Monday, September 29, 2014

Delicious Breakfast Nachos!


INGREDIENTS:
-1/2 cup Pinto Beans
-1/10 cup water
-1 extra large egg
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp pepper
-1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I like "Go veggie" because it's soy and gluten free, 0g/mg trans fat and cholesterol)
-1/8 cup salsa
-11 tortilla chips
-Chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and cumin to taste. --------------------------------------------


INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Drain and rinse beans and place them in a small saucepan over medium heat with 1/10 cup water. Add in chili/garlic/cumin/salt/pepper. Cook until warned (about 5 minutes.
2. Scramble one large egg and remove from heat.
3. Arrange 11 tortilla chips on a place. Place the cooked pinto beans on top followed by the scrambled egg.
4. Place cheese and salsa on top.
5. If cheese not completely melted, place nachos in microwave for 30 seconds.
--------------------------------------------


MACRO-NUTRIENT BREAKDOWN:
Calories: 388.2; Carbs: 38.4g; Fat: 18.5g; Protein: 22.7g


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Healthy Alternative to Pumpkin Spice Latte!

Fall is quickly approaching and if you're like me, its my FAVORITE time of the year. Not just because of the comfy clothes and savory food, but because of all the PUMPKIN flavored everything!

Truth: I used to get pumpkin spice lattes constantly from Starbucks every fall. But have you seen that photo circulating about the truth of whats in those things? Terrible! In every pumpkin spice latte there are:

*2 doses of Caramel Color Level IV, coloring made with ammonia and considered a carcinogen
*Absolutely no real pumpkin ingredients
*Made with Monsanto Milk cows fed GMO corn, soy, and cottonseed or soy milk that contains Carrageenan stablizer linked to intestinal inflammation and cancer
*Toxic dose of Sugar (Grande has over 50g of sugar)
*Ambiguous Natural Flavors that can be made from Anything found on earth
*Artifical Flavors made from substances like petroleum
*Preservatives & Sulfites that can cause allergic reactions
*Possible Pesticide Residue from using non-organic coffee beans
*Contains condensed convential milk, not vegan even with soy milk options.


WOW!

Instead, try this YUMMY Pumpkin Pie Shakeology recipe that tastes just like (maybe even better) than the pumpkin spice latte! And the good news? It will be your healthiest meal of the day! 70+ superfood ingredients and only 270 Calories. Delish!


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

PiYo: It's Finally Here!

 

 So, wanna know more about PiYo?! Here is some info straight from the source to help you know the ins-and-outs of this fantastic new program:

"With PiYo, you can carve an intensely defined physique without jumps, weights or straining your joints. Here are some key points to remember:
  • PiYo is low-impact, high-intensity body-transformation program that uses the most effective Pilates- and yoga- inspired moves to sculpt long, lean muscles and burn fat.
  • Utilizing fluid movements, you are kept in constant motion to give you a dynamic cardio workout that typical Pilates or yoga workouts lack.
  • Its low-impact so you won't have to jump around or strain your joints.
  • It's high-intensity so you get the fat-burning results of a more extreme program.
  • It's designed to help you get an intensely defined, long, and lean physique.
  • PiYo is great for anyone or any age, body type, or fitness level. Beginners can follow the modifications demonstrated and even those super-fit athletes can utilize the program to improve their core strength and flexibility through the targeted Pilates-and yoga- inspired moves.
  • PiYo's workouts range from 25-45 minutes. No long drive times to make it to classes, no membership fees - no nothing. Just a solid 25-45 minutes of low-impact, high-intensity workouts. 
  • PiYo's workouts don't require a lot of equipment. You just need your body, a yoga mat, and your motivation to get the results youre looking for. 
  • PiYo is perfect if youre looking to get the benefits of Pilates and yoga but want the calorie burn of a cardio workout.
  • PiYo is also great if you're looking to give your body a break from extreme programs but keep getting results and improve your performance in other sports by restoring flexibility and core strength."

So, now that you know a little more about PiYo, its pretty fantastic, right?! Well, besides the amazing workouts, your PiYo program comes with a SIMPLE and easy to use nutrition guide. Similar to the 21 Day Fix, your meal plan allows for optimal flexibility while still maintaining a healthy, balanced, and nutritious meal plan.

To make things EVEN EASIER for you, I've created some awesome PiYo materials to take the guesswork out of your meal planning, while teaching you how to create and maintain a healthy meal plan - habits that can be used for a lifetime. So, what all did I create?  Here's the deets:

These materials contain:
  • Weekly Meal Planners for EVERY Calorie Bracket
  • Meal Plans with your food items for each meal and snack pre-spaced out and arranged for you to ensure optimal nutrition and balance in your diet to prevent low blood sugar, carb binges at night, and to keep you feeling satisfied and full all day long
  • Weekly food serving breakdown and chart for suggestions on how many items to pick from each food group. This helps make meal planning and prepping easier so you don't have tons of random recipes, food items, and can save money and time when meal prepping
  • A 10 STEP MEAL PLANNING AND PREPARATION GUIDE. I walk you through everything: from how to calculate your caloric needs, to selecting good items, creating a grocery list, best ways to cook food and how to store food and create a meal plan
  • A FREE one week meal plan
  • Each Meal Plan has a daily food group breakdown reminder AND a reminder for how much water to drink and what your workout of the day is
  • Each Meal Planner has your macro breakdown for each day too!

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

6-Grain Shakeology & Cinnamon Swirl Protein Pancakes



Woohoo!


Found a way to get Gideon to eat what he loves WHILE giving him more protein and vitamins and minerals! Granted, some of shakeologys nutritional value gets burned off when cooked above (or below) room temperature but it's still better than nothing! The shakeology retains the majority of it's nutritional value; however some is Cooked off in the process but it still contains more nutrients than if you attempted to add all the fruits, veggies, and vitamins/minerals found in the shakeo. So, despite some of the nutrients being burned off, it's a much better alternative -without changing the taste- to ensuring you get your healthiest meal of the day in.


So why is it a big deal that Gid-kid ate these-willingly?


If you know anything about kids and autism, This is a BIG deal that we can get him to eat this because many of those with autism are VERY selective eaters. Some children with autism prefer certain colored foods, while some might prefer a certain texture, or a shape, of combinations of these things. Because the spectrum is so wide, it's different for each and every child.  


Normally it's hard for us to get Gideon to eat anything other than Mac and cheese, yellow cheese quesadillas, grilled cheese, bread/pancakes, or Cheetos- things that contain little to no nutritional value. So Dave and I are pleased that we can get him some extra vitamins, minerals, and protein in a way that doesn't offend him and that he actually enjoys. #winning. So here's the recipe:


6-Grain Shakeology & Cinnamon Swirl Protein Pancakes!

------------------------------------------

INGREDIENTS:

��1.5 cups milk 

��4 TBSP coconut oil

��2 eggs

��1 Packet Vanilla #shakeology 

��1 scoop cellucor cinnamon swirl whey protein

��1.5 cups organic 6-grain pancake & waffle mix (central milling company- found at Costco)

------------------------------------------

RECIPE:

��Heat skillet medium-low gear or electric griddle to 375 degrees. Te skillet is ready when drops of water sizzle then disappear immediately.

�� Place ingredients in bowl, stir with whisk till smooth.

��Let mixture stand for 1-2 minutes to thicken

��Pour slightly less than 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake

��Flip pancakes when they begin to bubble and are golden brown.

------------------------------------------

Recipes yields about 10, five inch pancakes. 



Thursday, June 5, 2014

Magnetic Refrigerator Chore Chart & Allowance Jars

So, today I came up with a magnetic refrigerator chore chart for the boys with corresponding allowance jars! 


I wanted to come up with a way to have Dave's boys do chores and earn their allowance while giving them structure, responsibility and motivation. I also wanted to give the boys control over their chores so that they don't feel like I'm forcing them to do chores and telling them what to do since I'm learning to finely walk the "stepmom" line. This home, this summer, and having me be their primary caretaker is brand new, so I wanted to still provide structure and discipline while being flexible and teaching them responsibility. 


While there are lots of great chore charts out there- let's be honest: most are unattractive and clash with decor. And if we are really being honest, who wants some unfortunate looking chore chart detracting from all the hardwork you've put into making your home look good? No one.


So, I went to hobby lobby and got pre cut blank tags/labels, magnetic stripping, jars with a chalkboard front so I could write the boys' names, and fake "pirate money/coins." Each pirate coin is worth 50 cents aka a +1. 


Every chore is given a certain value amount:

+1= 50 cents

+2= $1

+3= $1.50

+4= $2.00

+5= $2.50 


The chores are given a +1-5 value depending on the complexity of the chore. For each chore they complete, they add the corresponding amount of pirate money to their allowance jars. So, for example, if they wash the windows it's +5 pirate coins, unloading the dishwasher is +3, reading a book is +5- same for doing extra workbook pages... And so on and so forth. At the end of the week, the boys and I and Dave will count out their pirate money and give them their allowance they earned for the week ��


Now, there are still things that Dave and I expect them to do daily that they don't receive allowance for. Why? Because certain things are just expected when you are a part of a family/household. So, things like picking up your toys after you're done playing with them, picking up their bedroom and straightening their bed, clearing their plate from the table... Those are things that don't earn allowance. The chores on the chore list, however, are things they can do above and beyond their everyday stuff to earn allowance. 


The everyday things we expect from the kids is on a magnetic dry erase board next to their chore list. That way, the boys can visually see everyday what is expected of them and everything is in one spot. 


Here's to a fun and productive summer with the boys!




Tuesday, June 3, 2014

We're Human and Sh*% Happens.




Well, it's Day 7 of bar exam prep classes.  Onlyyyyy Day 7. I'm pretty sure in my mind it's day 10393830, but it's just Day 7. I'm also pretty sure that time is playing an evil trick on me by taking away hours in my day. I'm almost positive there are less hours in the day now than before. At least that's how it seems.

You hear the bar exam horror stories about people being stressed to the max and well I am determined to not let that be me. But it can easily be me. In fact, it was me today. Let's be honest: we are all human. We have our good days and our bad days. Stress gets the best of all of us.

Today was one of those days. 

I had a meltdown over something trivial. Seriously. It was trivial. I was upset that something hadn't gotten done and was being left up to me to get done. I was in the middle of making up a Barbri lecture online since I had a long {and wonderful} day at the ABA Luncheon and CLE given by the District Attorney and couldn't attend the Barbri class today. That's when I had to stop everything I was doing to get this minor thing done. It took me 5 minutes. 5 freaking minutes. That's all. But to me, it was the worlds biggest inconvenience there ever was. And I mean ever. 

Then, I awesomely had a "little bit" of a meltdown and all my frustrations just starting spewing forth from me like some uncontrollable word vomit covered in tears and snot {hawt I know}. It was in that moment that I realized I just threw a tempertantrum.

At 26 years old, I just threw a tempertantrum. A tantrum over something that took less than 5 minutes, yet I was SO concerned about not missing a second of my bar exam studying {a video which I could pause and start anytime} that I legit threw a tantrum and let stress get the best of me.

And the crying. Why was I crying? What the hell was I crying for? So unnecessary. So then when I started to realize that there I was, a grown woman, crying over something so insignificant, I began to laugh. You know, that awkward laugh/cry where no one really knows what's going on and you stand there a blubbering mess spewing awkward sounds and shedding tears with snot running down your face? Yup. That was me. I think the bar exam has already turned me into a crazy person. 

Then, if course I couldn't help but think: "Ahhh. Nooooo. It can't happen! I was just telling everyone how I was going to balance it all and do my best to stay sane during this time."

Well, I'm human. Shit happens. 

I'm sure you can relate to those days where the most insignificant of things can send you over the edge. Between families, children, jobs, bills, commitments, responsibilities {and the lost goes on and on}, it's easy to get overwhelmed with life. It's easy to let stress get the best of us. 

I think the problem is not that we (or I) feel stressed- it's what we DO with that stress that matters.

So what did I do?

I got a quick workout in. I did some yoga. {BTW: Working out was the LAST thing I wanted to do. In fact, at that moment I would've preferred to gorge myself on the plethora of food in the fridge. I'm a [recovering] self-proclaimed stress eater}. I  then closed my study books and realized that when I hit a wall like that, it's best to stop studying {because at that point continuing to study is actually counterproductive}, and to try and use my energy into something positive.

So I did just that. And now here I am blogging. {Afterall, I did say I was going to do more blogging during this time}. I'm going to drink some sleepytime tea and hit the hay. And while I don't quite know the point of telling you all this, I suppose the point of it could be {superficially} is to let you all know that I'm human. I'm just like you and everyone else. I have good days and I have bad days too. Managing stress is important. Not just for you, but for your weight loss, those around you- and for a variety of other reasons.

People often ask me "how do you do it all?" Or they say "I don't know how you balance everything." Well, truth of the matter is, shit, I don't even know how I did it all... In fact, truth be told, I don't do it all. I just do what I can and do my best. Things on my to-do list fall off, get forgotten and the amount of things I want to accomplish, but don't, seems to be longer than the one of things I actually get done. I make mistakes. I forget things {in fact, I'm feeling increasingly scatterbrained since starting bar prep}. But I suppose that's all a part of life.

Thinking about it more- I guess above everything- the heart of this message would be to be kind to yourself and forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for the times you fall short. Forgive yourself when you don't have the patience you wanted or when you don't handle things the way you wanted. Learn to laugh it off and focus your energy on something positive and constructive. Know that we all make mistakes, have our good days and bad. We are perfectly imperfect. It's okay. You're okay. It will all be okay.

We're human and shit happens. 



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Bar Exam Prep, Beachbody, Weight Loss......Oh, My!

Well, it certainly has been a minute since I last blogged. Heck, maybe a minute and half since I actually made a post about a personal update. It's funny how you can start out with all the well-intentions and then life....well, life just happens. Who knew that the saying really is true: life happens.


I feel like life has just picked up at an increasing (and sometimes alarming) rate. I feel like it was just yesterday that I was graduating from law school....but, um, that was a month ago. One whole month. Where did that month go?

Life certainly has been a blur in the last few months. A good blur. Life has been good as of late. Between graduating law school, moving home, finding a home and getting settled, trying to run my beachbody business, to starting bar exam prep - life has been busy. Its been busy, its been good, its been blessed. Its nothing I would have envisioned three years ago.

Right now is a time of great change for me. With graduating law school and beginning to study for the bar exam, I can't help but reflect on the chapter of my life that has just ended and the one that is just beginning. So much is changing. Just three years ago I was an overweight, depressed, negative, cynical, painfully insecure person. I constantly doubted myself. I was great at that negative-self-fulfilling-prophecy thing. Thank goodness that the law school gods saw past my extreme doubts about myself and let me through those pearly law school gates.....and now, here I am. A law school grad. A woman changed. Im no longer that girl who entered law school three years ago. In fact, I hardly recognize her.

Undergraduate Graduation in 2011 vs. Law School Graduation in 2014

I can remember finding out I was accepted into law school. At the time I was engaged and so we began planning our lives in a new state. My life back then was consumed with my fiance, the wedding, moving, and starting law school. When my fiance unexpectedly left me three days before law school and moving to Arizona, I went from having (what seemed) the whole world - to being alone and sad....very confused....and even more insecure than I could've imagined. My heart was broken but I was angry. Angry at the way things were ended. Angry at letting myself go. I was just angry. So, I held onto that anger and used it to fuel my drive and focus that first year of law school. Whether that was healthy, well, thats still out for the jury to decide. It wasn't until I had a "come to Jesus" moment with myself halfway through my law school career that I decided to do something about myself, my weight, my emotional and my mental well-being.

It was New Years Eve 2012. I was alone....at home....sitting on my couch drinking that Lucky Buddha Beer (you know, the cool Buddha shaped beer in the green bottles- fancy!) and I was eating an entire thing of brie and box of triscuits. I was watching all the typical New Years Eve festivities on tv....staying tuned into my friends facebook updates as they rang in the new year at various posh social events around town. And there I was - sitting at home on my couch, in sweatpants, gorging on brie and triscuits and drinking lucky buddha beer. I had turned down friends invites to various events because I a) didn't want to be photographed because I felt too fat and b) I didnt want to have to find an outfit to go out in. Afterall, it was hard to find cute, sexy, flirty New Years Eve outfits for someone my size. So, I sat in that New Years Eve. Sad and alone. Angry at myself for letting myself get to this point.

And so I made a decision. Right then and there, I made a decision. I made a decision to cut the crap - to lose the weight and to lose it right. I made a decision to take better care of myself, to believe in myself more, to think more positively, to become more active, to BE the person I knew I was capable of being and the type of person that others would appreciate having around. Afterall, they say that you must love yourself first before you can love and be loved by others. I think that is absolutely the truth.


Ever since that day that I decided to change, life has been an incredible experience. My weight loss transformation has truly and genuinely changed my life - for the better. What began as a little blog (this here website) and a little instagram has grown into something out of my wildest dreams. Its truly mind-boggling to sit and think at all that has come from creating this blog and my instagram. I mean, really.....I never in a million years would think that some average-joe-schmo-overweight-law student (me) would have any sort of impact or have a story that would resonate with people, allowing what started as an everyday story to turn into a business venture, opportunity to meet with, inspire, and motivate others who find themselves in the same predicament I was in just three years ago - heck, even a year and a half ago.

Beginning of law school vs. End of law school
I never would've thought that my journey to lose the weight would actually turn out to be a journey to finding myself. And in that process I also found love again. My heart healed, my life came full circle, and I'm a completely changed woman for it. I think thats how life works though, right? Life can change at any moment. For me, that moment happened New Years Eve 2012.

And so here I am today....I graduated law school a month ago, moved back home to New Mexico, found a home, unpacked (well, still unpacking) my belongings, am getting everything ready for Dave's boys to come live with us for the summer, and began bar exam prep today.  How did all those things happen in the last month? Where has the time gone?

I was sitting in bar exam prep today and I couldn't help but think: "HOW am I going to keep sane this summer? HOW am I going to get through this crazy/busy time?  HOW am I going to take care of Dave's boys AND run my beachbody business AND study for (and pass) the bar exam?"

My Answer?

I just am.

Just like every other endeavor I've undertaken, I will just do it. "I just am" going to get through it.  Life has thrown me some serious curve balls in the past, so this summer is just another testament to my ability to work through the most difficult of situations and come out on top. What's the saying? "You're never given anything you can't handle?" Well, I can handle this. Its been given to me - and I may have doubts, worries, and fears - but if I couldn't handle it, if it weren't meant to be as it is now, then it wouldn't have been handed to me. I figure you have two choices: to win, or to learn & grow. Either way I won't fail at this. I'll either succeed or I'll learn and grow from it all - and you can't ask for much more than that!


So, back to my thoughts during bar prep (sorry - I can get tangential....obvi...lol)..... I realized that besides keeping on my schedule and routine which includes workouts, healthy eating, personal time, study time, etc., I needed to find things to do just for me. Just to relieve the stress that IS the bar exam. I couldn't help but think at how much I missed doing things like yoga .....and blogging. Its been so long since I've been able to just sit down and reflect. To me, its cathartic - and I think its just the thing I need to help keep me sane during this time.

This new chapter in my life includes: learning how to be a [step]mom (or full time caretaker - or whatever title you may call it).....studying for the biggest (and most important) exam in my entire life - you know, that thing I've been working towards legitimately my entire life....finding a job as an attorney....creating a home for Dave and I and his boys.....


Its as if I'm moving from the old chapter in my life - the "law student, career driven/not looking to settle down anytime soon,young 20-something year old, social butterfly, and fitness blogging enthusiast" to the NEW chapter in my life - "the soon-to-be-attorney, career driven, "new [step]mom"/domesticated/homemaker, fitness business owner and fitness blogger." Its a distinct shift in my life. Trust me on that one.

 
 Going from worrying about what new restaurant Dave and I should visit or what happy hour we should hit up, never worrying about having time to get a workout in because I only had myself to worry about..... to now preferring to stay in and work on the house, parenting books adorning my bedside table, trying to figure out a "family" schedule so I can find just 30 minutes in my day to workout, and worrying more about placing Dave's kids in a great summer program - well, its very different. I really love it, actually. Granted, I'm scared shitless at all the changes and BIG things going on in my life, but I am so excited and happy to be where I am at. With the changes comes changes in my fitness journey too....and those changes I welcome with open arms. I can't wait to see how my weight loss and fitness journey transforms alongside this new chapter in my life. It will give my journey more depth, more meaning, another layer.....another experience that I can share with you all, which in turn is just another way for me to better relate to you....to motivate you....to support, guide, and coach you all.

So, as I embark on this new and exciting chapter of my life, I will be making an effort to blog more....to share with you all the things I learn along the way - all the experiences I experience, the laughs I share, the tears I cry, the gray hairs I sprout (lol)...... I think it will be good to get back to the basics - back to what I love. I think I need that "me" time at the end of the day - to reflect, to vent, to share. I'm excited to share this new part of my life and my weight loss/fitness journey with you all. Hopefully you will find it just as motivating and inspirational than the last chapter that got us to here.

And thank you (in advance) for supporting me through the most difficult and challenging time in my life thus far. You all have blessed and enriched my life more than I could've ever imagined. On days that I lack motivation myself, all I have to do is flip to a comment on an instagram post or read an email and my sense of motivation and purpose comes back full force.

So, here we go folks.....ready or not, here life comes.......

...Until next time...
xoxo
::E::