Monday, February 27, 2017

🍓Strawberry Peanut Butter Blender Muffins

These blender muffins are one of my favorite foods to make and keep in the refrigerator for a quick breakfast or snack.  You can warm them up in the microwave but I love them cold.  

Even my pickiest little eater loves these flourless muffins!

🍓Strawberry Peanut Butter Blender Muffins

Prep time:  10 mins
Cook time:  20 mins
Total time:  30 mins

Serves: 12

• 1 C. natural peanut butter • 2 eggs
• 2 ripe bananas
• ½ tsp. baking soda
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• 2 T. honey
• 1 tsp. cinnamon
• 1 C. strawberries, diced

Preheat oven to 400 F. Blend all ingredients EXCEPT strawberries until smooth.

Stir diced strawberries into the batter before pouring into greased muffin tin.

Bake about 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Keep refrigerated or freeze.

On the verge of giving up and losing motivation...

“Pain is temporary, but quitting lasts forever.” – Lance Armstrong

I’ve heard many of you recently saying you’re on the verge of giving up and losing motivation. We are in this crazy world together; just know you’re not alone and you have sooo many people supporting you to live your best life.  

I struggled with the same thing; then I made the decision to make a change.

All of us face challenges and fears. We all get knocked down. What distinguishes us from those who give up in life is the ability to overcome and achieve even greater things in times of stress and pressure.

In 2014 I jumped back into the fitness world and working on my goals to lose a shit ton of weight.  That year was a turning point in my life.  After a turbulent time in my 20's, I had let myself down and given up on too many things before. I was determined to overcome my past and the fears that I held on. I was ready to start new.  I needed a challenge that I could overcome so that I had the strength and knowledge that I could do anything I put my mind to.

As I began my healing process by rustling through self-help books and renewing my faith, I sought out what made me happiest as a kid. I wanted that invincible feeling again.

In search of that feeling, my journey began. Working out and training day after day became my therapy.  It was my time of solitude and reflection. No matter how much I didn’t want to start or finish, I'd tie up my laces and push through the last few minutes ... I was determined. I knew that when I got through it, I would feel a million times better.

I have had thoughts about stopping quite often and calling it quits. But then I remind myself that “I’m not a quitter, I’m not a quitter, not anymore”…I talked myself through it and calmed my mind.

Those moments that I feel like quitting and walking away from the fitness world, I stop and looked around at all the women that I have helped. I've met women with so many different stories; they were changing their lives because their doctor said if they didn’t lose weight they would die, women who were cancer survivors, women who just need physical fitness as therapy, best friends challenging each other and elite athletes. We all came from different backgrounds, but we all had one thing in common…. we were all here because being active made us feel alive and so much better.

After I finish a grueling workout, sometimes the tears fall. They aren't tears of sadness or pain, but happiness.  I set out to accomplish something and didn’t give up.  

Since 2014 my life has taken a huge turn.  Not only have I fallen in love with something that saved me from my past, but also I realized…. I was invincible again…. an unstoppable kid.

Fitness saved my life, as it’s saved so many others like you.  If you put your mind and heart in into something, you can overcome and push through any challenge.

Keep moving, living and smiling.  Anything is possible…if you move forward without hesitation or doubt, nothing can stop you.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Spark by Advocare...What they are hiding...

“Spark” is advertised as a low-cal energy drink that is sugar free and doesn't give you jitters.

Just the words “sugar free” and “low-calorie” raised a red flag in my mind.  So, I started digging.

The products list on the advocare website lists the “key” ingredients, but it is by no means a full list, which made me think they had something to hide.

It turns out they have a lot to hide.  That is, if they want to continue advertising this garbage as healthy!

I finally did find it.  In a small tab under the “key ingredients” is “all ingredients”.  You click the tiny button to the left and it will reveal the actual, comprehensive list, revealing the top offenders: “natural and artificial flavors, sucralose.”

Click HERE and click the + by the ingredients to see for yourself.
Wah..wah…there they are are: the nasty little ingredients that they don’t really want you to know are in there.  The ones you have to dig to find.

Just because something is a “natural” flavor doesn’t mean that it is good for you, and artificial flavors cause a host of issues and illnesses:  including headaches, ADD, hyperactivity, tumors, neurological disorders….I could go on.

Sucralose is just the generic name for Splenda, a toxic artificial sweetener.  Take sugar (often derived from GMO sugar beets) process it with chlorine, and voila: sucralose.  It was actually originally created as an insecticide, but once chemists discovered that it was so sweet, they abandoned the insecticide idea and marketed this chemical as a healthy sugar alternative.

Seriously.  Why? Because the diet & weight loss industry is way 
more profitable than the pest-control industry.

“But sucralose is FDA approved!  It even says so on the Advocare website!” you might say.
Honestly, that means nothing!  The FDA has approved a host of horrible chemicals (including asparame!!) that are killing us.  They give the thumbs up to lots of other chemicals posing as food that other, healthier countries have long ago banned. Plus, the study that they did before approving sucralose included 23 humans for only 4 days…how irresponsible is that when passing off an insecticide as a food product?

***Sucralose has been downgraded from “safe” to “caution” because of it’s link to leukemia***

I’ll go further in-depth about the dangers of artificial sweeteners in a future post but for now, here are the most common side effects of this sweet chemical:

it reduces the good bacteria in your intestines (which causes a cascade of other problems) 
and raises the Ph in your body.  It also…wait for it…is linked to weight gain because of 
it’s propensity to cause carb cravings, stimulate appetite, and increase fat storage in the body.  
It is also linked to a laundry list of other symptoms like migraines, dizziness, kidney stones, 
seizures, rashes, stomach pain and diarrhea, anxiety and depression.

So, I am not even going to go into the rest of the questionable ingredients, or bother with researching how they derive the vitamins and minerals in their products.  I don’t see anywhere where they are “raw” or “live” or “food-sourced” or “organic” so they may just be synthetic or derived from GMO plants laden with pesticides.  Honestly, I don’t care, because the presence of artificial flavors and sucralose is enough to convince me that these products are not only unhealthy, but not designed with whole body long-term health in mind.

And, in my opinion, any company who would make finding all of the ingredients in their products difficult and who markets harmful chemicals as health products is lacking in either integrity or basic knowledge of long-term health.

If you need an energy boost in the morning Beachbody's Energize. Also consider why you are lacking in energy.  This is often because of a mineral or vitamin deficiency that can be healed through proper diet which Beachbody's Shakeology is a great help with.

It's better than suppressing the symptoms with a shit storm chemical drink.

Alright, I’m really not wanting to step on any toes.  I’m just looking out for ya!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

New Mom, Busy Mom with littles and Seasoned Mom....

There is nothing a mom, deep in the trenches of parenthood, wants to hear less than, “It goes so fast”.
Of course it goes fast, we are so sleep deprived we have no idea what's going on must days. Must days we are just going through the motions in a yoga-pants-wearing-zombie-like state. 
But, the truth is, that’s not even close to what we want to hear. But, that doesn’t mean we don’t want to hear anything. When someone tells me "you'll miss these days, they will go so fast", I want to shake them and say, “TELL ME!! It gets better. For the love of everything holy it gets better right? RIGHT??
But, I’ve realized that every mom has to come to her own realizations about how fabulous parenthood is. How blessed she is. How amazing raising kids is. Because even when it sucks, it really is amazing. But, every mom has to realize this…
On. Her. Own.
Because, I have realized, that there is nothing...NOTHING I could say, or anyone else could say that has enough power to teach the lessons that every mother needs to learn by just going through it.
So, I’m willing myself to be that old lady that remembers with a clear perspective. And, remembers that while it was oh so beautiful, it was also oh so damn hard.
Tell me, empty nesters, to look forward, but don’t tell me how to do it.
I might just be that mom that stares into the eyes of a more experienced mom begging her to say something encouraging when my 2 year old is screaming in the parking lot because I didn’t let him buckle himself in. Tell me with encouragement, or tell me with a hug. I’m fine with either.
Maybe, as an empty nester, it’s hard to know what to do. Because the moms with little kids? Well, we can be sensitive. VERY. Shit I'm in tears just typing this blog. It may be because I'm so damn sleep deprived or that this is real raw emotions. 
So, here’s my advice to those well-meaning “experienced” moms that just want to shake me when they see me frazzled in the grocery store, not exactly appreciating every moment.
Say Nothing. While I know it seems like not much help to say nothing, sometimes that is just best. I know there are days where if anyone had said something even sweet, light-hearted, or joking to me on one of those I-want-to-run-away-and-live-on-a-deserted-island-and-have-a-volleyball-for-a-best-friend days, I might have not been so nice back. Instead, a kind smile, a nod, or even some sympathetic eyes can go a LONG way to healing a mama’s heart in a bad moment.
You’re Doing an Awesome Job. Every parent is getting something right. Promise. Trust that the mom who looks like her child is straight up lacking in discipline is probably doing a hundred things right at home that you can’t see. Instead of advice, simply tell her she’s doing a great job.
It Gets Easier. Now, this one, you have to tread lightly because…well, hormones. And, sleep deprivation. And, two year olds. But, letting a mom know that it will get better, without elaborating too much, can keep that mama from losing it. Say something simple like, “Oh sweetie, I know how hard it is. I’ve been there. But, just keep doing what you’re doing. I promise it gets easier.” It will be really tempting to throw in there that “enjoy every moment” sentiment too, but don’t. Just give her a light at the end of the tunnel and leave that happiness and hope lingering in the air.
Can I help? Most moms will probably decline this sweet offer, and that’s OK. Don’t come off as the creepy person that’s going to snatch the baby, though. Instead, offer to pay for her groceries, or push her cart out to her car, or maybe make faces at the screaming baby while she is checking out to make that kid be quiet. Even if she says no, an offer of help can go a LONG way. 
Share solidarity. I would love it, if just once, an older lady would put her hand over her heart and say, “There was this one time…” and share a story about their own rotten kids and the time they almost lost it in the grocery store. Don’t go into a 20 minute monologue. Nobody has time for that. But, instead, share a funny story about the day your kid shattered a giant jar of pickles in the checkout line or the time you lost your kid in Target. Even if that mom looks like a deer caught in the headlights, because you’re sharing your own bad day, you will make that mom feel better about whatever she might be going through.
You, my dear, experienced empty nester moms, you might be the only adult interaction that busy mom has that day. Use it wisely. And, as a busy mom myself, I promise I’ll try to be a little less sensitive, too. I said try, I can't promise much with the amount of sleep deprivation I'm living through currently.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Laying in the Road, Waiting for Traffic to Run me Over: Life as a mom

Making the decision to be a stay home full time with my kids was what I thought I always wanted to do. I dreamed of being a mother since I was very young. So being a stay at home mom was just part of my dream. I felt like I was missing out on all of the good stuff at home if I wasn't the one who was with me them daily. 
My daughter was 6 months old at the time and our babysitter was sending me pictures of things like the first time she rolled over, and pictures of trips to the park. And seeing her starting to grow without me made me sad.
Funny thing is I worked as a nanny for a family while our daughter attended a home daycare. I only worked because my ex-husband wouldn't let me stay home. I honestly just worked to pay the babysitter. It was the stupidest thing ever but I was married to a very controlling human who refused to let me stay home or go to school. 
Finally when she was 18 months I quit. I finally talked my ex into letting me stay home and babysit a few kids. At least that way I could be home with our daughter and I make a small income on the side. I couldn’t wait to slow down and truly experience what life was all about. I envisioned the perfect life I would have as a stay at home mom. We would spend our days strolling through parks/museums, my house would be spotless, nice meals always made, I'd teach our daughter, she would take long naps and at end the day I put her to bed and relax with a smile on my face.
I had this vision that my house would be the epitome of a Pottery Barn catalog and our yard would be the envy of our neighbors. I'd have the smartest, most well behaved children and my (then) husband would wonder how he got so lucky to have such a perfect wife and prance me around town like a sparkly little show pony, and my kids would idolize my every move. Usually this fantasy also included me winning a dance competition of some sort in front of a crowd of hundreds.
I was certain my life would be perfect.
The next 5 years were rather a blur of ...
babysitting part time from home & starting a mom group to...
running a successful home child care to...
a divorce to...
a big move...
 unemployment and dead broke to... 
back to running a home daycare.
Once Logan (2nd kid) started school. I went back to school full time for a cosmetology degree. But then I got pregnant with baby number 3 and I throw up like the exorcist at least 3 times a day. I couldn't work, go to school or move most days. So at 10 weeks pregnant I once again became a stay at home mom and I did some babysitting on the side. Again I pictured this perfect little dream of unicorns, rainbows and me winning dance competitions. 

Fast forward 5 years...most days I think about going and laying out in the road and wait for a car to run me over. 
At least my co-workers and fellow students didn't throw tantrums in front of me. My kids don’t give a shit who is around. They’ve thrown themselves upon the finest floors in the city in front of dozens of horrified onlookers. In fact, they prefer to misbehave in public because it practically guarantees my reaction will be within the confines of the law.
Now, I live and die by my kids’ happiness. Not a minute goes by in my day that I’m not thinking about how I can somehow make their lives better, constantly worrying that they are not happy enough, evaluating myself as a mother and continually thinking of ways to make sure they have the most perfect lives possible. I look at these kids and understand the meaning of life. 
And in return, my children are physically incapable of being happy unless I am actively waiting on them. For example. I sit down to dinner completely exhausted. I’ve been running like a crazy frantic person all day breaking up fights and diffusing tantrums and cleaning up poop and a cornucopia of other usually unidentifiable bodily fluids or crushed foods into the carpet.
They will purposely wait until I sit down and put the fork to my lips to tell me that they need a napkin or a drink. And then when I point out that their napkin or drink is right there there, they will frown and frantically look around for something they’re missing that will make me have to get my old tired bones up from the table to get for them. And if they can’t find anything they will chug their milk until it is gone and whine that they are still thirsty until I get up and get them more.
They are sick and twisted little creatures.
And now our 2.5 year old has started decided that sleeping if for the weak. He now gets up 500 million times throughout the night opens his door, stands at the baby gate that keeps him caged in his room and whines until one of us get up and put him back into his bed. This is not a game we enjoy and I'm really regretting getting rid of his crib.
I am so sleep deprived at this point that this is especially dangerous for him at this point in my life because since becoming a stay at home mom I have completely lost my fear of going to prison.
If I would have ever, EVER, had a co-worker wake me up in the middle of the night on a regular basis I would have put a mouse head in their lunch box, or at the very least change their computer password to “I am a giant asshole”.
But no. I will not stand for a sub par performance review from my kids. I drag my half asleep self out of my warm bed. I go to his rom. He smiles once he see's me and runs to his miniature bed and jumps in, curls up with his little lovie blanket, and he’s quit and asleep before I even spread out his blanket. And I have no idea where it comes from, but somewhere deep inside me I’m like, “awww!” and the thoughts of selling him to the gypsies down the road from us quickly disappears.
Which brings me to my next point – my ungrateful fart knocker of a client. AKA my husband.
My husband is amazing. I love him with all my heart. Seriously. 
But sometimes when he arrives home after a 48 hour shift he is completely oblivious to how much work is was to keep the house standing upright. In fact, he has the nerve to ask why there’s goldfish all over the playroom. 
And I’m just thankful he didn’t come home five minutes earlier when the cat was on fire and the toddler went missing. There are so many times in my day where, if he were to come home and see what shape the house was in, he would fire me and hire the nanny.
I sometimes feel like I’m the only parent in the world who can’t manage a simple project. 
We are going to get pictures with Santa Claus = A blowout diaper up the back right before they sit on Santa’s lap.
Let’s commemorate your first hair cut = Death grip around my neck every time the beautician comes at them with a comb, hence the reason why I cut their hair myself at home. The screams don't bother us and we know he's not dying.
We are going to eat dinner now = Hustling out of a restaurant in shame. 
But the higher my expectations for perfection, the more chaotic and painful the experience. I used to be the queen of manipulation, but now I just pray and wear comfortable shoes.
When I first became a stay at home mom I was terrified of the police showing up at my house because I made some horrible parenting mistake. Now, if they show up I will ask them if I can borrow their tazer for a second.
I used to sneak into the bathroom to pee in private like a normal human being, now I sneak into the bathroom just to catch up on my snapchat alone.
I’ve learned that being a stay at home mom is as challenging of a career as any. And as with any job, it’s all about balance. And mom's its okay to take time for ourselves. This is something I STILL struggle with and I've realized after the last few weeks it may be time for me to seek out some sort of help. Before I end up in the looney bin for a nervous break down.
Don't feel ashamed to use the nursery at the gym to give yourself a break to blow off steam in a kick boxing class. Don't feel ashamed to schedule a massage while the kids are at pre-school instead of cleaning the bathrooms. Shit, bringing a flask to the playground if you must. 
It's all about balance mommies. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Manifesting 101...this shit is the BOMB DOT COM!


You may have heard the words manifestation and Law of Attraction get thrown around a bunch and for good reason. People are discovering their own power and choosing to become deliberate creators of their own reality.

Sounds pretty juicy doesn't it? Well it is.

Since what we are really discussing here is energy and quantum physics I'm going to simplify everything and break it down so that even a third grader would understand.

The basic premise of manifesting is that your thoughts create your physical reality. Whatever you focus on (consciously or subconsciously) is what is going to show up in your life experience. 

That's right. You are the creator of your own reality.

The Law of Attraction is a Universal law that states that like attracts like. Meaning like energy attracts things of like energy to itself.

The coolest part is that you can use the Law of Attraction to manifest anything you want (or don't want if you're not careful)! The easiest way to do this is to use your imagination and to live in the wish fulfilled.




First, you have to really get clear about what you do want and then focus wholeheartedly on that. Usually this happens after experiencing something unwanted. It's funny how contrast in life makes these things so very clear to us.

Example: When you feel poor is when you decide you want more money. In this case you would then have to focus on what it would feel like to have more money in order to manifest it.

Be careful that you're not secretly obsessing over the fact that you don't have enough money right now. You cannot manifest new things if you keep focusing on the present circumstance. 

Just put the present moment aside and imagine what it feels like when the wish is already fulfilled.

An exercise that helps me to manifest things is to write down exactly what it feels like in my journal. 

"I feel secure. I feel happy. I feel fulfilled. I feel loved. I feel safe. I feel rich..." 

Take yourself there with your imagination. This really helps me capture the emotion of what I'm looking to manifest. I do this when I'm feeling hopeful, optimistic or inspired. I actually do this during my morning meditations. It is very important to only manifest when you are in a good space emotionally.



You don’t have to do anything here. Just sit back, relax and trust that the Universe is working on your order. 

Know and expect that your manifestation is on its way to you. 

If you can think of it, you can manifest it. The Universe wouldn't plant an idea or inspiration in your head that it could not achieve for you. That would just be plain rude!



To match your vibrational frequency to that of what you are asking for change your thoughts in order to change your mood. Your mood is a direct indicator of the vibration you are sending out to the Universe at all times. If you are feeling any sort of "negative" emotion that stems from fear (like anger, lack, frustration, sadness...) you are sending out a very low vibrational frequency. If you are feeling any sort of "positive" emotion that stems from love (like happiness, abundance, optimism, gratitude, hopefulness...) then you are sending out a very high vibrational frequency.

Chances are you are trying to manifest something that you think is going to make you feel better in some way (aka more high vibrational), so raise your vibration first and then you can attract it into your experience second.

Everyone is doing it backwards. People are responding to their pre-existing environment which is keeping them in the same feeling, in the same situations, with the same stuff forever! You must find and hold on to the new desired feeling first and then the manifestation can occur because like energy attracts like energy. Your energy has to match that of what you are asking for in order for it to come anywhere near you.

If you feel grateful you will attract more experiences that make you feel grateful. If you feel frustrated you will attract more experiences that make you feel frustrated. If you feel abundant you will attract more experiences that make you feel abundant. And so on...

Remember, the Universe always says YES

If you feel poor the universe will say, "Ok. Yes ______ (insert name here). You are poor. I agree with you. Here are some more experiences to make you feel poor." 

If you feel abundant the universe will say "Ok. Yes ______ (insert name here). You are abundant. Here are some more experiences to make you feel abundant." 

Which would you rather have?

Lastly, (this is the hardest step for most people and the reason why many fail) you have to be in a place of nonresistance in order to receive your manifestation. You have to be in your natural state of wellbeing. You must set aside all negative beliefs and just allow yourself to feel good. For once in your life, allow yourself to just feel good! You are worthy of everything and anything worth having. Stop getting in your own way!

The easiest way to step into a place of nonresistance, hands down, is to mediate, but there are also other ways. I can find my place of nonresistance when I'm working out, showering or doing yoga, or doing hair... Any passion where thought stops, time slows down, and you are in the "flow" will help you get into a state of nonresistance. When you stop thought you are open and connected to the Universe. This is when you can receive.

So really, all you have to do in order to manifest all the goodies that life has to offer is just follow your bliss as much of the time as possible.

Always reach for the best feeling thought at any given moment so that you can constantly raise your vibration.

Check in with yourself,  "Which thought feels best? Which person feels best? What choice feels best? What song feels best? What food feels best? What book feels best? Which place feels best?"

When you are feeling good and vibrating at a high frequency you will inevitably, as a consequence of the Law of Attraction, attract more good feeling things and experiences into your life. It's the law.