Friday, July 10, 2015

The Fit Beast Feasts: Protein Pancakes

I don't know what it is lately, but I have been craving pancakes.  A lot!  I've shared my go-to recipe before, but sometimes it just needs to be republished!!!

In a blender....a really good blender....chop or puree 1 cup of old fashioned oats.  You want it to get blended so fine just like flour.  In fact, that's what you're making.  Oat flour!  You can make bigger batches of this and store if for other baking needs!!!  Anyway, back to the recipe.  Once your oats are really finely blended, add 1 scoop of protein powder (any flavor will do, but I prefer the Cinnamon Swirl Whey from Cellucor), 1 cup of low fat cottage cheese, 1 cup of egg whites, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.  Blend until a batter consistency is reached.  Easy, right?

The macros are even better!!  The entire batter mixture is 700 calories, 7.5 grams of fat, 61 grams of carbs, and 91 grams of protein.  Just divide it by the number of pancakes you make to get your own breakdown.

Try out other fun protein powder combinations.  Try chocolate with sliced strawberries.  Cake batter with some whipped cream and sprinkles for a birthday breakfast.  Strawberry pancakes with a slather of peanut butter.  Have fun and eat clean!!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Guide to Healthy Greens

I never really bought into the kale trend and I certainly never took a bite out of it, either.  I can't stand the stuff.  I might have had a little sip of it, here and there, in a green juice, but I'd rather eat/drink something else.  So you can imagine my surprise and smirky smile when I learned that the CDC's list of power foods ranks loads more leafy greens above kale in terms of nutrition.  These 10 greens hold more nutritional value....and better flavor...than kale, which ranked 15 on the list, by the way!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Fit Beast Feasts: Grab-N-Go Omelettes from Love, Laugh, Cook

A few months ago, I was lucky to meet Victoria Rogers, the genius behind Love, Laugh, Cook.  Not only is she an amazing food blogger, but she and her husband were also the geniuses behind bringing FitCon to Utah.  They were gracious enough to let me help out the two days of the event and I got to see, first-hand, what a great husband and wife team they are and how incredibly hard working they are.

So I can only imagine how often they use this handy recipe with their busy lifestyles.  Seriously, I won't even get into detail about how much they do.  You'll feel like an underachiever.  Anyway, Victoria shared on Instagram and her blog, today, this great recipe for the easiest and most handy omelettes you'll ever eat.  I can claim no credit for the tasty looking photos and video, and savvy idea behind the recipe.  It's all Victoria.  But I just had to share it because I know that there are so many of you out there who are doing eggs for breakfast as part of your meal prep and healthy routine.

photo cred :: Victoria Rogers::

I, myself, cannot wait to try this out tomorrow morning.  I'm so sick of my microwaved egg whites in my Starbucks mugs.  Yes, you can do that.  But they won't taste nearly as good as what Victoria has come up with.  Check out how easy this is!
photo cred :: Victoria Rogers::
  • 1 zip loc bag
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • Your choice of chopped ingredients (peppers, tomatoes, onions, spinach, ham, bacon, cheese etc...)
  1. Crack the eggs into the zip loc bag.
  2. Add ingredients of your choice.
  3. Close bag tightly and get as much air out as possible.
  4. Place bag in boiling water for 15 minutes.

Try these out for yourself, follow Victoria's Instagram, and check out her blog for more amazing recipes!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Sugar Rush: A Look At America's Soda Consumption

I won't be a hypocrite here in this post.  I do drink the occasional diet soda.  There, I said it.  Yes, I know that artificial sweeteners aren't that great for you, either, but I'm really working to ween myself off the Diet Coke and Pepsi Maxx that I love so much by drinking water, especially La Croix's grapefruit flavored water.  The following REALLY made me want to drink more H2O.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The FitBeast Feasts: Brownie Overnight Protein Oatmeal

I've never understood the concept of dessert for breakfast. Doughnuts. Crazy high in sugar cereals. Coffee cake.  That's dessert people!  That's not okay.  Not in my book, at least.  But what I can get behind are brownies for breakfast when they're in the form of this mouth watering overnight oatmeal recipe from!


1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup nonfat, plain greek yogurt
1 tablespoon unsweetend cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 packets stevia or Splenda
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/8 cup whey chocolate protein powder


1. In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients together
2. Divide between two small bowls, mugs, or glass jars
3. Cover and refrigerate overnight so that the oats soften and absorb the liquid
4. Enjoy cold or microwave 30-60 seconds to enjoy warm!


Service size: 1 bowl
Recipe yields: 1 serving
Amount per serving
Calories 283
Fat7 g
Carbs36.5 g
Protein23 g

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Fit Beast Feasts: Guacamole Sandwich & Why You Should Be Eating More Avocados

Guacamole is everywhere.  It's all the new rage on sandwiches.  It's popping up on the table and your latest work luncheon, and you've probably brought your famous recipe to a neighborhood BBQ.  And I'm happy about that!  I'm psyched!

Guacamole is rad.  It tastes great and the main ingredient is wickedly good for you!

1. They help your immune system.
2. They help with muscle development by assisting in forming connective tissue ----YAY MUSCLES!!!
3. They aide in digestion and in speeding up that metabolism you sometimes complain about.
4. They help keep your heart happy.
5. They keep you pretty.  Or handsome.  If you're into those kinds of superficial things.  Okay, we all are.
6. They help keep your teeth and bones health.
7. They're full of FAT!  Yes, that's a good thing.  They're full of GOOD FAT!!

What else is so great about avocados?  I'm so glad that you asked!  I'll show you!!!

I know, awesome, right?  Want to know what's even more awesome?  It's my favorite way to eat avocado: guacamole sandwich.

I'm not just putting this on my sandwich to accompany some meat and other sandwich-y stuff.  This is my sandwich material!

Here's what you do:  mash up half of an avocado to whatever consistency you want.  Keep it as chunky or as smooth as you want.  Slather it on both sides of your favorite bread.  Try to keep that bread whole grain!!!  And top it with lettuce, onion slices, tomato slices, and some banana peppers.  Done.  Killer good.

Essentially, you just take what you would normally mix into your guac when you make it (I do lime juice, garlic, tomatoes, purple onion, cilantro, and jalapenos) and make it sandwich style.

Trust me on this.  It's REALLY good!!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Mustard? Don't Let's Be Silly!

Oh, please tell you know what this title is in reference to.  You don't?  How are we friends?

As it so turns out, and as almost every gym rat who watches what they eats knows, mustard is one of the best condiments out there.  See how your favorite stack up!

Monday, May 18, 2015

There Is No Quit

Most days, I'm completely drained, exhausted, sometimes hurting, and "life" seems monumentally challenging.  Most days,  one or more of my health issues are flaring up and making it impossible or not safe for me to train.  I can even eat the way I need to because of them.  Most days, lately, I feel like a complete failure when I look at what I'm doing and how I'm living in comparison to my lifestyle and health related goals.

Based on that dreariness, you almost want me to quit, huh?

Quitting is a sentiment best expressed once you've gotten a few failure on the blackboard of life.  It's easiest to do once you've tasted success and then been taunted by failure when you've fallen on your ass.

But based on what I've been through, how far I've come, and what I've been able to accomplish even in the middle of some really crappy barriers.......there is no quit.  Not in my life.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Cinco de Mayo + Beeph Meals = PARTY!!!!!!!!

Ahhhhh! I can believe I didn't post this earlier, but if you hurry and click that cool Beeph Meal pictures over there, just to the right, nope, a little further...yep, that's the can get a discount on your order in celebration of Cinco de Mayo!  Enter code cincodemayo to get 5% off your order!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The "Perfect" Body

Having any sort of presence on social media when you're in the fitness industry, you're completely vulnerable and susceptible to body shaming.  I count my lucky stars that nobody has attacked me, verbally, in secret behind their computer monitor, tablet, or phone, but I have seen it happen to people in the "industry" who I admire and to my friends.

Even the strongest of women I know might have a moment of weakness where they believe the trolls for a second or two.

But the biggest troll out there can actually be the person looking back from the mirror.

Just as it's not okay to shame someone else for their body, it's not okay to shame yourself.  Turn any shame that you might have about your body into something productive, constructive, and literally healthy.  Make a change to become the best version of yourself.   Stop buying into the lies that society, fashion magazines, designers, and the voices in your head tell you.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Fit Con Utah - April 24th & 25th

Hey, Utah, and anyone who wants to travel, you have GOT to come to FitCon April 24th and 25th!

What's Fi tCon?  Well, it's like Comic Con, but for gym rats!!!

Seriously though, Fit Con Utah is the premier fitness, sports, and health conference in the state of Utah.  They will be bringing in the top fitness professionals that will educate and motivate the community with an overall goal to provide every opportunity to increase your knowledge and improve your desire to live a healthier lifestyle.

Fit Con Utah is packed with seminars, celebrity keynote speakers, live fitness classes, cooking demonstrations, competitions, and tons of exhibitor booths.

Fit Con Utah is composed of 2 days packed full of action: A Day of Education and A Day of Fitness. Both days will provide the people of Utah with every opportunity to learn and the participate in MANY different types of training.

Whether you are a workout fanatic or just beginning your fitness journey, Fit Con Utah has everything you need to achieve your goals.  Take advantage of this amazing opportunity and gather all the tools needed to become the best version of yourself.

Click here to learn more about Fit Con Utah, the speakers, demonstrations, exhibitors, and competitions, and to buy tickets!

I hope to see you there both days as I'll be working the event!  Come say hi!!!!!

Friday, April 17, 2015

It's Friday, I'm In Love: Trimr Water + Shaker Bottle

If you follow me on Instagram or know me in real life, you'll know that I carry my Trimr water bottle everywhere.  From the gym, to the mountains where I trail run, to the office, and virtually anywhere else I go, it's with me.  I was so happy to discover this Salt Lake City based company, because I love supporting local, shopping local, and promoting local, and I've just been blown away by their product, their social media, and their marketing.  They're truly awesome.

After a successful Kikstarter campaign in 2014, the genius creators were able to launch their "hybrid bottle that combines the best features of a reusable water bottle with the functionality of a shaker bottle".  And I've got to tell you, their three years' of work is amazing.  I'll let them say it best in their own words:

What distinguishes the Trimr® Water + Shaker Bottle from other protein shaker bottles such as Blender Bottle® or Cyclone Cup®? A basic feature comparison (shown below) highlights that there are very similar feature such as they are all dishwasher safe, BPA free, fit in cup holders, have a dual purpose of being a water bottle and a protein shaker, and they all claim to be leak proof. However, there are some subtle features that the Trimr bottle has that make all the difference to the user. 
The gang at Trimr® believe that the best comparison is to look at the evolution of these three products. Blender Bottle® was the first shaker bottle on the market that solved the basic need . People needed a bottle to shake their protein on the go and the Blender Bottle delivered. Soon after a lot of companies followed suit with Cyclone cup being one of them. With time, people began to realize that the bottle met the basic requirements of many people, but fell short in terms of design and didn't cater to different segments of the market.
Trimr, Blender Bottle and Cyclone Cup
It was this unmet need that led to the development of the Trimr® Water + Shaker Bottle. Designers and athletes have long existed at opposite ends of the form/function spectrum. Designers crave beauty. Athletes demand performance. Trimr® is where designers and athletes work together. It's where form and function collide and neither is sacrificed. Our passion is matched only by our clean thinking and sharp execution. And our name—Trimr®—is a reflection of our approach: Leaner, Quicker, Smarter, and Better.
While the Blender Bottle and Cyclone Cup could be used for drinking water, their primary purpose is the blending of other ingredients with water or other liquids. The Trimr® product was designed specifically with the dual purpose in mind. It has a built in straw for convenient sipping, which is perfect for water. At the same time, the straw is large enough to easily handle a pre or post workout shake. If you still love chugging your protein shake, don’t worry because there is a chugging lid which flips open and allows for fast chugging. The Trimr® Water + Shaker Bottle is designed with an ergonomic shape for easy handling. The Non- Slip Rubber base ensures the bottle won't slide around.  When looking at these bottle side by side, it is clear that one was designed to perform with every end user’s needs in mind, while the other two address a single basic market need.
Cyclone Cup claims to provide a better mix due to its stationary Cyclone feature compared to the wire whisk ball used in Blender Bottle. The Trimr® Shaker Bottle’s design differentiates it from all other shakers through the use of a Piston-like agitator that moves along the length of the straw. This design differentiator serves two purposes. One - you won’t have to worry about losing the agitator because it is confined by the design of the straw, unlike the wire whisk ball which often gets misplaced. Two – by placing the agitator around the straw and the narrow point of the bottle, it ensures all of the mixture passes through the agitator providing extremely effective mixing power. 
I own countless Blender Bottles, one Cyclone Cup, and one Trimr.  Let me just say this....I'm cleaning out the cupboard that houses all of them.  I'm not tossing all of them...some will be good to have as back-ups, but I will always reach for my Trimr.  And you don't have to use it just for mixing protein shakes.  If you want the most beautiful water bottle out there, just remove the straw/agitator and there you go...chug away!!!
You can get yours through several online retailers, but I suggest purchasing directly from their site because you get free shipping with a purchase of $30 or more.  And trust me, you're going to want a few bottles, perhaps one of every color.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Fit Beast Feasts: Strawberry Chia Jam

I always make poor decisions around this time of year.  I seem to find the gold mine of amazing tasting strawberries at the grocery store and my eyes suddenly become far bigger than my stomach AND the produce shelf-life.

In years past, I would take my abundance and turn it into the best tasting, chunky, sweetened strawberry freezer jam.  It became so much of a tradition and "thing" of mine that I even bought a deep freezer for my garage so I didn't dominate the small kitchen freezer.  Kerr jar after Kerr jar would be filled to the brim.  Kerr jar after Kerr jar would be gifted to friends, family, and co-workers.

Bread would be baked, buttered, topped, and consumed.  In seconds.

Ice cream would be adorned.

Dad would put it on his morning Cheerios.

I'd eat it right out of the container with no other vessel than a spoon or, heaven forbid, a finger.

I'm sorry.  I won't be humble about it.  I made a mighty fine strawberry jam.

But that was years ago.  I hardly remember what it was like.  But I had a little walk down memory lane the other day when I tried my hand at a far healthier alternative.  And I won't be humble about it. I've made a mighty fine strawberry jam.

If you've committed a produce sin, like I do, and have bought too many strawberries and you fear they might spoil, don't worry, you don't many.

In a container, add slide or chopped strawberries and mash them with either a form or an immersion blender.  You'll need only one cup of berries.

To the berries, add 1 Tablespoon of organic chia seeds.  I prefer the Health Warrior Brand.  They are extremely picky about the quality of their chia seeds and I have MAD respect for their company.

Stir in 1 Tablespoon of water and, depending on the sweetness of the berries, add a small pinch of stevia.  Stir well and break up any chia seed clumps.

Store in a covered container and allow to set for approximately 30 to 60 minutes in the refrigerator.

Serve on toast, ice cream, your morning Cheerios, on a spoon, or, heaven forbid, a finger.

Eat clean.  Live lean.  Live better.  Live longer.

Friday, April 10, 2015

It's Friday, I'm In Love: Muscle Pharm CoCo Protein

I had just spent the entire day flying from Salt Lake City to Boston.  I was full of nasty airplane air, devoid of anything nutritional in my body, and dehydrated.  I was tired.  And as I got in his truck, my brother tossed me a carton of coconut water.  I squinted my eyes in the darkness, turned up my nose at it for a minute, and then my brain reminded me that I liked coconut.  My brother reminded me that I was probably dehydrated and told me to drink up.  After unscrewing the white top, I took an eager chug, anticipating some tropical goodness, and immediately felt like I'd just drank soapy dish waster. Was this a sick joke?

"It's good, right?".  He was smiling and happy to share it with me, so I faked a smile, nodded, and drank some more.

We had a long drive from Boston to the Essex Bay, and as we talked, I unknowingly sipped on the bottle until it was empty.  I wasn't sold.  But I was hydrated.

When we got to his house, his refrigerator and freezer were stocked with the stuff.  I still wasn't sold.  But as the days went on, as I spent countless hours out paddleboarding under the sun, expending energy and draining my body, the more and more I drank of it.  And the more and more I fell in love with it.

My brain was telling me that it wasn't good because my brain was used to the sugary and sweetened flaked stuff in a bag that made my amazing coconut cake recipe all the more amazing.  My brain didn't know the TRUE flavor of REAL coconut.  Without realizing it, I had fallen completely in love with coconut water.

I'd grab a frozen one in the morning before heading out to do beach clean up, and as it would start to melt, I'd shake up the icy shards to create a restoring slushee, and cool my lips in the summer sun.

I think that's when my love affair began.  That's when I began using coconut water as a restorative beverage after exhausting my body in physical activity.  That's when the taste became less funky and more amazing.  So you can imagine how thrilled I was to find that MusclePharm had created this glorious fusion of coconut water and a protein shake, called CoCo Protein.  When my friend Samantha posted a picture to her Instagram account showing off her bottle, I nearly jumped out of my skin in excitement to try it.

I immediately ordered mine from, and had to get a few of each flavor (pina colada and chocolate) to try.

There's only one thing to say:  they do not disappoint.

If you've tried coconut water in the past and have not been too keen on the flavor, PLEASE, give these a try.  You will not be let down.

They boast 20 grams of milk protein while being lactose free and gluten free, and they restore electrolytes in a healthier way than those neon colored sports drinks.

As always, this post is not sponsored.  I am not paid to write reviews, nor am I compensated in any way by MusclePharm.  I'm just an over-sharer!!

Eat clean.  Live lean.  Live better.  Live longer.

Monday, April 6, 2015

More Than Meets the Eye

Did you know that I have another blog?  No?  Well, you should check it out!

This girl does more than just lift weights, practice MMA, and eat clean.  I'm a huge fan of yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and just about anything that makes me a calmer, more centered, better, and well-rounded practitioner of life.

You can read about my adventures and experiences in a more "zen" part of my life over at The Yoga Beast Blog.

Friday, March 20, 2015

It's Friday, I'm In Love: Beeph Meals

Last summer when my doctors discovered that I was on the verge of developing a serious kidney disease/disorder, I not only had to "stop" training but I had to stop using supplements, completely had to cut out protein powder, and minimize my protein dominant diet.  It sucked.  Big time.  I felt like everything that I loved got taken away in an instant, and rightly so.  What I was ingesting and what I was doing had the potential to cause long term health issues.  Serious issues.  When you hear the word "dialysis" and "failure", you do whatever your doctors say.

Lots of tests, surgery, medication, modifying my diet and active lifestyle have helped, and it's nice to know that I'm not going to be going through dialysis or treatments in the future, but I feel like I'm not my self.  Everything that I worked so hard for has completely disappeared.  I'm not as cut or as lean as I used to be.  I don't have the strength or endurance that I'd worked so hard to develop.  And after 6 months of being "benched" it's time for me to get back to being me.

I know how to bust my butt in the gym, but I know that getting my nutrition dialed in would be a HUGE benefit as I'm getting back in shape.  When I first began training and following a meal plan, I was spot on with my prep and would dominate my kitchen with my food scale, portions of protein, prepped veggies, you name it.  That was also when I was living in a house with a huge kitchen, tons of prep space, and a dishwasher.

Since moving downtown a few years ago, into a smaller apartment without a dishwasher, I've completely lost touch with my old meal prep routines.  I'd still prepare meals, but not nearly as many as needed, so I'd stop following my meal plan.  I'd scramble to get my meals prepped last minute, and when I'd completely space it, I'd just stop.  For weeks on end.  I can't go back to that kind of "failure". So I'm outsourcing my nutrition!

I never thought I'd be one of those gym rats who had someone prep my food for me.  Why?  Because I actually know how to cook, portion my meals, and I actually like to cook.  No, I love to cook.  So that's why I'm beyond happy that I've found Beeph Meals, a company that prepares, portions, and seasons all of my proteins (and rice and veggies, and salsa, and pancakes, and Beeph Dough), and then lets me be the chef that I love being!

Unlike other meal prep companies that cook everything for you, Ephraim Tinoco's Orem, Utah, based company offers you quite a bit more freedom and freshness.  There's something unappetizing to me about buying already cooked meals and then freezing them until I need them, reheating them, and then "enjoying" the food.  There's something far more appetizing about taking FRESH meat and veggies perfectly portioned for me and getting to cook them and serve them up my way.

Meal plans are portioned out for men and women and include everything from carne asada, zesty chicken, chicken fajitas, pancakes, and sides.  And they're done by a pretty smart fit guy (he didn't get the nickname Beeph for nothing) who knows his stuff!

Oh, and did I mention how amazing the price is?  I'd been looking at other companies in the area and I've saved about $500 by going with Beeph Meals over their pre-cooked plans.  $500!  What the what?!?

If you're in Utah County and looking for something/someone to help you with your nutrition based fitness goals, please, pretty please, go check out Beeph Meals and find a plan that works for you. Whether you want 2 meals a day for 2 weeks or 3 meals a day for a month, Ephraim has what you need!

Make sure you stay tuned to the blog for The Fit Beast Feasts recipe ideas featuring my meals from Beeph Meals.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Overnight Chia Oatmeal

It's no secret that I love oatmeal, and it's definitely no secret now that I love overnight oats.  I eat them almost every day either for breakfast or lunch, and they are positively amazing.

Here's my simple recipe:

In a lidded container, add 1 cup of old fashioned rolled oats, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, 4-5 strawberries (diced), and cover with unsweetened original almond milk.  Stir until well combined and make sure that the mixture is thoroughly saturated with almond milk.  You don't want this to be too dry as the oats and chia seeds with suck up the moisture overnight.  You want it to be soupy.

Cover the mixture with the lid, pop it in your refrigerator overnight, and go to sleep!

If it looks a little dry in the morning, add a bit of milk, give it a stir, and eat it.  And don't heat it up. It's great cold.  And don't add sugar or crap like that to make it unhealthy.

Eat clean.  Live lean.  Live better.  Live longer.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

My Story

It's been a while since I first shared my transformation story, and I felt compelled to share it, again.  I know that a lot of you are either thinking about getting healthy, have taken the first steps to get healthy, or are possibly looking for motivation to keep it going.  I hope you'll see that there is no final end point.  There is no stopping.  There is no, "Whew, I'm done!" moment.  This is a lifetime commitment.  Your health is a lifetime commitment.  You will have setbacks.  You will have moments where you slip up.  You will  have days where you don't give it you full commitment.

That's okay.

Get back up.  Get back on track.  Keep it going.

The following is my original post from when I shared my story:

a few of my readers know the story behind my transformation of mind, body, and spirit.  for those of you who don't know it, i'll give you the condensed version.

i grew up, like most girls, feeling very insecure about myself and my body.  i was tall, gangly, always tripping over myself, not too good at sports, struggled with some subjects in school, had "friends" who made me feel worse about myself, and while i was extremely happy and well-loved by my family, internally i felt broken.

as the years progressed, so did my insecurities.  when i looked in the mirror, i saw a version of myself that i didn't like, a version that nobody else saw.  i always focused on my imperfections, my flaws, my insecurities, and my weaknesses.  that self-deprecating attitude and behavior led to a lot of self-loathing that i was really successful at hiding.  though i didn't feel it, i was told that i put off an air of confidence and strength.  i must have been very good at faking it because i didn't like who or what i saw in the mirror.

i struggled with body image issues and sought gratification and validation through unhealthy routes.  relationships with people and food became toxic and when i'd start to feel worse about myself and my choices, i'd binge and purge.  i did this for years, hiding bulimia from family and friends, and came to hate and distrust myself even more.

amazing doctors and therapists stepped in to help what was not a make or break moment.  i wasn't skin and bones and whithering away, physically.  i was mentally.  they helped me stop the bulimia.  but i still wasn't happy.

as more and more weight would pile on, so did the temptation to resort back to the bulimia.  i'd do the smart thing, from time to time, and exercise and cut out junk food and fast food, but i wasn't consistent.  i'd cut calories, cut fat, limit carbohydrates, starve myself for days on end, and i even went so far as to do several rounds of the hcg diet.  trust me, people, that diet is the worst possible thing you could do for yourself.  though i lost a lot of weight, i learned absolutely nothing.  i ate 500 calories a day, felt happier to see shrinking thighs but struggled with my energy and ultimately put on the 40 pounds i lost, plus an addition 15 pounds.  it was hell.  sorry, mom, i know you don't like that word...but i was living in my own version of hell.  i was back to totally hating myself and flirting with shoving that finger down my throat after every meal. 

i hit my breaking point at about 180 pounds, my highest weight, ever.  i was struggling to fit into my size 14 and size 16 pants and i'd squeeze into spanx to help things fit better.  i'm pear shaped and am totally glute/abcentric with where i carry my weight, so my face and arms stayed slim.  it was easy to hide the rest of me while still giving off the impression that i wasn't as big as i really was.  but all the spanx and smiles couldn't hide what was really under there.  i started getting my nutrition back in check and began running and doing home workout dvds.  i lost 15 pounds.  that would be awesome for most people, but i wanted better results.

that's where my hero came into play.

i swallowed my pride, joined my local gym, and signed up for my free fitness consultation with a trainer.  i knew i was committed.  i knew getting my life and body back on track was my priority, and i knew that i needed to find someone that i could trust to help me with that.  that person was taylor empey. 

we trained together for 15 months.  i saw amazing progress with my body, but an even greater sense 
of accomplishment with my mind and life.  taylor went the extra mile and truly became my life coach.  helping me with everything from relationship advice to career mentoring, taylor has coached me into succeeding.

most of us have dreams of what we want to do with our lives and careers.  most of us stay asleep in those dreams.  taylor opened his eyes and has made his dream a reality by going into business for himself to help transform not just bodies but lives.  though i will miss him pushing me in the gym, i'm grateful that the lessons he taught me are forever imprinted in my mind and i'm even more grateful to be involved in this next phase of his life and don't have to be living in utah to benefit from his wisdom, experience, and his amazing story of can work with him from wherever you are.

you've heard my story.  you've seen my results.  you've seen what taylor empey is capable of.  why not see what you are capable of with his help?  whether you are interested in signing up for coaching packages or want to benefit from his free content, please visit his site www.taylorempey.comto begin your own journey of self discovery.  there's no better time to start writing your own success story.

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Why Oatmeal Is The Best For Weight Loss

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that I was raving about my oatmeal this morning AND referencing an embarrassing story about my love of it.  Well, here it is:

My mother birthed and breastfed 6 children.  She firmly believed in its benefits and was dutiful in breastfeeding us all.  I know that some people are of the opinion that if you are too old to ask for it than you're probably too old to get it.  Well, I was asking for it.

One morning I went in to her room, looked up at her, and asked, "Eat?".  Mom had decided that it was time to wean me off of breast milk completely, so she turned me down.  Rejected and deflated, I put my little head down and lamented my loss.  Then I looked up and asked, "Oatmeal?".   Even I knew back then that it was my second best option for nutrition.

Studies are showing that eating oatmeal for breakfast will help support weight loss.  Awesome, right? Here are the benefits and reasoning behind it.

It's backed by science:  A small study found that those who ate oatmeal daily for six weeks had a greater decrease in cholesterol levels and waist size than those who ate the same amount of carbs in noodles over the same time period. It's proof that you can have your carbs and eat them, too!

It keeps you satisfied: There's no need to reach for an unhealthy convenience snack in the morning when you've got oatmeal on your side; it offers the calories and fiber you need to stay satisfied all morning long. Unlike sugary breakfast cereals full of refined carbs, the body digests oatmeal at a slower pace, keeping blood sugar levels steady, energy up, and hunger away.

It helps you time carbs right: When it comes to weight loss, celebrity trainers Bob Harper and Gunnar Peterson agree: you should eat carbs for breakfast. According to Manhattan-based nutritionist and registered dietitian Shira Lenchewski, "[carbs] are burned more efficiently in the morning than at night," so they don't go unused and get stored as fat in the body. Shira also recommends that the largest meal (higher in carbohydrates) be breakfast.

It's quick to come together: Rolled oats take well under 10 minutes from prep to bowl. It might be a little more time than that instant packet you're used too, but these varieties don't come with any added sugars often found in those flavored packets. Or there's always the option to go with overnight oats that require just a little prep the night before and are ready to eat from the fridge the next morning.

The possibilities are endless: This warming breakfast should never feel boring or blah. Liven up your oatmeal bowl with these healthy combinations that keep your meal feeling fresh, filling, and satisfying to your taste buds, too.

Eat clean.  Live lean.  Live better.  Live longer.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I Love You

I know that you struggle with accepting some parts of yourself.  I know that you look in the mirror and immediately focus and fixate.  I know that you have the moments where you loathe and despise. I know that you have times where you wish for more of less.  I know you secretly wish to look like someone else.  I know you've cried over this.  I know that you've made yourself feel horrible for your decisions, actions, or behavior.  I know you've felt shame.  I know you've felt embarrassed.  I know that you compare yourself to others.  I know that you don't see the beauty that others do.  I know that you don't often believe the compliments and truths about yourself.

It's time to make peace with the image in the mirror.  Believe me when I tell you that this is the most important step in any sort of mission to self discovery, a journey to self acceptance, and it's crucial en route to self transformation.  Please, learn to love yourself.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

20-Minute NO Running Cardio Blast At Home Workout

Confession:  I have had zero time for the gym lately.  Between an insane work deadline that zapped all of my energy for several weeks and a sometimes crippling and painful lung disorder that keeps me indoors and unable to do much physical activity, I've become incredibly frustrated with my lack of activity.  I'm fortunate that my weight is not going up but staying completely stagnant, but I still miss feeling the rush.  The truth is resonating that the longer I live in this state, the worse my lungs will get and I will probably HAVE to be somewhat dormant during the cold months.  

But that doesn't mean I'm completely inactive!  I do exercises within the confines of my little apartment and I'm so glad that I'm on the ground floor so I don't irritate a downstairs neighbor with my jumping around!  Between yoga, videos on YouTube, meditation, and awesome workouts like this one from POPSUGAR, I'm a happy camper.  

This 20-minute workout is awesome because it requires NO equipment and you can do it at whatever intensity level you're capable of!  If you're a stellar athlete you can go all out.  If you're a struggling lung sufferer like I am, you'll watch yourself.  If you're just starting out...good for you.  Go at whatever pace you can, but don't wimp out!  Believe me, your mind will tell you that you can't go on much sooner than your body will.  Each of these exercises are 1 minute intervals.  You can do 1 minute!  If your mind starts telling you to stop, replace it with my voice.  You don't know what I sound like, but if you did, I'd be telling you to drop the "can't", dig deeper, focus on the finish line, and do it!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Say "No" to "Can't"

Let me guess.  You made a resolution or goal to lose weight in this new year, didn't you?  You made a resolution or goal to eat better, didn't you?  That's AWESOME.  I think that's amazing and I wish you all the success in the world.  But the odds are kind of against you.

According to one report that I read, the number one resolution in 2014 was to lose weight.  Statistically speaking, only 45% of Americans make resolutions, and an even smaller percentage are successful in their resolution.  Guess that percentage.  20%? 15%?  10%?  Nope, none of those.  8%.  Can you believe it?  It shocked me!  I don't want you to be part of the 92% who...well, fail.  So I'm going to teach you something to help you when it comes to losing weight through eating better:  "I DON'T".

When I first started focusing on my own nutrition, I found distractions and temptations everywhere.  Co-workers would bring in treats.  Dinners out with friends.  Holiday treats and goodies.  It was so hard!!!

People would tell me to just have one, have just a bite, to cheat a little because I'd worked so hard, and even that I "deserved" it.  My response was always the same, "I can't eat that."

It hit me, one day, how self-defeating that kind of talk was.  It left me powerless, as if the decision to eat clean had taken away my ability to choose for myself.  And I heard, far too many times from one person, that I could eat it if I wanted to.  So, instead of getting irritated by those offering me foods that weren't good for me and rather than becoming irate at the "Yes, you can eat that." response, I took the power back into my own hands.  Instead of saying "I can't eat that.", I started saying "I don't eat that."  And do you know what happened?  I didn't feel so deprived because I wasn't eating the brownies, caramel corn, doughnuts, or monthly birthday cakes.

Be successful in your new resolutions and goals.  Reinforce the good behavior through positive affirmations instead of restricting and limiting behavior.

Eat clean.  Live lean.  Live better.  Live longer.

Friday, January 2, 2015

It's Friday, I'm In Love: Buddha Teas

My love affair with tea began as a child.  My earliest memory of sipping a warm cup of tea was on a rainy day in Phoenix, Arizona, and it was peppermint tea.  It was like liquid candy sunshine.  Warm. Sweet.  Soothing.  And I felt like such a big kid getting to drink something so seemingly adult.  Next, I tried chamomile.  It wasn't nearly as sweet as I wanted it to be and adding a little honey seemed so naughty and good.  Passion Tea wiggled its way into my lemonades at Starbucks, as did their skinny chai lattes, and I even tried random combinations like vanilla and blueberry, pomegranate black tea, blends to help me sleep, and blends with kava kava to help me chill out and simmer down a bit.  And then I read an article on the kitchn, a few years ago, about what's really in our tea.  My love affair totally changed.

It worried me that I was blindly/possibly drinking something harmful in something that seemed so therapeutic and soothing.  We all know that the FDA allows a certain amount of dirt, bugs, and excrement in our food (one of many reasons why I eat a clean diet as much as possible), so it's only natural that the same screening process is loosely applied to mass produced teas.  So, naturally, I applied my clean eating to my teas and only bought organic teas.

So you can imagine my excitement when I was contacted by the delightful people from Buddha Teas about trying their certified organic teas!

Unlike companies that process even their natural flavors and even disguise them to make them all taste uniformly, Buddha Teas lets nature take its course.  It made complete sense to me when they explained that their natural teas will vary in flavor.  Take a carrot, for example.  Did you know that the longer it stays in a relatively cold ground, the more sugars will develop in it and it will produce a sweeter flavor?  Pull a carrot too soon and it might not taste as great as a carrot that you let linger longer. In all of my years of gardening, I've never known fruits, veggies, and herbs to all taste uniformly alike.  It's the exact same with tea.  A batch of chamomile tea may taste different weekly, monthly, and yearly.  And that's okay!

What I really like about Buddha Teas is that the flavors are so incredibly natural.  They don't taste overly perfumey or fake.  The subtle layers come out the longer it steeps and, I'm confessing, I often continue to add hot water to my mug once it's been emptied because the flavor of the tea doesn't fade as quickly as those other fake teas.

The two flavors I've been sipping on lately are the Calm Buddha Blend and the Skinny Buddha Blend.  As to not give you a biased opinion, I've distributed a bunch of the bags to my fellow tea drinking friends and coworkers.  We are unanimous in our opinion.  They are AWESOME!

Calm Buddha Blend:  Okay, I was a little scared to try this blend, but only because other like it that I've tried have been absolutely horrible and mostly because of the kava kava.  I mean, it felt like I was drinking a tea that had been steeped in a pair of dirty pantyhose.  Seriously.  So I was pleasantly surprised with my first sip, then my second sip, and now my box is almost empty!  Gotta remember to order some more!  It's a really beautiful blend with chamomile, cinnamon, lavender, kava kava, passion flowers, and spearmint, and I sip on it almost constantly at work to stave off the inevitable stress.  A friend that I gave a few bags to said that it worked so well that she wanted to cozy up for a nap because of how soothing it was.

Skinny Buddha Blend:  This one blew my mind.  I honestly can't believe that I love it as much as I do, mostly because it's green tea and I've never, ever, ever liked green tea.  I cannot get enough of this
blend.  The flavors.  Wow.  You can seriously taste the cranberry, lemongrass, and hibiscus.  Distinctly.  At least I can! The pounds aren't melting off me, but there is no one food or drink that
will make that happen.  But did you know that if you were to swap out 1-2 cups of green tea for that daily sugary soda, you'd save over 50,000 calories?  That's over 15 pounds.  Just make sure you're not sweetening your tea with sugar or honey.  But you don't need to sweeten these.  The natural sweetness and crisp flavors and just perfect the way that they are, the way that nature intended them to be.

There are loads of flavors to choose from and I'm incredibly impressed with their selection.  I'm lucky to find a few flavors of USDA certified organic teas at my grocery store and a girl can only drink so much chamomile tea!  With everything from green tea, black tea, root tea, leaf tea, berry tea, bark tea, seed tea, caffeine free tea, and flower teas, there is seriously "something for everyone".

Also, they don't bleach their tea bags!  Why is this important?  I'll let Buddha Teas tell you that.

The Importance of Bleach-Free Tea Bags

Tea bags that have been chlorine-bleached contain harmful chemicals such as dioxin and epichlorohydrin. These chemicals are commonly found in processed tea bags and have been proven to increase the risk of disease. When epichlorohydrin comes in contact with water it can hydrolyze into a carcinogen and further studies have shown us that chemicals like dioxin, which is also a potent cancer causing chemical, can remain in our bodies for as long as 11 years. We believe that good quality teas should improve well-being and detoxify the body, which is why we are very attentive in making certain that no chemicals go into our teas.
We proudly offer bleach-free tea bags so that our customers can taste the purity of beneficial teas without the cost of any additional chemicals or additives. Furthermore, our tea bags are also heat sealed without the use of harmful glues or binding agents.
So go visit Buddha Teas and find out why this beast is all a buzz about these blends!
Eat clean.  Live lean.  Live better.  Live longer.