Headed offline through the holidays

Hi everyone - thanks so much for your comments on the podcasting post! I'm still not 100% sure what I want to do, but one thing I need to do is officially take a break from blogging through the holidays - I think most of you have probably seen this coming with my lack of posts lately, and I wanted to officially out it out there.

I really enjoy meeting so many of you online and helping you with your journeys, but in order to help you, I need to take care of myself, and it's been really hard to do that lately. I really feel like I set myself up for this, but a good friend told me that this is one time that it's okay to be selfish and put myself first. It's funny how my own advice has come back around just for me! :)

I have great plans for 2010 - the PF Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Half-Marathon in January, the Trek Women's Tri in Pleasant Prairie in July, the Chicago Rock 'n' Roll Half-Marathon in August, a trip to LA for the Biggest Loser finale ... keep your fingers crossed - a spin session in West Hollywood with Bob-alicious ... but to get myself ready for all of that, I really need to take the next few months off to solely and completely focus on ME.

No matter what, know that you already have what it takes to make your dreams come true - whether it's losing weight, getting fit, starting your own business, go back to college ... YOU have the power already inside of you. Just believe in yourself the way that I do, then fasten your seatbelts because you're in for the ride of your life!


P.S. If you need me, I'm still here - I'll be on Twitter almost exclusively through the holidays, and you can contact me there with any questions!

What do you think ...

So ... I'm here in at the Barnes & Noble cafe near my house so I can use their WiFi for free and am downloading tons of schtuff from iTunes. I started thinking about all the many things that I do, and how there simply isn't enough time in the day to do what I want to do.

The guy next to me and I started chatting about our favorite podcasts and I mentioned this blog (which he thought was really cool, and couldn't believe my "before" photos - Hi Kenneth!) so anyway, he suggested that I change my blog to a podcast ... then the barista came over to offer us free coffee crumb cake (which I was barely able to refuse) and she thought the podcast thing would be a great idea too ...

So my question to you is this ... if I went to podcasting, would you subscribe and listen? I'd probably go weekly (maybe twice a week)? I think it could be fun, with interviews with other FFGs, and could even take my podcast on the road.

Let me know what you think!


I've been a baad baaaad girl!

Nuh-uh, no need to call out the Oompah Loompahs, I didn't fall into the chocolate river, I've just been a baad blogger!!

Geez-o-pete, another week has come and gone and I didn't blog a bit. I'M SO SORRY!! I really need to get back into the swing of blogging - and have the perfect opportunity to do so because I'm starting an unpaid furlough from work (perfect because I'll have an entire week off, not-so-perfect because that means NO income for a week). I'll have some time on my hands to catch up on EVERYONE's blogs, and get some really good posts up that have been floating around in my head for the past several weeks.

Switching gears here ...

Can you believe that 10 weeks from today is New Years Day 2010?? And with New Years Day, that brings a heckuvalot of "resolutions" to live healthier, exercise more, and giving up of various vices.

Don't even THINK about waiting until 2010 to get started on the new you. Start NOW. Start TODAY. THIS VERY SECOND. Don't waste another breath living half a life. Change now. It doesn't have to be a big change, just one small change.



I'm alive!

I'm alive! OMGoodness, I can't believe how long it's been since I blogged! I just wanted to send a quick note to say THANK YOU for all of your comments and emails checking up on me! I didn't fall off the wagon, I didn't fall face first into a vat of chocolate (oh how I wish that could happen, though) or anything like that ...

Turns out both kids did have the H1N1 virus, and are now back at school (finally). We were blessed that it wasn't as bad as it could have been, although it certainly was touch and go for awhile. I also had a gallbladder attack last Thursday night that I'm still a bit tender from, but it's nothing horribly serious (well, I will have to have it removed at some point, but it's not life or death).

With the exception of Friday, I've been going strong with P90X Doubles (double P90X workouts per day) and am doing really well. I do have some notes that I will upload to my blog in the next few days :)

I hope everyone is doing well - stay warm, stay healthy, and keep smilin'!


The flu just won't go away!

Thank you all SO MUCH for your thoughts and prayers! The flu seems to have set up camp in our house - now both kids are sick - day 5 for my son, and the start of round 2 for my daughter. We're headed to the doctor this afternoon for the official H1N1 test!

Despite everything, I'm still going strong with P90X and am on week 2 of Phase II - Doubles! P90X is actually the ONE thing that's keeping me sane through everything!


Grr ... the flu ...

The flu has hit my home ... my wee one is miserable, which means she's making me miserable along with her .... send healthy thoughts our way please!!


The Biggest Loser Diary

Just catching up - this is from Week 4!

NBC has added three new features to the Biggest Loser page on NBC.com. The first is a “Weigh-In Game” which allows viewers to vote on the players they thought worked hardest and compare with their fellow watchers. The second new feature is “Dining Out Tips from Bob” which will help readers eat great, even out! I found this one particularly helpful. The final new feature is an excerpt from the new Biggest Loser book, Simple Swaps: 100 Easy Changes to Start Living a Healthier Lifestyle. It contains a few easy to exchange items which will make a world of a difference.

And here are the videos!

Week 4 - Check out how Julio looks today!

Sneak Peek of Next Week's Biggest Loser

Week Four How far will players go for immunity? Find out with the Two-Minute-Replay.

Week 4 - Daniel confesses how he feels about the weigh-in each week.

Week 4 - The Pink team win the ultimate prize of talking to their loved ones with video phones.


In Your Face!

I should warn you, this post is a little more "in your face" than my usual posts.

"Michelle, I just don't have time to workout." I hear this ridiculous excuse on a daily basis. To be blunt, I'm sick of it. If you feel like you don't have time to workout - answer me the following questions:

Is it true that out of the 1,440 minutes in a day you can not find 60 minutes to workout?

How can you not find a measly 60? There are 1,440 to choose from!

Are you able to find time each week to watch your favorite 60 minute television shows?

Could it be possible that you haven't YET made exercise a priority?

Why isn't exercise a priority in your life?

Do you know what lack of exercise will do to your body?

Do you know all the benefits of a regular exercise program?

Do you know that you only get one body to get you through your entire lifetime?

You are aware that you can't trade your body in like a used car, right?

These questions are, in no way, meant to anger you. I ask them in hopes that they will get you to open your mind to the possibility that you CAN find time to workout.

So, the answer to the question "How do I find time to workout" is simple ...

Move exercise up the priority ladder. Once you realize the benefits of a regular exercise program, you'll want to move it up that priority ladder of yours.

Whatever you need, I'm here to help!


Mental Monday

Self-Sneaking: How to Trick Yourself into Eating Healthy Food

In a perfect world, countries would stop fighting, cars would emit rose-scented oxygen, and broccoli would taste like chocolate cake. Sadly, that's not the case. But there's always hope. Beachbody® may not be able to stop wars or global warming (yet), but we can certainly give you a few tips on getting your veggies to taste better. It's easier than you think.

There are a number of books on the subject of sneaking healthy foods to kids, including a few The Sneaky Chef titles and Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food. Basically, the same principles you'll find in these books apply to grown-ups. The only difference is your mind-set. Given that you'll be doing the cooking, you won't really be sneaking healthy foods into meals; you'll just be altering healthy foods to suit your tastes.

There are other easy ways to make sure you get your veggies, including taking green nutritional supplements and drinking everyone's favorite prebiotic, micronutrient-packed drink, Shakeology®, but remember that most healthy diets are supposed to be primarily made up of fruits and veggies. If you can drink your Shakeology and sneak a couple servings of cauliflower into your Texas chili, you'll be in great shape.

The goop

The gist of the aforementioned cookbooks is simply to steam veggies for 10 to 15 minutes, throw them in a blender or food processor with a couple tablespoons of water, and puree them into a fine goop. Then you introduce the goop into foods that overwhelm its flavor. It's that easy.

Although the books offer a near-infinite variety of goops, I'm going to boil it down, so to speak, to two goops.

White goop. Most of the time, this is cauliflower, although some people try a little zucchini in there. It's the most flavorless of the goops, and it's ideal to mix into anything with a cream- or cheese-based sauce, such as pasta Alfredo or mac 'n cheese.

Green goop. Anything green can go into green goop, but I find broccoli and spinach work best. Green goop works well with red or reddish sauces, such as chili, marinara, or pizza sauce. You can also throw a massive layer into lasagna or manicotti and be none-the-wiser, yet all the healthier. I've never tried it in enchiladas, but I'm guessing it'll work there too.

Bonus: goop recipe. Pesto is incredibly easy to make from scratch and impresses the pants off of anyone who doesn't know how to make it. And the best thing about it is that its rich, complex flavor makes it easy to tweak, so that you can sneak a little healthiness in the form of iron-packed spinach to your unsuspecting dinner guests.

1-1/2 cups basil, packed
1-1/2 cups spinach, packed
1/3 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

Directions: Mix them into a paste with a food processor or blender. Done.

The split

If you've eaten enriched flour pasta and white rice your whole life, it's understandable that brown rice and whole wheat pasta would taste weird. After all, brown rice and whole wheat pastas have flavor!

The solution is simple. Make a 50/50 mix. It's half as healthy, but it also tastes half as different. Once you're used to that, cut the white out and go 100 percent brown. You'll never look back.

Bonus Split Tip! Next time you make mashed potatoes, go half potato/half yam or sweet potato. You'll be adding flavor, which means less need for salt and butter. Also, you'll be adding the fiber that, especially if you don't like veggies, you're probably not getting enough of.

Miscellaneous strategies

While all the above stuff works great for fussy eaters young and old, keep in mind that at your age techniques for sneaking in healthy food shouldn't always have to be so covert. Here are a few ideas that are slightly less sneaky but effective nonetheless. You'll be adding a very subtle taste to a strong, rich food.

Carrot juice in your apple juice. The former doesn't taste nearly as strong as the latter, but it packs a nutritional wallop that includes vitamins A and C, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

Broccoli in your burger. Shred the little florets on top and mix them into the meat. Yeah, you might still see them floating around, but after piling on the lettuce, onion, tomato, pickle, mustard, or whatever else you add, you're just not going to taste them.

Whole wheat French toast. Yes, this might change the texture, but who eats French toast for the toast part? Your taste buds will be so busy dancing with the fresh fruit and syrup you put on top that they won't have time for to notice the fibrous, nutritious whole grains you're sneaking in.

No, we don't live in a perfect world. Pollution is a bummer, and there will probably always be countries that just can't seem to coexist on the same planet. But there's no reason why, with a little effort and a few tricks, nutritious and delicious can't live together happily on the same plate.

Written by Denis Faye
Published September 2009


P90X Day 34: Yoga X

Daily Weigh-In: 0.6 lbs
Total P90X Weight Lost: 15.8 lbs

Yes it's early Sunday morning, but I just love Yoga X so much, I seriously jumped up out of bed early and pushed play.

Um, yeah right LOL Not that I DON'T love Yoga X, it's just that I don't love early Sunday mornings :)

Actually, our kitty decided to sleep on my HEAD (don't mistake this for sleeping on my PILLOW), and would not be disuaded, so I dragged my post-Core Synergistics tender body out of bed and figured I'd get my Yoga X on :)

I think I'm now headed back to bed! lol


Don't forget - I love to help people achieve their health and fitness dreams. My coaching services are FREE - click here for more information!

P90X Day 33: Core Synergistics

Daily Weigh-In: 0.4 lbs
Total P90X Weight Lost: 15.2 lbs

Oh yeah ... Core Synergistics. I was looking forward to today's workout in a twisted, warped, I-want-my-butt-kicked-in-a-seriously-insane kind of way!

I majorly seriously conked with the plank to mountain climbers. UGH! These are so much more "evil" than Jillian!


P90X Day 32: X Stretch

Daily Weigh-In: 0.4 lbs
Total P90X Weight Lost: 14.8 lbs

YAY! 0.4 lbs! Isn't it crazy how that stupid little number on the scary flat white box can evoke such emotions within us! I mean, after all, it's just a flat white box! Sheesh!

As long as I've bee on my weight loss journey, and with all that I've learned, I hate that I'm still a slave the the scale!


P90X Day 31: Kenpo X

Daily Weigh-In: 0.0 lbs
Total P90X Weight Lost: 14.4 lbs

*sigh* Another no loss day. I hope this doesn't set the stage for the future!


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