Toddler School – Project 1


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Our first project was a success!  With a child who only likes to draw on windows, walls and in bathtubs, we had to go another route for learning.  I have looked at so many sites and blogs for ideas that I honestly don’t remember which one gave me the original idea for this.  Sorry!

Bug is 3 years and 1 month old and knows most of his ABC’s.  He’s a big fan of Scout’s Phonics Farm.  He can match up letters like a pro, and as we go through this the first couple times I’m asking him what the letters are as he puts the clothes pin on the appropriate spot.  He loves it!  In another week or so I’ll call out a letter for him to find and then have him match it up.  I’m also going to upgrade the game by creating an individual square for each letter, and number, making them a little more interesting to look at, and having them laminated so they last longer.  Such a simple activity to prepare, really.  You can find printables for the alphabet and numbers with a simple google search.


He loves playing with the clothes pins, and taking them apart.  🙂  And he thinks it’s great that he can pick things up with them.  So there may be a “fishing” game in the near future too.

Confessions from the first trimester


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Being a coach doesn’t always mean I have it all figured out.  It means I’ve been through something, and I want to help to someone else get through it too.

I’ll be honest with you all.  This first trimester has been more than a challenge.  There has been nausea, food aversions, heightened sense of smell, sleeplessness, exhaustion, short temper, even depression.  Due to the exhaustion I haven’t been able to workout or think clearly and because of the nausea I haven’t eaten like I normally would to properly fuel my body.  I haven’t been as present in the lives of my loved ones or here for you as I would like to be.  I have only been able to focus on getting through one day at a time, taking mental notes of anything that could be a trigger or what may help.  Keeping up with my toddler has been, well, exhausting.  I kinda feel bad for the kid as I’ve relied on the picture box babysitter way too much and know he is extremely bored.  For a couple of weeks I could see the signs of depression, but couldn’t do anything about them.  I lost interest in the things I normally love to do.  I found it hard to laugh or see humor in much of anything.  I even questioned why I wanted another child.  There were a few days where my emotions and hormones got the best of me and I just broke down and cried.  I knew the cause, and so did my doctor who I was very honest with.  Neither of us were too worried.  I know enough about depression to know when to seek help.  I also know that when sleep finally does come, and food tastes good again, I will feel an energy and vitality like none other.

One other thing I know…  Everything I’ve experienced in the past few weeks will all be worth it.  When I feel this precious gift from God kick for the first time.  The next time I get hear the heartbeat.  When I find out whether it’s a boy or girl and start picking out names.  When I hold him/her for the first time and fall in love all over again.  When I get to workout again, and get my body back.  🙂  When I get to see him/her grow through all those wonderful milestones, and watch what an awesome big brother our son will become.

I’ve had two nights of great – albeit still interrupted – sleep and can already feel myself returning to “normal”.  Hopefully I am turning the corner that leads to the second trimester energy boom.  It will be a process.  One that I am eagerly anticipating.

I share all this not just to get it out there.  But if you or anyone you know have or are experiencing something similar, I want to encourage you.  This is just a season.  It will pass.  Don’t take yourself too seriously.  Don’t allow yourself to feel guilt.  Growing another human is a difficult and emotional process.  Luckily, we are never alone.  We are surrounded by women who have done it before us.  Hang on to whatever lifelines are available to you.  Reach out.  To a friend, a sister, a mother, or even me.  Sometimes it’s easier to talk to a stranger.  Know that I’m here for you, just as a few gracious women have been here for me.

Rest well, my fellow mommy friends.  You are in my thoughts and prayers.


The Warrior Within


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Over the weekend, I was talking with the husband about the books I used to read as an adolescent.  Not sure how the topic came up, but I’ve been thinking about them ever since.  Actually, that night I went to the bookcase and pulled out the series I had been talking about.  I’m missing the first book, but have re-read #2 and #3.  I was afraid they would be incredibly cheesy, since, you know, I read them when I was 14.  (Yes, I have kept all the books I really liked through my life up to this point.)  Yes, there is a certain cheese factor.  But mostly I’m remembering why I loved them.

The books I fell in love with are the ones that transported me to another place and time.  I could identify with the main character, or one of the supporting characters, and while I was reading imagined myself in the story as that character.  What all of them have in common is this…they were normal, every day girls/women who went about their life thinking they were nothing special…just your every day Jane.  But then something spectacular happens and they are put to the test.  They push through their ordeals and are tested with the help of new friends who offer new ways of thinking.  They don’t give up, no matter how difficult and bleak a situation gets.  They learn so much about themselves and their true potential.  They find a new confidence with a new skill set.  They are forever changed in a way they could not have predicted.

Now, I haven’t had to battle an evil mage, or escape from a tyrant.  But I am tested daily in my own ways, especially raising a toddler while pregnant and doing what I love in helping others with their health and fitness.  It is my choice how to get through those tests.  I can go on like I always have and be in a comfortable rut.  Or I can push through, make new friends, get a new mindset, learn new things, and be my own hero.

I may have to re-read old favorites more often.  🙂

An Alien Has Taken Over My Body


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Or so it seems.  With my first, we called him a parasite when he was in the womb.  Which is true, an organism that feeds off the host.  This one is seriously an alien.  With all of the strides I have taken to be a healthy fit mom; all the food I have cut from my diet not just because it’s “bad” for you but because of how I’ve learned it affects me individually; the miles of running I had built up; the workout routine I was turning into a habit…the alien has made it all disappear.

I haven’t worked out in almost 3 weeks.  I created a Booty Builder Challenge, mainly for myself to keep my hip flexors strong with this pregnancy, but the up and down motion of the squats and lunges is like being on a ship in some rockin waves.  I haven’t been able to do it.  I was going into week 4 of Les Mills Body Combat when I stopped working out.  Now I feel like I need to start over, scaled back for a preggo lady of course.

The food…oh the food.  It’s like learning how to eat all over again.  Small frequent snacks are supposed to keep the nausea at bay.  And it’s worked…mostly.  It’s the aversions that are killing me.  The tapioca flour in most of the gluten free flours is a big one.  It’s just too sweet.  I can’t even do my beloved almond milk or mango salsa. Luckily, I still like veggies, fruit and rice.  But the only things that sound really good are quality cheese and wheat products, the things I no longer eat because they cause my skin to flare up.  Did I mention water is disgusting?  I love water!  But the last week I’ve been almost dehydrated because I just can’t choke it down.  I had to finally turn to gatorade and juice today.  Yuck!  Thus, the term alien.  But I gotta do what I gotta do to not put myself or this baby in danger.  The only good thing, I really don’t want sugar.  When I do have it, I get a bad aftertaste and almost feel sick.

I weighed myself this morning, thinking surely I had gained a few pounds off of my normal eating pattern and not working out.  Nope, I haven’t gained any yet.  Actually, I’m pretty sure I gained the first few weeks, and I’ve lost some again from not wanting to eat.

Even though I wanted this pregnancy, and mostly knew what to expect, it’s taken some time to get used to the changes happening in my body.  My skin has been horrible, my hair just isn’t normal, I can’t sleep, because I can’t sleep I can’t think straight most of the time and am freezing all the time, my butt’s looking a little flabby, and the muffin top seems to be back.  The last two could very possibly be in my head. 🙂  It’s definitely a ride that tests the self confidence, and one I know I’m not alone on.

The good news: I know this phase doesn’t last long.  Just a few more weeks and I’ll be out of the first trimester…and on to taking some control back from the little alien.  My skin is already healing as the hormones level out.  I’m really looking forward to working out again, enjoying food, and having the energy to go do fun things with my toddler.  Poor kid’s been such a trooper.

Here’s to surviving the next few weeks!  See you on the flip side!

I'm going to be a BIG brother!

Run or Bust


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Turns out this year was more of a bust when it came to running.  Of the 2012 races I posted that I wanted to run, I may have done two of them.  Life and finances got in the way.  Now that it is getting cold, my desire to go run outside has severely diminished.  I tried being a die hard runner.  I just do. not. like. being. cold.  And yes, that gets in the way of my passion for putting on my Brooks and heading out the door.  😦

The upside is that I also love cross-training.  So my winter will be spent indoors with my dvd player and a plethra of home workouts to choose from.  I’m most excited to start Les Mills Combat in January.  Six different forms of martial arts in one program?  Yes please!  I’m really hoping that finds it’s way into my stocking at Christmas.  *hint, hint*  Will I take advantage of any non-windy above 40 degree days and lace up my shoes?  Absolutely.  And now that my son is old enough to tell me if he’s too cold, I won’t feel bad about about taking him out in the jogger.  I’m just trying to keep it real, and not set myself up for something that probably won’t happen but stay in shape nonethless.

I will keep that 2012 race list up for inspiration for next year.  There are definitely some runs on there that are on my bucket list.

Giving In


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Yes, tonight I caved. I had a craving and gave in. Fall is full of comfort foods…anything sweet potato-ish, apple creations galore, chili, hot cocoa, sweets and treats, family meals. It can be difficult to keep things healthy and nutritious. This one, though, is a winner. My own twist on Chunky Vegetarian Chili. It was a hit with husband and toddler too!

I had picked up a bag of dry beans a couple months ago and it’s been sitting in the pantry, just waiting to be useful. Not just any bag of beans, it has 15 different kinds of beans in it. I didn’t know there were that many! I wanted chili, saw the bag, and thought “why not”! I had guidelines of how much spice to use, but honestly didn’t follow the recipe because the batch was huge. I’ll do my best to remember how much of what I put in!


  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 bell peppers, diced (we used one each of red, yellow and orange)
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 2 giant cans tomato paste (can use stewed or diced, we just don’t like chunky tomatoes)
  • Assortment of beans to desired consistency (we ended up using 3/4 of the bag)
  • 3Tbsp chili powder
  • 3Tbsp brown sugar (organic of course)
  • 2Tbsp cumin
  • 1Tbsp paprika
  • 1.5 Tbsp basil or oregano
  • 1/2 Tbsp Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp fresh ground pepper

Soak dry beans overnight. In a big pot sauté the onion, garlic, carrots, and peppers in oil. Add tomato sauce, beans and spices. Simmer for one to two hours. You could also sauté the veggies and then throw everything in a crock pot.

It hit the spot! Can’t wait for leftovers! You KNOW chili is better the second day.

Enjoy! Please let me know if you try it, and how you made it your own.

What is your favorite chilli recipe?


Times To Remember


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It really doesn’t seem like it’s been almost two months since I posted here.  Time has gone by so fast, and life has been a blur.  Am I the only one?
This weekend is one I’ve put in my history book.  One year ago, I ran my first marathon.  Reading through that post, I could see, taste, smell, and feel the whole experience all over again.  Take a peak at what it was like mile by mile here.  As I’ve seen pictures and read posts from my friends doing the Nike Women’s Marathon again this year, I got very nostalgic.  So I thought I’d post a few more previously unreleased photos.

While I started training for my second marathon this summer, due to some setbacks it is probably not going to happen.  I enjoy running, and want to keep it that way.  No need to kill myself to make it across a finish line.  So, the plan is to continue running throughout the winter (as much as my cold weather wimpyness allows), do a couple halfs in the spring, and do the NWM with Team In Training again next year.  It really is addicting.  And I want to see how I can improve my time on the same course.  🙂

In the meantime, enjoy the pics!

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Life Post-Reset

I’d like to say life is rosy and I’ve never felt better.  Well, I’d like to and it’s mostly true.  Over these last two weeks, it’s been a test of what I can and can’t eat.  At times I’ve failed, but mostly I’ve passed.  And I am learning so much along the way.

The first week post-Reset went by without a hitch.  I hadn’t added much back in yet.  Week two I added back eggs, my favorite gluten-free multigrain bread and towards the end of the week, chicken…which I hadn’t really missed.  There was one thing I should probably tell you about.

See, one of my favorite treats, an addiction really, had been Starbucks pumpkin and maple scones.  They were tasty, and I could polish one off in no time.  During the first week of the Ultimate Reset my husband went to Starbucks, with me in the car.  It was evil, and almost torture.  And I had him get me one to stick in the freezer until after the Reset.  Yeah, that’s right.  The next few weeks went by.  I missed certain foods less and less, and actually forgot about the scone in the freezer.

Fast forward to 11 days post-Reset, I was driving my 2.5 year old to meet his Papa so he could spend the week with his grandparents.  It was a 2 hour drive there and then back, so I brought snacks.  As I was packing our food, I found the scone.  Of course it came with us.  And I indulged on the way up north.  I was actually able to stop half way through and save some for later.  Not sure why I wanted to save it (and eventually ate it), perhaps it was a mental connection to what I remembered it tasting like.  But it wasn’t really that good.  In fact, it didn’t do anything for me and I didn’t enjoy it.  I noticed right away that I hadn’t done myself any favors by eating it.  Later that night, and the next day, it came back to haunt me.

Needless to say, I have overcome my addiction to scones.  All baked goods aren’t far behind.  My mom did make some zucchini muffins from scratch that she sent home with me, and those didn’t have a negative effect.  Although I’m a little scared to try much else, especially if it isn’t made from scratch with an organic natural sweetener.

I miss Alkalinize.  You know that green drink from my Day 1 video?  I don’t miss the taste, I miss what it did for my insides and the regularity of it all.  I may have to get some more.

I’m definitely learning that I don’t like to eat out very much anymore.  There is nothing that sounds good, or that I can (want to) eat!  Knowing what I now know about certain foods and ingredients, I’m hesitant to eat it if I didn’t make it.  What does that say about our food industry, that there is hardly anything truly healthy out there?  Almost makes me want to start up my own store or restaurant.  In fact, I’ve had people ask if they can come live with me for a month or so in order to learn how to eat right and make fitness a part of their daily routines.  Ooh, like my own Biggest Loser ranch.  I like that idea.  Hmmm…  Stay tuned.


Visit to learn more about the Ultimate Reset and try it for yourself.

Unfinished Projects


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This mornings message by Rick Grover really hit home.  It can be applied anywhere, in any part of your life.  Family, work, fitness.  The quoted phrases are Rick’s, the rest are my interpretations.

The first thing to know is that “the greatest way to honor your past is to embrace your future”.  We all have a past, some much worse than others.  It us up to us as individuals to determine how we let that past affect us.  You can be the victim and forever be trapped in your nightmare.  Or you can allow your past to strengthen you so that you can help be an inspiration to others going through the same thing now.  YOU can be a hero.  Maybe the opposite is true, you had an amazing past and just couldn’t keep up with it.  You may have fallen and are ashamed at where you are now, but there is always an opportunity to get back up.  You can still use your fall as an opportunity to inspire.  Either way, seek out others who will help you remain strong.  That may mean making an all new set of friends, which can be terrifying.  I promise, those new friends will understand and support you.

How many of us have “unfinished projects”?  Whether it’s a book we are determined to read, housework that keeps getting interrupted, the deck we were supposed to repair, the relationship we keep meaning to work on.  In essence though, aren’t we all an unfinished project ourselves?  We are continually learning and growing and working on ourselves.  What is it that helps us succeed?  How do we finish a project?  Accountability.  From workout groups, to book clubs, to cancer survivor support groups, to the National Day of Hope.  We seek out others like us, who have similar interests or experiences, to help motivate us to keep moving forward.

“Imagine how boring life would be if you only went where you’ve always been.  That’s called Groundhog Day.”  If we stay in the same place we’ve always been, we become stagnant.  We can wish and dream of how things would be if only.  Unless we break out of our comfort zones, our cozy ruts, things will stay the same…and years will pass by.  We will still be wishing and dreaming.  The accountability that you found, yeah, they can push or pull you…whatever it takes to help you break free from your chains.

“Get ready, God is going to do amazing things among us!”  If only we let Him!  Too often we think we know what’s best for us so we take control of the reigns and inevitably start steering ourselves off course.  It may be that we don’t take that step towards change because we are afraid.  Because there is that little voice in our heads that tells us we can’t do it.  Oh, it’s fine for so-and-so but it’ll never work for me.  That voice telling you that can’t or that you aren’t good enough is a big fat liar!!!  Don’t listen to it!  Turn to that new group of friends instead.  Pray together.

“It takes a step of faith.  That’s when you can see God doing amazing things.”  In a Biblical example, take a look at Moses and the Israelites crossing the Red Sea.  The waters part didn’t as they approached.  They had taken that first step into the water and completely put their trust and faith in the Lord, and then the waters parted.  It’s been the same in my personal experience.  When I give up control, hand over my own fears (shame, failure, success, criticism), and take that first absolutely frightening step, that is where the unlimited opportunities I never would have found on my own present themselves.

My hope is that this message inspired you as it did me.

Ultimate Reset – Is it worth it?

As a healthy, fit and nutritionally sound person, I decided to do the Reset out of curiosity.  I wanted to be able to really explain it to others, and sound knowledgeable.  It intrigued me.  I’ve never taken a supplement other than a vitamin before, and more than half the time I forgot to take those.  Until Shakeology, that is.  I just can’t get enough of that stuff.  Anyway, I digress.  The food looked interesting, and the logic behind the different phases was sound.  Clean, whole foods and whole food based supplements clearing toxins out of the body.  No harsh chemicals, no short term solutions.  So I went for it.

My pre-Reset bloodwork was done a week before Day 1, and gave me a goal.  My HDL was low.  I needed to bring it back up.  The last time I’d had a well check specifically for cholesterol was back in 2006.  I know, I know.  Shame on me.  Since then though, all my levels had dropped dramatically.  The only change I’d made since then?  I had a baby in 2010 who made me eat ice cream during the entire pregnancy.  🙂  But I don’t think that helped.  It was Shakeology, running, and P90X which all led to my new clean eating habits.  I was amazed at these prelim results.

Pre-Reset: Shopping for the Reset was a project in itself.  I met up with a friend who is doing the cleanse with me.  That first trip was extensive.  I bought things I’d never heard of like mirin and wakame, and stuff I’d definitely never cooked with before like Himalayan salt and collard greens.  And cucumbers.  I detest cucumbers.  But I was determined to try everything at least once.  It took two different shopping trips and a stop at the farmer’s market to get everything on the list.  You can also check out the vlog.

Week 1 – Reclaim: Yum!  The meals were excellent!  With one exception involving kelp and cucumbers.  Ugh, I just couldn’t do it.  BUT, everything else was fantastic. It didn’t even take me long to get used to the supplement schedule, which goes something like this…

  • Drink 8-12 oz water with supplements 30 minutes before breakfast
  • Breakfast
  • Wait 30 minutes, then start drinking lots of water over the next 1.5 – 2 hours
  • Drink 8-12 oz water with supplements 30 minutes before breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Wait 30 minutes, then start drinking lots of water over the next 1.5 – 2 hours
  • Drink 8-12 oz water with supplements 30 minutes before optional snack
  • Optional snack
  • Wait 30 minutes, then start drinking lots of water over the next 1.5 – 2 hours
  • Drink 8-12 oz water with supplements 30 minutes before dinner
  • Dinner
  • Wait 30 minutes, then start drinking lots of water over the next 1.5 – 2 hours

I learned that drinking water with meals actually slows digestion, and felt better after meals with the water rule.  My body adjusted quickly to the new schedule and became so much more efficient…I lost 3.5 lbs in the first week!  I was on cloud nine.

Week 2 – Release: We started phasing out animal products in week 1, so in week 2 we were vegetarian.  Still not a huge change.  I didn’t really miss chicken, fish or eggs all that much.  And I don’t usually eat red meat.  There were so many other choices and mixed grain meals.  We also started a new supplement…detox.  It was like a chunky herbal tea.  Once I got past the texture, it was pretty good.  The trick is to keep swirling your glass. 😉  I actually miss detox.

Week 3 – Restore: Revitalize is meant to beef up the beneficial flora in your intestines, turning the body into a nutrient processing machine.  To let the body focus on this, there are no/limited grains and no proteins.  A humongous bowl of fruit for breakfast, a humongous bowl of salad for lunch with the occasional soup, and stir fry’s or roasted veggies for dinner.  By Thursday I was a mess.  Irrational and emotional.  I almost gave in.  I wanted chips.  I don’t like chips.  So Friday night I made brown rice with dinner.  AHHH, the relief!  It was heaven.  No more chip craving.  I was renewed and determined to finish.  Just because of brown rice.  By Sunday, I was dreaming about non-Reset meals.

Post-Reset: We are to add foods back in one at a time.  Since I’d already been eating brown rice again, my first change was to add oatmeal for breakfast.  I’ve also added nuts, and I did have some all natural chips.  🙂  I’m actually looking forward to the occasional egg, but can’t add those back in till two weeks out.  I had one chocolate covered almond left from before the Reset and I ate it yesterday.  It was…okay.  I can’t believe I crave grains more than chocolate.  I was a self-professed chocoholic.

Results: So what happened?  What are the inside readings?  So low that they are off the charts.

  • 5.5 pounds lost
  • 9.75 inches lost
  • 26 pt drop in Total Cholesterol
  • 8 pt drop in Glucose
  • 10 pt drop in HDL
  • LDL and Triglycerides too low to monitor on the free screening I went to

I’m not necessarily happy about the drop in HDL.  My next adventure in health is to bring that back up.  I plan to work on that over the next month and go back for the next screening in September to see how I’ve done.  From what I’ve researched so far I should be able to bring the HDL back up by getting back into my workouts and marathon training, adding grains back in, and sacrificing a lot by eating dark chocolate and drinking wine.  Oh darn.  I think I’m gonna enjoy this month.  🙂  Check back in September to see if it worked!

Before & After

Want to try the Reset for yourself?  I guarantee new healthy habits and lower cholesterol!  Those who have done the Reset with much weight to lose, have lost an average of 20 lbs, dropped their cholesterol by 35 pts (up to 100!), and reduced the amount of medications they take.  Check out the Reset link here or message me at and I’ll help you get started on the path to being the healthiest you that you can be.