Category Archives: Health/Fitness

Derm Exclusive Skincare

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Ever since I was pregnant with Monroe, my skin has gone haywire.  My skin was fine with Milo and Maya, but Monroe….WHOLE other story.  It’s like the moment I got pregnant with her, all the extra hormones in my body decided to have a party…on my face…particularly my right cheek. I know, I know….you probably don’t want to hear about my bad skin, BUT I’ve already started to see a change in my skin and therefore wanted to introduce the products I’m using through a mini product review! 😉

I myself love reading product reviews and after having tried various skincare products (none of which unfortunately have worked on me…) I’m excited to share a review about something that HAS started to make a difference so far. (I’m only a week in though) SO, here goes…

For starters, WHY did I decide to try out Derm Exclusive? Well, obviously as stated above, my skin was SCREAMING at me for some relief! After trying other products with little to no success, and after having heard great reviews about Derm Exclusive, I decided it was finally time to give it a go. PLUS, truthfully, I’m a Beachbody Coach and I like to try out as many Beachbody products as possible so I can assist people accordingly.  Not trying to hide that fact here!  Rest assured though, since I’m still only 1 week in, I will give a TRUTHFUL follow-up review one way or the other with how this product is working out for me somewhere down the road!

WHAT: About a week ago, this came in the mail:

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I ordered the Derm Exclusive Ultimate Kit which included a 7 piece, 90-day skincare supply (plus a FREE zippered storage bag).  Specifically, this is what all came with the kit:

1) Facial Cleanser
2) Micro Peel Resurfacing Pads (this is the circular container to the right of the pic…the pads come wrapped in 3 packs of 15 to maintain their freshness and are in the left big square looking package)
3) Intensive Repair Serum
4) Collagen Lift
5) Fill & Freeze Wrinkle Treatment (x2)
6) Age Defense Moisturizer SPF 24
7) Volume Lip Therapy SPF 15
8) Free zippered bag

Diving a little further in…here’s my thoughts on each of these products 🙂
1) Facial Cleanser – I LOVE waking up and going to bed with a clean face.  I’ve tried other products in the past that leave my skin either feeling too dry, or just don’t feel like it’s doing much of anything at all. This cleanser has a faint citrusy smell that is invigorating and refreshing while you’re washing your face but won’t linger on much after that so you’re not stuck smelling like oranges all day.  It leave my skin feeling fresh and bright. Directions recommended a quarter size amount, but I just use a gentle squeeze (large pea) portion and that suits my needs perfectly. Rubs on like a lotion vs foaming up a great deal, and rinses off easily.
2) Micro Peel Resurfacing Pads – These are FUN for me to use! It’s recommended to use these 2-3 X’s a week and for me it’s like getting a mini 1 min spa treatment in the comfort of my own bathroom. The purpose of these pads is to exfoliate dead skin cells and shrink the appearance of pores. The pads themselves are “scratchy” for lack of a better word but in a revitalizing way. I can almost feel my skin breathing again after each “treatment.”
3) Intensive Repair Serum  – This one comes in a small pump bottle, making it easy to portion out for use. It goes on light and is meant to help treat dark spots (which I will be prone to in the future) as well as help to even out your skin texture (like a laser treatment would). Obnoxiously, this is a non-invasive (much cheaper!) alternative to that 😉
4) Collagen Lift – This one goes on a tiny bit thicker than the Repair Serum. You use roughly the same amount as the serum but this one focuses on boosting collagen production in your skin for firmer, fuller looking skin.  I LOVE this one especially around my eyes (and under) because I feel like it makes me look (or feel at least) rested and fresh.
5) Fill & Freeze Wrinkle Treatment – This comes in a mascara-looking tube but looks like a lip brush on the inside.  You twist up from the bottom and the liquid comes up to the “brush” area.  It’s then so simple – you brush it on to your wrinkly areas. For me, I only use this around my eyes – underneath and on the outside corners near my eye wrinkle laugh lines. Maybe it’s just my eyes, but it visibly almost instantly plumps up the skin and I feel a tingly sensation.  This is meant to replace traditional botox or filler treatments.
6) Age Defense Moisturizer (SPF 24) – Since any skin care treatment that involves exfoliation is more prone to sun sensitivity, this moisturizer includes SPF in it to skip the extra step of having to apply a separate sunscreen.  The moisturizer itself looks like a white lotion (slightly thicker than both the repair serum and the collagen lift) but goes on really smooth and light. I usually “don’t” use a daily moisturizer because I don’t like the feel of it. To me, most moisturizers leave my skin feeling oily and I just want to wash my face all day long but not with this. It soaks into your skin, hydrating it, giving you your SPF coverage, but acts matte – NOT oily.
7) Volume Lip Therapy SPF 15 – This is probably my least favorite of them all….simply because I HARDLY ever use anything on my lips other than plain old lip balm! I will say though that it leaves my lips soft, tingly and has a light glossy sheen to it. If I wore more lip product, maybe I’d feel differently about it, but in the case of being a take it or leave it decision – I’d leave it.
8) Free zippered bag – I’m sure would come in handy for travel purposes, but for the time being sits unused under my bathroom sink 🙂 Always good to know that I have it should I ever need it though.

Major take aways – I know this sounds like a LOT of product to wear on your face at once! (repair serum, collagen lift, fill & freeze, and moisturizer can all be used together, layered on top of each other) BUT, everything is surprisingly light and definitely non-oily feeling. I’ve been using these products religiously now for the past week, making it part of my morning and night-time routines (it sounds like a lot of work but really only takes 3-4 mins start to finish).  I’ve noticed that my skin feels softer and smoother <—I’m most excited about the smoothness!  My trouble areas on my face are starting to calm down and I haven’t had any dry spots anywhere. Specifically, my right cheek (that darn right cheek….) is no longer as “angry”.  Since pregnant with Monroe (who’s 6 months old now….so this has to be like a year of bad skin by now, ugh!) that right cheek started to have break outs and an area that was slightly raised and bumpy. It would get itchy but sore, sometimes dry….it just couldn’t make up its mind! And no matter what I did (mild prescription medicine from my Midwife, ordered products, drugstore products, etc) nothing changed how upset my skin was.  So……gulp……here’s my “before” pics. Truthfully, my skin doesn’t look that bad AT ALL here, but in reality my cheeks were dry, splotchy, and I would have flare ups on that right side….no flare ups in this pic tho….of course not. My skin was “almost” behaving for once…almost. I know just how angry my skin actually was is hard to translate into pics…but you’ll get the idea….

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Did I make it sound worse than it was? Trust though, the feeling there was sore, itchy, raised.  Now, Derm Exclusive is targeted to offer great “anti-aging” results. Yes, I’m only 28. No, I don’t really have too many wrinkles…..YET. BUT, it can never be too early to start a preventative skincare routine, right? SO, here’s a short, veeeery impromptu video I made (before putting the kids to bed tonight) about my Derm Exclusive kit and my thoughts after 1 week of use!


Stay tuned with a follow up review a few weeks (or months even) down the road! I’m really liking this product so far. We shall see if I end up falling in LOVE 😉

 

“3-Day Refresh” RESULTS!

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Lately, I’ve been really wanting to do a detox or cleanse.  I try to eat fairly “clean” but fully realize that every once in awhile, it would be beneficial for a cleanse. Well, basically for the past 5+ years, I’ve been either pregnant or nursing (the latter category of which I presently fall into) so a detox is out of the question. So, what’s there to do when a new program comes out that I want to investigate?? Have Marv do the cleanse for me!

For starters, What is the 3-Day Refresh? Basically, it’s a non-starvation (yet low calorie) cleanse that allows you to detoxify your body while pumping nutrients and whole foods back into it – things that your body needs and CRAVES.  It consists of 1 Shakeology shake, 1 Fiber Sweep drink, and 2 Vanilla Fresh shakes per day in addition to 2 veggie options, 2 fruit options, 2 healthy fats choices and 3 optional caffein-free herbal teas.  Sounds like a lot of things right?!  The key here is eating not a whole lot at each sitting but rather eating 5 smaller portioned meals per day.  This fuels your body continually throughout the day – and fuels it with WHOLE foods in addition to the Fiber Sweep drink to help cleanse your digestive system and Vanilla Fresh shakes to load you up with vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and protein (20 grams).  That Vanilla Fresh drink smells AMAZING too by the way…..

But enough of the specifics….What was the Refresh like??  Here are some pics of what Marv had to eat on each Day – Day’s 1, 2 and 3:
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Each day basically remained the same with just the 2 fruit options, 2 veggie options, and the dinner option changing.  What’s great about this cleanse is that there’s a huge list of approved fruits and veggies to choose from so if you like variety (or are picky about the fruits and veggies that you eat), there are a LOT of different things to choose from.  I spent less than $20 (keeping in mind I bought more than necessary for just Marv’s cleanse since we’re a family of FIVE…and the kids love their fruits…) but for under $20 I bought – carrots, cucumber, pear, banana, peach, apple, plum, and asparagus. The avocado (Healthy Fats choices) I already happened to have on hand from my parents’ neighbor’s tree so I figured I could easily use those (FREE!) vs budget for any of the other Healthy Fats options (almond butter, hummus, etc). Key here was prepping all his foods the night before so he could easily grab it and have it pre-portioned out and set to go.

Day 1 lunch on the Refresh (while holding a sweet sleeping baby):
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Day 3 dinner (final meal!) on the Refresh:
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Here were Marv’s take aways/thoughts for this Refresh: He normally drinks a Shakeology every morning so drinking one each morning of the Refresh was great to maintain his routine.  Initially, he was a bit concerned with the (small) portions of this cleanse (although he was pleasantly surprised with the total amount of food he was “allowed” each day since he was initially thinking cleanse = no food…).  His concern with the small portions was that he would be grumpy by days 2 and 3.  Turns out he didn’t turn into a grouch during the Refresh. (YAY!)  The Fiber Sweep drink wasn’t as bad as he though it would be.  Anything with the word “fiber” in it really, has that old person thought connection to it.  He got it down each day just fine – not having to struggle to get it down like he initially thought he would have to.  According to Marv, the Vanilla Fresh shakes were outright YUMMY! I didn’t try them but I did smell them and boy did they smell delicious!  They looked smooth and creamy and mixed up great in the plain old shaker cup (vs blender).  The 2 dinner meals that we tried were the Moroccan Carrot Salad and Roasted Asparagus with slivered almonds.  The Asparagus was a huge, tasty hit, but the Carrot Salad on the other hand was a big flop.  I think it was due to all the spices added (cumin, paprika, garlic, cinnamon, salt, olive oil, lemon juice, etc) – hey, I followed the recipe to a T!  It all comes down to personal preference though, and that Moroccan Carrot salad was NOT one of Marv’s favorites….  Marv drank the optional herbal teas about 1/2 the time and actually drank this tea in place of his daily coffee.  Although it doesn’t “replace” a good ole cup of coffee, it did fill that warm drink void for those 3 days (Marv is certainly looking forward to his morning coffee tomorrow though!)

Ok, ok, RESULTS….right??  Are you ready for this?  Without going into specifics with his actual weight and measurements…..I will let you know that in these past 3 days alone, Marv lost 5.2lbs and an inch off his waist!  (in 3 days…..) Here are his before/after pics (before on left, after on right). There are only very slight changes, but I can visibly see a minor “puffiness” change in him.  His body now looks more lean and toned vs puffy muscle toned.
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Why take your “results” pic alone when you have 2 munchkins to join you!
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Marv’s overall conclusion. This. Refresh. Works.  He said Day 1 was tough. He realized just how much he consumed in a typical day and it made him appreciated food SO much more – and understand just how true it is that food is FUEL for our bodies.  Towards the end, he said his tastebuds felt different (no processed foods and only minimal sea salt for seasoning) and he was no longer as hungry as Day 1 – his body was adjusting and knowing just what it needed to sustain itself.  He said although he wasn’t necessarily looking to cut weight, his body felt so much cleaner and lighter (5.2lbs lighter….). He felt FRESH. <—is that why it’s called the 3-Day ReFRESH? lol 😉

Interested in trying this cleanse for yourself? I’d love to give you more info on it, chat about it, or help you to order. Send me a FB message or go here to order your very own Refresh!

PiYo

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Today started off like any other day. Got the kids ready, headed out to our Thursday church Connect Group (got kids settled in for their church playtime), had a great time, headed home,  tucked everyone in for their naps, hopped on the computer w/ my free moment, and BAM.  I see that PiYO (Beachbody’s newest fitness program) was JUST released….ahead of schedule! Right now, Beachbody’s annual convention is going on in Vegas. I “wish” I was there to take part in all the trainings, certifications, info sessions, and pick up loads of amazingly cool gear only available there – at Summit, BUT I know that my heart wouldn’t have been there – leaving a nursing 4 month old behind (or in a hotel room) along with my 2 and 3 year olds (who I think would do just fine but “I” would have separation anxiety from for sure!)  But I digress.  Anyways, I checked into the live stream (so I can at least stay up to date with all the latest business happenings) and got the inside scoop that PiYO was released TODAY!

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SO, I’m sure you’re wondering – “what the heck is PiYo?” I know I would be thinking that for sure….  Basically, it’s a 60 day, low-impact but high intensity workout that combines pilates and yoga to sculpt long, lean muscles and burn fat.  Unlike “traditional” yoga or pilates movements where you have to hold positions forever, PiYo’s movements flow into one another with no time lapses in between. These fluid movements help you burn calories faster – and get much quicker results.  It’s a total body workout, developed by the amazing, supportive, energetic, beautiful trainer Chalene Johnson, that will not only help you to elongate your body, but will also help to increase your balance and flexibility. Did I mention you don’t even have to wear shoes (you can wear cross trainers if you prefer though) and can do it from the comfort of you own living room floor? WIN.

Could it be right for you?  This workout would be great for someone who: – doesn’t want to exercise w/ equipment or weights – lives above someone else and can’t be making all sorts of noise by jumping around to exercise (ever had the neighbor who pounded on the wall to tell you to be quiet?) – has joint issues (this workout is low-impact so that stress is taken off your joints) – is already muscular and looking to elongate their physique or improve flexibility – is looking to tone, tighten, and elongate their muscles/body If you fall into any one of those categories, this could be the perfect fit for you!

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So, what will you get with your workout? – 8 workouts, each ranging from 25-45 mins long – starter guide – Get Lean eating plan – 60 day workout calendar – tape measurer to track your progress – FREE bonus workout DVD (by ordering through me) – ME as your coach 🙂 AND, when you purchase the workout NOW through the end of JULY in a discounted Challenge Pack (comes with your complete PiYo workout AND a month’s supply of Shakeology), there’s an introductory SPECIAL price for an even better DEAL (and I’m aaaaaall about the deal…). The regular price of this discounted challenge pack is $160, but through July, it’s being offered at the introductory price of $140.  The hype for this product is already HUGE and if it’s anything like the 21 Day Fix that was just released in February, it’s bound to sell out within the first few days!

SO, with all that being said. Are you in? Are you ready to commit to improving your nutrition with Shakeology? Looking to increase your flexibility and strengthen, tone, and elongate those muslces?  Ready to get started NOW?  Click HERE to order. I’ll be starting a July PiYo Challenge Group, and anyone who orders through me will get the opportunity to join in on it!

June Beachbody Specials!

It’s the start of a new month meaning NEW specials!  The month of June is all about Mr. Shaun T – with TWO of his amazing Challenge Pack specials:

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INSANITY Challenge Pack (the discounted Challenge Pack price is regularly $205) on SALE for $160 this month!  This is the LOWEST price this Challenge Pack has EVER been offered at, so if you’re been thinking about it, NOW is the time to scoop it up!  INSANITY is a total body conditioning program designed to completely transform your body in 60 days through interval training.  It is the #1 fitness program in America and will easily have you burning up to 1,000 calories/hr without having to use weights or any equipment.  With this Challenge Pack, you’ll receive the INSANITY fitness program, a bag of Shakeology, and a 30-day trial membership to the Team Beachbody Club where you will have access to online chats with trainers, a menu and grocery planner, and all the tips, tricks, and recipes you could ever need.  Click HERE to hear about this INSANITY June special right from the man himself – Shaun T 🙂

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– Shaun T Dance Party Challenge Pack – (the discounted Challenge Pack price is regularly $160) on SALE this month for $140.  This Challenge Pack will include 2 workout programs – Hip Hop Abs and Rockin’ Body – along with a month of Shakeology and free 30 day online access to Beachbody Club Membership.  Hip Hop Abs is a 30 day program that focuses on your core through a dance-like workout and will get you fit through Shaun’s “Tilk, Tuck, & Ticken” technique.  It has easy to follow, step by step moves, and no, you don’t have to already be a dancer to benefit from this workout 😉  Rockin’ Body focuses on getting a great workout through dancing and has fantastic music that will get you pumped and help you to easily forget that you’re actually “working out.” Click HERE to hear about this Dance Party June special again, from the man – Shaun T :-p

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Again, both of these Challenge Packs include a month’s supply of Shakeology – your daily dose of dense nutrition. This superfood shake includes 70+ ingredients sourced from all over the world into a tasty, vitamin and nutrient packed shake that will help to cleanse and detox your body while supplying a boost of energy in a natural, non-artificial, organic way. *Say that 3X’s fast! lol…* Shakeology alone is regularly $129.95/month, so getting either of these Challenge Packs at $160 or $140 respectively is a FANTASTIC deal!…it’s like getting the workout programs for $30 for INSANITY or just $10 for the Dance Challenge if you were already planning on getting Shakeology anyways.

Ready to make a change and UP your fitness?!  If you’re perhaps already an athlete and looking at improving your conditioning , or wanting to finally get that muscle definition you’ve always wanted, or just ready to go all in and give it your all – INSANITY may be just the program for you!  Click HERE for more info or to order.  If you prefer a workout more geared around tightening your core (get that 6-pack!) with great, energetic, upbeat DANCE music, then Shaun T’s Dance Challenge Pack may be right up your alley! Click HERE for more info on it or to order.

These specials are good for all of June, but remember, the quicker you order, the quicker you’ll receive your program and be able to get your butt in gear!

 

Who needs to buy Almond Milk…..

…..when you can make your own anytime you want it!

Now, in this family, we go through almond milk FAST – mainly in our daily Shakeology shakes and with cereal.  (YUM!)  We used to get our almond milk in a 2 pack from Costco for just over $8 (or $4 for each carton).  WELL, a couple months back, we invested in a Vitamix, AND, in the recipe book that came with it, there was a recipe for almond milk! Turns out, it’s as simple as simple comes to make it.  SO, thus began my almond milk making endeavor.  Seriously, it’s SO simple….

First, pick up some almonds.  I like to buy in bulk and get the 3lb bags from Costco for $16.

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Then, I soak them in water for anywhere from 30mins to overnight.  Soaking isn’t necessary since the Vitamix pulverizes everything so easily, but I like to “rinse” or “clean” them just a bit. (I think it yields a smoother, cleaner tasting milk)  Once soaked, discard water.

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Place in blender.  The Vitamix recipe book almond milk recipe calls for 1 cup of almonds to 3 cups of water.  After making it this way a few times, I realized I like my milk thinned out just a tad more, so I up the water amount to closer to 3.5 cups per cup of almonds.  Even by “thinning” the milk out with the extra water, this recipe produces almond milk that’s stronger, and more almond-tasting than our previous store bought milk!  If using a vitamin, blend on Variable slowly increasing to level 10, then on High for 40-60 secs or until everything looks adequately blended.

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Here’s what it’ll look like all blended up:

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Next, strain the almond milk through a nut milk bag or yogurt strainer.  I use a nut milk bag (purchased on Amazon).  It looks like a super fine mesh or cheesecloth drawstring bag.  Now, some recipes say to just pour the milk into the bag and let it naturally drain through.  Well, I’m just too darn impatient to sit around waiting all day for it to drain on its own! So I let the bulk of the milk drain through for a couple minutes, then – while holding the top of the bag shut – gently twist and squeeze the rest of the milk out.  All that’ll remain is the almond pulp in the bag. (discard pulp and thoroughly wash nut milk bag for next use)

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This whole process is truly SUPER simple! I’m just trying to outline every step….it really takes just a matter of minutes start to finish.  And, you’re left with fresh, amazingly tasty, homemade almond milk! I store my milk in a sterilite secure top closure pouring jug in the fridge …each batch usually only lasts 2-3 days 🙂  Maya approves of it too!!

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P.S. Cost-wise, I’ve figured out that store bought almond milk runs about $0.50/cup.  My home-made milk runs closer to $0.78/cup.  Yikes! BUT…..I’m LOVING the fact that there are NO extra ingredients in this.  It’s amazingly smooth tasting, has an intense almond flavor, and is FRESH.  No preservatives to hold its shelf life (as found in store bought almond milks), and I can make it whenever I want 🙂  I can also play around with the flavor profile – increasing or decreasing the water I add to it (store bought almond milk definitely tastes more watered down compared to “my” version, lol), and I plan on trying a vanilla version soon using pure vanilla extract.  Hey, if Maya loves it, I must be doing something right, right?

* I fully intend on doing an organic version in the future….but those organic almonds are just SO pricey! (like 2x’s the cost….)

Overall review….Both Marv and I (and apparently Maya too now) are loving our homemade almond milk!  I’ve had many cooking/baking/experiementing flops lately. Thankfully, this was not one of them! 😉

 

RESULTS – 21 Day Fix

After a long, at times hard, yet very eventful 21 days, I can say that my 21 Day Fix program has finally come to an end! (Round 1 of the Fix that is, since I can do it over and over again as many times as I wish for desired results!).  Just in case you haven’t been following my progress and are clueless as to what the “21 Day Fix” is, it’s a fitness and nutrition program that combines CLEAN eating and healthy, portion controlled choices with 30 minute (enjoyable) total body workouts. Everything works together to give you RESULTS in just 21 days.  SO, with that said, I’ll cut to the chase. Here’s my rundown:

Stats:
– down 3 lbs
– lost 5 inches
– clothes are not as tight, especially in the tummy area- face is thinner (most noticeably in my chin/jaw)
– abs are starting to peek through in my stomach
– I now have slight definition in my back/shoulders
– lower back is more defined
– overall FEEL better!

Let’s keep it real…sometimes all I wanted was a Venti Caramel Frappuccino.  I could very well have caved and satisfied my coffee cravings, but the whole idea behind the Fix is making healthy choices and getting quick results. So, I stuck to my guns and to get my Starbucks fix (I just LOVE the way Starbucks smells….and those green straws….gets me every time…..) I would opt for an iced (decaf) Americano (sweetened with honey) instead. Not the same, not the same, BUT, I didn’t want to sabotage my results and, I now no longer “crave” those frappuccinos. WIN!  Although at times, it was hard sticking to my meal plan, and making healthy choices I found that the longer I stuck to this Fix plan (without caving in) the easier it got!

For my fitness portion, I’ll also admit that at times it was difficult to find the time, energy, motivation or willpower to workout.  I am NOT an early riser and my kids typically wake up between 6 and 7am, so for me, getting a workout in BEFORE they woke up wasn’t an option that I wanted to entertain. This led to late night workouts after they were all snuggled up in bed. Although I didn’t always “want” to do it, I ALWAYS felt so much better after I did. (Mind, Body and Soul) 🙂

My overall take-away from the 21 Day Fix program – it works! You CAN get amazing results just from 21 days of dedication to eating right (clean, unprocessed, portion controlled foods) and staying active (daily 30 minute Fix workouts). (I do my daily Shakeology too)  I do NOT feel sluggish in the least anymore.  I don’t seem to need as much sleep now too (I typical go to bed at midnight, wake up once to feed Monroe, and get up with the kids around 6-7am with more than enough energy for my day!). I no longer “crave” sweets, and spend more time and money in the fresh fruits/veggies section of the supermarket.  My body – although I was happy with it before, I am now starting to see actual definition.  I still wear the same jeans/pants but my belly area is so much firmer and not so floppy. Everywhere is starting to firm up and I’m feeling so much stronger too. I notice this when I go to pick up the kids – I no longer have to strain in my quads or back area since those muscles have gotten noticeably stronger.

Sometimes pictures speak louder than words. Although you may not see a huge difference in these before/after pics, I sure do! (It could be because I get to “feel” the difference too, lol)  If I’m able to experience results from the 21 Day Fix (2 months post partum) I am confident that you sure can too! So, here goes! My before and after pics, taken exactly 21 days apart…….

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It certainly isn’t a get-fit-quick-miracle workout that just “happens.” You need to put in the time, effort, and dedication, but if you stick with the program, you WILL see/feel results! (speaking from my personal experience here).  Ready to make a change in your life? I’d LOVE to talk to you more about it. FB message me HERE to chat, or click HERE to order or read more about the 21Day FIX program.

I’ll also be holding a 21 Day Fix Challenge Group starting Monday, May 19, so if you’re ready to make some health/fitness changes and want in to this group, I’d be happy to chat with you about it!

21 Day Fix Check in!

SO, I’m now 11 days into the 21 Day Fix program (or a little over 1/2 way there – woohoo!). I’ll be honest, it’s been tough so far! The fitness part – daily 30 min workouts – has been great, but what’s been the most challenging has been the nutrition portion! I’ve realized through this that I have very little self control….lol.

Let me rewind back to the start, all of 11 days ago.  I started this program with a weekly menu in hand (that I sat down and prepared the week prior to the start of the Fix), a fridge full of healthy ingredients, and a drive to finish what I was about to start!  My first few meals were SO basic! I wasn’t yet comfortable “mixing” foods (like good ole fashion stir-frys) or doing 1/2 container measurements, etc. I was very by-the-book, and left no room for modification. Well, that didn’t last very long!  1/2 way through that 1st week, I decided that I needed to have more variety and have FUN with my meals! For example, instead of just plain greek yogurt, why not mix it with a dash of cinnamon and a banana (or other fruit) to sweeten it up and make it feel like you’re eating a Chobani yogurt, or add in some chopped nuts and again some fresh fruit to make a mini parfait?  (All totally Fix approved)  Or experiment with those stir-frys – add ginger or coconut oil to boost natural flavors, mix in all sorts of different vegetables for different textures, and substitute brown rice (vs white) or a mix of purple and yellow sweet potato!  For me, eating is just as much about flavor as it is appearance.  I mean, who wants to sit down and eat a boring plate of “stuff”. If you can jazz it up and make it look fun and appealing, it no longer feels like a chore to prepare or eat “healthy” foods, but rather an exciting adventure.

All in all, the biggest thing nutrition-wise that I’ve so far been able to take away from this 21 Day Fix program is that my portions were WAY out of whack before! I was probably consuming 3-4x’s the recommended amount of carbs pre-program. What can I say?….I LOVE my breads – bagels, waffles, muffins, cereals!  It’s been hard to cut waaaaay back on these, but in doing so, I’ve noticed that I don’t feel as sluggish throughout the day.  Also, I never realized just how many processed food items I was consuming on a daily basis. My fridge now is fully stocked (vs my pantry), and I’m consciously making smart grocery purchases for not only me but for my family now as well.  It’s about a lifestyle change and in my wanting to eat better, and focus on CLEAN eating (vs lots of store-bought processed foods), my family is benefiting too.

Moving onto the fitness portion – at just 30 minutes for each workout, these are totally do-able!  I do my workouts just after the kids go to bed at night (since that’s the only uninterrupted time I get each day). I LOVE that there’s a count-down clock that stays at the bottom of the screen throughout the workout  so you can visually see each second ticking down 🙂 Every workout has a modifier (Kat), and she modifies all the moves to lower intensity ones.  I LOVE how every workout has a different group of people in it and they all look “normal”.  So often do you see programs where everyone is BUFF – this program is real and makes you feel like you’re working out in the crowd of other REAL people.  From their ethnicities, to body builds, to gender, and even to their clothes – I just feel so comfortable working out amongst my fellow video workout peeps. Also, Autumn does a great job at explaining and demonstrating every move before she begins the exercise.  This is lacking in some other programs and is a breath of fresh air in the Fix!  In sticking with these nightly 30 min workout sessions, my stamina has increased, and muscles I never knew I had have started to get a workout (i.e. they’re hurting).

Lastly, in what I’m sure is a carefully planned out combo of this fitness AND nutrition program, I’ve lost a whole entire pound! woohoo!  But in all seriousness, I’m convinced I’m gaining muscle where there was once jiggle and fat (so weight loss is not very important to me at all)  My clothes are fitting better, and I don’t have quite as much jiggle to my belly or thighs.  The weight doesn’t really matter a whole lot to me – what I focus on is how my clothes fit, and I’m excited to attempt to get into more of my pre-pregnancy clothes soon!  That alone is great motivation to continue with this program for the full 21 days, and to carry on portion controlled, CLEAN meals afterwards.

I look forward to checking in in another 10 days or so to weight in on my final thoughts on the 21 Day Fix program!

Interested in joining me on this 21 Day Fix journey? I’ll be doing it again in May and will be hosting a private FB Challenge Group for accountability, encouragement and motivation….did I mention I’ll be supplying yummy HEALTHY Fix approved recipes 🙂 Click HERE for more info on the Fix or comment below or send me a FB message!

Brazil Butt Lift FINAL REVIEW!

So, I’ve just spent the last few weeks completing the 4 week Brazil Butt Lift fitness program! (well, it got stretched closer to 5.5-6 weeks due to being sick then having a wisdom tooth pulled and not wanting to do any type of exercise for a few days….) But, regardless of how long it took me to do, I can finally check that one off and say it’s COMPLETE!  So, my review:

When I first started this program, I was 2.5 weeks post partum.  Here are my before pics:

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* Disclaimer —–> after I have a kid (going on my 3rd now), I typically  very quickly lose almost all of my baby weight, then gain back some of it where I plateau out during the duration of my nursing. I’m sure it has something to do with hormones? In any case these pictures were taken after that quick after-birth weight loss.  My thighs were jiggly, my tummy was squishy, I had no stamina going up and down stairs…basically I was starting from ground zero.

SO, I started my Brazil Butt Lift program.  Basically, it consists of 5 workouts (Bum Bum, High & Tight, Sculpt, Cardio Axe, and Tummy Tuck) that are rotated in a specific order in order to get your desired results. There are 4 workout plans to choose from (each being 4 weeks long). These include Lift & Shape (for flat bottoms), Slim & Shape (for pear shaped bottoms), Slim & Lift (for “too big” bottoms), and Combination – the classic solution. I chose to do the Combination workout.  And man, that first workout was intense! (it was a combo of Bum Bum and Tummy Tuck) I remember I had to stop half way through to nurse Monroe who was crying (she was just about 2.5-3 weeks old at the time)

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Luckily it was a weekend and Marv was there to help watch the other 2 who eventually got in on the action with me, lol 🙂

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During that first workout, my squats were barely squats – thighs were BURNING – and my muscles were so tight, it hurt to stretch:

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BUT, it got easier with every passing day. My squats got deeper, my stamina increased, balance improved – I started having fun with it.

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I must admit though that there were 2 particular workouts that were not my “favorites” – Bum Bum and Sculpt. Bum Bum because it WORKS YOU! That one is no joke and you work hard from the moment it starts.  But, those types of workouts are there to get you going so you can see results, so even if I didn’t necessarily “like” it, because it was hard, I knew it was getting me to my goal of that “Brazil Butt”!  I didn’t much care for Sculpt because it was 50 mins long.  Something about my mind knowing that it was 50 mins long made it draaaaag on. But the workout itself was totally do-able and the 50 mins in reality wasn’t so bad.  Mind over matter right?

Surprisingly my favorite workout of the 5 ended up being what I initially thought was my least favorite  – Cardio Axe. This one is like teaching a dance routine.  Leandro teaches it to you in 4 segments – just like you’re slowly learning a dance and adding on more moves once you get the first ones down.  I have BAD coordination, am a horrible dancer, and to be quite honest felt like a jellyfish trying to rollerblade the first time I attempted Cardio Axe. I did NOT like it that first time. Even though I did this workout alone (with no one watching me), I was still embarrassed at how uncoordinated I looked initially! Well, to get good at anything, you need to stick with it right? By the end of this 4 week program, I looked forward to my Cardio Axe days! I had fun with the “dance” workout and no longer felt uncoordinated at all!  I definitely stepped out of my comfort zone with that workout (since I hate dancing, lol) and it paid off! Having fun….while working out….and dancing?! Made the time fly by, got a good sweat going, and enjoyed myself. PLUS PLUS PLUS!

Final results from the 4 week Brazil Butt Lift program? As far as my weight goes, I GAINED 4 lbs.  Now, I know for most people, you do NOT want to hear you gained weight after completing an exercise program! Well, for my situation, I know I’ve gained a couple lbs from my weight stabling out while continuing to nurse Monroe, but I also am POSITIVE that I’ve gained a couple lbs in muscle! My thighs are firming up and not so jiggly, my stomach (although it still has a layer of jiggle and loose skin on top) is getting firmer underneath, and my clothes are fitting better.  Although I may not be so confident going to the beach in a bikini just yet, I know I’m well on my way thanks to this Brazil Butt Lift workout giving me a jumpstart to getting my body in gear post baby Monroe!  SO…….here are my “after” pics. You may not see a huge difference from my “before” pics, but again, “jiggle” doesn’t translate in pics, and I’ve lost lots of that! Also, it’s probably hard to see in the pics, but I think my tush has some “pop” to it now, 😉 ALWAYS a good thing…..

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Now, I know what you’re thinking, how do I get on this program! …. 😉 Am I right?!? lol…  The Brazil Butt Lift Challenge Pack is $140. This Challenge Pack will include the complete Brazil Butt Lift workout, a yellow stretch band that’s used in some of the workouts, a body tape measurer, eating plan, AND a month of Shakeology (shakeology alone will run you $130, so you’re basically getting this whole workout for just $10 more!).  I AM A FAN and fully endorse the Brazil Butt Lift program coming from this mama who just completed it and SAW first hand results! (Even Marv mentioned that my clothes now fit better)  You can click HERE for more info on the Brazil Butt Lift Challenge Pack. Feel free to also comment below or FB private message me for more info!

 

“Fixin” it!

Today was Day 1 of the 21 Day Fix.  In case you haven’t yet read my previous blog posts on the 21 Day Fix (which you totally should by the way), the 21 Day Fix is a fitness and nutrition program geared to run for 21 days. It teaches clean, portion controlled eating, and throws in total body workouts too. People have been experiencing tremendous results on the Fix and in just 21 days, SO, I thought I’d finally give it a go – it’s my turn!

So, let me backtrack for a minute.  After having Monroe, I quickly lost most of my baby weight (within about 5 lbs of my pre-pregnancy weight). Once my body readjusted to all the changes post birth, I did however gain a few lbs back. (typical for me to do after I have a baby – lose a lot, gain some back, then plateau there during the duration of me nursing my kids) Also, I must mention that I’ve just completed the Brazil Butt Lift program so I’m sure some of that weight is due to fat converting to muscle.  In any case, I’m “ok” with my current weight, but wanted to learn how to better fuel my body and choose wiser, more portion appropriate food choices.

Que the 21 Day Fix program!  In preparation of the start of the Fix, I spent last week reading/studying the Eating Guide and trying to best plan out my menu for this first week.  (Trying to utilize what we already had in the fridge, my variety wasn’t very interesting, but simple can still be yummy not to mention easy to prepare too 😉 )

So, here is a run down of what you can expect a typical day on the 21 Day Fix to look like (1200-1499 calorie plan – the book goes over how to calculate your ideal calorie range). Keep in mind there is a TON of variety for you to choose from- this is just what “I” prepared for myself today:

Breakfast:  greek yogurt with a sprinkle of cinnamon and 2 hard boiled eggs (I ate one for breakfast and 1 for a mid morning snack)
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Lunch: Chocolate, PB, Banana shake – chocolate Shakeology with almond milk, ice, an apple banana, and a tsp of PB. I jazzed it up a bit and drank it from one of the German “steins” Marv brought back from his deployment 🙂
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Afternoon snack: 10 baby carrots and about 1/2 a pear (1 purple container)
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Dinner: 10 asparagus spears, japanese eggplant, roast chicken (gotta love those Costco $4.99 chickens!), and brown rice.  This turned out to be a TON of food! Those containers may look tiny at 1st glance, but they’re surprisingly deceiving and fit a nice portion of food! And YES, yes I finished all of this.  🙂 Felt full and satisfied but not uncomfortably full afterwards.  By the way, the brown rice is in a ‘container tower’ in the pic…the actual portion was more than it looks, and I had already eaten about 3 asparagus spears and 1/3 of the eggplant before I took the pic…..so LOTS of food! 🙂
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After dinner, I dutifully completed my 1st 21 Day Fix workout. What I LOVE about these workouts is that they’re only 30 mins long. Autumn takes the time to really walk you through each move, and there’s a modifier for everything so you can go at your own pace. I broke a sweat with this workout and felt great afterwards!
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Followed it up with my evening snack: an orange container of peanuts, and 12 almonds. Again, looks are deceiving! That tiny container turned out to be an adequate amount for me = enough to leave me satisfied instead of uncomfortably full.
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My takeaway from today is that I typically eat a TON of carbs! I think that’s why sometimes I get so sleepy after eating. My energy levels were great today, I felt ZERO bloating or yuckiness, and I’m excited to move onto Day 2.  I feel like it’s a game – figuring out what to plan for the next day, using the cute color coded containers, and trying to get creative with meals.  So far I’m feeling great! I KNOW that everything I’m putting into my body is clean, unprocessed, fresh….FUEL for my body vs empty calories!

Ready to take the next step and JOIN ME on this road to eating right and getting healthy? Order your Fix HERE!  I’ll be doing the 21 Day Fix again in May, so be sure to order in April so you can join me and my Challenge Group!

Challenge Yourself

Ever felt like THIS??  <—-click there

Ready to “DO something”?  Starting Monday, March 31st, I will be hosting a Challenge Group for:

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Beachbody’s newest fitness and nutrition program – the 21DayFix has had such an AMAZING reception so far….results have been phenomenal with participants losing up to 15 lbs in just 21 days!  It combines total body fitness (via 30 min workouts) with CLEAN, portion controlled eating. In wanting to keep the amazing momentum going and HELP others experience their own success with this program, I’ve decided to host a 21DayFix Challenge Group.

What is a Challenge Group?
A Challenge Group is a FREE small, private Facebook group where people come together to complete a workout program TOGETHER.  The purpose of it is to provide support, and encouragement and to keep people motivated as they embark on their fitness/nutrition journey.  I will be posting daily within the group – recipes, words of encouragement, food for thought, assignments, and check ins.

Why should I join?
Joining this Challenge Group will provide you motivation, support, and encouragement as we ALL go through 21 days of this 21DayFix fitness and nutrition program together.  We will all be in the same boat, encouraging one another to stick with it. It won’t be “easy”, but we’ll all be in this TOGETHER!  It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you have to be accountable to not only yourself, but others as well.

What is expected of me in order to participate?
What you need to participate in this Facebook Challenge Group is the 21DayFix program. If you already have it, GREAT! If you still need to order it, click HERE  You will also be required to check into the FB group daily.  It’s only 21 days!

I’m SO READY! When will this start?
This 21DayFix Challenge Group will begin on Monday, March 31st.  If you still need to purchase the program, click the link as mentioned above as soon as possible to order.  Due to its amazingly popular demand, it’s currently backordered 2-4 weeks, so get your order in ASAP! If you still want to join this Challenge but don’t think your order will arrive in time, don’t worry – there will be other 21DayFix Challenge Groups. Make sure to order your FIX program to save yourself a spot in the next Challenge!

What is included in the 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack?
With your Challenge Pack order, you’ll get everything as seen below:
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More specifically, you’ll get a general instructional booklet, a 3 day quick fix pamphlet (for when time is limited and you want to quickly lose some weight in a HEALTHY manner), the 21 Day Fix Eating Plan – complete with sample recipes in the back, 21 Day Fix Workout DVDs, and bonus Plyo Fix DVD.
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You’ll also receive 7 color-coded pre-portioned eating containers (for portioning out your meal ingredients/foods), and a 25 oz Shakeology shaker cup.
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Since you get a Shakeology shaker cup, it’s only fitting that some Shakeology would be included with your Challenge Pack as well, right?! You’ll get a 30 day supply of your “Daily Dose of Dense Nutrition” – Shakeology:
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Ready to get started? Fill out the form below to sign up for the Challenge Group: