Friday, June 29, 2012

99 Days until Showtime!

Greetings friends! This past week has been insane trying to gamble school, work and training for the Tough Mudder!  A lot of you that are friends with me have already heard about my insane decision to do this race.  Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile obstacle course designed by British Special Forces.  It has every type of obstacle you can think of:  running through fire, crawling under barbed wire, scaling walls, jumping into dyed ice pits (not looking forward to this AT ALL), monkey bars, climbing ropes, running up hill through mud, etc! It is going to get real! The best part, you aren't in it to win! It's a teamwork race and I am all about team work!
My beautiful fit friend, Alli, is preparing me for these obstacles by pushing me to my limits! Can I tell you sometimes I really think this woman is trying to kill me ;)! haha I have been told before that I workout hard...let's just put it this way, NO I HAVEN'T BEEN!! So in order to prep for my workout with her once a week I have been working on her workouts during the week and upping my reps and weights.  Instead of doing 3 sets of 10 reps or 30 reps, I have been doing 5 sets of 10 or 50 reps.

 I have found myself continuing to have to really push myself during our workout, given the workouts are getting more challenging.  My problem: I think in terms of numbers...meaning, once I get to 10 my brain tells me I can't go anymore.  I asked Alli what she recommended for this.  "You don't want to focus on a number instead you want to go until fatigue."  So basically shut your inner voice up and keep going!  Easier said than done once you have trained yourself for so long to do it but I will break that woman in my head and push myself!

Also, I am trying to get used to this HIIT style of training.  It's literally doing exercise after exercise with a 10 second or so break.  Trust me, when you do 4 tuck jumps with 4 tricep pushups (jumping knees to chest) and then following it squats, wall sits, and burpees... Your body is screaming! But after it's done you feel like a million dollars and I still can't believe I was able to do that! I never dreamed I would ever beable to do everything we did this morning! I even did a pull-up....okay okay it was assisted but all the same, so proud of myself haha! 

Now for the eating part of it!  Abs are made in the kitchen afterall! I have been getting really good at this clean eating concept! I have been learning and creating some great recipes and I am yet to get bored! Just put it this way when I don't have time to make me a powercake in the morning I get so sad when I see other people's pictures on instagram of them eating their powercakes.  Eating clean doesn't need to be bland chicken breast with tasteless salads or boring veggies.  This week I have tried cauliflower mash, cooking chicken in the crockpot, varying my turkey burgers up and making healthy chocolate sauce.  Really good week! I have somehow managed to be eating gluten free for the most part.  I have replaced a great deal of my grains with healthy fats, coconut flour, and ezekial bread.  I have, also, readjusted my body to eating avocados so I have been inhaling those beautiful fruits!  I am including a recipe for the crockpot chicken and the cauliflower mash and healthy chocolate sauce can be found @

Crockpot Chicken Breast

Onions and bell peppers sliced (I use the frozen picsweet ...way cheaper)
Can of diced tomatoes (I used the charred diced)
3 chicken breast (boneless skinless)
Seasoning of choice (I used a little salt, pepper, blackening seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder)
Minced garlic to taste

Put all ingredients in crock pot and cook on low for atleast 8 hours (I cooked mine for 12).  Shred chicken with fork, it should be super tender and this will take no effort).  Serve it over brown rice, spaghetti squash, whole weat pasta, cauliflower mash, or just eat it like I did by itsself with veggies and chick peas.

Hope you all have a great weekend! Happy working out and eating clean! Work hard for the body you want and dreamed for and most of all fight for your dreams and goals! Love your faces!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Healthy fats, and clean eating explained! Happy Reading! :)

This week has been really productive! My workouts are in full swing and with the help of my Zumba instructor, Alli, they have been really challenging me to do my best and push me to the next fitness level.  I have been eating clean and trying new recipes. I am getting the recipes from  I have tried from her recipes:
chocolate chia pudding
coconut chia porridge
sweet potato pie (it's really a half of a sweet potato with coconut oil, cinnamon, and cranberries...but its amazing!)
a variety of her powercakes(I have been eating these every morning, and I am obsessed)
cheesy tuna cakes
nori wrap

I have all good things to say about these recipes! I devoured them and my body has had so much energy lately and I am seeing great changes!  In fact, minimizing the grains and replacing them with healthy fats has really made me feel better! I may make this a permanent thing.  Here are some pictures of my meals I had this week:

Lunch:  Smoked Salmon Nori Wrap- Toasted Nori, Carrots, Roasted Asparagus, Smoked Salmon, and Garlic Herb Laughing Cow Cheese.  Sides- Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Pie- 1/2 Cold cooked Sweet Potato with heated coconut oil (when it cools it makes a hard delicious shell), chia seeds, cinnamon, and cranberries with a couple pistachios.)  ***I actually saved the sweet potato pie for later as a snack because I was to full to finish.

Dinner:  Sorry this picture is so terrible!  Cheesy Tuna Cakes- Can of light tuna (drained) mixed with a wedge of laughing cow cheese, egg white, a hint of mustard, and seasonings of choice.  Grilled in a pan on medium heat with a little olive oil.  On the sides I had a sweet potato pie with roasted asparagus and Brussels sprouts.
Breakfast:  Lean Green Powercakes- these are by far my absolute favorite.  Frozen Spinach, Coconut Flour, Stevia, Vanilla, chia seeds, baking powder, and lots of egg whites! I topped one with Protein Frosting (protein powder mixed with coconut milk and peanut butter), and the other I topped with coconut oil and agave nectar (this is by far the best replacement for syrup, low on the glycemic index (i.e. won't make your blood sugar jump) and only 60 calories for a tbsp! AWESOME! I ate these with a side of berries.

As you all can see eating clean doesn't have to be boring! I see so many people trying to eat clean and they just eat veggies and boring chicken breast! It does not have to be that way! I cannot stress enough how important it is to include healthy fats into your meals.  Also, making your meals complete by have a mix of produce, carb, protein and fat! Just try it, I promise I have tried every kind of diet and have gone the extremes of "eating clean"... If you deprive your body of what it needs you (A) Won't be as likely to KEEP the weight off and (B) You can seriously injure your body or make your body go into survival mode where it actually depletes your muscle instead of burning fat! Watch Kasey's video on healthy fats on her website (

I love being a good influence on my friends and other people! The other day I was out eating with some of my girls.  One of them was ordering and was making it healthy.  My other friend looked at her and said, "Are you only ordering that because Danni is sitting next to you?"  hahaha I love it! I don't think that was the case but hell if my mere presence makes people want to eat healthy, I AM ALL ABOUT IT!

So this week try changing up your meals, explore the world of healthy eating.  It doesn't have to be salads and chicken breast.  I will be posting some of my workouts next week and also be discussing different types of sweeteners (white sugar, truvia, stevia, sugar in the raw, splenda ,etc)  I have been doing a great deal of research and am excited to share my findings with you all! Love your faces!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Cleaning it up, changing it up and Kicking A$$!!

This week has been completely insane for me and I've been spending wayyy too much money on food! I went to whole foods Sunday when I was in Baton Rouge and managed to pick up some amazingly fresh and local produce! I also have finally bought a magic bullet blender and all I got to say is "it's about to get real!" I am now able to try out more recipes and really explore the world of clean eating!

My first recipe I wanted to try was from . I made her blueberry Powercake. The recipe has mostly egg whites, flax, blueberries, spinach, and coconut flour. It's really awesome and I topped mine with coconut oil, unsweetened coconut chips, and chia seeds. You are suppose to eat the whole Powercake but I like variety so I ate half of it and paired it with fresh fruit! You all have to try these things, they are genius!

I also started Zumba this past week! So much fun! I hear songs and I immediately start doing choreography in my head. It works my core and I am soaked in sweat when I leave there! Awesome, sweat is fat crying after all! Friday my instructor, Alli, invited me to come run with her and do some lower body... My friends.... It was a slap in the face, I definitely have been slacking in my training! It kicked my booty! Here is what we did:
It was equivalent of a 5k. We ran 1/2 mile, did around 30-40 walking lunges. Ran another 1/2 mile, did walking squats. Another 1/2 mile run and did walking lunges and 30 squats with a 30 second hold. And so on varying up the leg workouts and did 6 rounds total. I was good up to the third round then my legs started feeling ultra weighted and my pace slowed. On the last round I actually found myself walking at one point. Alli kept me on my toes though, motivating me to run again. Bottom line; I need better socks so my foot doesn't rub and I need to work on quieting my breathing when I run bc if we were running from zombies, everyone of them boogers would have heard me breathing in a 5 miles radius haha! Also, start training harder and working on interval training so I can keep up with the best!

Happy training this week everyone! Make good choices, hugs not drugs! Love your faces!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Strange foods and Zumba, this month is getting real!!

It has been a nasty week here in Louisiana.  Raining everyday and the result I have zero energy! That's right I'm one of those people that blame how I feel on the weather...look someone or something has to be the blame! Well, BECAUSE OF THE WEATHER, I have had some pretty mediocre workouts and this morning was no different.  I shot out of bed put on my workout clothes and went to the gym.  As soon as I stepped on the treadmill I wanted to press stop and go home (or throw myself on the floor and throw a tantrum...not sure which feeling was stronger haha).  I suffered through my workout anyway but didn't do cardio.  Thought about it and that was the extent of it.  I have days like this sometimes so I will just chalk it up to "One of those days."  Hopefully this weather will clear up and my energy will come back in full swing!

My meals have been pretty clean with the occasional eating out with a friend.  Here lately I have been craving plain Greek yogurt with honey like everyday.  Not a bad craving if I do say so myself! My breakfasts have been consisting of eggs (I use egg beaters) scrambled with bell peppers, onions, garlic, sprinkle of pepper jack cheese and whatever meat I have available if any.   Along side it I eat about 3/4 cup of original nonfat Greek yogurt with local honey. I did go to the store and purchase coconut oil that I have been cooking my eggs in.  SO GOOD! I also have been topping both my yogurt and my egg scramble with chia seeds and flax seeds.  Gives a little extra texture and adds tons of fiber! BONUS!  I will be trying some new recipes using these and some other new items I have been wanting to try.  I'll be using recipes from She has a great deal of recipes on there and also fitness tips.  Here is a pic of what my breakfasts have been looking like (sorry the pic isn't that pretty!)
Also, found a new product that you all will not regret trying.  It's a snack bar called, "Kind Bar."I tried the Vanilla Blueberry Cashew....Will change your life.  It comes in at 180 calories and have all natural ingredients!  This was a great snack around 3:30 when my lunch has been metabolized and I'm feeling sort of hungry again.  It gave me enough energy to finish my work day and get through my hour cardio routine.  This will be a staple in my diet until I get tired of it!
I have been getting a great deal of comments from readers asking about how I manage to keep my portion controls in check.  I too have problems wanting more of something sometimes.  What I have found works is portion out what you want to eat whether it is peanut butter, ice cream, pasta, etc.  If you aren't sure of the correct portion read the label.  Now with peanut butter the portion is usually 2 tablespoons; however I never personally eat 2 tablespoons at once (not that there is anything wrong with that but I like variety I need some peanut butter with apples or bananas or bread and jelly haha).  I usually will portion out how ever much I want and put the lid back on it or zip the bag and put it back.  Once it's put away I am not going to get it back out.  Just too lazy I guess ;)  I cannot stress enough for you to be patient with yourself.  I know we are hardest on ourselves but the truth is you wouldn't treat your friends how you treat yourself.  So be sweet to you and be patient with yourself.  You are on the health journey for YOU and no one else!

I will be starting up some new cardio tomorrow and on Tuesdays and Thursdays next week! HELLO ZUMBA by my favorite fitness instructor Alli! So excited! I will be doing a 2 hour fitness class tomorrow.  This consists of an hour and a half of Zumba and the last 30 minutes is a core workout! Words cannot explain how nervous and excited I am about this.  Then I will be doing Zumba with Alli during the week! I am so burnt out with running and doing machines for cardio time to shake my hips and burns some fat! Updates coming soon!

Hope you all are having a great June! Keep up the good work, see you all next week! LOVE YOUR FACES!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Needing a little assistance sitting down!

Happy June 1st! It's a new month and it's time to work on new goals, new workouts, and continuing steps to a better body!
My workouts have been excellent this past week! I am really excited about my progress and increase in reps and weight that I am able to lift. I am, however, definitely feeling those increases.  As a result of me going up a level in weights during my leg workouts I can barely sit without assistance.  It has been rough my friends, let me tell you! So I decided to do some research on ways I can recover my muscles faster.  When your legs already feel like they are going to break off and then you have to turn around and do legs again, it's the best and worst feeling in the world.  I know my muscles are ripping and trying to heal, making them bigger and more defined but that still doesn't help the soreness.  Well, after searching the worldwide web, I found that most research pointed to cherries.  Cherries in any form whether they be dried, juiced, or fresh.  A great deal of athletes will drink a cup of tart cherry juice before there workouts and it has been found that this "magical fruit" can help with inflammation and muscle recovery.  Well, I marched my sore self down to fresh market and picked up a nut mix with dried cherries and some Organic Tart Cherry juice.  The only ingredient the juice contains is organic cherries so it's not that sweet but it's so satisfying.  Although I am still sore, I have noticed I am not walking funny anymore.  Haha.

Hot Mama pickle not so hot!

Also, some new information I found that deeply disturbed me:  I was craving a pickle all day yesterday...not sure why but I knew I just had to have one.  So the first thing I think of is one of those bagged pickles at the gas station.  I went after work to pick one up and brought it home.  When I was ready for it I took it out the fridge and did what I have conditioned myself to do and read the label.  My friends!!!! Ok...there are 0 calories and 0 fat in this pickle ...but then you continue reading... 540 mg of sodium (not the worst but not the best and this is a craving after all right?) Then you go back up to the serving size.  There are 9 servings in this pickle! For real?! Like I am going to buy a pickle and cut it up into 9 pieces! Well then you do the math, go ahead, you already know it's going to be ridiculous! 540mg x 9 servings = a whopping 4,860 mg of sodium in this one pickle which is suppose to be a snack product! That's more sodium than you are suppose to have in 2-3 days!! Needless to say I have not eaten the pickle I needed so badly...just couldn't do it!

I do have some new things that I am adding to the shopping list to start incorporating into my diet:
Nutritional Yeast
Coconut Oil (use instead of olive oil)
Organic Stevia (all natural sweetener, GOODBYE SPLENDA)
Xanthan Gum (thickener for puddings, sauces, etc)
Kale (mix in omelets and smoothies)
Chia Seeds (new weird craze...still need to do some research on this)
Flax Seed (helps with metabolism)

I'll be trying out different recipes and posting in the future. 

Random thought:  The people that are friends with me on facebook probably have already read my status about this but I cannot stress enough how much exercise has completely changed my life.  Growing up I had little to no confidence.  Even though I was a social butterfly, I could not talk to boys.  If I was attracted to them they were out of reach so I never could get up the courage to talk to them as more than a friend.  But now I have lost weight and found a confidence that I never thought I would possess. I have been able to talk to Starbuck's boy and Gym boy and have developed great friendships with them because of it! I am really so proud of myself!  I could never go back to being where I was.  Thank you everyone one for the steady reads and never ending support I love you all!

P.S.- Here is a new goal picture for you all for June 2012!! Operation Fight Cellulite, let's get this!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sweatin out the yucky with some kick booty cardio!

First off I want to say, Eating healthy is not cheap! I'm completely aware! I spent $100 on groceries this week! Given, I made this amazing Lentil Chickpea Soup with Coconut Milk (recipe at the end) and had to get some ingredients for the soup that I didn't have on hand. And besides, the soup is going to last me about 2-2 1/2 weeks.  So, it will be worth it by not eating out for lunch for a while! :) 
I have, also, discovered these amazing frozen fudge bars and ice cream sandwiches from So Delicious Coconut Milk.  These are a little smaller but kick my sweet tooth to the curb.  They run 80-100 calories and both are under 9g of sugar! Winners!!! They are, also, amazing if you like that little hint of coconut! I am obsessed, I either eat one with my lunch or one with dinner (sometimes both) and it doesn't derail my diet and I actually enjoy it!
I found some cinnamon protein bars at the store that taste just like frosting cinnamon roll cookies!  I was so excited to find these because I crave cinnamon twist donuts and cinnamon rolls on a regular basis! You all have to try these! No protein nasty flavor just simply delicious! They are a little higher in sugar than I prefer but it kicks my cravings and they are way better than how many grams of sugar that are in donuts and cinnamon rolls!
Try 'em out! You won't regret it!

As you all can tell, my metabolism has been kicking lately! I have been staying hungry! I will eat a meal that is completely balanced and nutritious and I will be hungry an hour later, no matter how big the meal! So I have been keeping mixed nuts on hand (almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and cranberries - from The Fresh Market it's called the Happy Heart Mix), as well as lots of fresh fruit, carrots and Greek yogurt.  These seem to be working as good appetite suppressants until I can eat another meal.  I've done a lot of research on the "eating 5-6 meals a day" and have also tried it.  For my lifestyle and my preference I can't do this.  It has been proven that people that sit down and enjoy their meals and concentrate on every bite do not eat as much.  With my lifestyle if I ate 5-6 meals a day I would have to scarf down at least 3 of those.  Also, I love to cook so I like to sit down and really enjoy three meals and stick with 2 snacks.  I find it's whatever works for you and your metabolism/lifestyle. 
I do feel a lot better now that I am eating clean and working out regularly again! I feel like I have more energy and I am not feeling sleepy 24/7! It's quite nice! Also, update on black powder.  I am doing it one week on and one week off.  I am definitely seeing much improvement in my workouts as far as concentration, an increase in reps/sets, and not yawning so much! So definitely liking it so far besides the taste.  It taste like a few crushed up flinstone vitamins in water.  While flinstone vitamins are good just having one, but drinking 8 oz of flinstone vitamin flavor.  Nope you can keep it! haha

Okay, enough about food, GEEZ! haha I started some pretty hardcore cardio yesterday and I really liked it! My friend Eric just told me about the treadmill interval routine which is 20 minutes. I just added more to it because I wanted to do more. 
So here it is:  1 hour **This is kind of intense for beginners so please don't kill yourself or beat yourself up if you try this and can't do it.  I have been training for over a year so my body can handle a little more than someone else may be capable of.
Bike:  5 minutes (I did an intensity of 10 and rpm from 95-108)
The Arc (special to planet fitness/ similar to the eliptical):  30 minutes (Intensity of 15, burned 420 calories!)
Treadmill Interval Workout:
3 minutes- speed walk (My speed walk is at 4.3-4.5) 0% Incline
5 minutes- Incline of 15% (max) at speed of 3.0-3.3 (I did 3.3)
2 minutes- walk at 0% incline **do not leave this out, can hurt yourself if you don't do this part
10 minutes- Run (I am at 9'18" mile so I did 6.5 the whole time...It needs to be a comfortable run! )
::Cool Down 5 minutes::  **I use the treadmill's cool down method

And booommm! Your done! My stats were 1 hour and I did 5.45 miles! I'll take it! I just watched Restaurant Impossible the whole time and that hour flew by and my clothes were soaked! So this week everyone kick up your workout, clean up that diet and lets bring on the results!

Food Journal for Thursday:
Breakfast- Omelet:  Grilled Onions, Portabello Mushrooms, Lean Ground Meat, Egg Beaters, and a sprinkle of pepperjack cheese)
Iced Coffee with light chocolate syrup and vanilla coconut milk
Snack:  Mixed Nuts from Fresh Market (about 1/4 cup)
Lunch:  Lentil and Chickpea soup with Coconut Milk (about 1 cup) and a So Delicious Coconut Fudge Bar
Snack:  Blood Orange Greek Yogurt
Dinner:  Grilled Italian Marinated Chicken Breast with Roasted Asparagus
Dessert:  1 graham cracker sheet spread with natural almond butter, a drizzle of lite chocolate syrup and 1/4 cup of coconut milk

All in all a pretty good day yesterday!

Recipe of the Week:
Lentil & Chickpea Curry Soup with Coconut Milk
Obsessed! It is so amazing... I used Olive oil instead of canola oil and used lite coconut milk compared to full fat.  I also left out the cauliflower and added water to give it a more soup like texture! This will be a staple in my diet! If you like Thai flavors you will love this!

Sorry this was kind of long today! I love your faces and please feel free to ask anything! LOVE YOUR FACES!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pushing Myself to the Limits and Still Going Just a Few More Steps!

I have started my Black Powder and Protein Shake Experiment.  So far so good! I am more motivated during my workouts from the Black Powder...well I think, it could be all mental...but, whatever works! I'm steadily increasing my weights and my reps/sets. I am ready to see definition in my arms and not have to worry about "the fat arm" in pictures! (Ladies I know you all know what I am talking about haha)  The protein shake this morning kept me full and I really wasn't ready for a snack around 11 AM.  But I made myself eat anyway.  I am trying to practice eating my food slowly and truly enjoying every bite.  No one is taking my food from me, I do not need to eat like someone is!

Today, I worked on Abs, Arms, and Cardio.  My cardio was so awful because even though I said I was going to stay away from sweets...Yea...I didn't! This is ridiculous! But I am sorry when someone makes brownies that have toffee and a layer of gooey fudge running throughout it's core can I say no! That's like dangling your leg in the pit of the lion's den!  I do have a great deal of self control but sometimes I just have to give in! I don't OVER indulge, thank goodness.  I do need to start bringing healthy options with me so when temptation comes knockin, I can roundhouse kick it in the face!
Anyway got off on a little tangent! When I eat sweets, I feel like a smoker when I run and this morning my body was pissed at the brownies! I finished and ran the whole time but definitely pushed myself to the end! When I run and my side starts cramping I try to focus on holding my abs in... this actually distracts me a bit from the discomfort so I am able to push myself to the end.  I am at 9'18'' mile and my new goal is to get to an 8' mile! I can do this!

Here is a look at my ab routine:
3 sets of planks (Regular and side bridges)
Standard Crunches
Seated Crunches
Vertical Knee Raises
Hand to Leg Crunch with weight **I do opposite leg...the guy in the video does same leg... It's up to you.

I do sets of 25 and up to a measly minute...but I have worked hard to get to a minute on planks and am steadily increasing my time. 
Food Journal for today:
Pre-Workout: Black Powder mixed with 8 oz of water
Post- Workout/Breakfast:  Double Chocolate Protein Powder (1 heaping scoop) blended with Organic 2% Milk (Archer Farms from Target **It will change your life and it is worth the few extra calories!!!) and Ice
Snack: Little less than 1/4 cup Mixed nuts and cranberries and 100 calorie Breakstone's Cottage Doubles -Strawberry
Lunch:  Left-over Light Blackened Chicken Alfredo with Wheat Penne. Petite Side Caesar Salad made with Yogurt  Dessert: Coconut Milk 80 calorie fudge bar ( I try to keep my sweets under 9g sugar and keep them all natural and healthy)
Dinner:  Grilled Chicken and Roasted Green Beans with lemon and garlic

Recipe:  Semi-homemade Blackened Chicken Alfredo (Light) with Caesar Salad made from Yogurt
Wheat Penne (about 2 cups)
Classico Light Asiago Romano Alfredo
Minced Roasted Garlic
Blackening Seasoning
Onion Powder
Green Onions
Chicken breast (cut into bite sized cubes)

Boil pasta in salted water for about 8-10 minutes (until aldente)
Season cubed chicken breast with blackening seasoning and onion powder
Saute seasoned chicken breast in pan with a touch of olive oil until cooked through
Add garlic and saute a little while longer
Add Alfredo sauce (put a little water in jar, replace lid, and shake pouring contents into pan)
Cook on medium-low for 10-15 minutes
Serve over wheat penne and top with chopped green onions

The Caesar dressing is actually store bought, I get it from Fresh Market in the produce section.  It's so good! I do have a few recipes for yogurt caesar dressing I have been meaning to try but on this night I was starving and needed something fast! I mix about 2 tbsps with romaine lettuce and caesar rye croutons.
ENJOY! (Took me about 20 minutes to cook and prep everything and I ate on it 5 times!!)