Friday, May 31, 2013

Ahhhh, Friday!

It's a little odd how these short weeks (Monday was a holiday) feel even longer than usual - or maybe they're just more stressful than normal since we're trying to catch up on a "lost" day. Either way... Yay for Friday! lol! The bummer is that I've got a houseful of sickies. :-( The hubby and the youngest are both down with allergies/respiratory infections. At this moment, my poor husband is laid out in his/my recliner snoring away like a champ. So much for date night, lol. ;-)

My elbow is sooooo much better than yesterday! I've been dutifully using my topical NSAID and my trusty ice pack, and I can now stretch it out (though slowly). I still can't grip anything heavy, but I can make a fist (progress!).

Shiloh has arrived safely in Sacramento where she's now spending time with my family :-) Wish I was there, too! She's got all kinds of fun pre-wedding things to do while they're together. I don't know about those of you with kids, but I sweat until I know my kids have safely arrived at their destinations... they all joke about it, but it's no joke for me, lemme tell ya! When I finally heard from Shi - she sent me a text saying "been here an hour." Lol. And I've got Joey driving back today from Texas, too! And he makes me more nervous because he keeps posting photos of his trip on facebook, lol. I'll feel more relaxed when he, too, arrives safely.

The last couple days have been a little like christmas ;-)  Yesterday my 2nd batch of shirts arrived... I now have both of these ready to go, and am just waiting on two more, then they'll all be available for purchase in the Recipe For Fitness Store.

Then, as if that wasn't exciting enough for me ;-)  today's deliveries brought a supply package from my awesome sponsor - Champion Performance (formerly Champion Nutrition) for my upcoming demos, and a gift package from Go Daddy!

How cool is that????? Woooot!!

I've been horrible at posting my food this week - what with fighting the asthma, the elbow, and everything else, pictures just haven't happened. I've been eating a lot of tomato soup (figured out to drink it from a mug instead of trying to eat it left handed, lol), and variations on this...
Crockpot pork verde and steamed veggies.
 and this...
Protein Ice Cream

So, the weekend is now officially here. It's time to slow down, put away the work, the studies, and spend time with my family. I'm thinking since everyone is sick, it'll be a quiet night - maybe we'll catch up on the DVR and a movie. What are you all up to this weekend? Anyone have some fun stuff planned?


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Just keep breathing...

OY! The good news is that my asthma is back in the normal range - I can breathe deeply - Ahhhhh! Turns out this is exceptionally important because I had to see my bone/joint doc today.... and I got another freakin' shot. ERMERGERD!!! Human pincushion here!

My shoulder is still meh - but the elbow is crazy bad. The layman's term is Tennis Elbow. The Doctor's term is Lateral Epicondylitis. My term is F#$% This Sh#$!  Lol.  Here's a peek at what's goin' on in there...
Looks fun, yeah?
So they poked a needle in there, dug it around (and around, and around) while I did my childbirth breathing (lol), stuck a bandaid on it and away I went. I hit up my pharmacy to fill the Voltaren prescription (topical NSAID), and realized I was still wearing the bandaid. Oops. I forgot to pull it off right away - I'm allergic to the adhesive in bandaids. Drat. Now I have a white band where it was, surrounded by a red inflamed outline. Awesome.

I dashed off to pick up my daughter from college (wow that's so weird to say), then stopped to fill the tank for my other daughter who's driving up to Sacramento in my car, and when I reached for the gas my elbow screamed, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"  It was not a good moment. OMG, my elbow is absolutely, ridiculously, horribly in pain. There are no words. It's just pounding. Erg. And of course - this is my right arm. I'm right-handed. Joy.

The first 48 hours after a cortisone shot are brutal. Particularly in small joints like the elbow. The pain grows and grows as the fluid spreads. After that, barring any complications, the pain will subside, and the cortisone will reduce the inflammation allowing the tendon tears to heal. I go back in 4 weeks. If this shot doesn't do the trick, then next step is physical therapy, then surgery where they remove the torn tissue and scar tissue (plus any bone spurs and whatnot), then basically poke holes in the bone to force the body to release anti-inflammatory magic and jumpstart the natural healing process which is currently stalled.

Hopefully that can all be avoided. As of today, I am upping my antioxidant and vitamin D intake in the hopes that I can reduce the inflammation and promote healing on my own.

Oh, and FYI - feeding oneself with the non-dominant hand is dangerous. Hot tomato soup, spoon, left hand =  a load of laundry and an ice pack. Just sayin'.

Oh - and another FYI - don't google tennis elbow surgery while in the images tab. There are things you can never un-see.

So... I'm breathing deep (and grateful that I can) and just movin' on forward. I cannot work the arm for 7 days, so now that my asthma has died down, I'll focus on core and legs in the gym. Once I've got the green light to use my arm again, we'll see what we see.

I guess I'll just keep swimmin'  :-D

And in a completely random event, but so typical of my life, I was typing this post, when I saw something out of the corner of my eye... I looked up to see a BABY BUNNY dash into my closet and behind my daughter's wedding dress. WTF???? I am not kidding! Bethany helped me catch the lil' guy in a shoe box, and I ran for the camera... I took a pic and the bugger leapt out of the box and back behind the clothes and shoes! We jumped and screamed like crazy! Hahahahaha!!!!  We finally recaptured him, then released him out front where he scampered away.

Never a dull moment, folks!!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Let's talk about Asthma...

Folks who don't live in AZ think we have such great weather... and we do, mostly, if you don't count the summer months where we sweat out 120 degree days. But it's a dry heat. Yeah, dry like sticking your head in an oven set to broil. Lol. We've also got all this "desert" - so allergies should be better here, right? Wrong. I've had more allergy issues since moving here than ever in my life. And the Asthma. Yeah, that developed here, too. The big whammy comes when they hit at the same time. Then just for kicks and giggles, dive down into my chest and set up a congestion/anti-oxygen party.

In the last two days, I've gone through two boxes of tissue. My nose is peeling, my upper lip is peeling, and just to add insult to injury, I got home from a meeting this morning (with the ROCKSTAR) to discover that fever blisters have formed between my nose and my lip. Awesome.

My youngest laughed at me and my peeling, blistered face, then had to run for the box of tissue because she's having allergy issues, too. Karma, darling. Karma. I would have laughed right back at her except I didn't have enough air to do so.

Needless to say, this little turn of events has banned me from the gym. Not only would it be stupid for me to try to lift with a lack of proper oxygen, but let's face it - this is me folks... I'd get frustrated by my lack of strength and energy, and push myself. And  you know what happens when I push because I'm frustrated... I hurt myself. Yep. Let's just skip that, shall we? Lol. ;-)

Anyone else fight with allergies and asthma? I know the ROCKSTAR does, and she just competed and kicked serious arse at The People's Choice here in Scottsdale - all while battling a vicious asthma flare. How do you handle asthma when it interferes with your activity/goals?

Here are a few things I've learned about my own asthma...

  • Attacks happen. I carry my inhaler at all times. I've had attacks come out of nowhere - in the mall, the grocery store, a school event, doing cardio, or while lifting. Having that inhaler just a reach away makes all the difference. It's not a pretty thing to carry around, and I'd bling my inhaler just to make it a little more attractive, but we all know that I'd probably end up sucking back a rhinestone and choking during an asthma attack. Lol.
  • There's no reason to be embarrassed. Being the shy girl, having a public asthma attack (which because mine is largely exercise induced, my attacks mostly happen in the gym) was worse for me than the actual attack. I had to learn to just roll with it. Sure, I sound like a barking seal for a few minutes, but whatever. So what? What's the alternative? Skip the gym forever? Nope.
  • My heart rate monitor is a tool and a weapon. Wearing my HRM allowed me to discover trends. When my HR goes over 175, I'm susceptible to an attack. When it goes over 180, I just reach for the inhaler and puff because that ship done sailed. When I see my heart rate reaching up in the 170's, I've learned to focus on my breathing (deep and slow), take sips of water, and slow down if necessary (always a last resort, lol)... whatever it takes to maintain control. Most often, I can watch my HR, and I'll take a puff or two as soon as I feel any tightness. I can usually keep going if I'm on top of it.
  • Know my limits. This one is tough for me. I'm the asthmatic who ignores it, pushes forward, do-or-die... then suddenly my lips and fingers are blue and I can't stand upright. Dumb. I track my attacks now - how many, how often, what were the triggers (and let me tell you, some ladies need to ditch the freakin' perfume cloud in the gym, lol). If I see an emerging pattern, I adjust to it as best I can. I've also learned to seek medical attention before I turn into a smurf.
  • It's not a joke. Asthma is a serious medical condition, and left untreated, it can be life threatening. Further, each attack can damage the airways and lungs causing permanent damage, so doing everything you can to prevent attacks and properly treat them when they do happen can literally extend your life - possibly even save it. 
  • It's not an excuse. If you're overweight, and you're not working out to lose weight because you have asthma, then you are doing  yourself and your body an enormous disservice. The less weight you have pressing down on your lungs (fat), the better they can expand. Building a strong heart and lungs (cardio/strength) helps your body better fight against attacks - and recover from them. And guess what? The fitter you are, the fewer attacks you're likely to have. Ditching the weight and getting fit allowed me to eliminate the daily meds I'd been required to live with just to breathe. 
For the last several years, I simply have my emergency inhaler to deal with the few attacks I get. Now, that said, allergy season is always harder, and my asthma makes me more likely to develop respiratory infections, so I try to keep my allergies under control. However, when they do go berserk, and my asthma jumps in to join the party, I have to be hyper-aware of my limits and do everything I can to protect my lungs. Often this involves nebulizer treatments, and occasionally a steroid shot. It is what it is. 

While having asthma isn't an excuse to stop exercising, it's also important to know when exercise can cause more damage than good. And it's important during those times to know that this is temporary. This asthma flare will end, and I will be back in the gym, strengthening my lungs, heart, and body. There's no cure for asthma, but there is treatment. It's foolish to ignore it, or to deny it (talking to myself here, too, lol). The key to living with asthma is to treat it properly, but not let it become an excuse to stop living.  

Did you know... 
There are many amazing elite athletes who have asthma. Take a peek at a few... 

Jackie Joyner-Kersey - Olympic Track & Field 
Amy Van Dyken - Competitive Swimmer
Jerome Bettis - Professional Football
Dennis Rodman - Professional Basketball
Paula Radcliffe - Marathon Runner
Pete Vanderkaay - Competitive Swimmer

So if they can do it - we can do it. Right??  

What are your tricks and tips to living a fit life with asthma? 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Champion Performance Recipe of the Week - Here Comes The BOOM! Banana Cherry Protein Ice Cream

It's Leg Day. You know what that means... right? No, not the puking. No, not the crawling. It means that the post-workout fuel can have CARBS!!!!!!! Lol! Ok, seriously... I'm not the only one who looks forward to the heavy days just so I can have a little extra, right? Right?? Regardless... post workout nutrition is always important, but after completely draining those glycogen stores during a heavy session, it's imperative to get some quality sugar - and antioxidants - quickly (and as great-tasting as possible). Thankfully, your resident Protein-Ice-Cream-Empress (that would be me) has got you covered. ;-)

Today, I bring you... The Protein and Anti-Oxidant Post Workout BOOM...  You're welcome. ;-)

Banana Cherry Protein Ice Cream
Serves 1

1 banana, frozen
1/2 cup cherries, frozen
1.5 scoop Champion Performance Pure Whey (I used chocolate)
1/4 - 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (I used chocolate)

In a food processor, blend frozen banana and frozen cherries until grainy - about 1 minute.
Add protein powder (while still blending), then almond milk.
Continue to blend until smooth.

NUTRITION per serving:  359 calories, 37 grams protein, 42 grams carb, 6 grams fat, 5 grams fiber, 25 grams sugar, 241 mg sodium.

Bridal Shower, Indy 500 Commercial, and More!

What an amazing weekend! We were thrilled to have Jared back home again, as was Shiloh, lol. He had all his gear with him and it was fascinating to see how equipped our soldiers are. More than a little scary to be honest, but still a bit reassuring. The whole getup weighs anywhere between 125 and 150 lbs. I tried on his vest and helmet - and have to say it was like being trapped inside the Michelin Man, lol. I got a wee bit claustrophobic, but was overwhelmed with respect for what our men and women do. I also tested the weight of his pack and was astonished! The strength and endurance these kids have just to walk around with this stuff is incredible. And to know that they don this gear to serve and protect is just humbling.

Jared wasn't the only soldier home for the holiday, and we enjoyed time with several others, too. One of them, Haley is another of "my" kids and it was wonderful to have her visit. She was able to attend Shiloh's bridal shower, which was a blast, and shared a variety of "horror" stories about her boot camp experience. We laughed and cringed through the tales. At one point though, this sweet, funny, light-hearted girl talked about a particular drill sergeant who's "sole purpose is to make our lives as miserable as possible" and how this woman broke her down - she got very serious and said, "That woman made me a Marine, and I'll never stop being grateful." I realized then that this was no longer little Hayley the kids had grown up with - this was a woman who had become something so much More. Again, humbling. And awe-inspiring. These kids are truly an amazement to me.

Our family proudly has heroes who have served, and are currently serving, 
in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. 

Saturday morning, the boys headed off to hit some golf balls, Shiloh struggled to wake up (lol), then she, Bethany and I hit the nail salon for some pedi's. Shiloh's bridal shower was beautiful. Her maid of honor/best friend and her family are like a 2nd family to my daughter and they truly went out of their way to make her day special. The food was fantastic - including a completely-from-scratch chicken caesar salad (minus the anchovies) that I tried to get the recipe for... Briana's mom told me not to take it personally when her husband wouldn't say a peep - she had to wait til the ink dried on the marriage license before she got the recipe ;-) LOL!

(click on photos to view larger)
Jared and Bill

Why is the sun shining so EARLY???

Much more awake now, lol

Shiloh & the Squires ladies
(that's Gramma peeking through,
Mamma Squires was MIA for this photo)
Shiloh and Briana
Shiloh and Bethany
(yes, my youngest is taller, lol)

Shiloh and Haley

Shiloh and Jared
Can you believe I didn't get a photo of Shiloh with me?? Yeesh! Mommy's fallin' down on the job! 

The next day was the Indy 500. Bill and I dosed ourselves with coffee, lol, and turned on the tv. We watched the whole pre-race presentation (and DVR'd it, lol) as we had no idea when the Go Daddy spot would be shown. They did such a great job with the pre-race (and the race itself was spectactular, too!)! Anyway, just before the "Start Your Engines", the spot was played. I was so shocked to see my face! LOL! I immediately teared up and then cried through the whole thing - so overwhelming and awesome! We had to back up the recording so I could actually see the spot, lol.

The piece was fabulous, and it was so great to see the other small businesses involved - I hope they had as much fun as I did with the process! :-)  It was extra cool to have the commercial begin and end with me, wow! And of course, Bill had to count how many times I was in it - 5, if you were wondering, lol. To make it even more amazing, as soon as it ended, my phone rang - it was my son, Joey, who's in Texas on a job (FlexGround / FlexGrass) - his boss had pulled him off the job and put him in front of a tv so he wouldn't miss the spot. How freaking cool was that?? Then my mom texted - she'd seen it, too!! Woot! :-)

Video courtesy of Westcott BBQ Grills

All in all, it was an amazing weekend! Yesterday we grilled and enjoyed spending time together - family and friends. We're grilling more and more as the weather heats up - yesterday was kabobs - steak & veggies ;-) And thankfully, I made extra so I've got some clean eats for today until I can get my rear in gear and head to the store.

Unfortunately, the rest of my weekend food was a little ugly, lol (just being honest), but this week I'll be right back on track. I'm not as frazzled or hurried - before the weekend I finally finished off another paper for my next certification (fyi - technical papers are NO fun to read, particularly when you have to read through hundreds of them to cull out ones that apply to your topic). Our Cosmonaut has finished the school year and moved on, and we're grateful we were able to be there for her when she needed us. And Bethany, my baby, begins college today. Wow!

So yes, a fantastic weekend behind us, and a bright new week ahead. :-) Woot!!

PS... I'll be back shortly with a new Champion Performance Recipe of the Week. ;-)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Tuning in to the Indy 500 tomorrow?? Watch for me!

Woot!! One more sleep until the Indy 500! What's the big deal and why am I so excited? Because I'LL BE THERE! Well, not me in person, but me on video! What???? YES!

copyright 2013 Go Daddy
Remember when Go Daddy came to the house last month and spent a day taking photos and filming? Read Post Here. Part of what was filmed was a piece of the Chairman's Address for the Indy 500! I got to read from a teleprompter! Crazy Surreal Madness! LOL! It was a ton of fun, and I'm so excited was chosen along with a handful of others to represent as a Go Daddy customer. Truly awesome!

We've set our DVR, and we're ready to tune in tomorrow and see ME (what????) on national television! Whoop! I mean seriously, folks... how crazy is this??? I can't imagine what it's going to be like to look at my own face, hear my own voice, on TV! Wow!

Along with the Chairman's Address, Go Daddy will be using what we did that day in other advertising... from Facebook, to banner ads, to large ads, to tv ads... It's funny... I've always loved the Go Daddy commercials, I've just never imagined that I might be in one! Woooohooo!!

I'm so excited!!! Just one more sleep! LOL!!!

Go Hinch!! ;-)
photo courtesy of

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

What's That I See?????

The HUGE project I've been working on is coming together!!! Phase I is HERE!!!!! Looky, looky!!!!

What's that I see??? That's the first of four tops! Woooohoooo!!!!

Yes, it's a bad hair day, but that's not the point! The point is they're finally here!!!! :-D These are truly the most comfortable tanks EVER! Super soft, loose fit, and just in time for summer! I hope to have them up on the store this week, and the other three tops are all  on their way.

Want a sneak peak?

Wooooohoooo!!!! Doin' the happy dance over here!!!! Woot!! ;-)

Champion Performance Recipe of the Week - Chocolate Protein Flatbread!

Ready for a fun post-workout treat that's a snap to put together? Check out these flatbreads! Super easy to whip up, quick to bake (only 7 minutes!) and you can spread them with nut butter and honey! YUM!! This is a great way to replenish those depleted glycogen stores and fuel your muscle recovery!

Chocolate Protein Flatbread with Nut Butter & Honey
by Chelle Stafford

1/2 cup rolled oats
2.5 scoops Champion Nutrition Pure Whey, Chocolate or Chocolate Peanut Butter
1/4 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk
2 Tbsp unsalted peanut butter
1 Tbsp honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray pizza pan (I used one with holes for crisper crust) with cooking oil.
In a small bowl, mix together the oats and protein powder. Add almond milk and stir until well blended.
Spray hands with cooking oil and spread mixture onto pan into a rectangle, about 6" x 9", or as thin as possible.
Bake at 350 for 7 minutes. Cracker will appear wet on top, but carefully touch it to be sure it's cooked.
Cool on wire rack.
When cool, cut into 2 servings.
Spread with nut butter and honey for a great post-workout treat!

NUTRITION: per serving. 380 calories, 35 grams protein, 29 grams carbs, 13 grams fat, 4 grams fiber, 15 grams sugar, 148 mg sodium.

NOTE: This is a flatbread cracker, not a cookie. It's crisp and dry.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Fighting the Biggest Battle...

We enjoyed a full and fun weekend - from date night Friday through our oldest daughter's birthday yesterday, our home has been filled with all the kids we call our own (our literal own and all their group) with nary a quiet moment to be found - which was wonderful. :-) and tiring.

This morning found me dragging my sleepy self to the gym for back/biceps. I am still brutally sore from leg day Friday - you should have seen me Saturday trying to set up my demo table at The Vitamin Shoppe - soooo sore! Anyway - I knocked out my back, did some damage to my biceps then hit the shoulders. Such a struggle. Plus my tennis elbow is so bad right now that I wanna rip it off and beat it on the bench.

I was finishing up, whimpering inside as my shoulder screamed in denial of what I was asking (which seriously, using 3 lb weights for lateral raises, I'm not asking much), when Def Leppard, Undefeated started blasting through my ear buds. I opened my eyes, pushed the pain aside, and saw something very, very exciting in the mirror - progress. I saw striations in my shoulders. I actually got tears in my eyes. I knocked out the rest of my reps to the beat, and felt for the first time in a while that my goals just might still be reachable. 

Then... I hit the stairmaster for my newly allotted 10 minutes of cardio (not counting my 5 minute warmup) and the mind games started back up. 10 minutes of cardio? Seriously? Did you not see the number on the scale yesterday? How are you going to lose this body fat with only 10 minutes three times a week??? WTF is wrong with you?? The scale doesn't lie, babe - you NEED this cardio. 

Yes, my inner voice is mean and nasty. She's quite the bitch, my inner fat girl.

And she's wrong. The scale does lie. It's a lie of omission. It doesn't tell the whole story. The number which represents my whole weight doesn't tell me that I've gained muscle... gained definition... gained confidence. Instead, it takes that confidence and tries to beat it out of me - my weight is up, I am failing. 

But I'm not. I'm succeeding.

I knew when I began this phase of my journey that the mental battle was going to be tough. Reducing my cardio (which started last week) is really hard for me - not only because of the "cardio burns fat" mentality so prevalent (and not entirely accurate), but also because I truly enjoy my cardio sessions. I can do them on autopilot, giving me thinking time - or just zoning out time. Giving that up, even temporarily, messes with my head, and denies me an outlet. It's difficult.  Focusing on increasing my weights - my session lengths - my range of motion... also super hard, physically and mentally, due to my injuries and limitations. But my goal has been to increase lean muscle, and I am doing that. 
And while I'm busting my ass to add muscle, while I'm adding weight (can't wear those jeans these days!), I'm watching friends and colleagues hit their lowest body fat percentages and cross the stage in sparkles and heels - and rocking it. While I get fat. At least that's what she is saying. I know she's wrong. I know damn well that I'm right on track and I'm proud of my progress - especially since I'm doing this completely on my own - no trainer, no coach, but it's freaking difficult to find my fat-girl's mute button. 

For the most part, as I maintain my 80lb weight loss (October 2008, woot!), I've been able to tune her out, keep her from getting too loud. But as I deliberately gain weight, she's gaining volume. The battle against my own mind is the hardest one to keep fighting. Losing weight is tough - no lie. Keeping it off is tougher - because of the mental crap. Disarming the inner fat girl - quieting her, silencing her, evicting her... that's the war to be won. And it's ongoing. 

I'd love to tell you that if you're on a weight loss journey, losing that weight will make you happy, sexy, and able to pick clothes right off a rack... Not the case. I've talked about this before, but felt it was time to address it again. Losing weight doesn't change WHO you are. After the weight comes off, you're still the same person you were when fat. It's still you. It's still me. If you weren't happy before, you won't be happy after. You've got to go beyond what you see in the mirror - discover who you really are and how to love yourself. Respect yourself. Value yourself. And some of you might battle body-dysmorphia, just to make things even more difficult. It took me years to overcome that. 

Oh, and FYI - that whole buy off the rack deal? I still can't just buy something off the rack - for every 20 items I try on, 1 or 2 might hit the mark (Tabitha is the most wonderfully patient and supportive shopping buddy!). 

I'd also love to tell you that I have a battle-plan for you to beat your inner fat girl. I don't. I'm still fighting mine.  But I think that's the most important point... I'm still fighting. Are you?

It's Monday. The start of a fresh new week. Here's our challenge... 1) Don't let the scale lie to you,  and 2) Don't let your inner-fat girl crush you. Fight back.  

Tell her to shut the hell up.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Just One of Those Days...

It's 11:30 am and I've already accomplished a TON today... know what I've done?

1. KILLED my leg workout. Found myself in the parking lot wondering if I was going to hurl, fall over, faint - or all three.
2. Burned out the motor on my food processor. Who knew they could smoke like that?! Had to finish making my Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Protein ice cream in my magic bullet.
3. Cut my tongue on the blades of my magic bullet after finishing my ice cream blending - oy. No matter how hungry or desperate you are post-leg day workout, DO NOT LICK THE BLADES. 
4. Tripped up the stairs on my way to the shower. Yes, I said UP the stairs.
5. Tripped in the shower. Don't ask.
6. While applying makeup and standing on shaky-noodle legs, I poked myself in the eye with my mascara. Not exactly the "feel the burn" I was looking for.
7. Tripped down the stairs. And the runner slides home! SAFE!!
8. Determined to show more discipline than I did during the blade-licking incident (see #3), I quickly carried my plate with Snack 1 to the table - only to have one of my hard boiled eggs roll off the dish, onto my phone, and down to bounce on the floor. 5-second rule, right?

Yep, it's just one of those days ;-)  I have errands to run, but frankly, I'm a wee bit frightened to leave the house. LOL!! ;-)

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Are You Happy? Do You Want To Be?

Those are loaded questions, right? I think we can all take steps to be happier, but I think the essence of happiness comes from within. It's not due to the people around us (though they help), it's not due to the house we live in or the car we drive. Happiness, in my opinion, is deeper than these surface things. It's about knowing that right now, in this very moment, I'm right where I'm supposed to be, doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing. It has nothing to do with yesterday, or even 5 minutes ago. It has nothing to do with tomorrow or 5 minutes from now. It's right here. Right now.

Through my weight loss journey, my struggle to learn how to dial back the "lose weight" mentality and maintain, and every challenge I've set for myself since, I've discovered that I've discarded enough baggage to be happy. I've learned to appreciate me, my mind, my strengths, even my weaknesses (to a certain extent, lol) - because they all make me.. well, me. And I like me. And I like that I like me. It makes me....

wait for it....

Happy.  ;-)

didn't see that coming, did ya? LOL!

Anyway - what I'm getting to is this... happiness takes effort. It's not an accident. It's a deliberate choice. I had to discard toxic people and relationships, unhealthy habits and thoughts. I had to embrace that I'm just human and that's ok. I had to learn to accept that I will fail, but I will not ever give up. I might be simplifying it all, and I don't mean to, but down in the gut - I'm a happy person and I am grateful and protective of my joy. But I still have to work at it.

One of the more fun things I've discovered is this great new website called Happify. Have you seen it? It's kind of like a cross between Facebook and Pinterest, but the whole purpose behind each post and activity is to help us deliberately make the shift to see positively. It's so easy to get wrapped up and bogged down in the day to day stuff, and logging onto Happify is an easy (and again I say - FUN) way to climb back up and feel the sunshine.

I'm grateful to have been invited to join this fun site as a Pioneer (like an ambassador). I've enjoyed it so much over the last several months  - and am really excited to tell you that it's nearly out of beta-testing! I have some invites to pass out - and if anyone would like to join, please let me know and I'll send you the invitation. It's a lot of fun, it's thought-provoking, encouraging, insightful, and again... a lot of fun ;-)

One of the challenges I have is slowing down to savor life. I'm on the go, I'm busy, I'm studying, working, spending time with family & friends... I forget to smell the roses, so to speak. My absolute favorite activity on Happify are these savor exercises where you look at a cool photo and find all the hidden objects while pretty music plays in the background. Sounds simple, right? I confess that I often do this with one eye closed just to drag out the moment. ;-) In fact, I think it's time I wrap up this post and go find myself a "Savoring Game" and chill for a bit ;-)

Time to embrace my happy! How about you?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Champion Nutrition Recipe of the Week - Post-Workout Ice Cream!

The weather is heating up, and ice cream is on my mind. Not Ben & Jerry's, though - I'm craving my protein ice cream! Ya'll know I have a ton of recipes for protein ice cream, and here's another one you can enjoy post-workout. The natural sugars in the banana will go to work right away to replenish depleted glycogen stores, and the plentiful B6 (can increase exercise induced levels of growth hormone!), Vitamin C (antioxidant powerhouse), Manganese (key in carbohydrate metabolism), Fiber (key in everything) and Potassium (important electrolyte that helps form glycogen) all work together with the muscle feeding protein to create a perfect post-workout treat!

The frozen banana is the star ingredient in this - so when you've got some leftover bananas, peel them, chop them and throw them in a freezer bag and into the freeze. They'll be ready and waiting when you need them.

Chocolate Banana Post Workout Ice Cream
serves 1

1 frozen banana, medium size (guys, you can do a larger banana)
1 scoop Chocolate Champion Nutrition Pure Whey Protein Powder
1/2 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk

Place frozen banana in a food processor or strong blender. Blend until creamy (takes a minute or two, but hold onto your blender, that puppy is gonna jump all around until the banana processes).
Add protein powder and almond milk, and blend until incorporated.

258 calories, 25 grams protein, 31 grams carbs, 5 grams fat, 4 grams fiber, 16 grams sugar.

TIPS: Freeze prepared ice cream for 15-30 minutes for additional firmness. Top with fat-free/sugar-free cool whip.

Life Comes With Many Challenges...

Angelina Jolie
Photo courtesy of
This morning as I worked and got caught up on what's happening beyond my front door, I came across an Op-Ed in the New York Times written by Angelina Jolie. She's an actress and humanitarian that I have a great respect for, and so of course I clicked to read it. I was stunned by the content. If you have a few moments, I encourage you to take the time to read why she chose to complete a preventative double mastectomy this year. At the end of her editorial, she said something that resonated with me -

Life comes with many challenges. The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of.

You've heard me say a million times, I'm sure, that while we don't have control over everything in our lives - that life happens - we do have 100% control of everything that enters our mouths. Whether you're plagued by injury, disease or illness, you can control what you eat, what you drink. While you can't out-train a bad diet, you can transform your body and health through diet alone.

That said, it's not all about weight loss or maintenance, is it? When life goes to hell in a handbasket, it's not just workouts and food prep that suffer. You all know many of the challenges I and my family have faced. This week, we recognize the 1st birthday of a beloved child and while we celebrate her life, we grieve her, too. It's a difficult time for us, and I have no control over the emotions sweeping through my family. I'm also still dealing with my injured and diseased body - and the limitations it's placing on me. My goals are at risk - this is a challenge I don't have control over. There are many others, and I do my best to take them in stride - to do what I can, to be loving, supportive, encouraging, encouraged, hopeful and optimistic.

But what Ms. Jolie said - about the challenges that shouldn't scare us, made me think. What scares me? What am I allowing myself to be frightened by, crippled by, that I can actually take control of? It's a sobering query. I've got some soul searching to do.

How about you?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Fresh new week...

Hope everyone had a great Mother's Day! Mine was fabulous. All the kids came home for the day, bringing several friends - we chilled in the pool, we grilled, we ate, and we had a terrific time! Jared and his mom joined us, too :-) It's so good to have him home, even if for a few days!
love the flash-eyes, lol!

Saturday was busy - I did a Champion Nutrition demo in West Phoenix, then Sunday we had our bbq, and today I'm heading back to another Vitamin Shoppe closer to home to do another demo. I'm really enjoying meeting people and talking about workout nutrition :-) It's a lot of fun!

This is a packed month! I've got two more demos this month, my daughter's bridal shower, my other daughter's birthday, plus all the usual going's on. It's already flying by - I can't believe we're nearly halfway through May! Yikes! Anyone else feel like they're losing time? Lol!

Speaking of Time Flying - Tosca Reno's 54th birthday is around the corner! Can you believe it?? Talk about someone who is Forever Young! If she, and her Eat Clean message have changed your life, here's an opportunity to share it with her as a special birthday presentation! Check out the Life Changer Roundup on!! You can write in a message, or you can video one! Here's the link...