Thursday, February 27, 2014

Check in

Set backs are fun aren't they??  No, I'm joking.  They totally suck.  7 months from today I have plans to compete in the NPC Daytona Beach Classic.  212 days.  30 weeks.  It seems like so much time but no time at all.  

Earlier this month I started training and working on my nutrition.  But, Friday I ended up making a trip to the E.R.  Diagnosis?  Pneumonia, AGAIN!  They put me on 2 different medications that have screwed things up a bit.  

A week before my ER visit I started eating 5 small meals a day.  Breakfast, a snack, lunch, dinner and another snack.  One of the medications has completely messed with the timing of my meals.  The other medication caused my joints to feel really loose and I cancelled a few workouts.  Luckily I was only on that prescription for 5 days.

But, this is the reason I started so early.  To make room for these things.  


  • Train 5-6 days a week
  • 2 days lower body
  • 2 days upper body and back
  • 1 day cardio and core
  • 5 small meals
  • Alternate high and low carb days  {low carb = no bread, pasta, rice, potatoes}
  • Portion control 
  • Load up on fruits and veggies
Want to see my vision for September 27th?  These ladies are how I envision myself.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Hello Spring? Is That You?

The last week has been crazy!  Gorgeous one day, rainy and gross the next.  I love being outside and so does Sunny.  On every nice day we've either had errands to run, stuff to do, or I haven't been feeling well so I've promised her to goto the park the following day.  The following day it has rained each time!  Today was one of those rainy days.  

Despite the rain it's been warm the past week also.  This means {atleast to me} that winter is finally over!  And no more winter means that I can start planting my seeds.  I started my seeds today.  I'm growing peas, watermelon, dill, sunflowers, spaghetti squash, spinach and a few other things.  I'm not trying to go completely wild and I'm only planting stuff that I will eat.  I still need to pick up carrots, corn and a few different varieties of berries.  My goal is to actually eat the things I grow.  Last year I didn't use many of the vegetables that came out of my garden.

As a celebration for my new set of vegetables and the warm weather coming I made a loaf of carrot raisin bread.  It was so good!  I had to tear myself away from it.  {I'm seriously a carbo-holic}  This bread would be awesome for breakfast.  

I think you need to go run to the store and pick up the ingredients for it and make it.   

Carrot Raisin Bread
Adapted From:  Clean Eating Magazine  (/)
Serves: 8
Nutritional information follows

.75 cup whole wheat flour
.75 cup all pourpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
.5 T ground cinnamon
.66 cup grated apple
1 cup grated carrot
egg substitute equivilent to 1 egg
1 single serve Greek Yogurt (I used toasted coconut vanilla)
.5 cup sugar free maple syrup


  1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray a loaf pan
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients
  3. In a separate bowl stir together wet ingredients, carrots and apple
  4. Mix wet into dry
  5. Spoon into baking dish and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (mine took about an hour)

I've got big news, and A LOT of new recipes coming for you in the near future.  I'm really excited to share all of it with you.  Share something with me.  Are you planting anything this year?  Do you prefer to be indoors or outdoors?  

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ken's Pistachio Pasta

My husband loves to cook.  I'm always surprised at how creative he is in the kitchen.  He can open the pantry or fridge and come up with an amazing dish no matter what is in there.  

A few weeks ago I entered a contest that I needed to use pistachio's in the recipe.  Ken made a recipe too.  I was very impressed.  He literally went to the grocery store and thought this up off the top of his head.  I really wish I could be as quick in the kitchen as he is.  One of the categories was "kid friendly."  He actually made this with the kids in mind.      

1 lb tricolor rotini
.5 cup shelled pistachios
3 beer brawts
1 (16 oz) jar garden vegetable pasta sauce
.5 onion, diced


  1. Cook rotini according to package directions
  2. Crush pistachios and set aside
  3. Heat pan over med-high
  4. Remove casing from sausages and crumble the meat.  Cook until meat is done 
  5. Drain the sausage fat from pan, add in onion and saute until translucent
  6. Pour in pasta sauce and heat 
  7. When pasta is done, drain, put into a bowl and sprinkle 1/4 of the crushed pistachios on top
  8. Top pasta with sauce mixture and then top with remaining pistachios 

The kids really liked the pasta.  I love getting them to describe food to me.  The words that they gave me were "creamy", "a pleasant saltiness", "rich" and various other words you don't expect from a kid.  I am totally raising a clan of foodies and I love it.  

Sometimes I look at my relationship with my kids and think about how the relationship with my parents has changed over the last almost 30 years.  I can honestly say I never had a bad relationship with my parents.  As a teenager I thought we actually had a good relationship.  I wasn't a perfect kid but, I still loved my parents {98% of the time}  

As I grew older and had kids I started to appreciate my parents alot more.  Being an adult and raising kids is HARD!  You never realize how easy your parents make it look until you have kids of your own and have to do it all.  My parents helped me out alot when Kaylee and Mo were younger.  I will never be able to even begin to repay them for everything they've done for me.  {But that is another story, for another time}

I really hope that my girls' and I have just as good of a relationship over the next 70 years as I have had with my parents.  

How has YOUR relationship with your parents changed over the years?

Monday, February 17, 2014

This Vs. That

Every healthy website has guides on how to make healthyswaps in order to cutout some of the fat and calories in recipes.  I thought I'dtry a new piece that shows you MY personal favorite swaps.  As I've told youbefore I'm a total peanut butter addict.  A bowl of peanut butter with a few scoops of jelly was not an uncommon lunch for me.  I didn't realize that besides having roughly 860 calories it also had over 48 grams of fat and atleast 40 grams of sugar!

Recently I came to a realization.  Jelly is fruit {kinda.}  Why don't I put REAL fruit on my peanut butter PB2 sandwiches instead of jelly or jam?

Real fruit is so much more beneficial than jelly, jam and preserves.  

1 cup of sliced strawberries
Calories: 54
Fat: 0.5
Sodium:  2 mg
Potassium:  254 
Carbs:  13
Fiber:  3.3
Sugar:  8
Protein: 1.1

1 Tablespoon Smuckers Seedless Strawberry Jam
Calories: 50
Fat: 0
Sodium:  0 mg
Potassium:  0 
Carbs:  13
Fiber:  0
Sugar:  12
Protein: 0

I know what you're thinking. "But the jam is pureed and the strawberries are sliced."  Okay, let's look at another set of numbers

1 cup of strawberry puree
Calories: 76
Fat: 0.7
Sodium:  2 mg
Potassium:  355 
Carbs:  18
Fiber:  4.6
Sugar:  11
Protein: 1.6

So see that??  A cup of puree is healthier than 2 tablespoons of jam.  The calories, sugar and carbs are significantly lower, and you'll get in some extra fiber and protein.  You'll be doing your body a major favor by swapping your jelly for fruit.

The trick is to make sure that your fruit is super ripe and sweet.  And don't limit yourself to just strawberries!  Any fruit will do.  I've put almost every different type of fruit on my sandwiches.  I actually haven't found one I DON'T like.  And doesn't this look delicious???

What do you like on your peanut butter sandwiches?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Day in the Life

This is my first normal post in about a week.  First, I'd like to start with some awesome news, I am now a Train Dirty Fitness Ambassador {TDFA}  

What is a TDFA??  

"someone with a kick a$$ attitude who believes in the vision of TDF: safeplace, free of judgement, everyone fits in, and health/fitness are consistent not quick fixes."

For more info on Train Dirty Fitness check out the site:  Train Dirty Fitness
or the Facebook page:  Train Dirty Fitness Facebook

In other news, the main reason I've been MIA is because I've been dealing with some stomach issues.  After every meal I was getting really nauseous.  Not fun!!

I played around with different aspects of my diet to try and get the nausea to stop.  Finally I realized that I only get nauseous when I've eaten past my "full line."  

So, in order to keep from getting nauseous I have started eating 6 small meals a day.  I feel like I'm CONSTANTLY EATING!  But I'd rather eat all day than be sick. So let's take a look into my busy day, shall we?

Here's what a typical weekday looks like for me:

5:00 am -- Alarm goes off and I get up.
                    I'm an early morning person.  I'm up every morning at 5.  Even if I forget to set                       my alarm I wake up at 6:30.  

5:00 - 6:30 -- Check email, Facebook, and work on blog stuff 
                          This is my "me time."  Ken gets his after I fall asleep.  I get mine super early.                            

6:30 -- Kids wake up
7:00 -- Meal #1 

7:30 - 8:15 -- Sit at the bus stop
                         The county's Gifted Program is in a different school than we are zoned for.                              Her bus comes at 7:40 and Mantha's bus comes at 8:10.  

8:30 -- Drop Sunny off at school

{Mondays - Wednesday} 8:45 -9:30 -- Run errands
{Thursdays and Fridays} 9:00 -- Drop Ken off at work
                                                           He comes with me to the bus stop and I drop him off after                                                            Sunny.
                                       9:00-9:30 -- Run errands

10:00 -- Get home and make meal #2

10:15 - 11:00 {or whenever I'm done} -- Workout

11:00 - 12:00 -- Housework, blog work and studying

12:00 -- Meal #3

12:15 -- Leave to pick up Sunny

1:00 - 3:00 -- Play with Sunny and possibly get some more housework and studying done 

{Wendesday - Friday} 3:00 -- Start dinner
            Our evenings are so full that I have to do all the prep for dinner in the early afternoon.  

3:45 - 4:15 -- Sit at the bus stop
                      Mantha's bus normally arrives at 4 and Kaylee's bus doesn't arrive to 4:15

{Monday, Tuesday} 4:45 or 5:00 -- Dinner
                                              I'm weird.  I get hungry early and I like to get dinner out the                                                       way so we have the rest of the evening to do stuff.

{Wednesday}  4:30 -- Dinner
                          5:30 - 8:30 -- Take Mantha to cheer

{Thursday}  5:15 -- Get home from picking up Ken
                                Ken gets off work at 4 and I leave from the bus stop to pick him up.
                       5:45 -- Dinner
{Monday, Tuesday, Thursday} 6:30 - 7:30 -- Girls do chores and homework.  I work on my blog/study

{Friday}  4:30 - 7:30 -- Mantha Cheer
                                           Normally I drop her off then go pick up Ken and we go back to                                                  watch the rest of her practice

8:00/8:30 -- Meal #5 
                        My final meal

On all nights except for Wednesday Mantha and Sunny are in their room at 7:45 and Kaylee is in her's at 8:00

9:00 -- Curl up in bed and watch TV

9:30/10:00 -- Bedtime
                           Normally I pass out around this time.  I'm beat by this time.

This is my typical schedule.  They get more hectic when Kaylee swims.  She has to be there by 5 so we leave the house at 4:30 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  

Since I live by the beach many people think this is how I spend my days:

Even though I do admit that many days in the summer are spent this way.  

Do you have hectic schedules? Do you like to plan out every minute of every day or are you a "go with the flow person"?  I personally like to plan out every minute.  

Friday, February 14, 2014

Week 2 Recap and Show Me Friday

First off....Happy Valentine's Day!

Show Me Friday
People You Love

Week Two: Nourish 

Monday: Go Meatless 
Skip meat today! Try vegetarian/vegan meals.

Vegetarian meatloaf, a sweet potato and carrots.  Yum!

TYLTW! - Take Your Lunch to Work today! 

PB2 sandwich, and popcorn

Write it down! - Journal your food today and share your WIAW with us!

My stomach wasn't doing to well this week so my food was a little odd

Smoothie Day! - Happy Thirsty Thursday! Make a healthy smoothie today!

A smoothie made with Greek yogurt, skim milk, strawberries, blueberries, spinach and banana

Go Raw Friday! - Choose a recipe from and go raw!

Brad's Raw Kale Chips.  They're really good. Very earthy tasting {which I don't mind} and they taste just like kale.  

How was your Valentine's Day?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Soft and Squishy!

Every Thursday Sunny and I make a different type of treat for Ken's work.  Normally it's cupcakes or cookies but, occasionally we switch it up and make something totally different.  I had been wanting to try making marshmallows for a while now.  So we made some for Baking Thursday.

They were alot simpler than I expected.  Sunny did everything that didn't include the stove.  She added all the ingredients to the pot before it went on the stove, she added the geletin and the water to the mixer, turned it on, and cut out the shapes.

I couldn't find my heart cookie cutter so we decided on stars.  

Strawberry Marshmallows
Reposted from:  Martha Stewart's Strawberry Marshmallows

4 envelopes (1 box) unflavored geletin
2.5 cups sugar
.66 cups strawberry jelly (I actually used sugar free raspberry preserves any flavor will do)
.66 cup corn syrup


Do you bake or cook with your kids?  Do they like it?  What do you guys make together? 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Recaps and Photos

Lorna Jame Active and SweatPink are hosting a challenge during February,  The MoveNourishBelieve Challenge.  There's a different challenge every day monday - friday.  The theme this week was MOVE.  But before I show you my posts from this week let me do NaBloPoMo's Show Me Friday picture. 

NaBloPoMo Show Me Friday:  
My Most Prized Possession

My body and my health are honestly my most prized possesions.

Lorna Jane Move Nourish Believe Challenge

Sweat-it-out! -Show us your favorite way to sweat!

My favorite way to sweat is anything outside....except running.  I hate running.

Change it up! - Sweat a new way! 

This is actually the only day I didn't participate in.  I really don't have any new ways to sweat.  It's been too cold to try anything new.  

Let's get planking! - Plank for at least five minutes today! 

Half of my planking time I had Buddie under me.  Talk about performance anxiety!


Buddy Up! - Workout with a friend today!

This is my favorite workout "Buddie."  We went for a long walk yesterday.

Fave Friday! - Show us your five fitness favorites! 

My 5 favorite things are PB2 {I'm addicted, as you already know}, my weights {best investment I've made}, summer {I moved to Florida for the warm weather.  I don't like the cold}, big fruit salads {if a fruit salad was a complete meal I'd eat 3 a day}, and health a fitness magazines {they are my guilty pleasure.  They are also where I get my new routines and tips}

The one favorite thing that I left off the list was my house by the beach and everyone who lives in my house.  

If you want to get involved with the Lorna Jane Challenge click here or check out   The theme for next week is "NOURISH from the inside out."

What are your 5 favorite things?  Leave a comment below and let me know!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Pistachio French Toast.....Yum!

Before I had to give nuts and nut butters I was addicted to anything that involved them.  When I found out about this month's Recipe Redux contest my mind immedietly went to pistachio butter.  

Pistachios make a great, everyday healthy snacking choice for people looking to satisfy a salty snack craving the smart way, and still do something good for themselves. Pistachios are a deliciously simple way to snack healthy. A one-ounce serving of pistachios equals approximately 49 nuts, which is more nuts per serving than any other snack nut, and a reduced serving of about 30 pistachios is just about 100 calories.

Crack ‘em, Chew ‘em, Love ‘em, Leave ‘em: Let the Pistachio Principle be your guide! Empty pistachio shells may serve as a “visual cue” of how many pistachios you’ve consumed, so don’t discard the shells after you’ve enjoyed the treat inside. {Side note:  You can also use the shells when you grill.  They will add a nutty smokiness to your food}

Study participants who left pistachio shells on their desk reduced their calorie consumption by 18 percent compared to participants who discarded shells immediately after consumption.

People who consumed in-shell pistachios ate 41 percent fewer calories than those who consumed pistachios without shells. This suggests that empty shells may be a helpful visual cue as to how much has been eaten – thereby potentially encouraging reduced calorie consumption.
Need another reason to go nuts snacking on pistachios? Recent research from Harvard University and published inNew England Journal of Medicine suggests that the benefits of snacking on nuts go up as the number of servings goes up, too. Bottom line: more nuts, more benefits. Go for a daily handful of pistachios as part of a healthy diet. A daily handful of pistachios is a delicious and healthy everyday snack for those striving for seven servings a week.

We were asked to do the Perfect Pistachio Pairing {try saying that 3 times fast}  What could be better than creamy pistachio butter paired with warm french toast and maple syrup?

Creamy + Warm + Sweet = PERFECTION!

This recipe appeals to everyone.  It feels indulgent but it's really not that bad.  The girls and Ken both loved it.

I love how the pistachios gave the french toast a slight green tint

Pistachio Butter


16 oz in-shell pistachios
2 T sugar free maple syrup


  1. Shell pistachios
  2. Place pistachios and syrup in food processor and process for about 10-15 minutes until a smooth consistancy

Pistachio Butter Battered French Toast


8 slices whole wheat bread
4 eggs/ equivalent egg substitute
.25 cup skim milk
.25 cup pistachio butter


  1. Combine everything except bread in blender or food processor until completely combined.
  2. Dip bread into egg mixture so it soaks into both sides
  3. Grease a skillet or griddle and heat on medium.
  4. Place bread in the skillet and cook until the first side turns golden brown (about 
  5. Flip and cook the second side until brown.
  6. Drizzle with maple syrup

Hope you enjoy!  What do you do pair with your pistachios?

I received free pistachio samples from the Pistachio Health Institute mentioned in this post. By posting this pairing I am entering a contest sponsored by Pistachio Health Institute and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Exciting News!

Guess who has 2 thumbs and is planning something HUGE??!!??

This girl!!

I have finally decided on a fitness competition.  I'm entering the NPC Daytona Beach Classic in September.

Ken was really happy for me when I told him.  I know in his mind he's secretly excited to watch the competition.   

I now that most people choose a competiion a bit sooner that 7 months away but, I have a long way to go to be competition ready.  I want to have time to get my body in shape and I don't really want to rush the process.

I plan on keeping y'all updated throughout my journey.  I'll let you know what I am (or am not) eating, my workouts, and all the other great stuff that goes along with preparing.

Have you ever done a fitness competition?  If so, do you have any tips, or advice for me?

Sunday, February 2, 2014


I love a reason to make a themed dinner.  Some examples are last Super Bowl, Or more recently our unbirthday tea party.

This time I'm don't a themed themed dinner.  It is found to be a mushroom themed Super Bowl dinner.   What is a Super Bowl dinner you ask?  Is honestly just a bunch of appetizers. 

Kaylee and I have a sick addiction to mushrooms.  We could probably eat a couple pounds each in one sitting.   In order to feed this addiction every dish tonite has mushrooms in it.
When I do a themed dinner I have a tendency to overwhelm myself.   So, for this dinner I stick to fairly simple recipes and I brought in my best sous chefs.  These recipes will be great for your next party {and I'll let you have my sous chefs for a small fee} 

Smokehouse Flatbread
My favorite burger at Ruby Tuesday's was always the smokehouse burger.  There is a layer of melty cheddar cheese over caramelized barbecue sauce. Pure heaven!  I recreate this burger in vegetarian form quite often.  I decided that doing it on a flatbread would be great. 

1 recipe pizza dough
2-4 T barbecue sauce
8 oz mushrooms, sliced and sautéed
1 onion, sliced
2 T minced garlic
.5 cup cheddar cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 450°
2.  Roll out dough and bake on a greased cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes until almost done
3.  Spread garlic on crust then drizzle on barbecue sauce. Place the flatbread back in the oven until the barbecue sauce gets slightly caramelized (2-3 minutes)
4.  Add mushrooms and onions and sprinkle cheese on top.
5.  Place back in the oven until cheese melts

Sautéed Mushrooms

1 lb mushrooms, whole
.5 cup vegetable broth
1 T minced garlic

1.  Heat a skillet on med-high and spray with pan spray
2.  Add mushrooms, cover and sauté until they release their juices about 5-6 minutes
3.  Remove top,  add broth and garlic. Boil until almost dry.

Stuffed Mushrooms

1 lb mushrooms
1 medium onion, diced
.5 c fat free ricotta
.5 c breadcrumbs made from reduced calorie bread
2 t parsley
4 oz vegan sausage
.5 c fat free mozzarella

  1. Take stems off mushrooms, diced and saute with onions.
  2. In food processor blend ricotta, half the breadcrumbs, half the mozzarella, the parsley and the sausage
  3. Preheat oven to 425.
  4. Mix mushroom stem mixture into ricotta mixture
  5. Place a spoonful of ricotta mixture into mushroom caps.
  6. Sprinkle mushrooms with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

I think next year my Super Bowl dinner will be at regional menu.  Either famous dishes from each of the teams cities or what the state/area is known for.  Mario Batali always does an interesting menu every year.  Check it out on his blog