Wednesday, July 31, 2013

T25 week 2 review

It's the end if my second week of Focus T25. I have to admit it - I LOVE it!

Shaun T keeps it real and fun. Tania is my BEST FRIEND during some of the moves. I couldn't get through it without modifying some of the moves. I can jump most of the time, but every once in a while, I just don't want to test my knees. So Tania is there for me :) Check out her REAL results below! She had a baby via c-section and was sure she would never get her abs back. She was wrong!

One of my favorite workouts is actually the Ab workout. I don't know why, but it goes REALLY quickly for me. I mean, every workout in T25 goes quick because it's ONLY 25 minutes, but the ab workout really goes fast. Plus, I can really feel it in my abs IMMEDIATELY!

My second favorite workout is Lower Body Focus. I know I'm strange, but I LOVE lunges and squats. One of my trouble areas, and one of my strongest areas, my entire life have been my legs. I danced when I was younger and then played soccer for a bunch of years. I have thighs of steel. Steel covered with some blubber. The blubber is disappearing and I'm now comfortable in shorts, but I still love a good leg workout cause I have a ways to go to get chiseled legs!

Another one that ranks right up there with Abs and LBF is Total Body Circuit. I'm gonna admit it. I LOVE BURPEES! So this workout is great for me!

Speed 1.0 is a fun workout because it incorporates stretches after every move. It's *almost* like Shaun T is giving you a rest. Almost.

My least favorite workout is - can you guess what it's going to be??? CARDIO!!! That was a no brainer! We all know that I have a serious aversion to cardio. But it's necessary and it's only 25 minutes. I can do ANYTHING for 25 minutes.

As for results, I haven't seen the scale move much. That is mostly the result of my eating. I haven't been watching my food as much as I should, so of course, the scale isn't moving. BUT - I have noticed that I feel different, especially in my stomach. My abs are really getting a workout with this program. A lot of the focus is on the core. After two kids and on c-section, my abs can certainly use all the help they can get!

Now my TEST GROUP - these ladies are seeing AMAZING results. 7 inches gone in one week?!?! 4 pounds down in a week?!?! They are KILLING this program and LOVING the results!

So - stay tuned for my week 3 review. Hopefully I will have some real weight loss to report. Oh, and remember, TODAY is the last day to order the T25 challenge pack before it goes up to it's normal price of $205.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Southwest Quinoa Salad

While the real big day isn't until tomorrow, we had my dad's 65th birthday party yesterday. It was a beautiful, fall-like, day here in July in Pittsburgh. We sat outside the entire time and the kids played. What a perfect family day!

My dad had asked me to bring a side dish. He was serving grilled organic chicken breast, chicken thighs, burgers, and a salad. I decided to try to find something as clean as possible, since my step-mom and I both like to keep it clean :)

After doing some searching, I came across Melanie's recipe (that she got from Sara Stakely) for Southwest Quinoa Salad. You can find her original HERE.

I tweaked it, just a bit, to fit my needs and my measuring style :) I was a bit skeptical of how it would turn out, but MAN was it good! Everyone loved it, including my kids!


  • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 3T (roughly) of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • pinch of salt
  • pepper to taste (I used a pinch)
  • 2 cups, cooked and cooled quinoa
  • 1 medium zucchini (or squash), diced
  • 2 plum tomatos, diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 can organic whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
  1. Mix the first 6 ingredients in a bowl and set aside to blend together. (lemon juice, evoo, cilantro, cumin, salt, and pepper)
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a serving bowl and toss till mixed.
  3. Pour the lemon juice concoction onto the quinoa concoction and mix thoroughly.
  4. Chill in the fridge for at LEAST an hour to let the flavors absorb. 
  5. Enjoy!
This was seriously one of the best salads I have had all summer. It was so light and refreshing. It would be PERFECT for a hot summer night paired with turkey burgers! Let me know what you think and if you make any changes!


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Whole Wheat Vanilla Protein Pancakes

So, this is a combination of my waffle and my pancake recipe. I kinda made it up this morning. The hubs ate it willingly and said they tasted great and he hates my "hippie & healthy" food - haha!


  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1/3 cup vanilla or cake batter protein powder (I used cake batter this morning)
  • 2 whole eggs (you could also use 3 egg whites) and I use organic, cage-free brown eggs
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (don't tell the hubs - he thinks I used regular milk!)

  1. Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-low heat.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until smooth.
  3. Scoop batter, using 1/3 cup measuring scoop, onto your hot griddle or pan.
  4. When the pancake bubbles, it's ready to flip.
  5. Cook another 2 minutes or so.
  6. Take off, place on plate (DUH!) and enjoy!
We serve our pancakes with turkey sausage links, which are a great source of protein and low in fat, organic unsalted butter, and fresh, local maple syrup. We I (I'm not speaking fort the kids and hubs here) don't go crazy with the syrup. Just enough to sweeten the cakes a bit :)

I also usually make a double batch of pancakes and flash freeze the extras so I can just nuke them for the family during the week. Easy, healthy, QUICK breakfast that everyone enjoys! To flash freeze the pancakes, place a layer of foil on a baking sheet. Lay the pancakes in one layer on the tray. Place another piece of aluminum foil over the pancakes. Layer another layer of pancakes on the foil. Cover with another sheet of foil. Repeat until all the cakes are layered and separated by a sheet of foil. Place in the freezer until solidly frozen, then place them into a freezer bag for easy storing and access!

I hope you enjoy our Sunday morning breakfast as much as we do!


Saturday, July 27, 2013

My new FB Page

I am BEYOND excited! I finally have my business FB page set up! It's been a long time coming and I'm so excited!

In honor of my new page, I will be giving away a FREE workout program (of my choice), Shakeology Shaker Cup, a packet of Energy and Endurance (E&E), and one packet of Shakeology on Sunday night at 10pm EST.

Yup - you only have TWO days to get registered for this giveaway.

So, how do you get registered? It's easy!

  1. Follow this blog.
  2. Go to my new FB page, Learning to Love Me - Kelly Levere (, and click LIKE.
  3. Come back here and comment that you are following BOTH my blog and my new FB page. 
  4. If you refer a friend (friend must say that you referred them in their comment here, after following the first 3 steps), you will get a SECOND entry into the drawing.
  5. The winner will be drawn at 10pm EST Sunday (July 28th). I will put all the names into a hat and draw the winner (actually I'm gonna make the hubs do it!)
What are you waiting for - GO GO GO!


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

August Challenge Groups

Today is July 22nd. In exactly ONE MONTH, I have to go back to work. Aug 22nd is our first in-service day. I'll be completely honest, I am dreading it. Not because I hate my job - I actually love it. I just love my two little brats more :) I miss them horribly when I'm not with them.

Anyways - the point of that little cry-fest is to illustrate that in a teachers' eyes, summer is ALMOST OVER!


Where did it go?

I can't answer that, but I can tell you that this is the FIRST summer that I have felt comfortable in my own skin. Wanna know why? Because I participated in a CHALLENGE GROUP and finally lost my extra weight. 65+ pounds of it to be exact.

Now I want to pass the benefits of a challenge group to you! Before we proceed, ask yourself these questions. If you answer YES to one or more, then a challenge group is PERFECT for you!
  1. Are you uncomfortable in your summer clothes?
  2. Do you prefer to wear jeans in the summer?
  3. Do you loathe being in a bathing suit?
  4. When you look in a mirror, do you see a stranger instead of the person you know is living inside your body?
  5. Do you struggle to balance healthy eating with social gatherings, vacations and even *gasp* emotional eating?
  6. Are you super busy and only have about 30 minutes a day, if that, to devote to making a lifestyle change?
  7. Do you need someone to keep tabs on you and make sure you are keeping up with your new lifestyle?
  8. Do you have good intentions with healthy eating but you get frustrated after eating healthy for a few days and not seeing any progress?
Come on - I KNOW that you answered yes to one or more of those questions! Heck - I answered yes to ALL OF THOSE last summer! Now, I answer all of them with a big honking NO!

So, you answered yes to one or more question. 


Well, you join one of my three August Challenge Groups. As a Beachbody Coach, full time working and clean eating mommy, and someone WHO HAS BEEN THERE, it is my JOB to help you reach YOUR personal health and fitness goals. Yup. YOUR goals - not mine. My goals are very different than yours and they should be.

So - here are your options for August:

1. 30 day Clean Eating & Shakeology Support Group (Aug. 5)
2. 60 day Challenge Group (Aug. 5) 
3. 7 day Shakeology Cleanse (Aug. 12)

Now that we know what the options are, let's learn a bit more about each one.

30 Day Clean Eating & Shakeology Support Group - This group is a 30 day online accountability group (closed so it's completely private) starting August 5th. I will teach you the basics of clean eating. My goals in this group are to (1) teach you how to effectively fuel your body so that food is no longer the enemy and (2) teach you what foods to pair together to keep your body working at its maximum performance. 

During this 4 week group, you will create 4 customized meal plans of your own. You will learn about good vs bad choices. You will learn how to handle social situations. You will feel more confident making good choices when out to eat at restaurants. You will learn how to make this a LIFESTYLE and not a diet.

The cost of this program is only the cost of Shakeology. Shakeology is a requirement because while we are trying to figure out good vs bad choices, what and when to eat, it's important to have one meal a day that you don't have to think about. Shakeology is one meal that will fuel your body for the rest of the day with vitamins, nutrients, and whole foods, and the best part is that you don't even have to think about it. Just blend it up and drink up! It's so easy!

If you want to participate in the 30 Day Clean Eating & Shakeology Challenge, please fill out the application at the bottom of the page.

60 Day Challenge Group - This group is my absolute favorite to run and we are starting on August 5th! 60 days is the PERFECT amount of time to see amazing results but it's also not too long that you get bored. We will start by determining your WHY or the reason that you want to do this group. For me, it was so that I could get my life back and be a healthy role model for my children. We take your end goal and break it down into 15, 30 and 45 day goals. We will take progress pics and measurements on day 1, 30, and 60. No one EVER has to see these pics. They are for tracking progress because your scale is a dirty liar ;) We will also talk about clean eating and meal planning.

You don't have to be near me to participate in this group. You can live anywhere in the United States or Canada because it is also a closed Facebook group. There are small daily assignments designed to motivate you and help you keep going with your workouts and clean eating. Success is DIRECLY related to participation in the group. Trust me, I am living proof! 

For this group, I will help you choose a Beachbody fitness program that best meets your needs and you will also be required to replace one meal a day with Shakeology for the duration of the challenge. After that, you can make the decision whether or not to continue. 

If you think you want to participate in the 60 Day Challenge Group, please fill out the application at the bottom of the page. This group is very limited and will be filled on a first come, first serve basis.

*Just a side note before I explain the last group*

The newest Beachbody program, Focus T25, is on special until the end of July. Purchase the T25 Challenge Pack from me and you will get a reduced price. It's over $90 in savings! Put it in your application if this is something you are interested in doing!

7 Day Shakeology Challenge - This group is an awesome introduction to Shakeology, clean eating, and meal planning. You will purchase 7 individual Shakeology packets from me and in return, you will be placed into a closed Facebook group. In that group, you will have a meal plan laid out for you, you will replace one meal a day with Shakeology, and pledge to workout in some way, shape, or form for 30 minutes each day. This is a great way to see if a September Challenge Group might be good for you. If you are interested in this group, please fill out the application below!

I hope to get to work with all of you in a challenge group. I am passionate about them because a challenge group CHANGED MY LIFE. I want to pay it forward!


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Homemade Granaola

In my quest for finding clean, family friendly snacks, I decided to make something I've been wanting to try for a long time - homemade granola. I mean, it can't be THAT hard - right?

Ok - so I didn't REALLY make it yet, but it's on the docket for this week!

Well, here's my recipe that I'm going to follow. I'm all prepped with my ingredients, I just need to wait until Wednesday when the kids are at daycare. Hopefully, this is what it's gonna look like:

(if you know ANYTHING about me, you know that the first time I try something new in the kitchen, I usually end up almost burning down the house - this is gonna be interesting!)

Here's my recipe:

- 3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1 1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal (NOT the 1 minute oats!)
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
- 1/2 cup dried, no sugar added cranberries
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds 
- 1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
- 3T natural peanut butter (only ingredient should be PEANUTS and you can substitute almond or sun butter if you so desire)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/3 cup raw honey
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

- preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- in a large bowl, combine ALL ingredients and mix until evenly blended.
- press mixture into a parchment paper lined baking pan and bake for 40 minutes.
- remove from oven and let cool completely.
- break apart into chunks and store in an airtight container.
- enjoy 1/2 cup as a superfood snack!

I plan to add my granola to a single serving cup of Chobani Plain 0% Greek yogurt. That will count as my protein for my meal and will travel easy for our busy summer plans! 

Keep me posted with any variations of this recipe - I LOVE to try new things!


Monday, July 15, 2013

Clean Eating Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Yogurt

I have a confession.

I have a sweet tooth. A BAD sweet tooth. 

I mean, less than a year ago, I topped the scales at 215 pounds. A little more than a year ago I topped out at 250+ at the end of my pregnancy. I certainly didn't get to that point by eating fruits and veggies. I ate junk and a lot of it.

Now I am comfortably weighting in around 149-150 pounds and I wear a size 8 pants and a medium shirt. 

Over the past 9 months I have lost A LOT of things. 65 pounds. Hoards of size 12-20 pants. Even more size XL - 2XL shirts. Two hat sizes. 4 cup sizes in my bra and much more.

What I haven't lost, unfortunately, is my friggin SWEET TOOTH! UGH! That thing is so annoying!

Luckily for me, I have found alternatives to ice cream, candy, cake, Lucky Charmes (by the box none the less...), hostess snack cakes, and all the other junk out there.

Tonight I tried a new recipe that I have seen floating around the Internet. Honestly, I don't know why I waited so long to try it! It turned out pretty delish, but I did make one BIG adjustment :) I decided to FREEZE mine to make it a real summer time evening treat!

Here's my take on the Clean Eating Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Greek Yogurt:

- 6 oz (1 individual serving container) plain 0% Chobani Greek Yogurt (I prefer Chobani but you can use any variety of plain 0% Greek Yogurt you desire)
- 1 Tbsp nut butter (I used Smudker's Organic Natural PB)
- 1 Tbsp raw, organic honey
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt
- 2 Tbsp mini chocolate chips (I use dark chocolate)

- Combine all ingredients into a freezer safe bowl.
- Place into the freezer for about 1.5 hours or until the yogurt is nice and cold but not frozen stiff.
- Eat the entire bowl and try not to embarrass yourself by licking it clean in front of others. It's total acceptable to do it when you are alone or just with your hubs :)

Let me know how it turns out and share with anyone who has a sweet tooth like me!