Marvelous in My Monday

It’s Monday – a day with a reputation of being a bad, horrible, terrible,  not so good day.  And since it is the day after my mini-vacation, it would be easy to give into those thoughts and be bummed this morning. But thanks to Healthy Diva Eats, I am focusing on the things that make this Monday Marvelous!

First, there is the fact that I got to spend a few glorious days at the beach with my husband and daughter. We soaked up the sun, played in the waves, built sand castles, and just enjoyed being with each other.

Dear Daughter jumping in the wave pools.

Me taking a turn at snapping a jumping photo!

The second thing that makes this Monday Marvelous is the fact I have my breakfast, lunches and snacks prepped for the entire week. Yesterday, the hubby had to attend a funeral, so while my daughter played in her toy kitchen, I was busy in my real one. I whipped up chicken quinoa veggie bowls, berry parfait, and a huge salad.  Having my meals ready for the week, means my mornings will go much smoother.

So that’s why my Monday is Marvelous? What made your Monday marvelous?


Triple F Friday

It has been a busy week around my neck of the woods – multiple project wrapping up at work, teach aerobics twice this week, preparing for our trip to the beach, and a few church responsibilities.  And whenever my schedule gets crammed, blogging is usually the first thing to fall by the wayside. I hate it – but that is the reality. However, I am working out some strategies to be able to update the blog at least once a day. One of those strategies is to assign specific topics to certain days of the week. Out of that strategy, Tripe F Friday was born. 

Triple F Friday will showcase my favorite moment from food, fitness and family from the week. It will be a quick way to get a snapshot of what’s happening with me.  I hope you will enjoy the series and do your own Triple F post!


I have started following Bob Harper’s “The Skinny Rules” this week, and Bob has many delish recipes in his book.  But the thing that I have fallen in love with is his suggestion of ricotta cheese and fresh berries as a mid-morning snack. The juicy sweetness of the berries combined with the saltness of the ricotta is divine. I often feel as though I am eating dessert. More importantly this snack is a good source of protein (from the cheese), fiber (from the berries), and healthy fats.


Yesterday was Miracle Treat Day at Dairy Queens nationwide. Miracle Treat Day is a day each year, when Dairy Queen donates $1.00 for each blizzard sold to the Children’s Miracle Network. Those fund then go to support local children’s hospitals. I have been participating in Miracle Treat Day for years. Now, as a Mama, I understand the important of this day – those funds help care for babies born prematurely, born with serious illness, and to care for other critically ill children.

Therefore last night, the hubby, daughter and I went to our local store to enjoy Blizzard. Hubby went with cookie dough, Daughter chose M&M (although she wound up eating more of hubby’s than her own), and I went crazy and order the Chocolate Extreme (totally against the “The Skinny Rules” but I think Bob would make an exception for the cause).  The ice cream was great but spending time with the two people I love most in the world was even better!


I announced on Monday that I am participating in Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp. I knew the workouts that she put together would be challenged. But I seriously underestimated the challenge. I have DOMS all week as my muscles have been worked in new ways with moves I never knew existed.  I also love that Tina includes a bit of cardio everyday – after all I am a self-proclaimed cardio queen.  My favorite was the interval workouts.  Tina’s guidelines tell us to warm up for 5 minutes, then alternate intervals of 3 minutes of hard effort, with 2 minutes of recovery for 6 cycles.   That’s it – she leaves it up to each participant to choose how they do the intervals.  Here’s my interpretation:

Treadmill Interval Workout

  • Warm up: 5 minutes at 3.8 mph and 1% incline
  • Interval One:  3 mins walking at 4.0 mph and 5% incline. 2 mins walking at 3.8 mph and 0 % incline.
  • Interval Two: 3 mins jogging at 4.5 mph and 7% incline. 2 mins walking at 3.6 mph and 3% incline
  • Interval Three:  3 mins running at 5.00 mph and 9% incline. 2 mins walking at 3.8 mph and 0 % incline
  • Interval Four: 3 mins running at 5.5 mph and 7% incline. 2 mins walking at 3.5 mph  mph and 2% incline
  • Interval Five: 3 mins running at 6.0 mph and 5% incline. 2 mins walking at 3.6 mph and 0% incline
  • Interval Six: 3 mins running at 6.5 mph and 2% incline. 2 mins walking at 3.5 mph and 0% incline.
  • Cooldown:  5 minutes walk at 3.4 mph hours.
    This workout had me drenched in sweat by the end. I loved changing my speed and my incline – it helped to keep things interesting and made the time fly by. 
    What food, family or fitness moments have you loved this week?





Run Night Routine

Last week, our church hosted our annual Vacation Bible School.  I was in charge of music and crafts which meant I was at church from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. each night.  Those hours definitely messed with my workout schedule. I was eager to return to a normal schedule this week.

My good friend Marcy and I agreed to meet at 7:00 for a run.  I have found that evening workouts – especially runs require a little more planning and forethought.  Since I usually not home until 8:00 or 8:30 on the nights that I run, my husband and I had to create a routine that would allow the house to run smoothly while I am gone.  After much trial and error, we’ve found a system that works for us. On running nights, I come home from work and  prep the dinner ingredients, then he cooks while I am running, and then we handle the dishes together.  I have to say there is nothing better than walking in the door after a challenging workout to smell dinner cooking!

Marcy and I covered about 2.5 miles in about 30 minutes. While we did not break any speed records, we did work up a good sweat and had some great conversation to pass the time.  After our run, I completed the second workout in the Best Body Bootcamp.  Holy smokes!  My legs were shaking and burning by the last set. I foresee a major case of DOMS in my future.

On to the delicious dinner, that my hubby whipped up. Since I am following “The Skinny Rules”, I knew dinner needed to be “lean and green”.  I settled on a menu of steak, cauliflower and broccoli. I left the details up to the hubby.  He marinated the steak and then baked it in a cast iron skillet, and roasted both the cauliflower and broccoli as well.  The steak was so tender it literally melted in my mouth. The veggies had a great blend of seasoning and the roasting added an extra depth of flavor

The pictures that I snapped just don’t do this meal justice…..but here is my attempt.


Do you have a special routine for the evenings you workout?  How does your spouse handle your late evening workouts?

Starting My Morning Off Right

Good morning everyone!  I hope that the day finds you enjoying bright blue skies and sunshine.  Here in South Georgia – we have the blue skies and sunshine along with the heat and humidity.  But I’m not complaining, the heat and humidity are a small price to pay for the mild winters I get to enjoy.

Anyways, last week, I blogged about how I would be documenting my food choices here on the blog – as a method of accountability.  Did you happen to notice that I didn’t post a single picture yesterday? #Bloggerfail

The more I thought about it the more I realized that my eating habits had gotten WAAAAYYY off track. And at this point in the journey, I am not sure I have the willpower to lead myself thru healthy eating. I found myself wanting someone (anyone) to tell me what to eat. Enter “The Skinny Rules” by Bob Harper. 

I have loved watching Bob on “The Biggest Loser” for years.  He is the perfect combination of loving support and no-nonsense attitude.  I downloaded the book on Friday afternoon, and read it thru out the weekend. As I read each of Bob’s rules,  I found myself nodding along – agreeing with it.  His rules make sense, they are logical – they are the things that I use to do all the time. I immediately knew that I wanted to follow the 4 week’s worth of menus that the book provides.  So last night, I stocked my fridge and pantry with all the goodies I’d need for week one.

Wondering what I am eating?

Let’s take a peek inside my lunch bag…..



I was amazed at how breakfast kept me full until nearly 11:30, which has NEVER happened before. My mid-morning snack has kept my hunger at bay for well over an hour. I can’t wait to show you the yummy dinner I’ll be having tonight.  But for now, I am pressing publish on this post, and going to eat my lunch.

Have you read “The Skinny Rules”?  What do you do to help getting your eating back on track after too many indulgences?

Toning Tuesday: Working Out as A Couple

Fitness has always been a part of my relationship with my husband, Micheal. When we were dating, we trained for and completed our first 5K together.

At the two mile point, we were all smiles.

During our engagement and the craze of wedding planning, workouts became a way we could escape from the stress and reconnect with one another.  We often planned date nights around runs or lifting session at the gym.  We would even challenge each other to complete sit-ups, pushups, or air squats while watching television.

But then life happened.  We become parents to an amazing little girl who we named Joyclen, known as Joycie for short.


All smiles as a family of 3.

Suddenly, all the time we had to devote to our workouts was now being devoted to caring for this little girl.  And while we loved being her parents, I often missed our time together.  Realizing that we needed to find a solution that allowed us to workout together without leaving our daughter with a babysitter, we began creating our perfect home gym.

Over the next two years, we added a treadmill, a set of adjustable dumbbells, a bench, resistance tubes, and a few other odds & ends.  Now, we have everything we need to get a great workout right at home.  Not only do we get to workout together but our daughter (who is now 2) loves to join us.

 I thought I would end this post by sharing one of my favorite routines to do with my husband.  This workout can be done anywhere.



Do you workout with your significant other?  If so, what things do you do together?

Best Body Bootcamp

I do not think I’ve ever been more excited for a Monday than I am this morning. Today marks the official launch of the Best Body Bootcamp hosted by the lovely  Tina Reale.

What is Best Body Bootcamp?

BBB is an 8 week program created by Tina.  Every two weeks, Tina releases a series of new workouts that will challenge participants in new and exciting ways.  There are chances for winning some fab prizes – including weekly $50 prizes and 4 $1,000 prizes.

How does this fit with my current plan?

I am already using a training plan created by Tina, so many are probably wondering how I am going to incorporate it into the BBB.  The first series of workouts for BBC consist of 3 weight lifting routines, an interval workout, a core workout, and 1 day of steady state cardio.  For the first 2 weight workouts of each week, I am going to use the routines from my personalized training plan. My third lifting session will be from the BBC challenge.  

So here is how my training looks this week:

Monday:  Workout A (from personalized plan) + 20 minute 60/60 HIIT

Tuesday: Intervals + Core

Wednesday: Workout B (from personalized plan) + Couch to 5k workout

Thursday: Intervals + Core

Friday:  Workout C (from BBB plan)

Saturday:  Couch to 5k Workout

Are any of your participating in the Best Body Bootcamp?  Have you been a participate in the past?  What is your training plan for the week?

If nothing changes…


These are my favorite pair of shorts. I have owned them for over 8 years buying them on a post-college graduation shopping spree.  At the time, I fell in love with them because they were a whole 2 sizes bigger than what I had been wearing, a sign that I had gained weight and in my mind defeated my eating disorder. (That wasn’t true, but that’s another story for another day).  When I began dating my husband, these were the shorts he requested I wear most often.  He loved how they ‘hugged my curves’ without being over tight or short.  Over the years they have been the barometer by which I judge my fitness level.  When they were a bit snug, I’d amp up my workout intensity or adjust my eating happens, too loose and I would shave off a few workouts.

I tried them on last night – they won’t button.  Even though my scale has shown a number higher than my feel good weight, I’ve been pretty dismissive about it.  My body has been out of sync for a while and I kept telling myself that the weight gain was due to my health issues.  And there is some truth to that statement.  But in all reality, I have not been walking the walk.  Too many trips to the vending machine, too many fast food meals, and too many late night ice cream sundaes have added up.

I’ve kept looking for a quick fix – even though I know that true weight loss and more importantly true health does not happen over night. It takes work – eating wholesome, real food,  moving your body.  I have a new training plan that I am loving. It is challenging my body in new ways.  And I have started the Couch to 5K program again – so I am moving more.

But my eating habits still stink.  I thought about how I could change it and I realized…I need accountability.  So starting Monday, I am going to be posting everything I eat.  Some of you might find this boring – I will try to keep it interesting.  My though is if I have to post a picture of that Snickers bar I eat at 3:00 p.m., I am more likely to say no.

Moreover, I am hopefully that you my readers, will hold me accountable for my choices.  Will you?

Have you ever blogged about everything you eat in a day?  How important is accountability for you on your health journey?

Do you see the BIGGER PICTURE?

Why are you on a journey to the best health you can achieve?  Why do you live this lifestyle?  Are you trying to fit into smaller clothes?  Lower your weight?  See better results on your blood test?   Those are all great motivating factors.  But do you see the bigger picture with regards to your health

“Yes, this is about you, but your well-being also affects everyone and everything around you.”


These are the two most important people in my life. My husband and my daughter – and my health journey is as much about them as it is about me.  When I eat well and workout, I feel stronger, calmer, more centered which in turn makes me a better wife and mother.  I am blessed in the fact that my husband understands this and encourages me to pursue my goals. He often handles my daughter’s in the evening so I can make it to an aerobics class or go on a run.  He endures my experiments in the kitchen as a I feel way thru a gluten-free lifestyle. 

My daughter does not fully understand what I am doing – after all she is only two.  But she often tells me “I strong like you Mama”.  And that is the best feeling in the world. 

I have found my bigger picture. Have you?

What’s Up Doc?

Yesterday was my long-awaited visit with my doctor to discuss my ongoing tummy issues. The other purpose of the visit was to get her opinion on the possible cause of my constant fatigue, extreme sensitivity to cold, dry skin, hair loss, and inability to lose weight (in spite of working out and cleaning up my diet).

The visit began with the general check of my weight, blood pressure, temp, and questions regarding my lifestyle habits.  All factors measure in the normal range.  Then the nurse asked me why I was visiting the office.  Mid-way thru my litany of complaints, I stopped and said “I am sure you think I’m crazy.”

Her reply surprised me “No, I don’t.  You are someone who lives a healthy lifestyle. If you are in here, then the issues must be real and serious.”

My doctor agreed. She patiently listened as I listed my complaints and together we came up with an action plan. 

Bloating of stomach, pain in lower abdomen–  My doctor immediately suspected some type of infection, most likely, H. plyori.  H. plyori, or Helicobacter pylori is a type of bacteria that is a major cause of stomach (gastric) and upper small intestine (duodenal) ulcers.   A simple blood test which looks to see if my body has produced antibodies to the H. Plyori bacteria was performed, and I tested positive.  That result earned me a 2 week prescription for antibiotics. 

Pain in the upper right quadrant of my abdomen – My doctor pressed on several areas of my abdomen without issue. However, when she applied pressure to the upper right quadrant, I immediately felt pain.  This is the area where my gallbladder is located.  Given the pain there, plus my complain that fried/fatty/or heavy meals make the pain worse, prompted her to order a blood test to measure my amylase and lipase levels. These tests often indicate acute pancreatitis, which goes hand in hand with gallbladder disease.  If the levels are abnormal, the next diagnostic test will be an ultrasound to determine if the gallbladder has stones or is diseased.

Constant fatigue,sensitivity to cold, dry skin, hair loss  I told my doctor that I had done research and that my symptoms where similar to those of someone with a low functioning thyroid.  However, her more immediate concern is that I am anemic – and I may be losing blood in my stools (sorry if this is TMI) due to the infection.  Therefore, she order a CBC and CMP.  If I am anemic, then I am likely to be started on an iron supplement. If this is not the case, we will move forward with additional thyroid function tests.

If you’ve read all that then you deserve a gold star!  In short, I am taking antibiotics for two weeks, waiting on test results, and then determining what my next steps will be.  While I do not have all the answers, I do feel as though I have more clarity regarding what is happening with my body.  And that is a very good thing.