My Transformation

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tasty Treats - Spaghetti and Meatballs

I missed the Monday Munchies by 30 minutes, so this will have to be a tasty treat (although it's definitely a meal...always starts as a dinner with leftovers for lunch...yummo)!!

1/2 c Barilla Plus thin spaghetti with lowfat meatballs - 340 calories / 8 g fat / 33 g carbs / 33 g protein

16 oz 96/4 extra lean ground beef
2 slices Nature's Own White Wheat bread
1 Smart Balance egg
Seasonings (I use garlic, oregano, Italian seasonings, parsley)
2 jars Classico Fire-Roasted Tomato & Garlic sauce

Barilla Plus thin spaghetti

Pour both bottles into a large pot with a tight fitting lid. Mix all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl (I rip up the bread into smaller pieces). Divide the mixture in half. Then, divide those halves in half. Do that one more time. Form the portions (you should have 8) into meatballs. Place the meatballs into the pot & cover with the lid. Heat at a 4-5 setting (medium-low) for about 30-45 minutes (you may want to cut into one to check that it's cooked thoroughly) stirring occasionally (so they don't burn to the bottom of the pot). Make the pasta about 30 minutes after you've started. Serve 1/2 c pasta with 2 meatballs and 1/2 c sauce. Mmmmm

Monday, August 1, 2011


Have you ever done something you thought you couldn't? Seriously, I NEVER thought I would do more than a 5K (3.1 miles) running. "I'm not a distance runner," is what I usually say. And it's true, I'm not...until NOW!!

Just yesterday, I played soccer. Sunday is also the day when my "long" run is scheduled (as are most long runs on a marathon training schedule I assume). I wondered, How on earth am I going to be able to do it?, I'm nuts!!, and I'm really going to have to eat more if I'm training like this, were the thoughts running through my head as if they were competing in their OWN race.

SUCK IT UP PRINCESS is what I eventually told myself and got moving before I WAS too tired. The heat was unbearable (it's been over 100 degrees for so many days, I've lost count), so I couldn't take it to the street...waiting would have meant defeat. So, I dragged my booty up to my clubhouse and faced...THE DREADMILL!!!

It's NOT the ideal form of exercise, but at that moment, the A/C made me think WINNING! So I hopped on.

Starting out, I was more like the tortoise...slow and steady!! I had stretched some before facing my fear of not being able to finish, so I felt comfortable. 1.5...snails could move faster...increase speed to 2.5...pretty sure this is STILL too slow...4.0...okay, this is a pretty fast walk...I'm okay with this.

At some point, I decided that it was going to take me LONGER that way, so I needed to find the strength to push myself. I increased the speed to 7.0 and ran. It was probably 1/4 of a mile...maybe a little longer before I had to slow back down to the 4.0 pace. But, I continued to do this for a while.

1 mile gone...2 miles gone...3 miles gone and I'm half way there...the pace continued with alternating between 7 mph and 4 mph until somewhere in the 5 mile range my legs started to cramp and I refused to get injured. So, I slowed it down and did more walking at the 4 mph pace. When I felt I could increase again, I chose to only go to 6 mph. I was impressed with my ability to continue the jog/run longer than I was at the 7 mph pace. It felt great, and I watched the 6 mile mark approach.

Finally, at 78:46, my feet didn't fail me, and I crossed the finish enormous smile spread across my face, and I felt like I truly accomplished something. Earlier that day on Facebook, I posted "NEVER be afraid to try something new. Amateurs built the ark, and professionals built the Titanic." This was definitely NEW...I tried it...VICTORY WAS MINE!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011



Today, I changed the title of my blog site from "Eaglesgirl's Nest" to "I can..." Why? Because I think it is a more accurate description of what I'm setting out to accomplish. The other day, my friend Julie posted a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, "You MUST do the thing you THINK you cannot do!" How appropriate. I'm embarking on an adventure that few will ever finish (0.1% and 2% of the world’s population). I'm talking about running a full marathon which is slightly over 26 miles. To me, it's a matter of your thought process. As a mom and as a teacher, I don't like to hear the word can't, and one of MY favorite quotes is, "If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, think again." Do I think I can run a marathon?

Before I answer this, let's take a journey back in time for a bit. As a child, I was very active. We didn't have video games or computers keeping us indoors for hours at a time. Our parents encouraged us to "go play" outside with our friends. Whenever we did something athletic (kickball, etc.), I loved it. As I approached junior high school, I was able to show how athletic (and competitive) I was by participating in different sport. You could see me playing on the tennis, basketball, and volleyball teams, but my heart belonged to track/field. I'll never forget the day I jumped HIGHER than my height. However, it was running that I adored most. No, this wasn't cross-country where you run miles and miles...these were sprints. When the gun shot, you were off, and you didn't let up until you crossed that finish line. There was no pacing yourself...just run...FAST!!!

As with most, years pass, and life gets in the way. For me, it was in March 2007, when I finally realized how MUCH life got in the way. At only 5'2" tall, 162 lbs stared up at me from the scale, and all I could do was stare back. Sure, I realized that I was wearing a size 14, but I guess I was in denial with what was going on. At that point, I didn't know what I was going to do, but I though "I CAN" do it. Many of you know my story, but some of you may not. My video shows it better than I can explain it.

During my transformation, I found myself being asked to "run" some 5K races. I've raised money/participated in events for organizations like the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Race for the Cure (Susan G. Komen), Relay for Life (American Cancer Society), Girl on the Run, and the Kendrick Fincher Hydration Foundation (to name a few). The reason I say "run" is because I never fully RAN them. It was more of a run/jog/walk so to speak. You see, I believe that because I was trained as a sprinter, I didn't know HOW to run. So, my feet would shout "GOOOO!!!" and I'd take off, but my head would scream, "NOOOO!!!" and the battle would ensue. Because they never learned how to work together, I never learned how to pace myself.

After my transformation, people would come to me asking what I did...looking for advice...motivation, etc. My best advice is to say to yourself "I CAN..." and finish with whatever you think you CAN'T do. It's a mindset. So, to answer the question from earlier, do I think I can run a marathon, my head is telling me, "NOOO!!!" and my feet disagreeing with, "GOOO!!!" Because of this, instead of setting a New Year's resolution, I set a goal. When I was younger, I had admired a medal up on the wall of the family I babysat. I said, "I'd love to have one of those," and was told the only way to get it was by doing the marathon. All of these years later, I haven't forgotten. The one and ONLY marathon I've ever wanted to do is in Walt Disney World.

Well, for someone who doesn't do distance running, what do you do? You start researching. Most of what you find talks about marathon runners being crazy, nuts, or insane. Yep, I guess that's me. I knew of a local store here in NW Arkansas called Rush Running and from my VERY first experience with them, I *KNEW* they were in my corner. They're there to share information first and foremost...they'll also hook you up with the right kind of shoes (they analyze your gait) and will answer any questions (no matter how many times they've heard them). The thing that SHOWED me I was in the right place though was the owner, Mike Rush, who told me "You CAN do it!" Oh yes, he said it...and I believe it!! Mike shared his training schedule with me (which I've posted in my Facebook notes). DEFINITELY shop with them...they KNOW what they're talking about.

Then, I began doing MORE research.

I figured, I needed to find others who would MOTIVATE me to get it done instead of bringing me down with negative thoughts/beliefs. Instead of saying it was an IMPOSSIBLE MISSION, I found a group of the most encouraging individuals who will ALSO be running the Disney marathon. Right now, they have almost 4,000 members on the Disney Marathon Weekend- 5K, Half Marathon, Full, and Goofy Challenge page. Again, any question asked is answered. People are genuinely there with the "I CAN..." attitude. Most of them are GOOFY runners. No, I'm not insulting them. The Goofy Challenge is a special event where you run both the 1/2 marathon (on Saturday) and the full marathon (on Sunday). You get 3 medals for this one. They keep telling me I'll be doing it next year!! I guess we'll see.

Using the schedule Mike shared, I carefully figured out my starting date with the program. It was this week, Monday, July 25th, and my FIRST ever workout for training for a FULL marathon in January the suspense...add a drum roll...a rest day! HAH! Got that one sweat (figuratively AND literally).

My second workout was quite different. Not being a morning person, I chose to wait until the evening. I'm also pretty good at procrastinating (I could probably turn it into a career if only I could figure out how to get paid for it). However, we've had one of the hottest summers...record breaking in fact...most days over 100 degrees, etc. I think you get the picture. Tuesday was no exception. A quote I made on a local weather station's Facebook page even made the news that night..."It's so hot, the devil didn't go down to Georgia, he came to Arkansas instead." Even though I planned my run at 7:00 p.m., the temperature on different weather websites claimed that it was STILL over 100 degrees. However, I had never run 4 I needed to, as the NIKE commercials say, "Just Do It" and get it over with. I made sure to have cold water available to keep myself hydrated too. I let my friends know on Facebook that I was heading out and asked them to finish this sentence: Cheryl, you are _______. Two of my friends named Michele called me insane (one added "KUDOS FOR DOING IT..JUST PLEASE DONT PASS OUT"), Deeana, Rocky, & Wanda called me CRAZY (which is why I titled this Operation "You're Crazy"), my friend Mary said I was "asking for it" because it truly was hot (she reminded me to stay hydrated), my sweet friend Ellen called me "mishugina" which goes along with Kelly calling me NUTS, and I got some positives too, like Adam, telling me "AWESOME", Brock calling me a "true runner" (which he knows I'm not, but it made me smile anyway), Laurie called me "DEDICATED" because she knows how it feels to be out exercising in this heat, and my friend Dave who said I was better than him because he did his workout in the air conditioning.

This run was a beast!! During my first mile, the sweat was pouring off my forehead, down my back, my legs, I was shirt/shorts soaked. Every time I drank, I figured I must be breathing in dust/dirt because I taste it with every drink. In the middle of mile number two, I began dry heaving...wasn't sure if I would puke but sure felt like I might. I *KNEW* I was hydrated, so I didn't let myself quit...told myself "You CAN" and kept right on with it. There was definitely a lot more walking than jogging/running. I was thinking "Man, you're out of shape Cheryl!" Then, at the end of mile number three, Greenday's "Good Riddance" came on. As the words, "I hope you had the time of your life..." were coming through my earbuds, I stopped and took the picture of the sunset below.

I had NEVER run more than a 5K, and here I was ready for mile number 4. I felt like my music was talking to me. I wasn't thinking about how much I disliked it. Instead, I kept thinking, "You MUST do the thing you THINK you cannot do!" Near the end of mile 4, "I Will Survive" came on, and again, I appropriate! It took me a LONG time. My pace was SLOWWWWW!!! Tracking myself with Run Keeper, my time was 58:27 with an average pace of 14:28 in 4.04 miles. I was proud of myself for getting it done, and I figured, things can only get better. I CAN DO IT!!!

The next day, yesterday, I was scheduled to run 3 miles. Prior to running, I checked in with Rush Running. I let them know, "I've NEVER done more than a 5K and am training solely for a full in January. NUTS?!? Maybe...especially since I don't consider myself a runner, but it is my goal, so I will reach it. Yesterday, I ran at 7 and it was still 100° you suggest a certain time or sticking with a treadmill with this heat?" Within minutes, I had a response, "Running early in the morning or later in the afternoon is probably the best way to go. Treadmills are fine, but only if it's one run ever[y] week or two. The marathon training your doing should be done on roads 100% if possible. Just drink lots before, take water with you on the run, and rehydrate when you're done!" Yet again, I put off my running until the evening, and waited even LONGER because of the heat from the day before. It was dark (REALLY DARK...not my brightest idea) when I was ready to head out. Before I went, I posted, "Getting ready to do 3 miles, I'm tired, sore, don't want to..seriously, I need your encouragement, so finish this please: Suck it up buttercup, ____________." Sometimes you just need a kick in the booty. My friend Deanna told me to not "give up" and that she looks to me for motivation. She said, "Please don't give me an excuse to give up. Because if you can't do it, I feel like I REALLY can't. Push onward!" There was that word again...can't! Deanna, I will NOT give you an excuse because like *I* CAN, *YOU* CAN too!! It was my friend Scott who reminded me, "Suck it up buttercup; if you won't run for you, run for your son!" My son has always been my motivation for moving forward...he is the reason WHY I push myself as hard as I do. I want to grow old and watch him and his kids grow. So, THANKS Scott, I was thinking of him too while running last night (before I got to see your post). And then Julie reminded me yet again, "YOU MUST DO THE THING YOU THINK YOU CANNOT DO!" She said it's like her mantra now...I think it has become mine too.

Here I am on day 3 of my training. I'm supposed to do 3 miles again. I've got an event to attend in 3 hours, and it's cloudy. I think I'm going to go for a run...because I CAN!!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Today, someone asked about coming up with a schedule that would help an individual who TRULY wants to go from the COUCH to the 5K (C25K for programs go to ) but isn't fully there. Is there a PRE-C25K?!?

After looking around online, it didn't look like anything was in place. I'd have to imagine that there are MORE people who aren't there yet, so I decided to put this together to share with others who may be in that boat. Who knows, maybe my schedule will make it onto the C25K page!! ;)

For starters, anyone who has been sedentary may have trouble walking, so let's start there. You will need to do what you are most comfortable with. For some, that may be walking 5 minutes, for others, it may be 15, and still some could start out by doing 30 minutes of non-stop walking. Wherever you start, you need to build up weekly until you can do 30 minutes of walking three times per week. If you can only do 5 minutes, that's OKAY (it's better than NO minutes, right?). Do those 5 minutes three times a week giving yourself a day to rest in between (Sunday/Tuesday/Thursday, Monday/Wednesday/Friday, Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday, or Wednesday/Friday/Sunday). The next week increase it to 10 minutes. You can increase by 5 minute increments. After 6 weeks, you should be walking 30 minutes three times per week.

At this point, you are ready to add in some jogging. The C25K has you walk and then go right into your run. Personally, after the warm-up walk, I think it's important to stretch your muscles. You should do this BEFORE you begin your run/jog/walk and AFTER as well. If you need tips on stretching, let me know, and I will be happy to provide some for you.

Here is the schedule you should follow:


Week 1 - 3 times per week
Warm-up with a brisk 5 minute walk. Stretch. Then alternate 15 seconds of jogging with 2 minutes and 15 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes (you will have done 8 repetitions of this). Cool-down with a 5 minute walk. Stretch.

Week 2 - 3 times per week
Warm-up with a brisk 5 minute walk. Stretch. Then alternate 30 seconds of jogging with 2 minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes (you will have done 8 repetitions of this). Cool-down with a 5 minute walk. Stretch.

Week 3 - 3 times per week
Warm-up with a brisk 5 minute walk. Stretch. Then alternate 45 seconds of jogging with 1 minute and 45 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes (you will have done 8 repetitions of this). Cool-down with a 5 minute walk. Stretch.

After these 3 weeks of PRE-C25K, you should be READY to follow the program. Any questions, just ask!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tasty Treats - Pepperoni Pita Pizza

This is truly one of my favorite lunch treats!! Having pizza without the guilt truly is priceless!! I mean, doesn't this LOOK deelish?!?

one Joseph's Flax, Oat Bran, and Whole Wheat Pita
1/4 c. Classico Roasted Garlic Sauce
1/2 c. Kraft Fat Free Mozzarella Cheese
17 slices Hormel Turkey Pepperoni
parmesan cheese and Italian spices for flavor

Place the pita on a microwavable plate. Spread the sauce onto the pita. Place 1/2 of the pepperoni slices on top of the sauce. Spread the cheese on top of the pepperoni. Place the remaining pepperoni pieces on top of your mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle on some parmasan and italian spices for flavor (if desired). Pop it into the microwave and voila, you've got a healthy and VERY tasty meal that's super easy to make!! And trust me, your kids will be BEGGING for these!! :)

245 calories / 17 g carbs / 7 g fat / 34 g protein

Saturday, June 11, 2011

If I Told You I'm Dying, Would You Treat Me Differently?!?

While this doesn't directly relate to health/nutrition/fitness, it DEFINITELY can affect all three!!

Well this isn't really about is more about how we act. So often, I see people act, speak, and judge without thinking. Don't think I am pointing a finger, I include myself in this and it eats me up to think I could have and more importantly SHOULD have made a better choice.

How do you honestly know what someone's finances are? When you whisper to a friend, they're just being "tight" do you know if they buy their designer clothes second hand and aren't sure how they'll pay for meals while waiting to get to their next paycheck to arrive. Maybe they didn't squander the money...maybe money they had coming in suddenly stopped for reasons you don't know and the person is embarrassed to share.

Maybe his/her actions towards you have NOTHING to do with you, but still you turn to another and say hateful things, "Can you believe that ____ did (or said) this?" "____ is so selfish!" "Who does _____ this he/she is?" How do you know what that person is going through at home...maybe he/she is abused daily...physically, mentally, verbally...and maybe standing firm on a decision with you is the ONLY form of control the person feels in his/her life.

Then, think about what you say. The words you use can be like a knife...cutting deep. You don't know if there person is at the end of their rope. The words you say can make/break a decision he/she is contemplating! They could be saying "JUMP!" or they could be saying "Don't let go!"

Again, I am NOT perfect, and I don't mean for this to be an attack on anyone. My goal is to reach out to others...if for nothing else, maybe I will make a difference in their them a hand IS there to help if they're willing to grab on, hold tight, and work together.

Maybe people talk about me behind my back. If they do, SHAME on them!! If I talk about others, SHAME on me!! You truly NEVER know what's going on in someone else's life unless they FULLY let you in...try not to a friend.

Again, if I (or someone else you know whether family, friend, coworker, aquaintance, stranger like a friend of a friend) died tomorrow, would you be at the funeral crying because you genuinely cared or because you felt remorseful for the way you COULD have acted when I (or the person) was alive?

I shall work hard to treat you the way you DESERVE to be treated, because *I* only know what you share with me, so there may be unknown reasons for individual behaviors/events/situations directed at me. I kindly request that you treat me the way you want to be treated too!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Okay, so I've been working on this for a while, and I'm ready to transfer it here to a blog. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I *KNOW* how you feel and how frustrating finding the RIGHT things to eat can be. So, what I did was went back and analyzed my stats at the beginning of my journey. I input the totals for a 5'2" tall female weighing 162 lbs. Additionally, I didn't put in any workout program, said I wanted to lose a lot of weight (50 lbs is a little less than 1/3 of my weight at that time), and that basically, I was sedentary (haven't done any form of exercise) Voila! The magic machine spews out a magic number...1300 calories (low carb). So, what does this mean?

Initially, I thought counting calories (similar to points on Weight Watchers) would be the way to go. I logged my food into (a free site) and plugged in my foods. I was thrilled to see that I was losing weight, but I was surprised that I wasn't losing much (a little here & a little there). It wasn't until I began doing P90X and looked through the nutrition guide that it began to click. So, if you are one of my customers, and need to know how many calories you should be consuming. Let me know what workout or exercise you're doing, your age, weight, and height, and I can crunch your numbers. If you're not a customer of mine, you can join here for free:

Here's the lowdown on a 1300 calorie meal plan. Since I would be looking to lose a lot of weight, I'm going to use the lower carb plan. With this, I will be eating 50% protein, 30% carbs, 20% fat (now, I eat closer to 40/40/20). I divide the number in 4 to account for all meals (snacks included). My goal would be 325 calories for my main meals and 160 calories for my snacks. The next step is choosing options. In order to make it as easy as possible, I'm making a list for you. Pick and choose options to meet your needs (item amounts will be listed as calories/fat/carbs/protein):

Shakeology - 150/1/17/18 **balanced carb/protein**
Egg (large whole) - 70/5/0/6
All Whites (liquid egg whites 1/4 c) - 30/0/1/6
Thomas Whole Wheat English Muffin - 120/1/23/6 **higher carb**
Smart Balance Natural Creamy Peanut Butter (2 Tbs) - 190/16/6/7 **high in fat / balanced c/p**
small banana (6") - 90/0/23/1
Jimmy Dean Turkey Sausage Patties (2) - 120/7/1/13 **higher sodium**
2 Egg/Sausage/Cheese (my recipe) - 360/18/6/40 **higher fat, sodium, protein**
Chocolate Strawberry Oatmeal Protein Pancake (my recipe) - 245/4/21/26

Shakeology (see above)
Turkey Sausage Patties (see above)
Chocolate Strawberry Oatmeal Protein Pancake (see above)
Breakstones 2% Cottage Cheese Single Serving Cup - 90/3/6/11
blueberries (1 c) - 83/0/21/1 **higher carb**
fruit in general (higher carb)
Ostrim Ostrich Jerky Teriyaki flavor (found it at GNC - the pepper flavor is higher in protein) - 60/2/3/10 **higher sodium**
Carb Conscious Peanut Butter Crunch 43 g/smaller protein bar (can now get at Walmart or GNC) - 190/9/13/15
Kentucky Legend Oven Roasted Turkey 2 oz (2 slices - I usually eat more...more protein) - 60/1/2/10
Quaker Lightly Salted Rice Cake - 35/0/7/1 (usually I have 2 of these with the peanut butter below)
Smart Balance Natural Peanut Butter (2 Tbs) - 190/16/6/7 **higher fat**
Activia 4 oz Fat Free Strawberry - 70/0/13/4
Blue Diamond Almonds - All Natural (24 with no salt) - 160/14/6/6 **higher fat**
Frigo Cheese Heads Light Cheese Stick - 50/3/1/8
Hard Boiled Egg - 80/5/1/6

Fresh Express Spring Mix (3 c) - 20/0/3/2 add veggies and a lean protein (turkey, tuna, egg)
**I personally like to add blueberries/raspberries/blackberries (adds carbs), crumbled feta/blue cheese (adds fat/protein), and other veggies (broccoli/carrots), so if you add, you will also be increasing calories. Write down what you want to eat and check the totals before you do. I use dressing, but I dip my fork in it instead of pouring it onto my salad.
Bumble Bee Solid White Albacore Tuna in water (1 can) - 120/2/0/26
Kentucky Legend Turkey (see snacks)
4 oz Wild Salmon Filet (cooked from frozen at Walmart) - 100/3/0/19
Joseph's Pita bread - 60/2/8/6
Pepperoni Pita Pizza (my recipe) - 235/6/16/35
Leftovers from dinner (prepared and put into containers)

Dinner - These are my own personal recipes...some have been posted...others WILL be posted, so stay tuned and FOLLOW my page!!
Lowfat Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas - 300/9/21/32
Shrimp & Broccoli with garlic lemon sauce on spinach linguine - 440/13/24/64
Buffalo Steak, brown rice, parmesan spinach - 505/13/39/62
Chicken Parmesan with spinach linguine - 380/4/40/52
Lowfat Beef Stroganoff with no yolk noodles (normally I eat 1/2 c. but 1 c. is a serving) - 450/6/56/41 (using 1/2 cup will lower carbs)
Turkey Chili with brown rice - 350/2/51/44
Lowfat Spaghetti & Meatballs - 340/8/33/33
Chicken & Broccoli Treat with brown rice - 335/4/38/41
Bison steak, mashed potatoes, broccoli - 350/8/25/43

These are just a few of the things I do, but it takes time. I honestly have plugged the info into My Fitness Pal to determine the amounts, so I am sure they are accurate (I usually check a few to make sure the info is correct). If you have any questions, ask away!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Munchies - Lowfat Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

300 cal / 9 g fat / 21 g carbs / 32 g protein

The nutritional info above is just for the enchilada...not including the rice, fat free refried beans, fat free sour cream, or salsa.

I use the following with the recipe: 98% fat free soup, fat free sour cream, 2% cheese (cheddar jack), only 1 tsp of the chili pepper, and low carb tortillas.

Campbell's Kitchen Creamy Chicken Enchiladas - The recipe is from at the attached link with my modifications above...deelish!!!

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 40 Minutes
Ready In: 1 Hour
Servings: 6


1 (10.75 ounce) can Campbell's®
Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup or
Campbell's® Condensed 98% Fat Free
Cream of Chicken Soup
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
1 cup Pace® Picante Sauce
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
10 Mission® Fajita Size Flour Tortillas,
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 green onion, sliced

1. Mix soup, sour cream, picante sauce and chili powder.
2. Mix 1 cup picante sauce mixture, chicken and cheese.
3. Spread about 1/4 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam-side down in 3-quart shallow baking dish. Pour remaining picante sauce mixture over enchiladas. Cover.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes or until hot. Top with tomato and onion.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

To GYM or NOT To GYM?!?

I know there are pros and cons for going to the gym. It seems like the most common reason people LOVE the gym is because they get to workout with friends or other people...making it more of a social experience. However, I hear a lot of griping about using the gym. I'd definitely fall into that group of individuals. So, I decided to come up with a TOP TEN REASONS WHY I DISLIKE THE GYM!!! Feel free to agree or disagree, but I'm entitled to my opinion!! ;)

So, why do I dislike it so much?!?

# 10 - I have to get dressed to go to the gym!! Really, if I want to roll out of bed and workout barefoot in my pajamas, I can do that at home...the gym won't allow me to show up that way! :P

# 9 - With gas prices on the rise continuously, I'm always looking for ways to drive less and less. I don't live within walking distance of the gym, and I hate getting in my car to drive there. Who cares that it takes me 5 minutes, it takes me 5 seconds to walk to my DVD player/tv!!

# 8 - They've cancelled classes. So, as if # 10 and # 9 didn't bother me enough, there's nothing like getting there only to find out that classes have been cancelled. That's just plain annoying. I signed up because my child wanted to take classes...the ones he wanted to participate in were discontinued. He wasn't old enough to use the equipment on his own, so one more than one occasion I drove there for nothing. I remember an instructor commenting on needing a specified number of people to teach (I'm sure because she wanted to get paid, but I DROVE THERE DRESSED FOR THE CLASS)!!!

# 7 - I don't really want to be social when I workout. I love my friends, but I don't think I push myself as hard as I do at home. I want to talk more and workout less. Nor do I want to listen to someone's cell phone conversation while they are working out!! I see people socialize for 40-50 minutes and then workout seriously for 10-15 minutes (better than nothing I guess), and then, they leave. I'm sorry, but I can't see getting results that way.

#6 - There are hidden fees sometimes. Yes, it's on my contract in itsy bitsy print, but every year, on August 10, I have to pay EXTRA for "club" fees! When I asked what that was, they assured me everyone pays it and that it's to help take care of the club...what on earth are my MONTHLY fees for?!?

# 5 - Have you ever used a piece of equipment that wasn't wiped down? Maybe I'm naive, but I figure that if someone uses a versa climber, weights, etc. and sweats all over them, that the considerate thing to do would be to wipe it down. Is that wrong? I wipe it down when *I* use it, so doesn't everyone...guess not!! All I can say is, YUCK!! Been there...done that...grossed out!!!

# 4 - How courteous are the people who work at your gym? At mine, I've been harassed for wearing a P90X shirt into their gym. Why?!? They guy said the program "sucked" and I was flabbergasted by the comment. However, I asked why he would say that...he said because he couldn't do it. That sounds more like he didn't like the challenge and couldn't keep up with it. I smiled and told him I finished the program and loved it! Usually, if I ask a question and need someone, I'm made to feel like an inconvenience because I interrupted their cell phone call. REALLY?!? Enough said.

# 3 - Now, the gym I belong to game me two free training sessions. They do this, I assume, to help analyze physical conditions of their members. So, for the first session, I was put through a battery of tests. When we sat down, I was told that I was in the EXCELLENT category for all groups. When asked how I thought they could best assist me, I said that I'd be okay with gaining weight and lowering body percentage (toning up more) 5'2" and weighing 110 lbs, I didn't think I needed to lose any more weight. He told me that if I signed up for 12 sessions, he could help me lose 8 lbs. RIDICULOUS on different because he didn't listen to what I said, and two because I now felt like I was there just to pad his pockets. Thanks, but no thanks!! This put a BAD taste in my mouth about trainers in general. I am not certified but have learned lots of information over the last few years. After being told that I knew "my stuff" about nutrition/fitness and was in great shape, I knew that I didn't need 12 sessions or to lose 8 lbs. By the way, I didn't take that second session! ;)

# 2 - The contract. Do I REALLY need to say more? As soon as you are interested, you're locked into a contract. For me, it was TWO YEARS!!! Yes, I think the word SUCKER is stamped across my forehead!!! I can assure you, I'm not locked into a contract. With Beachbody, if I don't like the program, I can return it for a guarantee. With the gym, I think I had 3 days.

#1 - I pay close to $50 per month and NEVER GO!!! Yes, for the contract that I had to sign in # 2, it is over $1200 that I've spent on a place that I rarely visit!! How else could I have spent that money? I could have gone on a trip with my son to Florida to visit family AND bought passes to Disney, Universal, & SeaWorld...I would have enjoyed my money going there MUCH more!! Or, I could have purchased TEN, that's right TEN Beachbody PREMIUM programs like P90X, Insanity, or TurboFire!!! Then, I could workout on MY terms, not locked into a contract, and would have the programs for LIFE!!

Bottom line for me is, I'm GLAD I found Beachbody. They have an assortment of workouts to choose from from $20 up. I can choose workouts to target certain areas of my body or go for an all around toning program. If you need a suggestion, let me know. I have not regretted a single thing, I've returned or requested a refund, and have ALWAYS been met with by the kindest representatives who didn't hassle me or make me feel bad for my return. As soon as my contract is up, I can assure you, it won't be renewed...EVER!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday Munchies

Chocolate Strawberry Oatmeal Protein Pancakes
Serving size is ONE pancake: 245 calories / 4 g fat / 21 g carbs / 26 g protein

2 cups strawberries sliced
5 scoops GNC Pro Performance 100% Whey Chocolate Protein Shake
1 cup Quaker Oats Oatmeal
1 1/2 cups All Whites 100% Liquid Egg Whites

Mix all of the above ingredients into a large bowl. It will look gross (yep, that's it in the picture below...mmmmm).

Spray pan and turn heat to medium-low (4). Add a heaping 1/4 cup scoop into the pan and spread it out into a pancake shape. It won't take a long time to cook, so keep an eye on it. When the bottom looks cooked, flip it over (sorry, I don't have an exact amount of time).

When the bottom looks fully cooked, remove it from the pan. This recipe makes 5 pancakes. I store them in Ziploc bags and reheat them for one minute in the microwave. You will need to drink water or some liquid with them because they are dry. I personally like them because it's balanced well as a snack for me!

Let me know if you have any questions!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Would You Recommend a Movie or a Restaurant to Me?!?

Without a doubt in my mind, you would! And if the movie or restaurant was terrible, you'd make sure I knew that too! Well, did you know that I reversed THREE medical conditions I had?!? Why am I passionate about Beachbody? Why do I recommend programs/supplements without reservation? I hope you'll take the time to find out. Let me warn you, this is LONG, but I'm pouring my heart and soul into it to show you WHERE I cam from and hope to inspire you to make changes yourself...this company saved my might save YOUR life too!!

Okay, so you may be thinking, "Of course I know WHY you love lost over 50 lbs doing workouts in your house...I've heard you say that before...I get it!"

But there's MORE to that story. First of all, the weight you've seen disappear (and stay gone) on the outside doesn't even COMPARE with the confidence and self-esteem I've GAINED on the inside. But did you know about the THREE different medical conditions I had that are either gone or have reversed themselves?

Probably the MOST troublesome one for me was the IBS I was dealing with. For those of you who have not heard about it, IBS is irritable bowel syndrome. I'm pretty sure that's the diagnosis they give when they KNOW something is wrong, but they just don't know what it is. For me, it started in my 20s. There were foods I couldn't eat or places I couldn't go without fear of not being able to make it to a restroom in time (and embarrassing as it is to admit, there were a handful of times when I COULDN'T). Outback Steakhouse STILL has me worried...that's right, I literally CAN NOT make it out of their restaurant without NEEDING the bathroom 2-3 times. I've even gone so far as to ask for a salad with grilled spices and I STILL get sick to my stomach. I've carried Immodium AD on me for as long as I can remember. I've had a barium enema, an endoscopy, and even colonoscopy done (they knocked me out to do the latter two, and I woke up in the middle of it...not a good feeling). The doctor thought I had Crohn's Disease and treated my symptoms the same way (even though the diagnosis was IBS). Basically, I was to take loperamide (Immodium), some funny looking blue pill to relax the muscles, and was told to monitor my diet. Well, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that our healthcare system doesn't cover many "extra" things (even with the high premiums we pay for insurance), so paying for these funny blue pills became difficult because of the cost. Instead, I opted to just use the Immodium when I needed it.

Aside from the IBS (which was the biggest pain in the butt to me...literally and figuratively), I have a congenital heart murmur. When I was heavier, I began having chest pain more and more frequently. At one point, it bothered me so much that I ended up seeing a cardiologist. He told me that my heart murmur was pronounced (easily heard). After running tests (chest x-ray, EKG, and echocardiogram), it was determined that I had MVP. Yeah, in my mind I was the most valuable the cardiology world, I had mitral valve prolapse. This meant that the valve that separates the upper and lower chambers on the left side didn't close properly. The doctor's suggestion was to start exercising and watching what I ate. I listened...for about a month.

Because I wasn't exercising, and I wasn't watching what I ate (other than to watch it enter my mouth), I continued to gain weight. Then, when I tried to lose weight...I was attempting to exercising, I was having a HARD time...nothing seemed to help...eating right wasn't working...exercising wasn't working...something was wrong!!! I was getting depressed and seemed tired all of the time. My primary care physician was concerned enough that he sent me to an endocrinologist. HUH?!? That's a DIABETES doctor...I don't have diabetes!!! Well, blood tests were done and the results weren't favorable...he told me I was borderline for having hypothyroidism (which could have been affecting the above two mentioned conditions which is why when people tell me they have trouble losing weight, one of my first suggestions is to go to the doctor and have their thyroid levels tested) and I'd be required to go on medication for the rest of my life if it didn't improve. Add to that nodules and a goiter he discovered. "Don't worry, thyroid cancer is the BEST one to get," he assured me. WHAT?!? Did he just say CANCER?!? I'm at a diabetes doctor talking about hypo something or other and cancer...really?!? I was beyond baffled. This doctor also told me that I needed to watch my diet, lose weight, blah blah blah.

You'd think that with THREE doctors making suggestions about nutrition and exercise that something would knock some sense into me, and I'd take care of it. NOPE...the thing is, I didn't know where to turn. I was too embarrassed to go into a gym (I had little to no self-esteem/confidence), I had been eating improperly for so long that I didn't know WHAT healthy meant anymore, and making changes is just plain scary.

It wasn't until I moved away from family and friends, and finally left my ex-husband, that I decided *I* NEEDED to do this FOR MY SON. I knew that there were some things in life you have no control over (like a car accident that claims a life), but I knew there WERE some things that I most certainly DID have control over. It was time for me to step up, make changes, and get healthy so that I COULD see my son graduate from high school and college, get married, have children of his own, and so on.

So, while unpacking the FEW things I owned (I started my life over...basically with nothing to my name), I came across a Power90 DVD I purchased back in 2005. What the heck?!? I popped it into the DVD player and just did what Tony Horton told me to do. It WASN'T easy at first, but I made the modifications he suggested: don't jump, take steps instead...don't touch the floor, only touch your knee or shin, etc. Little by little, I improved and before long, I had dropped weight. I still wasn't monitoring my eating at that point. Sad that I only had one disk (it came with more, but I only had one and couldn't get the stuff back), I started using the gym at my clubhouse. Again, this was helping, but I hit a didn't matter how much I worked out, nothing else was changing.

Knowing that I enjoyed the Power90 DVDs (they were simple enough to follow and I was seeing results), I decided that I would go online and reorder the full set. While there, I noticed another program that I had heard about previously...Slim in 6. There was P90X and Turbo Jam and Hip Hop Abs...WOW, I thought...I had SEEN these programs on infomercials. I didn't realize they were all part of the same company.

I thought long and hard about 90 days and 6 weeks, and decided to go with the Slim in 6 because I figured it was only 6 weeks...something I could COMMIT to and SUCCEED at!! I also bought the Hip Hop Abs because it looked like fun! LOL While doing Slim in 6, I began seeing results and started to monitor my food choices on the free site My Fitness Pal () which is a free site that gives you little red and green numbers to show you if you're in your range for the day on nutrition. I didn't know much, so I tried to stay within the calories and eat low fat food. I saw results, but if I knew THEN what I know NOW, I bet my results would have been even MORE drastic!!

After losing weight and inches (these made MORE of a difference than the pounds), I needed new clothes, and I was a believer. THIS was a company that was showing people a way...they just had to SEE it!!! I became a coach at that point to save myself some money (coaches save 25%) and figured if I wanted to reach my GOAL weight, it will FORCE me to hold myself accountable (you know how sometimes a TITLE will do that to you, right?). From there it was all a coach, we get a special offer to get a Showcase pack (P90X, Slim in 6, Hip Hop Abs, Turbo Jam, Power90, & Yoga Booty Ballet) for only $ was worth it for the P90X alone in my mind, and yeah, I had doubles of programs, but then I could share them with others!!

I've used P90X, Insanity, Turbo Jam, ChaLEAN Extreme, Power90, Hip Hop Abs, and Slim in 6. I *KNOW* first hand the products work, but the saving the life part may seem EXTREME for me to claim. Well, by adding in Shakeology, I NO LONGER have IBS issues...that's right NONE (okay, I have them on occasion, but ONLY when I'm OUT of Shakeology, so being on HOME DIRECT where it's shipped monthly helps with that). I also STOPPED taking vitamins. Yeah, the money I was paying for vitamins is going towards my Shakeology supply. This stuff single handedly is a miracle drink to me. It corrected my stomach issues, gives me energy, and helped me lose weight. I've got customers who have shared that's it's lowered their cholesterol too (stumping their doctors even). I don't worry about what to eat for's my meal of choice and only $3 per meal at that (as a coach, saving 25% and no shipping cost if on home direct). I also can't remember the last time I took Immodium, I seem to carry it in case someone else needs it.

My cardiologist compliments me on my excellent condition and he too is using Beachbody programs/supplements (One-on-One, P90X, Insanity, & Shakeology)...makes you wonder when DOCTORS are using it. The best part about my annual visits to him are that my heart doesn't seem to have any issues. In fact, he tells me that my heart murmur can't be heard and the mitral valve prolapse can't be seen!

Finally, and this also blew me away, the hypothyroidism issue is a thing of the past. By learning how to eat properly and exercising, not only did my numbers improve, it helped to reverse the problem. That's right, in the process, I must have fixed my metabolism and retaught it how to process foods. Now, it's gone to the other's sped up, and I LOVE to eat...I eat ALL of the time...I just know HOW to eat!!!

As you can see, when something makes an impression on you, you don't think twice about sharing the information with family/friends. Beachbody has changed my life on so many levels. If you're looking for help, and you don't know where to start, PLEASE consider this my hand reaching out to you and GRAB ON!!! Let me know what I can do to help. If you're READY to make a change and know the program you're looking for, go to and order through my website and I'll be assigned as your free coach to help you with questions related to workouts or nutrition (if you've already ordered through Beachbody, then a coach as been assigned to you, so he/she should be able to assist you or if you haven't had contact with him/her, you can switch to my team).

My goal is to simply pay it forward...Beachbody has created the it's up to you to make it CAN be done...and I HIGHLY recommend jumping aboard!!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday Munchies

So, I've decided to start a Monday Munchies post! Every Monday, I'll post something that I've made, something I'd like to try, or something that I think is a good option to eat. The meals are NOT going to include foods just on the top two tiers of Michi's Ladder because I reached my goal, and the meals tend to be low-fat and I watch the carb content and try to add protein. Since lots of people seem to struggle with this, I hope this is useful.

Lots of people who have seen me eat this meal have said that it not only LOOKS good, but it SMELLS delicious too! The added bonus is that my son likes it too!! :)

Chicken & Broccoli Yum with brown rice
335 calories / 4 g fat / 38 g carbs / 41 g protein

1 package Tyson Trimmed & Ready Boneless Chicken Breasts (I think it's more than a pound, but not the oversized one)
1 package of Kraft fat free mozzarella (I think it's about 2 cups)
1 can 98% fat free Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup
1 bunch of broccoli
Success Brown Rice - Boil in a bag

Spray a 2 qt Pyrex dish. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the chicken in the oven and bake until fully cooked (turn after 15 minutes). After turning, make the soup in a pan. When chicken is fully cooked, take it out and cut it into smaller pieces in the dish. Pour the soup on top. Wash the broccoli, cut it into smaller pieces, and toss them onto the chicken/soup mixture. Spread the mozzarella cheese on top and bake until melted. Make the brown rice after the cheese has been added. Cut the chicken/broccoli into 6 servings. Add one serving to 3/4 cup of brown rice.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Recently, a good friend asked me to help him out. You see, his plan is to use the P90X program and he WOULD LIKE to stick with the nutrition, so I told him what I tell ALL of my customers...PLAN OUT YOUR MEALS (I suggest doing it on the weekend for the next week). That's right, a little bit of planning goes a LONG way!! I pack up my food the night before and when I go to work, I've claimed an entire drawer for my stuff in the refrigerator. Don't believe me?!? Ask any of my co-workers...they'll tell you it's true!! I have told them they're welcome to eat anything if they get hungry and don't have a snack or money for the vending machine.

I try to cook as often as I can so that I KNOW the amount of calories and grams of protein, carbohydrates, and fat I'm consuming. What's the best way to do this? Eat the same things over and over and get the picture, right? If something works, and you enjoy it, why mess with it!!

So my FIRST suggestion is to plan out your meals. Eat every 2-3 hours (set an alert on your cell phone as a reminder). Make sure you're eating 5 meals per day. Identify your caloric needs based on your goal and the program/exercise you're doing. Divide that number by 4. That number will tell you approximately how many calories to have for your three main meals. Take the fourth amount and divide it in half. That's how many calories you should be eating for your snacks. If you need to know how many calories to consume, join my team at and click on the link to become a member (choose club or free membership) and I'm happy to work with you to figure out what you need.

Make sure to have things you like that are SAFE and get rid of the junk. Otherwise, you'll be tempted to eat poorly when hunger strikes. For instance, I drink a chocolate Shakeology for breakfast. It gives me my vitamins, is like eating 5 servings of veggies, gives me energy...honestly, I can't say enough positives about it. I truly love the stuff!! Sometimes, I'll also eat a banana or will add natural peanut butter to the shake. Now, one time, I was stuck on the road because of a traffic accident. There was no way to get off of the road, BUT in my car, I had a shaker cup, some water, and a Shakeology packet. Not only did it hit the spot, since it's a meal replacement, I wasn't hungry when the cars finally did start moving and I wasn't tempted to pull over at McDonalds.

For snacks, I'll eat lowfat cottage cheese and turkey slices, ostrich jerky, low-carb protein bars, a Shakeology shake, or homemade oatmeal protein pancakes (to name a few). For my lunch, it's usually leftover dinner (tomorrow will be spaghetti and meatballs for me). My dinners are typically higher protein and lower in carb. For instance if I had a low-fat chicken parmesan, I'll only take 1/2 c. of whole grain pasta instead of the full cup serving. These meals are delicious for lunch the next day. I'll probably start a Monday Munchies on the lookout.

Here's the friend had a problem with all of this. You see, while he knows that all I have suggested will work best, he's on the road quite a bit, and he needs options while on the go! So, I told him I'd come up with some ideas to share. Hopefully, you'll find them useful too. Most restaurants today have their healthy options marked with an apple, a star, or something. If you know where you're going ahead of time, look at the menu online. Many of them will also list the nutritional information, but you might have to search a little for it. When out at a restaurant, stick with the following:

1. Choose chicken or fish over beef.
2. Stay away fried food...even if it's chicken or fish!!
3. Choose veggies or a salad as your side dish (fruit if you must but it will increase your carbohydrate amount quite a bit). If it's not given as an option, ASK!! Most places are willing to accommodate...I think we can thank Meg Ryan's performance in When Harry Met Sally for that!
Pasta? Avoid cream sauces and just eat half your portion.
4. Don't eat the's okay to say NO THANK YOU and have them remove it from the table. If you're getting a sandwich, ask for whole wheat (and for the record, a wrap sometimes adds more carbs than regular bread, so be careful).
5. If you choose a salad, get the dressing on the side. DIP your fork into it for flavor, but do not pour it on top of your greens!

Well, this is great you say, but what if you're in a rush. You need ideas for FAST FOOD options that won't cause you to negate all of your effort with your workout program. Follow the rules from above for restaurants and stay away from the fried foods, desserts, and cheese. Eat grilled chicken or salad when you can, but don't bathe your lettuce in dressing. Find a fast food restaurant menu online for local place. PREPARE/PLAN ahead of time. Make a list of the foods YOU like to eat that are lower in fat, not too high in carbs, and have plenty of protein.

Easy enough, here are some ideas (the numbers represent Calories/Fat(g)/Protein(g)/Carbs(g):


Chicken McGrill w/o mayo 340/7/26/45 (get rid of the bun & those carbs are gone too)
Hamburger 250/9/12/31 (eat it with 1/2 the bun and get rid of about 1/2 the carbs)
Premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken 320/9/30/30
Egg McMuffin® 300/12/30/18 (eat only 1/2 of the English muffin to cut carbs or eliminate the cheese to lower the fat)


Apple Pecan Chicken Salad 350/12/29/37 (VERY high in sodium though)
Small Chili 220/7/22/18
Jr. Hamburger 230/8/26/12 (same as hamburger above)
Ultimate Chicken Grill Sandwich 370/7/42/34 (high in sodium...lower the carbs without the bun)


Wherever you end up eating on the go, be smart, eat properly. You KNOW what you should/should not eat. If you want results, choose the healthier options, but be careful not to eat too many carbs! So many places today have healthier options. If you can stop at a Panera, Atlanta Bread Company, Jason's Deli, or Einstein's Bros Bagels, you should be able to find something that will be prepared fast, and SHOULD be healthier than MOST fast food placed. Any questions?!? Ask away...