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

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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

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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.

Drum Roll Please…I am Now a Coach!


As I promised in my recent post- I have a bit of an announcement to make- I have decided to take a dive into Beachbody coaching!  So what does that mean for all of my wonderful readers here?  Well- there will definitely be more fitness posts in the future- there is no running away from that with this decision and it also means that I will be doing a lot more research into health and fitness as well.

It also means that I can be an easy point of contact for anyone else who would like to start a Beachbody fitness journey of their own.  For my friends on facebook, it is likely to mean that there will be a few more photos on their walls of some awesome offers- but what it really means to me is that I get to help you.  Yes you, whoever you are, reading this right now.  Maybe you just want to build muscle or maybe you need to work on your nutrition or maybe you just need something different.  I am here you be your coaching shoulder to cry on through all of this and the best part about all of it is- I’ve been there too.  It’s not easy, it’s not quick- but it is so very worth it in the end.  It’s all about one simple thing for me- building my best body and I’d love to help you build yours.

So where can you go to find out about this stuff?  Here’s a few places to start:

My Beachbody page

My Shakeology page

My Ultimate Reset page

And most importantly- My Facebook page! This is where I’ll be doing most of my daily posts and encouragement.

Feel free to contact me through any of these pages to find out more about what I’m trying to do and who I am trying to help all of you be.  Until then- I hope you are finding your way on your journey without too many bumps in the road.

Fitness Challenge: 30 Day Shred

Wow- there is a part of me that can’t believe that 30 days has passed and there is another part of me that is so thankful that this is over.  Don’t get me wrong, 30 Day Shred is a good program, but it is not the kind of program that I see myself doing in the long run.  Partially because doing the same thing every day for 5 to 6 days burns out your muscles and partially because I find Jillian Michael’s to be a bit annoying. Let’s stick to the same thing for 5 days part of it though.  I have an ankle injury from awhile back that still bothers me and there was a week when my ankle took a fairly solid beating.  So while Jillian does get results, the consistent beating on certain muscle groups is not good for someone with a continuing injury.

However, with Jillian, I was able to maintain a much better diet than on any of the other programs.  That might be because I had already done the 30-day clean eating challenge and that just kind of continued on into this month.  Frankly, I don’t see it permanently ending any time soon and right now I am on a weekend off, where I am eating the not so good stuff in my fridge to try to get rid of it.  The practical Southerner in me can’t just throw it away- so it’ll be eaten and then not bought again any time soon.

So the best part of these posts- the results:

Week 1

End of Week 1- 30 Day Shred

End of Week 1- 30 Day Shred


Beginning of 30 Day Shred Measurements:

Chest: 36.75

Waist: 30.5

Hips: 38.75

Thigh: 20.25

Upper Arm: 11.75

Pounds Left to Lose: 30

Pounds lost: 15

End of Week 4- 30 Day Shred

End of Week 4- 30 Day Shred

End of 30 Day Shred Measurements

Chest: 35.5

Waist: 30

Hips: 39.25

Thigh: 20.25

Upper Arm: 11.5

Pounds Left to Lose: 28

Pounds lost: 17

Inches Lost: 1.5

So, I do no have as many unintended consequences this time, as I did with the other challenges that I worked on.  It seems that the biggest unintended consequence is having an opportunity to help others try to reach their own fitness goals.  Not necessarily something I thought that would happen, but something that is definitely worth it.

Also- if you read this- look out for an announcement sometime in the next few days- good things are coming on my fitness journey and I want to help some others along the way.

3 Weeks On- 1 Week Off: My Clean Eating Challenge

For 3 of the last 4 weeks, I religiously stuck to a clean eating regime- minus a couple days for various events that I had to attend and I could not order something that fit the clean eating challenge bill.  Before I get into it too much further- here is what the clean eating consisted of: whole grains, meat, fruits, veggies and most nuts (besides peanuts) were considered fine.  The big no-no’s were non-whole grain carbs and dairy products.  I found that these were actually things that I did not miss all that much and instead found substitutes with good flavor to help me out.

I will say that my coach, Angie, warned me about some of the adverse effects of this sudden switch.  There were days when I woke up nauseated and just pushed through my morning workout.  But after all the being tired and cranky was done, I felt much better and found that I actually enjoyed cooking this stuff most nights.  I will say that I had one magic ingredient that got me through most of this: sweet potatoes.

I ate them for breakfast:


I ate them mashed:

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I ate them in a hash:


I ate them as fries:

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Long story short- I ate a lot of sweet potatoes and I really enjoyed them.  It made the whole idea of whole eating easier when I figured out that I could substitute something like sweet potatoes for more than half of the carbs I’d usually eat.  It also was a lot of fun to see how creative I could be with the food options that I had.  After awhile- that was the main thing I focused on.  That and trying to make my food as yummy as possible.

As it has been repeatedly pointed out during this journey by people have been doing this a lot longer than me- nutrition makes up for far more with weight loss than working out does.  Some people can get their nutrition straight and then start working out- I am not one of those people.  So this whole eating thing came at a very good time and although I didn’t see any groundbreaking results from it- it gives me an idea of what I really should focus on and do with this whole nutrition thing.

One other note- I also learned that I cannot maintain this permanently- hence the 3 weeks on 1 week off thing- that’s the plan I have for this and with a little bit of determination, I’m sure I can do it.

Did you miss my latest workout post?  Take a look here.


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