Saturday, July 30, 2011

Get. Slim. Check. In.

It's check in time for the week!
I've been making some good progress and I'm on my 4th week of eating clean! I tried a cinnamon roll at work the other day - just a bite. I couldn't even eat anymore! It was sooooo sweet, I didn't even like it! Looks like eating clean has it's benefits! 


Weight: 159
Bust: 36"
Waist: 29"
Hips: 42.5"


Weight: 152
Bust: 34.5"
Waist: 29"
Hips: 40.5"

Weight: 147
Bust: 34"
Waist: 27 1/4"
Hips: 40"


                                    WEEK 1                               WEEK 4

The program I'm on is 12 weeks! I'm 1/3 of the way there! Woohoo! My goal weight was 145. I'm only 2 pounds away! I bet I may surpass my goal! Only fitting for a goal getter gurl! ;)

What are your fitness goals? How do you keep yourself on track?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New. Wear. And. Fare. Wednesday.

New Wear and Fare this week! 
I'll not be blogging as much this week as I've been busy with my business project. 
Very soon, I hope to be able to make an announcement!


I wore this cute little number to work today. I love it! My coworkers said that it was "very slimming".
 I'd like to think that I'm just more slim too! ;)

Shirt: I have no CLUE what brand or size this shirt it. 
Tags are ripped out. What I can tell you, it's from Everyday People.
Skirt: Merona, Target
Flip Flops: Haivanas

My favorite part about this shirt is the cute little heart-shaped buttons and polka dot pattern! 
Totally what makes this shirt "me" worthy! 


Clean eatin' pizza!

I decided to throw this together for lunch one day. This was the vegetables that I had around and I made it out of a 100% Whole Grain Tortilla! Heated and cooked one side of the tortilla, flipped it over. Added some sauce on top, sauteed veggies, a sprinkle of mozzarella and put back on the stove to cook the other side of the tortilla. Delicious! I added a side salad to accompany and believe I had a protein shake as well to get my dose of protein in!

Tortillas: 100% Whole Grain, Purchased at Lund's. Made by  the French Meadow Bakery.
I applaud French Meadow for their EXCELLENT tortillas! So good!

Can't wait to catch you guys next week!

Monday, July 25, 2011

No. Going. Back.

Time for another progress update on my clean eating and workout goal. My goal was losing 15 lbs. Guess what? I've lost 10 already! I set 15 as a goal, but if I don't reach it because I'm making muscle (which weighs more) but I'm losing inches and body fat, I'm completely content with that too! My shorts that I take these pictures in? I haven't fit in them since about 2007. I actually think that I look better in them NOW than I did in 2007! Sure, I fit into them before, but I didn't have the muscle tone that I do now (due to about 2 years plus of strength training). I had a bad week with eating, started to fall off the clean eating bandwagon! BUT, these photos have re-inspired me to stick with it. When I eat more sweets, I crave more sweets. When I stick to clean eating, I don't crave the sweets! Only forward movement for this girl! No going back!


Weight 159
Bust 36"
Waist 29"
Hips 42.5"

End of Week 3

Weight 149
Bust 34.5"
Waist 29"
Hips 40.5"

These measurements were taken at the end of Week 2 and may not reflect the end of Week 3 results. New measurements to be taken on the end of Week 4.

Side by Side

Since about the end of Week 2, I've also been noticing some other interesting happenings...

 Yeah, so not many of my clothes seem to be fitting me anymore. In fact, I took my nephews to the beach the other day and I realized that I was having to pull up my jeggings!!! Jeggings should be tight, right? I'm a little worried about what this is going to do to my wardrobe! :( Don't get me wrong, I'm loving the results! But I need clothes to wear! I actually had to have my coworker pin my pants up for me one day!!! 

Inspired to keep moving forward! Today I encourage you all! If you are seeing some results on something that you have been working hard on, stick with it! Let's do it together! 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What. To. Do. During. Amazonian. Heat.

This weekend and beginning of this week here has been exceptionally hot! So hot, that one day there was a nice little concert occurring (with beer and all of that fun stuff), only a matter of blocks from my house, and I didn't go! Nope, far too hot for me! I preferred to sit in front of my AC all day. Since I was sitting in front of the AC, I decided I shouldn't let this perfect day to stay inside get away from me! Time to be productive. 

For a little while now, my filing cabinet has really been irritating me. I will need to file more stuff in it when my business gets running, so it is only fitting that I have a proper place to file. A bolt piece on my filing cabinet broke and the door was sort of just hanging there. The bars then wouldn't stay up and all of my files would fall! I began a hunt on Craigslist. By far one of my favorite places to both buy and sell items. After a small search, I came across a very neat sounding cabinet that would fit in my apartment and suit my needs. It was only $8 too! I contacted the seller and they still had it. I arranged to pick it up, (my friend Eliseo went with me to ensure I didn't get sawed up into 100 billion pieces - thanks Eliseo!). I was pretty excited but wasn't sure if it would actually work for me. The one catch that I was concerned about was that  the cabinet has one drawer on top that opens forward and the filing cabinet is along the side. I needed the filing cabinet drawer to be on the right side. Where I planned on putting it in my apartment, there is a chair on the left and it wouldn't work out. My worst fear became a reality when I went to have a glance at it and the filing cabinet was on the left side. I was bummed because I thought this would really suit my needs. I began to speak with the person selling it and he mentioned that it's all able to be taken apart and I could just switch the sides and the tracks and it should work. I thought, "Hmmm, yeah. That's a good idea. Maybe my dad could do it." Given that it was only $8, I decided that it wasn't a huge risk anyways and purchased it and got it home. I was debating on whether I should ask my dad or just try and do it myself. I decided, that knowing me, I'm much too impatient to wait. I immediately began ripping it apart. This is the process that ensued:

As I said, I completely ripped it all apart. I needed to switch the sides and tracks. I wasn't so sure I was going to succeed. I had many moments of doubt.

These pictures were mainly for my father. I called him and told him what I had done. My one thing I HAD to note? "Dad, I actually used a measuring tape and pre-drilled holes!" Seriously, I am not the most patient person. 

Measuring tape!

Finished product!

I am not going to lie and say that it's perfect. It has some flaws. I say that's what makes it unique. The most important thing to me is that it's functional. For my lack of skill, I'd say I did a pretty good job! Even flipping drawer tracks! The thing I love, love, love about this filing cabinet is how the side drawer opens and the files face you. This means no digging in the back of a drawer and not being able to reach all of your files! 

What do you do on bad weather days to keep yourself productive?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New. Wear. And. Fare. Wednesday.

Running behind again this week! What you've all been waiting for...


I have had this purple tank for quite a while but just can never seem to figure out how to make it work! Today, it continues to be boiling hot here in MN. This shirt is made of polyester but it's really light so it keeps me cool -- I know, not what one thinks when they think of polyester. I pulled it out and paired it with my new jeggings (love em) and cool new purple glasses. You can't see in the pic but I paired it with my summer striped flats from last time! 

Shirt: Mossimo - Target
Jeggings: Hue - Macy's
Glasses: Gifted by a generous coworker who knows I like purple! :) They are purple rimmed.
Shoes - Mossimo - Target
Locket - Gift from my dear mother <3

Close up of my locket. I love this locket. It's one of the few pieces of jewelry I wear on a semi-regular basis! Flower! 


Okay, I may have just found my new favorite vegetable in the world. Spaghetti squash! I swear, this stuff is SO good! Now, for those of you who despise even the smallest mention of the word, don't fear the word squash. Spaghetti squash (at least to me) doesn't really taste like a squash - squash. Catch my drift? And YES, just as the name suggests, you can use it as spaghetti! It's been a great way to replace some carbs with vegetables! This day, I added some breaded chicken with it to make a chicken parmigiana! So yummy!

How you ask? 

Cut it in half the long way. Bake it in the oven on 450 for 30 mins (I used olive oil on the edges and laid the insides face down on a pan). Using a fork you scrap the meat of the squash out. It comes out like spaghetti! Discard the skin.

I made my own sauce from Contadina's Organic Tomato Paste that I found at Costco. I bought a huge box of it! The ingredients? "Tomatoes." What a novel idea, hey? I applaud Contadina for making such a great product and Costco for carrying it!

How I made mine:

Place 2 cloves of garlic (chopped - or using a garlic press) in a saucepan with olive oil. Heat the garlic. Add tomato paste. Fill tomato paste can with water and add water. Stir until paste has turned into a sauce -like texture. I added about 1 - 2 tablespoons italian seasoning and voila! I think this would have been excellent with some yellow and green zucchini or peppers ands onions in it too! I just didn't have any around! If it hadn't been so hot, I would have gone and grabbed some fresh basil from the garden to sprinkle on top!

Chicken? You guys know... egg whites and a bread crumb mixture. I used a special recipe from DAMY Health. You can use whatever you like! :)

Hope you all had a spectacular Wednesday and that the week keeps getting better!

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Just checking in to show my weight loss progress! New pics for you all!


Weight 159
Bust 36"
Waist 29"
Hips 42.5"

Starting photo

Week 1

Week 2

Weight 152
Bust 34.5"
Waist 29"
Hips 40.5"

                                               Starting                                          Week 2

So excited about my progress this week! I'm doing great on keeping it up too! It doesn't even seem so difficult anymore! I had a tea out with my friend last night. At the tea place, they usually sweeten their drinks. I ordered a chai tea, tried it and it was SO sweet! I couldn't drink it! I forgot what all that sugar is like! I asked that they dump half of it out and add more soy milk because it was too sweet for me. It was much better after that! Natural sweetness from fruit seems to be enough for me now! That's great! :)

Have you been making progress on a goal? What is your goal and what improvements have you noticed?

Friday, July 15, 2011

My. Reasons.

Much has been going on this week and I've had some really great news on the business end. I hope soon, I  can be making an announcement about my business and what it is I am doing exactly! I'm super excited because this has been a goal in progress for about 4-5 years and it is now becoming an ACTUAL reality! I can't believe it. It is extremely exciting and terrifying all at the same time!

As my business progresses, thoughts have been dancing around in my head as to my motivations in starting a business. I thought I would talk about these and tie this into a corporation and CEO that I really admire.

My motivations, firstly, surround having passion in what I do for a living. I don't want to be complacent about life. I want to keep my fire burnin'!

Secondly, I am not going to lie and say that you don't go into business to make money. What would be the point of starting a business then? However, I don't NEED gobs of money. If I had enough money to live comfortably and pay my bills and make a decent future for myself, that would be enough. I've never been one who has fancied having a big house, a bunch of things that I don't need and flashy cars. Really, they aren't that important to me. Having experiences matters to me more.

The third motivation is obvious, being your own boss. Yeah, it's nice to have some flexibility in your work schedule. Of course, you cater to your customers and there is that, but at least you are catering to them for something you are passionate about!

Last but not least, a huge factor for me in desiring to earn more money and doing what I am passsionate about is simply to contribute more. I have had ideas whirling in my head for years about what I would like to do with significant contributions and programs I could create to make change in the community (hello? am I sounding like Obama right now? We want change!).

The more that I see corporations and companies making a difference like this, the more that it drives me to try and be accomplished in my business so I can also have my turn at contributing. One company, that inspires me a lot and contributes directly to the organization that I work at, is Nash Finch.

Nash Finch employees hard at work!
The CEO of Nash Finch pretty much shuts down most of the company one day per year and all of the employees go to various organizations throughout the Twin Cities to spend a day volunteering. This year, I was fortunate enough to coordinate this for the group. We had the group pack bags for the Summer Kid Pack program that I am coordinating this summer. This program provides families with children with a package of food, one time per week, throughout summer until the children go back to school. It's an extra help for parents while their kids are home full time and snacking away. It's a wonderful program and so many people who utilize it express joy in the help it gives them during the summer months.

Nash Finch volunteers hard at work.
Nash Finch volunteers and I after a hard day's work! Thank you all for your help!
The CEO also seems to visit most of the sites where the employees are volunteering and shakes everyone's hand and thanks everyone. I've met him at a couple of events and he appears to be a most genuine and GENEROUS human being. This really inspires me to want to make more so that I can give more in the future.

What or who inspires you?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New. Wear. And. Fare. Wednesday.

Super late tonight on my post but here it is: my new wear and fare for the week!


Lands End Top - (Thrifted at Arc's Value Village
Scarf: I have no clue! Love this scarf but can't remember where I got it! I think overseas!
Merona Skirt - Target special! :)
Mossimo Flats - Target (my favorite pair of flats this summer, love em!)

Just wanted to note - look at my calves, they are getting slimmer! 

Mossimo Flats - Target


Once again, Gluten Free Goddess saves the day! Saw this other post by her and I HAD to try it! Was super good - and colorful! I substituted spinach for the other leafy greens as it is what I had around. Also, I did not get watermelon in mine. I just opted for berries. If only I had watermelon in my fridge! I think it would have been even better had I had all the fruits and herbs! YUM! Still, this was pretty good as it was!

 I highly recommend people!

Hope you all had a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Budget. Fail.

This weekend drove me on a wild Costco! My friend, Mary, has a Costco membership and was kind enough to let me use her membership and take a shopping adventure to see if I can save some money for food.

Me and my giant cart!

Costco was super cool and I found a lot of items where I could REALLY save some money! For instance, fish oil and multivitamins. I bought these giant bottles of fish oil and multivitamins. They were about $10.00 a piece. However, I will not have to buy more vitamins or fish oil for over a year! If we average it out as well, you see how little you actually pay! My multivitamins cost $11.75 for 500 pills. That is  about $.02 per vitamin! Fish oil is $8.99 for 400. That is also only $.02 per pill. That is cheap! I think I came away with quite a good deal!

Other things I purchased included spinach (bulk - I've been going through a lot of that lately with the new life eating changes), limes, almond milk (bigger half gallons that I believe should last me through August), quinoa, frozen berries for smoothies, avocados, toilet paper and agave syrup. My total bill was $166.00!! I was shocked, I bet my jaw dropped! However, I do have to look at this as an investment. Toilet paper - 36 rolls! I think it has taken me about 2 months to get through the 18 rolls that I had. Four months and no having to buy TP? I think that more than makes up for it. Quinoa, won't have to buy that for a while. I'm interested to see how long the frozen berries will last me. I've been making lots of things with berries but I think that this should hold out a while and may be cheaper than having to buy bag after bag of frozen berries. I also bought a HUGE bag of chicken. This should last me for quite a while and I won't have to keep making trips to the grocery store. My hope is that this will all even out and that it was in fact,  a wise investment. Over this month it will help me to better judge if I made a good investment or not. Despite going over my budget, I believe the products that I chose will last and I will be able to utilize them before they go bad. Next month, I may spend much less due to these bulk purchases!

My giant bag of lettuce!

Grocery cart with only SOME of my items!

Protein powder in bulk! I'll be hitting this up when I've finished my container at home!

Giant box of strawberries that Mary and I split.

Do you shop in bulk to save money? Do you find it as a wise investment? How much money do you think you save? What items have you found are worthwhile and which ones aren't?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Putting. Myself. Out. There.

Now, I really debated with myself in my head. Do I REALLY want to put myself THAT much out there? The conclusion? Why yes, I do! 

With my new diet and exercise plan, DAMY Health asks that you take progress pictures of yourself every two weeks. I, on the other hand, decided I am doing it every week. It's kind of fun for me to compare! I thought about sharing these pictures. It is a huge risk! I am out there for the world to see in not so much clothing (then again, I suppose many people have seen the same of me at a beach). I decided to heck with it! If I'm going to dedicate myself and work hard to get to a healthier me, then I am going to go full out!

Yes people, you heard it and you will be subject to it. I am going to put my pictures out on the line. It will keep me accountable and I can visibly see my progress. Like I've said before, my body may not be society's view of perfection or what people see in a magazine, but it is mine. I'm proud of all that it has accomplished and got me through. I am beautiful as I am, but I am also happy to make improvements. I am a constant work in progress. God gave me this beautiful body and now I am going to treat it and nourish it how it should be treated.
I have discovered something new as well since beginning this new way of eating. It has helped to resolve my acid reflux problems! I never had read in the past that sugar and carb intake also may affect acid reflux. Turns out, it does! I looked it up and found many articles on the subject! Since starting these new eating habits, I have not woken up with any acid reflux! What an amazing blessing! I wish doctors had spoken with me about this in the past! Yes, I had spoken about diet in the past with my doctors. I thought I WAS eating much healthier than I had in the past (turns out, it wasn't so healthy!).  Not one doctor, however, spoke with me with regards to sugar and carb intake. This is interesting to me. I can't wait to have another check up with my doctor to discuss this!

Without further adieu, my Starting and Week 1 pictures:


Weight: 159
 Bust 36"
Waist 29"
Hips 42.5"


Weight: 154
 TBD next week!


My legs shrunk! I lost 5 pounds this week, which wasn't expected. I thought I would just gain some muscle. I'll keep on pushing for next week and I hope to continue making progress. In fact, I KNOW I will make progress!

What do you do to put yourself out there and make progress? Who keeps you accountable? Have you made changes in your lifestyle that have given you added health benefits?

Friday, July 08, 2011

Every. Problem. Has. A. Solution.

As I mentioned yesterday, I was going to discuss my solutions for my two problems: budget and sugar addiction. I have devised two new systems to work on these problems!

Solution #1: Envelope Method

I haven't been very good at keeping track of my budget lately. I think we all know that when you have a card, can easily swipe it and you don't actually SEE your money going away, it's quite easy to go and swipe, swipe, swipe! Even with groceries! Due to my spending behavior these past two months, I'm switching to a new envelope method. What does this mean? It means that on my first payday of the month I am taking out the amount of money that I hope to spend on groceries ($150 and $50 in my case) and placing these in envelopes. Whenever I go to the stores to get groceries or go out to eat, I can only take the money out of these respective envelopes. This keeps my money visible and makes me really contemplate whether or not the item that I want is worth it. It REALLY works! Already I went out one day for brunch. I ordered a smaller meal but really had my eye on this giant cinnamon bun. After I finished, I was looking at my bill and realized that I could pay for what I had and do without the giant cinammon bun (for my health and my wallet!). Also, I arrived to the conclusion that I could just as easily make a sweet cinnamon treat at home if I really wanted.


Going out and Grocery Shopping Envelopes

Solution #2: New Eating Habits

Seeing my past grocery bills and reviewing all of the sugar intake I had, (which to be honest probably doesn't even cover the half of the sugar I ate as there is a constant candy and pastry supply at work), I decided to really make a change and work on my diet as I have it on my goal list and haven't even touched that yet. Yes, things like eating at home and not going out have really helped to make me leaner, however I want to go that extra mile. I came across a website on my friend's Facebook page. It was to DAMY Health. I was looking at the website and saw that she had "diet" and exercise plans. Now, when I say diet, I don't mean diet like Weight Watchers, Aitkins, or anything of that sort. I don't believe in "diets". However, by diet, I do mean a change in my eating habits. Not for a short period of time, but as a lifestyle change. Her health plan focuses on clean eating and cutting processed and sugar foods from the diet. Also, she has included an INTENSE workout program which is challenging and I really am enjoying it. I will be posting some progress pictures. I have been sticking to the plan thus far this week. I've even resisted pastry temptation at work! Does this mean I can never have a pastry again? Nope. Does it mean I never will? Nope. Everything in moderation. However, I feel that I need a guide I can follow to head down the right path. That is why I started this. Plus, she has some AMAZING recipes that are healthy mimmicks of the real things (such as desserts!). I love them! When the pastries were around the other day, I was craving the chocolate brownie in the box. The craving wasn't going away. Instead, I opted for one dark chocolate Hershey's Kiss. It satisfied my chocolate craving and allowed me to stay on track all day! Check out the website! So far, I've enjoyed it.

Working on the pipes!

Have you had to start new plans to keep you on track with  budgets or lifestyle goals? What were they? Have you stayed on track?