Monday, November 25, 2013

Life on the Balance Beam

Imagine standing in an empty room. Bare walls, hardwood floor beneath your feet. There are multiple doors. All of them in a row… but how do you know which one to choose? Do you go for the "fast track" and speed past the hard work to reach your dreams? Do you rush towards the door promising marriage and children? Or do you choose the one that takes a little longer? The one that requires sacrifice and effort… promising you everything you've ever wanted, if you are just willing to put forth the energy.

I have been sitting on this blog post since Friday night. Should I write this? Should I not? Will I sound selfish or lazy? The truth is, I don't think I am either selfish nor lazy. I am a 27 year old, working hard towards her dreams, and hitting some bumps along the way.

I am currently finishing up my second term out of five, in nursing school. It is challenging me beyond belief. I am doing all of the things that are asked of me, to succeed. But, I never seem to shine where I need to. Seeing as nursing is my passion in life, I have to obviously make it through school first. Challenge 1: Accepted! Shining through… not so much. However, I am putting my faith in God that it all will work out just the way it is supposed to.

Then there is the idea of marriage and kids, and a house! Every women's dream… or maybe just mine? Anyways… I am on this nursing school journey for another year and a half. Eventually the thought of marriage and children will become a reality. I just have to be patient that God is working out those details to happen at the right time, for me. Selfishly… (yes, I said it!) I have dreamed about becoming a wife and a mother for as long as I can remember. It is probably the number one thing I am desiring to hold claim to, but I know it will take place in due time. For now, I have my puppy to keep me busy.

Throw into the mix my Beachbody Coach business, working out 5-6 days a week, trying to eat a clean, healthy diet, studying, homework, clinicals, papers, my job as a Nursing Assistant, and all of the driving I do to get to/from all these places I have to be.

It's a balancing act. I constantly feel like I am on a balance beam, trying to hold my head high, keep my eyes looking straight ahead, and a smile on my face. Piece of cake, right? Not so much. I struggle with staying optimistic and eluding beams of positivity. I am not perfect. I'll admit that openly. However, I am a firm believer that each and every one of us has a plate piled high of "To-Do Lists", "Grocery Lists", taking the kids to sports practices/games, walking the dog, prepping meals, working out, investing all week at our jobs, spending way too much time in rush hour traffic, and so forth. I could go on and on, adding to this list… but, you get the point.

So, how do you keep a balanced lifestyle, with all the craziness piled high on our plates? For one, we don't dare drop it. No, sir. We'd have a sticky, gooey mess if we did that! Start by taking a look at the items on your plate. Are there certain things you could begin removing, one at a time? Start first by looking at your priorities. For example: family and friends, nursing school, my job, working out, running my Beachbody business, household chores, and what have you. Take all of your priorities and arrange them, beginning with what is most important to you. Could you wake up 30-60 minutes early to squeeze in a quick workout? Could you skip some things you want (fancy coffees, manicures and pedicures, or shopping trips) to save money to put towards something you need? Are you able to rearrange your work schedule to make it to your child's sports game or ballet recital? We take so much for granted on using excuses to opt out of things, when in reality, we only get one life. We need to grasp it in our hands, and dive fully into our top priorities. Making sure to sort through the odds and ends on our way through.

I know it is not always easy, and sometimes you just need to say "No, Thank You!" to a friend's invitation for coffee, or grabbing drinks after a long work week. Sometimes we just need to take a step back from all the craziness, and reevaluate where we belong, and what we are willing to put our energy into. It isn't a matter of if you fail or succeed that really shows your determination. Real, down-to-earth dedication to trying is what's important. If you must fail, fail forward.

The following was taken from a book I own,
"The Confident Women Devotional" by Joyce Meyer.

"I believe that failing is part of every success. As John Maxwell says, "We can fail forward." History is filled with examples of people who are famous for doing great things-yet if we study their lives, we find that they failed miserably before they succeeded. Some of them failed numerous times before they ever succeeded at anything. Their real strength was not their talent as much as it was their tenacity. A person who refuses to give up will always succeed eventually."

Never give up on YOU, and Never give up on your DREAMS!

Monday, November 18, 2013

All Things Pumpkin

Homemade Pumpkin Pie

Your favorite pie crust dough, enough for one 9-inch shell.

For the filling:
1 pie pumpkin
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups organic cream
1/2 cup unrefined cane sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
**1/2 tsp ground ginger
**1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
**1/8 tsp ground cloves
(I substituted pumpkin pie spice for the starred spices)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the pumpkin in half, remove the seeds, place the pumpkin halves in a pan, shell side up, and bake for 1 hour or until the pumpkin is tender, exudes liquid and the shell starts to sag.

Pour off accumulated liquid, scrape the pulp from the shell and purée it with a potato masher or in a blender. Measure 2 cups of the purée and set it aside. Reserve any additional pumpkin for another use.

Place your pie dough on a lightly floured surface and, starting from the center out, roll the dough to about 2 inches larger than the size of the pan. Loosen the pastry, fold it in half, lift it and unfold it into the pan. Press it into place, trim off the excess dough and crimp the edges.

Increase the temperature of the oven to 425°F. In a large mixing bowl lightly beat the eggs. Add the purée and the remaining ingredients and stir to blend. Pour the mixture into the dough-lined pan.

Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350°F and bake an additional 45 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Recipe adapted from


Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

Compliments of

Pumpkin Spice Syrup
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 cinnamon sticks or 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
3 Tbsp canned pumpkin

1 shot of espresso (or coffee)
6-8 oz Silk Original or Vanilla soymilk, steamed
1-2 Tbsp pumpkin spice syrup (or to taste)
Whipped cream, optional (can whip up canned coconutmilk to make whipped cream)

Prepare syrup
1. Cook sugar and water in a small pot over medium heat until the mixture is completely clear.
2. Whisk in the remaining ingredients and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Do not allow mixture to come to a boil. Remove from heat.
3. Allow mixture to cool for 10-15 minutes.
4. Strain syrup through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer into a large jar or bottle of your choice.
5. Keep syrup in the fridge for future use. Recipe yields ~2 1/4 cups syrup. Use 1-2 Tbsp for latte.

Prepare latte
6. Combine espresso with steamed milk and 1-2 Tbsp of pumpkin spice syrup (add to taste).
7. Top with fat-free whipped cream.

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Live Your Life With a Purpose

I wanted to give a little more to you today, than my usual recipes and fitness programs. However, nursing school is calling my name, so I have to make this quick. Without further ado… Here are some motivational quotes and pictures to tide you over. I think all of these photos says something to each and every one of us. They speak the truth and are all things we should strive to live by daily. Being healthy and fit is not about a number on a scale, starving your body, or depriving yourself of foods you love. It is about moderation, choosing healthier options 90-95 percent of the time… and allowing yourself a little room for happy treats (no more use of the words "cheat meal" -- negative connotation, and much unappreciated). I want you to know that you are worthy. You are beautiful and loving and kind. You deserve the best, and can make the most of your health and fitness routine, even if you have to modify at first. I do not want people to think they have to seriously diminish their caloric intake, exercise for hours a day and put their body through hell to become "perfect". There is no such thing as perfect. Beauty is real. Make sure you are working towards your goals in a healthy, respectful way to your body. No yo-yo dieting. No starvation. No over exerting yourself, and doing more harm than good. Whether you think you can, or you think you can't… You're right!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Butternut Squash

Fall is my FAVORITE season!!! I'll take hoodies, scarves, boots, and pumpkin flavored goodies over sweaty, hot days and nights. Along with Fall… I love a good, healthy side dish. Especially one that involves cinnamon topping.

I recently bought a Butternut Squash at Trader Joe's.

Here is the recipe I used:

Cut Squash into serving pieces and remove seeds. Bake upside down in over at 400 degrees for 50-60 minutes until tender. Scoop out and add butter and brown sugar. Beat together. Place into serving dish. Combine 1 TBS. butter, 3 TBS. brown sugar, 1/4 cup honey - Drizzle over squash. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.


Have a good night, Everyone.

Friday, October 25, 2013

My Love For Harney and Sons "Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea"

Are you, or someone you know, a coffee addict? Always counting on that cup... or more... to keep you going throughout the day? I can totally relate! Especially right now, as I am a full-time nursing student, a nursing assistant at a hospital, a hospital volunteer, a girlfriend, and a momma to the best fur baby around! :)

Coffee is my vice. I wake up every morning craving it's warm, delicious flavor to keep me awake. It's a special little treat, that I usually prefer more than ice cream or cake! Crazy talk, I know. But, it's true...

One day, I began to realize what my need for coffee was doing to me and my body. I began craving it all day long, instead of just the morning. I would get headaches when I didn't have it, and I was spending far too much money on specialty coffee drinks because it was easier than recreating my own version. Not to mention the weight from all the sugar and fats in those extra yummy, calorie-laden beverages I loved so much.

It was time to figure out something that would ignite my tastebuds, without all the added calories, sugars, and the costly price tag to boot. One day, I went to my local coffee shop... the same one where I previously spent $4 on a deluxe chai latte with an extra shot of expresso. For a SMALL! That was ridiculous of me. This time, I decided to ask about their tea selection, and which flavors were the best. I had never ordered tea from a coffee shop, except maybe a select few times over the years. The cashier recommended for me to try Hot Cinnamon Spice. Turns out, this tea was the most amazing flavor. So rich, delicious, and my tastebuds fell in love. I remembered the name on the package she pulled the tea bag from, said "Harney and Sons", so I looked them up online one day, shortly after. Mind you, I had been searching for this tea at my local grocery and health food stores with no such luck. But, I just had to have some to enjoy at home. I finally broke down and went online to order a box of their teas. Upon arriving to the website, I was stricken with a desire to order the cutest little gift package of Hot Cinnamon Spice tea, that also came with a bunch of organic goodies and an adorable orange and white polka dot teapot!

Editor's Note: The adorable mugs were purchased at Pier 1 Imports :)
My package arrived two days later, and I was so excited to get home from class and take a peek. When I finally opened it up, my tastebuds were yearning for the flavor of hot cinnamon spice. To this day, I recommend this tea brand to anyone. Every flavor I have tried blows me away. It is not your typically watered down supermarket tea. The taste is one of a kind, and something you will never want to go without again. I do still enjoy my coffee, but I indulge much less frequently now that I have something that is satisfying to drink, and not loaded with fat, calories, and sugar. I highly recommend you try Harney and Sons tea, if you never have. I think you will be pleasantly surprised how much you will enjoy it!

Have an amazing day, everyone!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Feel Good Frittata

Makes 1 Serving

Vegetable oil cooking spray
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach, loosely packed
1 whole egg, plus 3 egg whites
2 TBS crumbled feta

Coat an 8-inch skillet with cooking spray; heat on medium-high. Add red bell pepper, and cook about 5 minutes or until just tender. Add spinach to the skillet, and sauté for 2 minutes or until leaves are wilted but still bright green.

In a bowl, blend egg and egg whites with a whisk. Stir in feta, salt, and pepper to taste. Pour over vegetables. Cook on medium heat until eggs set. Remove from heat.

Place a plate on top of the skillet and invert, so the frittata falls onto the plate. Spray skillet with cooking spray again, and return frittata to brown the other side. Cook for 1 minute.

Serve with an orange and 1 piece of whole-wheat toast.

Nutrition Per Serving: 387 calories, 12g Fat, 46g Carbohydrates, 28g Protein, 8g Fiber

Homemade Pizza

Yum! Yum! Yum!

Who doesn't like homemade pizza? I know I do. In fact, I LOVE it! In my opinion, you can't really ask for anything better than real, fresh ingredients to satisfy that "hot out of the oven" amazing flavor of goodness. Does that even make sense?! Haha. All I know, is I prefer making my own pizza, than paying the same amount-if not more-to get greasy, fatty carb loaded carry out.

To start, I like to get my ingredients from Trader Joe's. They are relatively inexpensive... and the fresh whole wheat pizza dough cooks to perfect every time! Here are some of the things I buy to make this tasty creation.

Steps: Roll out the pizza dough, and place on a pizza pan.
Add pizza sauce, cheese, and your desired toppings (we like mushroom pizza)
Follow the baking directions on your pizza dough package for baking times.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

October Promotions You DON'T Want to Miss

October 1st through 31st: Beachbody is offering customers and new coaches a discount on the P90X and P90X2 Challenge Packs. This month ONLY, both challenge packs will be available for $180 each. That is a savings of over $90 when you buy a program and Shakeology separately.

So, you may be asking "What does a Beachbody Challenge Pack include?"

Beachbody Challenge Packs are the complete package, offering total support for achieving health and fitness goals. The formula? Fitness + nutrition + support = success!
• Each customer pack includes a choice of one of Beachbody's top-selling fitness programs, as well as your choice of Shakeologyand a 30-day trial to the Team Beachbody® Club.
• Each Coach pack includes the same as a customer pack, PLUS a Game Plan Tools Kit and Business Essentials Starter Program—all for the same price!

Click the links above to learn more,
or submit your question via the contact form in the top right corner of the screen.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

REAL Beachbody Transformations

Have you ever been sitting on your couch late at night, mindlessly snacking, and find yourself watching a P90X or Insanity infomercial? I sure have! You might be thinking to yourself, "There is no way I could do that!", "I am too out of shape", or perhaps, "I really need to do something like that... those people have amazing results, and I want them, too!" ...but, then you never go through with it.

I am here to prove to you that these programs can be done by you. You can achieve the results you want if you dedicate time each day to better your health, and push yourself to perform the workouts to the best of your ability. I promise you will see results! The truth is, almost all of the moves can be modified to fit every individual's fitness level. Even while some programs are more intense than others, there is something for everybody and every body.

Without further ado...

Here are some REAL Transformations from Beachbody customers just like YOU!
If you still aren't convinced these products work, I have no doubt you will change your mind after seeing these AMAZING transformations from busy college students, moms & dads, and hard working people with little time to dedicate to working out.

No matter your circumstances, YOU CAN do it, if you dedicate yourself!

Davene's P90X, P90X2, and Insanity Results
Melissa's P90X Results
Kenna lost 81 pounds, and went from a size 16 to a 5 with P90X!
Cindy's Transformation - One Year using Beachbody Programs and Shakeology!
Emily's Transformation with P90X!

Are you ready to change your thoughts from "I CAN'T!" to "I CAN!"?

If you want to join in on my next Fitness Challenge Group, Fill out the contact information at the top right of this page, with the best way to contact you, and we will get you set up on a journey towards the healthiest version of yourself! :)
Fill out my online form to get started.