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Every now and then, I still feel like that out of shape, gangly, acne prone, lonely 15 year old girl who was void of self-confidence.  And oddly enough, at those times, I still see her in the mirror.  She didn’t feel any worth, no value.  She was never invited to the parties, and didn’t date.  She didn’t think she was pretty.  She felt invisible. She brought an empathetic ear and a sort of peace keeping to her circle of friends.  Looking back, I don’t know who that girl was.  Neither did she.

My sophomore year in high school we were introduced to the weight machines in the gym…and I fell in love.  I fell in love with feeling strong.  In the gym, I had a purpose, a drive.  But after that semester, we no longer had access to the gym.  So we parted ways.  I had a fling with Tae Bo when it came out and even got some friends together to do a “fit club” in the church basement for a summer.  I didn’t see the gym again until junior year in college.  Then we had another affair for the next two years.  I was in the best shape of my life up until that point, and started to feel confident in myself.  After graduation, I got a desk job working in Human Resources.  I know there are people out there that enjoy that line of work.  I wasn’t one of them.  I stuck it out though…for 8 years through various different positions in the industry, each one shorter than the one before.  With each of them, I felt less and less confident in myself and my abilities. Up until the time came where I would rather drive off the road, than go in to the job I hated.

Even finding my soul mate didn’t help bring the confidence back up.  Although he tried.  David is wonderful at telling me how beautiful I am and trying to build me up.  I just didn’t believe it myself.

Looking back to how great I felt mentally, emotionally and physically when I was working out in a gym…and after lots of prayer and a conversation with God…I took the leap and became a certified personal trainer in 2005.  A year later, a friend told me about a gym owner that was looking for a personal trainer.  I got up the courage to go audition.  And I got it.  What a boost!  As with any job, the first thing that inspires you to quit is your boss.  While I loved working out and helping others get fit & healthy, that wasn’t the place for me.  For the next couple years I struggled, between working in an office still and being part time in a couple different gyms.  God had a plan for me, if only I would listen and follow Him.

In April 2009 I quit both my jobs.  By June, we found out we were going to be parents.  I worked out throughout pregnancy, but had difficulties due to not being able to walk.  The elliptical became my best friend.  I was that crazy 8 month pregnant lady in the gym lifting weights.  It took a long time to get back to working out post-partum. I lost almost all the baby weight the wrong way, through improper nutrition.  I actually started training again when Will was about a year.  That was a disaster.

When he was 15 months old, I signed up for a marathon.  Say what?!  Yeah, the lady who couldn’t walk 2 years before committed to run 26.2 miles.  At the same time, I found Team Beachbody and Shakeology.  Beachbody coaches kept telling me how much it had changed their lives.  I didn’t believe them.  How could a workout program and a shake change someone’s life?  I researched the company and the products for two weeks.  I could find nothing but positive comments and reviews upholding their integrity.  Being one who doesn’t want to judge before I’ve tried it, I signed up as a coach to get a discount and try Shakeology.  By day 2 my sweet cravings were gone.  By day 30 I no longer wanted ice cream, which is all I craved during pregnancy.  By day 60, my taste buds had been reset and I could tell if I was eating something processed.  I was hooked.  I started up my own official Fit Club to help others and actually started working as a coach.  I finished the marathon with the help of Shakeology properly fueling my body.  Then I moved on to P90X and lost the last 5 pounds and 5% body fat, even having to break up the workouts during the day to get through them with a toddler underfoot.  I finally felt confident about the way I looked and felt.  I finally understood how a workout program and a shake could be life changing.

And yet, I still have those “fat” days.  I know I’m not.  There seems to be a mental block that sometimes occurs.  Where you look in the mirror and don’t REALLY see what’s there.  You see what your mind projects.  Or you’ve been around people from that part of your life, and revert back to the person you used to be.  It’s hard to get past that.  The images in the media don’t help.  What does help?  Getting back into the workout routine.  Feeling strong.  Knowing I’ve worked up a good sweat.  Knowing I can do it again tomorrow.  I wouldn’t have the drive to do it without the amazing programs and support Beachbody has developed.  For my one year anniversary as a coach, I went to the Coach Summit in Las Vegas.  An amazing experience I highly recommend to anyone who needs inspiration.  Before I left, I had started to feel frumpy and “bleh”.  By the time I got there, and looked in a mirror other than my own, I could see myself the way I am really am…a beautiful child of God in great shape and learning more about how to stay that way every day.  I don’t train others much anymore, if at all.  But I strive to be one heck of a fitness/nutrition coach.  My drive, my passion, my purpose, is to help others find theirs.  Thanks to the Lord, Team Beachbody, and Carl Daikler, for giving me that opportunity.

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To Market, To Market

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Have I said how much I love the Farmer’s Market?  No?  Well…I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Farmer’s Market!!  And here’s why…

The food in the grocery store is scary.  In the words of Food Inc, they sell “the notion” of food.  But at the market, you know it’s fresh, you know it’s real, you know it’s STUPENDOUS!  And you KNOW where it comes from!

This past Saturday we went to the Binford Farmer’s Market.  My favorite local market!

After a stroll through the entire market to see what was available, we went back to our favorite booths and started making friends.  These will be the people we go back to throughout the summer.  And here they are…

Grabow Orchard and Bakery

I had a chance to chat with Glen for a bit about Grabow.  It sounds like a great place Will and I will be visiting often this summer.  They have volunteer opportunities for children and adults to learn about farming, harvesting, and even running a booth at the market.  Learn the entire process hands on from seed to table.  And with your volunteer hours, you earn credits towards produce.  Fantastic!  At the market, they have a great selection of breads, pies, sauces and jellies.  They also have quite the selection of starter herbs.  We picked one each of lime basil and thai basil.  The thai became a favorite last year, and we are excited to try the lime this year.

Grandma Jane’s Pies

Every now and then I still get a sweet tooth, so it didn’t take a whole bunch of convincing from the booth next to Grandma Jane’s to try her homemade scones.  For those of you who don’t like scones because they are dry and hard (by the way they are meant to be that way for dipping and warming), you would like these.  They are so moist and soft!  I had the blueberry, and the blueberries (which came from the farm of the table next door) were huge and delish.  Now, I know what you’re thinking…but aren’t you all about fitness & eating healthy?  Why yes, yes I am.  My main issue is with non-food that sellers try to pass off as food.  Grandma Jane assured me she uses all real ingredients, which includes real butter and real cream.  So, if you stop by for a visit, eat in moderation and plan for a workout that day.  And maybe have some Shakeology.  I did both!  Grandma Jane also told me that if I wanted a kind of pie, scone or cookie she didn’t have available that I could just call or email her with the request and she would have it ready the next time we came by.  What service!  You won’t find that at Walmart, my friends!

Smith’s Winery

Even if you are not a wine lover, you WILL love this wine!  David Smith has been making wine for 27 years and has perfected the art.  He has everything from the standards of merlot and pinot grigio, to a house wine, to an outstanding mango pineapple (YES! Wine!) that will send you straight to the tropics.  He is only at BFM every 2nd Saturday so I’ll keep my eye on the calendar to watch out for him.

Homestead Heritage

Siblings John and Lucinda have a good thing going over at Homestead Heritage.  Located up in Kokomo, they have grass-fed cows, free range chickens and eggs, raw milk, and pork.  They have quite the selection and offer beef in bulk as well as Community Supported Agriculture (reserving your poultry).  At the market they offer soups, stews, pot pies, syrups, cheese and even jambalaya and Shepherd’s Pie. One part of their literature on raising their animals caught my attention – “corn renders all health benefits of grass-fed beef null and void.”  How true for us too!  But that sounds like another blog post.  The next time we go, I’ll try to get a better picture of the table and coolers.

Barret the Coffee Guy

Barret and his wife were among the first friends I had in this fair city.  We lost touch for a couple years, and found them again last fall at BFM!  Barret has the coffee booth, you’ll be able to smell the sweet aroma as you round the corner.  I’m not a fan of coffee myself, but the booth is very popular…both for the coffee and Barret’s friendly, easy-going personality.  Buy the beans in whatever quantity you want, and he’ll grind them up for you on the spot if needed.  He also just started a FB page.  Head on over and “like” him to help a fellow out.  www.facebook.com/barretthecoffeeguy

Hot Tamales!

So that’s not the real name of the vendor, but I forgot to get their contact info.  If you’ve been to BFM, you know who I’m talking about.  The absolute best tamales…EVER!  The homemade sweet corn and salsa puts them over the top.  They are worth a trip to the market all by themselves.

Favorite part of spring!

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Ah! I love spring!  It’s my new favorite season, thanks to my new found love for fresh produce.  While I think my garden is doing well, I head to the Farmer’s Markets and am humbled.  I still have a lot to learn.  I WILL get there!

This little beauty is from my garden, and I couldn’t be more excited!  Now if the tomatoes hadn’t died in the deep freeze a couple weeks back, I’d be ecstatic.  I’m still mourning their loss.

At the market last week, I found some awesomely sweet raw local honey.  OH MY GOODNESS!!  I can’t go back to refined honey.  I am now spoiled.  It is going in all my Shakeology recipes and oatmeal.  It is said that raw local honey is great for allergies, and I can’t wait to see how next spring treats me after eating the honey for a year.  Apparently it is a similar theory to vaccines.  The bees bring the local pollen that causes the allergies back to the hive and that is what the honey is made from.  When you eat it, your immune system adjusts to the ingested pollen and your body develops an immunity.  Makes sense.  I’ll keep you posted.  This has been the worst year yet for allergies for me, so I’ll be thrilled if this works.  Has anyone else been doing this?

My favorite Market is finally open.  Can’t wait to head there this Saturday.  I’ll try to remember to take pictures and post here.

Challenge-A-Day in May

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Just for fun, let’s do a Challenge-A-Day in May!!  Every day in May I will post a new challenge, something small and manageable and just about everyone can do, here and on my Facebook page.  The person who completes the most challenges in the month will win a nifty prize!  Head on over to FB, like the page and join the fun! The challenges will range from a single exercise to food to photos to a full workout.  Don’t miss out!  You can catch up if you miss a couple.  Just go back to that days challenge and report how you did.

Challenge #1 – WHY do you want to exercise and eat healthy?  Tell us!  It goes beyond losing pounds, what does being fit and healthy MEAN to you?

Challenge #2 – Push-ups!

Challenge #3 – Squats & Lunges

Challenge #4 – Try a new vegetable!

Challenge #5 – Get back to nature

Challenge #6 – Stretch

Challenge #7 – Workout!

Challenge #8 – Workout!

Challenge #9 – Workout!

Challenge #10 – Fruit!

 

Black Bean Guacamole

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Sometimes you just want some rockin guac.  And this hit the spot.  I also had some whole wheat pita’s on hand, so I brushed one with olive oil, sprinkled a little sea salt over it, and stuck it in the oven at 350 until it got crisp.

Black Bean Guacamole

1 Haas avocado
1/2 small lime
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup black beans
Dash of sea salt

Cut avocado in half lengthwise, de-pit, scoop into a bowl and mash.  Roll lime firmly on the counter to get the juices going, cut in half and squeeze juice from one half into the avocado.  Smash, peel, and mince garlic adding to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients.  Mix well, serve and ENJOY!

I’ll sometimes also add corn and/or salsa.  Such a versatile food!  How do you make it?

Food For Thought

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Nothing makes you more aware of what is in your food than when you ask.  Seems like such a simple statement, doesn’t it?

D & I went out to dinner with our toddler last night.  We were both craving protein and wanted to satisfy that craving with burgers from Cheeseburger In Paradise.  We’ve been there before, not too long ago actually, and the food is pretty tasty.  But this time was different.  We’ve really been trying to be more conscious of what we eat and where it comes from.  So last night, we asked.  D had called and talked to a manager before we left the house and was assured that there was no pink slime in the burgers.  The manager had also asked us to have our server get him when we got there.  When we got the restaurant, the name of the meat supplier was printed right on the menu…at least for the burgers.  By the time the manager came over to us, D had the suppliers website pulled up on his phone.  No where did it confirm that there was no pink slime in the meat.  We know that the cows were grass fed and raised on farms with room to roam, but we don’t know what happens when they leave that farm.  That made D’s decision easy, he would go for the pricier prime burger that was more likely to be a clean quality cut of meat.

Since I haven’t eaten red meat in almost 20 years, I had the manager check the labels on the chicken and turkey as well. He brought over the actual labels from the packages in the back.  And it didn’t look good.  The ground turkey was full of fillers like maltodextrin.  The chicken label was far from informative.  Sure it had the processing plant name and the distributor name, but no mention of where the chicken came from or how it was raised.  When I brought that to the manager’s attention, he said that for the cheap price they paid for the chicken he highly doubted it was free range or antibiotic free.  Good to know.  (Keep in mind that while all of this is going on, the toddler is being…well…a toddler.)  And knowing that the fish was most likely farm raised and also fed antibiotics, and not knowing where the produce came from, I also went the safer route and shockingly ordered the prime cut burger. *Gasp*  I know.  I was a little nervous.  It wasn’t too bad, actually.  It didn’t have the gritty texture I remember ground beef having.  Our son liked it, too.  He ate 3/4 of it!!  He’s never eaten that much of a burger before.

Knowing what we now know, I doubt we’ll go back unless the suppliers change.  The manager himself was not educated about what went into the food served, and admitted he had a lot to learn.  He was just going off of written statements from the corporate office and the suppliers, as so many of them do.  He seemed truly interested in learning more about what goes into commercially processed food, especially food he is supplying as a service for other people.  He was so kind and understanding and respected whatever decision we were to make about eating at his establishment.

Last night I learned that it really does take a lot of effort to eat clean while eating out.  There are so many different factors now to take into consideration when buying food.  It takes a lot of questions, and quite a bit of patience.  And so completely worth it when you stop and think what all the stuff they put in our food is doing to our bodies and our minds.  Everything from heart disease to celiac disease to ADD to cancer and so much more can be linked to the chemicals dumped in our food.

Frankly, we decided we’d rather make our own…EVERYTHING!  So I am now truly committed to this learning curve, and am asking for a meat grinder and pasta attachment for my mixer as my birthday present.  I have the feeling my little KitchenAid mixer and my Ninja will become my best friends in the kitchen.  Next up…sauces and scones.  Please share any fabulous recipes you may have, I’d be thrilled to read them here.  That means I don’t have to go search for them!

Healthy Breakfast Cookies?

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Who wants cookies for breakfast?  I do!!  And with this recipe, I don’t even feel guilty about it.  This was such a great find, it became one of the breakfast recipes in the Nutrition Bootcamp!

I made this recipe my own by making a few slight changes. My inspiration came from Kristi @ Onceamonthmom.  This morning we also added some dark chocolate for that extra sweetness.

Enjoy!  And please share how you make it your own.

HEALTHY BREAKFAST COOKIES
3 mashed bananas
1/3 cup apple sauce
2 cups uncooked old fashioned oats
1/4 cup milk (organic skim, almond or soy)
1/2 cup craisins
1/3 cup pecans, chopped
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 T cinnamon
1 T honey or agave

Mix all ingredients together. Spoon the dough by teaspoonful (my handy scooper made the job easy) onto a greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Cool and serve. Leftovers can be frozen. If there are any leftovers.  🙂

Tropical Mojito

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I decided it might be a good idea to keep all my favorite Shakeology recipes in one place.  So here goes…  Today’s concoction was a Tropical Mojito.  So good, if I hadn’t made it more like a slushy it would have all been gone in one gulp!

Mmmm…  Tropical Mojito.

1 scoop Tropical Shakeology
Juice from half a small lime
1/2 tsp mint extract, or 2 tsp fresh mint
1/2 cup almond milk
3/4 cup water
Lots of ice

Yum!  Have you tried it yet?  What are you waiting for?!

http://www.myshakeology.com/osbornefitness

Spring Is Here!

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I am declaring it fact…spring is HERE!  I couldn’t be more excited.  The tulips are budding, as is the lilac bush.  The asparagus is popping up.  The lettuce seeds I threw out two weeks ago are thriving.  Did I mention it’s like 80 degrees here in the midwest…and it’s only March 16th?  I LOVE this!

Will and I have gone out to the park and worked in the garden so many times in the past two weeks.  He’s so excited, he won’t nap anymore.

I was going to wait until mid-April to plant the tomato and pepper seeds, cause, well, it’s usually still cold and sleeting at this point in the year giving me absolutely no desire to go outside.  Today, I couldn’t resist.  It is beyond gorgeous outside!  While Will napped (finally!) I planted these babies.

Perfect size!

I knew I was saving these Chobani containers for a reason, but couldn’t remember what and this seemed like the perfect use.  I had tried those fibrous individual starter pots last year and they never broke down like they were supposed to.  They are still clogging up my garden after a full year!  So this year, I’m going back to transplanting.  And I can’t wait to see those sprouts start shooting up!

Happy Spring and Happy Gardening!

A New Voice

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Wow! I certainly didn’t mean to take nearly two months off of blogging!  I miss it!

I have been super busy getting fitness and nutrition challenges started, and building up Fit Club.  All fabulously fun stuff, and oddly time consuming since all of them are virtual.  I now have two Fit Clubs each week, and am running two fitness challenges and one nutrition bootcamp.  Still busy as a stay-at-home-mom and trying to make sure my own workouts and nutrition needs are being met.  Whew!

Why do I do all of this?  I could easily spend the entire day with my son, going to libraries, museums and parks, having play dates with all of our friends.  Being a fitness & nutrition coach helps me stay accountable and on track, number one.  Two, I want to pay it forward.  I can’t keep what I know works to myself.  Honestly, I was never this fit or knowledgeable working as a personal trainer.  Right now, I LOVE my life!

My big passion in the last year has turned to food: what’s in it, what’s missing from it, what companies are doing to it, and what it in turn does for/to our bodies.  So my newest endeavor, the Nutrition Bootcamp.  21 days of clean eating and learning about our food supply.

It all started with my niece, who developed precocious puberty at the young age of 7.  That’s not normal, people!  She wasn’t an early bloomer, it was a tainted food supply giving her hormones she didn’t need.  The biggest culprits…chicken, milk, and water.  Yes, water!  You’d be amazed at what medications people dump into the water supply.  While doing research and learning how to modify their daily diet, my sister discovered that her daughter also had a gluten sensitivity.

To support them, David and I changed our dietary habits and started to dig in to our own research. I’d already been making my own baby food, so it made sense we the parents didn’t eat processed food either.  I feel like I’ve barely scraped the surface.  What we have found is truly disturbing. When we were in the beginning stages, we were paralyzed walking into the grocery store and completely lost wandering up and down the aisles.  What was safe to eat?  For weeks, we left with barely anything in our cart.  Then it became liberating to know that we didn’t need anything in those middle aisles and didn’t need to waste our time there anymore. I originally thought that it would be too time consuming or expensive to eat and cook all fresh food.

Wait.  Go back and read that last sentence again.  Too much work to eat fresh food?  What has this country become?!  Our grandparents and great-grandparents grew their own food.  They didn’t have Walmart or Meijer or Kroger.  They relied on what they planted and harvested.  Talk about time consuming!  Which led to the frozen dinner / convenience food revolution.  “We” wanted more time to focus on work and play than preparing food.  Women fought for equality and won, entering the work force and leaving less time for home cooked meals.  When convenience food was first introduced, I believe it was still fairly “healthy”.  But the big corporations are just like us, they want to produce more, faster, with less for less money.  Enter additives, chemicals, short-cuts…pink slime.  Look at the rising rate of cancer, heart disease, random illness, ADHD, new diseases being discovered every day.  How many people do you know who are on prescription medication for one thing or another?  It’s no coincidence.

And thus the birth of the Nutrition Bootcamp.  I want to be able to spread awareness and educate my friends, family, neighbors, local barista, EVERYONE!  So, 21 days of clean eating and “homework”.  So no one is paralyzed like we were, I am providing a meal plan for the first 5 days.  After that, there will be suggestions for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks from which bootcampers will create their own meal plans.  The homework is not mean to be burdensome, but to open eyes and encourage people to think before they eat.

My long term plan is to have graduate classes to continue to pass on what I’ve learned to those enrolled in bootcamp.  Like I said, I’ve barely scraped the surface.

God put me on this beautiful planet to be a voice.  This is the start.  It’s gonna get louder in here.

 

Want to be a part of the Nutrition Bootcamp?  Email me at osbornefitness@yahoo.com or find me on Facebook to find out when the next one starts.  Join me in a new revolution!