Doing the best she can to raise happy, healthy children

Tag Archives: healthy lifestyle

So, I’m two days late this week in my Monday edition of 21 day fix post. I ended up traveling last weekend and although I got home yesterday, I was beat. Traveling alone with the kids was exhausting! It reminded me how lucky and grateful I am to have such a helpful husband.

So week 2 wasn’t great. I did good with the exercising for about 1/2 the time. Then with traveling and such, I did none. I did walk quite a bit. But that was pretty much it. My eating wasn’t great either. I drank a lot of coffee on the go (Starbucks and gas station sweetened coffee drinks). Yeah. I’m feeling the lingering effects of traveling, tiredness and poor eating choices.

Week 2 Goals: No Candy- did pretty good until I started the road trip. Seriously, I ate almost an entire bag of chocolate covered raisins while driving. Oops… Exercise daily- that did not happen. Increase water intake- also failed. Eat all fruits and veggies 4 days was also a failure.

Week 2 Accomplishments: I don’t think there were many. I did mostly make better snacking choices. I ate fruits and veggies for snacks when I was home. And really only splurged at the end of the week when I was traveling. So, I’m going to count that as an accomplishment.

Week 2 Areas for Improvement: Wow. There were a lot. I think overall, the biggest theme for me was finding a way to be accountable even when life gets busy. I think last week really reinforced my need to get a bit more structure in my eating/planning. I could have/should have done better. I could have planned and packed healthy snacks for myself. I could have gone to the store while out of town and picked up some fruit.

Week 2 Over-all thoughts: I struggled last week and see myself having some struggles this week too. I almost feel like I should’ve waited at least three weeks before trying to start this. Life is busy and hard and I’ve not put for the effort I needed to in order to be successful. I also feel like I made a lot of excuses for why my meal planning didn’t get done or I ate poorly and didn’t exercise. Sadly this week is 1/2 over and I’m feeling the same excuses break into my thinking, again. I’m wondering if I need to get connected to a challenge group to help me stay motivated.

Week 3 Prep: Honestly, I started this week still out of town and my “bad habits” from last week are lingering into this week. So, I did not get any prepping done.

Week 3 Goals: My biggest goal is to get re-focused on what I’m doing. Its late in the week to do much prepping as a goal. I will tonight make some hard boiled eggs. I will begin tracking my containers again. I have family in town this weekend, so I will make sure there are plenty of fruits and veggies in our house. Its also the State Fair starting this week. One HUGE goal for me is to not over-indulge in fair treats this year.

There you have it. My not-so-successful week of 21 Day Fix. I will work on the last few days of this week in hopes of salvaging some of it. We are all human and we have goods and bad days, good weeks and bad weeks. I will not let that define me.

I’d love to hear how you manage eating healthy and/or follow the 21 Day Fix when you’ve got family visiting. I’ll have an extra 7 people (more than double my little family) staying with us for 3-4 days.

 

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Hello my friends!

I started the 21 day fix and am 1 week in. I did it about a year ago but graduate school took over my life. This led to a pretty sedentary life. Of course, this led to me gaining some weight. I decided to give this a go again since I enjoyed the exercises before and the diet overall focuses on healthy eating: lean meats, plenty fruits and veggies, etc. I also decided to write about my experiences following the 21 Day Fix.

Week 1 Goals: Exercise daily and begin following the diet.

Week 1 Accomplishments: I hit all 7 days of exercising. The last time I did this program, I skipped the Pilates and Yoga days. Instead I just took the day off from exercising. This time, I decided I didn’t want to do that and would plan on doing all 7 days of exercising. I did not buy any soda for the house. This is HUGE considering during graduate school I was drinking 3-4 cans of diet soda a day.

Week 1 Areas for Improvements: Diet. I did OK considering I started it somewhat abruptly. However, I still found myself snacking on candy my kids had (Dots, Twizzlers, Etc.). I also did not fully track all my food everyday.  I also drank my coffee as usual which includes adding some sugar and caramel syrup.

Week 1 Thoughts:  This was a pretty good week. The exercising felt good but I did have to modify every day most of the exercises. It was tough realizing how much I’ve lost in a year! I was much stronger when I was running and exercise regularly. Despite my diet not being perfect, I feel good about what I did last week.

Week 2 Goals: No candy! I don’t have much in the house this week so that will help me tremendously! Exercise daily. Eat all my veggies and fruits at least 4 days this week. Increase my water intake.

Week 2 Prep: I made two jar salads. I have fresh fruit and veggies in the fridge. I need to track down my food sheets with recipes I used last year. I’m hoping to find them, but if I don’t, I’ll reach out to a coach and ask for the lists.

Have you completed the 21 Day Fix? Did you like it? What fitness plan have you tried? I’d love to hear from you!


I’m over all a skeptic when it comes to many products out there today. Especially ones that claim health food status. My skepticism mostly comes from the thought if it seems to good to be true, it probably is. With that being said, I decided to try It Works Greens.

Before I get into the review, let me explain the WHY behind it.

I’m in graduate school. Nurse practitioner school to be exact. Its killer. This summer semester I did my first clinical rotation, 9 credit hours and managed to maintain full-time employment. Crazy! Oh, I’m also a mom to two very busy little kids and a wife to an amazingly supportive husband.  I got really sick for about a month which added to my stress. I’m on break right now but I’m looking at another semester starting up soon. I have several people I know who sell It Works and their multiple daily posts on Facebook the products kept coming up on my news feed.

This last semester, I drank a lot of caffeine. I was up to 3-6 cups of coffee and 2-4 cans of soda. That’s a lot… As finals came and went, I began thinking about how it would be nice to drink less caffeine and take a vitamin or some sort of immune support before next semester started. The vitamin part shouldn’t be too hard, I have them in cupboard. But the cutting back on caffeine, that would be hard.

Enter, It Works. Its suppose to provide all of that and a bonus 8 servings of fruits and veggies in one cup. I went to an adoption fundraiser and an It Works vendor was there. I bought a one cup packet of the Greens and chew thing. I’ve not tried the chew thing yet. I felt having another green packet would be nice, so I reached out to a friend who sells it and asked for a sample. She sent me two. Neither of the two ladies asked me to write this review.

Before gulping down these samples, I tried to do some research. That’s when I discovered that outside of Amazon, I couldn’t find any reviews not written by someone selling the product. That really bothers me when I’m researching a product. I want to see non-biased (meaning I’m not making money off this product) reviews. So, I decided once I’m done sampling it, I would write a review.

Also, I tried hard to research green products. What I found was for potency, other products claim to have more bang for the buck. This was per websites ( For Example). I also came across some concerns with green drinks in general regarding contamination (For Example). However, the safety of greens is not what my review is about, so if you’re looking at green drinks (I’m using this generically now, not as It Works Greens), you’ll want to do some research to decide if its right for you.

So, now, without further ado, I present to you, my review of It Works greens.

Day 1; Sample 1

I like to drink my water room temperature. So, I poured one of the packets into a cup of room temperature water. The first thing I noticed once I ripped open the top of the package is the smell. It smelled very good, like berry Kool-aid. I poured it into the water and shook it up. I used a little over 8 ounces in a shaker bottle. The water turned a green color but still smelled good. So, I took a swig. At first, it tasted very berry and not bad. However, the after taste came. It tasted very much like I envisioned something green. It had that “health food” after taste. It was not pleasant. I tried a few more drinks and almost gagged. I added some ice which seemed to help me get the rest of it down.

When I drink caffeine, I get almost an immediate, yes let’s start the day! Some of this could be mental but I believe the caffeine kicks in pretty quickly. This drink did not have an immediate effect. However, I did drastically decrease my caffeine intake. I had 2 sodas and 2 cups of coffee on top of the greens.

Day 2; No Sample

I didn’t drink any greens. I drank my soda and coffee as normal. Slightly less than typically.

Day 3; Sample 2

I was a bit nervous trying it again. After nearly gagging day 1. I skipped room temperature and went directly to iced. The taste didn’t get any better and I had some reflexive gagging. I was able to force it down.

I was able to drink quite a bit less caffeine day. I had 1 coffee and 2 sodas. That was great! I reached out to the individual who provided me with the sample and she recommended apple juice. Personally, I hate apple juice. So that was a no go. We did talk about using the orange flavored in orange juice. But she didn’t have any orange flavor on hand.

Day 4, No Sample

I had to take a break from the taste and try to find a different way to drink it.

Day 5, Sample 3

This was my final sample packet. I had been at the store the day before and found some fruit punch and thought it would work since the flavor was berry. It mixed up pretty well in the juice. And it by far went down smoother. I could still taste the “green health food” flavor of the powder but it was overwhelming and didn’t make me gag. Unfortunately though, I did feel like I could “taste’ the flavor anytime I burped for the WHOLE day. So that was a bit annoying. And I didn’t notice this when I drank it with just water.

I had OK caffeine use this day. I didn’t drink any coffee until mid-morning. And then only sipped on it. I had a second cup of coffee late afternoon. I had a soda for lunch and then after supper. So that was really good.

Over all thoughts

I didn’t think this product was as FANTASTIC as those selling it advertise. I still NEED caffeine to get through the day. Honestly, I like coffee so I know I’ll always drink a cup for recreation. I was hoping though this product would cut down the NEED for it (feeling tired). However, it did cut down the amount of caffeine I used. The taste really wasn’t great for me. I don’t want to ADD calories to my diet by drinking juice every morning. So that’s a bummer. I also found the ongoing tasting of the product with any burps was an unwanted side effect as well. I will admit I’m a super taster (you know if you are a super taster if cilantro tastes like soap). If you are not a super taster, you may not struggle as much with the flavor. Or, if you like that health food taste, then it wouldn’t bother you either.

Overall on a scale of 1-5 (1 being won’t touch this product again and 5 being loved it, give me more!), I would give this product a 3. It didn’t quite give me the results I wanted (although it helped) and the taste was a major let down.

With the price point being over 50/month unless you’re a loyal costumer which takes it down to a little over 30/month, I’m not sold on this product. I’m hoping to sample at least one other green powder. Hopefully I’ll love it more than this one!

Thanks for reading! Have you found a powdered “green” drink you love? Share it with me!


I went out on a four-mile run today. As I ran, my mind wondered. It jumped from why I started running and my initial fears about running to what I’d accomplished. I thought about the running community and how welcoming and embracing it is. I thought of all the people the supported me and gave me encouragement.

I started running on a whim while sitting around my cousin’s table having a couple of glasses of wine. I do believe a lot of my best ideas come after having a few glasses of wine. This resulted in my training for running my first 5K. I was pretty nervous about running in front of people. What would people think if I came in last? Well, several races later, I will say no one has pointed and laughed at my slow running. I’ve come in dead last at a race and again no one cared. Well, no one but me because I was too proud of myself that I finished my first 10K.

It took a while for me to call myself a runner. I still revert back to saying a jogger. I don’t know if it really matters except in my mind. When I call myself a jogger it’s usually when I’m fell down about my abilities. But I am a runner. I go out there and do it. I’m slower than some and faster than others. Running isn’t about my competing with others, it’s about my competition with myself and beating my last time.

I’ve found the running community to be more than welcoming. I was nervous about talking with other runners. I don’t look like a running. My times are much slower than many of my running friends. The more runners I talked to I began realizing most runners love when other’s embrace their sport. Most are willing to give out their advice and recommendation. Most will help cheer you on and encourage. Granted, there are some who don’t fall into this category, however, they have been few and far between.

If you are thinking about starting to run. Do it! It has so many rewards. And none of my worries or fears were ever validated. I found running to be therapeutic. I find it gives me energy and makes me happy. One last time, if you’re thinking about running, Just Do IT. You won’t regret it.


20131012_085440(This is me right before a local run that supports local woman with young children who have breast cancer)

It’s funny how you can wake-up one day to find yourself somewhere you never thought you’d be. I went from pretty much hating jogging and avoiding it at all costs to now, loving it. Before the thought of actually jogging would make my palms sweat. If asked to jog, I’d chuckle and say, “Yeah, there’s no way that’s gonna happen”. My actual journey to jogging, well that’s for another post. A post, I really should write. What I will say is that I’m glad God pressed upon my heart to begin jogging. Had I avoided his urging, I would not only be missing out on something I truly love but also all the health benefits!

I’ve been jogging for 2 summers or 1.5 years. I’ve truly embraced it and get a bit cranky when I don’t get my jog in. I’m not naturally sports inclined. I’m certainly not fast.I am however, determined. Most importantly I enjoy jogging. I started jogging as part of my healthy kick. A little over 2 years ago I’d decided it was time for me to lose weight. I started watching my diet and in the following January, I started exercising on my elliptical. A couple of months later I was talked into training for a 5K. And well, the rest is, as they say, history.

In the last two years I’ve done 7 5k’s and 1 10K. I’m hoping to almost double the number of 5K’s next year by starting earlier in the season, thus training all winter long. My goal is to do at least 2 10K’s next year. In the back of my mind, I’ve got this nagging thought I should consider doing a 1/2 marathon. But, that won’t be next year, I have plan and train for that!

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Anyways, none of that really answers the question, Why do I do it? Here are the reason’s I jog:

1) Accomplishment: Since I never thought I would seriously be a jogger, I hated it after all, I’ve found an amazing sense of accomplishment when I’ve reached one of my goals. My first goals were to simply jog for 90 seconds and now I’ve achieved the goal of completing a 10K. That I’m proud of. It feels great to know that I’ve reached a goal and can set another, and another.

2) Reflection: I mostly enjoy jogging alone. This is mostly because it’s hard to find someone who can jog at my pace. Since I jog alone, jogging gives me time to be alone with my thoughts as well. I have plenty of time to reflect on things and to make decisions. Some of my best ideas came while I was jogging.

3) Relaxation: Jogging is one of the first things I think about when I need to de-stress and relax. I love this healthy outlet for relaxation. If I get irritated I slip on my shoes, put in my ear buds, and go. When I come back, I feel relaxed and have a better mindset to make decisions or address my stresses.

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4) A good example: My children are acutely aware of my jogging, especially my daughter. In fact, she recognizes my jogging clothes and shoes. She’ll often ask me if I’m going jogging if she sees I’m wearing the gear. She’s noticing my efforts at staying healthy and physically fit. I know I’m making an impression that I hope lasts a lifetime for my children.

5) My body is a temple: As a Christian, it’s important for me to remember that God gave me this body. I am to take good care of it. Part of doing that is maintaining a healthy life-style. Not just by eating right but also by exercising. We’re instructed to not be sloths or lazy but to be active! So, jogging is a great way for me to honor God and focus on staying healthy.

Are you a jogging/runner? Do you have an exercise you enjoy? I’d love to hear why you do it?