Friday, June 28, 2013

Little Triumphs

My favorite part about the losing weight journey would have to be those "make it" or "break it" moments, when you REALLY want something that you know you shouldn't have or when you REALLY don't want to get up and do your workout ... but you do the right thing anyway. I feel like you grow a little each time you do that and you become a little more determined. I know I always walk away feeling more powerful, even if it sounds a little silly saying that, lol.

Tonight was an example of one of those times. We've had a crazy, stressful week with my job situation, we had to go pick up my husband's car from the shop, then had to go pick up some carpet cleaning solution because, guess what, I accidentally forgot about a gallon of milk in my car. Half of it leaked out and we didn't realize until my husband started smelling it. Yeah, it's been one of those kinds of weeks.

So we were hungry and tired and didn't have anything planned for dinner. We could have very easily  decided to run to one of our favorite drive-through places, which I won't name, lol, but we chose not to. I had a recipe in my mind and it just sounded sooo good and it's so easy to make too. So, we picked up the ingredients and I'm now working on fixing it up while my husband is out getting the carpet cleaner.

That recipe would be the Honey Mustard Burger and Sweet Potato Apple Mash that I've talked about before from the Civilized Caveman Cooking website. It has to be really good if it is more appealing than an easy and cheap drive-through. This recipe is not only really good, it is mouth-wateringly delicious and it's not very complicated to make either. Check it out if you get a chance!

So I feel like I've accomplished something today. And, given the week I've had, it feels really good. So if you have had one of these moments recently, or maybe even if you didn't manage to quite conquer that moment yet, leave me a comment and tell me how you're doing! I'd love to hear about your journey too! : )

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sawsage-N-Peppas Recipe from Whole Family Strong

My latest favorite recipe is called "Sawsage-n-Peppas" and I got it from Whole Family Strong. I just recently came across this website and have really come to appreciate the recipes that she posts. Most of them have just a few ingredients and are very simple to prepare. That is awesome! I really love to cook, but sometimes I just don't have the time or the energy... especially with my work load lately. So quick and easy is awesome. And when you make it delicious too, even better!


IMG_46802 packages smoked sausage (minus the msg), sliced into rounds
2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
4 tbsp coconut oil, divided


1. Brown sausage in 2 tbsp coconut oil until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
2. Brown onions and bell peppers in same pan with an additional 2 tbsp coconut oil for about 10 minutes.
3. Sprinkle onions and bell peppers with cumin, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Stir completely.
4. Add sausage back to pan and stir well.

If you're interested in the Whole Family Strong website, they have information on living clean and Paleo, but also have information on Type 1 Diabetes, as her son is living with it. He's doing just fine on his Paleo diet though. So that may be an option for some of you if you have to watch your numbers. Either way, it's a great website and I highly recommend you check it out ... and try a recipe or two! 

I made this dish for my husband last night and he had leftovers for lunch today. Halfway through he turned to me and said, "You need to keep this recipe. This is really awesome!" ... So, it's a keeper!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Personal Update

My husband and I.
I mentioned in a previous post that my husband and I were waiting to hear back about a house that we were hoping to buy. Unfortunately, we did not get it. We were bidding against another buyer and they offered a cash deal, so the seller went with them. So now we are back to searching. It was disappointing, but we are back to searching now.

In other news, our bunny is going to get fixed tomorrow! I'm excited and nervous. Excited because I'm ready for his raging hormones to go away. Nervous because he is my little fur baby and I am always worried about his safety. I am very confident about the abilities of his vet though, so I know he'll be alright.

And then my work has announced that they are cutting my hours due to the Healthcare Reform Act. So now I will be lucky to get 20 hours a week instead of the regular 40 and I am still in search of a new job as well. 

It's been an interesting few weeks. Slightly stressful, but I am trying to do my best to stay on track and not lose control. Some days are easier than others, but I think positivity comes into play here. You can't do anything if you don't believe that you can. And I think that you can really hold yourself back from accomplishing great things if you don't believe in yourself. I struggle with this personally, but I am working on becoming more confident whether it is in selling myself for a new job or putting myself out there to call people to find the right house or believing that I can be strong and say no to temptation.

And I find that the more confident I am in myself, the easier the stressful days become. I feel like I can take on more and it doesn't tear me down like it used to. So do your best to keep your head in the right place and you'll go far!

P.S. We may have a new addition to the family soon. We will find out some time this week. I'll let you know! : )

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Homemade Salsa Recipe!

In a recent post that I wrote about my new favorite appliance, our NutriBullet, I mentioned a salsa recipe that I found and that I love!! I also recently found out that the NutriBullet blades never need to be sharpened, which is pretty cool. We'll see how true that is with time though. Back to the salsa!

I have this recipe for Southwestern Egg Rolls, which really aren't all that Paleo, but I make them on the rare occasion when I go to someone's house for a get-together and they ask us to bring a side. The egg rolls are really good with salsa, but most of the salsas you buy in the stores are full of sugar and other ingredients or they're fairly expensive. So I decided to make the salsa that was at the bottom of the egg roll recipe. I found both recipes on Annie's Eats if you're interested in viewing the original article.

It is named "My Favorite Salsa", which is great because it is now MY favorite recipe too! : ) I'm sure you will love it if you give it a try as well.

My Favorite Salsa
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and very coarsely chopped

4 cloves garlic, halved
2 large vine-ripened tomatoes
1 (28 0z.) can diced tomatoes (drained or not, depending on how much liquid you want in your salsa)
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. cumin
1/2 sweet yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
juice of one lime

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the jalapenos and garlic.  Process until finely chopped.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add all other ingredients to the food processor.  Pulse in very brief pulses until the vegetables have reached the size you desire (it does not take many pulses so don’t overdo it).  Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving to allow the flavors to blend.

I'm not a huge fan of cilantro so I made a small batch without any and then put some in the rest for my husband. He loves it! So we were both happy! 

Friday, June 14, 2013

BeachBody Favorites and Wish List

I have slowly been acquiring different workout programs and workout equipment over the last 5 years. I have loved most of what I've gotten, but others that were not so great. For example, I bought a home gym band system that attaches to your door. This was kind of cool except that you need a sturdy door for it to work, it sometimes wouldn't fit properly in the door, and there wasn't a wide range of resistance available with the one that I got. Most of the time it was too easy or I'd be clear across the room hoping it wouldn't snap in my face. And then you have to try to get the thing on a door near a TV so you can use it with the DVD that you're doing. It was just not a great option.

B-LINES<sup>®</sup> Complete Kit
Instead, I use regular bands, like THESE, and you can use a door hook or door band to secure it. You still have to use a door (unless you attach a hook in your wall/ceiling, but you can adjust the resistance of the bands easily and you can even leave the door band in place if you want too. It doesn't take up much room and you can use the door perfectly fine with it attached. So I prefer that option better.

Dumbbell Set (3 lbs., 5 lbs., 8 lbs.)
If you aren't a band person, you can always use dumbbells and modify the moves. I do that sometimes too. And you can set up your dumbbells anywhere and change the resistance very quickly and easily if you need to. I have tried the kind that have one bar and you adjust the weight by taking off the weights or putting more on and screw them back into place. While that can be a space saver, it is really difficult to switch the weights during a set if you realize you are using too much or too little. So I got rid of those and got some like THIS when I got the chance. They do take up a bit more room, but it is much easier to set down the 5 pounders and pick up the 8s if I need a bit more. And if I go from biceps to triceps, I can grab the 3s without having to pause my DVD.

P90X Chin-up Bar
In addition to the bands and the dumbbells, there's also the option to get a Pull-Up Bar. One is recommended if you're doing the P90x series. As someone who has never had much arm strength, I started with P90x and the dumbbells with the pull-up bar. I wasn't able to do a full pull-up, but even modifying with a chair or jumping will help build your strength and, if you keep practicing, you'll get better and better over time until you finally are able to do that pull up! So even if you think you can't do pull-ups, I recommend giving it a try, giving your all, and seeing what you get out of it. I think you'll surprise yourself.

So those are my favorite workout equipment items. NOW, here is my wish list!
chin up max
I have seen these online and have wanted to try one, to help with those dreaded pull ups. I'm talking about P90x's Chin Up Max. It's an assist to your pull ups. It is designed to help you get more pull-ups in or, if you're like me, to help you by supporting some of your weight while you are on the road to building that strength. I think it would be a great middle ground for people who are able to do the pull ups easily with a chair, but aren't quite ready to do it without any support yet.

P90X2<sup>®</sup> Foam Roller
Another item that I would love to have is a foam roller. I have heard these recommended by everyone from Jillian Michaels to BeachBody to friends and family that have them. If you don't know what they are, Men's Health describes it as "ironing out the wrinkles in your rumpled musculature". The article goes on to say that the benefits of foam rolling include smoothing and lengthening muscles, breaking up adhesions and scar tissue, relaxing muscles, and better blood circulation. It can be painful during the process, but it should help with muscle recovery after a hard workout, and most people say that it is absolutely worth it! So that is on my wish list because it would be nice sometimes to work out those sore muscles.

The second item on my wish list is Shaun T's new DVD program, T25, which hasn't actually come out yet. I heard about it from a friend of mine who is a BeachBody coach.You can't buy it yet, but if you click on the link, you can enter your information so they will email you when it's available. The program looks like it is a 5 day/week schedule with workouts that are only 25 minutes long. That is amazing!! I'm sure most of you out there are busy, productive people who don't have a lot of time each day to set aside to get all sweaty, so this program would be a perfect package. You still get the intense workout that you would get with Insanity, but it's compacted into a shorter routine. Win-win if you ask me! And if any of you have worked out "with" Shaun T before, you know you are guaranteed to have a fun time! : )

And the final item on my wish list, for now, is the Brazil Butt Lift program. It looks like a fun program designed to get you the dream booty you've always wanted. I haven't tried any workout DVDs with Leandro Carvalho before, but it is a BeachBody product and they haven't let me down yet, so I am confident it will be a good program. But I feel this program would be a great way to make me feel more confident in my jeans and maybe not have to pull my shirt down over my rear end all the time to make sure it's covered, lol.

So there you have it, a few of my favorite workout equipment and some that I'd like to try, along with a few programs I'd like to give a go. My birthday and Christmas are only 2 weeks apart, unfortunately, so I may have to wait a bit, but who knows. I've got an anniversary coming up and maybe, just maybe, my wonderful hubby will be reading this and get a hint! ; )

If you have comments or reviews on the products I've listed here, I would love to hear about it! Just leave a comment and tell me all about them!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

New Favorite Appliance!

I just received a late (very late) birthday gift from my mother-in-law. In fact, it possibly could have been a half birthday gift if she gave it to me 3 days later, lol, but I am not complaining because it is awesome! I've been wanting one of these for quite a while now, but I don't really like to spend money on myself so I hadn't worked up to buying it.

← (Hubby holding the smoothie. Sorry for the poor quality. It was taken with my phone.)

I'm talking about the NutriBullet! A couple of years ago my husband and I bought a juicer. We thought we'd be healthy and make shakes and all that. Well, it's so big and such a pain to set up ... and even more so to clean up afterwards. And you have to chop and peel a LOT of fruit and veggies to make much juice. Besides that, you throw away a lot of the essential nutrients when you throw away the fibrous part. It does come in handy, but most of the time it sits on its shelf collecting dust.
Doesn't look all that appetizing, but it was delicious!

So, I had heard a lot of good things about this NutriBullet mixer/blender. You can put so much in it and it tears right through it and makes it into a delicious shake. Well, delicious if you use the right ingredients anyway. So I always wanted to try one. And lo and behold, my mother-in-law got us one!

So I got it out of the box and hooked it up, cleaned all the parts, and went to the grocery store to buy some fruit and veggies. So far I have only tried sweeter concoctions. My favorite so far is:

  • 1/2 apple
  • 1/2 banana
  • large handful spinach
  • 1 TBSP natural nut butter
  • 1 scoop whey protein powder
  • 1/8 - 1/4 cup of water

It's so good!! You really can't taste the spinach either. Not that I have issues with spinach, but you don't typically start salivating when you imagine peanut butter, bananas, apples and ... spinach. But trust me, if you haven't had it, it is delicious. It also turns the smoothies into a very lovely green color.

Another thing that I love about this blender is that it is so much smaller than my juicer. I can leave it on the counter and it barely takes up any room. You don't have to wash anything except the blade attachment and the container that you hold your smoothie in. So much simpler. Also, the blades are nice and sharp so I haven't had problems with large chunks of apple or anything. It blends everything very nicely.

The machine is super easy to use too. You just drop the container/blade attachment into place and push down. It twists into place, locking it, until you are ready to stop and you twist it a little to release.

I have pretty much used my own recipes for this, tossing in whatever sounds good, but if you go online you can find recipes on their website ... or just use any other smoothie recipe and mix it up in the NutriBullet. That'd work too. I have seen on the infomercials that you can even make stuff like salad dressings and salsas with this too, which is pretty cool, especially since I've discovered a new salsa recipe that I love. I'll be sharing that in a post in the next couple of days.


  • minimal clean up
  • doesn't take up much space
  • easy to use
  • comes with recipes
  • blends evenly


  • you still have to wash and roughly chop your fruits and veggies

If you'd like to order one for yourself, click the link HERE!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Heart For Mike

I follow a few different paleo people on Facebook and Twitter. One of them, Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations, caught my eye today. He posted a picture of bacon. If you follow him, you know that this is not unusual. The picture was a huge stack of bacon. It was the wording that got my attention though.

He said, "It is amazing how many people I can get to share this photo of bacon, but I can't get to donate $1 to help save someone's life. I NEED YOUR HELP. Share this photo and this post and help me help Mike please". 

374973 488968727840043 1073997737 n Do you have a Paleo Heart?
Mike was born with a rare heart defect and that he now needs a heart transplant. There have been complications, however, because most people with Mike's defect do not live to adulthood, so he is having problems getting approval for the transplant. Mike's web page says that Stanford has agreed to pay for most of the bills concerning the heart transplant as long as he can pay for medications before and after the transplant. And most of those medications are not covered by insurance, so he has been doing his best to raise money for those medications, which I'm sure most of you realize would be a very difficult thing to do, especially once you listen to Mike tell his story and realize just how sweet he is and how badly he feels asking people for money.

So then George, the Civilized Caveman, came across Mike's story. He does not know Mike. I do not know Mike. Neither one of us have anything to gain from sharing his story other than knowing that we did a small part to helping him reach his goal. But George took it a step further. He set up part of his website to spread awareness about Mike's condition to help him raise money. It was going to be a surprise that George handed over to him at the end, but by accident Mike found out. (You can tell he feels horrible for ruining the surprise, which he shouldn't. Imagine someone feeling so bad for ruining a stranger's surprise to help them save their life. What a sweetie!)

Anyway, I saw George's post on Facebook and followed the link to listen to Mike's latest vlog. There are 6 total, I think. It's about 13 minutes long, but it was such a touching video, and I couldn't help but feel the need to donate and share his story. I don't think I'll need to convince you, just take a minute to listen to what he has to say and then decide if you want to help:

Here's his latest vlog:

Here are some more links to Mike and George to find out more:

Mike's blog
Mike's YouTube
Mike's Facebook
Mike's Twitter

George's webpage about Mike (Do You Have a Paleo Heart)
George's Facebook
George's Twitter

Click to Donate


We are still waiting on news from our realtor about the offer we put on the house. Hopefully soon...

I've also found out that my job will be cutting my hours from 40 to 25 per week, so I'm going to have to find something else. It's interesting when you find out you may be getting a house and you may be losing your job all in the same week. I have some great friends who are helping me to find something new though, so hopefully I won't be short on hours for long. I just have to be patient, try my best, and see what happens.

Being patient is probably one of the hardest things to do, I think. And it's one of the things that is required for just about everything in life. You have to wait to grow up and start your life, you wait for the red light to change, you wait to save up for a car or a house, you wait to find that perfect soul mate, you wait in line to buy your eggs at the grocery store, and you have to wait to see progress. Obviously, some things are harder to wait for than others and some things take more time than others. Some things we have a countdown for and some things are completely out of our control. Either way, I feel that anything worth while, takes a while, and if you are patient and always try your best, eventually good will come.

Grabbing a bite while biking, being silly.
So I have been a little stressed with all that's been going on this week, especially since I've also got 60 hours on my time sheet for the week. So I decided to put the online workouts on pause and get outside. I always feel like I can reconnect and center myself when I'm outdoors, so my husband and I have been walking and biking this week. It has been great. I'm going to try to get in another Fitness Blender workout tonight though. Time to get back into the program!

But I had to share this, on our bike ride last night we were chugging along and suddenly hubby stopped and pointed. There were three, adorable, baby racoons climbing on trees. Definitely made my day! : )

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Personal Note

My nerves are shot! Home buying is not for the faint of heart! We just signed an offer, it's on the table, now we just have to wait and see if they accept it or counter-offer it. I also was a bit late getting back to work, so my anxiety is a bit high because of that as well. I hate being late. So I'm about ready to sit and eat a whole box of donuts, lol. Ok, not really. I don't even have one donut. Makes me sad.

But it's good because I know that eating my way through stress is not a good thing. It's something I'm trying to teach myself anyhow. Food has always been my comfort when I am stressed or experiencing any kind of extreme emotion. I have to say that telling myself "no" when I am stressed and craving a cookie box of cookies is one of the hardest things I can think of.

But instead, I'm going to drink some water, maybe have an apple for some sweetness, and get back to the day! My after-work workout will be helpful too. For more tips on how to conquer cravings and the need for instant gratification, read my tips from a previous post!

But back to the house, we'll find out some time this week if we get it or if we have to keep looking. Wish us luck! We appreciate any extra crossed fingers! : )

Monday, June 3, 2013

Mexi Pork Taco Boats!

Another one of my new favorite recipes: Mexi Pork Taco Boats!

I am a huge fan of Mexican food. I love it all! But, as you may be aware, Mexican food is not always your friend. Taco shells and flour tortillas are not all that great for you. But how do you eat a taco without a taco shell?

Well, I've found a solution! You make the taco using romaine lettuce. And you get to put in all kinds of yummy stuff inside! I promise you will not be disappointed if you give this recipe a try! And it's super easy, so what's not to love?

I cannot claim to have created this recipe on my own, but I will help the original owner out and pass it along! I originally found it on

So, without further adieu, here is the recipe! : )


First, you have to make the pork. There are three ingredients. It does not get simpler than that!


Shredded Mexi Pork


  • Lg Pork Roast of your choice (about 4lbs)
  • Pkg Epicure’s Burrito Seasoning (I made my own seasoning: click here)
  • 1 Onion, wedged


1. Coat your roast in salt, pepper, and sear in a hot pan.
2. Coat roast in burrito/taco seasoning.
3. Put in crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours, or until done.

Once you have your pork done, you're ready to make the tacos.

Mexi Pork Taco Boats



  • Shredded Mexi Pork
  • Romaine Leaves
  • Epicure’s Salsa – prepared
  • Sour Cream
  • Diced Avocado
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Epicure’s Guacamole Dip Mix
  • A Lime


Load the Mexi Pork into the romaine lettuce, then top with any or all desired ingredients. At the end, sprinkle on some fresh lime juice!

Such an easy recipe and it is so good! I actually did not use cheese when I first made these ... because I forgot. And it was so good even without it. I can eat Mexican food again and I don't feel like I'm missing any of the experience! I love it and I'm sure you will too!


Saturday, June 1, 2013

I'm 1/4 done and injured!

Me and the bunny, Gus.
I have done exactly 11 of the 44 Fitness Blender 8 Week Challenge workouts, so that means that I am 1/4 of the way done! I was supposed to do two more workouts in the last two days, but somehow managed to hurt my foot, so I was taking a little break. It is feeling better today, so I think I'm going to jump back in and get started on that second quarter.

Anyone else have random injuries with no explanation? I am not the most graceful of people. In fact, my dad used to call me "Grace" because of how uncoordinated I was as a child, lol. I did notice that the heavier I became, the less graceful I became. Since I've lost a lot of weight, I am a bit more agile, but I guess everyone has their limit! : )

I am pretty sure that I hurt my foot getting the mail the other day. I picked up the mail and was
reading some of it while walking back to the bedroom. Well, we have a rabbit and he was out, so the bunny/baby gate was up. I completely forgot about it and walked right into the thing and almost somersaulted over it.

I also have to admit that I don't like shoes. I'm from the country. I never wore shoes growing up. I didn't wear them when I was inside, didn't wear them when I was playing outside, didn't have a problem walking across the stone driveway either. But, I grew up and moved away and started living in apartments in the city and I knew I couldn't go walking around the sidewalks without risking glass or whatever else people decide to toss out for Mother Nature to clean up. So I've become a bit more of a tender foot lately. But that's beside the point.

My main point is that I don't like shoes, don't like socks, don't like things on my feet. So, I tend to do some most of the workouts without shoes. That's bad, I know! I really should wear the shoes for support with the workouts that I do. And since I don't enjoy being injured or not working out, I think I might just have to start doing that.

Livestrong, one of my favorite resources, says, "Whether your workout involves running, walking, sports or gym equipment, a decent sport shoe is a must. Injury caused by inappropriate shoes can needlessly derail your fitness or weight loss attempt. Investing in a quality shoe can help you to prevent foot and ankle damage, and make your workout a more pleasant and comfortable experience."

There are so many different types of shoes to choose from to make sure you get the best fit for you and your lifestyle.

Running : inbuilt shock absorbers, good traction
Walking: lightweight
Aerobic : lightweight and shock absorbing
Tennis : flexible soles to protect your feet from the quick side-to-side movements of tennis
High-top basketball: extra protection against ankle and foot injuries caused by jumping
Cross-training : suitable for doing a wide range of activity

Wearing the proper shoes will help keep you from getting injured. Injuries can include ankle strains, fractures, bunions, and corns among many other less heard about injuries which can keep you from workout out, running, losing weight until the injury heals.

How Do You Choose The Proper Shoes?

According to The McKinley Health Center, you should:
  • Try on shoes in the afternoon or evening, or after your workout (feet are largest at these times)
  • Try the shoes on with sports socks to ensure a good fit
  • Stand up when trying the shoes to make sure they fit
  • Leave a half inch between your big toe and the tip of the shoe
  • Make sure you can easily wiggle your toes
  • Bend the shoe to make sure it is not overly flexible (can indicate a lack of support)
Michigan State University's Olin Health Center recommends replacing running shoes after every 350 to 500 miles, which would be every 20 to 25 weeks if you run 20 miles/week.

Netwellness recommends checking out the wear of your shoes from the mid-sole of the shoe, which shoes damage sooner than the treads. advises buying new athletic shoes every four to six months if you exercise regularly. Click the link to read more on choosing the proper walking shoe.

So don't wait for injury, get out there and pick up some shoes. The part that I like best about the shoes nowadays is that there are a ton of colors and styles to choose from. Some websites even let you design your own shoes. I also would highly recommend going and getting fitted for shoes too. There are a bunch of athletic shoe stores that will fit them for you and some even evaluate your walking/running style to choose the proper shoe for you, for free! So take them up on that because it doesn't get much better than that!