Clean Eating Challenge

Hey guys! The past two weekends have been filled with family and fun, but mostly with food….heavy, fatty, deliciously bad for you food.

It was also filled with great memories like this…




Between taking in a baseball game, kayaking, taking the pups for walks, and eating my favorite deconstructed sushi, my eating needs a BIG overhaul.

For the next two weeks, I will be starting a clean eating challenge.

During this time I can eat as much lean protein and produce as I want. That’s right. No. Counting. Calories. Literally as much as I want. Now obviously, the aim is to pack my tummy full of delicious produce, but the protein will help aid recovery for workouts (which I am good to start back up full force!!) and give me the energy to make it through my day.

Tack in unlimited water (hopefully 8-10 glasses per day, minimum) and just a little low-fat dairy, whole grains, and healthy fats and I should be on my way to kick starting a long-term healthy eating plan!

Simply put, less of this

20140505-212508.jpg which will be on The Dessert Project next week!!

And more of this



Want me to share my daily menu? Leave me a comment below!


GWC Day 27 – Holy Buttkicker!

Morning Weight: 145.3

Pounds to Goal: 20.3

Workout: 3 mile interval run with added lunges, butt kickers, crunches, and pushups at rest points

Who is your workout buddy? Everyone should have one! Jeff went out with me for “my miles”  yesterday and not only did he push me hard with a great interval run, but he also added in some body weight strength exercises at the end of each rest point too! By the end, I was sweating but smiling…not a usual feat for me!

It’s becoming so motivating that, although my numbers on the scale aren’t moving so much, my body is definitely showing me the results. Besides the fact that my body (to me at least) is looking a small bit more toned, my body is allowing me to run further with less strain. I am definitely getting excited for this 5K on the 28th!!


Goal Weight Challenge Day 17

Morning Weight: 143.4
Pounds to Goal: 18.4

Workout: 8.5 miles total
4 mile interval run at the park with baby and pup (got to see a train car being moved out of the museum too! So cool!!)
1.5 mile stroll along the beach with the baby
3 mile speed walk with my pups after work




Calories burned: about 600? Maybe? Not sure exactly since I didn’t set my tracker for the 3 mile final walk

As you can tell, I more than made up for missing my workout yesterday. I’m still battling some fatigue but I think I just need to tire my body out as much as my mind. Also, I’m doing my best to stay hydrated but some days it feels like a losing battle.

What do you do to keep yourself from tossing and turning all night? How about to stay hydrated?

Goal weight challenge day 13

Morning Weight: 146.6 (yet again…what the???)
Pounds to Goal: 21.6

Workout: 3 mile walk with the pups
It’s been “storming” here for the past couple days but I caught a break in the radar so I hooked up the pups and walked quickly! The clouds were a bit ominous, but the view is still gorgeous.


This morning, I decided that I would take one for the team and complete all of the household chores that I could today so that way J and I could enjoy our Sunday together. Since I washed and folded (to be put away tonight…) 3 loads of laundry, organized our files, took the pups to the vet, went to the grocery and meal planned for the week, dusted, vacuumed, tidied each room, cleaned the bathrooms, and got my workout in, I rewarded myself with a cute new pair of workout capris!


Don’t you just love them?!

What do you do to reward yourself for achievements?

Healthy Living Update + Starting Stats

Happy Friday and First of November! Can you believe it’s November already?! I hope you all had a fun and safe Halloween yesterday and are ready to work off some of that Halloween candy!

Here’s the deal: I’m starting a challenge with myself today and was wondering who might be interested in starting it with me. It’s super simple, great for beginners, and doesn’t take long to complete; kind of a no-excuses type plan.

Here’s how it works:
Clock at least 1 mile of walking/jogging/running per day.

Take your little kiddos in a stroller, take a post-dinner walk with your spouse or older kids and talk about your days, or clear your head with some alone time. Make it more of a “communication date” than exercise in your head if you have to. Feel free to go longer! I take a 1.5 mile walk with “E” every day at work and then usually go for a walk with Jeff and the pups after dinner. It’s a great way for us to wind down and reconnect after work.

Choose ONE of the following challenges

Do 10 sit-ups today. I’m talking the full sit-ups, not crunches.
Tomorrow do 20, Sunday do 30, so on and so forth. Each day, add 10 more.

Do 10 push-ups today. It’s ok if you do modified push-ups on your knees.
Tomorrow do 20, then 30, and so on.

Do 10 lunges for each leg today. That means 10 with your right leg and 10 with your left
Same as above, 20 on Saturday, 30 Sunday, etc., etc,

Do 10 squats today. I want 90 degree chair squats!
And you guessed it! 20 on Saturday, etc. etc.

For all of these challenges, once you hit 100 reps for the day, choose another challenge to add to your current one. i.e. if I start with the Butt Challenge, once I hit 100 reps (10 days), on day 11 I will do 110 squats plus 10 sit-ups (or push-ups, or lunges, depending on which challenge I start next).
Keep in mind, when you get into the higher number reps, you do not have to do them all at once! Split them up throughout your day. Or go Beast-Mode and do them consecutively…consider yourself high-fived if you do it that way 🙂

Got it? Good! I’ll be here to support you through it all!

If you want to join me, post a comment below with your starting weight (if you’re comfortable sharing it) and what challenge you want to start with and check back in with progress reports.

Good luck guys! I know you can do it!

Starting Weight: 143.4
Challenge #1: Butt – 10 squats today! Lets do this!

Starting my Healthy Living Journey

Over the past four years I have been battling my want to be fit and healthy and my love for everything junk food. When I moved back home after college, my sister and mom had joined Weight Watchers and had the whole house filled with healthy eats and recipes.

At that point, I was at my highest weight, 150. Now I realize for some people, that doesn’t seem large, but for my height, it left me out of breath and feeling unconfident. Following with their eating plan, I easily lost 13 pounds without doing one bit of physical activity.


I stayed around 137 pounds for a long time, gaining or losing 2-3 pounds at a time. When Jeff proposed, I ended up moving to Florida and started walking/running 5K races with friends. Before the wedding, I was at about 132 pounds and feeling great! My body felt strong and for the first time ever, I felt semi-confident in a bathing suit at the beach!


On the day of our wedding, I weighed 135, but things quickly turned around as I started to allow myself more “cheats” and kept saying “as long as I stay under 140, I’m good.”


In January of this year, I began my crazy 6-month journey while Jeff was in training, moving 3 times and living with a friend, then on my own, and all while taking care of a puppy, working full time, and not tracking what I put into my body. I stopped running, although I kept mildly active with Atlas, but my body lost all of its endurance and strength.

Fast forward to today, I am between 142-145 pounds and looking to get down to 125-130. For me, weight loss is less about the numbers and more about how I feel in my clothes. I’m tired of being too self-conscious to go to the pool. I’m tired of being tired all the time. I’m tired of my clothes making me feel like a sausage 🙂


My biggest challenge, however, is that I’m a big foodie. I love food! I love fatty, flavorful, and fried foods. I especially love ice cream and sweets (see below). When I was at my best before the wedding, I didn’t allow myself any cheats and constantly felt deprived. I gave myself such a hard time when I’d give into my cravings and eat something “bad”. I won’t do that this time.


Here’s my plan:

1. Clock in at least 5 miles of activity daily. I have recently started taking a mile and a half walk with my little one at work each morning. Jeff and I also take about a mile and a half walk with the pups each night before bed. That means I need to fit in another 2 miles of movement in my everyday movement or with additional walking. I’m not promising that ill be running all of the time, but I figure 5 miles is still 5 miles in working my leg muscles and getting my heart rate into the “fat burn” zone.

2. Eat what I want, but within reason. If I want something fried, I can have one piece. If I want sweets, I can have a low-cal option (like Skinny Cow!) or eat just one portion. I’m not going to give myself grief because I won’t be “falling off the wagon”. I also plan on increasing my produce, whole grains, and lean proteins and keeping healthy snacks around the house/at work so I’m not tempted to eat those bad foods.

3. Weigh myself every 15 days instead of every day. That way I won’t obsess over the small daily changes.

What do you do to keep yourself on a healthy track?

Leave me a comment or “like” this post if you want to join in on a healthy living journey with me!

Easter Lunch and Zucchini Muffins

Happy Easter everyone!! I hope the Easter bunny visited you all and left lots of goodies in his path – Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs anyone?! YUM!

Since one of my roomies went home to GA for the holiday and my other roomie had duty today, Atlas and I just hung out, went to the dog park, and did some much needed relaxing. We are, however, having friends over for Easter Monday lunch! I promise I’ll take pictures tomorrow, but in the name of freshness, I didn’t want to make my week’s recipe until tomorrow. I promise to take pictures and re-post them tomorrow!!

This week I’m trying out Zucchini Muffins. Now I must make a confession…I’ve never had zucchini bread of any kind before. I know, I know! Crazy, right?! I hear so many people rave about zucchini bread in all forms, but until recently, I was too afraid to try zucchini! Now I can’t get enough of the stuff! We’re talking zucchini fries, zucchini Hibachi-style, zucchini chips…and now (hopefully) zucchini muffins!

I’ve been trying my best to eat healthy and mainly produce based. I’m hoping that these zucchini muffins, coming in at just under 150 calories per muffin, will curb my sweet tooth and add some more nutrients to my diet! Now onto the recipe:


Fresh Zucchini Muffins from Healthy Cooking on the Cheap

Makes about 12 muffins

1.5 cups all-purpose flour (I’m going to use Whole Wheat for some added fiber!)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1.5 cups grated zucchini (about 2 small to medium-size zucc’s)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla extract (or vanilla paste)
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tsp. baking powder
Cinnamon and sugar for topping

1. Preheat oven to 375. In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

2. In medium bowl, combine grated zucchini, eggs, vanilla, and oil. Stir well to combine, then gently stir into flour mixture. Be careful not to overwork this—it will lead to dense muffins!

3. Fill lined muffin tins about 3/4 of the way up with the batter and then sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on each. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden.


Zucchini Muffins turned into me trying out my new mini donut pan = Mini Zucchini Donuts!


Atlas’s sensitive tummy = Wheat/Corn-Free Pumpkin Treats (even a few with his name!)

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Easter Lunch/Dinner
Note: Chickie Cupcakes + Colored Deviled Eggs made by the wonderful Lindsey and cheese tray courtesy of my lovely roomie Cait!

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Just for fun = Corn Chowder