Saturday, August 31, 2013

Last Labor Day

Labor Day 2012 was a very memorable one. We spent the entire weekend at my mom's house in Cochranton, PA. My Aunt Pam was home from Florida. My Aunt Nancy and her 3 kids, Katie, Blake, and Carrie, were home from Texas. Katie brought Jhovani (Jho), her main squeeze at the time, home to meet "the PA family". My son had just turned 3 and my daughter was almost 3 months.

We hung around the pool all weekend. We went for rides on the Gator. We went to the Stoneboro Fair. We ate a lot of junk. We drank a lot of beer. We did a lot of swimming and hanging out. Jho let it slip to us that he was planning to propose to Katie soon. All in all, it was an epic weekend.

Looking back, I don't remember all that fun stuff. You know what I remember? I remember how I felt. I felt ugly. I felt fat. I was depressed. Here's a picture of me to prove it. It's the only one of myself I have from the entire weekend.

Sure. I put on a smile and laughed with my family. But it was all fake. I was MORTIFIED to be in a bathing suit. My "Fat" suit didn't even fit me anymore. I'm talking about my bathing suit I wore the entire time I was PREGNANT! I had just bought some new "bigger" clothes, mainly pants. These pants didn't have zippers or buttons. They were elastic waisted. They were a size 20. My shirts were a 2xl. 

I was at the lowest point I had ever been. I don't even have a picture of me from that weekend because I REFUSED to be in pictures. That is when my husband knew I was in trouble. That was when he said something to me. 

He was worried. He was concerned. He saw me slipping and didn't know how to help me. 

To say that I was mad at him would be the understatement of a lifetime. I was HORRIFIED that my husband told me that I was fat. Yes. He used those words. I didn't understand it at the time but I do now. He had been trying to tell me nicely and gently for weeks. I wasn't listening. He couldn't get my attention.

Well, he got it. And I didn't talk to him for over a week.

When we got home, a friend of mine had posted a special just for teachers. It was a special on Shakeology. I was finally at the right time in my life to make a change. I was READY to do something. 

So, I messaged her about her deal. I was so afraid she would say I couldn't get the deal because I wasn't teaching at the moment. I was on maternity leave. I was so excited when she said that I could have the special! I paid her and my 5 trial packets arrived in the mail a few days later.

I drank one a day for 5 days and from that point on I was hooked. I had never felt better. I wasn't tired anymore. I wasn't craving bad foods anymore. 

But you know what? I was still SCARED. I was scared to commit because I was scared to FAIL. I even asked my friend "what happens if I DON'T succeed at this challenge?" and "what percentage of people have success?". 

She answered my questions for me and calmed my nerves. She talked me through picking a workout program that would be perfect just for me. I hated cardio and loved lifting weights, so ChaLEAN Extreme was the one I chose. I decided in that moment to commit. I left sight of the short. I stepped outside of my comfort zone.

I am so happy that a year ago this weekend the gears were put into motion to change my life. Getting me to making that commitment might not have been pretty. Feelings were hurt and I was embarrassed. My hubby was hurting because he caused me pain. 

BUT I am a better person for everything that went down that weekend. I thank my husband DAILY for having the courage to say something to me. He is the one who brought me out of my spiral. He showed me that I need to be healthy for my kids. He showed me that I need to be healthy so I can spend a LONG life with him.

So, the question I want to ask you is this:

Are you ready to commit? I mean REALLY commit?

Shakeology works. The workout programs work. Clean eating works. But none of it will really work unless YOU work. You have to put the effort in. You have to change your mind set. You have to be in the place I was a year ago, ready to make a change.

If you are there now, CONGRATS! I am here to help you succeed. If you aren't there yet, I will still be here to support you and when you are ready, I will be here to help you succeed. 

Ask me questions. Try a trial pack of Shakeology. Jump right in and purchase a challenge pack. Seriously - what do you have to lose? $160 and 20, 30, 40+ pounds? I don't know but that sounds pretty darn good to me.

Comment below or find me on Facebook when you are ready. I don't judge. I was there. I still struggle now. I am human and so are you!

Talk to you soon my friend!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

T25 Beta Week 1 Review

Last week was one of my FAVORITE weeks of working out EVER! Although I LOVED the Alpha Phase of T25, after 5 weeks, I was ready for some new workouts. I also knew that the Beta Phase involved weights. If you know me, you know that I LOVE lifting weights. It's my first love <3.

Before I give you my first week Beta review, I must remind you that the T25 sale is only good through this Saturday (8/31) at midnight. I you have though about doing T25 or think you might want to do it in the future - DO NOT HESITATE. Get your program today before the price goes up! Comment below or message me on FB ( to find out how to get your copy!

Ok - the review:

So, the week started out with Core Cardio. Since I just told you that I love weights, you would think that I hated this workout. Well, honestly, I was dreading it. But I was pleasantly surprised. The 25 minutes went by really quick and had me dripping with sweat!

Tuesday brought Speed 2.0. I enjoyed Speed 1.0 in the Alpha Phase. It had stretching which was nice. Speed 2.0 was a completely different animal. Shaun T didn't take the time to explain the moves or give you a nice slow start up. We jumped RIGHT in and went hard for 25 minutes. I loved it. Oh, and there's NO STRETCHING!

Wednesday brought Rip't Circuit. I will tell you right now, that this is my FAVORITE T25 workout thus far. It was fun. It was hard. It had some weight training in it. It was a challenge. It stole my heart :)

Thursdays workout was Dynamic Core. The first 10 minutes involved quite a bit of cardio. I must admit, I was disappointed in the first 10 minutes. I don't want to do a ton of cardio on Core days. I know it's important, but I really just want to work my core! After the first 10 minutes, Shaun T stepped up his game and BROUGHT IT! I'll admit, I even had to stop for a few seconds to take a breath sometimes! 

Friday brought Double Day Friday. I don't do double day Fridays cause I need to workout 6 days a week. So Friday I did Core Cardio again. I didn't nail it, but I did enjoy it!

Saturday was the workout I was really looking forward to. Upper Focus. I KNEW that Upper Focus used weights and used them a lot. You already know I love weights. I used 8 pound weights the entire way around. The only time they were a bit too heavy for me was when we were doing the front and side raises. For the rest of the workouts, 8's were just about perfect. I even thought about maybe upping my weights to 10's next time. Well, that was until I feel the day after (ok - two day after) burn. I could barely move my arms! I will be using 8's for one more go around ;)

I am so excited to continue this program. For real. I actually looking forward to working out! And the best part - I am done working out before I can talk myself out of it! Love it love it love it!


Monday, August 26, 2013

Chocolate Mocha Frappe Shakeology

This is my go to chocolate Shakeology recipe. It's yummy. It's tasty. It's WAY cheaper than the overpriced coffee shop down the store. AND it's WAY better for you :)

Does your morning coffee come with 70+ all natural, whole foods? What about prebiotics and probiotics? What about some protein and fiber to keep you full longer?

Shakeology has all of that and more :)

So - here's your recipe. Its REALLY hard, so write it down!

1 scoop/pack chocolate Shakeology
8 ozs cold coffee
4 ozs unsweetened almond milk
Ice to taste

Combine all ingredients in blender and BLEND!

Told ya it was hard ;) If you find that you don't like the texture, add more or less ice first. If that doesn't work, try blend all of your ingredients BEFORE adding your Shakeology. That seems to change the consistency quite a bit!

Enjoy friends!


Friday, August 16, 2013

Vanilla Shakeology Review and Recipes

I have ALWAYS been a chocolate girl. Obsessed with chocolate is an understatement. When Vanilla Shakeology was announced in June 2013 at Beachbody Summit, I was SURE I would hate it because I don't like milk or milkshakes. Heck, I don't even like melted ice cream!

So, one of my coaches gave me some packets to try and here's what my first impression of Vanilla Shakeology was:

Since that day, I have come to realize that Vanilla Shakeology now rivals Chocolate for my FAVORITE! It's so versatile and GOOD!

Before I get into some of my favorite recipes, let me tell you a little bit about Shakeology:

What IS Shakeology?
  1. It's a meal replacement shake that has the correct combination of proteins to carb ratio in order to few your body for energy, optimal health, weight loss and more!  
  2. It's a nutrient dense drink (made from WHOLE foods!) that will provide you with nutrition to keep you healthy!
  3. It is that one meal a day that you don't have to think about! Anyone else a busy mom out there?
  4. It's that one meal that when you are running late and have a choice between the drive thru and a shake or breakfast vs no breakfast its a wise choice to choose the Shakeology.  
  5. It tastes GOOD! It's not gritty, too sweet, not sweet enough, artificial tasting, or anything else! It's made from 70+ WHOLE FOOD ingredients and it will keep you full! The wonderful thing about Shakeology, especially the Vanilla flavor, is that you have the option to add in flavor not with artificial sweeteners but instead with real fruit, juice, peanut butter, spices, different types of milk, etc. 
  6. Shakeology ingredients are not processed.  Even though it's in a powder form which would lead some to think it is processed, it is not.  You can buy every single ingredient in the grocery store and blend it up to make the same Shakeology.  But it would cost you a pretty penny!  
I drink Shakeology every day for many reasons. First, it completely curbs my cravings for junk. Second, it's EASY. Third, it's QUICK. Fourth, I am not very good about getting all the veggies I need in a day, and I know that Shakeology is bridging the gap and keeping me on the right track! 

So - you ready for some great Vanilla Shakeology Recipes? ALL of these recipes are made with one scoop or 1 packet of Vanilla Shakeology. Here ya go:

This one is my FAVORITE Vanilla Shakeology Recipe: 

Orange Julius Post-Workout - this particular recipe is around 350 calories because of the R&R - just a heads up!
1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology
2 scoops R&R
8oz cold water
1/2 cup ice

And here are more:

Cinnamon Bun
1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
3/4 cup cold water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 graham cracker
1/2 cup ice

Peanut Butter Banana
1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
3/4 cup cold water
1T all-natural PB
1/2 banana
1/2 cup ice

Vanilla Latte
1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology
1 cup cold coffee
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp pure maple syrup
1/2 cup ice

Strawberry Dreams
1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
3/4 cup cold water
1 cup frozen strawberries (no sugar added) - you can use fresh but you will need to add ice to obtain your preferred consistency.

Blueberry Fields
1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
3/4 cup cold water
1 cup frozen blueberries (no sugar added) - you can add ice but then you will have to add more/less ice to obtain your preferred consistency.
1/2 cup ice - if needed

Pina Colada
1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology
1 cup organic all-natural pineapple juice
1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks (no sugar added) - you can also use fresh pineapple but you may have to add more ice to obtain your preferred consistency.
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup ice

Minty Watermelon
1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology
1 cup cubed watermelon
6 mint leaves (or 1/8 tsp mint extract)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
3/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup ice

Apple Pie - you can also add in some walnuts if your heart desires)
1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
3/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup ice

Orange Dream
1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology
zest of 1/2 an orange
1 orange, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
3/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup ice

I hope you enjoy these Shakeology recipes! If you have any to add, PLEASE leave them in the comments below! I get so stuck in my own favorites that I forget to try new recipes sometimes!


Thursday, August 8, 2013

7 Day Shakeology Challenge

Shakeology. What is it? Why do I drink it? Why do I refuse to give it up? What does it taste like? What are some good recipes? Can I try it before I commit to a month supply?

These are questions I get ALL.THE.TIME.

So - here are my answers.

What is Shakeology?
First, let me tell you what shakeology ISN'T. Shakeology is NOT a protein drink or a weight loss shake. Ok - now we have that figured out, let me answer the question at hand.

Shakeology is a HEALTH shake. It is made of 70+ WHOLE food ingredients. Nothing fake. Nothing that is going to harm your body like every other shake out there. There's no artificial flavor. There's no artificial color. There's not even any GMO's and Beachbody is working on getting certified non-GMO! 

Did you know that the other shakes available don't list EVERYTHING that is in their shake? It's true. They don't tell you all of the ingredients. Beachbody DOES! Here's the nutritional information from the back of the new Vanilla Shakeology:

It took Beachbody 2 YEARS to come out with Vanilla Shakeology. It was because they couldn't find a vanilla flavor that stood up to their high standards. They wanted something non-GMO. They wanted something that was responsibly farmed. They finally found it in Madagascar. Check out this video introducing Vanilla:

Ok - so hopefully by now you know what Shakeology is. You can see ALL of the ingredients because they are listed in the picture above. So now on to the next two questions

Why do I drink Shakeology and Why do I refuse to give it up?
I was going to make a video about this but then something amazing happened this week. On Monday, the Beachbody CEO, Carl Daikler, spent the entire day answering live questions from coaches. During the day, this little video came out. It perfectly embodies why I drink shakeology daily. I'm not going to reinvent the wheel. Watch Carl's video:


Does that video answer some questions? I sure hope so! On to the next question:

What does it taste like?
This is one of the easier questions. 
  • Chocolate tastes like, well, chocolate. There is no aftertaste. It's not too sweet. It curbs this choc-o-holic's cravings when they arise. 
  • Greenberry tastes like Fruity Pebbles. Seriously - when it's just mixed with almond milk or water, it's doable! I mean, you have to get past the green color (which is hard for me to do) but it's REALLY good! It's even better if you blend in some orange extract and frozen fruit - YUM!
  • Vegan Tropical Strawberry is one of my favorites. It's a tropical party in my mouth! I like to blend it with frozen strawberries and frozen mango. Best poolside drink of the summer! I will warn you though, the vegan varieties are a bit "grittier" than the regular flavors. This is because of the brown rice protein that is used. It's a bit different to get used to in the beginning, but everyone I know LOVES the vegan!
  • Vegan Chocolate is just like the chocolate but vegan. Haha! I know - great explanation Kell! Like I mentioned above, it is slightly grittier because of the type of protein, but it's so good!
  • Last, but certainly not least, is the new Vanilla Shakeology. For me to review this one, I have to be honest. I hate cows milk. I hate milkshakes. I was REALLY afraid that this new flavor was going to make me gag. Watch this video of my first taste of the new Vanilla Shakeology. After I shot the video, I went to the kitchen and added in frozen strawberries. It is now my favorite flavor!!!

Now for some recipes!!!

What are some good recipes? 
I'm going to list some below and you can also find them in the recipe section of my blog :)

Chocolate/Vegan Chocolate:
  • Coffee Varieties:
    • 1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology, 1 cup cold coffee, ice to taste, blend
    • 1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology, 1 cup cold coffee, 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, ice to taste, blend
    • 1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology, 1 cup cold coffee, 1/4 cup dark chocolate almond milk, ice to taste, blend
    • 1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology  1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 cup cold coffee, 2T carob chips, 1/8 tsp mint extract, ice to taste, blend
  • Chocolate Covered Strawberry
    • 1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology, 1 cup frozen strawberries, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup unsweetened almondmilk, blend
  • Chocolate PB
    • 1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology  1 tbsp natural peanut/almond butter, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup water, ice to taste, blend
  • Chocolate Covered PB Banana
    • 1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology, 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 banana, 1T natural PB or almond butter, ice to taste, blend
  • 1 scoop Greenberry Shakeology, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 cup frozen pineapple, 2T pistachios, ice to taste, blend
  • 1 scoop Greenberry Shakeology, 1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice, 1 cup sparkling water, 1T fresh lime juice, 1 tsp agave nectar, ice to taste, blend
  • 1 scoop Greenberry Shakeology, 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 cup water, 1 cup frozen blueberries, ice to taste, blend
  • 1 scoop Greenberry Shakeology, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 frozen sliced banana, 1/2 cup frozen strawberries, ice to taste, blend
Tropical Strawberry:
  • Strawberry Frenzy
    • 1 scoop Tropical Strawberry Shakeology, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 cup frozen strawberries, ice to taste, blend
  •  Pomegranate Splash
    • 1 scoop Tropical Strawberry Shakeology, 1/2 cup pomegranate juice, 1/2 cup water, ice to taste, blend
  • Strawberry Banana
    • 1 scoop Tropical Strawberry Shakeology, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 frozen sliced banana, ice to taste blend
  • Vanilla Recovery
    • 1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology, 2 scoops R&R, 8oz water, 1 cup ice, blend
  • Orange Dreamsicle
    • 1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology, 1 tsp orange extract, 1 cup almond milk, 1T grated orange peel, ice to taste, blend
  • Tiramisu
    • 1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology, 1 cup cold coffee, 1T mascarpone or ricotta cheese, 1tsp unsweetened cocoa, 1/2 tsp rum extract, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ice to taste, blend
  • Pumpkin Pie
    • 1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology, 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/2 cup canned pumpkin purree, 1 T coarsely chopped raw pecans, 1 tsp pure maple syrup or raw honey, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, ice to taste, blend
  • Iced Mocha
    • 1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology, 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 cup cold coffee, 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa, ice to taste, blend
  • Strawberry Mango Vanilla
    • 1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 cup frozen strawberries, 1/2 frozen mango, blend
  • Vanilla Almond
    • 1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 T all-natural almond butter, ice to taste, blend 
  • Blueberry Vanilla
    • 1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 cup frozen/fresh blueberries, ice to taste, blend

Last question - I promise!

Can I try Shakeology without committing to a full month supply?
Of course you can! All you need to do is email me, message me on FB, leave a comment here, or if you already have a coach - talk to them! We have 7 day trials that we can mail out to you! With the trial, you will get to participate in a closed FB group with others who are doing the same 7 day trial as you! You can swap shakeology recipes, tips, and meal plans. I will give you some pointers about how to tweak your diet a little to help you feel great!

So here it all is. Want in our next 7 day challenge? Message me! You have NOTHING to lose except some extra weight and that yucky, bloated feeling!


Monday, August 5, 2013

T25 week 3 review

This week I played catch up a bit. You see, week 1 of T25 was CRAZY for me. My MIL was in the process of looking for and putting in an offer on a condo. This is the first time she has EVER bought a house or even had a mortgage! First time for a mortgage at the ripe old age of 60? Man that's awesome!

Anyways - back on track. So I was over helping her quite a bit. I was up late and slept in a lot. I missed a few workouts. I was in a bad place. I get like that when I fall off track.

So, I picked myself back up, fessed up to my group, and have been playing catch up for the last two weeks. It hasn't been easy. No breaks and extra double days. But it's worth it. I AM WORTH IT.

As of today, I am officially caught back up. I am ready to start week 4 tomorrow on track with the rest of my group. I am excited and ready to go! I even made a meal plan for this week! Usually I have an idea in my head and make lots of healthy stuff to pick from during the week. I actually planned it out this week. It's gonna help me to succeed!

I am really enjoying the T25 program. My favorite part is still that it's ONLY 25 minutes a day! Yes, they want you to do "double down Fridays" but you don't have to. You can do one workout on Friday and the next on Saturday. I choose to do both Fridays.

My favorite workout is still Total Body Circuit but Speed 1.0 is catching up fast. It really is the stretching that makes Speed 1.0 so fun. Lower focus gets me EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. It's rough and my legs SCREAM at me the next day.

I also love the ab workout but I have yet to do it without having my littles around. I hope that I get to do it this week all by myself. Then I won't have to stop 09847325 times to get a drink or snack or change a diaper or give kisses (none of which I really mind). I just want to go from start to finish without stopping :)

As I was looking at my calendar for T25, I can't believe I only have 2 more weeks of the Alpha phase left. I am excited about Beta but also a bit nervous. The Upper Focus DVD is what scares me. I'm fairly sure there will be a lot of pushups and I'm not so good at those. But, you don't get better without practicing!

I even made a big decision tonight. I am going to go ahead and order the 3rd phase, Gamma, of T25. I LOVE this workout because of the length (and Shaun T is pretty easy on the eyes and very motivating!) and I want to go another 5 weeks. So, the Gamma package will be in my hands by before the Beta phase is over. Did I mention that Gamma is also weight based and we all know just how much I LOVE weights! Eek!

So - there are my ramblings about my 3rd week of T25. If you noticed, I didn't mention T25 cardio. It's because it's still my least favorite. I do it, and I work hard, I just don't like it. Not because it's hard, but because I don't like cardio!

Ok - I'm really done now. My bed is calling my name!