Focus T25 Results!

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First off, I need to be honest about some things. I completed this program, but I wasn’t always excited about it. I LOVED that it was an intense workout that only took 25 minutes per day, but sometimes I just didn’t want to do it. Most days I did. A few days I had to miss because of vacation or waking up late. But I will say that 90-95% of the time, I did my workouts as prescribed. I modified A LOT. Especially in the beginning, I couldn’t hang with Shaun. I had to stick with Tania and do a lot of modified moves. I couldn’t jump as much as I was supposed to. It did get easier, and I was able to modify less by the end of Alpha (and then Beta slammed me!), but even some things like the pike-ups never did get easy for me.

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I also didn’t follow the nutrition plan very strictly. I tried a lot of the foods in the fast track guide and in the nutrition guide, but we ate a lot of our typical foods at home. We are pretty clean eaters, but I ate more breads and sweets (hellllooo birthdays!) and restaurant foods than I should’ve. There was also a beer or (twenty)two during those 10 weeks that I probably could’ve done without. But life happens, right?

So as I went through the program, I began to get discouraged when the scale didn’t really move. But we all know the scale is a dirty liar (even though I went as far as to buy a new one that I thought would lie less), so I took my measurements often. Not much change. It’s frustrating when you feel like you’re giving your all for 10 weeks and you aren’t seeing numbers move. A little bit of movement, but not much.

So I wasn’t very on-the-ball with getting these pictures taken. I didn’t take them right away when I finished T25. It wasn’t until a week later when I was ready to start Insanity that I decided it was time to take pics. Because I was determined to get the results I wanted with Insanity, and I wanted proof that I had made some changes to my body.

Tonight, I decided to upload my pics so I could submit them to Beachbody in order to get my free Focus T25 t-shirt (who doesn’t love a free shirt?!). After everything I’ve just said, you can imagine my surprise…MY SHOCK…when I looked at my pictures. I had forgotten what my before pictures looked like, and I really didn’t think I even looked that much different now. I was wrong.

Slide1 Slide2 Slide3Ummm…WOW!! Right?? I mean, even my HAIR changed colors! LOL! No but really, can you believe it?! Hardly any weight change, not much change in inches, but my BODY looks totally DIFFERENT!! Look at those guns! And where did my butt go? It almost makes me cry to see those muscles. If you don’t know me and don’t know how I used to be — I was the wimpy girl! I couldn’t do much of anything. No strength. No energy. No endurance. And now I have muscles! I love feeling strong. It’s amazing.

So here are my results. Real person, real teacher, real mom – spending just 25 minutes per day working out, 6 days per week. No pills, no crazy diets, not giving up all of the foods I love. Just eating and drinking in moderation and being consistent in what I do – drinking Shakeology every day and working out.

If you want to try this program, I can help you! I have a new challenge group starting up each month, and my next one starts soon. You can be in my group and get tons of support, motivation, and accountability. I’ll give you meal plans, grocery lists, and nutrition advice.

To make me your FREE coach, go here: https://www.teambeachbody.com/tbbsignup/-/tbbsignup/free?referringRepId=227109

To check out Focus T25 and order it for yourself, go here: http://www.teambeachbody.com/shop/-/shopping/BCPT25205?referringRepId=227109

If I can do it, you can do it.

 

 

Paleo Diet, Day 1 Success!!

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Today was a good eating day!! It was my first day of my Paleo Challenge, and I nailed it! Here’s a quick recap of my day:

*Energy & Endurance with a little water
*Focus T25 Rip’t Circuit with 10 pound weights
*Vanilla Shakeology with unsweetened vanilla almond milk and one scoop of Results and Recovery (not paleo, but it is my exception because of my fitness routine)
*snack of roasted almonds
*lunch was a big salad topped with tuna and salsa
*snack of more almonds and an apple
*dinner was a DELISH plate of baked thin pork chops topped with apples and onions, and a side of green beans.
*after dinner was an avocado deviled egg and some decaf coffee

Yes, I know that green beans are technically a legume, but I have found info saying that they are the most acceptable bean in the paleo diet. And since I didn’t have any broccoli like I had planned for dinner, beans it was. :-/

But I am still so proud of myself! I didn’t cheat! No sweets! No peanut butter crackers at work when I got stressed! That’s success in my world.

One day down, 6 to go. I think I can do this. 🙂

Pop-Pop-Pop-Popcorn!!!

What else is there to do on a rainy summer day, when it’s too dreary to get out and do much of anything? Movie watching is the perfect pastime! And what’s a movie without some yummy popcorn to munch on?

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Our family decided to quit eating microwave popcorn a few months ago. Here is just one article detailing the harmful effects of that stuff. While we all love popcorn, I just wasn’t willing to let my family munch on the yucky stuff anymore. So we decided to try an air popper instead.

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Hubs and I picked this little contraption up at Walmart for about $15. We also got a big bag of popcorn kernels for somewhere around $2. They had a bag of Orville Redenbacher kernels for a lot more, but in my opinion a kernel is a kernel. They are all plain anyway!

You can get a box of the microwave stuff for about $5 for 10 bags. So after buying microwave popcorn about 4 times, this purchase is paid for. And a bag of kernels will last quite a while! If you are cost-conscious at all, air popped popcorn is the way to go.

It took a little bit of practice with the toppings, but we have finally perfected this snack. The great thing is it never burns! While the popper is heating up, we warm about a tablespoon of butter (mmm, Kerrygold butter) in the microwave. We drizzle it over the popped corn, then sprinkle with salt and shake up the bowl. It tastes SO much better than microwave popcorn. I can’t even describe it. And no chemical aftertaste either.

If you love munching popcorn at home, I highly recommend you invest in an air popper! Definitely worth it.

Clean Eating Enchiladas with Homemade Sauce

My family loves Mexican food. You will catch us eating it 2-3 times per week on average. Even after hubs and I said “I do” at the courthouse, we hit up Taco Bell for our celebratory lunch. Yeah.

One thing hubs loves to make is enchiladas. We have experimented with it over the years, and during our vegetarian period we learned to make lots of yummy meat-free enchiladas. We aren’t vegetarians any more, but we still like to incorporate lots of veggies in there.

In my quest for making our foods as clean as possible, I decided to experiment with making a homemade enchilada sauce. I just don’t like buying that mainstream canned stuff if I can help it. A friend recommended a recipe from gimmesomeoven.com, but I had to change it up a little bit. Here is what I did:

Kauf’s Red Enchilada Sauce

2 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
4 Tbsp chili powder (I used chipotle chili powder, details to follow)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp (or a good pinch) oregano
2 cups organic chicken broth
1 can organic tomato sauce

Heat oil in saucepan over med heat. Add flour and stir together for one minute. Stir in seasonings (probably best to pre-measure these out before hand). Gradually stir in broth, stirring or whisking constantly so it doesn’t lump. Pour in tomato sauce. Simmer on low 10-15 min until thick, stirring occasionally.

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So…I didn’t have regular chili powder on hand. I have this. I think this stuff has a bit more heat than the regular chili powder. I was coughing just from mixing it up. But it was a great flavor!! I’d recommend cutting the chili powder amount in half if you want to use this, or just stuck with the plain. The recipe I used for inspiration did not call for tomato sauce, but I added it in to try to dilute the spiciness of the sauce.

Now for the actual enchiladas…

I bought Chi-Chi’s multigrain fajita style tortillas. I’m not high-speed enough to make my own torts yet, and I figured these were better than traditional white ones. I browned turkey meat with a little garlic powder and salt (which you can omit if you are veg). Then I sautéed some diced mushrooms, green peppers, onion, and a yellow squash in a little coconut oil. That might seem odd to most people, but it is actually good! And you don’t taste most of it; it just gives a good texture.

We put a little shredded cheese, some meat, and some of the veggie mixture on each tortilla, then rolled them up. (Make sure you spray your baking dish with Pam or some other spray, and put the enchiladas seam side down.) Then I poured sauce all over the top and we baked it at 350 for about 10-15 min until the sauce was bubbly.

I ate my enchilada with some avocado slices, salsa verde, and a little lot of sour cream. It was amazing. My mouth was tingling and my stomach was angry from the chipotle powder, but it was too good to stop eating!!

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The sauce made enough for us to make our meal tonight plus put some away for next time. I will most likely tweak the recipe again the next time I make this, but it is by far a great start! And if you enjoy food with a lot of kick, this is a good one to try.

Larabars – clean snacks on the go!

Ok, so if you know much about me, you know I don’t like to eat a lot of junky food. I am VERY picky when it comes to what kinds of things I buy for myself and the kids. My rule is usually 5 ingredients or less, I have to be able to pronounce the ingredients and know what they are, and no fake crap.

I used to buy lots of different bars to eat in a pinch, like Kashi, or Special K bars, or Fiber One (mmm, chocolate drizzle on top). But now that I have learned more about what ingredients are in them…I stay far away. You’ll see Kashi bars in my house from time to time, but none of those other “hey I have a healthy picture on my box and you’ll lose weight if you eat me!” bars. Nuh uh.

So one day I was in a hurry and I grabbed a Larabar without looking at the ingredients. Peanut butter cookie…ha, yeah. It sounded good. Can you believe I didn’t check it first to see what was in it? I’m not perfect, never said that. Mmm, it was really yummy too. So imagine my surprise when I DID check the ingredients (prepared to be disappointed) and this is what I saw:

Dates, Peanuts, Sea Salt

WHAT?!!! First of all, I thought dates were gross. Like prunes or something. THIS THING TASTES LIKE A FLIPPING COOKIE! It has to be some sort of sorcery. Maybe just a fluke. I do like peanut butter after all.

So what did I do? I got more Larabars to try them out. I got some of the new uber bars and a few other flavor of their traditional bars. And…yeah. They were all yummy. And not full of crazy ingredients.

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The uber bars are more nutty than cookie-like. They strike me as a filling snack that you’d eat when you are hungry. And the two flavors I tried did have added brown rice syrup and honey for added sweetness. But the original Larabars…they are the ones I want to hide from my kids and eat when I have a crazy PMS craving. They taste like sin. Only with way less ingredients and none of the guilt. No added sugar. NONE. Now, that doesn’t mean it is low in sugar because we all know that fruit is a good source of natural sugar. That’s why these things are so sweet and yummy. But I can feel 100% good about eating a snack bar/treat/munchy-on-the-go when I know it is completely natural and not full of chemicals and added sugars. Gluten free, soy free, non-GMO, vegan. Amazing.

Oh, and I checked the whole “snack bar” aisle the last time I was at the commissary. You know me, always a little skeptical. Gotta see if there is something else better or even comparable. NOPE. Every bar I picked up had an ingredient list a mile long. And every bar when back on the shelf. But guess which bar didn’t go back….

Larabar coconut cream pie. Ingredients: dates, unsweetened coconut, almonds, cashews, extra virgin coconut oil.

And I’m not sharing.

 

 

I was not paid by Larabar or Small Planet Foods for this post. This is my own opinion that I just wanted to share with you!

Food Post!!

I have been soooo busy lately trying to prepare for our upcoming move that I haven’t been posting as much as I’d like. But I am still staying on track with my goals! Working out according to plan and eating clean foods most of the time. Let me share a few recent yummies with you.

This morning, my breakfast was inspired by a friend who was telling me what she had eaten. I improvised a little and came up with this delicious masterpiece.

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It’s simple, really. Some butter, wilted spinach and onion slivers, two eggs on top, and a little feta cheese scrambled in there. Like heaven on a plate.

This afternoon, little KK requested chocolate muffins, so I made some of Jamie Eason’s chocolate protein bars – only in a muffin tin. For some reason, he likes the muffins more than the bars. Maybe it’s the cupcake shape.

With our recent cooler weather, I was inspired to run the oven a little more this evening. So I baked granola for the first time.

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This was VERY easy and made my house smell delicious! I used this recipe as a base, but changed the rolled oats to Bob’s Red Mill 5 Grain Cereal and added 1/2 cup raw almond slivers. I also subbed honey for the agave. I planned to use the granola for cereal or to go in yogurt, but I couldn’t stop myself from just putting some warm, fresh granola into a bowl and eating it plain!

We didn’t have much time to prep dinner tonight (crazy tween dance schedules!!) so we had a simple meal that we eat often. Quinoa, black beans, and feta cheese. I really should buy feta by the vat.

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I would recommend any of these recipes if you haven’t tried them! And don’t be afraid to switch things up. You might discover something new that works for you.

🙂

Meal Planning

Meal planning is probably one of the most important things I do to prepare for each week. It’s what keeps me on track. Spending about 20-30 minutes to figure out what I will eat all week keeps me from snacking mindlessly, doing the kitchen dance (aka, what are we gonna eat??), or grabbing something bad – like fast food.

So how do you plan your meals? Like this:

I start in my kitchen. I don’t know how much produce I have thrown away in the past, but it’s a lot. I’d buy potatoes, squash, mushrooms, whatever…and then never cook it or eat it. So it goes bad. Not anymore! I buy what’s on sale, and then I plan meals with all of it. Today I made a quick list of what I had on hand. Squash, zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, eggs, bananas, rice, spaghetti noodles and sauce, quinoa, pasta, grits, oatmeal, canned beans, frozen veggies, chicken breast and legs, fish, and frozen onion rings (not the best food, but it’s in there). There’s more, but I didn’t list everything.

I usually also look at what’s on sale at the store for the week, but with my list of foods, I really didn’t think I’d need to add much. So I started planning. I have a template on my computer, which makes it easy to just plug in meals and snacks for each day. We eat a lot of the same things often, so sometimes I don’t even change much. I also have my workouts for each day listed – it’s a good visual reminder of what I need to do to start off my day.

Here is the plan I came up with:

week of april 15

I don’t really go into too much detail; I just put enough info so I know what to grab that day. And I try to make sure for each meal/snack, I combine a complex carb with a protein. That not only helps me to make sure I’m not eating too much of one type of food (because I’d snack on carbs all day if I’m not watching myself), but also because the carbs and protein balance each other out for the best sustained energy and feeling of fullness. I try to drink a glass of water with each meal/snack as well.

Interested in some of my meals? Here are some recipes and links.

The omelet – that’s pretty self explanatory. I use whole eggs, usually. For this one I’d use 2 eggs, whisked with a little almond milk, and then filled with some wilted spinach and mushrooms, and an ounce of goat cheese. (I have a slight cheese addiction. I’m working on that.)

Blueberry muffin – before I started eating clean, this would probably have come from a pouch in the baking aisle. Well, not any more. I’m planning to whip up a batch of muffins tomorrow using this recipe. The only difference is I still have a bag of white flour in my fridge, and to keep from wasting it, I will go ahead and use it for now. But I’ll be transitioning to whole wheat, or even other types of flours later on.

Mason Jar salad – This will be my first time making these! I’ve seen them on Pinterest, but really decided today to try them out. I love salads, but I sure don’t love prepping them. I will prep 4 jars tomorrow, and they will be ready for me in the fridge. It’s way easier to cut up enough veggies for 4 salads at once, than to cut salad stuff up every day. No thanks. I got the idea from Paleo Mama on Facebook, and she has a post here with ideas. I’m not exactly sure which recipe I will use, but I’ll be sure to post about it when I do. Also, I think I’ll try out this dressing.

13 Bean Soup – My friend, Stephanie, happened to run across a huge display of Bob’s Red Mill products at our town’s Big Lots the other day. I have a hard enough time finding BRM products in our grocery stores and Walmart, so I was shocked that they carried them at Big Lots. I guess you never know what you’ll find there. I bought their 13 bean soup mix on a whim, and figured I’d find some sort of recipe to use with it. And I did, here. I plan to keep it vegetarian, and I will probably not put every ingredient in there (I don’t plan to buy leeks just to go in the soup).

Buffalo chicken legs – this might be one of my favorite things. Hubs and I often just throw some frozen chicken breast in a crock pot with a bunch of Frank’s Red Hot Wing Sauce and a little water, and let it cook all day. But chicken breast can get pricey, so sometimes I buy a package of drumsticks. I put those in a glass baking pan, drizzle wing sauce over all of them, and bake them until they are done. It’s so easy. And delicious. And Frank’s sauce might not be THE cleanest condiment out there, but it has a small ingredients list and no added sugar.

Roasted vegetables – Ready for this? Dump out a bag of frozen broccoli and cauliflower into a pan, drizzle with a bit of oil, bake/roast in the oven until they start to turn brown. Toss around the pan a few times during cooking to make sure they are done evenly.

Quinoa salad – I grabbed a big bag of quinoa the other day, and I just wondered if there was a good quinoa salad recipe out there. There is. I picked this one with Hubs in mind because he has a taste for spicy things. He’s also not the biggest fan of quinoa (or couscous for that matter), so if I can kick it up a notch to make him enjoy it more, than I’ll do that.

I think that covers most of the meals that might not be self-explanatory. If you want more info on any other foods, just leave me a comment. I also try to post my meal plans and recipes on their respective pages on here – check them out if you need ideas!