisted mostly of singing, signing, flash cards, reading stories, and very basic motor skills activities such as rolling the ball, playing peek a boo with a blanket, building with blocks, etc. Once she understood the concept of coloring, painting and gluing (around 10mths old) we started doing crafts!

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Lesson time quickly became her favorite time of day! We typically spend 2-3 hours 5-6 days a week. Some people think it is awesome we do lesson time, while others criticize. I don’t care whether anyone agrees with her having lesson time. Not only is she learning something new everyday, but she is having a blast learning!

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I try to pick a letter, color, shape, and number every other day. It use to be every week, but she is picking up on everything so fast, we will do a couple of each every week. She loves having her work hanging on the wall for everyone to see! She is always so proud ūüôā

This is what she has hanging in the kitchen this week!

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I try to make everywhere we go a learning experience! From grocery shopping, nature walks, to playing at the park. We use to live near a farm which we frequented twice a week! She really loved that place!!!

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She really learned a lot at the farm! From identifying animals, learning the sounds they make, to her colors from looking at tractors and the farm buildings! We are headed to the Zoo this week! Should be a blast!!!

I am truly amazed at the amount of knowledge she has at the age of two! She surprises us daily with something new!!! Her lesson plans now are typically song time in the morning, then she will sit down and color a work sheet and we talk about what the letter of the day is, what sound it makes, what the sign for it is, and what words start with that letter. We then read a story or 2, then work on either a number, color, or shape. After that is activity time. We play games, go for walks, have dance parties, build towers, or drive to the park for play time! I believe being active is just as important as academics! From there is Bible story time, then flash cards. She is free to do whatever she wishes the rest of the day. It sounds like a lot, but it all goes pretty quickly. Being a toddler she really has a short attention span lol

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We try to keep learning fun for her! She actually wakes up and asks to do her lessons everyday, which makes me feel awesome, mainly because she wants to learn, but also because it is our bonding time!

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¬†I believe a structured day is very important in every child’s life. We are proud of everything she has accomplished so far! At this point, she knows over 150 signs, she can identify her ABC’s, most of her numbers, colors, and shapes! She loves to sing and have me read stories. She also LOVES to dance and do flips lol. I will keep updating periodically how her lessons are going.

¬† What types of activities do you do with your little ones? What are your opinions on having a structured lesson time for a toddler? Do you allow other’s opinions dictate what you do with your children?

It is gym time for this mama! Hope everyone enjoy’s the day!!!! ūüôā

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