Weekly Mean Plan – 10/14 Fall has arrived

OK, I’m back from a couple crazy travel weeks!  Fall has arrived here in Colorado so my meals certainly will reflect that.  I love soups and stews and when the weather turns cold, they are perfect!

Monday – Beef & Broccoli with brown rice from Cooks Illustrated

Tuesday – Frito Chili Pie (with ground turkey) from The Pioneer Woman (cheese and more fritos for the kiddos, less for mom & dad to be healthier)

Wednesday – Turkey goulash from Eating for Life

Thursday – Chicken Tortilla soup from The Pioneer Woman

Friday – Leftovers

Saturday – Pulled Pork Tacos, yes The Pioneer Woman

Back to School Motivation

back_to_schoolI talk plenty of talk about being consistent with exercise in order to get or stay fit and healthy and I believe it’s important to also ‘walk the walk.’  Even as a fitness professional, I need plenty of motivation to stay consistent.  (For a little window into my world, the more I post about it, the more I need it myself :P)

I use a tracking calendar. Over the summer, my consistency was fair at best. I stayed active and had plenty of fun enjoying the beautiful Colorado summer with my family however, where I was lacking was my strength training and any version of intense workouts.

So here we are at back to school time. I have 2 school age kids and one in pre-K 3 times a week.  They have a consistent schedule (consistently busy when football and gymnastics are in the picture) so I need a more consistent commitment.  My goal is to increase my strength and intensity workouts and to work for 4-5 stickers on my calendar per week.

Feel free to join me as I plan on posting my workouts AND weekly dinner plans.


Pizza Happens

On the journey of health and happiness, you can learn a lot about yourself.  In my journey, I have learned that it is a constant journey.  Optimal health takes consistency and holding on through the ups and downs, while happiness often comes from letting go.

I tightened the reins a couple weeks ago with my eating and workout routines and I already feel like I am back on track (which drives my husband crazy).  However, I want to make sure everybody knows that “back on track” for me does not mean perfect.  Pizza happens…donuts happen…life happens.

This is where the happiness component comes into play.  This is where you must let go when you fall off the wagon.  Don’t let the little things get you down.  If you have a busy day and ordering pizza makes things simpler, then order pizza.  (Don’t eat the whole pizza!)  If your son’s youth football team just won the super bowl (woo hoo!!) and the after-party includes pizza and cupcakes, then CELEBRATE with him!  And then work your butt off on your next workout.

Enjoy your journey!

What is Helathy Eating?

When I wrote about Tightening the Reins, my nutrition was obviously veering off course, hence the tight jeans.  The good thing about being in the fitness industry is that I have the education, and the experience, to know what works for ME and MY BODY.  I am not a registered dietitian nor with enough knowledge to speak about specific dietary needs or allergies.  However, there are general guidelines that work for most regarding weight loss.  And when it comes down to finding a visible six-pack or losing the last 5 pounds, the main thing to remember is every BODY is different.  You need to find out what works best for you.

When it comes to a healthy diet, I wave the flag of “Everything in Moderation.”  There are too many special diets and extreme ways of eating to keep track of, and pulling them off with kids and husbands is often impossible.  Plus, there is really tasty food out there and if I go too long without a donut or a margarita my personality changes, and not in a good way.

My definition of healthy eating is fairly simple.  First, portion control; don’t think eating a full size bag of fat free pretzels is healthy eating because all calories matter.  Next, is making sure you eat enough protein.  Protein helps build muscle and increasing muscle mass helps increase the metabolism.  So I make sure protein is a main component in my major meals AND my snacks.  Finally, eat plenty of vegetables and throw in some fruit here and there.  Vegetables of all colors provide many benefits as do fruits, however it is important to watch the fruit intake because of the sugar calories.

So far this week I have gotten back on track with my eating quite well.  The main distractions are the bags of Halloween candy my kids have.  I am such a sweet tooth!   But to give you a window into my healthy eating, here are some of my ‘go-to’ meals and snacks.  I am a creature of habit when I put my mind to it.

Breakfast: choose one

  • 1 cup Kashi Go Lean cereal (great protein & fiber) with skim milk and frozen raspberries or blueberries
  • 1/3 cup oatmeal (measured dry) with skim milk and a few raisins, or
  • 2 eggs + 1 white over wheat toast or English muffin.


  • ½ can solid white tuna on wheat bread (sometimes I add pepper jack cheese slice)
  • Sliced turkey or pastrami (costco’s is yummy) on wheat bread with pepper jack cheese & lettuce


  • Shredded Mini Wheats with 2% milk (the only cereals I have to have 2% with…weird huh?)
  • Muscle Milk Light premade protein shake
  • Protein smoothie – skim milk or lite cranberry juice with 1/3 cup frozen fruit and portion protein powder
  • Apple and a string cheese


The general rule I follow is to have a lean protein with a starch and a vegetable that all fits on a salad plate.  If you search this blog for recipes, I have posted some favorites.  Or feel free to request a new recipe post.

There are many tasty recipes from the Eating for Life cookbook.  I have adapted some of them to include fresher ingredients since my cooking skills have improved.

Do you have a great healthy snack that includes protein?  Feel free to share!