Friday, September 30, 2011

Eat Clean 30-Day Challenge

October 1-October 30, 2011

THE RULES


1. If I am not already your coach, sign up with me …for FREE! Click on “Sign me up for a FREE membership.”

2. EXERCISE four to six times per week, depending on your program. If you are not doing a Beachbody workout, you should do 2-3 cardio days and 2-3 weight training days per week. If you are interested in a new program, take a look here or http://www.fitfocusedfamily.com/. I’m happy to help you choose a program that will best fit your needs.

3. EAT CLEAN every day. You get ONE cheat meal per week during challenge period. Not a cheat day – a cheat meal!

4. No alcohol during the challenge period. No soda (diet or otherwise). No fake water additives.

5. Sign up to participate on Facebook. Post your daily progress. I don’t need to know everything you ate, but if you want to post that, the more info the better! Also, let us know if you stuck to your exercise program and drank your water. Better still, track you daily intake on www.myfitnesspal.com, and post your diary every day.

6. Take your measurements – this isn’t just about losing weight. You may not lose any weight, but chances are you will lose inches.

EATING CLEAN DEFINED

1. You eat 4 to 6 small meals per day – nothing within 3 hours of bedtime.

2. Eight (8) glasses of water each day.

3. Eat at least 1250 calories. This challenge is about eating clean and being healthy, not about starving yourself.

4. Follow something close to a 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat (I do 40/40/20). Your meals have to be balanced. Let me know if you need help coming up with a meal plan.

5. YOU EAT ONLY FROM THE TOP 2 TIERS of MICHI’S LADDER 6 DAYS A WEEK. To See Michi’s Ladder, click here:  - ALMOND MILK, RICE MILK AND PROTEIN POWDER ARE OK TO HAVE IN THIS CHALLENGE. I am okay with eating lean beef from tier 3. I do not like fish, so this makes it difficult to get in enough protein on a daily basis. As long as it is trimmed of all visible fat & does not have fat ribboned throughout it, I believe lean beef is okay. I will have to rule out ground beef, even lean, because one cannot know exactly what beef parts are there.

MORE INFO:

Diets don’t work. Yes, they can help you lose weight, but when your diet is “over,” you go back to the same eating habits that made you overweight in the beginning. Then, since you’ve just lowered your metabolism by starving yourself, your body stores fat more easily and you gain MORE weight than you had before.

Eating CLEAN is a lifestyle, not a diet. You don’t go on and off it. It helps you raise your basal metabolic rate (your metabolism) which allows you to burn off more fat every day. I believe this is the key to my now having the fitness level of a 22 year old when I am 34 years old. I have successfully raised my metabolic rate to 1700 calories per day. That means I can consume 1700 calories on a daily basis to maintain my weight without exercising. I believe it’s the change in my diet to include almost exclusively complete proteins, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats that has made the biggest difference. I eat small, frequent meals, lean protein (chicken, egg whites, turkey, etc), complex carbs (whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables) and healthy fats (mono- and poly-unsaturated fats). I also stopped drinking alcohol (except for special occasions or a night out with the girls).

Top 10 Foods to stay AWAY from (according to The Eat-Clean Diet by Tosca Reno – a highly recommended website & book for this challenge): Doughnuts, marshmallows, sodas, bacon and processed meats, sugar-loaded cereals, fruit juice and fake fruit drinks, candy, French fries and twinkies. I always thought of fruit juice as healthy, but it’s not. You’ve taken a complex carbohydrate (an orange or an apple) and turned it into a simple carb (orange or apple juice) that will cause your insulin levels to jump through the roof because it’s ALL sugar and the fiber is gone (which is what makes fruit a complex carb to begin with!)

Top 12 Super-foods: Tomatoes, skinless turkey breast, wild salmon, broccoli, berries, beans and legumes, walnuts, spinach, bison, pumpkin, soy, oatmeal.

Another way I like to think about it is this: don’t just track you’re the food you eat, track the INGREDIENTS of the foods you eat.

For example, my old diet might have included:

Instant oatmeal: whole grain rolled oats (with oat bran), sugar, artificial flavors, salt, calcium carbonate (a source of calcium), soy lecithin, guar gum, caramel color, niacinamide, vitamin a palmitate, reduced iron, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, thiamin mononitrate, folic acid.

Lean Cuisine: tortilla crusted alaska pollock (alaska pollock, enriched bleached flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, modified cornstarch, tortilla chips (yellow whole corn, vegetable oil {corn, soybean, and/or sunflower oil}), sugar, yellow corn flour, potassium chloride, white corn flour, salt, spices, dextrose, egg white, tomato powder, natural flavor, whey, maltodextrin, yeast, onion powder, leavening (sodium aluminum phosphate, sodium bicarbonate), soy flour, garlic powder, torula yeast, citric acid, corn oil. prefried in cottonseed and/or canola oil), blanched enriched long grain parboiled rice (water, rice, iron, niacin, thiamin mononitrate, folic acid), skim milk, corn, tomatillos, red peppers, water, chile peppers, onions, 2% or less of reduced fat cheddar cheese (cultured part-skim milk, salt, enzymes, annatto color), buttermilk powder, dehydrated sour cream (sour cream (cultured cream, nonfat milk)), modified cornstarch, salt, soybean oil, garlic puree, cultured whey, cilantro, jalapeno puree (jalapeno peppers, salt, acetic acid and calcium chloride), bleached wheat flour, sugar, potassium chloride, lactic acid, spices, calcium lactate

Quaker granola bar: whole grain rolled oats, brown rice syrup, crisp rice (rice, sugar, salt, malted barley flour), sugar, dried sweetened cranberry pieces (sugar, cranberries), semisweet chocolate chunks (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, salt, vanilla), almonds, peanuts, honey, sunflower oil, inulin, whole grain rolled barley, whole grain rolled wheat, molasses, soybean oil, water, glycerin, salt, vanilla, soy lecithin.
TOTAL ingredients: more than 100!

And that is just breakfast, lunch and a snack. Sure, my calorie intake was FINE, but my NUTRITIONAL intake was CRAP.

An example of clean eating:
Breakfast: Organic steel cut oatmeal, Honey, Almond milk
Snack: Shakeology
Lunch: Grilled chicken, spinach, tomatoes, oil and vinegar
TOTAL ingredients: 10

See the difference??? A couple of other short rules: if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it! If the ingredients list has more than 5-6 items listed, don’t eat it!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Homemade Almond Milk

Thank you to Barbie Decker (fellow Beachbody coach) for posting this simple, clean recipe on her blog!!  Seriously! You won't believe how easy it is to make your own almond milk at home & the money you will save.

I bought 1 pound of raw, unsalted almonds at my local Whole Foods store for $5.99 per pound.
  1. Cover in water & soak for at least 4 hours.  While soaking, the almonds expand & the skin softens. 
  2. Drain the almonds & rinse thoroughly.
  3. Skin almonds.  Don't worry.  The skin pops right off!  You will be chasing almonds around your kitchen.  My son helped me.  It was that easy!
  4. Fill your blender with 4 cups of water.
  5. Add 1/2 cup of the skinless almonds.
  6. Blend well.
  7. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator & use within 3-4 days.
There you have it.  Clean almond milk with no preservatives, sodium, or sugar added!

I'll break down the cost benefits for you.  Net after soaking was approx. 3 cups almonds.  For this recipe, that will make 24 cups of almond milk, or 1.5 gallons.  Remember, I paid $5.99 per pound of almonds & bought only one pound.  You may be able to get your almonds cheaper from a local farmer.


Cost per 1 cup equals $0.25, or $2 per half-gallon. 

Pure Silk Almond Milk or Blue Diamond Almond milk is an average of $3.59 per half-gallon.  Cost per 1 cup equals $0.45.

Total savings equals $0.20 per cup, or $1.59 per half-gallon, or 44% - that's almost HALF!!. 

This is the kind of advice I give, for free, to people I coach through their fitness & nutrition.  You can get it too by clicking on "Join," then "free membership" here www.fitfocusedfamily.com.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The 3 Biggest Fitness Lies

This is an excellent article with staggering statistics.  It is a great lead into starting on the path to better nutrition and increased activity.

Action is the only way to reverse the trend, and that starts with facing the truth about three common fallacies that contribute to the country’s weight battle:

1) We exercise enough

If you step into any gym in the US, you get the feeling that we’re an active country. After all, 45 million Americans belong to some sort of health club, compared to only 23 million in 1993. But according to the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 82 percent of American’s don’t meet the government’s exercise recommendations. That doesn’t mean you need to lift weights or run a marathon, but we do need to get up and move. Find a workout partner, run around with your kids, or join a group and log your fitness. Whatever you do, just be active and find something that you consider fun. Anything that keeps you active is a good thing.

2) We know how to eat

When I was younger, I thought I knew everything about food. I avoided fat when I was told it was bad, avoided all carbs when I learned they were evil, and watched my protein so it wouldn’t hurt my kidneys. After all, I was well-read, educated, and could take care of myself. As you can imagine, these drastic changes led to years of struggles. That is, until I really started learning about nutrition


But you know what? All of the scientific information wasn’t as helpful as learning how to eat. We’ve been trained to eat until we’re full, to eat fast, and enjoy. We need to slow down, learn how much we need to eat, and consumer fewer liquid calories. If you follow these three simple steps, regardless of your eating philosophy, you should lose weight and feel better. And then you can focus on learning on what foods are better for you. Which reminds me…

3) We know what to eat

Our country is notorious for eating high calorie, low nutrient foods. Some of the blame is on food manufacturers who produce these foods, and then sell them cheap. A little less marketing and a little more transparency would go a long way to improving the health of the country. But it’s still your responsibility to eat the right foods and maintain a healthy weight. And that starts with consuming more fruits and vegetables—something that our nation neglects. Seven of the states with the lowest consumption of fruits and vegetables are also in the 10 top most obese locations in the country. Coincidence? Probably not. That means it’s on you to eat more fruits and vegetables. (I’d recommend veggies at every meal) And while you’re at it, limit processed foods and unnecessary sugars.

Read more

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Office - Beachbody Style

Can I just say how much I love being a part of a company that knows how to poke fun at itself?!

6 Secrets of Skinny People

I have preached these same practices to many people.  They are simple & effective!  Common sense goes a long way!!!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Back to Basics - What to Eat for Successful Weight Management

I read all too often in the MFP forums people asking what to eat, what is a good ratio of carbs/protein/fat, to eat or not to eat breakfast, etc. It all boils down to people overthinking their nutrition & listening too much to media hype about this, that, or the other. We also give too much weight to marketing ploys that decorate the food we eat! Just because it says it give "60% value of daily fiber" does not make it healthy!

I highly recommend the K.I.S.S. method:

Keep It Simple Silly!!!
This goes for the food you eat as well as the thought you put into it. By keeping the food simple, I mean keeping it in its simplest form, i.e. NOT processed! The fewer ingredients, the better it is for you. The easier to pronounce the ingredients, the healthier it is for you!

By not overthinking what you are eating, I mean maintaining a simple balance will most likely result in the ratios you need without a ton of calculations & formulas! It is just this simple: keep your meals to a portion of lean meat (like chicken or fish), a portion or 2 of brightly colored vegetables (brighter colors indicate more nutrients), a portion of fresh fruit (like blueberries or raspberries), & a portion of whole grain (like brown rice or quinoa). There you have it! A simple meal with simple foods in their purest form!

Only after you have educated yourself on the differences between macro & micro nutrients, simple & complex carbs, and why or why not to adjust your ratios should you worry about it. Even then, you need only worry about it if, & ONLY IF, you intend to achieve the fitness level of an athlete! Otherwise, there really is no point in stressing about it.

Here are a couple of great articles about what you can do for successful weight management about getting back to the basics on what you eat.
http://www.beachbody.com/product/newsletters/344.do#article2

Friday, June 3, 2011

To Eat or Not to Eat Carbs - I'm So Confused!

I see a lot of discussion in forums about carbs. Many people are recommending to keep the carb intake low. I also see recommendations for minimizing the consumption of fresh fruits due to their sugar content. All this disturbs me to a degree. It is obvious that people are not doing their research before making recommendations and are speaking mostly based on the myths they have been told themselves.


I wanted to take the opportunity to clarify the topic and provide some links to research I have done. I'm all about arming oneself with education. It is your BEST tool in life, including and especially when trying to lead a healthy lifestyle (I loath the term "diet" because it has an implication of a temporary event).

There are 2 types: simple & complex. Generally speaking, simple carbs are the bad carbs, i.e. refined/process sugars.


Allow me to define, briefly, the meaning of refined/processed. Simply put it means exactly what it implies - processed, or undergoing a process to become what it is. Processed foods have to be "man-handled" with machines & chemical injections to become the foods you then purchase off the shelves. This is NOT healthy food! The short of it is if you have to pull it off a shelf, DO NOT eat it! Nearly all simple sugars are found in nearly all processed foods. These sugars have had to be added in order to give processed food a shelf life (making it last for weeks/months/years). If these foods can have such a long shelf life, think about how long it will take your body to digest them.


Now, this is where bad simple sugars come into play. Simple sugars are quickly broken down and used for energy, thus the term "simple." Your body can store only a small amount of simple sugars. When that store has been fulfilled, it must do something with the excess sugar. The only other option the body has to process that sugar is to store it as fat for future consumption. Here is your "ah ha moment!" Therefore, excessive consumption of simple sugars leads to excessive weight gain due to increased fat stores. Got it?


Can you eat simple sugar at all? Yes. It is also found in whole, natural, fresh fruits. Because fruits contain these simple sugars, people generally recommend limiting their consumption. However, that is not necessary! Why? Whole, natural, fresh fruits also contain fiber, some more than others. Higher fiber content combined with the simple sugars in the fruit cause the sugar to become complex sugars. Fiber slows the bodies processing of the sugar, which is how the simple sugar then behaves like a complex sugar. This is why fruits are your best source of sweets and are a powerful tool when trying to kick processed sugars to the curb!


This brings us to complex carbs. What the heck are they and why do people say they are better than simple? Complex carbs cannot be quickly used up by the body. The body must constantly work to burn these carbs. Therefore, it is constantly getting the energy it needs from the carbs. Because complex carbs are used up more slowly, the body does not require as great a number of them. Here is why it is important to keep the carb count low. However, it is be kept low using ONLY complex carbs. Complex carbs are also high in fiber, which causes the body to be full for a longer period of time. Fiber, again, is used more slowly.


So, the next time you list all your food for the day, take a look at your carb number. Then, look at the foods that make up that number. Ask yourself whether the foods are complex carbs or not. Are they high in fiber?


You MUST consume carbs so your body has the fuel it needs for energy. Did you know your brain runs on carbs? I didn't either until today.


Here is the link where I got the best, simplest explanation: http://www.weightlossforall.com/carbohydrates.htm


Here is a list of simple & complex carbs: http://howtothinkthin.com/instincts2.htm
Here is another list of complex carbs, including processed: http://www.weightlossforall.com/complex-carbs.htm

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fell Off the Wagon & Rolled Right Into a Mountain of Sugar!

Here's my big time confession!  I was about 80%-20% on my nutrition this week.  I had, yet again, bumped up my rest day to try to take the time I needed to get sufficient rest.  For about the last three months or so, I had been going 3-5 days straight of getting only an hour of sleep at a time.  I wouldn't get into a sound sleep until about 2-3 hours before I had to start my day.  When I did sleep, I was dreaming...not good dreams either...(I won't repeat because they were far too disturbing).  This meant I was never getting into the restful sleep...REM sleep.  By the 6th day, I would be so exhausted, I would sleep the day away.  I had been keeping up with my fitness pretty well, considering.  Last week, however, I hit my breaking point.

I hate taking pills of any kind.  I do take vitamins daily to help boost deficiencies caused by previous poor health...i.e. Vitamin E for breast health and calcium (due to aging) to prevent bone-loss.  Apart from this, I try to avoid narcotics or over-the-counter medicines of any kind, unless I am in dire straights...missing work and unable to adequately care for my kids.  Last week, I slept the day away on Thursday because I hadn't slept in 5 days.  Melatonin wasn't working anymore. Monday of this week I called my doctor to renew my Ambien Rx. 

Part of the reason I don't like taking Ambien is I have to be certain I have an 8-9 hour window in which to get sleep or I'm groggy and non-functional the next day.  This shouldn't be a bad thing, right?  Eight hours of sleep is necessary for optimal health.  This is something I'm learning to accept but struggling to put down whatever it is I'm doing and go to bed on time!  Nevertheless, it felt great to get a decent night's sleep and to be able to sleep through the night.

Wednesday of this week I was unable to get awake to function.  I missed work...yet again.  In addition to trying to correct my lack of sleep, I also started to cut out caffeine.  Sunday was the last time I had caffeine.  Wednesday was the dreaded Day 3 of withdrawals.  What comes with caffeine withdrawals?  Headaches!!  I nearly caved yesterday, the pain was so bad.  Fortunately, it wasn't migraine bad.  That is generally the reason I cave and have more caffeine.  I do have problems with migraines, so every headache I get makes me fear it will turn to a migraine.  However, I did not cave!  I made it through the day.

FAIL!...my house was hit with the processed sugar bomb!  I had mad cravings and gave into them.  Not to mention, my daughter and I ordered out for Chinese.  My day yesterday consisted of nothing but laying around eating Chinese food and sugar...and NO, I did NOT workout...no way I could with the headache I had!  I have officially missed two workout days of my schedule.


Will I quit all together and say I will start over next week?  Hell no! It is only two days and it is only one bad day of nutrition.  Will it set me back?  Yes, but only those number of days.  I'm back on track today and will resume my Insanity and Brazil Butt Lift workouts this evening, with renewed passion!


I don't believe in putting off tomorrow what can be done today.  No time like the present, right?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wanna see just how much weight gain/loss can effect the way you look?

Left: Double chin, short neck, fat cheeks - Right: No double chin, longer neck, & cheek bones
The left is my passport photo from about 5 years ago. The right is my new photo, taken just last month. I look like I was wearing a fat suit in the old one. I look at that pic and think back to my state of mind back then. I honestly had no idea I had gotten so big!
I am loving the new me!  I still have some sculpting to be done, but I have exceeded my weight loss goals. It is no longer about losing weight for me.  Rather, it is about building long, lean muscles to obtain the physique I want and about maintaining healthy nutrition and fitness.
I would love to help you do the same. Join me for a free online gym membership here. You can also email me anytime beachbodycoachheather@gmail.com.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Creating New Habits

I had a MyFitnessPal friend ask me about creating a habit.  The question sparked from his having previously done a round of P90X.  He stated he did the round without missing a workout and held to proper nutrition.  Of course, he got great results.  However, he said that once he finished the scheduled program he never picked up again until recently.  He said it was too easy to not even give a thought to working out.  He said he loved working out, so it wasn't something he dreaded.  Nevertheless, he was having trouble creating a habit of working out daily, mostly due to boredom.

This was my response to him. I hope it helps inspire a few of you.

"In my opinion, a habit is a state of mind, not an action. Everyday, without thinking about it, we open our eyes, get out of bed, brush our teeth, get dressed, eat breakfast, etc. We run errands, do laundry, and scrub toilets, all things we don't necessarily like to do but do because they must be done. These things are all habits. Perhaps instead of thinking of doing a fitness routine as a matter of "habit," think of it as something you do as an essential part of your daily survival. Would you wake up tomorrow and stop eating, never thinking about it again?

The fact that you love exercise & love the feeling you get is a very good thing. That should be a tool to fuel yourself to exercising daily. Use that feeling like you use oxygen....you can't live without oxygen.

Exercise shouldn't be a matter of "do I or don't I," but rather just doing. Try not to over think it."

Research shows it takes 21 days to create a new habit.  Conversely, it takes 21 days to stop an old habit.  Stick to your guns, be consistent, and you will get the results you want...be it in fitness, health, love, happiness, etc.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Fitness Quest

Four years ago, I found myself in the dressing room of JC Penney's crying because I had just tried on the biggest size pants I had ever worn...and I needed a bigger size!  I HATED clothes shopping.  I avoided it at all costs because I hated having to admit that I had gained weight.

I knew I had gained a few pounds but had not come to terms with the fact that it was more than just a few pounds.  I was in denial.  I knew when I would eat unhealthy foods that I shouldn't be eating them but I wanted them.  I was living life blindly fumbling through my days.  


I hear people often say they never gave their weight, fitness, or nutrition much thought.  This wasn't true with me.  I thought about it every day.  I couldn't avoid it.  The vast majority of my family is overweight.  The vast majority of the residents of my state is overweight.  How can we not be when our state meal is chicken fried steak and fried okra?!


My story is similar to many in that I was thinner and more fit when I was in high school.  I had my first problem with weight the summer before my freshman year in high school.  Up to that time, I had been active in sports...basketball and track...and ate pretty much what I wanted.  Then my mother, brother, and I moved to a different city, which meant a different school.  I went from a small town school and knowing everyone to a larger town and larger school where everyone already had their groups of friends and weren't very willing to invite in newbies.  I had never experienced "clicks" before.  It never occurred to me that people would choose their friends based on looks or status in the community or money.  This is exactly how life was at this new school.  I was highly intimidated and didn't try out for basketball or track or band...I gave up everything I loved because I didn't feel accepted.


I gave up the activity but not the eating.  I continued to eat whatever I wanted.  I didn't eat more, just didn't sensor myself.  I didn't know I needed to.  My mother had always struggled with weight loss and always ended up giving up.  She was victim to the same struggles as most people...without instant results, it is difficult to find the motivation to continuing doing what you know you need to do.  Needless to say, by the end of the school year, I had gained 20 pounds.  I hated it.  I didn't really know how it had happened but I did know that chili-cheese coneys certainly didn't help me keep the weight off!


I started educating myself on how to get healthier and was determined to try out for my beloved sports the next school year.  I learned how to eat better and ran daily.  By the end of the summer, I had lost that 20 pounds.  The school year began and I was back on the track team.  My self-esteem was back up.


The next time I would really have a struggle with my weight would be after I had my kids.  I know...who doesn't!  Nevertheless, I knew I could get the weight off because I had done it once.  I joined Weight Watchers and got active.  By the time my son was a year old, I had lost all the weight.  My body wasn't "perfect" in my eyes but I was at least comfortable in my own skin.


Fast forward about five years, two failed marriages later, working full-time, going to school full-time, on my third marriage, and not giving much thought to my health.  We come to Thanksgiving, November 2006.  I am approximately (I avoided the scales but this was the last I had weighed) 189 pounds and wearing a size 16 pants.  I suffered from constant lower back pain so intense it took my breath away when I lay in bed at night.  I couldn't lay flat on my back because the pain was too much.  I also had a sharp shooting pain through the socket of my right hip.  This hurt me mostly when I was on my feet for more than an hour at a time.
 
This is when I had found myself crying in the department store.  I had let myself go and I was unhappy.  I was unhappy in my marriage, with myself, with my career.  This was unacceptable.  I wasn't sure how I had let it all happen but I knew I could do something about it.

I took back control of my life.  I dusted off my Weight Watchers tools and bought Slim in 6 (home fitness program by Beachbody). I worked hard despite still raising two kids, supporting a non-working husband through college, going to college full-time myself, while working full-time.  I didn't have a lot of time to squeeze in a workout but it was important to me, so I made the time.  If I couldn't manage 30 minutes a day to take care of myself, how could I manage to take care of my family for 16+ hours per day?


I lost 20 pounds and hit a plateau.  I began running again.  Boy, was that painful and certainly not pretty!  It hurt and I couldn't run even a quarter mile without feeling like someone was choking the life out of me!  My knees hurt, my ankles hurt, my hips hurt...but I was determined to get better.  I knew if I could get the weight off, I wouldn't hurt anymore.  This pain I felt was only temporary.  Still, I could not lose anymore weight.


This is when my husband, at the time, saw the P90X infomercial.  He had been wanting to gain muscle.  He was one of those freak shows who had a hard time gaining weight at all.  I did my research, as I always do.  They offered a 100% money back guarantee.  You can't find this on workout programs you buy in the store!  We bought the program and began it right away.  The only thing I noticed about it right off was the amount of food the nutrition guide had me eating.  It was enough for my husband but I could not cram all that food down if I wanted to!  My solution was to simply eat what I could but still follow the program.


Finally, I began losing weight again...and fast!  By the end of the first 90 days, admittedly I did not follow to a T, I had lost another 30 pounds for a total of 50 pounds lost in a year. 


I felt so sexy and great about myself.  This was despite the fact that during that first round my marriage came to an end.  Staying focused on my fitness and health kept me sane during that horrible ordeal.  I was 137 pounds and a size 4-6.  I couldn't remember being that size in high school!


Then, my kids and I moved so I could be closer to work and have more time with them.  The move through my routine upside down.  I got off track and was missing workouts.  At first, it was just a couple of days a week.  Then, before I knew, it a month had gone by and I hadn't worked out.  I also started eating junk again.  


When my kids weren't home, I didn't know what to do with myself.  I didn't know how to be alone.  I came to the realization that I didn't know who I was as a woman and an individual.  My whole life had been wrapped up in my husband and my kids.  I was terrified and depressed.  I gained back 20 pounds inside of six months.


The new year began, and as most do, I set my resolutions.  No more crying, no more feeling sorry for myself, no more being lonely and seeking companionship anywhere I could find it, no more eating myself into a deeper depression.  I picked myself up, held my head high, and became determined, once again, regain control of my life.


At 160 pounds, I dusted off my P90X program and nutrition guide and got to work!  My gawd it was difficult!  Yes, the program was, of course, but the getting back on track with what I put in my mouth was the hardest part!  I came to crave sugar again.  I craved all those things that were horrible and not nutrient dense.  However, I knew I had to get over it.  For goodness sake, I quick smoking!  I could certainly overcome food addictions!


I struggled with the nutrition.  I struggled with the workout routines.  I struggled giving into exhaustion and missing workouts.  I struggled and struggled and struggled.  However, by Thanksgiving of this year, I had finally lost about 15 pounds and was doing sooo much better.  We were eating so much healthier and I had kicked most of the cravings I was having.  Every now and then, I would allow us a "free" meal night in which we ate whatever we wanted.  I would indulge in some of my old faves life snack cakes.  Much to my surprise, pleasant surprise, they tasted horrible!  I couldn't stand how sweet they were.  They had become completely unsatisfying to me!  This was a VERY good thing!  Now, I need to kick the soda habit, then caffeine altogether!


I began doing Insanity the beginning of November 2010.  I was three weeks in and got a head cold.  I was down for a week.  Determined as I was to NOT miss a workout, I started the program over the beginning of December.  Again, I struggled.  I was still not feeling 100% and was still giving into being tired and using that as an excuse to miss workouts.  Instead of skipping altogether, however, I did what I could and missed at most 4 days in a row.  The beginning of the year, 2011, I started the program over and added P90X Lean.  I still have struggles.  It is winter and with every winter I fight colds that linger for months.  I have come accept this and work through it despite not feeling 100%.  Every time I do a workout when I don't feel like it, I have a great sense of accomplishment and feel so empowered and more determined to succeed and get the body I want!


I have just completed my first 30 days of Insanity.  I missed a total of 4 workouts.  I have missed more P90X workouts but I don't sweat it because both programs are intense alone and I am doing them together.  I gained 3 pounds during my first month of Insanity but I lost 3 inches and 1.5% body fat in total.  This means my gain was lean muscle.  I'm perfectly okay with that!


Why don't you join me and let's "bring it" and "dig deeper" together?  It is so much more fun and easier to be successful when you have a partner...or a few!  Join Beachbody's virtual gym and workout with me.  Click here

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Homemade vs. McDonald's: Fruit & Maple Oatmeal

As I did with the "fruit & yogurt parfait," I wanted to see just how healthy this offering was.  While definitely far more healthy than other alternatives on the menu, I want to show that it is still less expensive and healthier to just make it at home.

Here is the nutrition information for McDonald's "Fruit & Maple Oatmeal."

As list on http://nutrition.mcdonalds.com
At a glance, this doesn't look too bad.  Allow me to draw your attention to a couple of specific items.

Sodium: 160mg
Sugars: 17g

Now, let's look at homemade.

As provided by the MyFitnessPal.com nutrition calculator
Again, at a glance, it looks comparable, right?  Let's take a look a those same two items.

Sodium: 33mg
Sugars: 5g

That's a difference of 127mg in sodium and 12g in sugar...for one meal!

The ingredients above are for the homemade oatmeal.  Everything is organic except for the maple syrup.  Organic honey can be easily substituted for the syrup without adding too much to the sugars.  In these ingredients, what you see is what you get.  No added chemicals, colors, or flavors.

Now, let's look at McDonald's list of ingredients.

As provided by http://nutrition.mcdonalds.com
Let's see what all they added.

Oatmeal: food starch-modified, salt, natural flavor (plant source), barley malt extract, caramel color
Diced Apples: calcium ascorbate (a blend of calcium and vitamin C to maintain freshness and color)
Light cream: sodium phosphate, datem, sodium stearoyl lactylate, sodium citrate, carrageenan.

Homemade doesn't have any of those chemicals!  It took me 10 minutes tops to make this oatmeal for three, including dicing the apples.  If we are honest with ourselves, we all have 10 minutes to cook a hot, healthy meal for our families.  You'll spend less than $.50 per serving and save hundreds in future medical expenses.

I mean, really, how awesome does this look!?



Thursday, February 3, 2011

Making Snow Ice Cream

My kids were dying to make snow ice cream since it started falling Tuesday.  A drift settled a foot up our side garage door.  The kids only needed to open the door and scoop to find good clean snow!

They were so excited, they grabbed the biggest bowl we have (I usually use it to dole out candy at Halloween) and scooped it full!

They were so proud of themselves.  They go to work right away on the mixing.  I just knew if I didn't "assist" they would end up with watered down vanilla-flavored sugar milk!  I quickly hobbled (whole other story) to their side!  


Sissy mixed as I poured (quite the feat after shoveling that crap for an hour and 45 minutes).  


Bubba came in from a hard day's play on the Wii, just in time to taste-test!  He worked hard on watching to make sure sissy mixed thoroughly.  


After some careful mixing, pouring, and taste-testing, we finally had our snow ice cream.  We put the bowl in the freezer so it could refreeze (I'm sure we could have saved the energy & just sat the bowl back outside, but who knows what critters might decide to taste-test, too, or add an additional ingredient or two!  

This will go great with the chocolate chip cookies sissy made yesterday!  



 

















Mistakes

I read something this morning in the book "Failing Forward" by John C. Maxwell.  In chapter 5, he talks about accepting responsibility for our own mistakes.  By accepting the responsilibity, and not blaming others or things, we can finally learn from and move beyond the mistakes we make.

He offered the following acronym to help keep mistakes in perspective:

Messages that give us feedback about life.
Interruptions that should cause us to reflect and think.
Signposts that direct us to the right path.
Tests that push us toward greater maturity.
Awakenings keep us in the game mentally.
Keys that we can use to unlock the next door of opportunity.
Explorations that let us journey where we've never been before.
Statements about our development and progress.

Apply this to the mistakes in your life.  Learn what you can from the mistakes.  Grow your character and move on.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Kid Approved: 100-Calorie Whole Wheat Corn Bread

Low fat, low calorie and exceptionally yummy!  A delicious compliment to any soup, stew, chili, or beans.  My daughter said she could not tell the difference between this corn bread and the old recipe I used to use from Better Homes & Gardens.  My son said it tastes better!

Be sure to refrigerate or freeze leftovers.  The applesauce will spoil despite being baked.



1 c. yellow corn meal
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. unbleached white flour
1 T + 2 t. (6 packets) Truvia
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 c. skim milk
1/3 c. unsweetened applesauce
2 large egg whites

Preheat oven to 400 F.
Grease 8-inch baking pan.

Combine corn meal, flour, splenda sugar blend, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Combine milk, oil, and egg in a small bowl mix well. Add milk mixture in flour mixture, stir just until blended. Pour into pan.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm.

For muffins spoon batter into 10 to 12 paper lined cup filling 2/3 full.  Bake in a preheated oven at 400 for 15 minutes. 


Nutrition Information:  Calories 93, Fat 1g, Sodium 220mg, Carbs 21g, Sugars 0g, Protein 4g

100- Calorie Ham & Beans (Slow Cooker)

This is a must-have on a cold, winter's day!  Pair it was warm corn bread for a complete meal.

Makes approx. 8 (1 cup) servings, including juices

2 c. dry pinto beans
8 oz. diced ham
3 quarts water
1 T. dried marjoram
1 t. dried thyme
1/4 t. ground black pepper
1 dried bay leaf


Add dry beans to crock-pot or bowl.  Cover generously with water and let soak over night.

Drain and rinse beans.  Return to crock-pot and cover with water (approx. 3 quarts - enough to cover & still have room for juices after cooked).  Add diced ham and seasonings.

Cook on low 10-12 hours, or high 5-6 hours, until beans are tender.

Serve with whole wheat corn bread.  Be sure to discard the bay leaf.

Freeze leftovers for those busy nights when you forget to plan ahead!

Nutrition Information: Calories 97, Fat 1g, Sodium 360mg, Carbs 2g, Sugars 1g, Protein 5g

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Eat Clean Make Ahead Beef Stew

With a little bit of prep the night before, you can set & forget this great stew and warm your body the next night.  Pair with a great whole wheat dinner roll.


Makes 16 (1 cup) servings

2 lbs. lean top sirloin steak, cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes
1/2 c. unbleached flour
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
5 c. diced potatoes
1/2 large yellow onion
4 c. diced carrots,
2 c. diced celery
4 cloves garlic, minced
46 oz. no sugar added vegetable juice
1 t. dried basil, crushed
1 t. thyme, crushed

Heat half of the oil in a large non-stick skillet.  Add half of the beef to a bowl or bag with the flour.  Toss to coat thoroughly.  Remove beef from bag or bowl, shaking off excess flour, and add to skillet.  Cook until browned.  Set aside.  Repeat with the remaining half of the beef.

Layer slow cooker with potatoes, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, basil, and thyme.  Add beef to the top and pour vegetable juice over all.  Cook on low for 10-12 hours.

Nutrition Information: Calories 182, Fat 5g, Sodium 107mg, Carbs 20g, Sugar 6g, Protein 15g

100-Calorie Easy Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

Homemade bread, especially dinner rolls, brings that special, home cooked feeling to just about any meal.  These "no need to knead" rolls are simple to prepare and have a delightful rustic flavor.  If desired, brush a bit of beaten egg over the dough before baking for a rich, golden brown color.

Makes 12 Dinner Rolls
Serving size: 1 roll

1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
2.5 t. Truvia
1/2 t. salt
1 package active dry yeast
1 c. warm (105 to 115 F) skim milk
3 T. unsalted butter
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 c. all-purpose unbleached flour


Preheat oven to 400F. 

To get started, make sure that all ingredients are at room temperature.  Put whole wheat flour, Truvia, salt and yeast into a large bowl and stir well.  Add milk, butter and egg and beat with a spoon until smooth.  Add all-purpose flour and mix until fully incorporated and batter is smooth.  Cover bowl and set aside in a warm spot to let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, lightly spray a 12-muffin tin with non-stick spray and set aside.

Stir the batter gently to deflate it.  Spoon even amounts of the dough into each cup of the prepared muffin tin and set aside in a warm spot until the dough has risen just over the top of the muffin tins, about 1 hour more.
 

Bake rolls until golden brown and cooked through, 15-20 minutes.

Nutrition Information: Calories 108, Fat 2g, Sodium 137mg, Carbs 19g, Sugar 0g, Protein 4g

A Great No Cook Snack Under 100 Calories & Under $1

This quick low-calorie dip is great for an afternoon snack or as a party appetizer.  It is great paired with fresh veggies or baked pita chips

Hummus

Serving size: 2 Tablespoons
Makes 2 cups: 16 (2 tablespoon) Servings

1 (15 oz.) can no-sodium chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
3 T. tahini (pureed sesame seeds - found with nut butters)
1/2 t. salt
2 t. extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish
1/8 t. paprika, for garnish

Place a strainer over a bowl and drain the chickpeas; reserve 1/4 cup of the captured liquid.

In the work bowl of a food processor, place the lemon juice, tahini, garlic, and salt.  Process until combined.  Add the drained chickpeas and the reserved liquid.  Process until very smooth, scrapping down the sides of the work bowl once or twice or as needed.  Taste and add more lemon juice if desired.  (The hummus can be stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.)

For a single snack, place 2 tablespoons of the hummus in a small bowl.  Drizzle with 1/8 teaspoon olive oil and sprinkle a pinch of paprika over it.  Serve with 3 pita chips or a fresh carrots, cut into sticks.

To serve a crowd, transfer the hummus to a small serving bowl.  If desired, use the back of a spoon to make a shallow well in the surface of the hummus; pour in the olive oil.  Sprinkle the top with the paprika.  Serve with pita chips or fresh veggies.

Nutrition Information: Calories 39, Fat 1g, Sodium 118mg, Carbs 6g, Sugars 0g, Protein 2 g

Recipe from Jillian Michaels's "The Master Your Metabolism" cookbook

Saturday, January 29, 2011

This is How My Weekend Started

Dan Lusk found me on Facebook last night and told me he had a new coach who lived in Tulsa (where I live).  He was looking to plug his new coach into a local coaching network.  

I am always willing to help others.  The best thing about having an Independent Beachbody business is that there is NO competition.  There is NO "territory."  This network truly wants to see EVERYONE succeed, in fitness and in financial prosperity.  The support system is unlike any I have ever experienced in working in corporate America or in working with other direct sales companies.

I did not know who Dan was (I'm horrible about remembering names with faces) when I saw his friend request and message.  I only saw that we had other Beachbody coach friends in common.  He sent me the link to he and his wife's website as another resource my team and I can use, then it clicked.

I had seen the Beachbody success story featuring his wife, Cammie.  I have promoted the video to those I know as inspiration that ANYONE can start to lead a healthier life, no matter what curve ball life may throw your way.  She inspires me to keep pushing, regardless of how tired or overwhelmed I get.

People tell me often how I help them and inspire them to lead healthier lives.  They have seen me go from overweight to fit.  They have watched me struggle in doing so and in maintaining the results of my hard work.  This doesn't hold a candle to my seeing what people do with that inspiration.

It is humbling to have any kind of association with this powerfully motivating couple.  I am honored to do what I can to help his new coach succeed.  The inspiration alone adds far more wealth to my life than any kind of monetary gain ever will.

Watch this, get motivated, and join my team.

Kid Approved: Low Fat Whole Wheat Pancakes

Yes, healthy can taste GREAT!  Just give these a whirl before you write them off.  Then, come back here and leave your comments!


Serving Size: 2 pancakes
Number of Servings: approx. 7
Cooking time: approx. 20 minutes

1 c. Whole Wheat Flour
1 c. Unbleached flour
2 1/2 t. Truvia
1 T. + 1 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
4 egg whites
2 c. skim milk
1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce

In a mixing bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  In another mixing bowl combine egg, milk, and cooking oil.  Add to flour mixture all at once.  Stir mixture just till blended but still slightly lumpy.

Pour about 1/4 cup batter onto a hot, lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet for each standard-size pancake or about 1 tablespoon batter for each dollar-size pancake.

Cook till pancakes are golden brown, turning to cook second sides when pancakes have bubbly surfaces and slightly dry edges.

Makes 14 standard-size pancakes.

Nutrition information: Calories 162, Fat 1g, Sodium 413mg, Carbs 32g, Sugar 1g, Protein 9g

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Shut up! A Month of 100-Calorie Snacks


So awesome! Take a day on the weekend, prepare, cook, freeze...pair with Shakeology and no worries for two meals of the day!


What Will Your Heart Do Today?

This is pretty cool!  Hop on over to myfitnesspal.com and add me as a friend - Username: hdcfamily

Will beat 123,694 times, pump 1,814 gallons of blood, and push that blood nearly 10,382 miles throughout my body!
Created by MyFitnessPal.com

Daily Blogging of Workouts

If anyone out there has been following me and keeping up with my posts, I'm sure you've noticed that I quit blogging my daily workouts.  My intention behind blogging them was accountability.  However, I have not found that by blogging.  I have found it by simply logging my workouts in Beachbody's virtual gym, WOWY (WorkOut With You).  I have an incentive there to win prizes just for working out.  I am honest to a fault, so I don't log a workout I don't actually do.  I also like the auto-schedule feature.  It helps me stay on track and not juggle things around, which end up leading to my missing workouts.  

In addition to the lack of accountability, I found blogging my workouts to not be time effective.  I wasn't getting any value out of my posts and didn't feel my readers were either.  I need to spend that time adding value to my life and the lives of others.  I have several other great ideas for blog posts, from which I believe we can all benefit far more.

Therefore, you will no longer see daily posts of my workouts.  It is my goal to post daily, but to post information that is beneficial to losing weight, improving nutrition, getting fit, and doing all this on a dime!

If it is accountability you seek, please join me in WOWY.  If you do not currently have a membership, you can sign up for FREE, regardless of whether you are doing a Beachbody fitness program or not.  Click here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Will Diet Sodas Hinder Weight Loss?


This is a great article.  It is mostly opinion but supported with facts and hard-to-argue points.  Diet soda is still a weakness for me, personally.  My ultimate goal is to give up caffeine entirely.  I have been successful for one-two weeks at a time but have yet to quite altogether.

I have noticed that when I don't consume as much diet soda I fight afternoon fatigue much less often.  I am able also to fall asleep easier at night.  Sleep & have had a love/hate relationship for nearly three years now.  I am always seeking natural, non-narcotic remedies to help me fall asleep faster, stay asleep, and sleep more soundly, longer.

In the five years, or so, that I have been educating myself on nutrition, one constant I have found is that caffeine, while in the short term may make you more alert, in the long term can have negative effects on your overall wellness.  Small doses - like 12-15 ounces - per day can aid in your health, more than that begins to deteriorate your body.  These small doses should be consumed in their most natural form as found in teas and coffees - NOT SODA!

In this article, I learned (as I recall, now, also previously read some time ago, elsewhere) that the other ingredients found in soda, even diet sodas, perhaps more so in diet, can actually eat away at your bones.  It breaks down the calcium, making your bones more brittle.  Now that I am in my mid-30s, it has become a crucial time to be certain I am paying particular attention to bone health.  Therefore, remembering that every time I drink a soda, diet or otherwise, I am taking away the life of my bones.

Another thing I learned about excess caffeine, after getting my annual "grope n' poke" this last year, is it can also breakdown a woman's breasts.  My doc told me my breasts were "fibrous."  I had already noticed this but had chalked it up to the running I do and the weight loss.  She recommended I cut the caffeine and increase my vitamin E to 1000 units per day.  When I did this, I noticed a change in the firmness of my breasts after about a week.  Whoa! 20 year old boobs, again?!  Yes, PLEASE!!  Pre-childbirth boobs even!!

Do your research people!  General rules of thumb:

  • If it won't rot in your kitchen within a week, DO NOT put it in your body!
  • If you can't pronouce the ingredients, DO NOT put it in your body!
  • If you can't make it your self, DO NOT put it in your body!!
Thank you to my fellow TBB Coach Elain Katko for posting the article on Facebook!

The 30 Healthiest Foods | Real Simple

This is fantastic information.  I learned something new in that you can cook and eat bulgur the same way you would oatmeal.  I'm definitely going to try that one!



Friday, January 21, 2011

The Key to Commitment is Involvement

Frugal & Fit: Health & Wellness for Families: The Key to Commitment is Involvement: "I just finished listening to the audio book '7 Habits of Highly Effective People' by Dr. Steven Covey. It wasn't so much an audio boo..."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Day of Shakeology: With vs. Without

Yesterday, I had posted a snapshot of a typical day's meals for me, which includes one serving of Shakeology.  My intent was to provide an visual of the level of vitamins Shakeology gives.  While useful, I respect the fact there are skeptics out there.  I am one.  Therefore, I wanted to show a side-by-side comparison of a day without Shakeology versus a day with Shakeology.

Vitamin A - 100% increase
Vitamin C - 300% increase
Calcium - 50% increase
Iron - 22% increase
*These are only the vitamins myfitnesspal chooses to display.  Imagine what the rest look like!* 

Now that you are more convinced, let me seal the deal.  Click here for the full scoop, all nutrient information, success stories, doctors thoughts, etc. on Shakeology.  Psssttt...YOU CAN EVEN ORDER HERE!!!


A Day WITHOUT Shakeology
A Day WITH Shakeology

Everything Happens For A Reason

You have probably noticed that I have not been blogging my daily workouts since last Thursday.  Well, that is because through Monday, I did not workout.  The cold (honestly, I think it is the flu but the flu shot I got is warding it off) I have been battling since November got the best of me on Sunday.  I took a Nyquil that night and was worthless all day Monday, even missing work.  Saturday, I honestly planned poorly.  I had an audition in a town that is an hour and half drive from my home.  Count the drive time, audition time, waiting for a fellow actor to audition, it took a good four hours of my day.  I slept in, as I always do on Saturdays, but got up in what I thought was enough time to accomplish what I needed.  Sadly, I miscalculated the entire day.

I was irritated with myself for missing four days in a row, after getting in only one workout the previous week.  When it boils down to it, it is all a matter of choice.  I am horrible about making excuses and justifying my actions with them.  While it is true that I haven't felt 100%, I have not been ill enough to miss my workouts.  I have done a fair job of keeping my nutrition in check but even that has fallen victim to my laziness.


I am an Aquarius to the core.  I HATE routine!  The getting up, working out, getting ready for work, going to work, coming home, blah, blah, blah!  I hate it with a passion!  I am one to rearrange my furniture on a regular basis.  My family rarely eats the same meal twice in one month.  I make it a point to NOT plan my weekends in advance because that is MY cherished time to do what I want, when I want.  I have no choice but to go to work day in and day out, Monday through Friday.  With the kids' school, etc., maintaining a routine just happens as a normal course of the daily life.  Beyond what is vital to function as a productive member of society, I struggle to stick to a schedule.  

Of late, however, I have come to realize that this disdain for structure has only lead to unreached goals and constant disappointment with myself.  Structure and routine is something I MUST learn to accept and respect in order to reach the goals I have set for myself and my family.  Therefore, instead of being inconsistent with my workouts and nutrition, I must do what it takes EVERY SINGLE DAY.  In time, with this habit and routine, I WILL achieve my goals and be the success I know I can be.


This necessary changing of my nature will have nothing but positive effects on my entire life.  I will begin to save more.  I will learn more.  I will earn more money.  I will accomplish more.  I will grow as a person, friend, mentor, and mother.  I MUST accept my faults, recognize what I can do differently, learn from it, and move on.


This changing started this week.  I have worked out the last two days.  I have not blogged them because I am waiting for the last day at which I left off to roll back around, which will be Friday, Insanity day 26.  I am determined to not miss a single workout day on that schedule.  I am determined from Friday forward, I will not take more than one day rest...as scheduled.  What workout have I been doing?  The same as I have already done.  I am taking the days leading up to Friday to help find a daily schedule that will work best for my body.  Doing P90X Lean and Insanity together is crazy enough.  Add misery to misery, I have also set a goal to run my first half marathon on May 1.  That requires training to be able to run 13.1 miles nonstop.


My workouts are now P90X Lean, Insanity, and running no less than 3 miles per day.  Today was the first day I attempted all 3.  I did P90X Yoga X this morning, knowing the length of that workout, morning seemed the most logical in order to give me time to do everything else I needed to do during the day.  That left me with a 3 mile run and Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit this evening.  I thought it would be easier to do the run first, then Insanity.  I THOUGHT WRONG!!!

I now know that Insanity MUST be done in the morning.  While my cardiovascular strength has improved greatly since starting Insanity, it is NOT invincible!  More than the cardio, the beating my legs take with Insanity and the run kills me!  Seeing as how P90X is less cardio, I believe it will be far easier to do it and run back to back in the evening.  I am going to do this tomorrow and point forward.  Fortunately, I will be running only two days in a row, so I will have more rest days from running and during which I can recover a bit.

To aid in feeding my lazy bones and hopefully leading me to stay on track with my goals, I have declared Sundays my TOTAL rest days.  No structure.  Nothing that HAS to be done.  It will be my TOTAL rest day from working out and running.  It will be a total mental purge day.  I got this from the book "Eat That Frog."  It is one of the principles it teaches.  In order to be fully rested and perform most efficiently in the week ahead, one MUST have a day of COMPLETE rest.  This day is what will keep me motivated to stay on task and get my daily goals accomplished, including my cherished Saturdays.  I will have to sacrifice sleeping in on Saturday, but I will be rewarded for my diligence on Sunday.  Sunday will be my "treat" day.  Sort of like behaving nutritionally all week so you can have one "splurge" meal.  That is to say you don't completely blow the entire meal and gorge yourself.  You still practice portion control and choose something that is a happy medium, something you wouldn't allow the rest of the week.

Here is to goal-setting...goal accomplishing...picking yourself up and moving on from this moment!