Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Why I'm Succeeding!

If you have known me for a long time you may know how skinny I was in high school. Then during college I just let myself go. I thought I could eat like I was in high school and I wasn't as active so I just packed on the pounds. Once we got married I tried to lose the weight and was relatively successful. Once we had kids I just let myself go again. Who had time to exercise? Why should I eat right? Finishing their meals won't hurt me? I should take a nap because the baby is sleeping. The list of excuses went on and on. Can anyone else relate?
I had tried a ton of other things to lose the weight. See my fitness story to see what all I had tried. Everything wasn't successful or was only temporarily successful. I would  always put back on the weight or I would just stay at the same weight but be unhappy.  I always let the excuses get the best of me.
Last year around this time I knew I had to do something different. I was struggling to keep up with my three little girls. My blood pressure was high. I was always tired and felt sluggish. We'd go outside and I'd chase them for about five minutes and then be winded and have to sit down. I wasn't happy with myself. My clothes weren't fitting any more and I was determined to not buy a bigger size.

My friend was a Beachbody coach and  she convinced me to join her in her fitness journey. On April 7th of last year I started the 21 Day Fix. Within 21 days I had lost 9 pounds and 16.25 inches. After 63 days I had lost 20.5 pounds and 19.25 inches. At the end of 91 days I had lost an amazing 25.8 pounds and 22.5 inches.

Why was this time different from all the other times I tried? Why was I so successful? I'll give you one word....Shakeology. Shakeology was so easy to make. I simply placed a scope of Shakeology with 12-14 ounces of water and a cup of frozen fruit blend and drink. It I was really short on time I could mix with just water and be done. It was so awesome especially with three busy little girls.

Once I got pregnant I continued to drink my Shakeology every morning. I've always had problems while I was pregnant with getting enough nutrients. I was always deficient in calcium and vitamin D. I was amazed that during this pregnancy I wasn't deficient at all in any vitamins or nutrients. I didn't need to take my prenatals anymore. I just add the folic acid. It really was a lifesaver for my pregnancy.

Also since I was working out every day my blood pressure was awesome. My blood pressure would always increase with pregnancy and this time it was prefect the entire time. I attribute this to workouts that were 30 minutes that I could do seven days a week and not get bored. It also helped that I was eating the correct things as the Shakeology curbed my cravings so I wasn't eating a ton of junk.
Drinking Shakeology after having baby #4
So why do I think Shakeology is such a big part of my transformation? Did you know most are nutrient deficient and to get all the nutrients you need you'd need to eat 27575 calories? Yes I just said to get the major 27 micronutrients your body needs for the day you need to eat over 25000 calories! (article). But by drinking Shakeology everyday I am getting all of my nutrients and vitamins. I am not deficient in any of them.

I think because I have Shakeology every morning with all these nutrients I am not as tempted to go for the sweets. I have wanted to eat all the yummy fruits and vegetables. I also have so much more energy. I also feel like I can do any workout as I know it will help my body be the best it can be.

 I was so excited when earlier this month Beachbody started selling the super sampler.  This is great way for you to try all six Shakeology flavors and see for yourself how much better you can feel. It also allows you to see which flavor you like without having to purchase a big bag.
Please let me know if you are interested in trying Shakeology. I love Shakeology and it has been so awesome. I'd love to show you what it could do for you. Hope you have an awesome day.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Round 2 Week 3 Round Up 21 Day Fix

I cannot believe it has been six weeks since I started the 21 Day Fix after baby number four. This means that baby number four is nine weeks old. Where did the time go? I wish they wouldn't grow so quickly. It has been an okay week. Emotionally it has been a draining week.

On Monday I was back to Total Body Cardio. I was determined to up my weights this week. I did the entire workout with my 10 pound weights. I pushed myself harder than I ever have before. It was so great! I loved the way I felt afterwards. I love that I can do this workout with no modifications now.

This morning I had met a friend to discuss a bible study we are leading starting April 7th. The baby had puked all over me. I was soaked. Then I had two little ones who had a ton of energy. We came home and did Just Dance Disney for the Xbox 360. It was fun to get a second "workout" in for the day.

I stuck with my eating plan today. I didn't have any cheats and ate all my containers. I was really hungry today. I was proud of myself when I went to bed without a night time snack.

On Tuesday I did Upper Fix. I used my 8 and 10 pound weights. It was great to up my weights and know I'm getting stronger. I still have to modify pushups and do them on my knees. I can do more reps on my toes now. I did ten on my toes each round before dropping to my knees. I love that I am making progress.

I did okay on the nutrition today. It was a very emotional day for me. My one daughter was obsessed with her lack of hair today. She cried most of the day and we spent a lot of time loving on her. I really wanted to go for the chocolate or ice cream this evening but I was good. I ended up allowing myself to have a mini blizzard this evening. It is all about balance. I didn't kill my eating plan for the day by having this cheat. I don't feel guilty for eating it as I gave myself something I wanted but didn't have a ton of calories and completely blow my day.

On Wednesday was Lower Fix. I continued my week with the heavier weights. I used the 8 and 10 pound weights again. I didn't have to modify any of the exercises. The ten second holds are still challenging but getting easier.

Nutrition wise I did good. We got lunch on the go as we went to Pittsburgh for B's dermatology appointment. I got a salad instead of getting a burger and fries. I passed on the dressing. Then we had dinner out with my in laws as they took B for a princess weekend at their house. We went to Eat N Park. I had the Cod Floridian as it is baked cod in orange juice and then for my sides I had a salad and the steamed vegetable. I love that I can eat out and still maintain my diet.

On Thursday it was time for Pilates. I actually did some of the plank hip drops on my toes. My form started to go bad and my butt was up in the air so I dropped down to me knees. I'm excited with the progress I've made in six weeks.

My nutrition was okay today. We had MOPS this morning which I usually make my one cheat meal for the week. I ate a cookie. I also had a casserole that was made with eggs and definitely had a lot of added salt. I still ate within my containers just not things I'd normally eat.

On Friday it was time for Cardio Fix again. I pushed myself harder than I have the last few weeks. I was so sweaty by the end of the workout. I had to add pushups during the burpees to make them harder.
My nutrition was good until dinner. We went to my in laws and we had pizza. I will jump back on the eating plan tomorrow morning.

On Saturday it was time for Dirty 30.I use my 8 and 10 pound weights. I had to use the 15 pound weights for the ab exercise. I also did the side plank without being on my knee. I didn't have to modify any exercise. It was so exciting!
I did awesome on my nutrition on Saturday and Sunday. I did cheat and had a cinnamon roll at church on Sunday morning.

We did Piyo Align as on Monday we are starting something new. I'm excited to announce we will be doing a Piyo/Focus T25 hybrid workout. Here is our schedule for the week:
I'm excited as this week we will be taking a little family vacation Wednesday through Saturday. I don't know what restaurants will be available so I didn't put any meals into my meal plan. I will look on line for menus as we travel to make sure I stay within my containers. I'm also taking Shakeology and some snack foods including carrots and celery for us to have so that we don't make bad choices because we are hungry. Here is our meal plan for the week:
Meal Plan Week March 30th

After six weeks of the 21 Day Fix I'm excited to see my results later this morning. I will post as soon as I know. I hope everyone has a blessed week.

Friday, March 27, 2015

21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme

So one of the questions I always get asked is what comes in a challenge pack. Today as I finish up my series on the basics of the 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme I wanted to give you a short video that describes the components of the two challenge packs.

I hope you enjoyed this week of learning a little more about the 21 Day Fix and the 21 Day Fix Extreme. I have another challenge group starting April 6th. If you'd like a chance at a spot in this group please fill out my challenger application. I lee you with one last tip from Autumn:

Hope you have a blessed day.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

21 Day Fix Extreme Workout Descriptions

Today I wanted to discuss the 21 Day Fix Extreme workouts. The schedule of workouts is the same all three weeks. There is no doubles option like the original 21 Day Fix because the workouts are so intense.
This work is for the intermediate person and not for a beginner. This is an extreme workout that will get you in shape quickly. It is also great for those that only have a little weight to lose or just want to tone up their muscles. It is also a great workout for those that are doing some type of competition or want to get in the best shape before a big event like a Spartan run or Tough Mudder.

Some basic equipment you'll need for these workouts is three sets of weights (a light, medium and heavy set) and a resistance band. It is suggested that the resistance band be 15 pounds and be six feet in length to properly do the exercises and get enough resistance.  For the weights it is recommend 3-5 for the light, 8-10 for the medium, and 12-15 for the heavy for women and 8-10 for the light, 15-18 for the medium and 20-25 for the heavy for men. Some workouts you may want a yoga mat for. All the workouts you'll want water and a towel near by. Just like the 21 Day Fix you'll want a great pair of cross trainers to do this workout.

Now let me describe the workouts.

Plyo Fix Extreme uses Light and medium weights. It starts with a warm up and ends with a cool down. It has five rounds with two exercises each round. Each exercise lasts 30 seconds and there is a 30 second break between exercises. Each round repeats.

Upper Fix Extreme uses light and heavy weights and the resistance band. It starts with a warm up and ends with a cool down. It has three  rounds with four exercises in each round. Each exercise lasts 60 seconds and there is a 15 second rest between exercises. Each round repeats.

Pilates Fix Extreme uses the resistance band. A yoga mat is optional.starts with warmup and cool down. It has a similar format to the Pilates Fix in the original  fix in that it has different series that work different parts of the body.

Lower Fix Extreme uses light and medium weights and the resistance band. It starts with a warm up and ends with a cool down. It has four rounds with two exercises each and each round will repeat. The exercises last 60 seconds with 15 second break.

10 minute Hardcore uses a medium weight. The use of a yoga mat is optional. It's format is similar to the original 21 Day Fix.

Cardio Fix Extreme uses light and medium weights. It has four rounds  with two exercises each round. There is a cardio interval in between each round. You also repeat each round. Each exercise is 60 seconds with 10 seconds rest in between. The  cardio intervals  are 30 seconds.

Dirty 30 Extreme uses light and heavy weights. It has three rounds with two exercises each round. Each exercise lasts a minute and there is a 10 second break in between exercises. Each round repeats.

Yoga extreme is similar to the original 21 Day Fix. You can use an optional yoga mat.

If you purchase your 21 Day Fix Extreme through me you get a bonus workout  The Fix Challenge.
For this workout you can use an optional yoga mat. There are thirteen different moves. You do four reps of first move then add on second. You do four rounds of the second, four rounds of the first and keep building until you've done all thirteen. There are no breaks.

There are two additional workouts available for purchase Power Strength Extreme and ABC Extreme. I haven't tried either of these workouts so I cannot tell you what they are like.

Each workout has a modifier that is less intense. Also most of the workouts have different people working at different levels so that you can customize the workout to your particular situation and make it as hard or as easy as you need to for your current fitness level.

I hope this helps you to see if the 21 Day Fix Extreme is right for you. I have another challenge group starting April 6th. I'd love to have you join me. Have a blessed day.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

21 Day Fix Workout Descriptions

Today I want to give you an overview of the workouts that are part of the original 21 Day Fix. The standard schedule for the 21 Day Fix is as follows:
On week 3 you have the option of doing the doubles schedule which is as follows:
For this program it is best to start with 3 and 5 pound weights if you are new to fitness and 5 to 8 pound weights if you are of a moderate fitness level. you may need heavier weights if you lift often or are strong. Total Body Cardio Fix, Upper Fix, Lower Fix, and Dirty 30 all use weights. Pilates Fix, Cardio Fix and Yoga Fix do not use weights.

Some may want a slip resistant mat for Pilates Fix and Yoga Fix. I work out on carpet and haven't ever had a problem. You will also need a water bottle and towel near by. You will sweat a lot.

One other crucial pair of workout gear that you'll need is a good pair of shoes. Make sure they aren't just running or walking shoes. Make sure they will be good for jumping. I suggest you go to a good athletic shoe store and get fitted. These will make a world of difference in getting you good results.

So now onto the workouts. Most of the workouts work of a drop set. You need to work the entire time without stopping and then rest when the trainer has you rest.

Each workout starts out with some wisdom from trainer Autumn Calabrese. One of my favorites is "take it one day at a time one pound at a time".

For Total Body Cardio you use one set of heavy weights. It has four rounds with two exercises each. You repeat each round twice. Each exercise lasts a minute and you get a 20 second break in between exercises. It begins with a warm up and ends with a cool down.

Upper Fix uses a set of heavy and a set of light weights. It has two rounds with five exercises each. Each round is repeated twice. It begins with a warm up and ends with a cool down. Each exercise last a minute and you get a 15 second break in between exercises.

Lower Fix uses a set of heavy and a set of light weights. It has four rounds with two exercises each. Each round is repeated twice. Each exercise last a minute and you get a 20 second pause between exercises. It begins with a warm up and cool down. It also has a bonus round.

Pilates Fix has a warm up and cool down and has different series. It has a ab series, plank series, C series, side series, superman series and forearm plank series. Each series has a variable number of exercises that lasts a variable amount of time. You get a break between each exercise. There is also a bonus exercise.

Cardio Fix starts with a warm up and ends with a cool down. It has four round with two exercises a piece. Each exercise last a minute and there is a 20 second pause between exercises. You repeat each round two times. It also has a bonus round.

Dirty 30 starts with a warm up and ends with a cool down. It has four round with two exercises a piece. Each exercise last a minute and there is a 20 second pause between exercises. You repeat each round two times. It uses a set of heavy and a set of light weights.

Yoga is a set of stretch exercises made to stretch all the parts of the body you worked all week. It has a variety of poses and they each last a variable amount of time.

The 10 Minute Ab Fix is two rounds. Each round has the same Ab exercises. There is  bonus round.

If you purchase your 21 Day Fix package from a Beachbody coach like myself you get a bonus workout of Plyo Fix. Plyo Fix starts with a warm up and ends with a cool down. It has six round with two exercises a piece. Each exercise last a minute and there is a 15 second pause between exercises. You repeat each round two times. This workout can be used in place of either Total Body Cardio Fix or Cardio Fix. I've also used it in place of Lower Fix as it is a killer leg workout.

You can also order the Deluxe package which includes two other workouts: Flat Ab Fix and Barre Leg Fix. I haven't tried either of these workouts and am planning on purchasing soon. Barre Leg Fix can be used in place of Lower Fix and Flat Ab Fix can be used in place of Pilates.

All the workouts can be done by anyone. I've had my daughters do the workouts with me and they are 5, 3 and 3. They don't use weights but can do the moves. I've had a friend whose 12 year old daughter has done the program with her and used light weights. I've had people in the 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s that have had great success. I've even had a 72 year old women do the program and have great success. The workouts all include a low impact modifier that you can follow if you are just starting out. There is also ways to make many of the exercises harder to allow you to continue to see progress. This workout could be your go to workout for many years to come.

As you can see you get a variety of workouts with the 21 Day Fix. Each workout is fast paced and fun. If you follow the program you will lose weight or get toned depending on your end goal. Tomorrow we will talk about the 21 Day Fix Extreme workouts.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

21 Day Fix Container Distribution

Yesterday I talked about the basics of the container system. Today I want to talk about what you fill the containers with and how to distribute them through your day.

The biggest things you want to do on any meal plan is eat multiple times a day. You should eat every 2-3 a day. Last week I wrote a blog post about carbs. We all need sugars to keep us going. Are blood sugar needs to be regulated through the day so we don't fall asleep and we have energy to do the things we want and need to do during the day. So a typical days schedule to eat may look like breakfast at 6, snack at 9, lunch at 12, snack at 3, and dinner at 6.
A few things to keep in mind. You never want to eat later than three hours prior to bedtime. When you sleep your metabolism slows down and you won't digest what is in your stomach quickly. It will likely turn to fat instead of muscle. Also you want to eat within thirty minutes of waking up. This will allow you to kick start your metabolism and get it on for the day.

One of the first things you want to try and do is spread your proteins out as much as you can during the day. Proteins usually keep you fuller longer. They have many of the necessary building blocks for you to form muscle. Referring to the chart from yesterday if you are in the lowest calorie bracket you'd have four proteins. I usually have one at breakfast. one a lunch, one for my afternoon snack after my workout and my fourth at dinner.

The next category is the green vegetable category. For the lowest calorie group you have three of these. I usually have mine at snack, lunch and dinner. If you want to you could half the containers and have half at breakfast, half at snack, half at lunch,  half at snack, and one at dinner.

One of the main things is to make sure you don't have a majority of your containers at one meal. Here is a great picture of container breakdown.
As you can see most meals have either two or three containers. Each meal has containers from different categories.

Next let's talk about what to fill the containers with.
Green (Vegetables):
Collard Greens
Brussels Sprouts
Winter Squash
String Beans
Snow Peas
Lettuce (not iceberg)

Purple (Fruits):
Honeydew melon
Tomato Sauce

Rec (Proteins):
Chicken breasts
Turkey Breasts
Ground chicken or turkey
Greek Yogurt
Red meat
Ground red meet lean
Pork Tenderloin
Cottage Cheese
Protein powder

Yellow (Carbs):
Sweet Potato
Refried Beans
Brown Rice
Wild Rice
Pasta whole grain
Bread whole grain
Tortilla corn or whole wheat

Blue (Healthy Fats):
Raw nuts
Coconut milk
Feta cheese
Goat cheese
Mozzarella cheese
Cheddar cheese
Provolone cheese
Jack cheese
Parmesan cheese

Orange (Seeds and Dressings):
Raw nuts
Raw seeds

Teaspoons (Oils and Nut Butters):
Extra virgin olive oil
Extra virgin coconut oil
Flaxseed oil
Walnut oil
Pumpkin seed oil
Nut butters
Seed butters

As part of both plans you get a list of free foods. This includes this like water, lemon and lime juice and vinegars.

For the original 21 Day Fix you can substitute one of your yellow containers three times a week for a treat. These treats include things like milk, wine and fresh fruit juices. In the 21 day Fix Extreme meal plan there are no treat substitutions. There is also a list of trainer recommended foods for weight loss and a list of trainer recommended foods to stay away from to aid with weight loss.

 Here is a great graphic for the 21 Day Fix
This same list can be used for the 21 Day Fix Extreme if you just refer to the guide for the items that you want to stay away from for maximum weight loss.

I love this system as if it fits you can eat it. You pick a food from the list fit it into the container and away you go. It is so simple.

I hope this helped you understand more about what to fill the containers with and more about how the containers work. Tomorrow we will discuss the workouts included with the Original 21 Day Fix.

Monday, March 23, 2015

21 Day Fix Containers

This week I wanted to take some time to explain what the 21 Day Fix is and why I love it so much. There are times when we can continue talking about a program but forget to start with the basics. My goal this week is to explain to you the basic aspects of the 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme so that you understand better what you are getting when you purchase this program from me.

The first aspect I want to talk about both programs are the containers. These containers are genius. Did you know that the American Heart Association has found that people eat over 300 more calories today then the did in 1985? A study out of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill has shown Americans are eating out more. It also shows that portion sizes have drastically increased over the years. It surprisingly found that these portion size increases are also occurring at home. Many nutrition experts believe Americans have no clue how much they are truly eating.

That is the genius part about the 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme containers. There are six different colored containers.
Each of the containers corresponds to a specific food type.
Orange--Peanuts and Most Seeds
Blue--Cheese, Hummus, Most Nuts (other than peanuts)
Also there is another category called a teaspoon which are healthy fats.

Each container is a certain size and this corresponds to the portion size.
One quick trick is that if you only want to eat a half of a container for this particular meal the yellow container is half the purple and green. The orange is half the blue. More on distribution of containers in a minute.

At the beginning of the 21 Day fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme you calculate your optimal caloric intake for the program. For the 21 Day Fix this formula includes a basic calculation using your current body weight, your estimated calories burned per workout and a base caloric intake you need for your body to survive. For the 21 Day Fix Extreme formula it takes into account your current activity level along with the items mentioned above.

This optimal caloric intake correlates to a number of containers per day.
Example from the 21 Day Fix
This then tells you how many containers are available for you that day. Tomorrow I will talk more about distributing containers through out the day and what can go into those containers. But for now know that on this plan you get a lot of food each day. The food is in the right portion sizes and in the right combination. Your body is fueled properly and you will have more energy.

At first the containers may seem a little overwhelming. Don't worry it gets easier. About two months in I didn't even need the containers any more to know my portion sizes. Also many recipes can just be adjusted to include the correct portion sizes.

By just switching to the 21 Day Fix eating plan I had a friend lose 5 pounds in one week. She didn't change her activity level at all. This is how much this eating plan works.

Basically the 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme containers allow you to visualize portion sizes and know how much to eat each day. It takes the guess work out of eating. It also takes the need to calorie count out. You are no longer trying to track points or calories. Instead you are counting containers which is much easier.

I hope you join me tomorrow for how to distribute containers and what goes into these containers. I also hope by the end of the week you will see why I love this program so much and believe it will work for anyone.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Round 2 Week 2 Results 21 Day Fix

This week has been a much better week. I've actually been getting sleep. I've made nap time a priority to at least get closer to seven hours a sleep a day. I kept my nutrition in check for the week. Between getting sleep and eating right on the plan I know I lost weight this week. One of my pairs of pants is so big. They are almost falling off. It may be time to pull out the 8 slims.

On Monday was Total Body Cardio. I still used the 8 pound weights. I got through the entire workout with modification. I just kept pushing. My hardest exercise is the cross country skiers. My shoulders don't burn out but my legs do. I was proud I did both sets without having to stop of modify!

We went to the zoo this morning so I did lots of walking too. It was nice to be able to be outside! Here in Erie it has been really snowy. Many of the zoo paths were still closed because of snow but the 50+ degree temperatures were starting to melt the piles. Many of the animals aren't in their exhibits yet because of the cold but it was still nice to spend the morning outside with B, C and D.
On Tuesday was Upper Body. I primarily used my 5 and 8 pound weights. I had to up it to the 10 pound for the lat pullovers.  It felt great to be doing many reps and feeling my muscles burn! I love how strong I am getting.
I had wrote on my Facebook Page that I was so glad for these workouts and that they were only a half an hour. It was a busy day. I felt like I ran all day from one thing to another. Plus I was LATE all day! It was so nice to do something for myself at nap time and be able to workout.

On Wednesday was lower body. I used the 5 and 8 pound weights. The split squats hurts today. My calves were on fire. I definitely felt this workout while walking up the stairs to bed. It was awesome!

Because life has been so crazy lately I have been really glad for my morning breakfast of Shakeology. It is so great to be able to have this nutrition and for it to be so simple. It is nice to just be able to blend it up and enjoy without having to cook anything. The best part is that if I am late I can just grab and go and take it with me.
On Thursday was Pilates. I'm always so glad to get to this active stretch day.I still had to modify the plank hip drop. I can do a few up in the high plank but then have to drop my knees. I love how strong my core is getting again. It is nice to be able to do things after having baby number 4.

I'm getting there. My nutrition was great today again. I didn't have any cheats and stuck with my meal plan. I enjoyed the day with the girls. We spent the day walking around the mall and running a few errands since it was such a sunny but cold day out. I love spending time with my girls.

On Friday was Cardio Fix. I started my day at the gym with B,C, and D. I ran with them and we played chase. For my workout I was determined to push myself harder than I ever had. I did the entire workout with no modifications. I even added the push up during the second round of burpees.
I think my workout was good as I actually got some sleep last night. I still  did not  get the recommended 7 hours but more than I've been getting lately.

We had pizza hut pizza for dinner. Neither of us felt like cooking. This was a big mistake. I was so thirsty the rest of the evening because of the salt. Then I passed out on the couch at 8:30 pm. Eating bad equals zero energy. I need to quit doing this to myself.

Saturday was dirty 30. We didn't have anything planned all day so we actually worked out in the morning. I had to up my weights to the 8 and 10 pounds for this workout. I even had to use 15s for the side bends during the last round. I still cannot do the side plank in the up position but know that it is coming and I'll be able to do it soon.

I am so proud of myself. Despite having little sleep and a ton of sickness in this house the last seven weeks I am seeing progress. I purchased myself a sports bra and some workout capris in my pre-pregnancy size. They fit! I still have work to do but I can see progress.

My nutrition was good again today. I even resisted having a crazy snack and had air popped popcorn instead. It was nice to have a date night with Brian this evening. It is always important to have time to connect as a couple.

Sunday was yoga day. I need the stretch. I could feel the chest flies from yesterday. It felt good to stretch everything our and get ready for week three of round 2.

For lunch I made buffalo chicken dip with blue corn tortilla chips. I didn't put as much cheese in it as I normally would so I stayed within my containers. Sunday was a great day to end the week.

Here is my plan for this week:
Here is my meal plan for the week.

I hope everyone has a great week. This week I proved to myself that I can do anything that I put my mind to. I also feel like I have showed the last few weeks as a mom you can be busy but still make time for yourself. That matter what  challenges you have you can overcome.

I'm seven weeks from giving birth to our fourth child and I'm in better shape than I was when I started this journey last April. I'm also in better shape than I was at the beginning of last summer. I've started out my 35th year with a bang and cannot wait to see what the rest of this year brings. Have a blessed week everyone.

Friday, March 20, 2015

What a difference five years makes

These past few weeks we have been thrown a few challenges that have really shown me how much both myself and my husband have changed in the last five years. In five years we have not only grown as individual people but as a couple. We have grown as parents. We have grown as children of God.

Five years ago we were living in Pittsburgh. We had just turned 30. I had just quit my job as a Regulatory Affairs Engineer as Zoll Lifecor. Brian had just left his job at UPMC. Abby was six months old.
A 6 months old on our back porch

At the children's museum 6 months old

When life would throw us unexpected changes we'd ask questions like "What are we going to do?", "How are we going to get through this?", "What can we do to fix this?", and "What's our plan?". We'd make our plans without God's input. We'd do everything in our power. We'd try to control every situation around us and wonder why we were failing.
Easter 2010
We thought we were healthy. We were exercising a few days a week. We were communicating with each other but not well.

As new parents we thought we were messing up our kid. We had no clue what we were doing and everything was an experiment. We kept thinking "Are we doing this right?". "What if we do something wrong?". I was struggling with thoughts of "OMG she is doing X. Is that normal? Is she going to die? Is she sick?" I was a mess!
Now here we are five years later. We are now 35 and have 4 kids. We live in Erie. God has thrown us some unexpected curve balls lately. We are now asking questions like "God you brought us to this what is you plan?", "Please let your will be done and make your path clear"  and "I'm not worried about this as I know you have our best interests."
D 2015
D 2015

Being that D is our fourth we are still struggling with parenting questions but not as much as with our first.  We have he basics down but since each of them has been different always new challenges present themselves.

Now we exercise 6-7 days a week together and sometimes as a family. We are eating so healthy and feeling great for it. We are instilling healthy habits to our kids. We are also showing them that hard work and determination get you to your goals and where you want to be.
July 2014
We are communicating as a couple. We do couple's devotionals. We pray for our family together. We do family devotionals. We are teaching our kids that God's number one in our life.
I don't know what God has in store for our lives in the next six months but I do know that I'm clinging to Jeremiah 29:11
God's plans are so much better than my plans. I cannot wait to see what they are and how everything unfolds. I also now that:

I'm praying for each one of my readers today. May you feel God's presence in your life. Also may you feel peace with whatever you been struggling with lately. Remember God's got this. Have a blessed day everyone.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Good carb versus bad carb

Did you know that there are good carbs and bad carbs? Everyone's bodies need carbohydrates. So what kind should you be eating and why.

Carbohydrates provide energy to all cells of the body especially the cells of our brain. Without carbohydrates are bodies will try to survive off of protein and fat but they cannot do this for very long. The breakdown of protein and fat will causes ketones to build up in the body and will cause a toxicity especially in the brain if they are used for too long as a fuel source.

There are three types of carbohydrates: starch, sugar and fiber. Sugar and starches provide our body with fuel. Sugars are usually comprised of single chains of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen and are usually referred to as the simple carbohydrates. Starches and fibers are usually comprised of multiple chains of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen and are known as complex carbohydrates.
Simple carbohydrates are the kind that when you eat them they cause a sugar spike in the blood. They give you an immediate energy boost but don't last for very long. These also are the types that when you eat them they give you a craving for more quickly after ingestion as you don't have it in your body for very long.

Complex carbohydrates are the kind that take awhile to break down in your body. They help you sustain your blood sugar for awhile. They will decreases your cravings as they keep you fuller longer. These are the types of carbohydrates you want to be eating.

 So where do you find complex and simple carbohydrates? Simple carbohydrates are found in things like white bread, sugar, pasta, fruit and sweets while complex carbohydrates are found in things like vegetables, beans and whole grains.

We need a little of both to keep our diets in check but we need to make sure we are eating things that are good carbohydrates versus bad. Forty-five to sixty-five percent of our daily diets should come from carbohydrates. Here is a great resource that shows things that are good carbs versus bad carbs.
As you can see we should be eating things like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and beans. We need to be staying away from the white flour and sweets.

So next time you are hungry and feeling a little sluggish reach for a good carbohydrate. Make a good decision to fuel your body correctly and it will love you for it! Hope you have a blessed day.