Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Refresh VoxBox

A while back I got an email from Influenster. You know, the one we are all hoping comes, telling us that we have been selected for their latest VoxBox?! Yeah, that one! I was pretty excited. I had been selected to receive the Refresh VoxBox.

Fast forward to a few weeks later and it arrived at my house with all kinds of goodies in it! 


Upon opening it I found the following items:

-Beanitos Chips
These were delicious! I have since found them at my local stores and have bought more! Yum!!! 

 

-Skinnygirl Nutrition Bar
This was pretty good too. The calorie count was pretty good and the flavor was great too. Only problem is that I haven't been able to find them at any of the stores near me. Bummer! 


 -A Honey Peel Off Mask from Montagne Jeunesse
-Shea Butter Light Comforting Cream from L'Occitane
I haven't tried the Honey Peel Mask yet, but only because I have finally found a great balance of products that are helping with my breakouts from all of the sweat from working out, so I don't want to mess with that right now. I did however try the Comforting Cream from L'Occitane and really liked it. It is light weight and easy to apply. And a little goes a long ways! 


-Listerine Freshburst Pocketpaks
-Dentek Comfort Clean Floss Picks
-Dentek Fun Flossers
I have pretty much used all of these except for the kid flossers. But don't you worry, I will at some point, haha! I was already using these type of products, so I knew what I was getting and was very happy to have more in my purse. Especially for those days when everything decides to get stuck in your teeth! Or you breath smells. Ain't nobody got time for that! 


-Covergirl Ultra Smooth Foundation + Applicator
I was a little reluctant to try this because well at first I thought it was too dark for my complexion. And I am not a huge fan of liquid foundation. I hate how heavy it feels on my face sometimes. But I did try it and I was actually quite surprised with it. It went on really light and airy and it actually ended up being the right shade for me. I'm not as white as I used to be apparently! YESSSSS!!! And I really liked the applicator. It made it go on smooth and cleaned right off afterwards. 


 -And a coupon for a free Orgain Organic Protein Shake
I was able to look up where this product was sold and found that they sold them at Vitamin Shoppe, which we have a few of here in Colorado. So I went to my nearest one and redeemed my coupon for the one flavor and shake that I could have. It had a good amount of protein and was really low carb, which was great. I was pretty excited to try it after my workout. I shouldn't have been that excited because it was absolutely disgusting. I have never tasted such a horrible protein shake in my life. I was only able to take two sips before I couldn't handle it anymore. I threw it away. The other down side to this product is that it has to stay refrigerated. And if I were to use it for a post workout protein shake, I wouldn't have a way to store it and keep it cold. Luckily I had an ice pack with me the day I bought this, but it was still disgusting either way. I will definitely not be purchasing anymore of these. 


Minus the gross protein shake, it was a great VoxBox. I got to try some new items that I can actually incorporate into my healthy lifestyle, and that is always a win for me. 


*I received these products as compliments of Influensters to test and review. And all opinions are my own!*


Megan

Weigh-In Wednesday

Happy Hump Day! This week is flying by. Which is a-okay by me. Let's get this Weigh-In Wednesday started! 

It's been a few weeks since I have posted a Weigh-In Wednesday. But not much has changed since the last post. Well that was until this past Friday. I had a session with my trainer on Friday and he had been asking me what I wanted to do as far as where I wanted to be now. I gave it quite a bit of thought and after a week or so I made a decision. I have decided that I want to be leaner, have more muscle and more definition. If I have come this far and want to be healthy and fit, why not be the healthiest and most fit that I can be? 

So I told my trainer this knowing that he would probably be switching my nutrition and a few other things up. And I was right. But the switch isn't anything too crazy. He dropped my calorie intake down to 1500. And I am doing ketosis again. He also adjusted my fat and protein amounts for ketosis according to the new calorie intake. 

The biggest change though came in my workouts. He still has me lifting three to four days a week and right now we are going high rep and low weight, which is pretty normal actually. But the change is that I am only allowed to lift for 45 minutes. At first I freaked out a little bit. How the heck was I going to get everything done in 45 minutes? But then I thought about it and realized that my sessions with him are usually 30-45 minutes, so it was totally something that I could do. I knew that I couldn't take long breaks. I have to get in there, bust everything out, and then get out.

He did tell me that if I need to I can split my workouts up into two parts. I can go once in the morning for 45 minutes and then once in the evening for 45 minutes. The reasoning behind the 45 minutes is that anything over that and I will start burning muscle and not fat. And we want to keep all the muscle that I have. It has definitely been an adjustment over the last few days, but it seems to be working pretty well. 

This is what my workouts have looked like lately;
-Monday AM:  Weights
-Monday PM: Zumba
-Tuesday PM: Zumba
-Wednesday AM: Weights
-Wednesday PM: Softball
-Thursday PM: Zumba
-Friday PM: Weights (Session with Trainer)
-Saturday: Core workout plus intervals or walking
-Sunday: Hiking

As you can see I workout pretty much every day. And this week going forward I am probably going to add Tuesday and Thursday morning intervals or walking to this. I know that seems insane to some people, but I what can I say, I love it! I love working out! And with only five weeks til my first Spartan Race, I need to up my cardio. But occasionally I will throw a rest day in there on Saturday or Sunday. But that doesn't happen too often. 

My eating seems to be getting back on track. Part of the reason I set the goal for myself that I did is because I knew that it would help me get back on track with eating. I have to eat clean if I want to get to where I want to be. I know I can do it. I have before. I need to quit slipping up and just eat healthy. 

My weight is up a little bit right now. I weighed in at 157 this morning. I'm not too worried about it right now though. We did just start the new eating and workout routines on Monday, so I need to give my body time to adjust. I know I will get to where I want to be, so I am not stressing about it. 

Next Wednesday will be day 10 of my ketosis cycle, so I am hoping to have something to report on how all of this is going. But until then, I will just keep eating clean and working hard. That's all I can really ask of myself at this point. 




Megan

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Weekend Recap

It was another beautiful weekend here in Colorado and I made sure that I took advantage of it. It was once again a jam packed weekend, but I wouldn't have it any other way. 

I started my weekend off like I always do with a personal training session right after work. We did legs and it was a killer workout. My back was really sore from lifting the day before and then doing legs on top of that. It sucked. But I sucked it up and got through it. We also went over a few changes that I made to my nutrition and my workouts this week, but I will go into those a little bit more tomorrow for WIW. 

After my session I had to book it down to my Brothers house to pick up my Nieces. I took them to see Cinderella with one of my best friends, V, and her two little girls. The movie was really good! Cinderella has always been my favorite and they definitely did a great job with it. My youngest Niece fell asleep in my lap about 30 minutes in, but the other two stayed awake for the whole thing. After the movie we hit the photo booth, took a ton of pics and then headed home. 



Saturday I got up, got breakfast, did a few things around the house and then headed to the gym. I got a quick workout in. Just some cardio and core. I was pretty sore from the previous two days, so I decided to take it kinda easy. After the gym I ran a few errands, which included a stop at Dutch Brothers Coffee. I am absolutely in love with this place. And especially because they now have a Red Velvet Mocha! Probably the best coffee drink I have ever had. And that is saying something considering I am a sucker for Pumpkin Spice Latte's. But the Red Velvet Mocha has topped the Pumpkin Spice in my book. 


After amazing coffee, some grocery shopping, and a trip to the bank, I headed home. I had plans to get some laundry started and maybe do a little bit of cleaning, but I decided to take the dogs on a walk instead and got absolutely nothing done. It was too nice out. I couldn't resist. 

The Hubs had what they call their "Super Geeky Game Night" on Saturday which meant that I was on my own for the evening. So my friend A and I made plans to watch a few movies and eat some horrible food. I picked us up some pizza on the way over and after some pizza and a quick walk with A's dog we sat down and watched the movie "Crash". I had never seen it, but I was really impressed with it actually. It was a great movie. After the first movie we took a quick break and ran to the store for some ice cream and then came back and watched "Clerks 2". One of my favorite movies because of how funny it is, and one that I am always down for watching. 

Sunday I was up early so that I could meet A again for another hike. I took Bentley with me so that the Hubs could sleep with out being woke up by the dog. I was hoping for an uneventful hike this time around. And it was uneventful in that sense. But it was a great hike and the dogs enjoyed it very much. There were some gorgeous views during the hike and I am so glad that I brought my camera with me. 





After about a three hour hike, Bentley and I headed home where we met up with the Hubs and had some lunch. We also decided to make a stop at the batting cages, which was a lot of fun. I needed the practice. I start my Spring softball league tomorrow, so I wanted to go hit a few balls since it had been almost a year. We ran a few other errands and then met up with some friends for dinner at Old Chicago. Again, I ate horribly. And I definitely felt it afterwards. It happens. 

After dinner I went home and got to work on some laundry and the massive pile of dishes in the kitchen while the Hubs went and saw a movie with his friend. It was a quiet Sunday evening in our house and it was perfect for getting things done that I had put off all weekend. 

It was a good weekend again. Busy as usual. But that is  my life anymore. And I am completely okay with that. Hope you all had a great weekend too! 

Megan

Friday, March 20, 2015

Five on Friday

Happy Friday!!! So glad the weekend is here. Let's celebrate with Five on Friday!

1-I'm taking my Nieces to see the new Cinderella movie tonight with my friend and her three little girls. Not sure if we are crazy for doing so or just plain awesome, but I'm excited. I know my Nieces are excited to see the movie and Cinderella just happens to be my favorite Disney Princess, so it should be fun. 

2-Tickets for Slightly Stoopid and the Dirty Heads go on sale today at 10 AM and I am crossing my fingers that I can get them! They are at Red Rocks in August and I know it will be an awesome show!

3-Registered myself and my friend A for the Spartan Super in Salt Lake City this week! Eeeekkk! We are officially registered for two of the three races that we need to get our Spartan Trifecta. Now once we volunteer at the Sprint in May and get our free race, I can register us for the Beast and we will be ready to go! 

4-I found out yesterday that since I am a sub for Zumba at my gym, that technically means that I am an employee and I no longer have to pay for my gym membership. So I'm getting paid to go do something that I love and was already going to anyways and now I don't even have to pay for my membership?!! This was the best idea ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5-It's Friday! Need I say more?!!! Have a great weekend everyone! 


Megan

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Happy Birthday Hunter!

 Today is a very special day for my family. Today is my Nephew Hunter's 1st Birthday! 

I can't believe that he is already a year old. He has grown so much over the past year. And looking back at all of the pictures of him over the last year, I can't believe how much he has changed. 

Holding Hunter for the 1st time
 He has become such a loving and and adventurous little man. He can brighten my day no matter what the situation. I just love spending time with him and watching him grow. 




 Everyday I see him change and grow more and more. And with each passing day he looks more and more like my Brother. My Brother has wanted a Son for longer than I can remember and to see that this little boy has finally come along and completed their little family makes my heart happy! 



I can't imagine our family without him. He is the sweetest and cutest little guy. And getting to  spend the last year with him has been an absolute blessing. I am so thankful to have this adorable little man in my life. 


Hunter, you are an incredible little guy. In just one year you have done so much. You have overcome a lot and become a fun, loving and smiley little boy. I am so incredibly blessed to be your Aunt. I love you more than words could ever express and I can't wait to watch you grow more and more and see what else you have in store for all of us. Happy 1st Birthday Hunter! 








Megan

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Feeling Thankful

First off, Happy St. Patrick's Day! I completely forgot it was today until I got to work and of course had not a trace of green on.  It happens. My mind has been elsewhere for the last couple of days and that is actually what this post is about. 

Let me start by giving you a bit of the back story. Sunday my friend A and I decided to go out for a really long hike. We headed up to a new trail that we had never tried before but had been recommended to us. The day started out great. We had a great hike back in and along the way we stopped a few times to have a snack and just take everything in. We had some great conversations about various things and it was just overall a good day that I got to spend with one of my best friends. 

Heading up to the trail




A looking out at the view. He has no idea I snapped this pic, haha! 
The day did however take a turn that neither of us were expecting. Long story short, a rock about the size of a baseball fell and hit A right in the face. We thought for sure that his nose was broken. So here we were probably about an hour and half back on this trail and this happened. We tried to book it out of there as quickly as possible, but the terrain wasn't easy to navigate through so we did our best to get out of there as quickly as possible. We got back to A's truck and headed back into town where we stopped at the first Hospital we could find so that we could get A's nose and all that stuff checked out. 

Sitting in the hospital. Check out my sweet sun burn!!
Good news is that he didn't actually break his nose. The cartilage and soft tissue around the bone was just swollen. We were both relieved to hear that. They told him to ice it for the next couple of days and then they released him. We drove back to town, grabbed some food and then I took him home so that he could relax and get some sleep. 

The whole situation was really scary. I know both of us were freaking out when it happened. We might not have been showing it on the outside, but I know that on the inside it was happening. But I can't help but feel thankful that it ended up the way that it did. I know that sounds weird, but things could have been so much worse and I am just thankful that we were both able to walk out of there and that we are both okay. 

Needless to say, this has been on my mind a lot the last few days. And it is instances like this that make me realize just how incredibly lucky and thankful I am. I am thankful to have an incredible family and support system. I am thankful for my amazing friends in my life and especially my friend A. And I am thankful to be alive and happy and healthy. Not everyone can say that they have those things in their life and I do. And I am thankful for each and every one of them. And I hope I never take those things for granted. 




Megan

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Low Carb Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am once again on one of my low carb cycles and the other day I decided that I was tired of not being able to have the occasional sweet treat. When you are doing low carb (or ketosis as it is called) anything with sugar is high carbs. Which sometimes sucks when you have a little bit of a sweet tooth like I do. So naturally I made my way to pinterest and typed in "Low Carb Desserts" in the search bar. I came across so many different recipes. I pinned a ton of them. But one of them caught my eye. 

There was a recipe for Low Carb Chocolate Chip Cookies. The pin directed me to a blog called Sugar Free Like Me where she shared the variations of the recipe that she had found on Blondie's Paleo & Keto Journey. So after reading through both blogs and looking at the variations that one lady made, I decided to go for it. They looked good, and seemed simple enough to make, so I decided to try them.

Now finding all of the ingredients wasn't necessarily the easiest or cheapest thing. The hardest thing to find was the sugar free chocolate chips. I called around to a few stores around town and nobody had them. So I of course took to Facebook to ask my friends in my town if they knew of anywhere that carried them. 


This ended up being a huge help. I had so many people suggest places for me to look. I had planned on going to a few places on my lunch break to look for them. But I ended up not needing to because I came back into my office after going outside to take a break and there was a bag of them sitting on my desk. One of my co-workers saw my post and happened to go to Wal-Mart a little bit later and she found them there. I did however find some other ones that are naturally sweetened with Stevia that I found at Whole Foods. I think I am going to try those in it next time. 


I went to Sprouts and Whole Foods to find the rest of the ingredients. I was able to find the almond flour and the coconut flour in the bulk section at Sprouts which saved me a ton of money. I only bought what I needed for the recipe and and didn't have to spend almost $20 on only two ingredients. The Xantham gum however was not easy to find. They had an 8 ounce bag at Sprouts for $12. But considering I only needed a half of a teaspoon for the recipe, I was not about to spend $12. Luckily Whole Foods had a small packet of it for $0.69. See, it pays to shop around. 

Once I had all of my ingredients I was ready to go! So after I got home from the gym last night and while I was making dinner, I threw these together and got them baking. I was a little unsure of them at first. The batter was a weird consistency and I wasn't sure how they were going to bake. But the batter tasted good, so I figured that was a good sign. I mean come on, if the batter tastes good, how could they possibly taste bad once you cook them?! 


I got them in the oven and once again when I went to pull them out the consistency looked weird, but I figured what the heck. I bit into one and I was completely surprised with how freaking delicious they were. I could have eaten the whole batch that I made. But I was good and I didn't. 


And guess what? They still tasted good this morning. I had one with breakfast and I actually thought that it tasted better than they did right out of the oven last night. And they were still soft. I love soft cookies, so these are just good all around in my book. 

Okay, onto the recipe. You can find the original one here on Blondie's Paleo & Keto Journey

Ingredients

-2/3c almond flour/meal
-1 cup sweetener (I used Swerve sweetener)
-3 eggs
-8oz Cream Cheese, softened (I used the 1/3 fat cream cheese)
-2 tbsp Butter, softened
-1/4 tsp Salt
-1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
-1/2 tsp Xantham Gum
-1/2 tsp Baking Powder
-1/4 c Coconut Shreds (optional but amazing) I did not add these
-1 tbsp Coconut Flour
-1 tbsp Cashew Butter (optional, any nut butter will do)
-1 1/2 cups Chocolate Chips of choice (I used Hershey's Sugar Free Chocolate Chips and I actually only used 1 1/3 of a cup)


Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together butter, cream cheese, cashew butter and sweetener.

Add in eggs one at a time, mixing well in between each.

Add remaining dry ingredients (except chocolate chips and coconut)  and the vanilla extract and mix well.

Add in chocolate chips and coconut (if you chose to add this) and then put the mix in the freezer to harden up a bit (10 minutes or so)

Spoon cookies onto lined baking sheet (about 1 tablespoon sized cookies) and bake for 20-22 minutes or until the top of the cookie is no longer moist and begins to brown on the raised parts. 


Nutritional Information-Calculated using Spark People's Recipe Calculator and a little bit of hand calculation for the chocolate chips because I couldn't find them in the database. 

Servings: About 30 cookies (could be more or less depending on how big you make your cookies. I used a cookie scoop and had about 30 cookies. 

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Calories: 85.48
Total Fat: 6.55 g
Cholesterol: 26.01 mg
Sodium: 64.13 mg
Potassium: 18.13 mg
Total Carbs: 5.91 g
Dietary Fiber: .36 g
Sugar Alcohols: 4 g
Total Net Carbs: 1.55 G
Protein: 1.80 g

I hope you guys enjoy this recipe and love these cookies as much as I do. I know for sure that they will become a staple in my house! Thank goodness for Pinterest some days! 



Megan