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! :)

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.

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.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sunset Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits

Mashed sweet potatoes keep these biscuits tender and low in fat; the moisture also eliminates the need to add eggs or dairy.

This recipe is a great side to add to any main dish.
It is absolutely delicious, especially drizzled with some wildflower honey!

Here is what you will need:
  • 1 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes or yams (2 small baked sweet potatoes)
  • 3 Tbsp. canola oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat baking sheet with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray.

Combine sweet potatoes, oil, vinegar, syrup, and salt in a large bowl. Sift in flour, baking powder, and nutmeg.

Cut dry ingredients into sweet potato mixture with a fork until the mixture comes together. Stir in 2 to 3 Tbsp. water, or enough to get dough to hold together.

Drop golf-ball-sized rounds of dough onto prepared baking sheet. Bake 15 to 17 minutes, or until tops are lightly browned and firm to the touch. Serve warm. Drizzle with honey and ground cinnamon, if desired. (12 servings)

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 biscuit
Cal: 80
Fat Total: 3.5g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Carbs: 12g
Fiber: 1g
Protein: 1g

For more recipes, advice, motivation, and support
Email me at:

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Serve up this reduced-fat version of the favorite party treat with a guilt-free conscience. Don't forget the cute cocktail napkins!

My boyfriend and I often get bored with the same quick foods, so I decided to whip up these amazingly delicious meatballs! I wasn't sure how he would like them, but we made it and he LOVED it. We even had leftovers the next evening, which we rarely ever do. Even our puppy wanted some...

So, here is what you will need...

For the meatballs:
  • 1 lb. of lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 8oz. can crushed pineapple in juice, drained
  • 1/2 cup green onions
  • 1 Tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. ginger

For the sauce:
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium, low-fat chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup chili sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine meatball ingredients in medium bowl and mix thoroughly. Line a baking sheet with foil (this helps with cleanup). Place cooking racks in foil-lined baking sheet. Shape meatballs, and place on the racks. Bake for about 25 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. Transfer the meatballs to a serving dish and cover to keep warm.

Combine the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and stir until cornstarch is dissolved. Place over medium heat and sit intermittently until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and stir for another minute or until mixture thickens slightly. Pour sauce over meatballs, and gently toss to coat meatballs. Serve warm with toothpicks, if desired, or eat on a plate. (makes approximately 37 meatballs)

Tip: If you'll be serving over the course of an hour or two, these keep warm in a chafing dish or on a warmer. Double the recipe if you will be having more guests!

Serve your Sweet and Sour Meatballs with a health side of your choice :)

Serving Size: 4 Meatballs
Cal: 120
Fat Total: 4g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Carbs: 12g
Fiber: 0g
Protein: 8g

Do you want motivation and accountability to eat healthier?
Email me at

Monday, September 16, 2013

Focus T25: My Fitness Journey

I have been hesitant to write this post, but what good is a transformation story, if you never share it with anyone? At the beginning of summer, I was in a low place with my diet and fitness regimen. It was basically non-existant. I would wake up early, go to school or work all day, eat junk all day long, come home and was exhausted, then I'd eat ice cream before bed... it was a vicious cycle. Before I knew it, the weight was creeping up. My waistline was getting bigger, my clothes were getting tighter, and I finally had enough when I put on my bathing suit sometime around the end of June. I felt disgusting, ashamed, and embarrassed. Now, most people would look at me and say I looked fine. But, I didn't feel fine. I felt like a slob. I wore baggy clothes to hide the weight gain, which probably worsened things. I didn't feel beautiful or sexy. I wanted a change. I needed a change.

One day, while searching for options to get myself back on track, I happened to stumble into the "Team Beachbody" website. I already had done the Beachbody program Turbo Jam by Chalene Johnson, but I bought it on Amazon before I ever knew anything like Team Beachbody existed. So here I was, feeling down about my appearance, with low self confidence... and I decided enough was enough! That was it. I was going to take my body and my health back into my own hands. Excuses were not an option for me. I had been searching for a couple of weeks, when I heard about the release of Shaun T's Focus T25. It sounded like a dream come true. A 25 minute workout that gives you an hour's worth of results, in just 5 days a week. I am a full-time nursing student, I work as a Medical Assistant, and I occasionally volunteer at a Children's Hospital. On top of all of that, throw in studying, family time, taking care of house "chores", cooking, and driving to everywhere I need to be during the week (30 minutes is the closest I drive on a daily basis)... my time is precious, and I didn't have much left of it to give to fitness. This would be the perfect solution. I just knew it.

Get Focus T25 Here
Now, I had already made up my mind that I was getting this. No "if's", "ands", or "buts". I took one look at the price, and pushed aside all objections. I wanted this, and needed this. Remember? It was expensive up front, but it cost me less than half of what I had previously paid for a full year's gym membership. The same gym membership I had to force myself to drive to, waste gas to get there, wait for machines, and fight the crowds around my schedule. No Thank You! Not Anymore! Focus T25 was my ticket away from low self esteem and hiding my body under 2 sizes too big baggy clothes. Plus, it gave me all of the tools I would need to be successful and in the best shape of my life. I got the program, the very delicious, nutritional supplement Shakeology, a Coach to keep me motivated, offer support and guidance, and a free 30 day club membership to the team beachbody website, which is full of recipes, discussion boards to ask questions, a place to log your workouts, and meet like-minded people who are working toward their goals just like you.

I started Shaun T's newest program on July 8, 2013. Day one's workout pushed me hard! I had to pause it a few times. It challenged me farther than I have ever pushed myself. The key is, I never gave up! I kept pushing play. I kept pushing myself a little farther and digging deeper. I kept working towards my goal, eating healthy, and drinking Shakeology every day. Day 70 was September 15, 2013. Two days ago. I DID IT! I wasn't sure I would make it through the first week, but I worked hard, I pushed myself, and I completed the 10-week program. I feel amazing. I have energy, endurance, and have increased my strength.

What makes FOCUS T25 unique?
Each FOCUS T25 workout is only 25 minutes, so you’ll always have time to GET IT DONE. Whether you’re looking to get started and want a workout that fits your busy schedule, or you’re simply tired of workouts taking up 1.5 to 2 hours of your day, FOCUS T25 is the answer for you. But it won’t be easy. And that’s why you’ll get the best results of your life.


If you are looking for accountability and support through a healthy lifestyle change, email me at Don't put off until tomorrow, what you could do today. Your health is one of the most important aspects you can take control of. Give yourself the gift of fitness. You're worth it!

...and if price is the problem, email me about how you can get your copy of Focus T25 at a discounted rate.

Friday, August 30, 2013

My [SECRET] Journey to a Healthy Lifestyle

For as long as I could remember, I looked in the mirror and thought I was not worthy of looking any better physically, than I did that day. Working out was a chore. It was something that could would not ever be enjoyable to me... or so I thought. It stayed that way for a long time. I avoided fitted clothes like the plague, I snacked all day long - think ice cream, sweets, etc. - then regretted it and would vow the next day would consist of nothing but fruits and vegetables. Only to fall into the same trap day after day. It was a vicious roller coaster.

I was never "overweight" according to Doctor's standards, but to myself and the way society portrayed beauty... I could stand to lose a few pounds. I was what some might call "skinny fat". I needed to tone up, but was too lazy to do anything about it. In college, I would cycle working out and eating healthy, with binge drinking and late night fast food. I was sabotaging my body and the work I put in during those dreaded workouts.

Years went by. From my mid-teen years up until a year or so ago, I found myself mortified at the site of my body in anything other than sweats and t-shirts. I have NEVER admitted this to anyone, but it only seems fair to let society know my true self... Whenever I had to be in a bathing suit or around a lot of people - and especially in public where I had all the wrong ideas, and compared myself to every girl that walked by - I would suck in and tighten my stomach to look smaller. Say What?! ... Yes, I was embarrassed about how people would view "the real me." Do you know how that feels? Can you relate to this story? It is so sad that we feel the need to look down on ourselves and judge our own bodies by what we see around us, and in the media. That is when I realized it was only me who had the power to change my perception of myself.

(become a Beachbody coach to help people just like you, by clicking the link above)

Finally, enough was ENOUGH! Around June of this year, I decided to dive right in. I bought the Beachbody program Focus T25, and was terrified to try it. I will admit that first week took everything I had not to scream "I Give Up!" And, I am SO glad I didn't. This has been one of the best journey's I have ever been on. The perception I have of myself, and the positive physical and mental changes my body has gone through are worth every penny, every minute. And every day I push play, I am thankful to myself for making this decision.

If you are looking to make a change in your body and increase your energy and endurance, please email me at I would love to be your coach and help you on a journey to a healthier you.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Being Fit... The New Skinny

Have you ever felt uncomfortable in your own skin? No, I am not talking about the ever-so-undesirable mosquito bite. I mean health and fitness wise. Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror and think, "I need to make some changes!" or "I need to workout?" I am sure every single person has thought this at one point or another. It is a shame the pressure society puts on us to be "skinny". Think about this for a minute, though. When you search "definition of skinny" on the internet, the first thing that comes up is "unattractively thin". Does that really sound like something you want to strive for? Unattractive? No thanks! What if I told you that along your journey to getting skinny, you could be further hurting your chances of success at a healthy lifestyle. Let me lay it out like this... skipping meals is not healthy. It throws your metabolism for a loop in a bad way. It is also a challenge for the people you come into contact with, because you are more than likely experiencing mood swings. Not healthy. Not fun. Working your body extra hard to burn off the added calories of that piece of cake or bowl of ice cream you just couldn't live without... That will pull you farther away from the lean and fit look you want, also.

Instead of giving yourself a 3-month goal to lose those unwanted pounds, try dedicating your life to making healthy changes and doing exercises you have fun partaking in (i.e. bike riding, running, walking your dog, swimming, yoga, pilates, dance, etc.) Engaging in activities that you enjoy will make all the difference to help you succeed. "Dieting" usually has an end. It goes in cycles. You may achieve the look you want for a little while, but it is a healthy lifestyle that will keep you looking and feeling your best.

Would it help to have an accountability partner or to join a fitness challenge group for fun tips and motivation? Someone to cheer you on and give you encouragement to keep pushing a little farther, and digging a little deeper to reach your goals? I would love to be your Beachbody Coach, if you do not already have one. Let me help you feel like your best self, and reach your health and fitness goals.

Email me at for further information, and to get started on your journey towards a healthier you!