Friday, November 26, 2010

Insanity Day 19 - Flaming Quads

...I mean Cardio Recovery! I was able to hold the quad moves longer bit the burn still get me. Rest from cardio, yes. Rest from a seriously insane workout, not so much.

- Posted by Independent Beachbody Coach Heather

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Meals for 3 for 3 Weeks = $142

My monthly grocery, including toiletries, personal care items, etc, budget is $350.  I hear all the time how that is "unbelievable."  How can I possibly feed my family on that!

I used to spend upwards of $600-$700 per month on groceries.  To me, that is insane!  That is around $150 per week.  We were a family of 4 then, but don't eat any differently with one less mouth to feed.

How do I do it?  I make time to clip coupons and find sales.  I do small trips each week to stock up on items I can get for free or nearly, after coupons and sales.  I also buy fresh produce and dairy, like milk & eggs, weekly.  Bread? No, I buy that at a discount bread store, stock up, & freeze it.  I do this every couple of months and spend less then $20 when I do.  I buy brands like Sara Lee, Orowheat, and Nature's Own - all my faves.  I can't remember the last time I bought generic bread.  I can get name brand as cheap or cheaper.

I budget for my family to eat out once a week.  These days most families eat at home maybe that rarely and eat out the rest of the time, or they are buying pre-made meals, frozen pizzas, etc.  I love my kids and want the best for them.  Feeding them mostly processed foods or foods from fast food restaurants where I have no idea what is really in that food is not giving them the best, in my opinion.  Do I buy processed foods?  Yes, but not much.  I keep canned soups on hand and things my kids can easily make on their own or that I can make quickly.  These things, however, are still as healthy as possible for being processed.  For instance, I buy low sodium soups, whole grain crackers and bread, organic/low sodium broth, low sodium canned vegetables.

To "put my money where my mouth is," the following is an example.  My once a month large grocery shopping trip.  This month was a little lower because I did not need things like laundry detergent or toiletries (remember, I stock up in between).

I did this in Excel & it was pasting too large for this page.  The converter I used added the watermark.
While I did buy all the ingredients to make a 100% clean Thanksgiving dinner, I won't be making one.  I will be making several dishes to take to my family's when we celebrate this weekend.  So why did I buy a turkey?  I will skin it, break it down, roast it, and freeze it.  My kids will use it in their sandwiches for school lunches, and I will use the rest in meals in the coming months.

So, there you have it.  By the way, you can see that I saved 38%, or about $60. As a Beachbody Coach, I pay $97 per month for Shakeology (taxes included, free shipping).  With the money I saved on groceries on this one trip, I have paid for all but $37 of Shakeology.  Because we eat out only once a week, using coupons and promotions, we spend an average of $26 on that night.  This is a savings of anywhere from 10-50%.  This is how I easily afford to have Shakeology every month.  You can, too.  It is free to sign up, now through the end of December.  They have a 30 day guarantee.  If you aren't happy, you cancel and haven't spent a dime.  Why not sign up as a coach, order Shakeology on Home Direct (free shipping), and get started on that New Year's resolution now!  Shakeology will also save you from all that Thanksgiving "bad behavior!"

Make changes, not excuses!

NOTE: Some great ways to save money eating out are to sign up for email newsletters at your favorite restaurants, buy gift certificates from (they frequently have 80% off sales and the certificates are good for nearly a year), and buy the Entertainment coupon book.  Four Square also has deals for frequent check-ins and Mayors.

Insanity Day 18 - Pure Cardio & Cardio Abs

Check, check!

I still can only do about 30 seconds of each move, but I did get it done!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Insanity Day 16 & 17 - Plyometric Cardio Circuit

Day 16 I made my rest day instead of Day 22.  I will workout on Day 22.  I just didn't feel quite ready to get back at it, and I had been on the run for two days straight after having been down for the better part of four days.  I have a bad habit of pushing myself too hard, too fast after recovering from an illness, and I end up setting myself back even further.  I'm trying to avoid that this time.  It kills me to be set back a week as it is.  Nevertheless, I won't get the most out of my fitness if I am not in peak health.

That brings us to Day 17, officially, Plyometric Cardio Circuit.  I like this workout because by the end of the warm-up and stretch it is half over!  It was hard, I won't lie.  My lungs are still objecting but I made it through.  I did the warm-up without stopping and took breaks to get my heart rate back to a safe level.  I am more proud that I actually pushed play & stuck it out!

Nutrition was dead on, too.  However, it was too late to eat dinner, so I did skip.  I'm off to bed now!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Eat Clean for $2.53 per Person (per meal)

Shepherd's Pie: Mine vs. Their's

My kids loved tonight's dinner!  Good news is it made enough to feed us for three meals!

The total cost was about $15.  The bulk of that was the organic ground chicken I used that cost about $5 per pound (using 2 pounds).  Nevertheless, the final cost per serving was about $1.87.  My kids also had a large Pink Lady apple at about $.66 each, making the total for each of their dinners about $2.53.

I know, "you're thinking that isn't much for dinner!"  Well, let me break it down...after coring and cutting up the apple, it took up half of a dinner plate (normal size).  The serving of Shepherd's Pie is 1/8 of a 9x13 cake pan and is loaded with fresh veggies and unprocessed food.  The healthier the food, the more nutrient dense it is thereby providing more nourishment and making one feel more satisfied longer.  This meal did fill a normal size dinner plate.

Here is the nutritional breakdown for the recipe I modified from one I found in the November issue of Family Circle.

Mine Their's Total Reduction from Modification
Calories 283 423 (140)
Fat (g) 14 18 (4)
Saturated Fat (g) 3 6 (3)
Protein (g) 21 35 (14)
Carbs (g) 18 31 (13)
Fiber (g) 2.5 5 (3)
Sodium (mg) 244 915 (671)
Cholesterol (mg) 57 160 (103)

The bulk of the improvement came from not using the salt and butter called for in the original recipe.  These things are not necessary to make good tasting mashed potatoes.  The chicken broth enhances the chicken in the filling and you don't miss the butter and salt at all!

Thanks to the additional veggies (Green Giant Steamers) mine also made an additional 2 servings compared to the original recipe.  Also, the only thing that might not be considered "clean" in this recipe is the broth.  However, I did use organic free range reduced sodium chicken broth, so I'm stamping this meal  100% clean!  I'd say that is more "bang for your buck!"

You can find both recipes by clicking the links, "Mine" & "Their's" above.  Check out the "actual" pic on my recipe.  Looks yummy!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Insanity - has been paused

I've had to put a pause on my workouts this week. I've caught a cold that has decided to camp out in my lungs. Thank you co-workers for sharing your infectious germs!

The good news is I get to start back next week with a new heart rate monitor. Hopefully, it will track more consistently & give a more accurate calorie burn. I thought strapless would be better. While more comfortable, it is extremely inconvenient trying to get a reading while constantly moving. I went back to the strap for accuracy sake! (My original monitor has a strap but does not give an average heart rate or a calorie burn.)

See you Monday!!

- Posted by Independent Beachbody Coach Heather

Monday, November 15, 2010

10 Things About Me

I saw this sort of thing posted by a fellow blogger & lover of all things frugal! I liked the idea, so I'm borrowing it.

I'm sure you get a bit bored reading about my fitness journey, nutrition trials, and quest to squeeze more than $0.01 out of a penny. Ok, so maybe that's just me! Anyway, let's try this on.

Once a week, I will add one more item to this post & repost it. Ha, but wait! You thought you could just check back & read? No way!

At least once during the next 10 weeks, I want you to post a comment to this post. I want you to tell me 10 things you know about me that I did not already post. For those who know me, BE NICE & keep it PG!! For those who do not know me, post things you might have surmised (impressions) from what you have read. If you so choose, you may post one comment per week, too.


Are you sure you know what you're getting into???I'm not!!!


1) I am determined to make a positive impact on the world where obesity is concerned.
2) I am a survivor of cervical cancer.
3) I am an actress.
4) I speak my mind.  However, I do try to soften the blow.
5) Embarrassing: 2 years ago when I started my weight loss journey, I started with Slim in 6.  Part of the warm-up includes jumping jacks.  I worked out first thing in the morning.  Without fail, every morning, during jumping jacks, I would pass gas the entire time!  Not anymore, thank goodness!!
6) I really love to write!
7) John Grisham is my favorite author. The Script is my current fave band. Forest Green & dark Wine are my fave colors.
8) I would much rather watch a psychological thriller over a sappy "chick" flick any day! The Bourne Trilogy are my all time fave movies.
9) I became a mother at the age of 19.
10) I'm 33 years old but often guessed to be 25-26 (I don't bother to correct them).

Insanity Day 15 - Fit Test #2

"Fit test" gives the impression that somehow this day won't be quite as strenuous.  WRONG!!!  This thing kicked my ass, AGAIN!  I did improve!

  1. Switch Kicks                122
  2. Power Jacks                 59
  3. Power Knees                93
  4. Power Jumps                50
  5. Globe Jumps                10
  6. Suicide Jumps              15
  7. Push-up Jacks              30
  8. Low Plank Oblique        52
I'm officially two weeks into this program.  I have not missed one day yet, and I finally feel like I got my routine back.  I have not struggled nearly as much getting into this program as I did during my last round of P90X.  It wasn't because of the program but because of personal, unrelated struggles.  Those struggles did cause me to not get the results I wanted.  However, I did not and do not blame the program.  I know it was due to inconsistency in my routine and nutrition.  Nevertheless, I did not give up!  I worked hard to get things straightened out and to develop as much of a routine as possible.

So far, I feel I am on the right track to getting the results I want and need.  At any rate, I feel less exhausted on a daily basis and feel as though things are less stressful.  PERSEVERE!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Insanity Day 14 - Shaun T is Nervous!

Pure Cardio & Cardio Abs

Today was the first time I did Cardio Abs.  I made it through most of the exercises without stopping.  There were a few that burned too bad to continue, but that was definitely a good thing!  The beginning was cardio then it went into using your own muscle for strength through stability exercises.  I definitely liked it!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Insanity Day 12 & 13 - Cardio Power & Resistance

Day 12 was my rest day.  Fridays are usually pretty hectic & crazy, so I moved my rest day from Sunday to Friday.  Rest days make me nervous because I have a habit of not picking back up the next day.  I almost did it again.  However, I got up and got it done!

Day 13 was Cardio Power & Resistance again.  I don't feel like I got as good a workout in due to being so tired and worn out.  Not sleeping well for a week tends to do that.  I guess today is more about overcoming bad habits and pushing through than getting in a max calorie burn.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Insanity - Day 11 - Cardio Recovery

Recovery from cardio, yes...recovery from blazing thighs & hamstrings...NOT SO MUCH!!!

This workout reminds me of the P90X Yoga X.  No cardio, but your "still sweatin' like hell!"

Definitely regretting not doing Yoga X more in the last 90 days!

Now, time for my reward...Results & Recovery Drink!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Insanity - Day 10 - Plyometric Cardio Circuit

I had several interruptions tonight between kids and a heart rate monitor that didn't want to work right. I took a lot of breaks again but I felt I wouldn't have taken as many had I not had the interruptions! Nevertheless, it was worth it. My 11-year old son joined me for the hardest part. He came in right after the stretches and asked if he could do it, too. He stuck it out til the end and took my instruction on form and encouragement to keep going. I'm so proud of him.

Now, are you gonna let an 11-year old boy show you up? What are you waiting for??

- Posted by Independent Beachbody Coach Heather

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Insanity - Day 9 - "That Shit is BA-NANAS!"

...I mean Pure Cardio...

Shaun T was prayin...I was blessin profanities!  Lord have mercy!  That is one SERIOUS workout!!!  The fact that he is making the participants in the video take breaks should say something for how intense this "shit" truly is!

I did make it through the warm-up again with no breaks.  I tried to make it through the three or four moves after the stretches without a break but couldn't hang!  My heart-rate peaked at 181.  Each time I took a break it was at least over 170!  It may take six rounds of this program to make it all the way through without extra breaks!

Cost of Tonight's Dinner
We were on the run tonight and didn't make it home until 9:30 PM, so we ate on the run.  I had planned on Subway but Google maps SUCKS, so we made an executive decision and opted for Wendy's.  I thought this might have to be a "cheat" meal, but pulled out my handy-dandy iPhone app and scoured the menu.  I did let my kids daughter begging for bacon is not a pretty sight!

On the spur of the moment, without prior planning, with the use of my resources, I ended up dining on...

1 Jr. Hamburger....$.99
1 Caesar side salad...$.99 (no dressing, no croutons, & minus the stick gum, white strip looking stuff that I think was posing as cheese)
1 Medium Unsweetened Iced Tea...$1.29

Grand total $3.27 and only 291 calories!  Yay, me!

Now where did I put that banana...I mean Recovery Drink!

P.S. It occurred to me that the cost of my dinner tonight and the caloric value was roughly the same as my daily serving of Shakeology.  The greatest difference was the overall nutritional value!  My Shakeology today was made with unsweetened almond milk, 1 c. strawberries, & half of an extra small banana.  Let's compare...

Shakeology Wendy's
Calories 277 242
Protein 18 14
Fat 3 8
Sodium 245 505
Carbs 47 28
Sugar 28 6

Shakeology has far superior percentages of RDI in daily vitamins and macrobiotics, microbiotics, probiotics, all natural products, and no chemicals...and it promotes weight LOSS...all of which you WILL NOT find in that Wendy's meal!  All this is not reflected in the nutritional information to which most of us only pay attention, i.e. the information shown above.

Sure you add in the cost of the fruit and milk and the total cost is closer to about $4 for a Shakeology meal (with the 25% coach discount & free shipping), but, hey, I'd much rather have had Chocolate Covered Cherries Shakeology that fills me up over that dis-satisfying, chemical-laden burger and another salad (that was my 2nd today) any day!!  Nevertheless, I worked with what I had and made smart choices when I could have sabotaged the whole day!  Thank goodness, too, because I had a late workout tonight!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Insanity - Day 8 - Cardio Power & Resistance (w/Cost of Dinner)

Again, I made it through the warm-up without extra breaks.  Not true for the rest of the workout!  I did good through the first...and slowest...round of moves right after the stretch.  After that, I kept having to stop either to bring my heart-rate down or cool the burn in my thighs!

Nevertheless, I made it.  I like this workout.  It really hits all areas of the body and engages the core!  My abs are sore! Y-E-S!!

Tonight's dinner

3 oz. Chicken ($3/lb all natural family pack divided into 3 oz. servings = $.56 per serving)
3 oz. steamed baby carrots ($2.58 2# bag = $.08 per oz. = $.24)
1/2 c. All Natural Green Giant green beans, no added seasonings (bought on sale w/coupons, $.50 per can; 3 servings per can = $.17)
1/2 cucumber w/peel ($.62 per cucumber = $.31)

Grand total per person = $1.28

Oklahoma State University IS BETTER than University of Oklahoma

OSU No. 10 vs. OU No. 16...& Gundy on Coach of the Year Watchlist...just sayin!

Go Pokes!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Insanity - Day 6 - Plyometric Cardio Circuit

This was the second time this week for this exercise.  I did better during the warm-up by not taking any breaks until the end of the warm-up.  I started out better during the routine itself, but by half way through, I was back to having to take breaks more often.  My heart-rate would go back up too quickly.

This after fearing I wouldn't get a workout in today due to waking up with a migraine that wouldn't quit.  I had a headache yesterday and worked out in spite of it and it went away by the end of the workout.  Today, however, it was making me extremely nauseated.  Sadly, that means my nutrition wasn't what it should have been seeing as how I nibbled on crackers the majority of the day.

Nevertheless, I finished the entire workout and cleared a 591 calorie burn! Yay, me! ;o)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Insanity - Day 5 - Pure Cardio

You know it's gonna be a tough workout when Shaun T says, before the warm-up, that he is "concerned" about this workout!  Huh?!

I stopped so many times because my heart-rate was too high. This workout is 38 minutes, and I burned 541 calories!  Had I not had to stop so many times, I might have burned more.  I definitely have a challenge ahead of me in attempting to do these moves for the whole minute, instead of only 30 seconds!

I'm lovin' it!  These workouts go by so quick!

Eating Healthy on $5 a Day

I've blogged on the same thing.  Maybe, with enough people stating the same thing, it will get through.  I think the larger problem is the expenditure for a whole month at one time.  Most people shop weekly or bi-weekly so it seems like they don't spend as much.  Be honest with your selves people!

Barbie Decker is one of the more successful coaches in Team Beachbody.  Successful in the biz, yes, but also successful in her health and fitness.  She knows what she is talking about and puts it straight forward.

Check out her blog on why Shakeology is less expensive than eating out and at least as cost effective as eating at home but still healthier.  She has also given a sample meal plan for a day for those on a budget.  A meal plan like this  would cost a single person about $160 per month.  Add in Shakeology at about $126 per month (with free shipping) and the total cost is $286 per month.  Divide that by 30 days and you spend about $9.50 per day for 5 meals a day.  That's about $1.90 per meal!

I have a family of three to feed.  I am the only one who uses Shakeology, with the exception of one or two times per month when I give in and share with my begging kids.  I spend $150-$200 one time a month each month for groceries, toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc.  In addition, I spend about $25-$30 per week on fresh produce, eggs, and milk.  At most, in one month, I spend approximately $320 per month on groceries and all our household needs.  Add in Shakeology, which I have on autoship for free shipping and I get a 25% discount for being a Team Beachbody coach...

$320  Monthly grocery expense for a family of 3
  $97  Monthly Shakeology expense, after discounts/taxes
$417  Monthly grocery/Shakeology expense for a family of 3

We eat out on average one time per week.  That makes this monthly expense is for eating at home 26 days per month.

$417/26 = $16.04 per day  $16.04/3 people = $5.35/person

We all consume 4-5 meals per day.

$5.35/5 = $1.07 per meal, per person

Keep in mind this cost even includes the cost of toiletries and cleaning supplies, and......wait for it.....SHAKEOLOGY!!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Insanity - Day 4 - Cardio Recovery

Today was a surprising but welcome change.  It was recovery from cardio but not recovery from a workout.  He worked my legs hardcore!  The workout was about 33 minutes and included several yoga moves.  I still burned over 300 calories!

If you are currently doing P90X, I strongly caution you AGAINST skipping Yoga X!  I now regret having missed so many myself!  The power, strength and flexibility you gain from yoga is so very necessary to increase your stamina and power during cardio.  If, during P90X, you feel you need more cardio on yoga day, by all means add some cardo, but DO NOT SKIP YOGA!

11-Year Old Boy Got Himself to the Gym!!

My 11-year old son took an overnight trip this week to a leadership conference for student council. He called me last night at 10:45 pm and told me he was going to get up at 5 or 6 in the morning to go to the gym. I couldn't help but chuckle. He retorts, defensively "Why is that funny?" To which I replied "I can't get you to workout with me at home any other time. I find it hard to believe you going to workout on your own accord."

I proceeded to tell him he need get up only at 6 am and should have plenty of time to do what he needed.

He called me just after 6:30 this morning, sounding wide awake, and told me he had worked out!  I am so proud of him, not only for practicing good health while away from home, but for being a leader among his peers.

This evening he tells me he didn't get to sleep until after midnight last night, so even more of a feat that he got up so early on his own!  He had karate class tonight but came home early because he was feeling sick to his stomach.  I'm always beat by Friday night, so I didn't feel up to making him homemade soup.  We stopped at the store for crackers (whole-grain), soup, and a movie.  He wanted tomato soup, so we got Progresso reduced-sodium tomato soup.  We got our movie and home we went.  This is what he chose for his dinner!
Lead by example...

Now, if my 11-year old can do this, what is stopping you?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Insanity Day 3 - Cardio Power & Resistance

Not any easier today!  At one point, I thought for sure I was going to hurl!  The last time I had eaten was 3 hours prior to working out!!

The "warm up" was just over 9 minutes.  I had to take extra breaks, again, and was soaked with sweat, again!  The stretches were just under 7 minutes...then began the beating for the next 18 minutes!  It consisted of 3 different groups of exercises, each group had 3 sets.

I have to say, as brutal as this was, I was taken by surprise when the cool down began.  I was like "wait! That's it! I'm done already?"  Boy was I happy to be done!  These workouts go by so fast!  Today was a little over 37 minutes and I burned 536 calories...this was an average burn for a P90X workout, which are an average of about 73 minutes...that's the same burn in half the time!  I'll take the beating for less time, please!!

Bring on Day 4!

P.S.  Shaun T - I think I love you!  Don't tell Tony!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Insanity Day 2 - Plyometric Cardio Circuit

M-E-R-C-Y!!!! Please! For the love of God!

They said it was "Insane!"  They said it was "no joke!"  They said it "hurt" but they liked it...WTH?!

They were NOT lying!  The warm up is 10 minutes long.  I thought when he started the second round of warm up moves that he was diving right into the workout.  I thought "Wait a minute! Didn't he say something about stretches?!"  "Faster, faster, faster," he said! What?! Why?!  Where'd the warm up go?  Then came the stretches...already completely soaked in sweat!

The workout is just under 43 minutes but went by incredibly fast.  I had to take more breaks than were allotted to get my heart rate back down.  I ended up burning about 646 calories during the workout.  That is more than I ever burned in any one P90X workout (of which the average length is 73 minutes).

I think I have a new addiction!

Insanity Day 1 - Fit Test

Yesterday, November 2, 2010, was Day 1 of Insanity. I had intended to begin on Monday, November 1st. However, I got my schedule confused and thought I didn't start until Tuesday.

At any rate, I thought I would just do the fit test and continue on to the first workout and be back on my intended schedule. hahahahahaha...yeah right! FIT TEST!!?? It should be called the TRUTH test to determine how fit you REALLY are! Of course, that it is exactly what is determine how fit you are and give you a starting point from which to work toward improvement.

I put the DVD in and as the music started to play and Shaun T began to talk, I nearly shut the thing off and ran to my bed to spend the night curled up in the fetal position! Fortunately, I sucked it up and watched on. Surely, if I made it through P90X, and look forward to challenges, then I will love this, right?

The fit test is about 25 minutes long, including a warm up. I burned about 251 calories.

My Fit Test Results

  1. Switch Kicks 66
  2. Power Jacks 54
  3. Power Knees 80
  4. Power Jumps 30
  5. Globe Jumps 9
  6. Suicide Jumps 11
  7. Push-up Jacks 19
  8. Low Plank Oblique 50
All in all, I was not upset with my results. I kept up with the Day 1 numbers of the guy in the video. Also, I had worked out only 2x in the last 3 weeks! I won't dwell on the coulda, shoulda, woulda of it all. This is a "pick myself up, dust myself off, and move forward" time. No time to worry about what has already passed and can no longer be changed. I can only learn from it, determine what I need to do different, and act on it.

Needless to say, I did NOT continue on to the workout but rather simply chose to begin the program on a Tuesday! I do believe I can realign to Mondays being the first day of my workout week by simply skipping the first rest day. We will see if that actually happens!