Sunday, December 20, 2015

Week 5- My Healthy Holiday Mindful Eating

What worked this week:

This week was busy, busy, busy! I made meals ahead of time and planned out meals we didn't make ahead.  THIS IS A MUST! You have to have a plan.... "if you fail to plan, you plan to fail".

See how insightful I am with my fitness quotes? HA!

Brian and I like to plan out our meals for the week on Sundays.  We also do our grocery shopping on Sundays.  Our goal is to cook fresh food 4 days a week.  We plan only our dinners out because we make an extra amount so that we have enough to bring to work the next day for lunch.  If there isn't enough to bring to work the next day- we bring fresh salads or tuna with avocados or we have some no-bean turkey chili that we have in the freezer.  Breakfast is a whole different post. ;)

Here's an example of what I do (this is an old pic, obvi):

Download the meal plan sheets {here}

Of course I use Pinterest for recipes.  But really, my husband is the cook of this house and he's just good at "winging it". I sure love him. You can check out our Pinterest board we just started for Meal Plans.

Looking Ahead:
It's Christmas week!!!!! YAY!!!! Christmas Eve is a bigger deal in my family and so I'll tell you what I will do that day.
I'm going with the same strategy I used for Thanksgiving with a few tweaks...
-Workout at Jazzercise (teach 2 classes)
-Eat a LARGE, protein heavy breakfast
-Drink lots of water
-Drink a protein shake and have a snack before I head over to my sister's house
-Eat only the WORTH IT food and double the meat on my plate.  I also plan to make sure to not go crazy on the appetizers because they aren't my favorite...
-Stop eating when I'm FULL<--- holy heck- does anyone else struggle with this?
-Log all of my food in MFP
-Don't take home any leftover Christmas candy. ;)

Have a fabulous week this next week! Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Week 4- My Healthy Holiday Mindful Eating

What worked:
I am feeling really strong during my training.  I PR'd my squat, ran a 8:30 mile, and rowed 1600m in just over 6:00. I was really excited!  Carbs will give you lots of energy to do all the things. :)

I also stayed away from the treats in the faculty lounge except for one day.  There was a day with peanut butter cookies and I had one... ok, I had two.  But that was the only day that I had anything from the faculty lounge (which has been PACKED with treats for the past 2 weeks. Only one more week to go!).

What didn't work:
Not being prepared.  My husband and I usually meal prep and plan and have lunches and dinners either prepped or at least planned for each day.  This last week we were so busy and running around.  We will make a better effort this week and make meal planning and prepping a priority.


As I was thinking about my post last week and how far I've come... I remembered a few things that I've learned. I REALLY remember the mistakes that I made.  Let me share some things with you that I hope you find helpful.

What I did wrong when I first started:
1. I wasn't eating enough.  I used My Fitness Pal's recommendation for calorie consumption.  After I got my calorie goal from an actual nutritional coach, I was VERY surprised on how many calories I should have been eating (or more importantly, COULD have been eating)! Not eating enough is bad in so many ways! It causes havoc on your metabolism in the longterm.  In short-term it causes HANGRINESS (hungry+angry) and really sets you up to fail (aka BINGE EAT). So... eat enough, my friends and fuel your body with nutrient-dense food.  {Try CalorieKing to calculate your calories or even better- pay a professional}

2.  I wasn't eating breakfast (or just skipping meals in general). We all know it's important for our metabolism to eat at least every 3-4 hours. I prefer 3 big, solid meals a day (but this can vary depending on the person).  Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are a MUST!  If you skip a meal, you are more likely to load up on one meal and over-eat. I find that when I eat a protein rich breakfast, I'm full until lunch.  I like to save my carb macros for closer to when I workout (energy!). In short.... eat at least 3 meals.

3. I relied on the scale to tell me if I was successful.  I honestly stepped on the scale 1 or 2 times A DAY. If I lost weight, I'd be happy as a unicorn. If I gained, I wanted to cry and thought life was over.  What I didn't know is that my body fluctuates about 3-5 pounds in a week depending on what I ate, time of the month, etc.  The minute I stopped weighing myself and started celebrating non-scale victories, I felt such a relief. Instead of celebrating losing 5 pounds, I celebrated when I fit in size 6 jeans or PR'd my squat or ran my longest distance on the treadmill or could take off my wedding ring with ease. Your worth can't be measured by a scale. Love yourself always.

Now it's your turn! Link up and tell us what worked (or what didn't)!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Week 3- My Healthy Holiday Mindful Eating

Can you believe it's already week three of our challenge?  

What's working:
My workouts....always.  I just love training. I love IT ALL! I want to do a post about my most favorite ways to exercises (because I've tried them all).  I want to try more, too.  I've got a bucket list of workouts/gyms I want to try.  

What's NOT working:
Moderation.  Honestly, this word makes me cringe.  I'm a food addict and crappy food in moderation spirals me into a world of hurt when I'm constantly eating non-nutrient dense food in "moderation". I'm fine to do it once in a while, but at our school we've been having the 12 days of Christmas TREATS every day! Ugh.  It's a nightmare.... chips, dips, candies, cookies, cheeseballs....
I have been trying ALL THE THINGS and instead of eating my pre-planned lunch that I bring to school, I've been ditching it to snack on the 12 Days treats.  

My goal for this week is to remember where I came from.  Remember that I feel at my best when I eat nutrient-dense food as much as I can AND THEN have non-nutrient dense foods when it's appropriate. I just feel better when I FUEL my body and not just FEED it.  Yes, I can meet my caloric goals with cheeseballs and chips, but I feel better both physically/mentally (not to mention I sleep better, my skin looks better, and I'm not bloated) when I eat whole-foods. My goal this week is to avoid the treats in the teacher's lounge altogether.  I know it sounds "extreme", but this is what I want to do....unless there's donuts. There's no excuse NOT to have a donut. ;)

So... here I am- Remembering where I came from AND HOW FAR I'VE COME.  

Now it's your turn! 
Use our image from above and link up to tell me what worked (or didn't work) this week!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Week 2- My Healthy Holiday Mindful Eating

Thanksgiving is over and it was GREAT!  I loved spending time with my family, eating the yummy food, and having the day off of school. :)  BUT, I'm also glad it's over.  The leftovers are FINALLY all gone.  They are the death of me.  I followed my plan for Thanksgiving day (you can read about that here), but it was a struggle to not eat #alltheleftoversintheworld

What went well this week?
I have logged all my food, workouts, and water into My Fitness Pal. It's keeping me accountable, but I know that my carb to fat to protein ratio is FAR OFF.  I'm not eating enough protein and everyone knows that's mucho important.  

I got in all of my workouts. This piece I don't have a problem with. I workout an hour a day with 2 rest days built in for recovery.  I try to stretch and work on my mobility during my rest days. I LOVE teaching Jazzercise, but I also LOVE lifting weights.  Cardio is important, but if you really want to see changes in your body, you've got to pick up those weights (and cans of soup don't count). I promise lifting heavy weights won't "bulk you", unless that's what you want. I DO! Give me #allthemuscles
I suggest getting a trainer if you are new to lifting or try a Pump class at your local gym.  When I first got started with lifting- I googled, watched youtube videos, and watched people at the gym and mimicked their movements. I also used the app, Fitness Buddy.  Some of my friends used Jamie Eason's free program on

Coming up this next week- here are my goals:

1.  I want to eat a little more protein! It's my most difficult macronutrient to get enough of.  Ugh.  ;)

2. Say no to the treats in the faculty lounge unless they are donuts!

3. Cook more this week!  We love homemade meals, but can't someone come and do the dishes for us?  

4. Drink 96 ounces of water each day. 

Don't forget to check out Deedee's post about how her week went! 

Link up and tell us about your week (feel free to snag the cute graphic that Deedee made!)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Week 1- My Healthy Holiday Mindful Eating

What Worked?
I tracked my food each day, even when My Fitness Pal was being a b*tch. I didn't worry about my macros this week, I just met my calories.  I felt good staying within a healthy range of my calories, but not obsessing over the numbers. My Healthy Holiday is all about being accountable and mindful.  If you go over your daily calories, don't stress...just keep track of it and move on.
Remember...My Fitness Pal is NEVER right when it comes to your calorie intake. Please don't just eat 1,200 calories because MFP tells you.  Manually put in how many calories you should eat (to find out just how many you should eat, click here). 

I also got in all of my workouts this week even though I had all the excuses not to.  I had parent teacher conferences after school on Thursday and Friday. I made sure to get in a 5am workout on those days because I knew I would be exhausted after conferences.  I'm so glad I worked out because it helps my stress level and then I was SUPER nice to all the parents. ;)

This week I also went to see Mocking Jay Part 2. I'm so sad it's over! And... I DID have some movie theatre popcorn. HOLY BUTTER! HOLY SALT!

Looking Ahead
This week is Thanksgiving week and my goal is to get in my workouts and drink lots of water.  I'm not going to "restrict" myself on Thanksgiving day but I do have a plan.  Want to hear it?
Thanksgiving Day
-Workout at Jazzercise (teach 2 classes)
-Eat a LARGE, protein heavy breakfast
-Drink lots of water
-Drink a protein shake and have a snack before I head over to my sister's house
-Eat only the WORTH IT food at Thanksgiving.  I really want to just eat stuffing, potatoes, and pie.  I'm not a fan of everything else.  I also plan to make sure to not go crazy on the appetizers because they aren't my favorite... I love them, but I'd rather have a big piece of chocolate pie.
-Stop eating when I'm FULL<--- holy heck- does anyone else struggle with this?

Let's not let this be us this year! I'm going to eat until I'm satisfied and then STOP!

Now we want to hear from YOU! Link up, grab the graphic from the top of this post, and tell us what worked for you this week (or what didn't work)!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

My Healthy Holiday 2015

Does anyone feel overwhelmed with the thought of the holidays coming in terms of your waistline?
My hand is raised HIGH in the air.  It's usually around this time of year the faculty lounge if full of junk and I'm mindlessly eating all day. A bite here...a lick there.   And sometimes it's not even food I REALLY enjoy!  This holiday season is GOING TO BE DIFFERENT! This year I'm going to be more mindful of everything I eat because I'm going to log my food into My Fitness Pal.

You know my friend, Deedee- right? She's the fabulous lady behind all things Mrs. Wills' Kinder.  We decided that our fat train is going to stop right here. We are done making excuses and we are going to take the Holidays HEAD ON.

Did you know people gain an average of 5-7lbs during the holiday season.  NO THANK YOU! Let's aim to maintain this year, my friends! Do you want to join us in a little challenge?  Mindful eating and moving our body more?

Well what IS mindful eating?
"The main purpose of mindful eating is to change your relationship with food. Mindful eating is anything but a “diet” — in fact, it’s basically the opposite! Changing the way you eat (as opposed to just what foods you eat) is not just about developing discipline over your food preferences or necessarily losing weight. Instead, it’s really about mastering control over your mind. When using mindfulness around food, you’re present and aware of your appetite as it changes so you naturally control portions, choose healthy options and avoid emotionally eating." Dr. Axe

Do you want to win $100 gift card to Amazon and not gain #alltheweightintheworld?

Here's what you need to do:
1. Download My Fitness Pal on your smartphone (they also have a computer version)

2. Get familiar with My Fitness Pal and don't be scared to Google any questions you have. You'll be logging all your food and movement for this challenge. 
For instance, you can Google:
Google will be your BFF if you are new to My Fitness Pal. BUT- it is SO SO simple.  
Also, here's a great "newbie" tutorial for the computer and here's one for an iphone.
*Although we are not worrying about weightloss- My Fitness Pal SUCKS at suggesting calories that I should eat. It's NEVER enough.  I looked around for a website that might help you determine how many calories you should eat because 1,200 is NOT enough (and everyone is different). 
CalorieKing was the closest and easiest.  Then you can plug that number manually into your MFP. 

3. Download our My Healthy Holiday Sheet

and here are some optional things you can do...

3.  Post your food, workouts, tips, and tricks on Instagram and Facebook using our hashtag
#myhealthyholiday15 - Feel free to use our "Mindful Eating" image to post on IG and FB! Invite your spouse, friends, and family to join this challenge. 

4. You'll have the option to link up to our weekly Linky each Sunday night to share your successes or failures!  Come back here next Sunday to check in. 

5. Put away the scale! This isn't about losing weight (although that will be a nice bonus). This is about being more aware of the food we are eating, MAINTAINING our weight, making healthy choices, moving our body more,  feeling better, developing a good relationship with food, and the $100 gift card. ;)

Are you in? 
Share with your friends/family and get them involved!

Let's do this!
In health and happiness,
Rachelle and Deedee

Friday, July 24, 2015

3 Reasons Why the Scale Sucks

When I first started this weight loss journey, I weighed myself EVERY DAY.  I always weighed at the same time each morning and I took off all clothes, jewelry, hair-ties, and maybe even spit into the sink before stepping on that demon machine. ;)
I realized that I had an unhealthy relationship with the scale when I did my first Whole30 last September.  Part of the program is NOT weighing yourself because the scale cannot measure the healthy changes your are making in your life.  #truth  I can remember wanting SO bad to weigh myself...almost as much as I wanted to eat #allthedonuts!  After the month, I felt so empowered.  I didn't have to wake up every morning and weigh because my mood didn't need to be determined by a number.

Here's my top 3 reasons the SCALE SUCKS!

1. Because it screws with your mind

I could literally be the happiest unicorn in all the land and the minute I step on the scale and see the number go up or even stay the same...BOOM! I'm turned back into a donkey complete with a bad mood and a horrible body image.  The opposite goes for if I see the number go down.  I pretty much spray glitter from my extremities...I'm THAT excited. It was a roller coaster ride each day.

An inanimate object should not do this to us!  A scale sometimes has the control over me that I just think is unhealthy.  Do you really want the scale to tell you if your day is going to be a good do or a bad day?

2. Because it's never actually correct

I used to weigh myself every single morning.  Haven't you noticed that you can lose and gain 2 or 3 pounds in one day? Well folks, that's not really you losing or gaining FAT.  It's mostly water and it can be dependent on what you ate that day, exercise, urination, hydration, etc.  The fluctuation on the scale DROVE ME BAT-SHIT CRAZY and in the end, it wasn't really my true weight!  Can you relate?

3.  Because, this. 

On the left- cruise in 2014
On the right- cruise in 2015

These two pictures have really NO WEIGHT DIFFERENCE. But, on the right- I can see a smaller waist, stronger legs, and definition in my arms.  Can you see it?
I honestly have worked my butt off this past year. I've eaten healthy and pushed myself in the gym. I feel like it has shown in this picture, but you wouldn't see that on the scale.  It would say the same number.   Now don't go and say "muscle weight more than fat"....UM NO.  15 pounds of muscle weighs the same as 15 pounds of fat (it's like the brick and feather questions). The difference is HOW 15 pounds of muscle looks compared to that 15 pounds of fat.  Muscle looks better, duh. :)

There are so many other ways to measure your progress toward a healthy and happy life.
1. Your smile
2. Your stable energy levels
3. Your clear skin
4. Your loose pants
5. Your muscles
6. Your PR at the gym
7. Your endurance
8. Your painted toenails (because you can now bend over)
9. Your crossed legs (I could not do that before)
10. Your positive self-talk

Thursday, January 1, 2015

How to Not Suck at Whole30

Many of you have read my post and results from my first round of Whole30 in September. It was amazing. I felt incredible, lost weight, had so much energy (insert all the happy emojis). You can read about it {here}.

  But, did you know I did another round in November? And. It. Sucked.  I am writing this post so you don't make your Whole30 as pitiful as mine was in November.  Why even do it if you aren't going to do it 100%?  Because if you aren't first, you're last.

Read the Book, It Starts With Food (or re-read it)
Do not try to *wing-it* through a Whole30 by googling, Pinteresting, and forum reading. I don't mind answering questions from newbies at all. It's just the questions that can be answered by reading the book are the ones that might make me want to roll my eyes (*eyes currently rolling*).  For instance, "Can I have quinoa?"  No you can't and if you read the book, they would tell you that. :)

I really think that the program is successful because you understand the reasoning behind it.  The book is an easy read and it's not too science-y (but just enough so that I can have a fierce debate with the haters out there and know all of my science-y terms- #kiddingnotkidding).  It Starts With Food has been my favorite book I've read in a long time. I have it in a hard-copy and the Kindle version so that I can have it on my phone and refer to it when needed.  It has just the right amount of heart-pumping fun... almost like the Hunger Games. I also love their new book just titled The Whole30 (it has recipes and more guides!).

First Week=Think Simple
Less is more here.  You are already changing your life and taking the step toward a healthier you.  But, news flash!!! You shouldn't try to be Bobby Flay in the kitchen.  Now we all know my husband is the chef in our home... but- I laid out the meals, bought the ingredients and kept everything SUPER simple for the first week.  For example, we just had salad and steak or Aidell's chicken sausage and steamed veggies.  We didn't try any crazy recipes just yet because we were overwhelmed with the fact that sugar was no longer in our coffee.

Buy a Cookbook
This is my suggestion for week 2-4. I JUST bought Well Fed and there are a few other cookbooks that they suggest in It Starts With Food as well. They don't call for exotic ingredients or kitchen tools you might see Edward Scissorhands use.  It's simple ingredients with great seasoning combinations and it will be delicious.  This round (that started today) will be the first we have used a cookbook.  I wish I would have had it during my half-assed Whole30 I did in November.  I literally ate the same thing every. single. day. (which leads me to my next tip)

Don't Get in a Food Rut
If you eat the same thing every single day (egggggggs for dayyyys), you will get sick of eating in general and you will dread every meal.  You don't want to live this way and you don't have to!  Put some variety in your diet and use a cookbook to light the fire under your butt!  You don't have to eat eggs every morning.  Remember, if you read the book- they suggest you think of your meals as meal 1, meal 2, and meal 3.  Think outside of the box and don't be afraid to mix it up. And no... a Larabar does NOT count as meal 1.

"Slay the Sugar Dragon" by Starving it Out
I tried to slay the sugar dragon with fruit in November. Yes, you can eat fruit on Whole30.  But, they suggest not using it as your nightly fix for a "dessert".  I ate dates like they were going out of style during my sucky November Whole30 and once I was done with that round, I immediately went back to eating whatever I wanted because I was still craving sugar.  The ONLY way to slay the Sugar Dragon is to STARVE IT OUT.  You cannot feed the Sugar Dragon sugar or you will not rid yourself of that addiction.  So, eat your fruit with your meals, but don't satisfy your cravings of sugar with bananas topped with almond butter.  Or by eating 17 dates.

Meal Plan and Prep
If you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail.  It's SO TRUE!  You must be prepared and be over-prepared.  I meal prep hard-boiled eggs, Aidell's Chicken/Apple Sausage (I buy mine at Costco), sweet potatoes, and ground beef (ground beef can easily be turned into any meal at any given time).  My husband also makes a Paleo soup that we freeze in case of emergencies (you know, when you get hangry and you just got home from work and you still have to grade papers but dinner needs to get cooked but you are sooooo hungry right now). I LOVE all of the downloads from to help me prep and grocery shop, too! I also ordered some RX Bars and Primal Pacs for the days I'm in a pinch.  When we make a dinner, we always make lots extra so we can take it for lunch the next day at work. If we don't have leftovers, I take tuna fish (from Costco) with avocados, pickles, and celery mixed in.  Or, I get some of that emergency soup out of the freezer and take it.

Eat Enough
Remember, food is FUEL. You aren't tracking calories (praise the Lord) on Whole30 and I found that when I first started I was not eating enough each meal.  You'll find that once you balance out your hormones and detox from sugar, you won't be constantly thinking about food.  You might not even feel hungry (GASP!).  But, you do need to eat and you want to make sure that each meal follows the Whole30 Food Map.

Know Where You Are on the Timeline

Of course this is different for everyone, but I found it to be helpful as well. Read the whole timeline here.

Watch out for SWYPO
Just read about it here. You're welcome.

Use your Resources
Whole30 Daily Email Subscription <---- YOU MUST SUBSCRIBE
Whole30 Resource Roundup
Surviving Whole30
Whole30 Downloads <----- YOU MUST DOWNLOAD ALL OF THEM
Whole30 Forums <---- IF YOU AREN'T SURE IF A FOOD IS COMPLIANT, JUST GOOGLE THE FOOD NAME AND WHOLE30 (for instance: type into Google "Is sesame oil whole30 compliant?"
Instagram Whole30
Instagram Whole30 Recipes

Tough Love
Honestly, I read the tough love part of the book over and over.  You can do this! You can do anything you want! It's NOT easy, but it is so worth it.  It's hard to be un-healthy, overweight, pre-diabetic, and depressed. You pick your hard.  So... don't "slip-up" or "cheat" or "take a break" or "quit early".  Do the WHOLE 30 DAYS because you love yourself and you want to take care of the only body you are given.

You can do this! Now go be a unicorn or a sexy beast or a kitty-cat that purrs out glitter! Just go be awesome!