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Sunday Quote

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
~Winston Churchill

Week 1 Paleo Menu Plan and Grocery List

Most of this week's meals come from this cookbook.
I'm really looking forward to this little Paleo experiment! Today I am happily meal planning and grocery list making.
I generally just plan dinners M-F in my meal planning. Weekends are usually leftovers or something on the grill. Breakfast and lunches the kids and I just wing it. I am trying to be more creative with those meals too. I think that's the main reason I'm so excited for this. Getting creative with our meals again. We've definitely been in a big rut this summer.

Pecan-Crusted Chicken and a green salad.
Rockin' Moroccan Chicken (without the green olives or raisins it calls for)
Everyday Meatloaf and green beans.
Hasta La Vista pasta Lasagna
"Breaded" Baked Chicken with green salad

Shopping List
(This is everything I need for this week, all meals. I already had over half in my cupboards, so I don't have to go out and buy all of this.)
Various peppers
Green beans
Red and white onions
Salad greens
Boneless skinless chicken breasts and thighs
Lean ground beef
Chicken or turkey sausage (hoping to find some with no sugar)
Deli chicken and turkey breast
Coconut milk (carton and canned)
Raw pecans
Raw almonds
Almond meal
Coconut flour
Coconut oil
Sea salt
White Pepper
Cayenne pepper
Garlic powder
Spicy brown mustard
Chicken broth
Tomato paste
Diced tomatoes
Black olives

I find things go so much more smoothly when I meal plan. Do you meal plan?

I Guest Posted...

I was invited to guest post over at the Attune Foods Blog. I'm talking good breakfast choices, won't you join me over there??? Check it out:

Hype or Help: Paleo for Weight Loss

Ordered this, love it.
Pre-ordered this.
Paleo eating has a huge buzz around it lately. There's a whole community of blogs/social media surrounding it. Many believe it to be the healthiest way to eat. The way we were meant to eat. It's become a movement!

But, how is the paleo diet for weight loss?
I tried paleo briefly a while ago, but didn't stick to it. I did feel fabulous on it though, so I'm going to give it another go. I feel better on a diet with lower carbs, so I'm excited to see how I feel after a month of paleo eating. I also really want to see what my weight loss results will be from eating this way. Enter another hype or help experiment!
August will be my paleo month. I am committed to making it the entire month. I've armed myself with some paleo cookbooks (like the ones pictured above) and some good paleo recipe blogs. I am hoping this will help me to avoid the monotony that sunk my efforts the last time I tried this. I've also filled my cupboards and refrigerator with lots of variety of yummy paleo foods. Again, in an effort to set myself up for success this time around!

I've also read:


I'll be doing lots of blogs and vlogs throughout the month of August. Everything from sharing my results/how I feel to grocery hauls and recipes I try. My goal is to show exactly what paleo is and what eating paleo actually looks like! Also, I hope to track again on my Adventures in Tracking blog (this gets time consuming, but I'm going to try!). I'll be back Monday with my starting stats. I hope you'll come along with me for my little paleo experiment!

My final 30 day Paleo Results are Here

I am just a blogger, not a doctor, trainer, or any sort of health professional. What you read here are my personal experiences and opinions. Of course, always consult your doctor before trying a diet, supplement, or new workout program.

Review: The Situation Workout

I'm a big fan of Jersey Shore...if by big fan you mean I watch it and am more then mildly embarrassed to admit that. So obviously when I heard that 'The Situation' Mike Sorrentino had a workout DVD...well, I just had to review it. 

Before I get into my opinions of it, how about a brief description of what the workout includes? The workout is set up in 5- 15 minute segments: Ripped Upper Body, Juiced Glutes and Legs, Killer Arms, Awesome Abs, and Insane Abs. Each segment goes in the same pattern: 3 different strength moves followed by 30 seconds of a cardio move. Then you do the same pattern with new moves, then you will repeat the entire circuit, and end in a 'situation superset'. For instance in juiced glutes & legs you do: squats with dumbbells, then squats with no dumbbells, then jump squats, then a boxing shuffle for your 'active recovery'. Then forward lunges with dumbbells, forward lunges without weights, jump lunges, and boxing shuffle for active recovery. Repeat all of that and then end in a squat with a side lunge.

Right now you can watch it on Netflix instant play (which is what I did). I absolutely recommend doing that first if you're considering buying this. 

At one point Mike says this is the first video of its kind. Lets all be thankful for that. I had hopes that maybe this was fun and a good workout. Sadly, it's exactly what you'd expect. Therefore, lets hope it will also be the last video of its kind. (He points out several times that if you don't like this workout you're just a hater, so I guess here goes his daily dose of 'vitamin H'.)

The moves done and the workout itself actually aren't bad...

If you can stomach the heavy dose of immature sexual innuendo and groping/straddling of the female workout participants. And, Mike really needs some lessons on form and form instruction. His sucks. Plus, he's so pigeon toed that it was a little tough to watch his form, well that and this little prancing wiggling thing he does with his feet when doing arm moves, the boy can't stand still, very distracting. OK, and his habit of saying 'OK' constantly was more than mildly annoying! Well, there was also his saying 'pretty much' a bazillion times. AND his outfit was a little doofy. He also tells you many, many times that the other male workout person is his 'buddy from college The Unit'. But honestly, I think he just wants to stress that he went to college. Other than all that it was a great DVD ;)

Honestly, I think that if Mike made a serious workout DVD (after receiving a little instruction on form and teaching form of course) it would be a good workout. But playing up his 'The Situation' persona so much in this one just ruins it. If you're a HUGE 'The Situation' fan and already well versed in exercise form, then this workout DVD may be for you. Otherwise, I give it 2 stars and do not recommend it. 

I am just a blogger, not a doctor, trainer, or any sort of health professional. What you read here are my personal experiences and opinions. Of course, always consult your doctor before trying a diet, supplement, or new workout program.

Running a Faster 5k

As I mentioned in this post I am shooting for a PR on my next 5k race. So, how do I plan to run a faster 5k? Speedwork! I'm no professional, but this is what I do for speed work:

  1. Intervals at the track. There is a high school track very close to my house (lucky me). I generally get up uber early and head down there before it's hot. After a short warm up I do either a full lap (400 meters) or a half lap (200 meters) at a hard pace. Then walk to recover, then go again. I generally try to cut my time a few seconds each lap if I can. Racing against myself makes it more fun for me. I'll start with maybe 8 speed intervals and then add an interval each week. I would generally only do this type of workout once a week.
  2. Hill running. Hills are great for increasing speed. My parents have the perfect hill in their driveway. Once I've warmed up, I run top speed up the hill, then slow jog back down to recover. Like track intervals I'll try to beat my time and race myself each uphill. I may start with 6-8 uphills and add on each workout if I can. This workout I would also only do once a week, or even every other week. For this 5k I will probably alternate it every other week with...
  3. Treadmill Intervals. On days where I'm simply stuck at the house these work great. These are much less structured for me. I warm up, then maybe run at 6 mph for a minute, then slow jog, then 6.5 mph for a minute, then slow jog. I up my speed each interval and try to hold it a minute, but if I can't then maybe just 30-45 seconds. I usually top out at 8.5 mph or so and then cool down.
That's my plan. These are the workouts I used for my fastest 5k so far and I'm sure they won't fail me this time either! And of course I'm focused on getting the scale down some too. It's amazing to me as I lose weight how running just seems easier. Which makes sense when I think about it. Running around carrying 200+ pounds is just harder than carrying 175 pounds (or less, I'm hoping for less).

Here's a link to a great article from Runner's World on speedwork for anyone.

Do you include speedwork in your running routine? All the time or just when you're really focused on a PR or good race time?

Awesome By August Twitter Chat!

Join us this Wednesday July 27th at 8 PM Eastern Time for our first Awesome by August Twitter chat! 

Follow along by using the hashtag #awesomebyaugust (we realize that is a long hashtag, but we kind of like long hashtags). If you go to and enter that hashtag it makes it easier to follow along with the chat. Plus, it will automatically add the hashtag to your tweets.

We'll be chatting about fitness, weight loss, healthy living, and all around awesomeness! Unless a company pipes up before Wednesday there will be no prizes during the chat. Just some awesome conversation with people who understand where you are and what you're going through!! I hope you can come and offer some support and encouragement to your fellow challengers...or if you need some encouragement!

Are you IN?

Awesome by August Week 2 Prize

Hooray! We've made it through week 2. How is everyone doing with reaching their goals?? Things are a little slower going for me than I'd hope, but that's OK. Slow and steady wins the race and all that...

Don't forget to weigh in on the facebook status by midnight tonight to be eligible to win:

A month's supply of Popchips!

I am madly in love with Popchips. Seriously, I would propose marriage to the know, if that wasn't weird ;).
BBQ Popchips and I were BFFs at Fitbloggin.
My snackshot with my other BFF from fitbloggin. Added merely because I think Tracey and I look great, and it was a good excuse ;)
Good luck to all the Awesome by August participants! I will use to choose a winner and announce it tomorrow.

FTC Disclaimer: Popchips is supplying this prize. It will ship directly to winner. I receive no compensation for this post.

Speed Work Anyone?

These shoes were made for racin'
For quite some time I have had no races on my calendar. None, zip, nada. 
Originally I had planned to do the Denver Rock n Roll Half. BUT...I didn't get registered before the price increase...AND I'm cheap...SO I doubt I'll do that one. Which leaves me with no races planned. Nothing to train for. 

I find that I just do better when I have a race planned. Something to train for, something to focus my training, something to spark that drive. It just makes a difference to me.

WELL, the other day I got a card in the mail that our local 5k will be September 10th. HOORAY! Just what I needed. This race was the first 5k I ever ran. It's right here where I live. It's perfect.

My goal is to set a PR (yes, I love goals). So far my fastest 5k was 32:50. I feel like I've gotten faster. I WANT to get faster. Enter: more speed work into my running routine!

Once a week I will be adding speed work at the track into my running/workout routine. I am also focused on getting a few pounds off before then. Less weight to carry means a faster me, just the facts.

I'm so excited to have a race on the calendar and a special goal for it! Time to start setting that alarm and stocking up on the Vita Coco. With this heat early runs are best for me and I love coconut water to stay hydrated.

How about you...any races on your calendar? What are your strategies for running in the heat?

Awesome By August Week 1 Prize

Week 1 DONE! How did you do?? Awesome By August participants don't forget to weigh in by midnight tonight to be eligible to win our week 1 prize package...

Sponsored by Fitbook! Which I'm so excited about, because I LOVE Fitbook. If you don't know what fitbook is: it is an awesome tracking journal to track your eating, fitness, etc. It is one of my favorite tracking tools. This weeks random drawing prize will be:
A limited edition fitbook PINK (they’re not even available on the website right now and not again until October). $4 from the sale of each fitbook PINK benefits breast cancer.

A fitlosophy body tape measure.
AND A live life fit tank!
To be entered you must have weighed in before the deadline for the initial weigh in AND before the deadline for the week 1 weigh in. Tomorrow in the AM I will choose 1 person (excluding myself) via to receive this awesome prize package.

You can find fitbook at Follow them on twitter: and like them on facebook:

Seriously, I'm drooling over this prize package. Good luck!

FTC Disclaimer: fitlosophy is sponsoring this giveaway, prizes go directly to winner. I receive no compensation for this post.

Adventures in Coffee--Keurig Special Edition B60 Review

Today I'm going to talk about one of my loves in life: Coffee. If you follow me on twitter I'm sure you're well aware of this passion. In fact, when Klout listed Coffee as one of my influential topics I was just plain happy. For my birthday I finally took the leap and bought what I've been drooling over for quite some time now...
What I ordered:
Coffee People Dark Roast Variety Pack included Wake-Up Call, Black Tiger, Jet Fuel, and Coffee People Organic. These were the teen's fav.
Green Mountain Extra Bold Sampler which included Kenyan AA Extra Bold, Double Black Diamond Extra Bold, Dark Magic Extra Bold, Fair Trade Organic Espresso Blend (one of my favs).
Emeril's Big Easy Bold (also in my favs)
And what I got for my 35th birthday. Spoiled. LOL. Some might think it's weird that I ordered my own birthday present, but it sure takes a load of stress off hubby.

Why I love my Keurig:
  1. It makes GREAT coffee. 'Nuff said.
  2. There are 3 coffee drinkers in my house. Hubby, me, and our 17 year old son. We all get up at different times and want coffee ready at different times. We also have different tastes in coffee! This solves all of those problems.
  3. Coffee is ready much faster than my old coffee pot. Seriously, the thing took DAYS to make a pot of coffee.
What I don't love about my Keurig:
  1. So, trying to be balanced here I want to come up with some cons, but for ME there really aren't any. I guess the only thing I can come up with is: if I had it to do over I would probably get the B70 with the bigger water reservoir. Because we are such big coffee drinkers around here.
  1. Shipping. Yep, shipping is a big deal to me. First, I hate paying for shipping and they have free shipping over $60. Second, I hate slooooow shipping and their shipping was very fast, even though it was free! Love that.
  2. Their twitter presence. OK, I'm a sucker for a company that gets twitter. Those companies that are the hard sell, tweeting you links, ignoring you and overall NOT getting twitter, not so much. Coffee House Express gets it. They banter, they answer my questions (like 'hubby hates my extra bold coffee choices, what should I get for a wimpy coffee lover?), they're great. Companies really need to learn that twitter and social media in general is where the customers are!
  3. Their selection. Now that I'm ready to buy more k-cups I'm having a ball searching through all the different kinds and picking some new ones to try. Happy coffee freak. They carry WAY more than just K-cups too.
How about you, do you share my coffee LOVE?

And now, I'm off to go make a sensational cup of coffee....

FTC Disclaimer: I received no free product and no compensation for this post or referrals.

Coffee House Express  contacted me and offered my readers a 5% discount on Kcups! Use code: KCUP5

Jillian Michaels ripped in 30 Week 2 Results

After much deliberation I have decided to put my Hype or Help experiment of Jillian's Ripped in 30 on hold for now. 

I am beginning my Awesome by August challenge and want to give it my all. Locked into this program I don't feel I can do that. Having done the program for 2 weeks I feel like I know it well enough to review it however. That review will be coming up soon. I may re-do this experiment in the future, or I may just abandon it altogether. Either way, here are my week 2 results:

Beginning Stats
Weight 179.5
BF% 32.8
Waist 34.5
Right Thigh 22
Right Calf 14.75
Hips 42.5
Right Arm 12
Week 1 Stats
Weight 178
BF% 32.5
Waist 34.25
Right Thigh 21.5
Right Calf 14.75
Right Arm 12
Week 2 Stats
Weight 176.5
BF% 32.3%
Waist 34.25
Right Thigh 21.5
Right Calf 14.75
Right Arm 11.75

As I said, there won't be a week 3 or week 4 update as I'm wanting to give Awesome by August my all. I want to do what I feel I need to as far as workouts and eating choices. Not feel tied to this plan. I also don't feel right about reporting results from this plan if I want to add in 45 minutes of cardio a day (plus, I miss lifting heavy). That wouldn't be accurate as to what you'd get from THIS plan. I want my Hype or Help experiments to be honest and as close to 100% on the plans as possible. Changing this plan that much would no longer give accurate results. So, I'm abandoning it. 

Ultimately I have to do what works for me. THAT is where my focus is right now. I hope everyone following this experiment understands!

I am just a blogger, not a doctor, trainer, or any sort of health professional. What you read here are my personal experiences and opinions. Of course, always consult your doctor before trying a diet, supplement, or new workout program.

It Begins...

You can read the original post with all the details here. I hope you'll join us!

If you ARE joining in, please comment below leaving me your blog url if you have one and your twitter and facebook links if you'd like to share them. I will be doing a link-up post listing everyone in the Awesome By August family so we can find each other and offer encouragement and support!

Also, we're still looking for companies to sponsor prizes. Any companies interested can email me at

Prize sponsors will be reaching a very focused group of peeps interested in health, fitness, and weight loss. Companies will receive a free ad on my blog (which receives 1500+ views a day) for the duration of the challenge as well as multiple mentions on all my social media outlets. 

Whether you're a participant or a company, I'm excited for this next month, lets make it awesome!!!

Sunday Quote

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
~Eleanor Roosevelt

It's Time For......Awesome By August!!!

YES, I realize that we're all pretty danged awesome already, but Steve, Brooke, and I are just mighty fond of that word. This year Awesome by August will run from July 11th to August 8th.

What is Awesome by August? Well, if you weren't around for it last year it is a weight loss competition. Our focus is healthy weight loss (no crazy unhealthy antics here) with a healthy dose of support and fun too.

This year thanks to Mr. Fancy Pants we have a facebook page! All the news, prize drawings, and weigh ins will be done there. Wait, prize drawings??? Yes, there will be prize drawings! We've changed things a bit from last year, so here's how it will go:

  1. To join like the Facebook page and post your starting weight under Steve's official first weigh in post by Tuesday 10 PM Eastern Time. It'll be easy to spot. Promise. Just comment that you're in and your starting weight. We aren't doing pictures this year, or the option NOT to publicly give your weight. Be honest, be brave! It's just a number. Also, let us know if you have a non-weight loss goal for this month, like bettering your mile time, or ditching sugar, anything really.
  2. Each week on Monday Steve will start a new official weigh in post on the Facebook page, weigh in via comment under each post. Again, we're on the honor system here. To be eligible for prizes you must weigh in by midnight EST.
  3. Prizes. I'm still looking for prize sponsors. However we are not allowing participants to offer up prizes this year. We had a problem with prizes not being sent last year, so only companies or Steve, Brooke, and myself will be sponsoring prizes this time around. When I get all that info together on specifically what prizes will be I will post it here, and put a link on the Facebook page. There will be a weekly prize. Weekly prizes will be drawn randomly from the official Facebook weigh in posts. To be entered simply post your weigh in under the official weekly weigh in post by Monday, Midnight Eastern Time. We ask that you comment under the 'official' weigh in post so that it is easier for us to use to draw winners than trying to assemble all the weigh ins if people were to just post them on the wall, etc. We are just randomly giving away prizes this year, not basing them off of percent weight lost. So even if your goal is to maintain your weight, just let us know that and join in! There will also be a prize at the end drawn from everyone who participates in every weigh in by the cut off times.
  4. Let's make this fun! Let's encourage each other and offer our support! Having a tough day? Post on the facebook wall so your #awesomebyaugust family can offer support. Having an awesome day? Post on the facebook wall so we can cheer you on! We encourage everyone to use the #awesomebyaugust hashtag on twitter also to interact and keep us updated on how your week is going. We also hope to have a twitter chat or two. Where we can interact, brag, let of steam, whatever. Dates and times for those will be announced on the Facebook page.
Any questions? Feel free to comment below. Are you IN??? Let's make this 4 weeks AWESOME!

Jillian Michaels ripped in 30 Week 1 Results

This week I'll get right to the numbers:
Beginning Stats
Weight 179.5
BF% 32.8
Waist 34.5
Right Thigh 22
Right Calf 14.75
Hips 42.5
Right Arm 12

Week 1 Stats
Weight 178
BF% 32.5
Waist 34.25
Right Thigh 21.5
Right Calf 14.75
Right Arm 12

That's 1.5 pounds lost as well as 1/4 inch off my waist and (I measured twice on this one because I didn't believe it) 1/2 inch off my thigh. 

All in all not a bad first week. I did expect to see a bigger loss on the scale. Not that it's a bad loss, but I feel like I've lost more. It is that time of the month, so possibly that's why.

What I like so far:
  1. The diet plan. No starving and no ditching entire food groups. It's just a balanced 1400ish calorie plan.
  2. The shortness of the workouts.
  3. The intensity of the workouts.
What I don't like so far:
  1. Repeating the exact same workout for 6 days. It gets a little old. although not unbearable by any means. I'm definitely ready to move on to the week 2 workout though. 
  2. That it's 6 days of strength in a row with no rest in between. I would love to hear people's thoughts on this. I've always heard you should take a day off in between strength training the same body part. Work a different body part or do cardio, etc. With this you're doing the exact same workout and therefore using weights on the same body parts day after day. 
  3. Soreness. I am used to being sore from a good strength workout, but since there's no rest/cardio day after (like I'm used to) it seems like I've been constantly sore this week. I even went DOWN on the weights I used. I only started with 8 lb dumbbells (That is low for me, most workouts I would use 10's, 15's, and 20's). Then because I was so sore I had to finish the week out with 5 lb dumbbells! I don't remember the last time I used those in any workout.
Those are my initial thoughts. I'm curious to see how week 2 goes! Will my body adjust and not be so sore? Am I looking at a month of constant soreness? 

What do you think? Is it wise to do strength workouts 6 days in a row? Does dropping the weights used help any?

**Week 2 Update

I am just a blogger, not a doctor, trainer, or any sort of health professional. What you read here are my personal experiences and opinions. Of course, always consult your doctor before trying a diet, supplement, or new workout program.

Sunday Quote

It is not whether or not you are afraid. We are all afraid. The questions is, How do you deal with the fear? The courageous person is simply one who goes forward in spite of the fear.
~Brian Tracy in GOALS!