Doing the best she can to raise happy, healthy children

Tag Archives: healthy-living

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.



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!

This year has been a hard year for me. I’ve not written much about it here because my emotions are still very raw. Last spring I my father died. I and him were not close, I actually only referred to him by his first name. Despite not being close and not have a significant conversation with him for years, it was still very painful. My heart ached for what will never be. I was hurt by all the kind words people said about him, because those words were not true to me. Then five months later, Mom died. My mom and I were close. I helped organize her care for the last 5 years. I talked with her weekly and often went to see her in the nursing home. We had been close when I was growing up and I loved my mom dearly. That was a hard week.

I also started graduate school this last year. I decided that after many years of contemplating becoming a Nurse Practitioner, I should to dive-in. Wow. Life has gotten turned upside down from school. My evenings are almost 100% consumed with studying after the kids go to bed and studying tends to occur during the weekends. Since I’m also trying to be a decent mommie to two young ones, I squeeze in family time and push studying late into the night. So, basically, I’m always tired.

Due to all those changes, I gained weight this last year. Sadly, every pound I’d lost found its way back onto my body. It hardly seems fair that 6 -9 months can undue two years of dieting! Around the time my mom died, I joined Weight Watchers again and decided to focus on losing weight. My efforts were feeble to say the least and I bounced around a 3-4 pounds weight lost between then and Christmas. At Christmas, I’d been steadily losing a pound a week for a few weeks.

Christmas came and so did the time for the white elephant exchange. I ended up with 18 Snickers, you could imagine some of my disappointment. I couldn’t eat them and lose weight. I was extremely disappointed. I was still feeling down and depressed about everything that happened. However, a couple of days after we’d gotten home, I was working and thinking about my mom.

You see, my mom’s favorite candy bar was Snickers. I realized the gift of Snickers was probably one of the best Christmas gifts I could’ve received. I decided to freeze them (that was mom’s favorite way to eat them) and I would eat one once a month to help me remember my mom.

So, now I’m very grateful for the 18 Snickers I received at Christmas.

Have you gotten a gift that seemed poorly timed but turned out

Infuse Oil, Spirit, and Water by Eric Prum & Josh Williams

Infusing water has become a fast growing trend. Many people enjoy the naturally flavored waters. I have friends who keep a jug of infused water in their fridge regularly. So when I had the option to red a book full of information on infusing, I jumped on board. Prior to reading this book and approached infusing timidly assuming it was a fad that would quickly go away. I know however, I am quite intrigued and find it an excellent solution to not enjoying drinking water plain.

Prum and Williams provide some of their recipes and provides the process for infusing water. It breaks down the process so you know what tools you need and the amount of time invested. This book takes infusing from water to oils for salad dressing and alcoholic beverages.

The book is well-written and smartly organized allowing for the reader to easily find recipes. I also like the flap of the cover to mark your place. This book could be read by a beginner infuser as it does break down the process in easy to follow instructions. I also love that this book doesn’t just stick to infusing water. It really allows a seasoned infuser to go to the next level.

I would recommend this book to individuals interested in infusing, as well as, individuals interested in taking infusing beyond water.

Overall, I give this book a 5 out 5 bookends.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publishers for an honest review.

Let me know, have you tried infusing? Do you have a favorite recipe or book? I’d love to hear from you.

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.


A while back I shared I was training for a half-marathon. I’ve since then completed two half-marathons all in the month of May. It has been quite a journey. I’ve learned a lot. And I’m contemplating doing a third half-marathon. I know, I may be certifiable but at least if I sign-up for a third, it won’t be until this fall.

It’s been one crazy ride, this goal of completing the half-marathons. And as with everything there were some high’s and lows. I learned a lot with the first one and even more with the second one. I want to take a few minutes to share with you what I learned.

1) It takes time to train Ok so this may seem obvious but to be completely honest, I didn’t realize exactly how much time I would spend training. Initially I was jogging on a treadmill at the gym three times a week. However, once I hit 6 miles it seemed very tedious to run on the treadmill and the weather was warming up. Unfortunately once I got out of the gym I didn’t want to go back. I found my distance decreased because of the weather. I always managed to get my long jogs in, but I skipped several shorter jogs. I spent every Sunday jogging in the afternoon for up to 2.5 hours. When you begin your journey remember it will take you to several hours a week of training.

2) The outfit matters: I knew shoes were important, but your clothes are also important. I took a long time searching for a pair of running capris. I had some strict criteria, I didn’t want them to be see-through. WOW! That was very difficult to find a pair that I felt comfortable wearing. After I found a pair, I bought two as they were super comfy and fit well. For a top, I just used a razor back exercise shirt but you do want to consider your shirt. I found some rubbed funny once I’d put in several miles. When picking out an outfit, pay attention to comfort. Also, wear the clothes for training jogs this way you can see if it rubs anywhere.


3) Make sure you can eat Nutrition is very important both while training and pre-race. I highly recommend maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet while training. During training I would eat a large lunch and then jog 1-2 hours later. The first half-marathon I’d planned on eating before the race. I didn’t factor in two things, one during training I was eating a pretty heavy meal prior to my longer jogs. Two, I didn’t plan on having difficulty eating so early in the morning. Race day I was up and attempted to eat at 4 AM. My stomach couldn’t tolerate food. I ran out of energy very quickly into the race. In preparation for the second one, I woke-up several days and practiced eating my planned breakfast. This made race day much easier.


4) Fuel as you go I learned early on that I needed to fuel on the run. I tried a few different fueling options. GU seems to be one of the most used ones. Both races offered it at some of the water stations. They also offered a sports drink at some of the stations. I tried the GU and carried it with me, but overall I found the texture problematic. It did work, about 15 minutes after eating it, I did notice a slight boost in my energy. I also used Jelly Beans and I had the same boost. During my second half I found Gatorade chews. The texture of these were more favorable than the GU. I didn’t feel the kick of energy like I did from the GU but I didn’t feel tired either. The most important thing about fueling is to do it before you need it. The first half, I waited until I felt the tired set-in. That is too late! The second, I started sooner and felt stronger for longer.

5) Plan to rest following This really took me by surprise. I was expecting some soreness but I wasn’t expect the recommendation and much needed minimum of one week of resting. Even after that week, my hip was painful with exercise. I found jogging a mile difficult. Slowly I was able to jog further distances and by the time my second half arrived I was able to do 10 miles without a whole lot of trouble. Unfortunately, I needed to walk over the last mile. If I had another week or two, I would have been better prepared. I recommend spacing out your races further than 3 weeks for adequate recovering time.


I know I’ve learned so much more than those 5 items. However, I believe those are the most applicable to others. Personally, I also learned that I truly can do more than I think I’m capable. For those well-trained and athletic, the achievement of a half-marathon might not seem that great. But for me, it was an amazing accomplishment.

Perseverance must finish its work so that you may mature and complete, not lacking anything James 1:4