Friday, July 31, 2015

Health Tip Of The Week: How I Stay Motivated!

A lot of people talk to me about fitness, and what I usually here is a lack of time and a lack of motivation.  So, I thought I would talk about what keeps me motivated.  Contrary to popular belief, I don't always feel like working out and I don't always love it!  I'm just as busy as everyone else, and I could find at least 10 reasons a day as to why I can't workout.  Some days I drag myself down to my gym and cuss while doing it.  This is what I do to keep myself on track......

-  Don't have an all or nothing mindset.

Everyone that I know who has this mentality, yo-yo's with their diet and fitness.  One day when you see them, they have gained 20 pounds, eating anything and everything, and are not working out at all.  Six months later, they could have lost 50 pounds on a super strict diet, and are working out like a beast 6 days a week!  First of all, this wrecks your metabolism.....WRECKS IT!   Second of all, no one can maintain a diet of 1000 calories with no carbs, no sugar, no fat, no taste, etc., and no one can maintain a grueling workout schedule for a long period of time either.  It's just not realistic.  Instead, find what works for you, what will positively change your diet and fitness habits, but not be so restricting that it turns your life upside down.  That way it is sustainable long term.  You can get healthy and fit, and STAY healthy and fit.  No more yo-yoing between a Rocky or couch potato mentality!  This only leads to feelings of disappointment and failure.

-  Spend time with healthy like minded people, or stay in constant contact with a fitness community online.

I wish I had friends or family members who shared my lifestyle, but I don't, not even one.  My family has the Rocky or couch potato mentality that I talked about earlier.  So, for many years I have been on my own.  On my own when the people around me are eating things that I wish I could eat, and on my own when they are laying on the couch watching tv, wanting me to watch it with them, but I can't because I have to workout.  So, what helps me feel like I have some sort of support with like minded people, are online blogs and social media.  Jamie Eason Middleton is very active online and with social media, so following her keeps me feeling like I am in touch with a fitness friend.  She does lots of Periscopes, which are live chats, where she answers questions, gives advice, and talks about her fitness routine.  I have actually been able to talk with her through social media myself.  Seeking out information and learning about other people's journey's helps me stay on track and feel like I'm not alone in my endeavors, because doing it alone can be very isolating.

-  When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Make plans and prepare for your workouts and meals.  Print a workout from a fitness blog, plan your gym time and/or classes.  Know what you are going to do before you go to the gym.  That way you are utilizing every minute there and not getting stuck with "what should I do next?"  You know what I am talking have seen those people who just walk around the gym with no focus, and you wonder to yourself - What are they doing?  Why are they here?  They are just wasting time!  Your time spent away from your family is precious.  Make it count!  I am doing an online program now, so everything is wrote out for my daily routines, but before I start, I always go online to look over the exercises to make sure that I am performing them correctly.

Meal planning.....I hate it, but it makes my life so much easier!  I figure on average I spend about 8 hours a week doing this.  I go through my cookbooks and online resources to make a menu for the week, from that I make my grocery list, I do my shopping, I prep as much as I can in advance, and do my best to have home cooked meals Sunday through Thursday.  I also make enough to have leftovers, so we have lunches.  If I get all this done in a week, I have no anxiety about what to eat.  I'm not grabbing crap food, because I am so hungry that I will eat anything.  It just makes my life easier and eases my stress.

-  Do what you love.

For a period of 10 years I tortured myself.  TORTURED!!  Every spring, I would start running.  I hated it.  Every. Single, Second.  I did it because I like a challenge, and it was the most challenging for me.  I heard runners talk about how it clears their mind, how they get a feeling of euphoria.  It NEVER happened for me!  I have a nonstop, always thinking brain.  Once I got my breathing down, it just left nothing to focus on other than my racing thoughts, which just made it miserable and boring for me.  So, I finally decided to just stop the nonsense.  Why am I torturing myself??  There are lots of other forms of exercise that are extremely challenging that don't make me crazy!  I love weight training and always have.  I have so much to focus on and think about that it really calms my mind, because it takes all of my attention.  I don't even want to be talked to, because I am focusing.  I do other forms of exercise of course, but no more torturing myself!

-  Let music help motivate you.

Music is a passion of mine, but even if it isn't a passion of yours, you have to recognize how much music can affect your mood.  Music can take you to another place in time or give you the energy to get up and move!  I have many playlists that I made, and others that I follow on spotify that really keep me moving and motivated throughout my workouts.  Great music makes your workouts so much more enjoyable and makes the time pass that much quicker.

-  Have available resources.

Have blogs, health books,fitness professionals, and other resources that you can go to for reliable information.  Sign up for health and fitness newsletters, and know what healthy or fitness focused events are going on in your community.  Lots of parks have fitness classes, hikes, canoeing, kayaking, etc.  Many churches, libraries, and schools have health fairs where you can get free screenings and valuable information.  Maybe you will even meet a new fitness friend!

-  Have a goal.

"I want to lose weight," isn't the type of goal I am talking about.  Be specific.  Have a definitely goal in mind and work to meet those goals.  Maybe you are training for an event or maybe you want to fit into a pair of old jeans.  Every goal is important no matter the reason.  Train according to your goal, and evaluate your progress every few weeks.

-  Take pictures.

People measure progress in many ways, but I think taking pictures really shows how far our progress has come.  Seven pounds of weight loss may not seem like a lot, but depending on your body type and training, it can make a very big difference.  Being that change is slow, you may not recognize how much it has affected your body.  Taking pictures along the way really puts things into perspective.

-  Realize that you will have setbacks.

In the past year, I have had two setbacks.  One was huge and one was more minor, but they were set backs that I had to work to come back from.  Last year at the end of October, I got really sick.  I would feel horrible for a few weeks, then think I was getting better only to get even sicker.  I had been to the doctor 3 times, went to 2 different doctors, had two different diagnosis, and been put on three different antibiotics.  The last was so strong that they gave it to anthrax patients!  My sickness lasted for 4 months!  I was at the point where my doctor was saying "if this doesn't work, you are going to have to see a specialist."  I was feeling absolutely miserable, unable to care for my family, let alone myself.  I could not workout, and was pretty much in bed the entire time, so of course I gained weight and lost all of my fitness.  The last antibiotic didn't work, but I ended up using home remedies to cure myself (that's a whole other story), but by the time I was well enough to workout, I was so angry!  I had gained weight, lost every single ounce of muscle that I had, and had absolutely no endurance.  My first few weeks back in the gym were misery........ absolute misery, but I kept pushing through it.  It wasn't the first time that I had had a major setback, and it won't be my last.

My last setback was just in June.  I was making great progress from having to start over in February, when I got an injury called turf toe.  It is an injury that many football players get where your toe gets hyperextended.  Mine happened over a period of time by wearing shoes that weren't supportive enough for some of my exercises.  I have NEVER injured myself working out, and again I was so angry that a stinking pair of shoes got me out of commission!!  My foot was swollen and bruised, hurt to the touch, hurt to walk, and had me out of the gym for 2 solid weeks.  Once I could put my weight on it, I started working out, but making modifications to work around the injury.  I can tell you this for sure, you will have setbacks!  We all do.  Just don't live in a setback.  As soon as you can, get back to your healthy lifestyle and fight like hell to get back to where you were!

-  Keep visual aids around you everyday.

Because I don't have any fitness friends or family, keeping images of those I look up to, who live a healthy life, keeps me on track.  I have pictures in my gym and on my phone as constant reminders.  I mean how many times a day do we look at our phones??  Anytime I can see a visual image of my goals or have a reminder to help me make good choices, I'll take it!  I have hundreds of images a day that try to do the opposite.  I mean can you go a block without seeing at least 4 or 5 fast food, pizza, or donut places??

Friday, July 24, 2015

Clean Eating Recipe - Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders With Yogurt Dill Dip

I made this for the first time this week.  Everyone liked them, especially my son, who is my super picky, only wants to eat junk food kid.  I made a double recipe, so we would have plenty of leftovers for lunch.

For Chicken

- 1/2 cup pecans

-  1/3 cup whole wheat flour

-  2 teaspoons paprika

- 2 teaspoons dry mustard

- 2 teaspoons garlic powder

- 1 teaspoon onion powder

- 1/2 teaspoon salt

- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

- 1 tablespoon expeller pressed canola oil

- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

- 1 large egg

- 1 pound chicken tenders, larger pieced cut in half lengthwise  *if you don't have tenders, substitute breasts and cut into strips.

For Dip

- 1/4 cup nonfat greek yogurt

- 1/4 cup light mayonnaise

- 1 teaspoon lemon juice

- 1/4 teaspoon dried dill

- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

-1/4 teaspoon onion powder

- 1 pinch salt

- 1 pinch pepper

TO MAKE THE CHICKEN:  Preheat oven to 475, and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.  Whirl pecans, flour, paprika, dry mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a food processor until pecans are ground into a powder, about 30 seconds.  Drizzle in the oil and blend in processor completely.  Transfer mixture to a shallow dish and stir in panko crumbs.

Beat egg in second shallow dish, and add chicken breasts coating them completely.  Transfer each tender to the breading, turning to coat evenly.  Arrange chicken on  the prepared pan.  Bake until golden brown and nearly firm, 8-10 minutes.

TO MAKE THE DIP:  Stir all the dip ingredients together in a small bowl.

Nutritional Info

Serving Size: 2-3 tenders with dip

418 calories, 20g fat, 3g saturated fat, 34 g protein, 23g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 120mg cholesterol

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Clean Eating Recipe -Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

I just made this for my family for the first time yesterday.  It was quick, easy and a great side.  I hope you enjoy it!

Quinoa is an ancient Incan grain, and a complete source of vegan protein.  It provides all of your daily essential amino acids.  One cup has 8 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of your daily allowance for iron.


- 1 cup of dry quinoa - I used tricolor quinoa, but any kind works just fine.

- 1 1/2 cups organic or reduced sodium vegetable broth

- 1/2 of a large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped

- 1 large tomato, chopped

- 1/2 curb of plain or tomato & basil feta

- 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced

- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

- 4 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

- 2 Tablespoons dried mint or chopped fresh mint

- 1 Tablespoon garlic, minced or powdered

- 1 Tablespoon onion powder

- 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

Place quinoa in a medium saucepan, cover with water, and let soak for 5 minutes to prevent stickiness.  Stir, then rinse in a colander with cool water, and drain.  Return quinoa to the saucepan and add broth.  Bring to a boil on high heat, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes until quinoa is tender and liquid is completely absorbed.  Spread quinoa on a plate to cool quickly and stick in the fridge for 5 -10 minutes.

Place quinoa in a medium bowl and mix with the remaining ingredients.  Chill for at least 30 minutes, up to 3 days.

Nutrition per serving (1/2 cup)
126 calories, 5g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 4g protein, 16g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 4mg cholesterol

Monday, July 13, 2015

June Beauty Favorites!

L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hour Foundation - Sun Beige:  I have been wearing this foundation for months, and it has quickly become one of my very favorites!  It has great medium to full buildable coverage, a natural finish, and lasts so long!  It doesn't move until I remove it.  It does not emphasize pores or imperfections on the skin.  I haven't found this at all drug and discount stores, but I always see it at Kroger.  It retails for around $13 or $14, which is pricy for the drugstore (all drugstore prices have been steadily increasing), but honestly I would pay $30 for it if I had to.  It has a pump, which I always appreciate.  The only draw back that I see is with the shade range.  I have sun beige, which from the displays I have seen is their second darkest color.  I am a medium tan, so if you are much darker than me, you probably won't find your shade.

NYX High Definition Blush - Hamptons:  I bought this blush awhile back on ultra's website, but it took me awhile to try it, because I was trying out some other blushes.  This is such a gorgeous pinky-peach shade.  It really brightens and brings life to my face.  I have been pairing it with my Sephora Sun Disk Bronzer, which looks great together.  NYX offers several colors to choose from.  I have not seen these in the drug or discount stores that carry NYX.

Rimmel Stay Glossy - 150 Claridge's Ruby:  These lip glosses have been in the drugstore for a long time, but I don't hear many people mention them.  I am more of a lipstick girl than a gloss girl, but this formula is really nice.  It is long wearing for a gloss, but not sticky.  They also have great color pigmentation and beautiful colors.  They are great on their own or over a lipstick.  I have been wearing mine over Wet N Wild's Think Pink during the month.

Wet N Wild Lipstick - Think Pink:  I've been wearing this lipstick for years, and it is one of my favorite pinks that I own.  It is not too cool or too warm of a shade.  I steer clear of cool toned, barbie pinks, because they just don't look good on my warm skin tone.  Wet N Wild has a great shade range with an even better price.  These are usually $1.99 not on sale.  Many times I can find them for buy one get one 50% off.  This formula is longer wearing, but it is on the drier side, which is why I usually wear a gloss over them.  I am not a fan of the packaging, because the lipstick doesn't go all the way down in the tube, which can leave a mess, but for a long wearing lipstick that is such a pretty color, I'll overlook it!

Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner - East End Snob:  I have mentioned these lipliners many times, because they are my favorite.  They are creamy and long wearing, plus their is no need to sharpen.  East End Snob is one of my favorite colors, because it is a neutral medium pink that goes with so many pink lipsticks that I own.  It is one of those staples in my collection that I will always repurchase.

*Think Pink topped with Stay Glossy.  Just below is Rimmel Lipliner in East End Snob.  I love this combo!

Vinylux Nail Polish - My hair stylist told me about this at home gel manicure, and surprised me with the polishes and top coat during one of my appointments!  I had never heard of this brand, and was so excited to try it.  My first manicure lasted almost 2 weeks!  If you would like to see my full review, Click Here!

Velcro Rollers  (size extra large & large) - I had never used velcro rollers until my hair got longer.  They are such a time saver!! I section my hair and blow dry.  When I get part of the section completely dry with my round brush, I immediately wrap it around the roller and let it cool while I move on to the rest of my hair.  Once my hair is all rolled, I usually get dressed, put on my jewelry, contacts, shoes, and pick up my vanity and bathroom from the mess of getting ready.  This is usually 15-20 minutes.  Then, I unroll my hair, finger comb it into place and spray!  It is so easy, and leaves my hair full of volume with a slight wave to it.  I use the bigger rollers first, rolling the bottom section of my hair, and use the smaller rollers not he top section, which you will see the most.  The smaller rollers give more of a curl and a bit more volume to the top section.  I roll everything under, except for my crown and bangs.  Those sections I roll back (away from my face).  I found my rollers at Sally's.  A pack was only 3 or 4 dollars.

*This is what my hair looks like when using the velcro rollers.  I am also wearing the NYX blush in Hamptons and the L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hour Foundation.

It Cosmetics Eye Brow Pencil - I think I received this product in my boxycharm box.  I have been using it a ton in June!  It is super easy to just quickly fill in and define the brows, giving them a natural look.  I wear this during the weekdays or on my more natural makeup days.  It has a great color that is not too red for me, and a nice spooly on the opposite side to comb through the brows.  This is my first It Cosmetics product that I have tried.  I have heard great things about them, and after trying the brow pencil, I can't wait to try more!  You can find It Cosmetics at Ulta.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

New From BH Cosmetics: Bombshell Blushes And Wild & Radiant Baked Illuminating & Bronzing Palette

I have a few products from BH Cosmetics, and have always been happy with them.  I don't think they get as much attention as they should.  They are an online only company that provides a unique, inexpensive, yet quality product.  These are my latest purchases....

As you can see, you get four shades....2 bronzing shades and two highlighting shades.  They are baked, so they are very pigmented and have a shimmer to them.  I love that this palette comes with a full size mirror also!

Here are the four shades (starting from the top left)

Bombshell Blushes in Harmony & Elegant

These are also baked, so same great pigmentation and shimmer.

For some reason this pic came out really blurry, but I wanted you to be able to see the colors once applied.  I am wearing both bronzers, the lightest highlight shade, and harmony blush.  Swatched these bronzers look very orange, but when applied they give a nice, tanned glow.  They don't look orange on me at all.

You will have to use a light hand with these products, because they are so pigmented, but the look great and last all day for me.  I bought the blushes for $6 a piece and the palette for $8, which is a great price!  If you are interested in these or any other BH Cosmetic product, log onto

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Wal-Mart Beauty Box Summer 2015

I have talked about the Wal-Mart Beauty Box before, but it is a seasonal box, so I wanted to make sure I gave a fair representation of what you would get.  This box is $5, and will be delivered 4 times per year.  Wal-Mart will send you an email notifying you that it has been shipped out.  This is my third box, and it is always a mix of makeup, skincare, hair, and body products.  In each box I have received deluxe samples and full size products.  You will get five or six of those, plus I always receive coupons.  Sometimes, they will also throw in a few small samples.  So, you will get a good variety.

Here is my Summer Box......

As you can see, I received 6 items, 2 of which are full size.  My box included Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy Shampoo (deluxe sample), Caress Body Wash (deluxe sample), Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick in  Gladiolus (full size), Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport Sunscreen SPF 70 (deluxe sample), John Frieda Beach Blonde Sea Waves Sea Salt Spray (deluxe sample), and Olay Total Effects 7 Anti-Aging Eye Treatment (full size).  I also received several coupons for Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick, Real Techniques, Eco Tools, and Essential Tools makeup brushes.  The coupons totaled $7 in savings.  

For what you get, I definitely think it is worth the $5 price tag!  One of my followers told me that she received the same box twice, though that has never happened to me.  I have been happy with each box, and would recommend it to anyone who is wanting to try a beauty subscription for the first time, loves trying out new products, or is just getting into health and beauty.  There is no contract, and you can cancel your subscription at anytime.  If you are interested in signing up, log into