Fitness Challenge: Rockin’ Body

Rockin’ Body is a definite departure from many of the other workouts that I have done over the last several months- but don’t let the fact that it is a dance workout fool you- it will absolutely kick your butt. It may not have the high intensity of T25, but it is still a high impact workout.  During the first week, I thought that it would be easy and that I would just coast my way through dance workouts and then I got to the workout simply titled ‘Rock It Out’, which was on the strength disc.  That should have been a clue that it was going to be an intense, body sculpting, workout.  However- I did not pick up this clue and when Shaun T said ‘pick up your weights’ my mind went completely blank.  So I picked up my weights and proceeded to get my butt kicked by Shaun T.  My initial assessment was that I would have an easier time on strength- after ‘Rock It Out’ I had completely changed my mind.

There were several pluses to these workouts- Shaun T breaks down the choreography in a way that is easy to learn and remember- he is also hilarious and keeps you distracted, which made it easier for me to do the workout and not really realize how hard I was working.  As I mentioned before it is lower impact, but not low impact by any means.  The only minus that I really have is that if you are looking to tone up, this probably is not the workout for you or it should be combined with strength workouts from another source.

As always- here’s the photos and numbers:

Before Rockin' Body

Before Rockin’ Body

Beginning Measurements

Chest: 35.5

Waist: 30.5

Hips: 39

Right Thigh: 19.25

Left Thigh: 19.5

Right Upper Arm: 11.5

Left Upper Arm: 11.75

Pounds Left to Lose: 26

Pounds Lost: 19


End of Rockin’ Body

Ending Measurements

Chest: 35

Waist: 29.75

Hips: 38.25

Right Thigh: 18.5

Left Thigh: 19

Right Upper Arm: 11.25

Left Upper Arm: 11.5

Pounds Left to Lose: 25.2

Pounds Lost: 19.8

Inches Lost: 3.5

Want to see my week by week thoughts and results?  Or even the crazy videos that I made along the way while doing these workouts- take a look here.

Fitness Journey: Six Months In


Well, it has been six months since I seriously started my fitness journey and ten months since I vowed that I was going to really make a change with this whole fitness thing.  With this post, I really want to focus on the past six months- the ups and the downs and everything that I have learned along the way.  While I still have a long way to go to reach my goals, I feel that I am getting closer to these goals each and every day.  If you recognize the show that the little banner photo comes from then you’ll know that this post is not necessarily going to be all sunshine and unicorns- there have been some tough moments as well.

What I’ve Learned

As cliched as it sounds- I have learned that losing weight does not come easy.  The last time I was truly serious about getting into shape was when I was 18 and I do not have the metabolism of an 18 year old anymore.  I cannot eat crap and just exercise my way out of it- I have to pay attention to my nutrition and put in the hours in the gym (or in this case- my spare room turned home gym). At this point I am about halfway to my goal weight and I have hit multiple plateaus along the way.  That is probably the thing I dislike the most, but it just comes along with the journey. The one thing that has helped me keep my sanity is the measurements- seeing the inches come off is just as important as the pounds going away.

Another thing that I have learned is that you have to mix it up.  Over the last six months I have done T25, Jillian Michaels 30 day shred, Power Half Hour and Rockin’ Body. Each program has a different benefit and each program has pushed me in different ways.  I have one more program that I plan to complete before I start doing repeats of the others and I hope that at this point I have enough mix and match stuff to make it for a long time.

And the last big point that I have learned is that I have to listen to my body.  Several posts ago, I talked about how taking off my ankle brace was a bad idea- that has not happened again.  There have been weeks when I needed to take it easy and other weeks when I really pushed to make the most out of it because I felt like I could.  I have recently switched from doing primarily morning workouts to afternoon workouts, except on the weekend.  The whole season change is getting to me and I do not have much motivation in the morning because the sun is not out yet- however, I am still getting in my workouts and that is the most important thing at the end of the day.

Now for the hardest part of these posts- picture and number proof- from the beginning to now.

Beginning of the Journey

Day Zero: T25 Challenge- BEFORE

Day Zero: T25 Challenge- BEFORE

Chest: 41

Waist: 34

Hips: 42

Thigh: 23

Upper Arm: 13.5

Pounds Left to Lose: 39

Pounds lost: 6

Six Months In


Chest: 34.5

Waist: 30

Hips: 38.25

Right Thigh: 19.75

Left Thigh: 19.75

Right Upper Arm: 11.5

Left Upper Arm: 11.5

Pounds Left to Lose: 26

Pounds lost: 19

Inches lost: 24.75

And one final thing- I’d like for as many of you to be able to experience these sorts of results- so please join me for a challenge starting in November! And if you just want to see more of my journey on a day to day basis- take a look here


Eating Clean: Jalepeno Poppers Recipe

It is football season and with that comes tailgate food and the temptation to eat many things that are definitely not on the ‘clean eating’ spectrum. This is extremely frustrating when I am trying to be good and eat clean, but I still want some tailgating staples.  At this point, it pretty much leads me to searching the internet for recipes that I can tweak to make them into ‘clean’ recipes.  Such was the case for Jalapeno Poppers when I had a craving this week.

There are TONS of recipes out there for Jalapeno Poppers, but there are very few that meet the requirements of someone attempting to eat clean.  After searching, I found one that was near what I needed, but it made enough Jalapeno Poppers for 4 or 5 people.  Most days I am feeding one person and I have no interest in making enough of one item for that many people…so- I created my own that works for just me. The pictures may not be pretty, but they tasted yummy to me.


They may not be pretty- but they taste yummy!

They may not be pretty- but they taste yummy!


Three Small Jalepenos

Two slices of bacon, sliced lengthwise in half

1/4 Cup cottage cheese

1 tbsp blue cheese

1/4 tsp Cumin

1/2 tsp Garlic

1/4 tsp Oregano

1/4 Cayenne Pepper

Makes 2 Servings (3 poppers per serving)

Calorie Breakdown for 1 Serving- calculated at

Calorie Breakdown for 1 Serving- calculated at

Preheat oven to 425. Mix the cottage cheese. blue cheese and spices in a small bowl, set aside. Cut the jalapenos in half and seed, then take the cottage cheese mixture and fill the seeded jalapenos and wrap with bacon.  Place on a baking sheet and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until bacon is crispy and peppers are cooked.  Enjoy!

Want to learn more about this ‘clean eating thing’- come join me for a clean eating challenge starting October 6th (or the first Monday of every month-if you are reading this later).  Feel free to hit me up here for more information about the challenge and my healthy journey.

Fitness Challenge: Power Half Hour

This month I tried out an ‘old school’ Tony Horton program, called Power Half Hour.  I found that Tony was a bit cheesy and I definitely laughed my way through a few workout moves because of the way that Tony acted- which is actually great when I think about it.  Who wouldn’t want to laugh their way through a workout?  At the very least it meant that I was enjoying it.

This program focuses on each body part.  Throughout the week I hit my abs, butt, thighs, arms and just about any body part you can think of. There were definitely a few days when I felt it more than I expected, which is definitely the point of switching things up each month. The one thing that was lacking a bit in this program was cardio.  While the leg workouts (Bun Burner and Thigh Trimmer) had tons of squats that brought cardio in, many of the other workouts just did not have as much cardio.  I think that when I use this program in the future, I will definitely be combining it with some cardio heavy workouts from other trainers, but other than that I really have no complaints (and the price worked out nicely for me as well).  Of course the part that everyone *really* wants to see is the results part of this little article- so here they are.

End of Week 4- 30 Day Shred

Beginning of Power Half Hour

Beginning Measurements

Chest: 35.5

Waist: 30

Hips: 39.25

Left Thigh: 20

Right Thigh: 20.25

Right Upper Arm: 11.5

Left Upper Arm: 12

Pounds Left to Lose: 28

Pounds lost: 17

End of Week 4- Power Half Hour

End of Week 4- Power Half Hour

Ending Measurements

Chest: 35.5

Waist: 30.5

Hips: 39

Right Thigh: 19.25

Left Thigh: 19.5

Right Upper Arm: 11.5

Left Upper Arm: 11.75

Pounds Left to Lose: 26

Pounds Lost: 19

Inches Lost: 1.5

Want to find out more about my fitness journey and want to see what happens on a day to day basis- take a look at my page here.  If you just need some extra motivation, take a look there as well- motivating my friends and anyone else that shows up there is just part of the job.

Sneak Peak- Next Month:

More Shaun T!  Look out for my post next month where I’ll talk about Rockin’ Body and the results that come along with it. Until then- keep working!

Eating Clean: My Kind of Meal Planning

Some people are amazing meal planners- I am not one of them.  When it comes to meal planning- most of my ‘planning’ consists of looking in the fridge and going ‘what do I have that is considered to be clean foods?’ However, I know that that does not really help people too much when it comes to meal planning.  The easiest thing for me when it comes to meal planning is what I call ‘go to’ recipes/meals.  I am going to attempt to detail some of my go to mains and sides below and hopefully that will help you put a meal together.  Also, if this is too complicated, take a look at my Paleo Board on Pinterest- I haven’t gone through all of the recipes yet, but I am working on it.

My Go To ‘I Don’t Want to Cook’ Meal


If I do not want to cook- I pull out a turkey burger, some veggies and fruit and call it supper. There is really no recipe to this one- I almost always have turkey burgers in the freezer and I feel like I can eat almost anything with it.  In order to keep clean eating a priority, I definitely suggest one or two ‘go to’ meals for when you do not want to cook.

Sweet Potato With Anything Meal


If you take a look at my 3 weeks on, 1 week off post, you’ll see that I became a huge fan of sweet potatoes when it comes to my meals.  Come sweet potato season, I am sure that they will become an item that I buy on a weekly basis and freeze to last through the rest of the year.  Of all the recipes I found that this kielbasa hash was my favorite.  Yes, you have to substitute sweet potatoes for the regular potatoes, but it absolutely worth it.

Banana Pancakes

7 Sept14 001

I had a harder time finding things for breakfast, even though I ate tons of sweet potatoes, there were definitely moments when I wanted breakfast food- real breakfast food and this is the closest thing that I could find to that. While they are certainly not traditional pancakes, they actually taste closer to the real thing than most would imagine, you can find the wonderful recipe for these here.

Cauliflower Is Amazing

The Cauliflower is hiding next to the avocado.

The Cauliflower is hiding next to the avocado.

This is one of those ‘don’t knock it til you try it’ foods.  I was skeptical when I saw people roasting cauliflower and saying that it was amzaing.  Then I tried it.  It took a few tries and a few recipes to get it the way I like it, but once I found a way that I like it, I completely understood it. Check out one of my favorite recipes for this here.

Zucchini Is Kinda Awesome Too

26 july 020

I was a bit more willing to try zucchini and had it in all sorts of forms but my two favorites had to be as noodles and chips.  I was never able to really find a great recipe for noodles and simply tossed some boiling water over the zucchini to give it a bit of a not raw texture.  However, there are TONS of recipes for chips and you can see one of my favorites here.

As a last reminder about clean eating- remember this:



Do you have some amazing clean eating recipes you’d like to share?  Feel free to do so in the comments below!

Do you want to learn more about clean eating, fitness and see a bit more of my story?  Go check out my fitness page here.

Eating Clean: Don’t Buy Crappy Food

I recently had a friend suggest that I use this blog to show how easy it can actually be to do this ‘clean eating thing’.  This assumes a couple of things about the way that I do my grocery shopping, so I am going to start there and work my way up to the kind of meal planning that I do.  The first step for ‘eating clean’ for me consists of not buying crap.  That sounds fairly simple, but avoiding crappy food at the supermarket is more difficult than it may seem.

If you take a look at the back of most standard ‘low-fat’ foods, you are likely to find some ingredients that would surprise you or just ingredients that you can’t pronounce.  One of the main principles behind clean eating that is a little bit difficult to wrap your head around at first is that you will being eating some foods that are higher in fat- like bacon- and you will not be eating some low fat items, like baked potato chips. It is not so much the caloric intake as the fact that some foods can be formed naturally and others come from a lab.

Here is a typical baked potato chip ingredient list:

Ingredient Lists: Get Used to Reading Them

Ingredient Lists: Get Used to Reading Them

Notice any issues that would keep this food off of the clean eating list?  Here are some easy tips that have helped me decipher food labels:

  • If you can’t pronounce it (easily)- don’t eat it- most clean eating food will be easily pronounceable
  • Sugar and Dairy are not your friends- eat in very limited amounts or not at all
  • The fewer ingredients, the better.  The above ingredient list has 16 ingredients, with a nice ambiguous ‘Natural Flavors’ thrown in as well, there is no telling what that actually is- unless you call the company.  Generally, if it is possible to stick to 3 to 6 ingredients, you have a far better chance that it will be clean eating approved.
  • If it says enriched- you are better off leaving it at the grocery store
  • If in doubt- google it!  Seriously, most information about clean eating is out there in droves, as long as you can figure out what method you are looking at, you’ll be fine.

One of the most important things to remember with all of this is that it is a process. There is a huge learning curb and it may take you awhile to learn not to buy crap.  There will probably even be times when you do, but by far the easiest way to start out eating clean is to throw out all the crap- get some good, nutritionally solid foods (think veggies, fruits, meat, whole grains) and start from there.  I promise- it gets easier after the first week and exponentially easier after the first month or so- you just have to get past the hump.

Want to check out how I felt after my first trek into the paleo world?  Take a look here.

*Note: I am not a nutritionist, these are just my feelings and suggestions for learning how to follow a ‘clean eating’ plan.  Please consult a physician before making any drastic changes to your food or exercise regiment.*

Working Out With Injuries: My Story

Most people have been injured at some point in time, whether it is a broken bone, a pulled muscle or some sprained ligaments.  There are definitely times when the injury is so severe that there is no way to work out or that it is against the advice of medical professionals to do so.  So- what do you do after the injury has healed enough that you can actually work out? Below are some of the things that I have found work best for me.

*Note: I am not a medical professional, please seek advice from a medical professional before beginning any exercise regimen.  This is merely my advice and experience with working out post injury.*

1.) Take it slow.

It seems like this would be the most logical thing in the world, but if you were previously used to being able to do 60 minute workout sessions, you may find that after an injury that you are not able to do anywhere near this.  That high impact workouts are all but banned and that you are overcompensating with your good limb.  Being someone who has probably done more damage to their body than good when rehabing from an injury- take my advice and take it slow.  The results may take longer, but you will not do more damage to your body.

2.) Wear your braces (if applicable).

The Ankle Brace that Makes It Possible

The Ankle Brace that Makes It Possible

Another ‘I have learned this the hard way’ moment and I took of my brace before my ankle was ready.  I started with T25 Alpha and towards the end of that, I was pleased that I could actually do the workouts without the brace.  Then I decided to head on to T25 Beta, without the brace, this was a BAD idea.  I did not roll my ankle, but I put more strain on it than I should, so after a week- I was back in the brace and I haven’t taken it off since.  Do I want to be able to workout without it?  Yes, but my general experience says that it will probably be years before my ankle is strong enough.  This is not the first time I have tried to heal a messed up ankle and my right ankle took around 4 years, at this rate- I’ve got another 2.5 years to go.  So- if you have a joint that you’ve injured and is not strong enough to do the work by itself- wear the brace and wean yourself off when you decide it is time for it to go.  I would rather take the ‘slow and steady’ method than do what I did this last time and find myself back to being very dependent on it when I workout.

3.) Listen to your body.

When trying to get back into shape, there are times when your entire body will be sore- but soreness for those of us with a previous injury can be scary.  So take a moment and listen to your body when this happens.  Is it just a bit more soreness because you have neglected to use that joint due to injury?  Or have you truly aggravated the injury?  Only you can know the answer to this.  I have done both and I have worked out through both.  Is that smart?  Not necessarily.  The one thing that I have really learned is that I have to be able to do the exercises without overcompensating. If I cannot do that, I need to either take the impact down or take a break.  None of this is work re-injuring yourself or making things worse by injuring your ‘good’ side.  Listen to what your body says and be able to admit that sometimes you need a break.

I could go on and on  about this, about different ways that people and research suggest that you go back to working out after an injury.  These are just three steps that work for me, if you have been injured you may have different things that work for you.

Interested in finding out more about my fitness journey and would you like some help with your own?  Feel free to hit me up here.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 663 other followers