Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Year in Review

What a blessed year it has been for our family! As I reflect on the year, I just can't believe how any great things have happened. Rather than a wondering cluster of conversation and words, I'll leave you with a few pictures that sum up our year. 

Lots of cold & snow

Lots of basketball

Another Snow day!

J's birthday trip to an IU game & photo op at the Sample Gates

More @#$%^^& Snow

The passing of my Grandfather
More snow

You would not believe how many people asked if Coach was Pat Knight at basketball tournaments. Funny!

Finally! Running Outside!

Indy Mini Marathon 
Mother's Day love <3
Cousins <3

Finally some flowers!

Back to School 

Off to the races
Off to the other Races :)
 An awesome trip to NYC with my sister




Our last night in NYC

Cross Country season
Varisty Basketball

First Game!
A winter date!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from my crazy crew to yours!



 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Good Intentions & Tasty Tuesday



Here it is Tuesday already. I had every intention of writing throughout break, however, my intentions have not quite matched my will or my schedule. It's not as if I didn't have posts planned. I have 3 already written ready to post. All I have to do is log on and hit post. Meh. Oh well.  I'll use them later.

One thing about vacations is they always go too fast. Over one whole week is over and I have little to show for it. Having the holiday in the middle of the week kind of messes up plans a bit. Christmas was so wonderful to not have to go anywhere and watch movies all day long. Coach & I got sucked into House of Cards. Have you seen this show? If Washington functions even 1/10th of what is portrayed on that show I have lost all regard for all of them. Lobbyists, elected officials, all of them. We also watched Wolf of Wall Street. What a disturbing snapshot of how the other half lives. Thank you Hollywood for reminding me what's most important in life. 

I have to be honest; I've pretty much eaten what ever I want since Christmas Eve. Not to the point of being uncomfortable, but more than I typically eat. I've worked out fairly consistently. Not gonna lie, my pants are a little snug the last couple days with the bloat and blah feeling. The scale hasn't changed which is good. But it's time to get back on track and it's starting today. 

Today's Tasty Tuesday feature includes one of my favorite superfoods: Vanilla Shakeology. Haven't heard of Shakeology? It's a great balanced shake that can be used as a meal replacement,  pre or post workout, or as a healthy snack. It has an awesome amount of protein (it's not considered a high protein shake on it's own). Shakeology has all natural ingredients, very little sugar (no chemical sugars), and includes over 2 servings of fruit and vegetables per shake. That's without any other fruits or vegetables added to it. It is complete nutrition and a great way to make sure you get in those vegetables and fruits each day. 

I have to admit I wasn't sold on Shakeology until this past June when I ordered it for myself. Once I tried it I was hooked. Shakeology is what keeps me going in the morning. I eat breakfast at 6 and don't eat lunch until 12:30. I have my Shakeology around 9:30 and it keeps me full until lunch. On weekends I drink it for breakfast. On Tuesday's when I have class I pair it with some veggies and have it for super. Unlike so many other protein shakes I've tried, I don't feel bloated or gassy after drinking it. I can mix it with water. It's blends in a shaker bottle and doesn't stay clumpy. Yes, I do shake for a while before drinking. And best of all it tastes good. It's not chalky. It blends well with other ingredients. I also use it to make protein packed snacks like brownie bites and power bars. Did I mention it tastes great?

Vanilla is extra great because it blends so well with other flavors. My boys' favorite is Peach Cobbler. 1 scoop of vanilla Shakeology, 1 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup frozen peaches, 1/2 cup water, handful of ice, and a dash of cinnamon (optional). Blend and serve. It's so good!

One of my favorites is the Morning Refresher. 1/2 cup water, 1/3 cup cubed mango (fresh or frozen), 1/3 cup pineapple chunks, 1/2 medium banana (I like my bananas frozen). It's tangy and wakes up your tastebuds. 

Want to try Shakeology but not sure about committing to a whole bag? I have samples! You can try Shakeology for one week (7 sample packs) for just $30. Leave me a comment below or email me at coachingwife(at)gmail(dot)com and I'll get you hooked up with Superfood goodness. Interested in jumping in and trying a whole month's worth of Superfood goodness? You can still email or leave a comment, or click my link here or on the side bar to learn more about it. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Christmas Biscuits

Seems I may have left off an important classic movie from my list yesterday: The Bells of St. Mary's is a classic! I've just introduced it to my boys this afternoon and they were hooked. Again, I'm a sucker for Bing and a good black and white movie. And Ingrid Bergman is fantastic as Sr. Mary Benedict. As a girl who spent 6 years in Catholic school, she's pretty spot on from a spectator's point of view. The messages about courage, love and understanding from another's perspective are timeless. At any rate, it's not Christmas without Bing Crosby for sure! His voice is like none other.



Speaking of one-of-a-kind voices, how sad was the news of Joe Cocker's passing yesterday? He's one of my favorites. I rocked the Pandora this morning in tribute to his smokey, soulful voice. I can only imagine him singing With a Little Help From My Friends with the angels on his way up to the heavens. Because we all need a little help to get where we are going. He's helped many through his gift of song.

Today's Tasty Tuesday is inspired by our team breakfast this morning. Man those boys can eat. I'm used to my horses but add another 10 boys and holy moly it's insane the amount of food they can eat! 4 dozen eggs, 4 pounds of sausage patties, sausage gravy, 4 dozen biscuits, and a crap ton of pancakes. Don't forget the 3 gallons of milk and 4 gallons of orange juice. J complained he didn't get any biscuits so I whipped up a fresh batch for him and Coach to enjoy.  Our assistant coach's wife commented how easily I was able to get them ready. I've had lots of practice, I guess. Baking powder biscuits are one of the first things my Grandma taught me to make. They are super easy and very tasty. Mine never come out like the biscuits in a can or the ones from Cracker Barrel, but they are tender and not all dried out. They cut in half easily. Who really cares anyway? You slap butter and jelly on them anyway so who even notices how they look? Not I. They just need to taste delicious. :)

Buttermilk Baking Powder Biscuits

2 cups flour
2 1/2 T baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda (only if using buttermilk)
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter (or your fat of choice- lard and Crisco work as well)
3/4 cup buttermilk or regular milk

Preheat oven to 400 F. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and soda. Cut in butter with a pastry blender (can also use a food processor with a dough blade).  Add buttermilk and stir until incorporated. Turn out onto a floured board and knead a 10 times. Roll out 1/2" thick and cut with the greased mouth of a glass or a biscuit cutter, or just drop them by the spoonful onto the sheet. Place 1" apart on a greased cookie sheet. I found they raise a bit if you leave them alone for about 5 minutes and then bake them. They raise a bit higher because the baking powder has time to proof before baking. Bake 8-11 minutes. We like ours just done so mine are perfect around 8 minutes. If you like them browned, bake a minute or two longer. Enjoy with butter, honey, jam, or gravy. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Family Favorites

Christmas cards are done. Christmas candy and cookies are made. Team breakfast tomorrow. Presents wrapped. Yeah, you read correctly- the presents are wrapped and under the tree. That means all of the shopping is complete as well. I'm not sure when that's every happened. Seems like Coach and I are wrapping on Christmas Eve more years than not. Those have been some fun times. Like when the boys were really small and we got them the first set of Nerf dart guns. We decided to get all the toys out of the packages and wrap them so they could just open and play. We ended up in the biggest dart fight. When we moved out of the house we found darts behind most pieces of furniture upstairs. Good times. 

J was making a comment today that high school has really cramped his Christmas movie watching. We used to watch several of the Christmas classics and ABC Family specials as a family. At least until bedtime anyway. He's always been my big Christmas kid. He loves the prelude and traditions before the day. His expressions have always been priceless when opening packages too. What a kid. T-man is my music kid. He loves the cookies, the carols, the decorations. He's much quieter. Never a fan of visiting Santa, but always sure to write a letter. This year he hasn't written it yet. He's wavering in his belief. This may be the last year we get to have Santa gifts. {Sigh}

Christmas would not be complete until the following movies have been viewed. It doesn't matter that we have seen them a gazillion times before. They seem to get better every time. Coach and I have made a tradition of seeing A Christmas Carol in live theater. It's really spectacular.  Here are the Top 10 Movies and TV specials we enjoy every year. 

Family Faves:
1. Elf
2. White Christmas
3. SNL Christmas Special
4. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
5. Dr. Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas
6. Peanuts A Charlie Brown Christmas
7. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
8. Frosty The Snowman
9. The Polar Express (also a favorite book)
10. Home Alone

Some of My Other Favorites/Honorable Mention:
1. The Bishop's Wife (With Carey Grant)
2. Holiday Inn
3. Miracle on 34th St (Black and White)
4. Boys Town (Mickey Rooney, black and white)
5. Christmas in Connecticut
6. Sleepless in Seattle
7. An Affair to Remember
8. Harry Potter series
9. Narnia series

I super puffy heart love the old black and white and 1940's-50's movies the best. They can remake whatever they want to. I'll always love the original. Sleepless in Seattle and An Affair to Remember are more of Valentine's Day movies, but hey, I love them. I usually manage to watch them over the holiday break.

Do you have holiday movie traditions? What are your favorites? 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Workout Wednesday: My New Love

Sad news, workout fans. Les Mills and Beachbody are parting ways. Not before I snagged Pump on the Black Friday special though. Score for me! The good news for all of you is there are still some left to purchase. Plus it's on sale for the time being. Double score. Needless to say, this week's Workout Wednesday post is all about Les Mills Pump.



This program is amazing. I haven't done a weight program like this before. Weights are my thing. I love programs that include lifting. True, I've only competed the first week, but everything I've done thus far is blowing me away. The feeling after an intense workout is one of the best ever. My quads were still juiced this morning from my workout last night. It's already doing great things for my strength after just 5 workouts.

Pro's:
- The sets are simple
- Clear instructions
- Modifiers are visible throughout.
- Weights are light and easy to switch out when needed.
- Can add weights when needed
- Mix of Instructors throughout the workout keeping it fresh.
- Wonderful stretching/Yoga workout included
- Ab workout is amazing.
- Eating plan has a nice variety and packed with high protein ideas
- Easy program for a beginner to use and modify, yet tough enough for seasoned athletes.
- Music!! The Music is great!
- Rep effect really makes you sweat just until you think you can't do one more rep, then switches up. Holy juiced muscles!
- Great mix of upper, lower, and core body work in one workout.

Con's:
- Not much stretching pre and post workout
- Beginning "Challenge" workout is pretty repetitive when introducing lunges. Would rather they addressed that prior to the workout rather than during. But I've been doing this a while so it's probably great for a beginner.
-  No longer going to be part of Beachbody. I guess I'll be ordering some extra equipment & the bonus workouts.

So far I have paired this with my P90X3. Since you only lift 3-4 days a week and do cardio and stretching the other 3 days it matches up pretty well. I don't want to give up P90X3 as I'm in the final phase of that program and I want to finish it this time. I've been doing doubles for the last several weeks anyway so this is just a twist on that. I'm really seeing some nice results. The final phase is always my favorite. It's always where I see the most results. Bring on the good fitness for the holidays!

Interested in learning more about Les Mills? Want to take advantage of the great deal right now while they last? Leave me a message below, email me (alison.reinholt@gmail.com) or check out the deal here. It's never too early (or too late) to give yourself the gift of good health.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Christmas Indulgences

Some of my favorite memories have been formed in the kitchen, either my grandmother's, my mom's, and most recently in my own with my kids. The smells at this time of the year open the flood gates. Memories of candy making, cookie decorating and all sorts of baking swirl around my brain like the aromas fill the room. Such a simple act, mixing together a few things to make a sweet little morsel, yet so much emotion and live go into it making it much more than a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread or a plate of cookies. 

In the true spirit of Christmas indulgence and gluttony, this week's Tasty Tuesday feature is one of my family's beloved holiday treats. It is not gluten, dairy, or fat free. Nor is it particularly healthy in any way, but it sure does taste like a little piece of heaven as it melts in your mouth.

Without further ado, our favorite family tradition: 
Grandma's Shortbread Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 1/2-2 cup flour 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar in mixer. Add flour until incorporated. Be careful not to over mix. You may need to add a touch more flour to stiffen the dough. Refrigerate dough for an hour. Roll out between waxed paper and cut into shapes. (Note: I like to dust dough with powdered sugar instead of using waxed paper). Bake just until set about 7-8 minutes. Let cool on sheet a few minutes the remove carefully and place on wire cooling rack. Frost with your favorite frosting (I like a simple butter, powdered sugar, milk mixture) and enjoy! 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Twas the Week Before Christmas

Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the house, not a snack or a cookies in nearest sight, not even one sugary bite.  Baking is my favorite! I'm sad I haven't had time to bake yet this holiday season. It's all I can do to meal prep for the week let alone do anything extra.

The weekends go too fast! Last week was our hell week; finals for me, ball games every night but Friday, choir concerts Tuesday and Wednesday, meetings in between. What a mess! We survived but crashed this past weekend. If only I could clone myself to be in two places at once. Or at least figure out how to get one of me home to relax and get a little sleep! Whew! This week isn't as crazy, though still busy. I'm super thankful we don't have to be on the go like that all of the time. As much as I hate having to choose between kids, there's no way that pace and schedule can be maintained without ending up in the hospital for exhaustion.

The Christmas holiday always makes me reflective and a tad bit sentimental, especially as of late. There has been such sadness in the past weeks. Several friends have lost parents. A local young lady was trapped and died in a house fire. A cousin has kicked breast cancer's tail (Hooray!). A dear friend has been afflicted by an autoimmune something or other. What's the deal? Life is incredibly fragile. We are all so young to be living through these things. Those of us in the under 40 set are battling for good health. The ladies who took care of ailing mothers, just as those mothers once took care of them. And the unfathomable loss of a young life, taken much too soon from those who loved her most. We can try to stay healthy and young. Use the best creams, the latest workouts, the trendiest eating habits, but for what? We have no say in this adventure called life. It's not up to us. The only thing we have control over is how we handle the situations thrown at us. It doesn't hurt anything to attempt to stay healthy and young. It may not help us much, either. What good does guilt do for us? What good is unnecessary stress? The key is to enjoy this life while we have it. It's a pretty amazing gift we have been given. What a waste to spend it being bitter and nasty about life and circumstances.

Life is beautiful! Live it out loud, full of spirit and gladness.



Thursday, December 4, 2014

Foam Rolling

I feel like that line from Elf when Buddy runs into the street yelling "I'm in love! I'm in love! And I don't care who knows it!" I'm in love with my foam roller. Well, maybe not mine per say, but the act of foam rolling is fab-u-lus! I'm in love!

Sometimes I do some really silly things like sit at the computer for 14 hours and mess up my neck and back. Two trips to the chiropractor in 5 days, a massage, and lots of BioFreeze later I'm still a mess. There's a spot in my right shoulder that I'm pretty sure melts ice at rapid speed due to the inflammation. And it hurts. 



Worst news is I'm not supposed to workout for a week-ish. Nothing more than walking, and I'm not supposed to do that until tomorrow. It's recovery week and I'm missing a lot of good stretching and Isometric work. I'm kinda bummed but I'd rather walk like a normal person next week. I may try Dynamix tomorrow. I'm not gonna kill myself with it or anything. I just need to move. I went down to the trainer's office this afternoon to get my BioFreeze rubbed in and saw the foam roller on top of the ice machine. Bingo! Why on earth have I not foam rolled before? I mean, I rolled last spring when I was having issues with my shins and IT bands while I was training for the half marathon but never on my back. Ohmygoodness it's amazing! That roller went between the wall and my upper torso and I squatted and rolled like a piston in a high performance engine. 

Research is my most favorite thing ever. This new love of foam rolling made me look for other great reasons to foam roll. There is a ton of information out there about the benefits of foam rolling. Youtube is full of tutorials and things to avoid while foam rolling. Rolling helps with flexibility and range of motion. It also adds to core strength. Many of the moves involve holding a plank like position and rolling over the top of the roller while holding your back, abs, and torso straight. With all of the heavy lifting and plyometric workouts I do, foam rolling is a great way to work the lactic acid from the muscles reducing soreness and reducing risk for injury. Additionally, I tend to hold a lot of tension in my neck and shoulders (stress much?) and foam rolling is perfect for helping relieve this tension. I will be adding a roller or two to the Christmas list this season.

Here are some of the great resources I found.


2. Shoulder pain from too much time at the computer

3. Neck-- You don't want to full on roll your neck but you can relieve some discomfort from a rough night's sleep or too much time at the computer by some simple moves like these-- 


Give it a try. You just never know what kind of benefits it could bring!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Workout Wednesday

Workout Wednesday is back for another round. Sometimes passionate doesn't begin to describe how I feel about purposeful movement. I should be the most toned, fit person ever considering all of the fit research I do. This week's feature is one I was hesitant about. I had fully planned another program to review until I listened to a podcast about Shaun T's newest Insanity workout called Insanity Max 30. Honestly, Insanity wasn't my most favorite workout. There are many reasons for that, the biggest being the impact. The program is great and has worked wonders for a good many people (results don't lie- you can't cheat your way through that program and get results). It just wasn't for me. When I heard about Max 30 I just pushed it to the back of my mind thinking it wasn't going to make my list of things to try, unlike Les Mill Pump and P90X2.

Pro's:
- Modifiers!
One thing I think Beachbody has done well along the way is including modifiers to show different ways to do things. Insanity Max 30 has taken that concept to the next level and included a modifier on the screen at all times. That's one of my pet-peeves when I need to watch the modifier to be sure I'm doing something correctly and the camera goes to someone else after only one repetition of the move. It's super beneficial to see that modifier throughout the exercise. S/he may reposition a stance or grip which you would ordinarily miss in a typical workout.

-Modifiers are encouraged
This encouragement isn't to scare anyone away. Let's face it: a lot of us get discouraged because we can't do the moves just as the participants straight out of the box. We lose sight of the fact they have been in training groups to get ready for the filming of this workout. We don't suck. We all need to do things differently to achieve optimum form and performance. Consider it workout differentiation. Making it work for each person who does the workout, just as if you were in an academic class.

-30 minutes or less
This 30 minute workout business has been the bees knees. No longer do you have to dedicate an hour or more to workout. Workouts are designed so you max out within 30 minutes. That doesn't mean you will be workout the entire 30 minutes. You are going max speed, max intensity for each move with a short recovery time in between. You'll be d-o-n-e. I love these tabata style workouts. You really feel like you've gotten a good sweat when you finish.

-Straightforward workout and nutrition plan.
 Let's face it. If it's not easy, you're not gonna do it. Am I right? That's how it goes for me. The less I have to think about it the better.  The nutrition plan is great. It's easy to follow. And yes, for ultimate results follow the nutrition plan. Abs start in the kitchen.

-60 days
Just 2 short months. 12 workouts. 2 different rotations. Bonus workouts.

Cons:
- Impact. Yes, there are modifiers and you can easily make it low impact. There are some high impact moves. As long as you do what you can do there is no down side. Use the modifiers.  That's why they are there.

- It's fast
Like Shaun T's other programs it moves. If you have trouble keeping up with fast tempo this will take some time to get the hang of. Moves aren't complex or dancy. The workout will keep a quick pace. But it will be over quickly!

Just trying to keep it real.

This is a great time to get a jump start on your fitness for 2015. Right now the challenge pack is highly discounted: Insanity Max 30 with a month of Shakeology plus the bonus workouts for $95 off the regular price! That's like getting the entire Insanity Max 30 workout program for $25! What an amazing deal!

Have questions? A suggestion for a workout Wednesday review? Email me at coachingwife@gmail.com and let me know what you'd like to see featured.


30 minutes. INSANE results.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Dressing

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Don't forget to visit last week's post with the PiYo giveaway! I hope y'all took advantage of the Black Friday specials at Beachbody. Some really amazing deals. I added Pump to my collection and I'm excited to give it a try.

You know that feeling when you cross something BIG off your to do list? And then to cross TWO big things off your list? Ya'll! (run with the southern accent-I'm feelin it).  To be finished with big stuff is life changing. Tonight is my last class for my licensing grad work. Consequently, two of my biggest assignments were due today as well. I may have waited until Sunday to begin procrastinated a tad bit. End project was {drumroll please} 41 pages. Never ever in my life have I written that much BS educational rhetoric. Ever. It sure does feel good to have it done. When I started this semester I told myself I only need to get a C in the class. That's laughable now. Over achiever much? Um... Maybe?

Thanksgiving was really nice. Of course it started off well with a win Wednesday night in our home opener! J played well. Coach instructed well. It's always an interesting game because we play our HS alma-mater. The coach of the other team is one of our HS classmates and friends which always makes for an interesting situation as well. It was a well played game, I didn't die of nerves or heart failure, and no one came home with hurt feelings. Whew!

Our family gatherings were tension free fun for everyone. I was glad to see everyone and spend quality time with my siblings, nieces and nephews. The food was spectacular. My stomach didn't agree so much after two days of it, however. By Saturday my gut was a mess! It doesn't take long to be reminded why eating clean works. Energy depletes quicker, nerves frazzle quicker, and fitful sleep all take hold. We were all welcoming our real foods on Sunday.

Segue into this week's Tasty Tuesday feature: salad dressings. Have you ever read the food label on a bottle of salad dressing? Even the "good" ones have added preservatives and sugars. I'm not saying adding a little sweet goodness isn't ok. I'm simply choosing not to include much sugar in my diet (less than 25 grams per day). When I do use sweeteners, I'm using raw sugar, raw honey, or stevia.

The basis for salad dressing is very simple. Base + Acid + Allium + Flavor
What does this mean, you ask? Mini science lesson coming up!
Base: Oil, Fat, Yogurt
Acid: Vinegar, Buttermilk, Lemon Juice
Allium: garlic, onion, shallot, chives, scallion, leeks (pretty much any kind of onion)
Flavor: herbs, spices, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese, seeds (celery, poppy, sunflower, etc), nuts (pecans, walnuts, etc), fruit, honey, and so many more. The possibilities are endless!

Here is one of my favorite dressings. This one is really really good on cooked veggies as well as with salads. It has just the right amount of heat to make things zesty, but not blow your eyeballs out of your skull, if you know what I mean. I love it on Brussels sprouts and with as a marinade for fish and chicken. And it's super easy. What's your favorite homemade dressing?



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Workout Wednesday and A Giveaway

Workout Wednesday is back this week. I've been wanting to feature this weekly for a while, but you the time factor has been a struggle. From now until Christmas I will be featuring a different workout each Wednesday, either one of my favorite DVD programs or just a random workout I use.

To kick off Workout Wednesday I'm hosting my very first giveaway! You can enter to win your very own copy of PiYo!  Coincidentally PiYo also this week's Workout Wednesday featured workout. I can't wait to preview Les Mills Pump, a workout I've been drooling over for a while now. It's on sale this weekend at Beachbody as part of the Black Friday Specials. Have you seen what all is on sale? It's an impressive list of some of the best selling programs from 50% to 85% off regular price. any of them will help work off the turkey and gravy featured on yesterday's blog post. :)

.


Without further ado, here's my review of PiYo.
PROS:
- Greatly Increased flexibility
- 60 day program
- 20-40 minute workouts
- Great nutrition plan
- Not dancy, girly, or like the 90's Pilates workouts
- Uses body strength- no special equipment needed
- Quick, Efficient workout
- Great Modifiers
- Men featured in the workouts, not just for women!
- Intense total body workout
- Music
- Can easily be paired with another program for max results

CONS:
- Shorter workouts leave me wanting more
- Need to use it consistently to maintain flexibility levels
- She talks a lot (doesn't bother me but does some people)
- Lots of push ups and planks (it's worth it though)

General Comments:
I feel that this workout needs to be done fairly consistently to maintain results. I was shocked at how much my muscle definition and flexibility has improved with PiYo. I do Yoga once a week with P90X3, but this has increased my range of motion in my hips, hamstrings, and back. You will find PiYo will help with increased strength as well. There are a ton of pushups and planks. I have like zero upper body strength but after just 30 days I was able to do all of the pushups on my toes with proper form. We're not talking regular pushups here, folks. We're talking military style, elbows hugging sides push-ups with decent depth and nose almost touching the floor pushups. Never before have I ever thought Downward Dog was a rest position until using PiYo. It will do amazing things for your core strength. It's a tough workout but not so tough you'll scream obscenities at the screen.. Not that I do that... It's easily paired with another workout or efficient enough to use as a stand alone program.

My Take:  It's a solid investment.

Would you like to try PiYo? Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway here! All entries are due by midnight, EST, Wednesday, December 3. Share the giveaway on FB, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media network you use. Don't forget to stop by and like my FB page. The more people you get to like my page the better your chances of winning! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Turkey Day Edition

My class is in the midst of preparing for our annual Holiday Store. Mass quantities of Christmas cookies have been made in the last 2 days. Snowmen have been painted and shellacked. Tart burners and candles are packed and priced. Multiple loads of towels have been dirtied, washed, folded and put away. What a busy 2 days! We are now on Thanksgiving break until Monday when, upon return, we will scramble to frost the cookies, make buckeyes and put all of the finishing touches on our goodies to sell on Friday. Did I mention our store takes place on December 5? Is it possible for next Friday to be December 5th? I don't even want to think about how close we are to Christmas. Nor do I want to think about how I have no shopping done. I may have to actually venture out on the interconnected web to scout for some deals for the boys. They aren't difficult to buy for there just isn't any surprise anymore. Gone are the days of the most cherished toys and games, though you can bet there will be at least one nerf brand item for each of them. J is getting his letter jacket, T wants some new sweatpants (his new love), and Coach is always happy with a bottle of the finest Bourbon and a dinner date with me. I have a few things in mind he doesn't know about yet. The weather has to cooperate with me this year.

The holiday feeling is in the air. Between the cold and snow, the Christmas cookie baking and the Christmas tree that appeared in the cafeteria today, I can't help but feel like it's getting to be that time. I hate that it's not December and I want to turn on the holiday music. My hard and fast rule has always been no Christmas until December, or at least until after Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is my favorite of the winter holidays simply because of the meaning. Sure, I love watching my kids at Christmas and all of the traditions surrounding the celebration of Christ's birth. But I love having a day for the family to get together, sit and laugh together without hurt feelings or anxiety over gifts and did I do enough, blah blah blah. Thanksgiving is about being grateful for one another. I love hosting in my home with both Coach's and my family. Yes, we all get along splendidly together. Again, I am truly blessed with a wonderful family. I look forward to spending time with them later this week.

In honor of my favorite holiday, I am sharing one of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes. I can't take credit for this one. It comes from Rachel Ray from the Food Network. Herb Roasted Turkey Breast  is so juicy and tender it never lasts for seconds. I don't make the gravy recipe she lists in the recipe, but I do end up making my own gravy (see below).

My favorite aspects of this dish are 1) you only need a turkey breast not a whole turkey, 2) it's easy, 3) it tastes really good, 4) the gravy is sooooo good with all of the herb flavors. I usually make and extra and stick it away so I have some for the rest of the weekend. :)

The boys love gray. I made a beef roast last night with oven roasted veggies and some gravy since I had so much broth from the roast. Gravy has this misconception of being difficult. It really isn't, but it does take some practice. I learned from the best; my Grandma who was an amazing cook. I helped with gravy every Christmas and Easter since I can remember. Her gravy was the most delicious of any I've ever had. Granted, Grandma used heavy cream in her gravy. You could hear everyone's arteries clogging with each bite. It's only a few times a year, right? Mine isn't so harmful. But the secret really is a good roux. When it's complete it's absolutely delicious.



Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2014

The "R" Word

If there is one word in all of the English language that really grates on my nerves it's the word retard. It bothers me more than hearing people say warsh or ain't. No kidding. And to hear one of my students call someone a retard or retarded is the most offensive thing anyone could ever do.

The Merriam-Webster definition of retard is as follows:

1re·tard

 verb \ri-ˈtärd\
: to slow down the development or progress of (something)

Full Definition of RETARD

transitive verb
1
:  to slow up especially by preventing or hindering advance or accomplishment :  impede
2
:  to delay academic progress by failure to promote
When did it become socially acceptable to say that about a person? To say someone is being hindered or held back from making progress is ok? I admit I'm hypersensitive about it since I teach students with disabilities. Does it matter if a kid has a documented disability? We all have our strengths and weaknesses. There is no need to call someone something so derogatory as retarded to make yourself feel better about yourself. How does that even make someone feel good about themselves? That screams insecurity and ignorance.

How do we combat this trend? Perhaps this flow chart from the Military Special Needs Network I discovered will help.


How do you feel about this word? Is there another word that really grinds your gears when you hear it?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Aftermath of Saying No

Do you ever have those weeks where you just can't seem to keep it together? Or those days you know there's no way you're not on the Spectrum? It's one of those weeks for me. I pride myself on being pretty laid back and flexible about things. Don't get me wrong, I go to great lengths to plan and prep so my weeks go smoothly but I don't usually get too bent out of shape if things don't get completed. The week itself has gone smoothly save for the fact that I'm exhausted.  The last 10-14 days have been non-stop on-the-go with little down time. Last week I managed to get time for myself. This week hasn't gone so well. Despite the best intentions and planning, I haven't had a good workout since Monday. Tonight's not looking good at the moment. I'm determined to get it in, even if it's 10pm before I start. I need my schedule! My normalcy! My mood depends on it! 

I'm not good at No. I've written about it before. Saying No has always been a struggle. Is it an oldest child thing? I've gotten much better but I've got a long way to go. The problem is saying no to Coach. I'm not the only one with a thousand things going on. I've written and rewritten this post and I can't seem to utter anything positive so I need to just stop. I'm going to watch my oldest son play his first varsity scrimmage. And I'm going to enjoy it without crabbing at anyone. And when he asks me to do something other than stats, I'm saying NO.  Wish me luck. And maybe send me some whiskey. 



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Baked Chicken

My job is awesome. I may have mentioned that before. Seriously though, I could not be more thankful for the opportunity to teach my kiddos life skills each and every day. We are currently working on making things for our Thanksgiving feast on Thursday. We planned our menu and went grocery shopping yesterday. The class decided on chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, corn casserole, dinner rolls, and pumpkin pie. We will likely all be comatose in the afternoon. And yes, I will be packing my own salad and skipping the casseroles, dinner rolls and pie.

Sometimes I take for granted those skills I consider to be basic cooking skills. We baked our chickens today. I have four assistants in my room, the five of us ranging in age from early 20's to older than 40.  Is that safe enough to say? LOL. I went over my lesson plans for the chicken prep with my ladies and got some unsure looks in response. So I decided I'd write our chicken recipe instructions on the board before leaving for my meetings. The stories I got later about who was grossed out the most by whole chicken were hysterical! And the deboning was even better! I was laughing so hard I was in tears.

The whole thing made me consider my beliefs of "basic" cooking skills vs other's beliefs. Granted I work with kids with cognitive disabilities. We are usually working on skills like following pre packaged food instructions that are pretty simple. Baking a whole chicken involves removing the giblets and extra fat and skin, as well as using the oven safely. I showed them how to make their own chicken stock from the bones, a few vegetables, covering it all with water, and simmering for an 90 minutes. And the smell in our room was so fantastic and comforting. My little guy walked in my room after school and went straight back to the kitchen looking for the chicken soup.

These are not things all of my students can do independently. That's not to say they shouldn't have some experience with these skills. I want them to know how to make things from the most basic ingredients. I want them to experience a chicken they seasoned, cooked, and checked the thermometer every few minutes to see if it's done. I look forward to seeing their reaction to the taste of the dinner on Thursday as much as anything. There is great satisfaction that comes from making a meal from the most basic ingredients. I hope they feel that pride as they serve our guests and enjoy the meal themselves.




1. Rinse your chicken in the sink.
2. Remove any giblets, the neck, and extra skin.
3. Pat dry with paper towel.
4. Rub chicken with salt, pepper, onion powder, Garlic powder.
5. Place fragrent herbs such as rosemary and sage in the inner cavity. You can also add vegetables to the pan around the chicken. I like carrots, celery & onion.
6. Place chicken breast side down in a 9x13 baking pan.
7. Cover with foil and Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 2 hours.
8. Remove foil and continue cooking for 15 minutes to crisp outside skin.
9. Remove from oven and let cool.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Winter Favorites

Old Man Winter has decided to grace us with his presence a tad early here in the Hoosier state. A week ago I was outside running in shorts, a t-shirt and tacky hunting vest, only to turn around today and need my down coat and gloves due to the blowing snow and 20 degree temps. What a shift! 

I'm not a winter person, not that you can tell that at all by my commentary or frequent winter rants on this blog or anything... However, in following in my November Thankfulness Challenge, I am not going to complain about the cold or the snow (yet). I will first note my favorite things about winter. 
  1.  Basketball season. Duh!
  2.  A good warm cup of chia tea with coconut milk and a sprinkle of cinnamon. I'm enjoying one right now as I type. 
  3. A good book, sunshine streaming in the windows, & a warm blanket on a snowy Sunday afternoon.
  4. Soup. Any and all kinds of soup. Yum! And on occasion a grilled cheese to go with it.  
  5. Sweater dresses, cute tights/leggings, and tall boots. Today's outfit in fact. 
  6. Quilt projects. I'm much more inclined to sew in the winter than any other time. Which reminds me, I need to fabric shop. 
  7. Winter makes me appreciate Spring, Summer, and Autumn months more. Aren't they splendid months?

What are your favorite things about winter? Let me hear them!

Friday, November 14, 2014

10 Day Sugar Detox Results

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. ~Confucius

Ten days can feel like an eternity, yet at the same time flies by like nothing. The first few days of the sugar detox group I hosted were tough. I really didn't think I ate that much sugar until I really started looking at what I eat. Sugar in my hummus. Sugar in the kidney beans. Sugar in the sausage I had for breakfast Sunday morning. It's in everything! That first bit of sugar yesterday was terrible. I couldn't eat it. I spit out the bite of apple dump cake we made in class- not because it was poorly made but because it was too sweet I thought I would throw up.

The crazy thing is I don't want sugar now. Yes, I treated myself to a craft beer last night and Evil Nachos at dinner with my cousin. I've been ever so patiently waiting that dinner (and it was spectacular). I found myself eating more slowly (I'm sure that had nothing to do with the fact we were talking a lot) and savoring the flavors in the beer, the pulled pork on the nachos, and the homemade potato chip slices. And I only ate a third of it instead of the entire plate like I normally would because I felt satisfied. What? I can't believe I actually wrote that, but it's true. It was enough. Even after the double workout and the enormous appetite I had when we got there. Go figure. Guess maybe this is working. 

Progress!! No belly hanging over the waistband!
-able to get through an entire workout without feeling worn out at the end and actually increasing weight/intensity during exercises

AIP- Abs In Progress

{Get to the results, lady.}
Ok, ok. So here ya go: 
Pounds Lost: 6
Inches lost: 2
Most noticeable differences: 
-Increased energy &annoyingly positive attitude
-not constantly hungry all day long
-thinner face (turkey neck shrinking)
-gut not bloated and swollen after I eat
-no gas
-no heartburn
-abs are starting to show

Yes, I should have cleaned my lens and mirror before taking the pictures. This is real life, ya'll. My mirrors and camera lenses aren't clean. I'm over it. Yes, I have a long way to go to have abs but I'm NOT discounting my progress so far. It's a great beginning. I want abs for my birthday in June. It's a process and I'm on my way. I'm not going to totally avoid all sugars until then. That's just not a great plan. I am going to keep eating clean and trying new foods to liven things up a bit. I'm very encouraged by these results and have no intention of stopping now and killing any momentum I've created.

Honestly the most positive results have come from watching my youngest son pay attention to the food he's eating. Bless his little heart! He came home appalled at how much sugar was in the milk at school but then thought to check the juice and decided milk was a better choice because it was more pure. The juice is partially artificial and has twice the sugar content as the milk. Proud mom moment right there!

Hang in there and have a healthy weekend! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What We Wore Wednesday

Wednesday. What can you say about Wednesday? We have to be at work early for meetings on Wednesday so it's usually hurried, despite every intention to get out the door on time. Practices get over early on Wednesday as well as it's considered "family night" in our community. Honestly it's kind of nice because I know we will all be home before 7pm and can have dinner together. The change does affect my workouts slightly. After shoe fittings for the middle school boys' basketball teams, delivering the high school boys' shoes to the gym, dropping off a few things to some other friends and some much needed catching up with those friends, I got home feeling pretty spent. I did not want to skip my workout. It's phase 2 of P90X3 and I'm not starting off by being a day behind. Eccentric upper was the workout of the day and WOW! Push-ups, pull-ups, and free weights. I forgot how tough this one was. Upper body strength is not my forte despite my longing to be able to do an unassisted pull-up. One day... Hopefully this year..

Any who... One way I keep from skipping out on my workout on days like today when I get home late is to change into my workout gear immediately upon arrival. A fun little thing on Instagram is What We Wore Wednesday aka #wwww. I tend to be a matchy-matchy kind of person. I like my clothing, socks, shoes, accessories to coordinate. It's just my thing. I'm a dork, I know.  Tonight's outfit is Not my normal style. I was cold and pulled on the first thing I found that matched, or sort of matched. The thing that matters most is I got my workout in. It was hard. I sweat. A lot. That's exactly what I was after.

I love my Climalite!

What purposeful movement did you get in today? Are you an outfit matching OCD person?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Beef Barley Stew

I'm Monday saw the beginning of high school basketball for Coach and Jordan. I managed to get home in time to squeeze a run in while there was still some daylight. One drawback of living in the middle of nowhere in the fall is the crazy dudes who think they can just drive the back roads and shoot deer from the truck and climb whatever fence row they need to recover said deer. My boys love to hunt. I'm not anti-hunting in any way. I personally love to sport shoot, though it's been many many years since I've done so. I don't like crazy dudes in my woods shooting at whatever moves. So to save my own ass on my dusk run I grabbed one of the boy's beats and happily took off down the road.

Dear Santa, I need some new medium weight reflective gear.

As I turned the corner and headed west the sky was just such an amazing sight to behold! Yes, I killed my split on mile 2 but I don't care. It was too spectacular to pass up.


My Monday had gotten a lote pit of hand. This was exactly perfect for me to regain some perspective and kick myself back in line. Funny how that happens. 

This week's Tasty Tuesday feature comes from one of my favorite food blogs Skinny Taste. I've never made anything from her site  I didn't like. Recipes are kid approved too. Last week I made the Beef Barley Soup. Oh.my.good.heavens! It is fantastic! The boys devoured it! The soup is the right amount of savory and hearty and would be awesome with some crusty bread. We liked it so well they asked for it again this week. And I made it for them :)

Recipe Here

Monday, November 10, 2014

Sugar Free: 8 Days In & A Peak Inside My Fridge

Happy Monday, ya'll! It's day 8 of my Sugar Detox group and I can't even begin to tell you how awestruck I am with my challengers! They are killing this challenge. Hands down, they are kicking added sugar out of their lives with reckless abandon. Talk about motivation! I've had a ton of questions about what it's like to live without added sugar. It's not easy. It's really difficult to be honest. While in the grocery Sunday morning I was looking for kidney beans and comparing labels on the regular and reduced sodium varieties. Turns out there's sugar and high fructose corn syrup in them. Beans for goodness sake! So I bought dried beans to soak and can myself. The beans were $1.39 for the pound. I will easily get 8 pints out of the bag, probably more. They swell like crazy. I'll report back once I've canned them.

Another common question is about what I eat during the week. Here's a picture of my fridge after Sunday post grocery/meal prep. This took me just over an hour.

Fruits and veggies cleaned and easy to grab and go
The week's meal plan looks like this: Pork Loin with roasted veggies (crock pot meal), lasagna, pumpkin-sausage soup, beef & barley stew (Tasty Tuesday feature of the week), and 2 lbs of meatballs to do whatever with. Meal prep time takes about an hour as well, depending on how involved dishes are. Lasagna is more involved so took me more than an hour this week with all of the boiling and layering. This meal plan will cover 4 days of lunches, and 4 suppers, with 1 day of leftovers for lunch and/or supper. I have class on Tuesday nights so the guys usually end up having something I don't normally eat.  Lasagna will likely be Tuesday night's meal. Basketball season officially begins today so I have to be diligent to have 4 dinners made ahead of time because we all have less time after school to throw things together. At least J will have the same schedule as Coach this year. T-man isn't so lucky this year but that's ok. We make it a priority to eat together each night if possible. Sometimes it's more of just being in the same room while someone is eating when they get in from whatever activity they've just finished. That's ok. It's the quality time that matters.

Lunch for me consists of soup and salad most days. Last week was grilled fish and a variety of veggies and a salad. The beauty of living sugar free is the dense nutrients you get from food. I feel like I'm eating all day. I feel full longer. The longer we go in the challenge the fewer cravings I have. Most of the cravings have more to do with habits than actual hunger. Take Saturday night. Coach and I went to dinner at one of our favorite places. They have great wine and craft beer. I wanted a pumpkin ale soooo bad. Not because I really craved it but because it was Saturday, we were watching football, and it's what we do on Saturday night. I didn't have one and you know what? I felt amazing this morning! No beer bloat. No gut ache. No foggy brain. I popped out of bed with energy ready for my day. That's not to say I'm not going to ever treat myself. I'll have one of this pumpkin ales this month and I'll savor it. Sugar will be a part of my diet after this detox but not for a while. You can be very sure I'll be watching how much I'm consuming.

This challenge has provided me with some BIG ah-ha moments; 
1) I've had more progress with my weight loss & strength training by simply removing the sugar and processed foods and adjusting/adding in real sources of protein and carbohydrates. Duh (#facepalm) 
2) I'm tired of watching what I eat and working my butt off with exercise all week long only to throw it all out the window on the weekends. Goals don't get achieved that way.
3) This isn't about weight loss or fitting into clothes, though that's a nice side effect. It's about learning how to fuel my body better so I can be a better mom, teacher, and coach. That's what motivates me to keep going. 

What motivates you to keep going? 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tasty Tuesday- Sugar Free Style

My group is in day 2 of sugar free eating. Let me tell you I thought I was eating pretty clean, sans the Nutella binges here and there. Man was I wrong! Start taking all of the store bought processed things out and holy wow there's not a lot let besides veggies, fruits, and meat. I like all of those things a lot. I eat a lot of them on a daily basis but I still ended up with a sugar-withdrawal headache yesterday afternoon. I could not figure out what had me so out of sorts and then it hit me- Sugar! My food tracking has been steady over the last few weeks so I went through my daily lists on My Fitness Pal- Salad dressing, candy corn, beer, a ham sandwich on a field trip.  My biggest one is store-bought salad dressing. I had no idea how much sugar is in that stuff.  Even the "healthy" ones. I'm on a mission to find homemade versions of my faves for next week's blog post to share with you.

This week I'm sharing breakfast. It's my favorite meal of the day. I try to load up on some good complex carb and lots of protein to keep me satiated until 11 when I can grab a snack to hold me over until I eat lunch at 12:45. My boys love pancakes. They will eat this adapted high-protein version without syrup (insert shocked gasp here). They do smother them in butter, but that's not such a big deal for me since there's relatively no added fat outside the egg in the recipe. Best of all, it's quick and easy. Enjoy!



Monday, November 3, 2014

The Power of a Positive Attitude

You know when you feel a cold coming on and you do everything you can to keep it from hitting you upside the head and you think you have it knocked out of the park? Then you decide to dust every surface in the house only to tick off the histamine receptors and boom! My head is plugged, nose is raw from running all day, and I'm frustrated with it already. I know it's making me grouchy. Try as I may, I did bite my son's head off while working out tonight. Truth be known, I didn't want to take him. I wanted to drop off T-man for practice and go back home and eat some food. J wanted to workout and my rebounding days are over on Monday with the official start of practice. Then his mouth and attitude took over and I lost it. Or so I thought...

Enter internal struggle. I look forward to letting off a little steam when I get home. I may have been a little fired up still when I started venting. Perhaps I went on a little too long. I don't recall having a bad day. Not even a mediocre day. Turns out my ranting must come off negative because it doesn't take long for it to rub off on everyone else. Pretty soon everyone is crabbing about this or that. I sincerely try to live a positive life. Smiles abound during the day. Kind words flow from my mouth instead of the sarcastic lingo floating around in my brain. So after a little heart to heart with my sons on the way home, I decided to take the November Thankfulness challenge to heart. No griping, grumbling, venting or complaining after school until I have announced at least one thing from my day I'm thankful for. That goes for everyone else in the car. If any of us still feel like we need to vent about something we have full permission to do so. Seems fair to me. They actually agreed it didn't sound bad. Huh. Go figure. Score one for mom today :)

So here we go. I am incredibly thankful that I had extra time with my boys tonight. They are such good boys and I'm so thankful I get to be their mama.

What are you thankful for?

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween = Winter?


Holy cats, batman! Who invited winter? 40 mph wind, snow flurries mixed with rain make for a pretty miserable Fright Night. Or maybe it's just perfect? Whatever. I don't like it. Moving on.

For the last week I've been feeling like I'm coming down with a cold. I immediately started in on the Zycam, green tea, and netti pot. I start to feel better, then a day or two later the scratchy throat and itchy ears are back. What gives? It's not miserable or anything, it's just annoying. The weather isn't helping. Hopefully it will be nicer outside and I can get a run outside tomorrow. It's almost 10pm and I have yet to get my workout in. P90X3 Yoga is on the books for tonight. I should do doubles, but think I'll save them for the weekend. Yoga is where it's at tonight. Maybe it will take away the tickle in my throat. Well, that and a glass of wine. It is Friday after all. And Halloween. 

What's your favorite Halloween indulgence? I'm more of an Easter candy person. Starburst Jelly Beans are my candy of choice. At Halloween I tend to enjoy a good Milk Dud or a Payday. Oh the Payday bar. Not a hugely popular one in the Halloween bucket but I love them. Those are the candy bars I'm snagging out of my kids' buckets. Except the don't trick or treat anymore. No one even buys them candy anymore. Just as well. I'd just eat it. 

My dad would buy Payday's and Twizzlers after Halloween and stick them in each tractor, grain truck, and the combine for us to snack on during harvest. Except by the time we actually ate them it was the next year's harvest and they were a tad stale. The positive about stale candy is you have to chew on it for a while to soften it up, therefore it lasts half of the afternoon instead of 5 seconds. Patience was key, otherwise someone is bound to lose part of a tooth. That's not a joke... It wasn't me, but someone did crack a tooth on a stale Twizzler one fall. Ahhhh, good times, good times. :)

What candy are you snagging from your kiddos tonight? Any good childhood memories of Trick-or-Treating when you were a kid? 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Throwback Thursday- My Health Journey


This is almost a Transformation Tuesday but we're going with Throwback Thursday Transformation. See what I did there? Huh? Huh? ......

This is me and Coach at my cousin's wedding in September 2009. (Coach there... He's pretty hot stuff. Ow-oww!)


This isn't quite my rock bottom point, but really close. This is around 185 pounds. Mind you, I'm a tall girl. I'm 5'10" with broad shoulders. But 185 does not look good on this body. I can't blame a baby for this. That is just really bad habits and little activity. Just looking at this brings back a flood of emotion. I can tell you exactly how I felt in that dress that day. It wasn't a good feeling. It was the only thing nice enough for the wedding that fit me at the time- also not a good feeling. I never want to go back to that feeling ever again. Enter motivation and Beachbody. 

Fast forward to the Christmas when my aunt sent me this picture in a Christmas card. I saw it and wanted to crawl into a hole. I knew I had to change things, but nothing really changed until June when I decided to start running again. Running always seems to be my go-to when getting back into shape. I found Running Mate on iTunes podcasts and downloaded the 8 week program to help train myself to run a 5K. It was painful. I couldn't run for long. It was awful but I knew I had to do it for myself. By the end of July I was running 3-4 miles a few times a week and walk-jogging 2 other days. Some days I used some old Firm tapes and DVD's I had. But I still wasn't dropping a ton of weight like I'd hoped to. I was disappointed. I was sure this would take care of things.  So I signed up for Weight Watchers. It was slow at first. I was totally hooked on treating myself each day so I wouldn't get burnt out by restricting foods I liked. Guess what? The weight wasn't really going anywhere. I was mixing up one of my favorite 2 point desserts one night (fat free cool-whip, sugar-free butterscotch pudding, a diced apple and a can of pineapple tidbits in juice) and it hit me. Duh, Alison. Just because you have points left, doesn't mean you have to use them for crap food! Everything in what I was mixing up was crap except for the apple and the pineapple. Why not just eat the apple? I started making smarter choices, adding in more vegetables and fruits, more lean meats, a handful of nuts or seeds- and it turns out I was eating more food. I mean, veggies were free- no points. It was perfect. I started to see some progress when I realized this. Ironically, this is the exact time Beachbody entered the timeline as well.

I ran my first 5K in September, then another in October. I started Chalene Extreme in November (because I was terrified of P90X), then started P90X the end of January. Two of my friends had been using P90X for quite a while and I was impressed with their results, but they were both fit when they started. I didn't think there was any way I was going to be able to do it too. When I added the weights the fat & weight fell off of me. I'm not even kidding. I was going to weigh-ins and dropping 3-4 pounds a week for 6 weeks straight. By May I had lost 30 pounds! Then I started going to fewer and fewer meetings. It was working so why did I need to go? I had minor surgery in mid May and had to take a month off from my intense workouts- walking and some lower body only. I started a new job that June as well and was working 8-5 most days and eating take out for lunch instead of packing. I fired up the p90 again in July. I got busier with work and kids and life and put on 5 pounds by October. I was ok with it but started back in at meetings for the accountability. I really liked the people in my group. I missed those relationships. That's also when they changed the points system. Suddenly vegetables were worth points. And my beloved fruit was worth even more points. But I could eat a ton of the crap processed foods and spend precious few points. That's when I canceled my membership. I couldn't buy into the fact that non-food was considered good for me.

Fast forward to this past May when I decided to bite the bullet and sign up to be a Beachbody coach. 
I was in a clean eating challenge group with Adie Smith from The Four Fit Sisters. I felt good.  Really good. When Adie asked if I would be interested in becoming a coach I was nervous but something told me I HAD to do this! I mean, when you look at my stats they're not bad.  I've kept 20 pounds off with the help of Beachbody programs and eating well!  Why not share this with others! I'm a teacher, and inspirer. I love to share what I know with others. That's why I love this coaching thing so much.  I love the products; I use Shakeology and the workout programs every single day. It seemed completely logical to share these amazing things with others so they can have results like I've had along the way.

Life happens, folks. I have worked really hard at staying active. In the last year I've run a half marathon. I started a round of p90X3 and got through the first two cycles (and quit), then started PiYo and did 30 days. Now I'm back to my P90X3. (progress, not perfection).  I'm stronger than I was three weeks ago.  I'm not where I want to be yet but I'm much closer than when I started this journey. I will always be a work in progress. I have to remind myself it's not about perfection, or perceived perfection.  I know that eating well and moving makes me feel so much better than eating crap and sitting around. Now I'm driven to find the truth in what fuels my body and keeps me feeling my very best each and every day. It's about progress. Stick with it, folks. It's worth it.  




I'm still taking people in my next challenge group. Will you join me in eating clean and getting rid of the added sugar? Click here or leave a message below for more details. Have a fantastic day!