Blog Archives

#StayFreeChallenge

I don’t even know how to begin with this post.

“Hi, my name is Heather and I have a weak bladder.”

“Hi, my name’s Heather and I pee a little if I cough too hard.”

“Hi, I’m Heather. And I’d like to talk to you about something that affects 25-45% of women.” Yep. that’s the one….here we go:

Hi, I’m Heather. And I’d like to talk to you about something that affects 25-45% of women. Bladder leakage.

I never knew that doing kegel exercises while pregnant (or even before becoming pregnant) would have been a great benefit to me later in life. Sexual life aside, kegels would have helped strengthen my pelvic muscles; which in turn hold up the bladder.

But, according to WebMD it is never to late to start and it can be beneficial for both men and women who suffer from urinary incontinence.

Here’s a great link to check out if you’d like to know more:

Urinary Incontinence: Kegel Exercises for Pelvic Muscles

I totally blame my kids for wrecking my body. I gained 98lbs with my son, lost 40 and gained back 40lbs with my daughter (they were 16 months apart so there wasn’t much time to get a better hold on things). I had to have emergency C-sections with both which I also blame for some of my internal issues.

I used to think it was funny to make my friend laugh so hard she’d pee herself.

Now I realize I was totally cruel, especially when my kids do it to me. Now, my husband laughs at me. Guess pay back is due. LOL.

The reality of the situation is, after having kids my bladder is not what it used to be. Whether it was from gaining too much weight, from the C-sections, whatever…the situation is…I sometimes have bladder leakage which is not controllable.

I wear a pad or panty liner 24/7. Not very sexy I know but they do go well with the granny panties that I love and have worn for years. LOL

I refuse to buy bladder leakage branded products because I am trying my best to avoid feeling old, which I do equate with having to buy bladder leakage products. Which is dumb. Why am I so embarrassed by it? Why do others think it is embarrassing or funny?

I find it really sad that I see many peers and adults laughing and making fun of people for health issues or situations that are out of their control. Even more so, I find it sad that I feel so embarrassed by it that it has taken me this long to speak out about it.

I think it’s time to grow up and stop feeling ashamed of our bodies and it’s time to stop feeling embarrassed of things that our out of our control.

And I definitely think it is time to start treating others with compassion and empathy.

The Stayfree Challenge is more geared towards periods and making sure we stay comfortable and dry during our monthly visit from “Aunt Flo”. No woman wants to be out at a function during “that time of the month” and have leakage occur…imagine combining that with bladder leakage?! (it’s not fun I tell ya)

However, because I use pads and liners on a daily basis and not just during my periods I wanted to touch on the topic of bladder leakage first as it affects so many women. I hope you don’t mind!

So, on with the challenge!

This Stayfree Challenge post has been made possible thanks to Mommy’s Weird !

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I don’t know about you, but, I’m not a big fan of using tampons during my period. There have been too many times when I used the wrong flow type tampon or times when they just didn’t feel right. So, for the majority of my current 26+ years of being blessed to be a woman, I have used pads and panty liners during my periods.

As years have advanced, so has science and the development of better products.

I remember when I first started having my period and how big and bulky the pads were. They never stayed in place and they bulged to the point where I, *ahem*, started wearing a girdle to hold it better in place. I hated (and still do) wearing pads. But, they are getting better! They are becoming thinner, more comfortable, with better holding wings and more importantly better absorbing material.

Since I wear pad products for 2 reasons (my period and bladder leakage) I was excited to do this challenge to see how my current products stand up to the test against a name brand like Stayfree, who has been around for as long as I can remember. “Stayfree is currently owned by Energizer, which purchased the femine hygiene business from Johnson & Johnson.” ~Wikipedia

Let’s see how things go:

Stayfree Ultra Thin pads are made with a flexible-fit design and thermocontrol technology that offer a feminine hygiene product which will allow you to stay comfortable, dry and mobile throughout the day.

Materials needed to do this challenge:

  • One placement sheet
  • Stayfree Ultrathin Pads
  • My current pad products (pad is a store brand and panty liner is a name brand)
  • 5ml of blue saline liquid (yellow or red would have been so wrong to use!) for each pad product
  • Blotting sheets
  • Acetate Sheets
  • and a hardcover book (I used 3 for extra weight)

Steps of the Challenge

  1. Place pads on the Stayfree Challenge sheet.
  2. Pour 5ml on 1st pad. Wait 30 seconds
  3. Apply absorbing pad on top of wetted area, followed by an acetate sheet.
  4. Place books on top and press down gently for 5 seconds…ooops I pressed firmly!
  5. Remove the book and check your results.
  6. Repeat with competitor pads.
  7. Compare results!

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My Results of the Challenge:

As you can see from the images above, Stayfree is definitely top winner even from before putting pressure on top of it!

Let’s continue on…….

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Obviously it is time that my current pad needs to be retired.

I didn’t stop there with the challenge though, oh no…I continued on……..

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So, if you are looking for a good quality pad, I definitely recommend that you try using Stayfree Ultra Thin pads for your next period!

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Thanks for being a part of my Stayfree Challenge!

#StayfreeChallengeContest  This post is in part thanks to Kyla from Mommy’s Weird. Check her out, she’s the bomb!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#FoodieFriday

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My little guy has ADHD, and to help keep him safe and focused he takes medication  which has improved things quite a bit.
Unfortunately,  one of the effects of the medication is that it decreases appetite.

  Nate was already a skinny string bean without losing any weight. So, we are trying to find different  options for him that are high fat or high protein to help increase his weight.

Luckily  a few weeks ago I won a Facebook  contest  with Manitoba Harvest Hemp.

I won a package of their Hemp Hearts which are high fibre (Also needed by my kids) and high protein.

We baked 1/4 cup into  some banana  muffins and the kids really like them.
Next stop brownies infused with Hemp Hearts!

Thanks again Manitoba Harvest Hemp!
     ~Heather

Almonds – Let’s get NUTS about getting healthy!

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Today we are going to talk about Almonds!

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Wahooo!

I absolutely love almonds. I love them raw, smoked, in “granola” bars, ground to put in cookies, etc etc.

Almonds are one of the nuts you will always find in my snack mixes.

Did you know that almonds are *gasp* healthy for you?

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* According to the Loma Linda School of Public Health, people who consume nuts at least 5 times a week have approximately a 50% reduction in their risk of having a heart attack.

* The flavonoids  found in the skin of almonds work together with the vitamin E  in almonds to help reduce the risk of heart disease.

*The phosphorus found in almonds helps to maintain strong bones & teeth.

Did you know that almonds are good for weightloss?

Even though nuts are considered to be high in fat(it is considered a “healthy” fat), it has been found that those whom consume nuts frequently are on average thinner  than those who almost never consume nuts.

It has been found that people who consume nuts a minimum of twice per week were 31% less likely to gain weight than those who rarely or never consume them.

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* Almonds contain riboflavin and L-carnitine, nutrients that boost brain activity and may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Almond Nutrition Facts: 

* One ounce (approximately 20-25 almonds) is an excellent source of vitamin E, magnesium, fiber and protein.

* Almonds are full of minerals : magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, copper, potassium,  iron, and also B vitamins.

 * Heart-healthy with monounsaturated fat, almonds are also cholesterol-free.

* 20-25 almonds (1 ounce) contain as much calcium as 1/4 cup of milk

AND

 about the same amount of antioxidants as a serving of broccoli

How to Properly Store Your Almonds:

I have always kept mine in the baggie from the bulk store, up on a shelf. BIG MISTAKE!

I recently learned that you should keep your almonds in the fridge in an air tight container. Doing this helps the almonds from going rancid. Keeping them in the fridge, they will last up to 2 years! If you want them to last even longer, simply place them in an airtight container in your freezer, where they should last up to 4 years!

This means you can buy in bulk to save money and be able to keep them fresh until you use them all up!

How to eat almonds…wait..what? There’s a wrong way?!

I also recently learned from my sister in law ( Carin Day Fitness ) that I should not just be pulling an almond out of the bag and eating it . Almonds are actually hard to digest and may cause upset to your pancreas.

To ease with digestion and get the most health benefits from an almond, it is best to soak them in water overnight (use 2 cups of water for every 1/2 cup of almonds). Then drain them and store in the fridge.

Please note that after soaking them, they will only last for about a week!!

So only soak what you plan on using up right away!

* I have read recommendations of using a glass or BPA-free bowl as well as purified water for this soaking process. Another variation suggests soaking them in salt water.

** Be sure to fully dry your nuts or they could become moldy. One page suggests using your oven at 150 degrees and another page suggests using a dehydrator at 100 degrees. I suggest that you research this and choose your own method based on your resources. I will be combining paper towel and air drying for mine!

** If you are looking for a healthier oil for cooking try almond oil as it is great for cooking at high temperatures.

If you are looking to include almonds in your diet, please check out NUTS.COM they have a variety of almonds and almond products at great prices !

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Have a great day! Now go get NUTS about your healthy snacks!

~Heather xoxoxox

 

NatureBox – Product Review #2

Alright, so I am back with my second review of the monthly subscription to Naturebox. This month I received a regular subscription box of 5 full sized products and 1 add-on item.

As promised in my last review, Product Review – Naturebox, I ordered 2 products that I knew that I would like             (although both items that I knew I would like I had never tried yet!), 1 product that I am unsure if I will like it or not and 2 that I am already convinced that I will not like.

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I have to mention that when I got charged for this month’s subscription I was a bit shocked at the charges. It was about $10 more than I had expected. That was my own fault though as I had forgotten about the exchange rate! Doh!

A monthly subscription is $19.95USD (for 5 items) plus $7.95USD shipping to Canada.

The total then becomes – $27.90USD which equals $35.46 Canadian

This works out to be approximately $7.10 Canadian/bag . I also had an add-on item this month which cost me an extra $1.

Now some of you may say $7.10/bag ?!??! Are you crazy, that’s expensive for a snack!! So, I did some research online and tracked down some brands that offered similar products. This month I had an add-on of a “granola bar”, they are only $1/each. Another “high end” company charges $1.60 per bar. Bagged nut/fruit mixes from “gourmet” / health food companies were anywhere from $14.95 to $19.95 a bag and were SMALLER amounts!

The other thing I want to mention, is that when you eat good quality food that tastes great, you are less likely to overeat!! You are left feeling more fulfilled. You also are less likely to get a sugar crash. 

So, let me remind you of something:

Naturebox’s products are QUALITY. I would even go so far as to call them Gourmet snacks because of the quality.They come in resealable pouches. The pouches do not have a lot of air in them like some other companies tend to do, and they taste AMAZING!

I have a very discerning palate. I am fussy. I do not normally enjoy gourmet or healthy food.

Naturebox promises you this:

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I don’t know about you, but I think that that’s pretty awesome! I like to know what I am eating and that my choices are getting better.

 

So, now to move on to this month’s selections!!

Are you excited?

I know I am, this month’s box was a bit of a shocker!

Let’s start with my favorite, and the one I knew I would LOVE. Jalapeno White Cheddar Popcorn

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Oh, my goodness. This popcorn is absolutely the most wonderful popcorn I have EVER had. EVER.

Big puffs of creamy and spicy goodness. The popcorn itself was big, light and fluffy, wonderful quality. The white cheddar cheese coating was thick and creamy. The kicker was the real jalapeno flakes that encrusted each and every morsel. I could not stay away from this bag for very long.

I almost considered making next month’s box entirely popcorn, that is how much I love it.

I will be honest to say that it is not overly spicy as the cheese helps take away a bit of the kick but, if you do not like spicy, then I would suggest picking another snack. For me I would say it was a 4/10 on the spicy but a definite 10/10 on the overall taste!

Next up we have what I thought would be another “safe” choice: Tart & Tangy Fruit Medley

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Dried fruit is usually a good choice for me as long as it does not have raisins in it. I hate raisins.

One of the reasons why I LOVE Naturebox’s dried fruit options!(No raisins!)

I loved this mixture of cranberries and apples. It is delicious and sweet. Soft to chew but not chewy. Rating 8/10

 

My add-on item this month was:  Mocha Almond Bar for $1.00

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Normally, I’m not crazy about protein or “granola” type bars. I find that they usually have coconut or raisins in them or taste gritty. I have to same I was extremely surprised by this one! Definitely will be on my pantry list! Loaded with nuts with just the right amount of rich chocolate. And apparently there is even dried apricots in it! (yeah, I just discovered that. I probably would not have tried it had I known as I do not like fruit and chocolate together.)

Really enjoyed this sweet and satisfying snack! Rating 7/10

 

Alright, are you waiting for one of the “I’m not going to like it” choices?

First I chose: Blueberry Almond Bites

 

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I only like blueberries if they are fresh. I do not like them in shakes, muffins or any other form. So, I knew for a fact that I would not like this snack and would be handing them over to my SIL, whom I knew would like them.

I opened the bag and the smell of blueberries made me a bit afraid to try them. I cringed. Picked one up and popped it in my mouth.

 I was completely WRONG!

They are actually quite enjoyable! A bit like eating a healthy “rice cake” only way better! Sweet, crunchy, light and definitely tasty! The almonds definitely added to their flavor!

They probably won’t stay in my pantry but, I still rate them a 7/10 !

 

My next choice that I thought for sure I would not like was: BBQ Kettle Kernels

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(currently not available on their website)

I was also pleasantly surprised with this snack. I thought they would be too hard to chew and taste too much like corn. They are sweet and have a wonderful BBQ seasoning. I am disappointed to see them unavailable as this is one snack I would like to keep in my pantry selections. Rating of 7/10

 

Last but, certainly not least: Asiago & Cheddar Cheese Crisps

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Okay, so, you know when you’re making a grilled cheese sandwich and sometimes the cheese melts out onto the frying pan and crisps up? I don’t know about you, but, I eat it and love it….well, this snack…tastes exactly like that!! That is truly the best way for me to describe the taste. It is crispy and cheesy deliciousness. It will definitely be staying in my pantry. Rating 9/10

I hope you have enjoyed this review.

**** If you would like to try out Naturebox use code share10off and you will receive $10 off your first box! ****

Please let them know that I sent you to them, would greatly appreciate it!

You can find Naturebox on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/NatureBox

And on twitter here: https://twitter.com/naturebox

Something else you need to know: If you do NOT like one of the snacks in your box, you simply contact their Snack Concierge at support@naturebox.xom and they will REPLACE it in your next box! How #awesome is that!!

I have to say that Naturebox has been quick to answer my questions and concerns and I really appreciate that from a company. Not only do they offer quality products but quality customer care!

Time for a #snackselfie

Time for a #snackselfie

#snackselfie time!                                                   Thanks so much fore reading my review!

 

~Heather xoxoxoxo

 

*Please note I was not compensated to provide these reviews.

Product Review : NatureBox

As you all know, I am always on the search for healthy snacks, or at least “healthier” snack choices than the chips and chocolate that I seem to gravitate towards.

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Back in November my health issues returned and I fell into one of those massive potholes on my #100LBWeightLossJourney . I talk about those potholes(setbacks) in a blog post, which can be found…………………

—>>>Here<<<—- Join The Chaos (Challenge Group – Are You Ready For A Change?) – Part One

Apparently, this time, my pot hole is filled with tar as I have not been able to climb back out.

But, not without hope and determination. I am beginning to claw my way back out, and in doing so I am expanding, once again, on my snack options. Trying to keep things as clean and healthy as possible.

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I cannot remember how I first came to discover NatureBox. Most likely it was through a Facebook ad or someone’s blog. I saw the “free trial” and was interested. I briefly checked them out, saw that as a Canadian it would cost me $7.95 for shipping for my trial box and at the time did not have the funds, so I dismissed it. And that was that.

A few weeks later I ran into Naturebox again online. This time having a bit of money in the bank, I decided to give it a try. I was nervous. I had no idea what I would be getting in my sample box. Being a very fussy eater and running as far away from healthy snacks as possible, I thought for sure when I received it I would not like anything in it.

But, I’ll let you in on a little secret, I was pleasantly surprised!

I had surgery back on February 10th, 2015 and am still recouping from it. So, finding healthier snacks while I am inactive is very important.

I already have one snack that I LOVE and did a product review on – Way Better Snacks tortillas.

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If you missed that review, you can check it out ——>>>>> HERE <<<<<—–

They are absolutely scrumptious! And a much better choice for you than chips!!

Breakfast for Day#6!

My other favorite snack is my Shakeology shake along with an apple or mandarin. It took me a long time to get to the point that I could say Shakeology is one of my favorite snacks, but it is. Gives me energy and fills me up.

If you want to learn more about Shakeology and how it has helped me, please read this blog post:

#21DayFix Day#19 #100LBWeightLossJourney – Update

Now, back to the current review…. Naturebox.

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I received my sample Naturebox in the mail on February 20th. It took only 9 days to get to me and that was during some major snowstorms!

Inside of your sample box you get 1 Full size serving and 4 single serving snacks.

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The box is simple but the color choices for their product is great. They work well together and are pleasing to the eye.

So, here is what I received in my box:

**Please note that I only took  one piece out of each bag to show what each snack looked like.

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Of course I opened the biggest bag first. Peanut Butter Nom Noms. Definitely not my favorite snack. I probably won’t order these again, but, you never know, I could change my mind. A slight taste of peanut butter and cinnamon. One “cookie” definitely would solve your craving. Soft and chewy. They smell better than they taste, for me. However, my sister in law tried one and though they were divine!  So, just keep in mind that just because someone else doesn’t like it, does not mean you will will not like it as well. We all have different taste buds! 🙂

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Next I tried what I thought would be my favorite. Jalapeno Cashews. And they most definitely were! I love jalapeno flavoring and I love cashews, so the combination made sense to me. Just a fair warning, they have got a bit of a kick to them! These will most likely be a constant order in each box for me. Yes, I loved them that much.

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Next I tried what I thought would be my 2nd least favorite, Sea Salt Sun-Crunch. While I was right about them not being a favorite, I was again pleasingly surprised. I did end up eating the whole package and did enjoy them. If you like sesame seeds I bet you’ll like this snack very much.

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Then I decide to try the Garden Tomato Crunchies. I had a feeling I would probably like this one. And of course I did! These are absolutely delicious. Crunchy and flavorful. Can’t wait to order these again.

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And last but not least. The Cranberry Medley. All I can say is WOW! So sweet and delicious. By far my favorite dried berry blend I have EVER had. I will be ordering this snack again in the future for sure!

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This box was a 3/5 for what I will most definitely order again. Even though there were 2 products that did not fit my taste buds, they may fit yours! And, i will not say I hated them, because I did not. They just are not something I could find myself enjoying as a “go to” snack.

They have many different snacks options for you to try savory, sweet, crunchy, chewy, etc. Over 80 choices! And some of them even include chocolate! *gasp!*

Everything from dried fruit, nuts, bars, to pretzels, “cookies” and granola.

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To order a trial/sample box please click —–>>>>> HERE <<<<<—–

A shipping fee of $2.00 applies to shipments going outside of the contiguous USA and $7.95 to shipments going to Canada. Otherwise shipping is FREE in the USA.

One thing I like about their site is that you can search for snacks specifically to you.

You can search for vegan, Non-GMO, low fat, etc As well as by snack type: dried fruit, nuts, granola, etc.

Something that is great about Naturebox is that you can cancel anytime AND you customize what snacks you want to receive each month. You do NOT have to get the same thing every time, though you must change/update your pantry yourself prior to your shipping date.

Now, I have only reviewed a handful of the available snacks that they provide. I am committed to you and providing you with as much info as I can about products that I enjoy.

So, each month I am making the decision to order 2 products that I know that I will like ( 1 that I have already tried and 1 that I have not), 1 product that I am unsure if I will like it or not and 2 that I am already convinced that I will not like. You might wonder why I would want to waste money by ordering things that I may end up not eating/enjoying.

My answer is simple. If I continue through life only doing what i already know, nothing will change. If I only eat the things I know I like, I’ll never develop the ability to like new foods. plus, I have a sister in law who likes healthy food and snacks, and I know if I don’t like she probably will, so there will be no waste! 🙂 LOL

So, stay tuned for future reviews of Naturebox each month!

If you decide to sign up and try the sample box, please let me know what you thought and if you are going to continue ordering!

~Heather xoxoxoxox

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COMPLETE! 21DayFix #100LBWeightLossJourney

Finally! I managed to finish a program with Beach Body. This has been like my fourth attempt since starting my journey in 2013. Every time I would get into a program I would get sick, or be in pain and would have to stop, it’s been a rough road!

But, this time around, I finished it. I had some set backs, like the flu and trying to maintain it while travelling. So, my results could have been more dramatic, but, I finished it!!! And my results were fantastic enough!

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end measurements I’ll take those decrease in measurements, thank you very much! 🙂

Total 15LBS down, 4 pant sizes and lots of inches!!!!!!!!!!!!! Woot Woot!

And the fact that I did this by eating clean, drinking Shakeology and doing 1- 30 minute workout everyday…Amazing. It is truly that easy! Now, don’t get me wrong, it was tough. Getting over the mind blocks of not being able to eat what I want, when I want. And the workouts were not easy, I had to modify lots of moves. But, the fact that I could lose weight weight by doing such things that should be  a natural part of my life…and a simple and easy concept….do what you should be doing (eat healthy, and exercise) and you’ll get moving along on your journey!

Yesterday I started TurboFire, which is an intense 90 day(I think) program. I’m a tad bit scared about committing to such a LONG program, but, I know I can do it! I’m also doing a November challenge via #thefitpartners challenge group, AND I have my own challenge group #jointhechaos starting a challenge on November 1oth! So, I will be maintaing the 21DayFix eating plan as best I can but, because my level of activity will be increased, I will also be allowing some “cheats”, like a bit of ketchup for my chicken.

So, if you would like to join our “5 Day Jump Start Challenge” Group please click ……... HERE.…… 🙂 Starts November 10th lasts 5 days. I provide the meal plan and exercises your provide the results!

 

I had a follower ask me, why I drink Shakeology if I think it tastes disgusting. LoL. Great question. Here was my response to that question:

“Thanks for asking! 🙂 I’m not a fan of any kind of meal replacement, <nutrient dense>, or supplement type drinks. However, MANY people LOVE the taste. I LOVE the health benefits that I have noticed since starting Shakeology. And it is because of those benefits that I will continue to drink it. I was hesitant to keep trying it and I was not sure I wanted to invest such a large amount of money into “one meal a day”. But, my health has improved greatly since starting it. My fibro is not nearly as bad as it was, the indigestion and stomache pains I was enduring for the past 5 yrs are almost non existent, my body is in a healing process and getting stronger. You can just mix the shake with water and drink it. Which is what I did while on the road for 3 days this past weekend. It wasn’t my normal” shake” which consists of ice, water and a smidge of vanilla extract(pure), but, I drank it. It refreshes you when you are tired or have just worked out. It helps repair your body when you are sick. It’s cheaper than buying individual vitamins/herbs/foods to try to get the same benefits. I’m a fussy eater so it makes it even harder for me to get the benefits just from eating. My challenge group coming up will ONLY involve meal plans and exercises, no Shakeology. 🙂 Thanks for following and your support!

 I want to extend my response to that, as I have thought a lot about it since posting my response.

We often put many things into are body that are NOT good for us. We also do things to our body that are not healthy. My journey has not only been about losing 100LBS, but, also developing a healthy lifestyle and learning to actually take care of my body.

When you really take time to *THINK* about your daily life and how you feel, physically, mentally…what is your immediate thought/feeling?

I think most of us are “programmed” with negative responses to that question. For the longest time people would ask me “How are you?” and my response would be “I’m here”. What a sad and depressing statement that is. That I felt like I was just “existing” instead of living!!!

How much are you doing right now to change your negative answer to the question above? Probably not as much as you could!

We get so stuck on how crappy we feel, how much is going wrong in our lives to truly find a way out of that dark sticky place that seems to hold our positive thoughts and feelings captive. Some days I can remember feeling “trapped” by those feelings and thoughts. I felt lost, alone, and felt like no one understood how truly crappy I felt.

The truth is, is that there are MANY people out there who feel the same way, that are struggling, that are feeling lost and alone. And that is one of the reasons I wanted to blog both the good and bad on my journey. It is important that we feel connected to someone in the world, someone that can relate to the experiences we go through or the struggles we face. “Everybody needs somebody” ~can’t remember where I have heard that before but, it’s true.

And while some of us get lost in the thought that our spouses are going to be the ones who will support and share the excitement on the journey…yeah, probably most of them will be watching you on your journey and be happy for you, but, their excitement will not be the same as someone else who is SHARING your journey with you. Find someone who inspires or motivates you and connect with them! You do not have to do this alone!

Back to why I drink Shakeology…LOL..got a little side tracked there didn’t I?

I have learnt from doing the 21DayFix that removing the “negative” things in my diet, that my health and “feeling good” would dramatically change! But, in removing what I already was doing, I would need to replace that void with something. That something, was a nutrient dense shake called Shakeology.

I do not use it as a meal replacement. I drink it with  usually a small breakfast item (apple, toast, or turkey bacon). Just like I used to drink a glass of juice or cup of coffee.

 

As time goes on with drinking it, I find that I have developed an okay taste tolerance to it. My formula must stay the same though, every time I try a new “recipe”, I find that it just does not work for me. My recipe is: 1 scoop strawberry Shakeology, 4 ice cubes, 1 cup water and a dash or pure vanilla – blended well! It’s not horrible, I don’t really think it is disgusting, it’s just one of those things that I am not used to. So, it took some time for my taste buds to adjust.

I also want to be honest with people. I want my potential customers and coaches to know that not everyone will like Shakeology at first, it may take finding the right recipe for them, or it may take time for their taste buds to become accustomed to the taste, like it did me. Some people LOVE their Shakeology and the taste, my SIL, is one of those people. She drinks the chocolate and I cannot find a recipe, for me, that works with the chocolate. But she can just shake it up with water and drink, and enjoys it. If I am going to sell something I want to be able to give as much detailed information about it. I want to be as open and honest with my personal experiences so that people realize that I’m not just trying to sell them something, quite the opposite! I’m trying to help them choose something positive for their health!

So, now I want to share some information about Shakeology so that you can be more informed about it.

 

Tony Horton from P90X (which is currently on sale!) is hilarious in that video isn’t he? Love it.

It shows that buying all the herbs/supplements separately can cost a large amount of money. When all those things are found in Shakeology  for a fraction of the cost! I don’t know about you, but I would rather drink a shake than take a bunch of pills!

 

Why wouldn’t I want to put all these good things into my body??

Here are the things I have noticed since aading Shaekology to my daily regime/menu:

  • Decreased snack cravings
  • Feeling Fuller
  • More Energy
  • Hair not falling out as much and growing faster
  • Nails growing – which they never did before!
  • Almost non-existent indigestion and IBS attacks
  • My fibromyalgia pains incredibly lessened as are the bouts of extreme exhaustion that I would normally get.
  • My arthritis pain lessened. i was losing grip in my fingers/hand when I first started 21 DayFix, now I am regaining my strength!
  • And…….just an overall feeling better!!!

Now to address some FAQs about Shakeology(You can find all the FAQs and answers on my Shakeology website):

Does Beachbody sell Shakeology on Amazon.com? Is Shakeology sold on Amazon.com?

“Shakeology is sold exclusively through Beachbody’s Network of Coaches. Because of this, Beachbody does not sell Shakeology directly on Amazon.com.”

However, BeachBody has set up an ‘Amazon Product Ad’ page that serves as an ad that gives an overview of Shakeology and directs people to shakeology.com for their purchases.  This allows coaches to receive customer leads and be able to provide ongoing support through meals plans and challenge groups which those persons selling on amazon, do not.

**” Also, please note that if you see a listing of Shakeology that says “Shakeology by Beachbody” – this does not mean that Beachbody is selling Shakeology on Amazon.com. It’s simply indicating the name of the company that MAKES the product– it does not indicate the name of the SELLER.””

If Shakeology is the healthiest meal of the day, why is it so expensive? 

“At just over $4 per serving, Shakeology is an incredible value. Each serving packs up to 17g of protein per serving along with whole-food nutrition from some of the most nutrient-dense superfoods on the planet. This combination of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, phytonutrients and rare adaptogens is unparalleled. We are exceptionally proud of the benefits Shakeology delivers as our customer testimonials attest to. And we make great efforts to ensure the high quality and purity of our ingredients. When all of this is factored in, the value is truly impressive.”

Is Shakeology “certified” as a meal replacement?

“Shakeology is a dietary supplement that when prepared with certain liquids, healthy ingredients, and/or fruit can contain enough calories to replace a meal. As with all dietary supplements, Shakeology is designed to supplement your healthy diet and not be the only source of nutrition throughout the day. Shakeology is not recommended to replace more than two meals per day.”

Can I mix Shakeology in with food I’m cooking/baking?

“Cooking or heating Shakeology would destroy many of the nutrients in Shakeology and upset the nutrient balance. It’s recommended that you not heat Shakeology above 110 degrees. Ideally, drink it at room temperature or cooler. However, if you prefer to drink it warm, you can warm your liquid – just not above 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not boil Shakeology.”

Some Notes About Shakeology:

  • For ALL formulas: Once mixed/prepared, it is recommended to consume your shake within 30 minutes.
  • Shakeology is sold with a 30-day money-back guarantee. The guarantee period starts on the date of delivery (about 2 weeks after the product was shipped from the warehouse). You may return Shakeology packages that have been opened and used, even if the bag is totally empty.
  • The following are the Weight Watcher points for the corresponding Shakeology formulas:
    Chocolate  = 3 points
    Greenberry = 3 points
    Tropical Strawberry = 3 points
    Chocolate Vegan = 4 points
    Vanilla = 3 points
  • Tropical, Strawberry and Chocolate Vegan: Because the vegan formulations are made with plant proteins rather than whey (dairy), they are the ideal choice for someone with lactose intolerance.

You can find more FAQs here:  http://www.shakeology.com/chaosandsilence

 

So, for now, there ends my discussion, well, rant, on Shakeology. 🙂

If you want to know more feel free to ask or check out my Shakeology website!

 

#21DayFix Day#19 #100LBWeightLossJourney – Update

Okay, time to get caught up, hopefully, on everything I wanted to get said in my last post.

#1 – I want to tell you about all the positive changes in my life.

Let’s see.

  • My fingers are growing, they never used to grow. My hair is growing faster and I’m not losing as many hairs in the shower everyday.
  • I’m learning to eat better. I’m learning to cook healthier.
  • I’m definitely learning that I DO like more than I thought I did. I can eat things like whole grains and whole wheat pasta and I will survive, and I’ll actually enjoy it!
  • My clothes are getting too big for me.
  • I have more energy.
  • My overall health is better!
  • My urges to snack are lessening
  • I feel full(satisfied) longer
  • My complexion is clearer
  • I’m more positive in my mood
  • When someone asks me how I am, I say “great or good” not “i’m here….”
  • Finding gratefulness in everyday

And more and more and more! 🙂

#2 – I want to tell you about all the benefits I have noticed with drinking Shakeology and eating clean.

I pretty much covered that above in #1. But, I will tell you this. I do not “like” the taste of Shakeology, especially not the chocolate one. However, there are many things you can do to make a shake palatable to you. I have found that as my taste buds grew accustomed to drinking it every morning post workout, that I do not “hate” the taste as much as I once did.

The BENEFITS definitely outweigh the taste when it comes to Shakeology.Although, there are people out there who LOVE the taste of Shakeology. This shake is jam packed with wonderful herbs, minerals and vitamins. I cannot imagine not having it every morning. It has become my cup of coffee, only way better for me!
Let me show you what I’m talking about:


 

#3 – I want to tell you my big update and respond to some questions I’ve received from readers.

This would’ve been my big update from last week:

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And then, the fact that I had an amazing opportunity to meet the head of Beach Body, Carl Daikeler. Whom is one of the most humble, sincere and beautiful people I have ever met. But, that will all get talked about in another post. And I also got to meet Autumn Calabrese, the trainer and creator from 21 DayFix. She is also very humble and sweet and beautiful. I was extremely starstruck when meeting them both. It was a big honor and being acknowledged by them personally and a chance to talk to them was AWESOME!

Now, to respond to a question I was asked by one of my followers.

I was asked if I felt intimidated or bothered by “skinny” people trying to coach me or help me lose weight. Here is my response to that.

Yes, I used to get offended and bothered by people who were smaller than me trying to “help” me lose weight or get healthy. I always felt targeted, embarrassed, and angry. Perhaps the person had lost weight but, they had never been as big as me. They truly did NOT understand what I was going through….at least that is how I felt. My sister in law, whom to me, has always been thin or fit was the one who really changed things for me. At first I felt angry that her and my brother had joined this “Beach Body” company and became coaches and were now “preaching” about the benefits and what everyone needed to do to lose weight or feel better. What I missed initially, is all they wanted to do was help me.

I now know and understand that it does not matter what the person looks like, how big or small they are, what their education is. Everyone has different ways that they are capable in providing help to others. I also now understand that it does not matter how much weight you need to lose, we all go through similar feelings and ups and downs. Everyone has different things that affect their weight. For some, it is how much salt they eat, for others it’s carbs, and some an addiction to sugar. Some people have to work harder because their metabolism doesn’t do it for them.

So, I think that about covers everything I wanted to say last week. 🙂 I’m sure I’ll touch on the same subjects again.

cbcover

In November I have a FREE Challenge Group coming up. “Jump Start to the Holidays”, you can join the group by filling out the contact form at the bottom of the Day12 Update page found here: https://chaosandsilence.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/21dayfix-update-day12/ . I will be providing free meal plans and free exercises for 5 days! participate and you have the chance to WIN some prizes!

 

 

#21DayFix Update – Day#12

If you don’t already follow on Instagram, please do. You can find me @utat2013

You can find me on Twitter @chaosnsilence

Pinterest : www.pinterest.com/chaosandsilence

YouTube: www.YouTube.com/chaosandsilence

I have so much that I want to say to all of you who are reading this post.  Its really hard for me to think of where to start.
I want to tell you about all the positive changes in my life.
I want to tell you about all the benefits I have noticed with drinking Shakeology and eating clean.
I want to tell you my big update and respond to some questions I’ve received from readers.
I want to inspire and motivate you to make a change in your own life.

I guess I need to start WAY back at the beginning and give you some history. This history contributes to how things got so out of control for me, my weight and my health.

Growing up I do not remember much about food or any issues with it, other than being a fussy eater. I remember many meals of potatoes, meat and veggies, casseroles and the standard Kraft Dinner and Alphaghetti. I ate normal meals. My mom always had fresh baked goods or vachon cakes on hand…I never overindulged, I would be satisfied with the serving size. Friday nights we went grocery shopping and I would get a pop, bag of chips and chocolate bar. Sundays we would take my Nan for a drive and usually get ice cream. Nothing was really out of the “norm” for the time when it came to food. I do recall always knowing that every member of my family was heavy set (aka fat, over weight, obese, etc), some more so than others.  I was always teased about being boney, skin and bones, boney butt, etc Mainly because I was very thin. But as adolescence kicked in and I developed and grew, my body changed and I began to gain weight. My doctor reports state that at age 15 I was concerned about my weight. I do not understand why I would have thought that. I did not have an ounce of fat on my body. I used to wear belly bearing shirts and short dresses, this does not sound like me, I was self conscious but, do not recall feeling “fat” when in my teens.

I can remember rarely eating breakfast and rarely eating lunch at school…and when I did it usually consisted of nothing nutritious. Yet,  I remained skinny and active and pretty much full of life. I took part in sports, loved being on the internet, loved dancing. I dealt with anxiety (though I did not know it at the time, but, now knowing more about it, I definitely recall having it) and I also had to deal with being teased and bullied as most kids do at some point in their life. I was extremely self conscious about my hair, being boney, wearing glasses, and having hairy arms. I even remember at one point wearing long sleeves during the warm months because I was so embarrassed by my arms. I remember hearing my stomach churning in knots in class from the anxiety I had, concerning myself over what other people might be thinking/saying about me to the point where I was unable to fully focus on school. I remember occasionally  falling asleep in class, most likely from the lack of nutrition, though I certainly was never hungry.

I moved out west at the age of 19. Found a job as a live-in nanny, which I was at for nearly 8 years. I held many other jobs including maid, security officer, sales clerk, and warehouse worker. It was a very stressful time being away from home for the first time. I dealt with depression, bankruptcy at a very young age, and failed relationships. I lost a big part of myself while living out there, but, I also had many wonderful experiences.

Eventually I hit my highest weight of 221lbs and realized that something in my life had to change. I left my nanny job and went into security, and eventually started dating Shaun, whom is now my husband. I lost some weight by cutting out pop and eating healthier. Got back down to 198lbs and was beginning to look better. Then I got pregnant with my first child. Moved back to my home town. Where I was a lazy pregnant girl who ate what she wanted and played World of Warcraft for hours. I gained 75lbs with my first child. Lost about 40 before I found out I was pregnant with our 2nd child….by the end I reached a staggering 280+ (I don’t remember the exact weight, 283, 287….I’ll have to try to track it down in doctors notes.) by the time our 2nd child was born.

My weight in the next couple of years fluctuated between 260-270lbs. In 2011 we were to get married and I got down to about 240lbs by the time the wedding rolled around. Then back up to 253lbs by the time April 2013 came and my doctor gave me the warning to “lose weight or die’.

Since about 2009 I have been battling health issues and have really not gotten great answers as to what was causing them. I had kidney stone surgery x4 times, I had bladder stretching, and now I am waiting on hernia surgery and have cysts on my ovaries and more kidney stones. Not to mention that I have aggravated asthma (if i exert myself physically it flares up), fibromyalgia, arthritis, carpal tunnel, allergies, IBS, etc etc.

It has been frustrating, depressing, and extremely angering. I got lost. My weight went up and down and up again. I found it hard to breathe, could not get up off the floor easily, couldn’t bend over to tie my shoes. The last two I can do now…hopefully the breathing will keep improving.

PicMonkey Collage

I suffer from fibromyalgia, asthma, arthritis, kidney stones, allergies, carpal tunnel, patella femoral syndrome, calcium deposit on my knee, and now a hernia. All these things are aggravated by weight and poor diet. For the longest time I was angry with the doctors who would keep telling me that my weight was why I felt so terrible and to do something about it.  I would get SO angry. “Easy for them to say,  lose some weight, eat right. They don’t have my bills, they’re probably not fussy eaters, they probably have time to workout, ” etc etc etc. I put blame on what I thought was out of my control. When in reality there was NO reason valid enough that I could not take control of my health and make small, manageable steps to getting healthier and losing weight. you don’t need to spend lots of money to do it. And I hope that I can help some of you realize that. And also to realize it’s NOT a horrible experience to exercise or eat better. Sure, during the past few weeks I have eaten things that I probably never will again, but, I will make substitutes for those foods that will still maintain a positive healthy balance.

I swore up and down I would NEVER eat whole wheat bread, or rice or pasta…it’s disgusting, I said. NEVER. Guess what? I’ve made that change and actually it is not as horrible as I made it up in my mind to be. Especially when I weigh out the benefits.

The journey is not fun. It’s frustrating, tiring, angering, exhausting. You’ll be in pain and want to quit. You’ll probably even want to cave in and cheat on your meal plan. It happens. But, you need to realize that everyone has a bad day and that tomorrow is a new day and you can start again!

I’m running a FREE challenge group in November. I will provide 5 days of meal plans and exercises. I promise you will see results if you stick to it! I want to help give you a kick start! There will also be a point system for participation with the group and whomever has the most points at the end of the challenge will get a prize (still yet to be determined). No purchase necessary. Totally free! I am here for you! Let me know what you need to start on your journey, where you want to go on your journey, your hopes and dreams for getting healthy. I can only help you reach those goals if you connect with me!!

It’s time to get serious. It’s time to stop blaming others for OUR choices. It’s time to make conscious (and positive) decisions regarding our health. I don’t know about you, but, I want to life a long life and I want to actually be active and experience life, not sit around and just “be”.

I don’t want to just be alive, I WANT TO LIVE!

 

* I haven’t addressed a few other things I wanted to talk about yet. Guess I will save them for my next post. 🙂 Stay tuned.

To be Continued……………………………………………..

Team Beach Body via ChaosAndSilence


GET IT DONE: IN  25 MINUTES A DAY!

So, you want to know more about HOW to set up a FREE team Beach Body account and what exactly you get when you do.

So, here is a picture tutorial to help you a little bit. I’m not going to do everything for you, you need to actually turn on your computer, click the mouse and type. You can do this!

I apologize in advance for the some photos not being the greatest. Some of them I could not take with my snipping tool while having to use my mouse.

On with the tutorial:

First you need to click on this link: http://www.beachbodycoach.com/ChaosAndSilence

That link will take you here:

Capture

Next you want to click on JOIN TEAM BEACH BODY or BE A COACH, seen here:

Capture

That will take you to the sign-up page:

Capture

NOW, pay atttention, unless you want to *PAY* for the membership,

you’re going to want to click on “Sign Me Up For a Free Membership” seen here:

 Capture

Clicking on that will take you here:

Log-In Set-Up page

Log-In Set-Up page

Fill out your information.

You should towards the bottom of the page see this:

Capture If you see another coach name, please change it to : Heather Howard (ChaosAndSilence)

Now, click on the “Submit” button.

That will take you to your welcome page.

Welcome Page

Welcome Page

 

When using the “Sign In” page, seen BELOW make sure you Stay to the left!!!

Capture

If you sign up using this page, make sure that you select BASIC MEMBERSHIP – FREE!

Otherwise you will be charged $2.99/week.

These pictures show you the different menus and all that they contain. Many health and fitness resources at your fingertips. For FREE!

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So, what are you waiting for? Sign up today!

http://www.beachbodycoach.com/ChaosAndSilence

#21DayFix Day#6 #100LBWeightLossJourney

workout collage

I feel so good today. Inside. My body is slowly feeling healthier. My mind is feeling healthier. I’m learning to eat better.

Today is a FANTABULOUS day.

This morning I managed to eat my teaspoon portion which I usually end up forgetting. I used it on my apple slices. If you have never tried peanut butter on apple, you should. I used to think it was a gross idea to put peanut butter on apple…who does that? Crazy health nuts do, that’s who….guess I must be turning into one (a small part of me anyways..LOL) because I had apple slices with peanut butter this morning. And I really, really enjoyed it!!

Breakfast for Day#6!

Breakfast for Day#6!

Let me tell you Autumn Calabrese kicked my butt on today’s workout. It was tough!! I could barely make it through the last rounds of each set. I pushed as hard as I could push. I was dripping sweat onto my mat, it was literally oozing out of the pores on my arms….crazy, nasty sweat. But, guess what? I know when that happens, that I have really given it my all.

Getting really excited about an upcoming event next weekend!

Hoping that we get a couple more people to join us on our brutally long drive to Quebec next weekend!

(Financially, it would be very helpful- we might be sleeping in the car if we don’t.LOL)

10301441_703085926445135_2451441896901394333_n

My SIL and I are venturing on a 13hr road trip to Boucherville, Quebec, for what I believe is the last stop in the Canadian Tour for Beach Body.

We are going to get a chance to meet Autumn Calabrese (and workout with her!) and Carl & Isabelle Daikeler. We are both pumped for this opportunity!

 

PicMonkey Collage

Went last night and did my first class of PIYO . My SIL is teaching it. Went well, worked it hard, really hard….check out the after pic:

IMG_20141015_191531

Came home and had my snack (no photo sorry). Sunflower seeds, crackers, and cereal with a bottle of water. 🙂

End of Day#6! 


3 DAY REFRESH LOSE WEIGHT AND FEEL GREAT!

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