I am NOT on a Diet. I am Working On My Lifestyle.

A "diet" is what you do when you have no intention of changing your lifestyle. It is a temporary fix when your intention is to return to your previous habits as soon as you hit a magical number.

Creating a lifestyle is when you work towards the habits and attitudes that will support your long range health and fitness goals. 

Diets are what I did in my teen and college years. I starved all week. At that point, deprivation meant twisting the point system so that I could get my fill of cookies, crackers, and cheese while staying within my point values. I was hungry all the time. No surprise, I was not consuming fiber or protein.

During the period of time that I  successfully lost a significant amount of weight I learned
...portion control
...to eat all day
...to eat a variety of types of foods
...to enjoy the taste of a juicy, greasy cheeseburger (don't laugh if you see me eating with my eyes

Portions and Accountability
....to recognize when I was out of control
....ask for help and provide help to others

Now, I also have the tools to take what I learned and put it into action . It isn't what will work for everyone, but it is what works for me.

Portion Fix: This nutrition system uses portion control to help me lose a few pounds when they creep up and maintain my weight in maintenance mode. It comes with colored containers that correspond to food groups. Following the program ensures that I eat a variety of food in healthy portions.

Protein Shake: Using a meal substitute once a day allows me to control my calorie intake and hunger. Plus, I like it. It works for me so I do it.

Workouts: I now work out at home for 30 minutes, every day. I follow several different Beachbody programs depending on my current goals. Someone else is telling me what to do and how to do it. I don't fight others at the gym or machines or have to schedule my day around my workout.
My at home support team! James and Molly

Support: Every month I run Challenge Groups. We use a structured fitness and nutrition program, along with a meal replacement to help everybody get on track. We check in with each other every day for accountability. My ultimate goal each month is to develop habits that will allow each person to create a healthier lifestyle.

If you are ready to say goodbye to how you have been living and cultivate something new, fill out the form below. I will contact you with details.

Why I Can't Wait for the New Year to Get Back on Track

Sooo...I have a weight. And when I reach that weight I start freaking out. That weight is 185.

What is my mental block at 185? Before my weight loss, the last time I was 185 was when I was in middle school. I remember looking at the scale and thinking, :"OK, if I just stay this weight and grow a few inches  I can deal with that."

Of course, I didn't stay that weight. I ballooned up  and up.

After losing over 80 pounds, my coach asked me to choose a weight that would trigger an "emergency response". A weight that would mean my number one priority would be losing what I had gained.  Instantly that moment and 185 popped into my head.

At that weight, it is not "muscle" weight. It is fat. It is indulgence. It is ridiculous. It is too close to losing control, but close enough to my goal maintenance weight that I can get back there within weeks.

And I hit it. I hit it the day after Christmas. I sighed. I knew it was coming. I let too many days slide by without measuring. Workouts continued, but my portion fix cups were in a drawer. I skipped protein and went straight for candy.

So Monday, it started. The morning coffee with cream and sugar went away, the portion cups came out, and I am writing down what I am going to eat BEFORE I eat it and (here is the key) I don't eat anything else.  On Monday, I took "before pictures". What a reality check that was.

It means no drinks on New Years and ordering grilled chicken salads when I eat out (IF I eat out). I will do what I need to do to get down to my mainteneance weight.

It also means that in a few weeks, I will be able to indulge without guilt. I will be able to slip on those Friday jeans and not worry about sucking it in or wearing a loose shirt to hide the bulge.

You are about to see a lot of food posts, hunger posts, weight loss posts. They are my accountability. Feel free to scroll past, unfriend me, roll your eyes. I am good with that.

Because the truth is that it has to be my priority or a year from now, I will be back at 260 or higher.

Just Because You Have Always Quit Doesn't Mean You Should Give Up

I used to go to the gym and use a personal trainer. In fact, I have been doing that almost as long as I have been dieting.

Let me back up. I have always been overweight. I have always known that this was, in part, due to lack of activity. I hated running the mile during PE. My thighs rubbing together and coming in last was not much of an incentive.

I quit the Shot and Disc in Junior High after learning that the throwing team would have to RUN, RUN during practie. WTF! Why did we have to run?

I quit Freshman Volleyball after wheezing during conditioning and feeling the red burn of embarrasment when my team mates made fun of my slow pace.

In fact the first time I ever ran an entire mile was in college when a boy made me do it. He was sweet and an athlete. I am pretty sure he looked at me more like a project than a girlfriend. His name was Mike and honestly I wish I could thank him. He got me around that oval with support and encouragement. My first athletic endeavor that didn't make me feel less than.

After college, came a variety of gyms and personal trainers. Nothing really clicked until I started taking 30 minute X Bike classes. The instructors were amazing. They knew just how hard to push and when to back off. I could sit down so my knees weren't hurting. Best of all? The lights were off. NO ONE COULD SEE ME. No one could see when I slowed down or if I failed to stand up and pedal fast. During good songs, I could lip sync. I did not have to fake conversation or wait for machines.

At the end when the lights came back up, everybody was sweating, exhausted, and smiling.

That led me to lifting weights and incorporating other types of fitness into my daily routine.

When the gym I attended cancelled my classes and moved others, it became difficult.

Where would I be able to work out without fear of others seeing me? The ability to push myself at my own pace and not be surrounded by people doing lower squats or higher reps? I needed to be able to turn off the lights and at the end smile through my sweat.

The reality was I could no longer afford the cost of a gym that no longer met my needs, but I needed someone telling me what to do and when. I didn't have the time or commitment to design my own workouts every day.

My husband had been using P90X and The Beast for a while. I wasn't ready for either one of those. James found an X Bike for me on Craigslist, but without the instructor that was not as effective as before.

So when I heard that Beachbody had a program called the 21 Day Fix I jumped at it. Fitness, nutrition, and two sets of weights was all I needed.

The workouts were varied enough that I did not get bored, the tempo quick enough to make me sweat, and the trainer (Autumn Calebrese) motiviating without being condescending.

I spent a lot of time quitting early in my life. And that is okay. But it took NOT giving up to find what works for me, for now.

It is okay to quit, but don't give up.

Setting Boundaries for Yourself

As a mom I set boundaries for my kiddo all the time.
Enjoying my well earned coffee
"No, you may not eat a Snickers bar at breakfast."
"Finish your homework , then you can play video games."

We do this for our kids because we are trying to get them to make healthy choices, develop good habits and grow into adults who won't have to fight the same battles with weight and fitness that we do. If we train them right, it will be natural....atleast that is the theory!

So, why do we have such a hard time doing this for ourselves?

This morning I would not let myself drink my coffee until I had cleaned the kitchen and bathroom floor. Why? Because I really wanted that coffee and I really didn't want to clean the floors.

The same goes for my workouts. No workout, no coffee. In fact on the weekends and during vacation I don't allow myself to take a shower until I work out.

What? That is gross you say? Yes it is. I stink. So before I leave the house to go to Home Depot or brunch, it is imperative I shower. It is imperative I work out so that I can take a shower.

The result of this has been no missed workouts since November 9, 2014.

Try to set yourself up for success by setting a boundary for yourself. Until I ______ I won't _____. Or if you work better with rewards, When I ________, then I can _______.

If you need help setting boundaries and goals to keep you on track, join one of my 21 day online fitness challenge group! Fill out the interest form below!

Water Challenge!

Sometimes all you need is a team and accountability to improve your health!

Water fuels all of the things our body does for us. Yet, somehow, most of us ignore our need to drink enough water each day. Join me and my team as we challenge ourselves to get in our water!

How to Enter

Step 1: Become a member of my team by signing up here. (It’s FREE!)

Step 2: “Like” My Facebook fitness page 

Step 3: Check my Facebook page every day for a new post assignment and post away!

Step 4: WIN Every time you post, you enter to win one Shakeology Sample or a BeachBody Performance Sampler pack.

I Got "The Box" Now What?

Woot Woot! You got the box. Now no excuses.

1. Look through the box and make sure you received the DVDs, Portion Fix containers and Nutrition Guide. Double check your Shakeology. Did you get the right flavor?

2. Take your Measurements. DO IT! There will be times when the scale does not budge but your inches do. This video can show you how to do it correctly.

3. Read through the nutrition information with a pen and pencil nearby. Use the formula provided in the nutrition guide to figure out how many of each container you will get each day.

4. Make note of what food in each food list is something that you enjoy eating, already use in your diet, or you would like to try. Start creating your grocery list. At the same time, take note of items that are not on the list. What will you need to get rid of or hide to be successful. The closer to the TOP of the food lists you stay, the better your results.

5. Search the web for ideas. You can find my recipes and grocery lists below:

6. Watch each work out ahead of time (keep the remote with you and fast forward) Keep an eye out for moves that you will need to modify. What equipment do you need? 

7. Decide on a nutrition and workout start day. Schedule your work out each day as a non negotiable. Write it down in ink. Plan your nutrition. What will you eat and when? 

8. Check in to our private Challenge Facebook page daily for challenges, recipes, and accountability!

The Coaching Opportunity

Beachbody Coach Opportunity and Business Costs

Q. What exactly do you do as a BB coach?
Support people in their own fitness journey. I run private, facebook challenge groups to support my clients.. In this challenge group, I help people set goals, plan to meet their goals, and hold them accountable. BB provides you with a daily posting guide so that you are never struggling to help your challenge members. Your most important role as a BB coach is to support those around you! If you are not interested in supporting others, becoming a coach is not for you!

Q. Okay, so I love supporting people. BUT how do I actually make any money? 
In order to run my challenge groups, I need everybody to be speaking the same "language", using the same structured programs so that I can help them focus on behavior instead of 100 different nutrition plans. When a client purchases anything from my BB website, I earn a commission and when my team of coaches does well, a team bonus. To keep my clients purchasing, they must feel supported and get results. So again, supporting your clients is the MOST important job of a coach!

Q. How do I attract people to my new business and know how to approach them? YOU are your greatest marketing asset. Posting images of your own fitness regime, nutrition prep, and journey will draw people to you. They will want to know what you are doing and  how you are doing it. BB also provides a complete set of personal development and business development resources. PLUS, you are provided with a business mentor who is actively building their business. My business mentor. Terri Devore holds weekly team calls, webinars for potential coaches, and is always available for our team. She works this business full time and stays at home with her kiddo! I am a part time coach, who works the business to make some extra money and stay motivated.

Q. How much does it cost to become a Beachbody Coach? A.Typically starting costs are $40  up to $305…it all depends on what products are purchased during the Coach sign up process.  To help support others in the process, you will need to be familiar with at least one of the BB programs. I suggest the 21 Day Fix. It is a complete fitness AND nutrition program. 
For example, I started by ordering the 21 Day Fix. I got my initial coaching fee waived, the entire program, and my first month of Shakeology for $140. I immediately started using the program, posting about it, and sharing my experiences I broke even my first month! So it cost me nothing to start my new business.  I wrote about it here.

Remember, that this cost starts your business, but also includes workout programs you can actually use to improve your own personal health!  

Some of these fees may be a tax deduction. As with any home based business, consult a tax professional.

Q. Is there a recurring monthly fee to be a Beachbody Coach?
A.  Typically if you are someone that is serious about the business, you can expect to pay around $130 a month. This amount includes the $15.95 monthly website maintenance fee, a $2.99 a week Club Membership Charge, and a month’s supply of Shakeology for your own personal use. If you are looking at this as a business opportunity consider these fees the cost of doing business. You are not renting a store front, creating your own website, or creating our own products. This is all done for you!

If you are active duty or retired military, you may qualify for Beachbody's fee waiver program to eliminate the $15.95 fee each month. Read here to find out how.

Do I Have to Make a Quota to get paid?
A. No!  Coaches always qualify for 25% commissions of their retail sales. However, there is a monthly 50 “personal volume” (PV) requirement in order for a Coach to be considered “active” or advance in rank.
Personal volume points can come from a Coach’s own orders, or from any products that they sell. Meeting the 50 PV requirement in order to be considered active is not hard to do. If a Coach is drinking Shakeology, which is 90 PV, that would cover the 50 PV requirement. Or if a Coach had just one Shakeology customer that was on monthly autoship, or made just one P90x sale a month, those scenarios would also cover that monthly PV requirement in order to be considered “active” or advance in rank.
Keep in mind that Coaches are never forced to buy anything just to cover the 50 PV, there is no penalty for not being “active”, however, once a Coach reaches Emerald rank or higher, if they are not “active”, they won’t be eligible to earn team cycle bonuses.
If the PV talk, and rank advancement talk kind of confuses you, don’t worry, that is normal. These are are things you can learn as you go or I can help you understand.
Do I have to handle money? Keep an inventory?
A. No. Customers order directly through your website and pay BeachBody. You get paid weekly based on your volume. You also do not have to invest in inventory. When your customer makes a purchase Beachbody handles delivery. You take care of your clients!
Will I Really Make Money? 
A. That depends. Are you going to chat it up on Facebook? Reach out and invite others to improve their health? Run online challenge groups as a way of reaching out and supporting others? If the answer is yes...then yes you will make money.
If you are interested fill out the application below and I will be in touch!

The Refresh. Gimmick?

When I thought about doing the Refresh, I was skeptical. Would it work?

This summer I came back from vacation 5 pounds heavier,Too much coffee and sugar, saying "yes" to pizza too often, left me feeling gross.

Honestly, the scale  and tummy was bothering me. I figured, why not try it?!

So I did it. Below are things I am sure everybody wants to know!

Was I hungry? Yes. It is a low calorie diet. However, it was three days. The level of hunger I felt was not extraordinary or debilitating.

Did I get headaches, get tired, or feel yucky? No. I felt like I had more energy in the mornings and afternoons. One morning my husband asked, "You are chipper...what is happening?" I did MISS my Diet Pepsi and coffee. However, that is more about my struggle with stress eating and drinking rather than the refresh.

Did it taste good? I loved the Vegan Strawberry Shakeology so much that I am going to change my monthly order from Vanilla to Vegan Strawberry. I liked the vanilla refresh, but the consistency was a little bit different than the Shakeology. The fiber sweep......less then fabulous. Kind of gross. I took it as a shot.

What Food Did you Eat? My snacks included almond butter, hummus, carrots, and tomatoes. I could have chosen a variety of veges and healthy fats, but we had those on hand. At night, I chose to eat the cucumber and tomato salad, but I could have chosen the vege stir fry, or the Morrocan carrot salad. Was the food super exciting? No. BUT IT WAS THREE DAYS!

On the third day I went back to work full time. Let me tell you, that was the best day because I didn't have to think about food. I drank my shakes, ate my carrots and hummus, and did not have to pack around food or try to balance eating with working. It was a busy day and since I was drinking my food, I did not skip any meals for lack of time. Usually I am starving by 2:00. When I was on my way home, I realized that the 2:00 starvation never came.

Why? The program had me consuming a shake, veges, or water every couple of hours.

Did you fart a lot? Did the fiber sweep.....do things to you?
No. In fact, since I was not consuming carbonated beverages it seemed to reduce the bloating and gas. However, if you do not normally incorporate veges into your diet, you may experience some gas.
The program does indicate what veges are less likely to cause gas.

The fiber sweep was gentle. I did not notice a difference in my urgency or frequency of using the bathroom.

Results? A loss of 5 pounds. I can tell the difference between my before and after. The three days was worth it.

Will I do it again? YES! It is a great way to kick start a nutrition or fitness program because it gave me a break from food and habits. It  has taken away the after vacation "icks" that come from eating and drinking too much and has gotten me back on track.

Is this a stand alone weight loss solution? NO!! This is a great part of an overall healthy lifestyle. I like to be transparent. This is not a magic bullet. If I go and eat a box of doughnuts I will probably gain the inches back. However, since I am immediately returning to my portion control program and starting The Body Beast, I am confident it will stay off!

Contact me if you are interested in more details about the Refresh or getting fit! Kikils@aol.com

I am Celebrating Making No Progress

Why am I celebrating the fact that I have made no progress?

Of the last 14 days I spent 7 of them on vacation. A vacation where I refused to cook for myself. I spent a ton of time laying on the beach doing nothing but reading. I didn't write down what I ate or keep track of my water.

So what did I do? I did work out 5 of those 7 days using BeachBody's On Demand Streaming feature.

I did gain 5 pounds. 5 pounds. Proof that I indulged in pizza, ice cream, and chips.

That small gain is also proof that I ate the pre-cooked oatmeal that I packed and maintained self control, kept my indulgences to a minimum, chose salad over another option more than once and opted for cocktails without sugary bases.

I am celebrating because on that vacation, I wore a bikini on the beach for the first time in my life.

I am celebrating because the moment I got back home, I prepped my meals for the following week instead of extending my food vacation another 10 days. I woke up this morning and got right back into my fitness routine.

I live in reality land. I knew before the vacation that I would want to indulge in ice cream, rich foods, and alcoholic beverages. If I had set the goal of losing weight while on vacation, I would fail and feel miserable. I had to set a realistic goal that would not take me too far off track, but would also leave room for success.

Being on the 21 Day Fix does not mean a straight path with no turn outs or road blocks. It means understanding your long term goal and charting a path that will take you there.Progress is not always celebrated in inches or weight loss.

Sometimes it is measured in setting realistic goals, accepting small weight gains,and then getting right back on track.

If you are interested in the 21 Day Fix, fill out the form below and I will contact you with details!

Rules That Keep Me Honest

You would think that being able to sleep in as long as I want is a good thing. Nope. Summer means a huge schedule shift. I do not have the pressure of homeschooling and working. I can sleep in. That means that by the time I get up, my accountability partner has already worked out, showered, and is off to his own job.

Major problem for me. I like to get up, have one or two or three cups of coffee, watch some tv, relax. Then the kid wakes up. We cuddle. Then I am "out of the mood". and I don't want to work out. I promise myself I can do it "Later". Of course that is not as laughable as when I promise myself, "Tomorrow I WILL DO TWO workouts!". hahahaha.

This summer I had to create rules for myself.

1. No showering and dressing until I have worked out. I don't want to sit at home all day in my workout clothes, so this at least ensures that I workout at some point.

2. Two cups of coffee max. This limits the time I spend sitting, relaxing. I can always relax after my workout.

3. Hold myself accountable by tattling on myself. (I know how 1st grade!) I tell someone if I haven't worked out. Either the husband or my  mom and they harass me.

4. Engage with my fitness challenge group each day: How does it help to help others? Because I feel like a complete idiot if I hold my group members accountable if all I have done is sit around all day!

Hope this helps! Think about the "rules" you can create for yourself to overcome getting in your own way!

If you have a hard time holding yourself accountable, I would love to do it! Check out my fitness page at Kirsten Gets Fit and join my team by signing up for a free 30 day membership! 

A Vacation in Santa Cruz:Vacation Through Food

After P90X and Max 30
I like to eat. I like to eat new food. I also like to drink....a lot. But I have made a lot of progress this year on my nutrition and fitness goals and did not want them to go down the drain when we went to Santa Cruz this weekend. It was a trip without the kiddo, which usually means mimosas, breweries, and cocktail hours along with yummy food. I mean, hey if we can go to a place that does not have a kids menu, I want to do it.

The first thing I did was commit to eating my standard oatmeal breakfast and keep up with my 30 minute workouts. I chose new workouts from Beachbody on Demand that did not require any equipment. Max 30 did the trick. James was in the next room doing P90X3 workouts. Different rooms, different workouts, but we both got what we needed.

Lulu's Hot Chocolate for James
Then, I ate my oatmeal with apples and coconut oil. It was already cooked and packed from my prep work on Sunday. It kept me from putting crap inside by body first thing and I felt good about myself. It was a boost of self confidence that helped to propel me to make good choices later in the day. 

I refused to give up on my "vacation coffee" with real cream and sugar, but demanded it be the best. One of my general rules in life is NOT to eat at a national chain if a local place is available. Each morning I searched out a new, local coffee spot with something for James to eat. There, I would sip my decadent vacation coffee, beg "Just one bite!" from James, and think about our intentions for the day. I was never disappointed with the coffee I found. Chill Out Cafe and Lulus, provided decadent breakfast for James and yummy coffee for me.

Most of our mornings and mid mornings were spent doing one of three things. Walking in and out of random stores, bicycling around, or laying on the beach with a book. Not terribly active, I know. I am not the "Lets go run the Boston Marathon for fun on vacation" kind of girl. Nope I want a good book, warm sand, and no time restrictions.

We packed our own beach snacks. I packed fruit, baked chicken from home, and carrots to dip in hummus. James had some cheese, jalapeno salami, and crackers. The food kept us from becoming starving while down at the water and kept me tied over until our late lunch. It also kept me from over eating at a restaraunt. I didn't bring the whole package of crackers or cheese. Instead, we brought just enough for one serving.

Our "New" to us tandem. Bought on our way out of town!
Later in the afternoon, we invariably found ourselves riding our tandem
down to bars and restaurants looking for something to drink and eat. This was tricky for me because I like to drink (did I already say that?). Drinking usually means something sweet and full of calories. Plus, I know how toxic booze is. Our bodies try to get rid of it before anything else, So any food you eat while drinking does not get dealt with until all of the booze is gone. Usually, this means that the calories from food turns into extra weight by the end of your vacation.

Cocktail hours proved to be my biggest challenge. What I ended up doing was ordering a lot of ceviche, which I love, and trying new things that included fresh vegetable ingredients or lean protein. I forgot anything fried, covered in butter, and bread. At one place, we ordered the ceviche and spicy edamame. I had to ignore the salt content and accept that some water weight would come on. I chose infused vodka martinis or mixed drinks with fresh fruit squeezed in over sugar laden mixes. I had to accept in those moments that I would gain weight. The alcohol calories did nothing for me in terms of my long term goals, I was making a choice.
infused vodka

I did indulge in another favorite, ice cream. I am a sucker for a super creamy, gourmet scoop. This means that (much to James' disappointment) I do not indulge in chain ice cream like Baskin Robbins or Cold Stone. If I am going to do it, it has to be creamy, fresh, and unique.

We tried Mission Hill Creamery and were not disappointed. The ice cream was delicious and worth every calorie and bite.They have small 2 oz scoops.You know how the first few bites are always the best? The first few bites is all you get with a 2 oz scoop! Plus it came with a yummy waffle cone slide on top. So I could forgot the additional calories of a full on waffle cone.

  The biggest surprise of the vacation came one day at Pizza My Heart. I leaned over to look at the salads and saw a Caprese salad with the cutest, yummiest looking tomatoes, oil and vinegar, and Pesto. James ordered a slice of  meat pizza.The salad was refreshing and the tiny container of pesto had that bit of olive oil fattiness that made me swoon. Before long, I realized I had had only one bite of James' pizza and was too focused on my caprese to bother begging for more. I didn't miss the pizza.

The biggest thing I did differently to ensure not gaining a ton of weight or bringing vacation habits back with me, was to immediately start prepping for my week when we returned. Before walking in the door, I threw the first load in the washer.

Then, I hit the kitchen. I prepped my breakfasts for the week and started to thaw chicken while James ran to the grocery store. We ate turkey burgers for lunch and I had a chicken salad for dinner.

Vacation is not technically over, but why do more damage? All I wanted to do was sit down, drink some water, and watch tv. Tomorrow I will be glad I didn't.

Strategies for No Mess Lunch and Dinner

Cooking from scratch instead of grabbing a frozen weight watchers meal or bowl of cereal meant a lot more dishes, cooking, time, and thinking ahead. My working, homeschooling, fitness mom life does not leave a lot of room for cleaning.

I learned to plan and prep.

Planning Tips: 
  • Plan meals that use similiar ingredients so that you can prep them all at once. 
  • Look for meals at the beginning of the week that you can double and use the leftovers for lunch the rest of the week.
  • Search for recipes that can be cooked in the crockpot for busy days. 
  • Keep it simple
  • Eat the same meals 
Yes, it sounds repetitive. I know.  I used to look at food as an activity. It was a bright spot, something to break the boredom of the day or relieve the stress of the day.

 My goal now when I eat is to think about what will fuel my body to build muscle. 

You have to be willing to do what it takes to get where you want to be. That may mean some "boring meals" if you don't want to invent and cook new meals eveyr day of the week.

Remember that the goal of eating is to satisfy your hunger NOT make you want more.

Prepping Tip:
Choose one early morning or afternoon to do your prep work and cooking. Why? It eliminates a lot of work during the week. I find that I can prep and cook for 3-4 days at a time. It also means that your refrigerator will be full of tupperware. So before going grocery shopping, clean out your refrigerator.

Bake or BBQ Chicken: The goal is to create a container full of healthy protein that you can scoop out at lunch or dinner.
  • Defrost bonless, skinless chicken breasts.By soaking them in warm water, until defrosted, it helps to create a juicy product.
  • Dry completely and sprinkle with different seasonings. I make a plain batch, one with Mrs Dash Fiesta Lime Chicken (or salsa!) and one with a No Salt All Purpose Seasoning
  • Heat over to 350 or prep grill.
  • Cook until slightly underdone. (If eating immediately, cook all the way. Undercooking meats may put you at risk for Salmonella poisoning. Makes sure to copmletely cook food before consuming)
  • Cut into cubes and store in different containers
Clean,Chop, Pre Cook "Fixn's" Cut and prep these so that they are ready to go when you need them.
  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Pinto beans (overnight these in the crockpot!)
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Bell Peppers and onions on the BBQ! These add a lot of flavor to meals
  • Lettuce and salad veges
Pre Made Chicken Meal Ideas: These may all be prepackaged and reheated at work or at dinner time.

Balsamic Chicken and Sweet Potatos: Scoop out chicken seasoned with all purpose seasoning and Precooked Sweet Potatoes. Then, sprinkle with Balsamic Vingegar. You can add pre cooked vegetables. Sub brown rice or quinoa if you do not like sweet potatoes. Adding Italian parsley will brighten it up and add flavor.
Taco Boats Place a scoop of Pinto Beans and chicken on top of Ortega Taco boats. Add lettuce, and toppngs. Eliminate the boats if you are low on yellows and have a Taco Salad instead! Add cilantro at the end to make it fresh.
Fajita Salad: Chicken, grilled peppers/onions on a bed of lettuce with vege fixings.
Stir Fry: Chicken with low sodium soy sauce, rice or quinoa, and broccoli (or your favorite veg!) Mix in an egg if you need the extra protein. Add chopped peanuts at the end for some crunch or pineapple for sweetness.

Poultry Break! Too much poultry? Break it up with lean ground beef:
Mini Meatloafs or Burgers: Mix ground beef with onions, bell pepper, and egg whites. Put into cupcake pan and cook at 350 or form into patties for burgers. You can chop and mix ahead of time and freeze the burger patties. I will smother these in leftover onions and peppers for added flavors. Add all the vegetables fixings you want.

I serve all of them with a salad or vegetables. If I have no more yellows left, I up the veges and remove the rice or sweet potato.

It doesn't have ot be messy or hard. Prep and Plan!

If you want to join me in my next challenge group, Fill out the interest form below and I will contact you!

I Totally Ignored My Kid Today (and I don't feel guilty)

During the school year I get up and work out at 4:30 with my husband. LOOONG before my son gets up for the day. It is absolutely necessary that I work out before he gets up. I must work out, shower, get ready for work, and get ready to homeschool all before his sleepy eyes open.

During the summer, there is a little bit of a slower pace, but still have to get my work out in, answer work emails, work with my challenge group and get my first meal in before getting him up and ready for camp.

This morning, I didn't roll out of bed until closer to 6:00 and brewed a cup of coffee. I was confident that he would wake up at his normal 7:15, leaving me plenty of time for me to workout before he came downstairs.

Ten minutes in, I heard his feet hit the floor and the toiler roar. "Maybe he will go back to sleep" I hoped as I refocused. No such luck. Pretty soon he was having a one sided argument with the dog about how much space she was taking on the couch.

Normally, I would get his day going by helping him make breakfast, snuggling for a few minutes on the couch, and having some more chit chat while we watched cartoons. Then, get him going on him summer homework.
The view from my workout

This morning, I ignored the "good mom" angel that was on one shoulder and gave into the selfish mom on the other that said, "Ignore him...keep going...it's only 20 more minutes".

"MOM. MOM. cuddles" he stated. I ignored his request, "Dude, if you are hungry you know how to start your breakfast..." I called out as I started the next set.

No movement on the couch.

At the end of the work out, I turned off my phone and sat down next to him.

"You are sweaty and you stink."

"That means I did it right" I replied as I stuffed his face into my armpit. He immediatley jumped up and went into the kitchen.

We were 30 minutes late to camp. The kid didn't care and no one else seemed to either.

 The devil won and so did I.

If you are interested in joining me in my next fitness challenge group, fill out the form below and I will be in touch!

Tandem Fitness and Weight Loss

Yesterday, James and I ended up kidless. What to do? We ended up spending the hot Sacramento Sunday evening riding a tandem bicycle.

If you have ever ridden on the back of a tandem bike, you know that there is an unspoken agreement that you will follow whoever is in front. You will slow when they slow and lean when they turn. If you don't it is a disaster for both of you. I could not see in front of me, but had to be satisfied with looking side to side while pedaling ahead.

I am not a wife who naturally follows her husband's lead. (Cue the snickering of people who know me and know what an understatement that is) I purposely resisted any back seat driving, pedaled hard, and let him lead. When sweat trickled down, I resisted requesting a rest and when I saw an old house I wanted to check out on the left, but he turned right I leaned his way and looked in a new direction.

Being out of control left me a lot of time to think. No decisions to make meant no prepping in my mind or analyzing. It made me hyper aware of how many decisions I make each day. How often I over examine and analyze things.

This morning, when I was trying to figure our breakfast and menu for the day, I pulled out my nutrition program guide and flipped to the back section that contains menus with 3 options for each meal and snack. They are simple. Nothing fancy. I chose eggs, oatmeal, and apples. I didn't have to think or argue. First snack of the day, I did the same thing. Flipped to the back and chose Shakeology and 2 tsp of natural peanut butter. Again, no prep or thinking or analyzing.

In a sense, I spent most of today surrendering to the ride. I followed Autumn's workout without questioning. I just did it the best that I could. I drank the water that the program dictated. Every three hours or so , I open the book and choose one of the options.

It hasn't been easy. There were definately times when I wanted to turn right and eat an english muffin instead of oatmeal or bread instead of a yam. But I had already accepted that I would follow the sample meal program. I would choose the items closer to the top of each food list to allow myself to reach the best results possible for the week.

When I am in the "front seat" of diet and fitness I tend to be too lenient with myself, choose from the bottom of the list. I follow a path based on what I want to do, not necessarily what will make for the best journey or get me to my destination in the most efficient way.

When James turned right, away from things I wanted to see, we discovered new streets and different things to look at. We backtracked to check out a bar made out of shipping containers because of his interests. Two blocks away, I saw a cute little white Victorian tucked away that had incredible windows and architecture.

Letting others sit up front is often one path to making life easier. Release some control and trust the process. Follow the nutrition plan. Do your work outs and you just might see something new!

Mindful Choices

I wanted to share something that happened to me yesterday :) I woke up with a headache. You know, the "I cried really hard last night" headache when your eyes hurt, too? My knees hurt and I had gone to
sleep way too late the night before. I put on my shoes and headed downstairs to workout with James. I could barely move. Even my windmills were pitiful. I told myself just to get through the warm up.

One of the rules I have for myself is that I always get up, get dressed, and do the first five inutes of my workout. 99.9% of the time, after the warmup my body and mind cooperate. I can get through the rest. Not this time.

After the warm up I turned off the video and went back to bed. But here is the key.... I did not judge myself or get mad. I recognized that my body and mind were telling me to rest. I rested. Had a great day with my family in San Fran and came home, relaxed and happy.

James put pizza in the oven for dinner. I thought back to the burrito/taco and breakfast I had splurged on in SF. I took a bite of pizza and put it back on the counter. Then, I went down to the gym and did my leg workout. I came back and had a salad and a grilled chicken breast for dinner.

I relate this story to you because the hardest part was making the choice not to work out and NOT beating myself up over it. If I had spent the day hating myself it would have ruined the day with my family and I would have drowned my misery in pizza.

Making a mindful choice and accepting it allows you to move forward without punishing yourself!

Grocery List

Weekly Grocery Store List

Prep is essential for success and it starts in the grocery store. My next challenge group starts in eleven days. Next weekend, my friends will be facing the challenge of grocery shopping for fuel instead of food. We eat to live. What we put into our bodies matters!

Weekly Grocery List
boneless, skinless chicken breast, ground turkey,avocadoes, lettuce, shredded carrots, baby carrots
seasonal fruit,frozen broccoli*, baby bell peppers chickpeas*,Tahini,garlic ,almond milk*eggs, lots of eggs*,whole wheat bread,whole grain rice or quinoa*, english muffins, turkey sausage patties
lean lunch meat, and Mio Orange Vanilla water flavoring* steel cut oatmeal

Must Haves:
Shakeology,sugar free bbq sauce*,Mrs Dash Flavoring (salt free)*,olive oil*,virgin coconut oil,natural peanut butter*,dried pinto beans*,coffee,sunflower seeds
** these items will last a long time in your pantry or are cheaper in bulk.

What I don't buy
Buying pinto beans this way allows
 me to lower my cost to pennies
Chips, candy, baked goods, ice cream, protein bars, or anything else that isn't a real food. Yes, it sucked for my son and husband at first. There were some cranky days at my house. However, they don't need that crap either. Now that I have better self control, I do keep Goldfish in the house. However, Robert has also lot weight and is healthier. James and I now do the Portion Fix together and he has lost 16 pounds.

What May Surprise You
I still buy and drink Diet Pepsi. I know, I know. It is horrible for my teeth and my body. It is the one thing I keep in my diet from my previous diet!

Ways to Stay Frugal

Shakeology: There are lots of protein shakes out there. Shakeology makes me feel more energetic and has high quality ingredients. I have gotten the price down to about $4.00. Seem expensive? I used to spend over $5.00 on a latte coffee drink or $10.00 on lunch out. Since I use Shakeology as a meal, I don't have to feel guilty.

Don't Let Food Go Bad: I clean and fully dry fruit/veges. I also place a paper towel in the tupperware container with them to collect excess moisture. I never cut strawberries until needed and I  keep grapes on the stem until the night before I plan to eat them. When my bananas start to go bad or I can't get through all of the strawberries, I freeze them to use in shakes.

$2.50 for this package
which will become four meals
for me.
Beans: We used to buy canned beans. Now, I buy them dry and cook up a batch in my crockpot overnight. I throw in some Mrs Dash and garlic. It keeps me on control of the salt content and they are SUPER SUPER cheap. They stay good all week. I throw an egg in them for breakfast. James uses them in his lunches. Robert likes bean and cheese burritos.

Hummus: This is part of my daily snack. I don't care for vegetables, but if I can dip the veges in hummus I like it. Hummus is expensive so I started making my own on Sundays. It doesn't take long and it is much cheaper than buying it. It lasts all week in the fridge. It is also a lot cheaper at Costco.

Deals on Meat: Friday mornings seems to be the day that Safeway puts its mean on sale. After speaking to the butcher, I discovered that the ground turkey and chicken breasts can be frozen for several months even after they are on discount. This week I picked up a ton of chicken for 1.50 a pound and packages of ground turkey for 50% off. I know we will eat it, so when I see it I stock up and freeze immediately.

BeachBody's Military Discount Program

Beachbody provides an opportunity for those who have served to start their own at home business for no investment fees or coaching fees. 
In addition,If you’re a retiree or a veteran that was honorably discharged, you can become a coach FOR FREE —-> INDEFINITELY!  
So here’s how to get started:
  1. Get your proof of service ready to go.Your DD214, MyPay LES, a copy of your orders, etc.
  2. Click here. This link takes you to my coach sign up page. 
  3. Fill out a form to get your enrollment process started.  My name will already be on the form stating that you would like to sign up under me.
  4. Beachbody will offer you Challenge Pack deals during your enrollment process.  If you are new and do not have a workout program or nutrition program I **highly**recommend taking advantage of this, because as a coach you can only purchase a challenge pack during your enrollment process, or within the first 30 days as a coach….after that they are no longer available to you.  Challenge packs save you a ton of money. If you need help choosing one, let me help.
  5. You are totally able to decline the Challenge Pack offer, but if you do, you will have to FRONT a $40 sign up fee.   THIS $40 FEE WILL BE REFUNDED!!
  6. AS SOON as you are done signing up, email your proof of service document from step one to coachrelations@teambeachbody.com —> This email MUST come from the same email you used to enroll.
    • If you email your proof of service doc, expect your refund within 2-5 business days.  Fax takes longer.  Snail mail….quite a while!!
    • You have 30 days to give Team Beachbody your proof of service.  After that, your $40 sign up fee will NOT be waived, and you will be charged a $15.95 business fee every month.  GET THAT EMAIL SENT!
  7. THAT’S IT!  As soon as you are done filling out the form on Team Beachbody, you are eligible for the 25% discount!  I ***urge*** you to complete step 7 before shopping though.  Get it done and out of the way so you can enjoy your hard earned benefit without worry!
Beachbody Military DiscountThis is an ENORMOUS BENEFIT!  Civilian coaches have to pay the $40 sign up fee and the $15.95 monthly business fee….or they don’t get their coach discount.  Military coaches get to enjoy the 25% off FOR ZERO INVESTMENT!!

Now, I know what you’re thinking….what’s the catch??
NONE! You get a discount on products and if you choose to sell products to others, you make the commission and get a weekly check.
I can help you get your business started. It is a great way for you or your spouse to bring in extra income.
BOTTOM LINE:  There is no pressure, and the sky is literally the limit.  If you decide to pursue the business opportunity (which I will never push on you), then how much time and money you invest is ENTIRELY up to you.
Still not sure? Fill out this form and I will contact you to chat! 
If you would like to read the fine print check out this Beachbody webpage!