Wednesday, May 29, 2013

~PB2~{and another smoothie recipe}

 I discovered PB2 not that long ago, and found it is a great alternative to high fat peanut butter. 
You can order and read about it here.
I bought the plain powdered version, but am anxious to try the chocolate.
I tried the recipe below yesterday and it was so good, I finished it off before remembering to take a picture for you. Yes, it was that good.
This is not a very low cal. option, but good for after a hard workout.
It says it serves 2, but I drank the whole thing.

Here is the list of ingredients from powdered PB2. As you can see the calories in 2 Tablespoons are only 45, compared to regular peanut butter which has about 190. 
Quite the difference.
I shared a cookie recipe using PB2 on my friend Tessa's blog a while ago.
  Here is the link if you want to look that up.
I have found that getting enough protein in your diet is very important.
It not only helps keep you full feeling longer, but it also helps in building and repairing muscles.
If you are wondering how much protein you should eat per day {it's more than I bet you think} has a way to calculate it. Go here for that info.
I've found it tricky finding high protein and low fat foods. Here are a few of my favorite choices:

nonfat greek yogurt
turkey jerky
southwestern egg beaters
supreme protein bars
nonfat milk aka tall nonfat vanilla latte at Starbucks :)
chicken and hummus plate at Starbucks
protein plate at Starbucks
are you seeing a trend here? 
So, calculate your protein intake for the day and see how many you are consuming.
It's hard and you have to gradually work your way up.
Good luck!


Roasted peanuts, sugar, salt.
Serving size: 2 Tablespoons (12 grams)
Servings per container: 15
Calories: 45
Calories from fat: 13
Value and % Daily Value*
  • Total fat 1.5 g 3%
  • Saturated fat 0 g 0%
  • Trans fat < 0.01 g
  • Cholesterol < 0.01 mg 0%
  • Sodium 94 mg 4%
  • Total carbohydrate 5 g 2%
  • Dietary fiber 2 g 8%
  • Sugars 1 g
  • Protein 5 g
  • Vitamin A < 1%
  • Vitamin C 0%
  • Calcium <1%
  • Iron 0%

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

~pumpkin protein shake~

Here's an easy dessert you can whip up in your blender that is full of protein!


Monday, May 27, 2013

~body weight exercises~

You don't have to belong to a fancy gym to exercise.

There are so many different ways to exercise using no equipment at all.
Besides running for cardio, here are a few of my favorites that I like to do.

Shoulders and arms:

Tricep dips: Get seated near a step or bench. I use the bottom of my stairs. Sit on the floor with knees slightly bent, and grab the edge of the elevated surface {in my case, the bottom step}  and straighten the arms. Bend them to a 90-degree angle, and straighten again while the heels push towards the floor. 


Side plank:  Roll to the side and come up on one foot and elbow. Make sure the hips are lifted  and your core is tight. Hold for 30-60 seconds.
Each time increase by a 10 seconds or so.
Remember to breathe.

Bicycle: Lie down with knees bent and hands behind the head. With the knees in toward the chest, bring the right elbow towards the left knee as the right leg straightens. Continue alternating sides.
Just like riding a bike in the air.

For your legs:

Squats: Stand with the feet parallel and about shoulder width apart. Slowly squat down bending the hips and knees until the thighs are at least parallel to the floor, like you are going to sit in a chair~keep your back straight.  Make sure your knees don't go over your toes. Make sure the heels do not rise off the floor. Press through the heels to return to a standing position. 

lunges: Stand with the hands on the hips and feet hip-width apart. Step the right leg forward and slowly lower your body until the right knee is close to or touching the floor and bent at least 90 degrees. Do not let your knees go over your toes, this means keeping your back straight. Return to the starting position and repeat with the left leg. Try stepping back into the lunge for a different variation.
Start with 15 on each side.


push ups:With hands shoulder width apart, keep the feet flexed at hip distance, and tighten the core. Bend the elbows until the chest reaches the ground, and then push back up (make sure to keep the elbows tucked close to the body).  Do as many as you can like this, try for 15 for starters. If you need to, you can drop to your knees.

Remember to track how many calories you burn during your workout, so that you can reward yourself by eating those calories! If you don't have a way to keep track a good rule of thumb is to multiply 5 calories per minute of working out. If you work out for 30 min. You can calculate 150 burned. I usually aim for 60 minutes, as I like to eat! 


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

~the easiest dessert for that sweet tooth~

Sorry, I know this recipe contains bananas and y'all asked for non banana desserts.
More to come, I promise.
This one was just too easy not to share.

Simply mash 2 ripe bananas, add 1 cup oats and 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips.
Bake at 350 for 15 min.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Understanding Your Metabolism

Not to confuse you - (although I might), I want to go over what metabolism is and the different measurements of your metabolism, because in future posts - I'll probably refer to these different measurements and I want to be sure we are all on the same page. 

First - a standard definition of metabolism:  
 metabolism  -  |məˈtabəˌlizəm|
the chemical processes that occur within a living organism in order to maintain life.

BMR - stands for Basal Metabolic Rate.  This is the amount of energy your body needs to sustain life at it's most complete state of rest.  This is what it needs for basic life functions - brain activity, organs functioning - etc.
RMR - stands for Resting Metabolic Rate - this is your resting metabolism.  Much like the BMR, but not as stringent - you are reclined, resting - but awake.
TMR - stands for Total Metabolic Rate - this is the number of calories your body needs to sustain life - (or your BMR), plus the amount of calories you spend during the day - your physical (or non-physical) as well as the energy you spend digesting food.

When I measure someone's metabolism through gas exchange - I will draw out a pie chart - and divide it into thirds.  Sixty % of your TMR, is used for your basic life functions - your body at rest, your RMR.  Ten % of your TMR, is used for food digestion and 30% of your TMR is used in your daily activity (not including your exercise).  I'm talking just your regular work day - running errands, things like that.  

No matter who you are - the goal is typically to increase your metabolism.  You can do this from 2 different directions.  You can increase your BMR/RMR - and/or increase your TMR.  In order to increase your BMR - you need to focus on increasing your muscle mass.  In order to increase your TMR - you can do lots of things - but one very general one is to simply increase your daily movement!!  Start there - just move more.  And I will give tips in future posts on ways you can increase your metabolism.  

I know sometimes if feels like we are always moving - but we really aren't.  For instance - I am CONSTANTLY on the "go."  But - I'm in the car a LOT - driving to clients homes, taking my kids to softball or other activities, then I'm sitting there waiting for them - or watching the games - it's a lot of sitting during the day - yet, I'm exhausted because I'm constantly on the go.  
So - I'd invited you to really look at your daily schedule - how much are you sitting and how much are you really moving??  Get out and work in the yard, clean out the garage -pick a project in the house and just dig in and move.  Avoid the couch - avoid the t.v. - just move.  Start there - and I'll share more ideas later.  

Shine on ~

Friday, May 17, 2013

Metabolic Meltdown!

Metabolic Meltdown!! This is what you could have if you aren’t careful and eating enough!  Yes, you heard me correctly, eating enough!  I’ve been assessing metabolism for over 5 years now and have run over 600 assessments.  What I have found to be the case, probably 90% of the time, is that people aren’t eating enough!  My niche is fat loss, thank goodness since there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of it – and when someone comes in to see me, the story is always the same, maybe with small variations.  But the story goes like this:

I must have a REALLY slow metabolism cause I have been trying to lose 20 lbs for the last 6 months and it doesn’t seem to matter how well-behaved I am, I can’t seem to take it off.  The first 10 lbs came off real easy, but these last 10 are stubborn!!!  So – I added a couple more workout days, and I’m working out 6 days a week instead of 4 and I’m eating healthier than ever.  STILL – nothing!  I can’t possibly cut out any more calories – I must be broken or something, or have the slowest metabolism in the world.  Its ridiculous and I’m fed up and ready to give up!

Story sound familiar?  When this is going on - I have found there to be several reasons,..

1.  They aren't eating enough and are unintentionally in starvation
2.  There are hormone imbalances
3.  There are issues with their thyroid
4.  They tried the HCG diet and killed their metabolism - and it is now EXTREMELY low

There are ways to remedy each problem and work with them - but first you have to figure out what it is.  Number 2 & 3 need to be diagnosed and or ruled out by your physician.  Then ask yourself if you have tried the HCG diet - if you have, there is a good possibility that your resting metabolic rate IS very low and yes - it will be a challenge to lose the fat, but yes - it can be done.  If you have never tried that diet and number 2 & 3 aren't an issue - then there is a good chance that you simply aren't eating enough.  

If you live in an area where you can have a metabolic assessment done on yourself - through gas exchange, I highly recommend it.  They usually run between $250.00 - $300.00.   You will be able to learn what your caloric boundaries are by measuring your resting metabolic rate as well as your metabolism while you are exercising.  This is actually what we did with Melaine and Chris a couple years ago - it's the best way to go.  However - that is a bit more than what some can afford or want to spend - these days and or, you may not have one accessible to you.  

Another option is having your composition measured on a regular basis on an InBody.  Over a few weeks - having been measured consistently and regularly, you can see the trend - what your composition is doing and will be able to tell if you are losing lean muscle tissue or fat - and will then know, whether or not you need to increase your calories or cut them back.    

Something to be aware of though - your metabolism is dynamic and will change - for the better or worse, depending on your behavior.  Melaine and I will be sharing more information on the InBody - what it is, what it looks like - etc, in future posts.

Hope this helps a little - maybe give you some ideas or directions to go.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

~2 easy banana dessert options~

I have a HUGE sweet tooth, so finding desserts that don't come with 5000 calories is hard for me.
5 chocolate chips isn't gonna cut it.
Here is 2 dessert options I have made recently
{sorry, the photos aren't that great}
and loved!

The first is a shake.
It comes in at 225 calories.

Mix in blender: 

1 frozen banana
{peel before freezing}

1/2 cup almond milk

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

Blend until smooth.
Obviously you will need to adjust the calorie count depending on your protein powder etc.

 The second dessert is like a sundae and it comes in at 256 calories.
This recipe serves 2.

layer in a bowl:
{remember, cut this recipe in half for 1}

1 large banana

1/2 scoop protein powder mixed with 6 oz. nonfat greek yogurt

sprinkle on 1/2 cup blueberries

5 sliced strawberries

1/4 serving of granola

20 chocolate chips

If you have any good dessert options I'd love to hear! 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What to do when you really don't have a lot of time to work out

Okay - so you don't have a lot of time to exercise and you feel like you can't get a good enough workout in, in say - 20-30 minutes?  Try this...

10 push ups (on your knees if you need to)
10 dumbbell bent over rows - use a band if your don't have dumbbells
10 walking lunges - if lunges bother you, do body weight squats
10 sit ups
Then do some sort of cardio... either run around the block - do 1/4 of a mile - or jump rope (150 jumps), if you have an elliptical at home or a rower - do those for a specific distance

Repeat this circuit as MANY times as you can in 20 minutes.  Set the timer and GO!  The timed aspect of this workout is what will drive the intensity up. 
Keep track of how many circuits or rounds you were able to do in that time, so the next time you do the workout, you are going to try to beat that number.

Now of course - as with any workout regimen - if you need clearance from your Doctor - please do so.  Keep it safe - the goal is to keep you around for a while!!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

What to feed the family!

Someone had asked in another post - if lower calorie, easy to make meals, even existed.  In my opinion, yes!!  It's called

I guess we all have our own definition of what "easy," looks like - my definition is, if my girls can make it with just a little help from me (they are 11 and 14), then it's easy enough.

My sister had been trying to get me to sign up for Emeals, for several months. I wasn't clear exactly as to what it was, and didn't look into it.  Recently though - as I was visiting her in Pullman, Wa, I was able to see how it works first hand - and I LOVE Emeals!  What it is, is a 3 month subscription for a flat, one time fee.  Each week they send you a weeks worth of meal plans, recipes and grocery list.  You get to choose the meal plan when you sign up in the beginning.  I chose the "low fat," meal plan, but they have many others (11 different plans) - you really just need to go check them out, click on their logo above. 

So far, every single one of the meals we have made - we have enjoyed.  I'm sure we will eventually find a dud, but I've been pleased with the results so far.  What I love the most is, printing out the week of meals, handing it over to my girls and having them choose which ones they want to be in charge of (they both make at least one dinner a week).  It's SOOO EASY!  It saves me TONS of time!!  This is where life and dinners fall apart for me - it's all in the planning.  It takes way too much time to come up with a meal plan for the week and a grocery list - I want it done for me, and now I have it!   I also love the variety of dinners this brings to our table - that we would have never tried otherwise.

I've also found that it's very easy to tweak the recipes to make them even lower calorie or even more enjoyable - by substituting an ingredient - and trust me, I'm no cook - but I can do it!

This is an example of one of our favorites - as you can see, it was one Rebecca had chosen - Oh... and I have the kids rate the meals with stars afterwards, so we know whether or not to make it again someday!  It's a great subscription - worth checking out!

Sorry this isn't the greatest picture and really doesn't to the meal justice, I actually took this a while ago (with my phone) to send to my sisters - 

Shine on....

~a seriously healthy dinner~

For me, in the past at least, "healthy" meant putting applesauce in my chocolate muffins, or flax in my chocolate chip cookies. Maybe using whole wheat flour in my banana bread.
Catch the drift? 
But as I age I am starting to look at healthy foods in a new light.
I think these foods take a while to get used too, at least they did for me.
On Jan. 1 2013 when I started out in this "journey" sticking to my calories was hard! 
I was a royal bitch the first week and a half and I detested looking at vegetables let alone eating them.
I started off by juicing.
Disguising those veggies in with oranges and apples.

However, I have grown to actually CRAVE fruits and vegetables!
It's really weird. 
Last night I was seriously craving fresh fruits and vegetables so I made a easy dinner, and want to share the recipe with you.
It totally filled me up and was really low in calories. It's an egg white frittata, which sounds weird if you are not used to eating egg whites. To me, the look of egg whites is gross. But when I think about it, I guess a raw egg isn't much better looking.
Something about pouring egg whites into a bowl makes me want to gag.
But, I am here to tell you that I lived through pouring egg whites, no gagging.
AND, the best part, I actually liked the egg white frittata!

Here is the recipe and the details on the nutrients:
{feel free to print out these recipe cards for your own use}

 Dice up all the fresh veggies and sauté.
 It turned out really pretty too right? 
 I served it with juice I made in my Breville.
 This is my sons favorite juice.
It's a gorgeous bright red color due to the beets, but I tell him it's because of all the raspberries!
Really there isn't any raspberries in it, but he drinks these down almost every morning before school.
I don't really measure anything out.
I think for the one last night I did 4 oranges, 2 small apples, 1 large beet, about 3 cups of spinach, and maybe a cup of carrots. 

Anyway, all in all, I give this dinner a 10 out of 10!

If you have any super healthy recipes, I'd love to hear about them.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

When you need that extra "kick in the pants."

Hey as long as we are confessing,  I may as well add mine.  Yesterday - I did NOT want to work out.  Seriously - it was ridiculous!!  Do you ever have those days?  Or am I totally alone on that one?  Typically it happens after something completely throws me off my routine for a few days such as, being sick, an injury (like Melaine's), vacation - for me, this time, it was MOVING.  Not only did we move this last weekend, between my 2 youngest girls, we had TEN softball games!!  For those of you familiar with softball - this equates to 20 HOURS of game time!  

In short - as a single mother, this made moving quite challenging and in the end, I was very grateful that I don't own a lot of stuff!

So - what do you do when you need that extra "kick in the pants," to go work out?  I'll share with you what I do - but I would love to hear from you as well. 

1.  Get yourself one of these....

... a GREAT workout partner!!  This is my son, Ashton, he turns 21 this month.  As I was laying in bed, ready to take a nap and going through all the excuses and reasons why I couldn't go work out, he calls me.  It was as if he could read my mind, he asked what I was doing and asked me to go workout with him - like he knew I needed the extra push that day.  I LOVE it when he does this - then he pushes me to do these crazy workouts that I would never do.  If your kids are at the age of driving you crazy, rather than working out - I would suggest thinking of someone that you know, who is really good and very consistent about their own workouts - see if they wouldn't mind some companionship - tell them you need a little help with accountability - or just an extra little push out the door. 

2.  Stimulation - sometimes when I'm just not feeling it, I'll drink a 5 hour or a spark - maybe take some muscle fuel or strength (supplements) to give me that "pumped up" feeling for a workout.  Sometimes -certain music will do it too.

3.  Find a purpose - most people work out with a weight loss purpose, which is fine and all, but when it comes to these really hard days, it's too easy to look in the mirror and say... "yeah - I'm okay with this, I just don't care enough to do it, today."  Find a purpose that is greater than that - for me it's my kids and wanting to be an example to them (more on this later - the POWER of example!!), wanting to keep up with them, not wanting to be a burden to them in the later years of my life (if I can help it). 

4.  Sometimes - we need to look to Nike and just take their advice... "Just DO it!!"   Sometimes - if I tell myself that, over and over and over - it'll push me out the door.

That's it for me - those are my personal tricks - but I'd love to hear yours if you have something different that works for you!

Shine on!


Tuesday, May 7, 2013


My husband has been gone the last 2 weekends.
When he is gone and I'm doing it all on my own, we tend to go through a lot of fast food restaurants. 
I always say I won't order anything.
But I do.
The last 2 weekends.
And I always feel like crap after I eat that stuff, so why do I do it?
I kept saying that I'd get back on top of things when my husband gets home.
Excuses, excuses.

Then on Wednesday night at my soccer game, another girl and I collided and both fell.
She fell on top of me, my ankle to be exact.
It twisted and I heard multiple cracks.

Great, just what I need.
A cheeseburger butt and now I can't work out.

I went to the dr. 2 days later, because I hate going to the dr.
A little piece of bone in my ankle had chipped off.
Nothing they could do about it.
Just wait till it heals the dr. said.

Oh joy.
I have a problem sitting still.
I love to run.
I really like to work out, yes, so I can justify those cheeseburgers at McDonalds with the grilled onions and white cheddar cheese.

Anyway, here I sit, and when I walk I hobble.
Hopefully I'll be back to being my normal self soon!

On a positive note, we are the proud owners of 4 new paddle boards!
I can't wait to get out on the lake and work out that way! I bet I could do that with my ankle......


Friday, May 3, 2013

Keep Moving Forward -

Wherever you are at in your own personal journey with your health, move forward!  A couple weeks ago, I heard this great analogy - it was actually in reference to one's spirituality, but of course I'm going to use it in regards to our health and fitness.  It goes like this...

Have you ever tried to go "up" the "down' escalator?  What happens when you try to do this, but you don't move?  That's right, you go backwards - down the escalator.  Okay -now what happens when you take steady, consistent, steps?  If you are picturing the same thing I am - you pretty much staying in the same place, right??  So... what do you have to do to get to the top?  You are going to have to move a little faster, harder - to get there.

I think this analogy is A LOT like our health and fitness.  If we choose not to do anything, we are going to go backwards - guaranteed.  Our cells literally decay!!  If you do "just enough" you are going to maintain - just treading water.  If you really want to make some progress, reach those goals, you are going to have to move a little faster, push a little harder - put a little more effort into it!  Oh - but I promise, the feeling you get when you reach the top is, AWESOME and worth all the work!  It's not about the way we look (okay maybe a little) but more than that, it's HOW WE FEEL!  

Okay - so there may be some of you that are thinking.... holy crap, if I push any harder, or go any faster, I'm going to either puke or seriously injure myself, and I'm STILL not reaching my goals, I'm STILL going backwards.  If these are your thoughts, I promise  - we will address this issue - you aren't alone in your frustrations. 

If you feel like you are too far gone - too far gone to be helped, this is a quote you need - 

"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending."

 I hope that Melaine's journey will not only inspire and motivate you, I hope you will realize that you are not alone in what you experience (frustrations included).  We have our good days and bad days - sadly, sometimes weeks.  I know you will be an inspiration and motivation to us as well - because I know we don't want to let you down!

 Shine on!!

 - Carrie 

~counting calories~

All right, did you all add up how many calories you ate yesterday?
Was that number really high?
It's all about staying full and not feeling like you are depriving yourself while you count calories.
Who wants to feel hungry all the time?
Not me.
Here are some of my favorite foods with high protein content.
{the higher the protein, the longer you will stay full}


I always start my day with a cup of coffee and my favorite creamer.
I don't count the calories in my creamer, I just estimate it's around 100 because I like a lot of it!

After I get the kids off to school I will usually make another cup of coffee with creamer and either have a protein bar, greek yogurt, fresh juicer juice, or cereal with nonfat milk.

Here's a few of my favorites:

These protein bars are the bomb.
Honestly I couldn't live without them.
You will really think you are eating a candy bar, no joke.
And who doesn't eat candy bars for breakfast while trying to lose weight?
I have found these at Walmart and occasionally at Target.
I stock up on them, because I have been known to eat several a day.

Any nonfat greek yogurt is good. 
It's high in protein and usually will have right around 100 calories.

I usually save this cereal for days when I work out because when you add the milk it comes in pretty high on the calorie end. But it is still good, healthy, and high in protein and fiber.


I snack all day long. 
I'm constantly on the go, so I carry snacks with me in my purse.

Here are some of my favorites:

Dark chocolate almonds in the 100 calorie pack.
Again, I have a huge sweet tooth, so therefore I pick the chocolate ones.
They come in all flavors.

I always have water with me. 
I carry a case of it in my car.
Drink, drink, drink.

 If you don't like plain water you can add crystal light for flavor.
If I need a little caffeine I will have a coke zero.
 Or a tall nonfat vanilla latte.


On the go, quick and easy lunches are important for me.

I LOVE Starbucks chicken and hummus plate, I eat it a lot!

Taco time chili is another low cal option, it's high in sodium though.
I eat it occasionally.

I also like breakfast food any time of day and these eggs are sooooo good without the calories.
 Drink that water.


usually another supreme protein or:


If I am on the go or in a hurry I'll grab one of these ready pac salads.
They are so good. I love the asian chicken one, my husband loves the chicken caesar.

If I am cooking I like to make chicken with a couple sides.
Brown rice and edamame are excellent.

And you guessed it, more water.

I try to stick to around 1200 calories a day which isn't much so you have to get clever with your food choices. 
However, if I work out and say burn 300 calories, I get to eat that many more, meaning I would eat 1500 that day. 
Does that make sense? Eat whatever you burn.
Does that motivate you to work out?
The more you work out, the more you get to eat.
It's not rocket science :)

So, try the lose it app again inputting all the new lower calorie choices you eat. 
Lose it has an option now where you can scan the bar code of your food and it puts all the nutritional info in for you.

If you input all your foods including the nutritional info. you should strive to be at right around:

30% protein
15% fat
55% carbs

Have fun!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

~lose it~

Do you have a smart phone?
If so, you must get the lose it app, like right now! 
Honestly I don't know what I would do without it.
It helps you to track your calories.
Here's what I want you to do. At the start of the day, record all the foods you eat for the day.
You don't need to enter in all the nutritional information, just enter in every little piece of everything you eat for the whole day.
Even if you eat 1 jelly bean, enter it in.

At the end of the day, see how many calories you took in.
I think you will be surprised. 
When I started lose it around 5 years ago, I did this and found I was eating twice the amount of calories I should be. 
Whoa, it was time to make some changes.
So, for one day, eat like you always do, and look at those calories at the end of the day.

If you don't have a smart phone, you can add them up with a pencil and paper.

I'll be back to show you how to get those calories cut, including some low cal, high protein food options I like.
Stay tuned!