Sunday, December 9, 2012

Getting Dirrrrty

      Mud runs are one of my favorite event to participate in.  Notice that I said "participate" and not "compete".  A mud run usually is usually a 3-10 mile course filled with mud pits, tunnels, climbing walls, mud, ropes, jumping over fire, mud, cargo nets, more get the point.  For me, a mud run is a time to let loose, have fun, and just go crazy and be 10 years old again. Even if you are not athletic or don't consider yourself "in shape" a mud run would be a great time for you.  I love that! I love that people who had no desire to get in shape get hooked on mud runs and do them over and over again.

    Last weekend I participated in the Dirty Girl with some of my blogger friends. Dirty Girl is a mud run for women only (which helps with the intimidation factor) and benefits breast cancer.  In the past year I have lost a friend to breast cancer and watched another friend kick cancer's this was a special day.  I was so proud of my blogger ladies, The Blogaritas,  because some of them had never participated in an event like this before, and even though they were nervous, they KILLED it!
Here we are before the race:

Awwwwww...aren't we cute.....all sweet smelling...CLEAN.  Just look at those shiny shoes and brand new numbers!

Now let me tell you WHY I love this run.  Besides the fact that I love getting dirty, climbing, and playing in the mud, the women who participate are so supportive of each other.  Amongst all of the squealing, screaming and laughing;  I could hear support, clapping, cheering, and "C'mon, YOU GOT THIS", "YOU can DO this!!!", and "Way to go"!  Nobody was racing to the finish, but rather helping each other along the way.  We were all helping each other through the shoe sucking mud and over the tall slippery walls.  At one point I had trouble getting over one of the tall walls and a woman from another team held my foot so that I could make it down.
We watched as another woman got to the top pf the wall, looked down the other side, and panicked.  The look of fear on her face put tears in my eyes.  We all stopped and cheered words of encouragement while her teammates went on the other side and helped her over.  You KNOW she was proud of herself for doing it.
I LOVE knowing that many women came to the mud run nervous, frightened, and feeling like they would not even finished and they left there feeling proud, empowered, and strong.  Each woman left there different than who they were when they arrived.  I have tears in my eyes as I even type those words.  Yes, I am sap-tastic!

Here are some fun pictures of us during the run:

Now, if you ever plan on doing one of these, let me give you some helpful hints:
1) Bring a towel and a change of clothes
2) Bring extra shoes.  You can either donate your muddy shoes at the end or take them home and wash them. but you don't really want to wear them home.
3) If you don't feel like waiting in the shower line, have a couple of gallons of water waiting in your car...then you can at least rinse off a bit and change in the car.
4) Those Vibram 5 Fingers?   Totally helpful for gripping those slippery walls.
4) Rolling in the mud = wet t-shirt contest, so maybe wear a sports bra (or two) with padding and maybe some under armor boy shorts under your pants.  We did not realize this until we saw the photos and realized some of them had to be censored.  NO WONDER the husbands did not look bored on the sidelines!!!!

I got more muddy during this run than on my previous mud runs because, well, I was acting like a fool...and I have the bruises to prove it.  But, I had FUN!!!

Morena, Neven, Amy, Jen....I had not known you outside of our bloggy internet world before that day, but so happy we did this together.  I feel bonded for life and can't wait to see you ladies again!

If you like reading blogs and want to learn fun new things, laugh, and relax, check out the ladies above by clicking one their names!
If you are looking for a change in your life, a way to get started on a healthier path, or just a way to have some fun, check out a mud will NOT regret it.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

You made babies!!! (San Antonio Rock n Roll Marathon)

Last year a friend of mine really had it in her heart to run the half marathon at the San Antonio Rock n Roll marathon, but, for various reasons,was not able to do it.  She felt a strong desire to train for it the following year, but felt scared, discouraged, and doubtful that she could fulfill such a task.  We spoke on and off and I tried my best to encourage  her. 
Last night I checked on her via Facebook and my eyes filled with tears when I saw her profile photo:

I had forgotten that I had said that to her.  She said that this had been her mantra for this year of training.  Tomorrow, she will be running her first half marathon and i could not be more proud of her!

This is true...your body created HUMANS! What? Actual HUMANS!  THAT, my friend, is a miracle.  If your body can create miracles, it CAN put one foot infront of the other for a couple of hours. 

For me, any physical activity is a mind game.  Many times, my mind gives up before my body does.  My mind tells me LIES like "You are getting tired", "You'll never do this", "You are just not strong enough", "Stop, this hurts" mind is a big fat liar.  So, I call my mind out and challenge it.  I push those negative thoughts out of my head and BELIEVE my body can do whatever it is I am pushing it to do.

This post is for all of my friends who are running tomorrow. You can do this! You have done harder things.  Your mind will lie to you and tell you to quit. Don't listen to that liar!  Keep pushing! Your body is capable of miracles!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Salmon "Stir Fry" (Clean Recipe)

I posted this on my FB page, but then realized that some of you might not be 'fans' so I thought I'd post here know, since I blog SOOOO MUCH. (They really need to invent a sarcasm font).

I was not sure what to cook tonight, but we had salmon and veggies, so I threw this together.  It's sort of a 'stir fry', but not really in the Asian sense.
So sorry for the craptastic iPhone photo....

Please remember that I made this on the fly, so there are no measurements. 

salmon (cubed)
red and yellow cherry tomatoes (halved)
asparagus (chopped)
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Heat your wok or a large saute' pan.  Add olive oil. Cook salmon.  Remove salmon from pan. Saute' the veggies with a few splashes of balsamic vinegar.  When veggies are cooked, add salmon back in.

I served this over brown rice with avocado sauce.

Avocado sauce:

In a blender combine :

4 avocado
greek yogurt
2 cloves of garlic


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What Most People Won't Tell You About Running (and taking a sneaky pee)

This post is dedicated to my friend and food blogger Emily at Defining Delicious
When I was a new runner I pictured myself effortlessly running my races looking beautiful, long legged, and glistening with a healthy pink flush on my face.  To my new runner self I say "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

I had several misconceptions about what running would be like. Although I do love running and the high, freedom, and feeling of accomplishment I have when I'm finished; it is not pretty! I SWEAT, not glisten. My face is RED, not pink. Instead of a beautiful long legged glide I have this kind of shuffle, limp, stumble, trip thing going on when I run.  Besides all of that, there were a couple of things nobody told me about: Peeing and Runner's Trots.  I'm proud to say I have experienced both.

Let's start with the more disgusting one first : Runner's Trots. If you are not familiar with Runner's Trots, it is a cramping and diarrhea that some people get when exerting a lot of physical efforts.  For me it happened any time I ran over 12 miles. It happened to me a lot when I first started running, but once my body got used to running, it stopped happening. My first half marathon ended  with me doubled over with cramps and spending the rest of the day close to the bathroom. To prevent this, I just took a couple of Immodium on race day. Immodium could cause problems if taken too often, so I never took them during my training runs. ONLY ON RACE DAY.  I am not saying you should do this, but if you plan on doing it, check with your doctor first. Here is a great article I found on the trots:

Okay. Peeing. There have been several, yes, several times I have peed myself during runs. One main reason is because I have had 3 kids.  Sometimes there are just no bathrooms around, the port-a potty lines are too long, or I just don't want to stop and add minutes to my finishing time.  Sometimes, during super long runs, I just don't even realize it's happening until I feel the warmness running down my leg.
True story.  Peeing happens all the time.  Many of the cyclists and triathletes I know pee right on there bike because who wants to stop, unclip, get off the bike, pee, get back on, start one, that's who.  Peeing in your pants doesn't make you gross, it makes you hard core!

My friend and I have a strategy for peeing if we are just on a training run and there are no bathrooms around.  I also use it during races when I don't want to wait for a bathroom, but I'm not ready to pee in my pants yet.  We just pretend we are stretching and let it flow.  Like this:

"I'm just stretching...and looking off into the distance, while I ponder my run...not peeing at all. Nothing to see here. Just stretching"
  What you have to do is pull the lining of your running shorts over while getting into your lunge position. While lunging, discreetly pull the corner of you shorts over  while still covering up and pee.  The cars are moving too fast to tell what you are doing and the rest of the runners are focusing on themselves.  You just look like your stretching.  I'm not gonna lie, this takes some practice, but once you get it down, your GOLDEN!  Haha! I love puns!

So...what did we learn today? Some people do get runners trots and it is normal to pee in your pants when you run. You are welcome! If you have any other sneaky peeing techniques you'd like to share, leave them in the comments below!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Zits, Zits, Zits....

The universe has played a cruel joke on my when it decided to give me grey hair and acne at the same time.  Seriously???
The other morning I woke up with a pimple so huge that my husband said it deserved a I called her Estrogeena.  Later that day, her sister Hormonia decided to join the party on my face.  So, the age of 39, I get to walk around with gray hair, crows feet, and some big a$$ pimples on my chin. Awesome.

This morning I discovered this little gem on Pinterest.  Its a chart that tells you why you have acne in certain areas of your face!
In high school my problem area was 1 and 2...makes sense...I did eat a lot of junk food, but I think that the 36 oz can of aqua-net a day to acheive these rockin  4 inch high bangs probably had a lot to do with the forehead acne too:
These days the pimples like to hang out in zone 11...which makes TOTAL sense.  (Warning: TMI Alert).  According to the chart, chin pimples are hormonal and happen when you are ovulating.  And guess what?  I'm ovulating.  Interestingly enough, the side you are ovulating on is the side you get the pimple on.  And guess what again?  i only have one ovary...on that side...the side where I always get a chin pimple.  I thought this was pretty cool.

This year, in order to try to get better skin, I have been testing out new products.  I am currently using the skincare line from Beauty Society.  I have only been using the products for a little over a week now, but am already noticing a difference in the softness and firmness of my skin.  I'll let you all know if I notice a big difference as the weeks progress.   *Just so you know, I do not sell or get kickbacks from Beauty Society for posting this.  It's just a product that I am enjoying and thought you might like to know about it :)

Anyway, hope you find the pimple chart helpful!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Spin-gina Pain

Oh how I love my spin class.  A sweaty, tough cardio workout that also shapes your legs and butt like nothing else.  After class, my legs are sore jello, but as any woman can tell you, that's not all that was sore.  The spin-gina pain was so bad that I almost stopped going. It not only hurt during class, but my entire underwear area felt badly bruised for days after a spin class.  I didn't want to give up spinning, so I researched my options.  First I tried one of those gel filled seats, but it didn't work out very well for me:
These gel seats are nice and squishy, but I felt like maybe they were too squishy.  Since it was so super padded, it offered no support and I would sink my entire body into the seat instead of sitting up on my sit bones.  I keep it in my gym bag in case I forget my padded shorts, but otherwise, I don't use it anymore.

These padded bike shorts really work for me.

These bike shorts look good on no one!  They are tight and make you look (and feel) like you are wearing an adult diaper under spandex, but they WORK! The padding is placed in just the right places to make you more comfortable in the saddle.  Since the padding is not as thick as the seat cushion, I have better form because I can still feel the solid seat under me.

Having correct form on your bike helps immensely with that darn spin-gina pain.  Engaging your core and making sure your seat and handle bars are at the correct height help make you more comfortable.  Any good spin instructor will help you figure out what that is when you go to class.  Don't be afraid to ask for help if you are not sure about how high/low to adjust everything.
One last item that has helped me in spin class are a pair of shoes that clip into the pedals: 

Obviously, mine have never been outside.  The drivers here in San Antonio are morons and I refuse to be on the road with them.

These shoes force you to have good form.  They help create a nice circular motion that make me utilize my quads and my hamstrings. When I was just using regular shoes, I overused my quads and when they got tired, I would bounce in the saddle...which was a pain in the butt, for real! The stiff soles help keep my feet from hurting and the curve of the shoes force me to keep my knees in on the bike when a lot of times, people want their knees to fly out while riding. 
People seem to think you need to be a cycling pro to wear the shorts and the shoes...and I am FAR from being an expert.  I just do it because I think it's a fun way to get my cardio in. I bought the shoes and shorts because I believe paying the money for the right equipment, is better than paying the money to see a doctor when you are injured later.  Also, I'm cheap, so if my brain tries to make excuses for why I shouldn't go to spin class, I think about the money I invested in the shoes and the shorts and tell my brain to stop wasting my money.  
Thanks to my shorts, my shoes, good form, and a tight core, I don't have the pain I used to have from spin class.

If you have any questions about spinning (or preventing the hurt) feel free to ask and I will help to the best of my ability.  If I can't help you, I know a lot of people who can. Hope you give it a try.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Black-Bean Scramble

I find typical breakfast food BORING and I like to try to mix it up.  Many times I eat non-breakfast things for breakfast.  I recently started making this black bean scramble for breakfast.  It's quick, easy, full of protein and I love it.  It's even easier if you have your veggies pre-cut.

Now, if you have been reading this blog, you know I don't really use measurements.  honestly, I'm just too lazy.  I just eyeball everything according to my appetite or how many people are eating.

green peppers
green onions

First I spray a bot of cooking spray in a pan  to heat the black beans and green peppers.
When those are heated through I add my liquid egg whites and chopped green onions:
When that's cooked, I plate it and top it with salsa.  I don't even know if salsa is considered "clean", but I don't even care.  I can't quit salsa!
Like I said.  Simple. Quick. Delicious!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bikini Pics (wink wink)

Sooo.... I have gotten a few emails and messages that basically ask why I don't have any bikini or sports bra shots of myself up like many of the other fitness bloggers have on their blogs and FB pages.  Pinterest seems to generate a whole bunch of forward people and comments, I guess. One commenter even asked if I was "ashamed to show my body" and I  must have "something to hide"...aye yi yi!

Honestly, it's just not me.  I don't see anything wrong with the ladies who bare their well toned and healthy bodies on their blogs.  I admire their results, enjoy seeing their photos,  and they inspire me by their fitness levels...but really, it's just not me.  I wear a bikini when I am swimming, but as soon as I get out of the water, I dry off and put on my cover up.  When I work out, no matter how hot I am, I keep my tank top on. This is just me and just how I have always been.  I am not ashamed, I am just modest. I am uncomfortable with people looking at me. I am uncomfortable with attention.   That's probably why I am a photographer and not a model...oh yeah, plus I am only 5 feet tall and lack the model-type beauty....that kinda puts a damper on a modeling career;)

So, to satisfy the curiosity of all of the people who want to is the one and only bikini photo you will see of me.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My Honest Opinion

Two weeks ago I wrote a blog post in which I said I would alternate two workouts from Bodyrock Tv and tell you what I think....well, here is what I think. I am not the best at watering down my opinion and I suck at sugar coating stuff, so here it is:

If I was new to working out or back to working out after a long break, these are great workouts! I would probably lose weight, lose fat, and tone. I'd be sore in a good way(I am not telling you to do this.  Check with your doctor first if you plan on doing this).

If I was moderately active and in decent shape, this would be a great workout.  It made me sweat, it was pretty challenging, and I think it would help tone and shape.

I consider myself very active and in good shape.  There are a lot of people in better shape than I am, but I feel like I can hold my own and I am always up for a challenge.  For me, this workout was good for maintenance.  I don't feel like it got me in any better shape (and I'm always trying to get better than myself) but it kept me from getting out of shape. 
It's just my personal preference, but I need more...a lot more. Mostly because I have tons of piss and vinegar built up in me and in order for me to be a good mom and a kind wifey and not go off on people who deserve it (I have a big, smart a$$ mouth) I have to work out hard....OMG, I sound like a psycho!  I'm really a nice person (if I work out hard

I think I will keep these workouts in my rotation, but I will have to do them in addition to my regular workouts.  Next I will be testing this:
Can't wait to see my neighbors reactions to this!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Salmon Patties

What the heck! 2 blog posts in a row???? This rain around here must be making me feel more motivated (plus keeping me inside so I can actually blog).
We love salmon around here. We can't get enough, so I try to think of different ways to fix the same thing.  Salmon Patties is one of our favorites and I don't know why I didn't blog this sooner!  As you know from my past food posts, I am not much of a exact measurement cook, so don't expect to see the "Blood, Sweat, and Minivans" cookbook anytime soon....or ever. So, I'll try to explain the recipe the best I can:

The main ingredients are salmon, dill, and capers.

Salmon Patties (ingredients are approximate):
2 lb fresh salmon (skin off)
1/4 cup capers
1/4 cup fresh chopped dill
2 TBS dijon mustard
2 whole eggs
1 egg white
kosher salt
black pepper
Juice from one lemon
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs to help bind the mixture.  I sometimes have to add a little more depending on how loose the patty mixture is.

First I chop up the salmon into small chunks.  Salmon is really tender, so it's pretty easy to get nice small cubes of salmon. I dump the salmon into a bowl with all of the other ingredients.  I like to use the kitchen aid to mixer to mix because it seems to help get the salmon even smaller without making it into a paste.
I form the mixture into patties and cook them on my George Foreman grill that has been sprayed with olive oil.  I have also baked them in the oven or cooked them in a pan....whatever works for you.

This is what they look like:

I like to mix a little greek yogurt with capers and use that as a topping. So good.

As side dishes I used these delicious sweet potatoes and mini sweet peppers I got at Costco.

I usually just like to drizzle olive oil, salt, and pepper on my veggies and roast them in the oven:

and in the end we end up with this...but pretend that there is a green vegetable in the photo.  the photographer in me says the photo needs another color...grrr
If you try this out, I'd love to hear how it turned out and what you changed to suit your family.  I will be posting your modifications of the recipe here on our FB page :

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It's Summer, I kinda have to Workout at Home...

Ahhhh...I do love summer vacation. The non-schedule, the staying up late, sleeping in, hours at the pool, spontaneous day trips, are all such a nice break from the routine of school days.  These summer days do make it tough to get to the gym to work out on most days, so I have been working out from home. I have been doing cross-fit type workouts,  strength training on the weights at home, swimming, and running sprints up and down the street holding a med ball (my neighbors love laughing at that one).
I wanted to change things up, so I have decided to check out the Bodyrock tv site since it is all workouts you can do from home. I love that most workouts are interval workouts that take about 15-20 minutes of hard work.

I always start out doing 3 sets of 20 ab exercises. I choose a different ab workout every day.
For the next two weeks I will be alternating these two different Bodyrock TV workouts (be prepared....the woman in these videos is very um, shapely and if you are in public maybe turn your volume down ...just sayin')...anyway, I will alternate these two workouts for the next two weeks Set Fire Workout and the Push Me!  I have tried them out the last two days to make sure they were something that I would like.  I LOVED them.  I thought they looked easy...HA! I was sweating and panting like a woman in labor by the middle of these.  I suppose I could make these easier on myself my pushing less hard, but who wants to do that.  I don't want to waste my own time, so I am a total balls to the wall kind of girl when I work out.
 I always keep a workout  journal so I can track my progress.  I feel like this is so important. It is so motivating to see how far I've come. Before each of these workouts, I set up my journal simply by writing down the name of each workout so that I can write down how many reps I did each round.  I do not have the dip station she uses for the Set Fire workout, so I took two kitchen table chairs and stuck a bar between them like this:

Then I just modified the way I did the reverse push up like this:

Set Fire was a great workout and left me sweating at the end.

I timed myself on my iPhone using the Seconds Free app interval Timer.  Having a timer during interval training is so important.

Then next workout I'm doing is the Push Me.  I had to modify this a bit also.  Instead of the dip station, I used 2 barstools:

and instead of a sandbag, I did a 2 handed kettlebell squat clean using a 30 lb Kettlebell. If I didn't have kettlebells, I'd probably use a bag of dogfood or something...cuz I'm inventive like that (insert ninja kick). I was dripping with sweat and sufficiently tired after this one too.
I cannot wait to see what my results and improvement are like after 2 weeks of this.  Then in 2 weeks I'll try 2 other workouts.  
BTW, I am not a doctor or certified trainer, so I am in no way telling you that you should use these workouts or use my modifications and substitutions.  I just wanted to share a pretty cool website with you and show you that you can workout from home, even without buying equipment. Don't forget to check us out on fb.  I leave updates there often since I'm not always the best blogger

(edited:  omg! Does it look like I have implants in that last photo? Nothing wrong with implants, but I'm pretty flat chested.  Looks like I have cleavage, lol.  I should walk around in that position!)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

She is aMAZEn!

I don’t even know how to start this blog post except for to say that I do not know how this woman fits her huge heart into that tiny athletic body of hers.  I had heard so many things about Channel Maze and her aMAZEn Bootcamp that I just had to meet her.  When she started her bootcamp, I heard her name everywhere I went. Everything I heard was positive, not just about her bootcamp, but about her as a person.  She has done countless amounts of kind things for her bootcampers.  It would take me too long to list everything she has done, but recently she took days off of work to be with one of her bootcampers through her double mastectomy.  Weeks later when the same friend was in the hospital on her birthday, Channel donned and afro wig and balloons and danced into the hospital room with “Party Rock” playing in the background. 

As for her bootcamp, it is filled with success stories and loyal members.  When I was there I could feel the kinship between the participants.  They were a team….a family! Their support for each other was amazing and watching them cheer each other on instead of competing made me giddy with excitement.  

The interview I did with Channel was open and honest. I love that she is an open book with such an open heart.  I think I kind of have a big girl crush on her. See for yourself:

What triggered your love of fitness?  What made you want to help others reach their fitness goals? What inspired you to open aMAZEn Bootcamp?
I am in recovery for an addiction to prescription drugs and alcohol.  Part of my recovery is the 12 step program and I know that I can't keep my recovery if I don't give it away. I have other folks I help take through the program of AA (Sponsees) and show them and give them freely what was shown and given to me. I was taking sponsees through the program, which involves work around mind, body and spirit. I was getting healthy and physically fit with what I was doing for my body and I wanted to show others how to do that. I got my certification as a level 1 crossfit trainer in 2008 with the intentions of becoming more knowledgeable so I could help others with the body part. My life took a big change from me being a stay at home Mom to being a single Mom in 2009 and it became a need that I earn a living to support my Family. God had prepared me perfectly and that is how aMAZEn Boot Camp was born in March of 2009.

How is AMazenBootcamp different from other workouts like going to a traditional gym?

For me it's that supportive folks surround me & it's quick. I use to go the gym and take a class, then do a hour on the treadmill and then lift some weights. I spent a lot time at the gym and didn't see the results that I see with a 30 minute WOD today. Folks will ask me what are we working today..arms, legs, stomach?.My answer is YES. We work the whole body every WOD..that works for me. and..I love it..I love that I'm challenged every time! I love the support.. I tell folks find something you love and that will change your view of exercise. Now, I can honestly say I don't love the WODS, but I do love when it's over, I love the results and I love the camaraderie. Find something about your work-out that you love and you will stick with it. People told me to keep running and I would learn to love it, keep going to the gym I will learn to love it.. nope that didn't work for me. I did it because I wanted to be healthy, but I hated exercise. Today I love exercise and it's because I have found what was meant for me. If Boot Camp isn't for you, try zumba or yoga...just don't give up..there is something for you!

What is your favorite part about bootcamp?

Honestly I can't give you 1. aMAZEn Boot Camp has been a precious gift from God and I'm grateful for all of it!

Many people are concerned about nutrition. Do you have a number one nutrition tip?
Eat Fresh....Meat fruits nuts veggies as much as possible. If it can sit on a shelf for a year it has preservatives that weren't meant for our bodies. Those preservatives sit in your body just like they sit in the food on the shelf.

I know that a lot of people who would love to get back in shape, but just don't know how to get started. Do you have any words of advice to offer those who don't know where to start?

Something is better than nothing! Having an accountability partner is key!

What is your favorite exercise?

BURPEES! I know start the hate mail now.... They are tough, but oh they work so good!

What is something funny/quirky that people would be surprised to know about you?

I'm such an open book I feel all my quirkiness(is that a word) is always exposed. I'm just a normal down to home kinda girl that loves life..... and OREOS!

See what I mean??? Just the tiny bit of contact I have had with Channel makes me want to be a better person. The 40 minutes I was there photographing made me wish I had worn my workout clothes so that I could join them! I am so excited to get my butt over to aMAZEn Bootcamp again.  Just click on the link to find out more.  
 Suicides! I LOVE them.  I smile like an insane person when I do them...crazy, I know.

You can find more posts, inspiration, and discussions over on the Blood, Sweat , & Minivan FB page.  Thanks for reading!
See you at aMAZEn Bootcamp!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Have you....

Have you followed Blood, Sweat, and Minivans on FB yet?  I often post links, photos, and recipes on there that never make it to the blog .  Check it out and Thank you!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Does This Sound Familiar???

I received a touching response from one of my readers.  She was brave enough to allow me to share her story. We both felt that it might touch and inspire some of you.  Thank you so much for sharing!!!! Here are her words:

OMG! Your story is so similar to my story. We did some traveling cause of my husband’s job. We moved from SA to Louisiana, Georgia, Houston, Indianapolis, Mississippi, now back home (SA). Every move was harder and harder. Houston was the worst for me. My husband travels from time to time still, but Houston was the worst. He would be gone 3-6 weeks at a time. I worked full time with 2 kids still in daycare. Talk about some emotional stress and stress packs on the pounds along with mess with your mind! Every move I started with thinking okay it’s a new place things are going to be better. New place new challenges, but like you I did nothing to meet new people or get out and do something for myself. Just keep the kid’s active is sports at soon as they turn 4 so I could meet new people. Sad I know, yes I meet new people, but I never meet new friends. I still felt so alone. Finally something snapped I started working out when we lived in Indy. Loved the YMCA and they had an awesome program and facility. One of my favorite facilities to this day! I finally started dieting and working out and the pounds came off quick, WOW…eating right and working out does really work! I felt great, I was enjoying my body and loving my family and making new friends. After being off work for a year I decided I wanted to go back to work. The stress of finances started to hit us harder and I was not finding time to work out was getting harder. Really, I was going back to work to socialize cause I was lonely being a stay at home mom, but I didn’t think out my income (vs) money going out? Taking a $10.00 an hour job with driving 65+ miles a day was killing us, plus my daughter just started Kinder (1/2 day), no daycare in the area would drive her to afternoon Kinder ? Now I was paying for extra gas to drive back to take my daughter to afternoon Kinder during my lunch breaks along for paying for 2 kids to be in daycare? Ouch! This was not the smartest move on my part. So here comes the depression again, I was Mean/Mad at my husband and poor kids could not do anything right, but I would not let any family members or friends from back home know my pain. Finally kids were in sports, making new friends in school and we were starting to make new friends and hang out with other families. Then here comes another blow! We have to move again. Didn’t work out I was still working full time with some traveling. I had found a job in Indy after my $10 job forced me to leave due to the low pay. I never was diagnosed or took any meds for depression at this time. Every move I found something negative and blame the new place why I was so unhappy. Then we started having trouble with my daughter behavior and anxiety issues. I thought it was all the moves affecting her or I was just a horrible mother. This was another stressor for me. When my daughter was in 2nd grade we had to put her in a 2 week outpatient hospital to help her deal with her anger issues. She was diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety. The doctor put her on meds. This trial was so hard the little things in life we take for granted about our kids. I cried and cried. I didn’t want to her to take meds. I wanted my child to be normal. We really didn’t have much choice. Her behavior was better and her grades were better. My daughter and I both began to see a therapist and at this time she wanted me to start taking meds for depression. I refused and told her I would start working out since this worked for me before in Indy. I would give it try again I knew I could lose weight . My problem was I did not have that drive or want to work out or diet at home by myself. I just could not find the perfect work out place like the YMCA in Indy. I was still working full time at home and traveling some with 2 kids now in school (kinder and 2nd). I was still struggling even with a break when the kids were in school during the day. I had trouble just getting the house clean. All I wanted to do is sleep! I always thought that my mood swings and depression were my lack of family and friends from back home (SA). One day out of the blue my husband receives a phone call for a job interview in SA. I was so excited! This was my chance to be happy again, to be around family & friends. I pushed him to go see what the job was all about and what kind of money they would offer. My husband had been with his company 5 years thru 3/4 moves and great quarterly bonuses. “Why would we want to move he would tell me”? Tired of my nagging he called this new company up they flew him into SA for an interview. He liked what he saw and a week later he had an offer on the table relocating us back home, my home (SA). The pay was more without the big quarterly bonuses. I didn’t care I just wanted to move back home. So, we made the move back to SA. Nothing changed other than I saw my family and a few friends very seldom. It was not the same or what I thought. I kind a thought my life would pick up where I left off. Everyone had moved on with life without Angie and I still felt alone and isolated and still working full time from work. About 6 months after being back in SA. I decided to quit my job to spend more time with the kids and to be a true soccer mom. By this time my kids were heavy active into sports and had something going on almost every night. I also finally made a doctor appointment to get established and it was time I started taking care of me! When the doctor walked into the room I was a big mess and just started balling. Right away said, “I need you to take some meds to help with my hormones”. I started taking them and went back 2 weeks later for a follow up. I was feeling better. I asked her “How long did I have to take these meds”. She said, “The rest of your life”. She explained about how during my cycles the hormones period/ time cause my anxiety and with anxiety comes depression. I was scared and didn’t want to gain weight with meds. I had heard these types of meds would make me gain weight. This was the reason I refused the 1st time they were recommended to me. I’m now better today cause of these meds. I recommend to anyone who think they need a little help from meds may do not be afraid or embarrassed to take them. Believe me! Your family will thank you. I’m a nicer person, mother, wife and friend. I still have self-issues about my weight and my family and I are going thru a huge trial in life right now, but I’m able to handle it better cause I have help (meds) and of course I found God about 1 ½ ago and what a difference God had made in my life. The peace of his love is so real. I also started a boot camp in Bulverde in December which has so much helped! Then starts our life trial and another move, but this time it’s not to another state. Just to the other side of SA. We are now in Floresville, TX moved From Bulverde, TX. I’m struggling with getting involved at the kid’s school meeting new people. I was so involved at our last school. I feel lost and the BIGGEST struggle for me right now is the motivation to work out on my own and looking for another boot camp family like the one I just left and location around south of SA. I drive from time to time to Bulverde to still get a good work out in and to see my friends I made and miss so much!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Grocery List

So, I know I posted something like this before, but this morning 2 friends asked if I could post a list of my groceries. No problem! might be helpful for you to just print it out and take along with you. They also asked if I could post examples of my 2 week(ish) menu. I'll do that soon too. This does not represent my entire list as it changes weekly to accommodate for spices and kid foods for school, but for the most part this is what I have in my cart each time I go to the store:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Let's Try Kombucha

Soooooo...Kombucha. I have hear a lot about the health benefits of Kombucha, so about a year ago I tried it.....hated it.  I keep reading about this trendy health drink, so I decided I want to try it again.  The claimed health benefits are increased energy,  improved digestion, stronger immune system, and healthier skin and hair.  I like to try new things and sometimes I even like to revisit things I disliked before just in case I like them now.  So here I am trying kombucha again.

Afterthought: So, it is now about 10 minutes since I have tried the Kombucha and I am feeling I drank a really strong coffee....and also a little electrified. Is that weird?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Boot Camp

Hey ladies! I need help from ladies in the San Antonio area who have a blog.  If you don't have a local blog, maybe you know someone who does. It does not have to be a fitness can be any blog.  I was invited to a free boot camp session with BlueStar Bootcamp and they are looking for more bloggers to join in the fun. I can't wait to go! I am going to the May 19 session if you want to join me. Here are the details:

Who: Mommy Bloggers
What: A BlueStar BootCamp session with Fitness Porvida
When: May 19th, 9:30 am
Where: Hardberger Park
Why:  We'd love to get your thoughts on our BlueStar BootCamp, and then
would appreciate a write-up in your blog to commemorate your experience.
Also, feel free to bring one friend to attend with you.  You will both
receive a free water bottle, just for showing up!  Also, after the boot
camp Fitness Porvida will be hosting a Tweet Up using the hashtag
#fitsamoms to chat and discuss! 
I would LOVE for you to come with me! Let me know if you are interested so I can give them 
aa heads up! 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Piss and Vinegar

You may have noticed that this blog has been pretty empty the last few weeks...can you hear the echo? I have been struggling to write a post, and then, as soon as I get brave enough to post it, I chicken out and delete the whole thing.  I feel like I can't move on and be completely honest with you in other posts until I post my story of how/why I decided to create a healthy lifestyle.  It's not just my story, but the story of many women. It's so personal and not  many people know all the details, so it's really difficult to know where or how to even start. It is not my intention to make people feel sorry for me in this post. I'm not sorry.  I'm stronger and happier now because of the events life has handed me. I know there are others of you who can relate and may find comfort that you are not the only one. Please bear with me. This is a long story.

I have always considered myself a resilient and self reliant person. I was always able to suck it up, not complain and bounce back. Life wasn't always easy, but I always pushed through and looked on the bright side.  Then the years of 2003-2006 hit our family like a freight train. In 2003 my husband was sent on an 18 month tour to Iraq.  Things were not good there, but again, we both sucked it up and knew we would get through it. He finally came home and we were struggling to adjust to him being home again. Just a few weeks after his arrival home our 3 year old son was diagnosed with cancer. Once again, although life knocked us down , we got back up and took care of our family. We were devastated, but did not dwell on it. We had 2 kids to take care of. We concentrated on our son's care and on keeping life as normal as possible for our 5 year old daughter.  I was so worried about taking care of my family, I never even thought to take care of what was going on inside of me. I had only one goal: get my family thorough this!

Soon things were looking up. Our son finished chemo and was finally done with treatment. We were so excited to just be normal. After an 18 month deployment and treatment for our son, it had been a long time since we did things like dinner at the same table or movie night on the couch. It was such a good feeling to have those simple things back again. That didn't last long.  More change was in store for our family. Although they were good changes, they were big changes that came fast.

Within months of our son finishing treatment, I became pregnant with our 3rd child and my husband got an offer for his dream job on the other side of the country from family and friends. We were once again busy dealing with the move, selling a house, buying a house, getting ready for a new baby, and dealing with the mixed feelings of moving from my family and friends while being thrilled that my husband landed his dream job that would put us back on track financially.  Cancer is not cheap. With all of this going on, I still had not dealt with my own feelings.I kept that big, brave smile on my face and would tell everyone "I'm good" when they asked.  I really thought I was good.

So here we were : new baby,  new state, new house, new life.  We were finally settled in...which gave me time to settle down and think. I was finally processing what we had all been through. My husband had to travel a lot, so I was alone with a newborn and 2 kids a lot and missing my family and friends back in Maryland. I had no family or friends nearby to talk to and I did not want to trouble my husband while he was starting a new job (although he would not have been troubled, that was just my perception).

I was never officially diagnosed, but looking back, I'm sure I had some form of depression. I don't know if it was post-partum, situational from missing my family and friends, or the feelings from deployment and cancer finally catching up to me. I was angry all the time. The only people I was nice to were my kids. I was numb and just going through the motions each day. I argued with my husband every chance I got. If people tried to befriend me, I was pleasant, but I pushed them away. I wouldn't answer the phone or the door and I wouldn't respond to invitations to get together with these awesome women who were trying to welcome me into their circle. I went to play dates so my kids could play, but I avoided getting too close to the other women. I thought that if they got to know me, then they would surely see what a mess my head was and run away why bother.  I'm sure they thought I was a negative grump! I cried all of the time.  I didn't want my kids to see me cry, so I would hide in my closet and cry almost daily.

There were some specific moments that made me realize that something was not right with me and that I needed to do something.  Moments where I had thoughts and feelings that a woman who had the amazing life that I currently had should not think or feel. I'm still too ashamed to talk about them publicly, but maybe someday I will.

One of my closest friends, Annie,  had been asking me to start running with her. I had turned her down several times because , well, running HATED me. The feeling was mutual.  

I realized I needed to do something, so I took Annie up on her offer. Although I didn't always feel great while running, I always felt so much better after. I eventually started to add other forms of exercise, dance, yoga, and strength training. I slowly changed the way we ate and I think that has made a huge difference for all of us. Running and exercise gave me a goal. It gave me something that was ALL MINE.I had something I could take control of.  It made me feel like me again. I was HAPPY again! I was stronger and more fit. I was me again instead of the empty shell that used to be me. My family noticed a difference too. They had me back again.  It didn't happen overnight. It took time, but today I am happier than I have ever been.

Please don't think I am saying that exercise will cure depression.Like I said, I was never officially diagnosed, but I had gotten to the point where I hated who I was and couldn't stop crying. I'm simply saying that exercise helped me and it's still helping me today. I still struggle with anxiety and mood swings, but I noticed they mostly happen if I have not worked out in a few days. If I'm starting to feel down, irritable, or anxious I get in a hardcore workout and I feel better...and nicer. Lol.  For years now my husband and I have said that my workouts "knock the piss and vinegar" out of me. It's true.

Wow...that sure was wordy. I have been wanting to share since I started this blog, but was afraid. I couldn't find the right words. If you actually read the whole thing, thank you. I hope that in sharing this, I can help someone. If you would like to share your story, I would love to read it. You could leave it here in comments or you could leave a private message on my FB page .  I answer every comment and message.

Soooo, I'm still afraid to hit "publish" and share this...but here goes....

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Be Stronger than your Cravings

Cravings. We all get them.  We get cravings for salty. We get cravings for sweet. I personally will crave chocolate, doughnuts, or Whataburger. I'm not hungry, I just want it and I want it now. Sometimes I will give in, but most of the time I have a plan to beat them. I am much stronger and smarter than that voice in my head that says "You worked hard today, you deserve it" or "You had a bad day, this will make you feel better".
If you are having cravings, but you know you are not hungry, try some of these things:

1) Drink water. I'm sure you have been told this before, but it's true. When your body is becoming dehydrated,  it will tell you it's hungry. It's lying! Try a full glass of water or green tea instead of that snack.

2) Get busy. I don't mean 'get busy' (wink wink). You can if you want, that's none of my business....but I mean distract yourself. Sometimes when you are bored, your body will say "I'm hungry".  Again, your body is sometimes a big liar!  Find something to distract yourself. The craving will pass.

3) Wait 20 minutes.  Cravings generally pass within 8 - 10 minutes. So while you are waiting, get busy ;)  The craving will pass.

4) Eat often. I mentioned in an earlier post that I eat 6-8 times a day. Just this morning my husband teased me about eating my second breakfast. Try to fill your body with proteins and good fats. Bananas, avocados, and almonds fill me up quickly and satisfy me.

5) Find alternatives.  I keep plenty of fruit and veggies in the house. I prepare them ahead of time so that they are easy to grab.  Sometimes, if I have a super busy week, I will buy the veggies and fruits that are already cut. I make a veggie dip out of Greek yogurt to dip my veggies in. That seems to satisfy my need for crunch and salt.  If I'm craving sweets,  I will have a cup of hot cocoa or I will slice a banana and top it with a tiny bit of chocolate syrup or melted almond butter.

6) Don't keep those foods in your house.  You better believe that if I had potato chips and ranch dip in my pantry, I would eat the whole I just don't buy it.

7) Don't always deny yourself.  Save your craving foods for a special treat for yourself.  My kids call them "sometimes foods".  If I really really want chips and dip, I will buy individual sized bags of chips. If I want ice cream, I will get the tiny containers of ice cream.  Moderation is the key my friends. If you deny yourself these things completely, then you are more likely to 'cheat'.

8) When a craving hits, brush your teeth,  When I get a craving and I know I'm not really hungry, I will brush my teeth. I will brush them, floss them, and waterpick.  After I have gone through all of that work, I don't want to get my mouth dirty by eating.

9) Get enough sleep.  When you are tired and your body is craving sleep and rest, it will try to trick you into eating.  If we don't get enough sleep, our cravings and appetite increase.  Your body is looking for a way to get more energy, so it makes a lot of sense that it would crave sugar and carbs to try to get that energy.

I hope these help you understand and fight some of your cravings.
Before I sign off, I really want to thank all of you for your great comments, emails, and FB messages. It means a lot to me that so many of you take the time to write about how some of these blog posts have helped you. That's EXACTLY why I started this help other women like me:) Love you all!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

So You Don't Want to Look Like a neither!

I talk to so many friends who are afraid to weight train because they are afraid of getting bulky. I see so many women in the gym who won't lift more than a 5 pound weight for fear of looking like a body builder. WILL NOT BULK UP! It's pretty impossible for us to bulk up. Really ladies...your purse probably weighs more than what some of you are lifting at the gym...your kids and the groceries definitely weigh more! Weight training just won't make you bulky (but it is soooo good for you) and here's why:

1) You do not have testicles. Since you don't have testicles, you do not have sufficient testosterone needed to grow huge muscles. Women produce a very small amount of testosterone, about 1/7th that of men produce. As women, our testosterone production is highest in our early twenties. As we age, our testosterone drops. In fact, most men do not even have enough testosterone to get super bulky. I mean, I see a lot of men lifting in the gym everyday, but very few super muscular men....that's why steroids are so popular, right?

2) We do not eat enough calories or protein to produce huge muscle. Body builders eat A LOT and often. I have looked up a few body builders food plans and they include a lot of eggs and proteins up to six times a day. I tried one of these meal plans ( for like a day) and could not choke down the 6 egg whites required as just a part of breakfast.

3) You will not bulk up overnight, in a few weeks , or even in a few months. You won't suddenly wake up one morning, look in the mirror, and see a bulky she-male where you used to be. Those body building women work for years and years and HOURS a day to look the way they do.

4)You don't take body building supplements. Many of these body-builders take supplements...protein, amino acids, creatine, testosterone, BCAA's, Glutamine, anti-estrogen, growth hormone, nitic oxide, hgh boosters, etc... and sometimes (I'm not saying every body builder does so don't send me angry messages) steroids. Body building for bulk requires supplements...there's a science to it, y'all. So no, just lifting heavy weights will not make you bulk up.

I strength train almost everyday. I have been strength training for about 2 years now. I eat a lot of protein and eat a lot of calories for a girl my size. I lift pretty heavy too and I try to lift as heavy as I can every time I work out....but I am not bulky in the least. I don't really like posting pictures of myself showing my body, but for you I will. I just took these pictures right now on my computer.  One is of me just normal and the other one is of me flexing as hard as I can.'s not very impressive. I'm pretty scrawny for someone who weight trains every day.

Here I am just sitting here doing nothing but typing to you:)

Now here I am flexing as hard as I can...grrrrrrr! Not very impressive for someone who lifts weights everyday, right? I hate pictures of people flexing, so you know I must love you if I'm doing this for you :)
Sooo...why should you strength train????

1) Strength training helps with bone density. As women, we need as much help as we can get to prevent osteoporosis, arthritis, and fractures.

2) Strength training increases metabolism. It has even been proven to increase your resting metabolism. You burn more calories just sitting there watching Real Housewives!!!

3) Muscle increases your performance.  If you run, dance, yoga, Zumba you'll do it better and last longer with those extra strong muscles.

4) Heavy weights add strength and tone, not bulk. You will be stronger and toned.  Who doesn't want that???

5) Yes, you have all heard muscle weighs more than fat, but it also takes up less room than fat. Even if you gain weight, you lose inches.  Since I have started weight training, I have gained a few pounds, but moved into smaller clothing sizes that look and fit better.

Ladies, don't be afraid of strength training. It has so many benefits and has really changed so many aspects of my life for the positive.  Next time you work out, just try weights. I promise, you won't regret it....and you won't turn into the Hulk.