Friday, September 23, 2016

My Why.

Why did I go from being someone that thought that working out wasn't really for me, to someone that is committed to living the healthiest and happiest life possible...  to be honest, there are a lot of reasons..

This life we lead is limited.  We are, in fact, mortal, no matter how immortal we may feel at any given time.  Our time on this Earth is finite.  The health of our bodies, and minds, and souls help determine how finite that time is.

The short answer is, I became a nurse. This didn't happen in my early 20's as it does for most. I started out as a teacher and found out that wasn't the best  choice for me...  So at 35 years old with 2 children, I went back to school.  See, I truly believe you can do anything in this big, amazing, opportunity-filled universe...  Anyway, I digress...  I became a nurse.

As a nurse I see a lot of humanity.  Raw humanity.  Wounds, and sickness and blood, yes... but raw emotion too.  I see people that have given up..  I see people that won't give up when they should.  I see people who are old and have lived a beautiful life, I see people that are too young to have ended up in their predicament.  And no, not all those that are just too damn young to be in the hospital are there because of poor health choices.  But enough are.  And sometimes their choices that aren't necessarily the cause of their illness or injury, but in many cases people continue to make choices that definitely don't help them any..

I see people die....  at work.  I go to work and people die there.  It's strange, it's not normal, but it puts me in touch with the raw mortality of me.  I am not immortal.  I have one body.  I have ONE life, and it won't last forever...  I want to make choices that make me the best ME possible..  mind, soul, and body..

Another answer is.. my kids. (pretty cute aren't they?? ;) )

My children have already lost one parent.  Their father passed of a sudden heart attack at only 40 years old.  We had been divorced at the time.   My kids were 7 and 8 years old.  I am their only living, biological parent.  It is also not natural...  I'd like to stick around as long as possible.  And I'd like to show them how to make the choices that give THEM their best lives possible by being an example of someone doing just that thing.

And the easy answer is.. because I can.  I CAN do it.  I CAN do anything.  I can do any damn thing I set my mind to...

My mindset has changed.  I have made amazing friends with amazing women that empower me and lift me up and show me that this life I want IS possible.  It happens through perseverance, habit forming, and personal development.  It happens through learning to build each other up and not tear one another down.  Through the cessation of comparison..  and the celebration of being uniquely YOU!

So maybe that got all deep ..  and a bit too morbid for you.. but that's ok.  It isn't too much for me.

My WHY is because I know that life is short.

I know that being healthy makes me happy. I know it gives me have a chance at a longer life (I know.. i could get hit by a bus tomorrow.. but just in case I don't). I KNOW I CAN do this.. and doing it.. REALLY buckling down and doing this..  Well,  that makes me fall in love with myself and my LIFE a little more every day..

So if you think you want to live a fit and healthy life too, but can't seem to get going....  DIG DEEP, Think about YOUR WHY...  Why do you want to do this???  That WHY, needs to be stronger than your excuses not to exercise, than your rationalization for eating at McDonald's (or wherever) 2x this week, than your craving for cookies...... Your reason why HAS TO be strong.  It has to be emotional.  It has to REALLY matter to you... Or you won't stick with it..  you won't stay the course...

If you want help to go get there, if you just want to chat, or if you want to join me on the journey that I've started, I'd love to hear from you...  My contact info is all over this page..

And for now.. Goodnight!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Super Easy, Fix-approved Pasta Bake

1 Jar Low Sodium Pasta Sauce
4 Red containers of Ricotta cheese
1 lb ground turkey
1 box of whole wheat pasta
2 tsp honey
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Italian spices (either premixed, or onion powder, garlic powder, basil and oregano to taste)
Shredded mozzarella cheese (about 2 blue containers)


Cook Pasta to al dente..

Brown ground turkey, drain and rinse.

Mix all ingredients except the mozzeralla cheese together in a big bowl.

Place in a 9x13 inch pan.  Sprinkle mozzarella on top.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes until heated through and cheese is bubbly..

I use a purple container to serve out a portion and count it as 2 yellow, red and 1/2 green..

I hope you enjoy it!!

Monday, September 19, 2016

My favorite Chili Recipe..

As the fall settles in, I find myself wanting more hearty meals, and this chili always hits the spot and is a popular choice for my family.

2 - 2.5 pounds of ground turkey, any ground meat will do, I just prefer to use turkey
2 medium onions
3 bell peppers, any color
2 16oz. cans of kidney beans
1 16oz can diced tomatoes
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes..  (any combo between diced & crushed works)
2 packets of chili seasoning

(I also threw in a few fresh tomatoes )

As always when I cook, especially something like chili, I make extra for lunches for the week, or to freeze..

Dice up your onions and peppers..  begin to saute over medium heat.
Add your ground meat when vegetables begin to soften

cook until meat is browned.

drain/rinse meat/vegetables ( I always put my meat in a strainer and rinse with water to reduce the fat content)

place back in large pot.  Add tomatoes, beans and chili seasoning.  Simmer over medium heat for 45 minutes or so...

And that's that!!  Enjoy!

My family loves to have this with Jiffy corn muffins..   Depending on how many yellow containers I have left, I may or may not have one too :P

I would count this as red/green/yellow containers depending on how large of a serving I have.  Generally if I eat about a 1.5 - 2 cup serving I would count it as a red, green and yellow.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Feeling sleepy..

As we headed back from vacation last week and jumped back into the school and work schedule for the year.. I couldn't help but feel exhausted..  I am normally kind of a tired gal, but this has been crazy.  First of all, for those of you that don't know... Disney World, while the most magical place on Earth, is not the most relaxing place on Earth and 8 days of Disney, while amazing, is an exhausting experience..

Then, there was a jump right back into our routine and for me, a lot of work days at my hospital job.. As the last nearly 2 weeks have gone on, I've been diligent about my fitness program, working my new business, getting my house together, and just settling in the routine..  I have to say guys, though my workouts and my dense nutrition shakes do help my energy levels, I have been finding myself yawning my way through my days lately..  so last night I decided to let myself rest..

I went to bed early and slept in..  My trusty Fitbit says I slept nearly 10 hours!!  It was wonderful.. but to be honest... after going about my day today.. I'm still feeling tired???  What the what??  Soooo, I'm making it a new goal for myself to make SURE I am getting enough sleep each night.  I have always been a girl who needs sleep..  like a solid 7-8 hours.  So I have made it a goal now to get that. It is just as important to my health and fitness as my diet, exercise, and water intake.

In an effort to educate myself on the importance of a good night's rest.. I found that sleep cannot only improve health and mood, but can improve your memory, strengthen your immune system, AND can help prevent headaches, which I also suffer from on pretty regular basis.

So here it goes..  In bed early tonight as I have another hospital day tomorrow.  Hoping to get a great night's rest so I can be at my best..

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Taco Tuesday... turkey and black bean fix-approved tacos!

So like many others, my family is a big fan of tacos!  And because of this, I have found ways to make one of our favorite meals healthy and 21 day fix/country eat friendly!!

First of all we always start with about 2 lbs of lean ground turkey (I like to have leftovers for lunches..  This way I mix in meal prep with meals I'm already cooking.). So we cook the meat and add taco seasoning.  Yes, I still use packets.  Feel free to make your own, cleaner seasoning mix.  As soon as the meat is browned I add in a can of black beans.  In truth we probably use 1-2 packets of taco seasoning..  It ends up looking like this:

Then the cooking part is done!  Fantastic, huh? ;)

Now for our other healthy substitutions and our color breakdown for the fix...
Whole wheat wrap, I purchase these at Sam's Club and they are only 100 calories each..  The flour version weighs in at around 210 calories!! Yikes!
I always hear mine up in the microwave for a few seconds..  These are the perfect yellow for the fix.

Then I add the meat/bean mixture..  Measured out in my trusty red container.. 
There is actually a LOT of meat in that little container..  YUM!!!

Next I add cheese!!! Because... Cheese! Lol

Then I get in a full green container of veggies..  In this case romaine lettuce and tomatoes. 

After that I like a bit of plain Greek yogurt for flavor..  We all actually prefer it to sour cream!  And yes..  It's a red, but sometimes I don't count that small dallop  ;),  you can do as you wish. Of course!

And finally inwrap all that deliciousness up and dinner is served!! 

Final container count.. 1 yellow, 1 green, 1 red, 1 blue

Enjoy everyone!!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Back at it and a few good tips today!

So as you all know I had a week "off track" while on vacation..  But today I got
Back at it!! And I'm so happy!  Lol.  It sounds kind of crazy as I never thought I'd like to work out before, but here I am.. Loving it and missing it when I don't..  My
Mindset has definitely been changed..

Today was spent getting myself and my family back on track. We got groceries..  That included a ton of produce..  My new secret there is to wash, cut up if necessary and portion that so it gets eaten..  Apparently we all find cutting fruit too hard if there is a potato chip nearby and make the wrong choice.  (Not that I generally have potato chips in the house, but you get the point.)

Anyway the day started with my shake this morning and this was a top I wanted to share.  I often put spinach in my shakes to make sure I get at least some
Veggies in for my day.  I promise that you can't even tell its in there!!!  

But the tip I have for you here is...  At the first sign of wilting take that whole container of spinach/greens and just THROW IT IN THE FREEZER!?  What!?!  Yup.  I promise it is amazing..  You can still use it for your shakes with no problem and none of it goes to waste.. 

Frozen spinach.. I swear this top has saved us a ton of money! Since before we would end up tossing the container half to 3/4 of the way through all too often..  

I also freeze any fruit that starts to be on the verge of going bad.. Especially bananas, and use those for shakes and smoothies too.. 

Later I got my workout in...  It's crazy how  good it makes you feel!!  I did 2 country heat workouts today.  Partially because I missed it!!! And partially because it's hard format to workout on my 12-hour work days so I try to double up here and there.  It makes the programs work FOR MY life.  If I didn't, I most likely wouldn't stick to it..  

Well we are getting ready for dinner here now.  We are having our healthy version of tacos tonight.  Stay tuned for the recipe! 



Sunday, September 4, 2016

And we are back!!

From Disney that is...

Boy can vacation make you go off track.. but I'm ok with that!  Since I've started to create a lifestyle of health and fitness, not a diet (ick!), I have no issue with enjoying myself for a week and coming back and getting back at it.  Gone are the days where I would say.. "Oh well, who cares I just ate crap all week, I might as well continue."  Because I will tell you what.. I FEEL it.  I FEEL just ick..  not the happy, healthy and fabulous I now know is possible.  I just feel bloated, tired, and blah..  So now that we are back..

Tomorrow will be my OFFICIAL start for Country Heat!!  Before we left.. i dabbled in the program for a couple weeks. I used the program for my workouts and stayed on track with health and fitness, but I didn't have enough time (30 days) to officially follow the program through from start to finish.  Now with any program, I will tweak the schedule a bit.  I find it hard to work out on the days I work since i work 12 hour shifts, so I make the programs fit my life.  It's what I suggest anyone do!  This has to be something you can stick with, that becomes part of your life..  not just a temporary thing you are doing.

So since we flew home today and there is no food in my house.. lol.  I will officially begin my new program tomorrow..   Though i miss it so I might just throw in a workout tonight. ;)  Stay tuned for before/afters..  nutrition tips..   how i stay motivated.. etc!  Let me know if you have any questions about the program, or anything else for that matter..  And don't forget to subscribe!!!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

I'll be back soon!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
Haven't posted in a bit because I'm out of town with my family at Disney World..  But will update soon..  For now...  Here's a few lovely photos for you to enjoy...

Rock 'n' rollercoaster..

Expedition Everest! 

 I'll be back soon with a lot of new health tips and fun photos from WDW too!