Thursday, April 17, 2014

#87 Do You Know The Muffin Man?

I know, funny title for this post -- but I was making some muffins and got to singing that old tune "Do You Know the Muffin Man" -- to my teens horror!!!  I remember when he use to like his mom's singing!  Any way,  I was in Schnucks one day and I say these two carts parked next to each other with all this Gluten free food and Red Mill Products -- for  CHEAP -- all marked down for a dollar or under.

Well if you are not familiar with Red Mill products -- they are not cheap.  I think I just landed in a Schnucks where the neighboring people were not into "Gluton free or familiar with Red Mill Products" --  so in the mark-down baskets they went.  This is just a little of what I purchased -- because I have used so much of it already.  Hot cereals, bread mixes, biscuits, muffins, flours of all types -- potato, whole wheat, brown rice flour and so many others.  Now you may have thought they are getting rid of it because it's either expired or getting ready to.  Well I am just now getting to post this on my blog -- but I purchased these items back in 2013 -- and like I said, I've used a lot of it already.  Most of the products expiration date reads as follows:

Not bad for something purchased in 2013

Well today was the day I decided to make the muffins.  I made a big pot of beef stew with my pressure cooker and I needed some bread for this stew.  So this Namesta Foods Gluten Free Muffin Mix made it's debut.

Yummy & You Wouldn't Even Know It Was Gluten Free by the Taste

So don't be so quick to pass up those mark-down items in the carts.  You just never know what you might find.

Until next time.

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Friday, April 11, 2014

#86 Goals

#1 Speak positive affirmations daily from the Word of God about who God says I am:

#2  Work out 5 days a week (Mon Wed & Fri Strength Training & Tuesday & Thursday Cardio):

#3  Saturday & Sunday "Fun cardio" -- bike riding, tennis, walking the neighborhood, etc.


#4  Eat well 90% of the time and have a cheat meal every now and again!!

#5 Enjoy the journey!!!!

Until next time...

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Friday, April 4, 2014

#85 Living This Life -- Some Tips!

Being healthy and fit is a job.  Don't let anybody fool you.  But it can be done!!!  It just takes a made-up mind.  Because it "should" be a lifestyle -- it requires you to eat right, get proper amount of exercise, sleep and so on and so forth.  What we do on a daily basis -- our habits per se, is a big part of this process.

One thing that I found very necessary in trying to understand what it is you need to do to live this lifestyle -- is information -- research.  Well, as you know, there is a lot of information out about this subject that can be overwhelming -- almost to the point of giving up.  You don't want to do that before you even get started -- so it's important to take your time and either talk with friends or family who you observe is living a lifestyle that you admire.  Talk with them and see if they can point you in the right direction.  If you don't have people that you know is living a lifestyle of health -- then take it upon yourself to do the research yourself. 

With technology now days, there is plethora of apps, blogs, books and other things that can help you on your journey.  I am like a kid in a candy store with all the apps that are available on my IPhone. One free app that I have found helpful in meeting my goal of drinking my allotment of water per day is called Daily Water.  After you click the glass of water that you drank -- there is this refreshing gulping down and "AAH" sound.  You put in how many cups you want to drink and you set off to meet that goal.  It's just a great reminder to me.  I set a timer to go off to drink an 8 oz. size every hour (using my water bottle):

Daily Water
A snack that I have found helpful that's low in calories and a good fiber filler is air-popped POPCORN!!!  Done either on the stove or in a brown paper bag in the microwave.  One of my favorite YouTubers (Dani Spies) has a good video on how she does it:

Stove-Top Pop Corn

So there you have it -- two tips that I have found helpful on my journey.  Hopefully it will help you as well.

Until next time...

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

#84 My Favorite Thing -- March 2014

Spring is in the air -- it's that time of the month where I talk about what my favorite thing was for the month.  So for the month of March, 2014, besides the fact that it's spring -- I must say my favorite things this month was a movie that I saw with my hubby.  It was at one of those dine-in-movie theaters.
West Olive

Right before the movie started - a little peek at the dine in experience

Waiters and Waitresses

We saw an awesome movie called "God's NOT Dead"

Here's my thoughts about this movie.  First of all I wasn't aware if it was made by the church that produced Fireproof or Courageous -- and I found out it wasn't.  It's actually done by a cast of professional actors.  Here's a little about it:

GOD’S NOT DEAD features a talented cast of actors including Kevin Sorbo (SOUL SURFER, HERCULES, ANDROMEDA), Shane Harper (GOOD LUCK CHARLIE, HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 2), David A.R. White (BROTHER WHITE, REVELATION ROAD and JERUSALEM COUNTDOWN), and Dean Cain (LOIS & CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN), with special appearances by Christian super-band Newsboys and “Duck Dynasty’s” Willie and Korie Robertson.
If you have not seen the movie and plan on seeing it -- read no more of this paragraph (I don't want to spoil it for you).  For those of you who have seen it or those who don't plan on seeing it -- here are my thoughts.  Josh Wheaton, the main character in this movie, is faced with a decision --will he follow the class -- or will he be a leader.  His faith is being challenged by his Philosophy teacher, Professor Radisson.  Will he go along with the class and proclaim in writing God is Dead?  Radisson assigns him a daunting task: if Josh will not admit that “God Is Dead,” he must prove God’s existence by presenting well-researched, intellectual arguments and evidence over the course of the semester, and engage Radisson in a head-to-head debate in front of the class.*  Well as you know, he remarkably stood for God.  With scripture, PowerPoint and words the Lord had given him to say he made it clear to all that God is not dead.  He was a great representative for the Lord -- so much so that in the end the entire class changed their written remark to reflect this truth!  It was a very well done movie.  In the credits at the end of the movie, it showed many colleges that were facing similar situations.  It's amazing that Satan will do whatever he can to get people to believe this lie.  Unfortunately for him -- there are people all over who will not bow down and accept this under no circumstance.  Awesome -- awesome movie!

We had a wonderful date night!!

Until next time...

* These words that are underlined are not my words, you can find them here at this link:

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Friday, March 21, 2014

#83 Hair Is Growing Out of the Wazoo!

I have not talked about my natural hair in a long time -- so I thought I would update my blog and show what's going on with it.  I will be four years natural in October.  To Check out my complete hair journey, click  on the tab above that says - My YouTube Channel.

I just recently did a video on YouTube showing how I blew it out with my blow dryer and flat iron.  Check that video out here (or just click on the top video to the right of this blog).

I must say, this is the longest it has ever been -- even while my hair was relaxed.  So I'm very pleased that my natural hair has grown so healthy, strong and long.  It is a process -- but just like wearing your hair relaxed is a process as well -- this is better because I can go from straight to this:

Yarn Twists

And so many other styles.  I love, love, love my natural hair -- and wouldn't change it for the world.

Until next time...

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

#82 It's That Time Again -- 5K

It's that time again, the birds are chirping, the weather is getting warmer and I'm thinking outside, outside, here I come.  So I'm gearing up for my 4th (I've done two in St. Charles & one in Ferguson) 5K run!!!  Woohooooo!

Yes I Can!!!
The one that I'm participating in again this year is the 5th Annual Ferguson Twilight 5K/10K Fun Run.  Here's a little info regarding it:

Run or Walk with us in 2014!
Enjoy a USATF-certified course through Ferguson’s beautiful historic neighborhoods in this fifth annual twilight 5K/10K race and one-mile fun run managed under Live Well Events. All races begin and end at the Plaza at 501 (501 S. Florissant Rd., Ferguson MO 63135) with professional timing by Big River Running. After race entertainment includes live music and beer tastings. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!!

I did this last year and posted about it (check it out here) my girlfriend Chris Biernbaum.  I purposed to walk with her -- but when I got there and started walking down the hills I couldn't help but jog down the hills -- until I couldn't (didn't want) to stop jogging.  Sorry Chris :-()  We had a great time -- and the weather was absolutely spectacular.

If you live in the St. Louis area -- you may want to try this race.  It is by far one of the best that I have attended -- and I like the twilight aspect of the race.  When I ran my first two they were early in the morning and in May it's usually starts getting warm early.  But when you run a twilight race -- 6:30pm-until -- the sun has gone down and it's cooler.

What I enjoyed most about this race is the beautiful community of Ferguson, MO -- with its gorgeous landscapes and homes.  So it was change of pace from my other park runs -- and it was a pleasant distraction.


Looking forward to shedding some calories and most of all enjoying the outdoors this spring at the 5th annual Ferguson Twilight 5K/10K Fun Run.

Until next time...

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

#81 I Hate It -- But It's Beneficial!

If you have been reading my blog -- you  already know that I HATE, HATE, HATE having to count calories.  I have gone most of my life without having to do it -- but I'm learning -- if you want to make CHANGES in your body, you will have to count them.  Everyone of us should have a goal with our bodies -- if it's to maintain, loose weight or to gain weight -- you should have a goal that you are shooting for.

Only if you want to make significant change to your body!

I just recommended a book called Fit For Life by Bill Phillips -- which I absolutely love.  In this book, it's not recommended that you count calories.  But I have learned, if you don't count them -- the things that you are putting in your mouth adds up -- and what you thought was nothing -- really is something (does that make sense :-)))  It could make the difference in what you are trying to accomplish.  So I hate it, but I do realize how beneficial it is. 

Soooooooooo with that said, I'm using the MyFitnessPal App that I recommended in my last post.  Two Great Fitness Apps for Free  I'm finding it easier then I thought because with that App and an IPhone you can scan bar-codes of food right into your listing of foods (cutting down the writing process).

I look at it like this -- we should be reading the ingredients on food labels and making a decision if we are going to eat it or not -- we should be counting calories as well otherwise we could be sabotaging our efforts.  After awhile once you are aware of what you are putting in your body -- then you don't have to continue doing it.  You will know the calories based on a lot of the foods that you eat.  But just do it until you form a habit.

I found some great information about calorie counting that I wanted to share.  It's called How to Count Calories (check it out here):

Happy counting!

Until next time...

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Friday, February 28, 2014

#80 Two Great Fitness Apps for FREE!!!!

I was blessed to get an IPhone free of charge!  Thank you Jesus!   With that, I am always looking for fitness apps that I can use.  One that I found that is very helpful to me in the gym is JEFIT.  This app is awesome because it's like a fitness journal that keeps track of all of the exercises that you do by sets, reps, and weights used -- eliminating paper and pen in the gym.  There are thousands of pictures of the exercises and how that exercise is performed in motion.  As well, there's a picture of a person's body (shown below) and you can pick whatever muscle you want to work on and it shows you loads of exercises for that body part -- allowing you the option of making your own exercise routine.  It also has a section for Cardio/Interval training where you can keep time of your intervals with a built in timer.


Plus, if you're not interested in making your own personalized routine -- there are built in exercises for each muscle group.  Too cool!!!

JEFIT Built In Workouts

One App that I think everyone is familiar with (but just in case you're not) is called MyFitnessPal.  This App helps you keep track of what you are putting in your mouth.  You put in what you are trying to do -- maintain, loose weight -- whatever.  Based on that -- it gives you how many calories you should consume for the day.  You put in your food based on the number of calories allotted for that day.  For example, if you are allotted 1,500 calories for the day -- you choose foods and it will say how many calories that particular food is (the app has lots of built in choices and you can add your own) and as you enter this in -- your calorie of food will be subtracted from your total allotment. UPDATE:  I also learned just recently that you can scan your food in your IPhone with the barcode on the food and it will be saved to your foods.  Nice!

So there you have it -- hopefully these two Apps will help those of you interested in taking your fitness to the next level.  Also, if there are any Apps that you have found helpful -- please feel free to leave me a comment below.

Until next time...

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

#79 I Got Nothing!

OK this week is one of those weeks -- when literally I got nothing!!  After doing this for almost two years without missing a week -- I just have to be honest and say that!  But of course I can never leave you hanging without posting something positive and uplifting to keep you keeping on.  I wanted to post some quotes that have helped me to keep on track with my healthy journey.

I always tell my children when they have homework that seems insurmountable to take it one chunk at a time -- I literally say "How do you eat and elephant?"  Their response is -- "One bite at a time."  That's my encouragement to you today -- if you have something in your life that seems to be too much to handle --- just remember to eat that elephant (take on that situation) one bite at a time.  You can do it when it's in manageable pieces.

Another quote that we say a lot in our home school is this:
"Practice some tomorrow you'll be better then today."
Believe it or not, I heard this quote while looking at Sesame Street one day when my boys were toddlers.  I never forgot it.  As they got older, we use to quote it all the time while doing school work.  I now know that it's the only way of becoming better at whatever you want to be or do.

Another source of encouragement to me is from James Clear.  I was introduced to his work in 2013.  You can find out more about him by visiting his link  I used his annual review template in January to write my own annual review.  You can check it out at this link.  Just recently he sent out an email regarding -- 10 Simple Ways to Eat Healthy Without Thinking, Backed by Science.  You can check out that post by clicking here:

Well, I said I got nothing -- but in actuality I did.  Hope these tidbits of information and tips were helpful.

Until next time...

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

#78 The Best Book Ever!!!

There are some books that speaks life to you -- and there are others that are a "Good Read" but it's missing something -- something that speaks to you on a level that just makes plain 'ol common sense.  When you are about to embark on a lifestyle change -- not just a "DIET" -- you want something that you know you can stick to.  Something that you can easily adjust to without a lot of "you can't eat this and you can't eat that."  A book that gets to the bottom line of why people loose weight and gain it all back -- one that is such a good read -- that you can literally read it in one day and start implementing it.  Well that's this book.  One that I absolutely LOVE and live by.  It's called Body For Life by Bill Phillips.  I found a used copy of it at my local library. 

I want to take the time and talk about why I love this book.  There are some books that you read and you know -- there's something about it that just doesn't set well with you -- and with everyone that's different -- what works for me may not necessarily jive with you and vice-verse.  But for me -- this book dotted all my "i-s" and crossed all my "t-s."  Why is that?  Here's why:

  1. Just about every book that you read talks about a DIET telling you what you can eat and what you should stop eating -- not this one.  This is truly a lifestyle way of eating.  Nothing is forbidden -- you are allowed a free day once a week.
  2. I've never liked counting calories -- this one does not suggest you do that.
  3. I've always believed in eating a balanced meal of protein, carbohydrates and fats.  I don't believe in eating in a way that excludes one food or another -- like no carbs, low-carbs, no proteins or no fats (that fats make you fat nonsense).  I wanted a lifestyle way of eating and this book fits the bill -- just a common sense way of living and eating that you can incorporate EASILY anywhere and at anytime.
  4. Love the simple approach of working out 3 times a week with weights -- (not for 2 hours, not for 1 hour -- but only 40-45 min. on those days).  We think that we have to be in the gym for hours in order to feel like we have done something -- not so.  Also on the other 3 days you perform a cardio workout for just 20 minutes on each of those days.  Who can't do that?  
  5. Love the before and after pictures and stories.  They are so inspiring.
I live by this book.  It's my eating and workout bible.  It just makes sense to me.  I also found at Amazon (at this link) Eating for Life by Bill Phillips.  I was amazed to see all the delicious meals that are grouped together.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner, mid meals, nutrition shakes and desserts.

I wish I was getting paid for saying this -- but unfortunately I'm not -- but that just goes to show you that I'm hooked.  If you are looking for a lifestyle change that will truly change you for the better -- I highly recommend Body for Life by Bill Phillips and his cookbook Eating for Life.

Until next time...

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Friday, February 7, 2014

Thursday, January 30, 2014

#76 My Favorite Things for December/January

It's hard to believe that we are heading into February -- but as the old saying goes -- "Time flies when you're having fun!!!"  Just a reminder -- on the last Friday of the month I do a blog post of my favorite things for that month.  So because I did not do a "My Favorite Things for December" -- I wanted to add it here on the last Friday of January, 2014. 

My favorite things that I want to share for the months December/January is of course celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.  CHRISTMAS!  Everyday is a day of celebrating Jesus -- but this time of year just the songs and traditions make this time of year feel laid back and festive.  This is such a special time for me and my family -- we have so many traditions and it's just nice to take a breather at the end of the year and just sloooooooooow down and relax.  We have our activities we do in our church but at home we enjoy decorating and cooking for this season.  This year, just to make things easier, all our Christmas shopping was done using and delivered right to the door (that was awesome -- that just may become a tradition to keep).  Just wanted to share pictures of our annual Christmas bake for 2013 -- we added a Gingerbread house to the mix.

Boy's doing their thang...

Gingerbread cookies -- all time family tradition
What's the annual Christmas bake without A Charlie Brown Christmas!
Added this Gingerbread Cottage this year
"B" for Barry!  YEAH!!!

Christmas is the time where I cook my traditional "Christmas" foods.  I don't skimp on these family favorites.  This was my menu:

Apple pie (store bought this year)
Pecan Pie (store bought this year)
Mac & Cheese
Cranberry Sauce
Candied Yams

We had an awesome time spending time with family and friends.  This is the time of year when I enjoy eating whatever I desire.  It's nothing wrong with eating right 80% of the time and enjoying your favorites 20% of the time. 

Until next time...

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