Thursday, October 24, 2013

Lessons in Life

Today marks my last day of employment with my first full-time job. It’s crazy to think where the past year has gone. June of 2012 I was graduating from my internship to become a Registered Dietitian. In July, I took the national board exam and officially earned my Registered Dietitian License. And in September of 2012 I was hired for this job. It all happened so fast and I was truly BLESSED to have this opportunity “fall into my lap.” It was meant to be and let me move to Madison to be with Joe-Joe.

A little over a year later and I’m still blessed to be where I am. Joe and I enjoy each other every day and have a great apartment that’s actually big enough for the both of us. We have great friends around the city. I have best friends at home that are still there for me no matter what. I’m moving on to a job where I can use my strengths and interests to impact other people’s lives. And, I've learned so much about the “real world,” along with kicking my naive nature to the curb... while looking back at this job, I can honestly say that is the biggest life lesson I was able to learn. I love this quote to sum it up: “The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naïve forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.”

In high school and the early years of college, I was in the stupid category. Late years of college and my first year of work, I was in the naïve category. But now, after a year into my career, I have moved on to the wise category. I've forgiven, but I won’t forget how I was treated here at this job. I’ll take that lesson with me as I go and use it to create my own management style based on mutual respect and fun. I’m sure I’ll make mistakes in my next job, but I’m SO EXCITED for the lessons I’ll learn. After all, what fun is life if you’re not learning?


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What Have I Been Doing?

TURBOFIRE, that's what!!

Left was the end of T25, right is 25 Days after starting TurboFire.
My center is definitely looking leaner, which I like!
Here’s what TurboFire advertisements say: “TurboFire is an intense cardio conditioning program from fitness innovator Chalene Johnson. She’ll help you get leaner with exercises that burn up to 9x more fat and calories than regular cardio does. And with more than 20 smoking-hot music remixes, TurboFire will pick you up and push you past your limits.”

Do I agree? ABSOLUTELY!! I’m obsessed with TurboFire and can’t wait to get up and do the workouts (2 times a week) or come home and do them! The schedule gives you 1 day a week off, which is Wednesday…although last week I fell behind so I’m using today to catch up with the schedule! SEE, I’m still not doing things perfect, but I’m making it work for ME. You have to enjoy your workouts and I’m no different. It's been especially fun after coming off of Focus T25 which wasn't manly, or girly at all. I'd say that was neutral...where TurboFire is all about the ladies :)

Chalene Johnson is truly an amazing trainer and motivator. So forget the excuses. Forget the gym. Because the hottest classes in Southern California come to you through this!

TurboFire includes 12 workouts on 11 DVDs:
The number in each title designates the class length, which has helped me decide whether or not I can do my workout in the morning or if I should wait until after work.

FireStarter Class
Master the TurboFire moves as Chalene breaks them down at a slower pace so that you can be ready for the HIIT classes. I’ll be honest, watching me try to do this DVD the first 2 times was probably hysterical. Lucky for me, my boyfriend was still sleeping and I don’t have a pet. I literally laughed at how uncoordinated I was at times. Its been since college since I took a kick boxing class, so I use that as my excuse. But, I've been able to master the moves and now there’s no more FireStarter on my schedule…which is kind of sad because I loved the music in this one!

Low HIITs  (Low HIIT 20, Low HIIT 25)
Don’t let the “low” (as in low impact) fool you! This is still high intensity workouts with that AfterBurn effect to keep you burning calories long after you’re done working out. I LOVE these 2 workouts! The music is great and Chalene talks to you like you’re really there. My friend from college did the Low HIIT 25 class with me when she was visiting, and the next day we were both in serious pain (you know, the good pain J). I love how the HIIT’s are planned as 1 minute ALL out followed by 1 minute recovery. It helps me to push it even harder during the one minute on, knowing I have one minute off really soon.        

Fire HIITs (Fire 30, Fire 40, Fire 45, Fire 55)
So far in my schedule I've only done Fire 30 and Fire 40. I like that the program keeps adding different routines as you go through so that you don’t get bored of any. And, it gives me time to master them! I’m really good at the Fire 40 routine and am almost able to do it 100% without messing up (almost). Fire 30 is still pretty new for me and my legs are burning by the last 10 minutes, so I have a lot of room to improve! I’ll let you know how Fire 45 and Fire 55 go!

Extreme HIIT’s (HIIT 15, HIIT 20, HIIT 25)
Extreme is right! These are not low impact (unless you follow the modifier, which I try not to do…but sometimes I have no choice). There is jumping and sweating and your legs will be screaming at you to stop. But you get rests just like in the Low HIIT’s. I have A LOT of  improving to do in these workouts. Which again, makes me keep going back for more with EXCITEMENT!
Stretch 10 and Abs 10!
Relaxing and relieving is what Stretch 10 is, and Abs 10 will leave your love handles screaming for mercy. I love that.

The Fuel the Fire Nutrition Guide has given me some really great recipe ideas that don’t require too much prep, time or ingredients. Which you know is important to me. I have too much enjoying my nights to do instead of slaving over a stove!

The TurboFire Class Schedule hangs on my fridge so that I see it every time I’m there! This helps me prepare for the next day and stay on track!

And that's what I've been up to the past few weeks! I have a ways to go still but I'm getting so much better and using this blog, and all of my challengers as accountability and motivation! Want to see it live and in action--here's a video! Not of me, but the program. Haha....Not that confident y'all!


Monday, October 21, 2013

Healthy Taco Chicken Bowl

First, I cancelled my internet service. Yep. You read that right...but don't worry, I'm going with another company tomorrow! :) My current provider tried to increase my monthly payment from $29.99/month to $54.99/month!!! When I called, they "met me in the middle" and offered $45.99/month. That's an extra $15/month, which equals out to $180/year!! For a while on the phone I was bluffing like "I want to cancel unless you can give me the $29.99/month deal for another year." But then when it came down to it, she wasn't I had to go for it. If my dad taught me one thing, it's always follow through on your threats you make to companies. Unfortunately for me, I have to get new internet. Haha.

I'm wrapping things up at my job right now (Thursday is my last day!!!) so it's pretty boring. But I guess that's good, because I'm not leaving the department with a lot of stuff to pick up when I leave. I cleaned out my cube which was fun! Oh, and 13 months after starting my job...they finally gave me a name tag hahaha. Last 4 days of work and people can finally see who I am from outside my cube. Good work. I hope I get an office at my next job...specifically one with a door. I've always wanted a door.

Okay, so this is what you're really here for, a delicious recipe! I've been slacking on creating new recipes but was inspired by my love of Chipotle with this one. Joe-Joe approved, which means man and child approved. It's healthy and will keep you full for the night an into the morning (aka my favorite kind of meal).
Healthy Taco Chicken Bowl

  • 3 chicken breasts (about 1.5 pounds)
  • 1 (16 oz) jar, salsa (make sure it's low sodium!)
  • 1 (15 oz) can, black beans
  • 1 bag (16 oz) frozen corn
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups dry brown rice
  • 6 oz shredded, reduced-fat cheddar

  1. Add everything to crockpot except rice and cheese. Stir together well to make sure the chicken is coated in the mixture. Cook on high for 4 hours (or low for 8 hours while you're at work).
  2. 15 minutes before you'd like to serve, cook the brown rice according to directions on the package.
  3. Add cheese to crock pot and stir.
  4. Build Taco Bowl by layering rice (1/4 to 1/2 cup), then taco chicken mix (3/4 cup), then a sprinkle of cheese (and a dollop of nonfat Greek yogurt as "sour cream").
  5. Enjoy!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Going Public Means I HAVE to COMMIT!

Okay, I’m going to challenge myself even more than I have in the past. I feel like I can always get the workout part of getting in shape fine—but where I lose it the most is eating healthy for more than 4 days at a time. I don’t know if it’s a mental thing or what. But I need something to kick myself in the booty. So, I’m making a public announcement here so that you all can hold ME accountable!!

I’ve decided to do the Beachbody Ultimate Reset!!! What is it you ask? It is a 3 week program that gently cleanses and restores your body to its optimal “factory settings.” In just 21 days you can increase your energy, lose weight, lower cholesterol and feel healthier than before.

The Ultimate Reset Complete Kit:

  • Six supplements, uniquely formulated to help restore your body to optimal health
    • Alkalinize helps maintain alkalinity.
    • Optimize promotes a healthy metabolism and effective body functions.
    • Oxygenize helps provide supplemental oxygen to the body.
    • Mineralize adds natural minerals needed by the body.
    • Detox helps remove toxins and waste in the colon.
    • Revitalize helps revitalize flora in the digestive tract.
  •  The Ultimate Reset Program and Nutrition Guide, which includes detailed step-by-step instructions for your 21-day Ultimate Reset journey, and a complete three-phase Ultimate Reset meal plan
  • Two DVDs:
    • Reset Your Health! Disc 1 includes instructions for your Reset and inspirational Success Stories to help motivate you.
    • Cooking Class! Disc 2 provides a video guide to preparing healthy Ultimate Reset recipes.
  • Exclusive Access to 24/7 Ultimate Reset Participant Portal
  • Ultimate Reset Bracelet to remind you of your dedication to resetting your body and your life. That will be CLUTCH because I always give-in to peer pressure when I'm out!

So, I’m placing my order tonight and starting the reset as soon as it arrives. Kind of scared since I just put it out there, but I know it will be worth it! 

Here's to taking some more "before" pics :)

If I've intrigued's a video:


Monday, October 14, 2013

Phone Dump

Well, it's Monday...and that means a really long day that I'm happy is over...because I'm reading on the couch and enjoying the fall weather.

Yesterday I made a weekly meal plan for myself and my amazing Beachbody Challenge Ladies... I am happy to say that I followed it all day EXCEPT that I came home from work and was too hungry!! Apparently, an apple and 1/4 cup Chili Lime Almonds does not fill this girl up. So, I ate some Boom Chicka Pop. I'll be sure to increase my afternoon snack tomorrow so that I'm not ravenous again. It's all about learning and adapting people.

Besides that, I don't have any good ideas for a blog post. So I'm doing a phone dump! I saw this on someone else's blog and they just posted some fun pictures from the last few weeks. I've had an exciting few weeks so here ya go!!

Our friends from college visited and we toured them around Joe-Joe's office....

Yes, we make every visitor take a picture on this.


 We attempted to go to a haunted forest, but they were closed on OPENING DAY! Lame. So instead we went to a quaint little bar in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin.

On Saturday we went to a BEER FEST!
I have such pretty friends!!


The elusive Joe-Joe
 Then found some friends downtown!

Love everyone in this picture.
Another really exciting thing happened.....

And it required Korbel...

Enjoying a Pumpkin Pie Shakeology while reading my contract!

I will be working for The University of Wisconsin Athletic Department to keep their athletes eating healthy!! So excited for this opportunity and to get to work at such an amazing university. Like I told all of my friends and family, I may wear red some days, but I will always bleed blue and white!

Speaking of blue and white...did you see Penn State upset Michigan in 4 OT's Saturday night?!

Enough randomness, what's on your mind today? 


Friday, October 11, 2013

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

I've been wanting to try this recipe for so long, its ridiculous. I've been to the store at least 3 times since I've found it, and each time I forgot to pick up the necessary canned, pureed pumpkin to create this deliciousness. However, last night, Joe-Joe and I went to the store because 1) I NEEDED this pumpkin and 2) He NEEDED ice cream. Boys will be boys :) Anyhow, I made it this morning and my goodness it was delicious. I can't wait to make it for lunch tomorrow!!

Pumpkin Pie Shakeology Shake


  • 1 Scoop Vanilla Shakeology
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree (make sure it's 100% Pumpkin!)
  • 1/2 cup Almond Milk, Unsweetened Vanilla
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 tsp Honey


  • Place all ingredients together in a blender and BLEND IT BABY!

You won't regret trying this recipe. Plus, pumpkin is seriously good for you! Check it out:

  • Pumpkin has tons of Vitamin A (actually, 1 cup provides 200% of your Daily Recommended Intake!)
  • Pumpkin is packed with Fiber to help aid in feeling full..which in turn helps weight loss. 1 cup has 3 grams of fiber and only 49 calories!
  • Pumpkin contains a whole lot of caratenoids -- which may help protect the body against cancer!

So, drink up and cheers to the weekend!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Are You Really Hungry?

One of the reasons that many people (including myself) have a hard time with weight loss is because of food. You're willing and excited to do the workouts, but we all know that's only 30% of the battle. Most of the struggle comes in the form of food. So, before you pick up those crackers or this!

First, you DO need food.
Don't get it twisted. You CAN'T not  eat and have sustained weight loss (sorry about the double negative, those always confuse Joe-Joe haha). Sure, if you don't eat a lot you'll drop some weight, but as soon as you pick up a piece of bread it will come right back. So instead of battling that see-saw, EAT FOOD! Your body needs it to function at it's basic levels.

There IS a difference between NEEDING food and WANTING food.
Yes, you need food... but do you NEED food when you're sitting in front of the television at 10pm? The answer is no! That's a want, not a need. At least for me it's mostly just a want :) Can't figure out if its a want or a need? Ask yourself this question: Am I really hungry? Think on it for 15 minutes, while sipping water, and if you're still hungry have some food. And don't feel guilty about it!

Get some sleep.
The sleep deprived are at much greater risk for giving into their cravings. Get at least 7 hours of sleep a night to avoid those urges. It also puts you in bed earlier so you're not sitting on the couch at 10pm thinking about food.

Just don't buy it.
In other words, don't put tempting foods in your pantry. It's a well known fact that I can't say no to French fries, Cheez-Its or "Organic" Chips (oh how I wish organic meant fat free, zero calorie and not filled with chemicals). Literally the only way for me to not eat this, is to never buy them. If you keep the temptation far away, you're a whole lot less likely to give in!

Eat more protein + fiber.
These two nutrients keep you feeling fuller, longer. Take advantage of it by increasing your intake at meals. Try chickpeas or kidney beans on salads--you're getting protein and fiber from the bean, along with fiber from the rest of the salad! Win-win.

The last thing that I want to say is moderation. Plain and simple. Don't deprive yourself of everything, all the time. Make your healthy lifestyle work for YOU! Do I eat French fries sometimes? Yes. Cheez-Its? Yes. And then I push play on my DVD player to burn the calories. Moderation people.

What are your nutrition tips that help you?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Sticking to Your Motviation

Lots of people say that the hardest part of losing weight is getting started with the workout routine. Some days I agree with that…but lately my workout routines have been so much fun! Wait a minute….you’re reading this and thinking "ummm, I hate working out. What can I do?” You're the person who runs out of steam every time a workout challenges you physically.  You fall off the bandwagon as soon as you have a bad weekend. You've tried so many times and it's never worked.  When you mentally prepare yourself like that, you set yourself up for inevitable failure. Really, all you need to do is prepare yourself mentally to focus on how to keep motivated to kick-start a fitness routine and finish it off with success. Here are some tips to help you stay motivated to your fitness schedules:

Make it convenient. Make it enjoyable. If you haven't worked out in a while and pick a workout that you HATE or that is more than an hour long… it will be that much harder to stick with. Start with shorter workouts that are easier to adjust into your daily life, and with a trainer that you get enjoyment from. This will help you in the long run to stay motivated to exercise on a daily basis.

Choose the right workout DVD that you can play at home. Since gyms are usually expensive, home fitness DVDs can help you get fit from the comfort of your home. Not to mention with winter quickly approaching…(I know I’m not the only one who’s seen Christmas decorations in stores)…don’t let snow or cold weather keep you from getting your sweat on! Get a fitness program that includes a personal trainer to help you do the workout effectively and efficiently, while boosting your motivation to stay up with the workout! 

There are other things which can help your mind want to start a workout routine. Start with some new workout gear (equipment, shoes, clothing). Once you have the items, you’ll want to use them! Treat yourself every now and then with new fitness items that will initiate the urge to get into anything physical! I mean, who doesn't love an excuse to buy new shoes??

If your family, friends, and fitness coach is there to help you stay motivated, you’re much more likely to achieve your goals! I never want to let my team down, and if I do…it motivates me even more to kick butt the next day! Start with a challenge group with people who will encourage you to do the workouts and attain weight loss goals. You can even workout with an exercise buddy who has a similar daily workout schedule!

When it comes to talking yourself into exercising, a mirror can be a very helpful tool. You can snap a week 1 shot of yourself, then week 2, week 3 and so on…all to track your progress. The mirror is also an awesome tool for watching yourself do workouts. Sometimes I’ll pop in front of my mirror while doing punches in TurboFire to make sure my form is on point.

Keep a record of your workouts and the transformation. This will help you notice even the initial changes in your measurements. Remember those mirror pics, along with a measuring tape to compare the size before and after the successful completion of the routines. But remember that the results will start to appear after around 2 weeks.

These are just a few ways that I motivate myself to work out and stick with fitness programs. The real results will come only if you work hard yourself. I can’t make you do anything, but I can help you become who you want to be!


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, which is very near and dear to my heart. I guarantee you know someone too, whether it be a family member, a friend or a parent's friend that has gone through breast cancer. And I'm no different. My mom is a 2-TIME SURVIVOR of breast cancer. My granny is a survivor. And my aunt is a survivor. I guess you could say breast cancer runs in the family. And I'll never forget when I made that connection.
Mom and me
I believe I was about 9 years old when I thought I was doomed to get breast cancer. My mom had just battled the disease when I was 8, and shortly after my granny fought her fight. So, I was next in line. At least that's how I thought about it. The "next in line" mantra really hit home when my mom found out she had cancer AGAIN--10 years after being cleared. I'll never forget the day she told me about it. I had randomly come home from college on a Wednesday to make it to a doctor's appointment. My dad was at work and my brother was still up at school. Somehow, someone in the family let it slip to my brother that mom was "gonna be okay" she had beat it once before and would do it again. The next hour my mom talked to him on the phone...from the garage, and tried to hide the news from me. But my parents only ever talked in the garage when there was bad news. So when she came back in I forced it out of her, and my knees buckled from underneath me. Why were they keeping this a secret? They didn't want to ruin my freshman Halloween experience. God bless my parents. Here my mom was looking cancer in the face again, and they didn't want to ruin my dressing up and drinking at college with my brother.

My parents then made the difficult decision together that my mom would have a double mastectomy and hysterectomy. Surgery was scheduled and we enjoyed Christmas with the date looming in January. One thing that I love about my family is that crisis really does bring us together. The waiting room, while terrifying during the 14 hour ordeal, was filled with sarcasm and laughter. It's what we do best. After that, not a day went by in the hospital that my aunts and uncles didn't stop by or offer to bring some amazing food.

When I was 9, I vowed to start getting mammograms at the age of 25. Thinking back, it's kind of funny that I even knew what mammograms were. But my parents never hid anything from us. We faced everything together as a family. I really appreciate that now....Back then it seemed like getting to age 25 would take forever, but here I am at 24..coming up on that 25th birthday this year. Have I changed my mind? Not one bit. I don't believe in taking chances with your health, and as much as I've been told that 25 is young, I don't' care. My mom got cancer when she was 39. Why WOULDN'T I get ahead of this thing? I'd like to keep the routine of beating breast cancer going, not fall victim to it.

Blonde days.. me, mom, brother, dad.

So, if there's anything you get out of this post. Please, please, please do monthly breast self-exams. It literally takes 1 minute in the shower but it can give you a lifetime. Here's a link to more directions:

Send you a big virtual hug mom!!
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