• Stressed…. I just don't want to disappoint people.

    You know what? You can’t do it all right? All I ever wanted with these tshirts was to just have a little side gig, selling sweet shirts to motivate others… what I got was a seriously booming t-shirt business…. the down side? I can’t keep up 🙁

    I love love love love, more than anything in the world, having something that I can sell to others that will motivate them, or someone else. And that product happens to be a pretty neat tank top  – something that I would even wear…. but how do I keep up? We had the AMAZING gift of the ladies on Women of Crossfit = Strong share our post about free shipping, and we got the MOST amount of orders I’ve ever even seen… in one day. And after 24 hours of selling almost 300 shirts, I called my printer and said… now how the HELL are we going to fullfil this all?? I never in a million years would have thought that one post, one small post about saving 5$ would sell so many shirts… and I am forever in debt to these amazing ladies… but what we’ve learned, is overnight, this “hobby” of mine, has turned into something so much bigger then that. My printer has already had to hire 2 people to just do my shirts everyday… normally, that would be awesome! But oh. my. god. that’s how quickly and fast we are growing…

    At first, I didn’t have the money to put into something that might fail… and yeah, I will say that, might fail. You never know if something is going to take off or not, and even now, just because we are selling shirts doesn’t mean that we are successful. And since we print everything on demand instead of housing inventory of over 40 shirts (we do that so people can do custom shirts…. custom tank colors and custom inks…. we want people to have WHAT THEY WANT, so if you want something different then what’s shown, you can…) I still don’t have the money to house all of those in house… so we’ve had to figure out another way, so that this doesn’t happen again.. so that it doesn’t take more than 2 weeks for people to get their shirts, and the worse thing… so I don’t disappoint people… that’s the worst feeling in the world. The feeling of disappointment. It’s funny… because I started these tanks because of my blog, and because I was inspiring people with all of my complaints about weight loss, and a lot of the people that have bought shirts, I’m sure don’t even know there’s a blog… but what they do know, is that my shirts are taking forever….

    I sit here day after day, night after night, fulfilling orders, making sure things are right, making sure customers are happy, and I still feel so anxious, and my stomach drops every time I get an email from someone asking where their order is… It’s like, do I hire someone? Do I sleep less, do I stop working out? I just don’t know – I’m one person, he’s one person up in NY that took a chance and wanted to help me with my crazy shirt idea, but it’s not enough….

    I’m writing this because I feel so horrible that the wait time has been so high… I write this because I need to get it off my chest, and I write this because I want people to know I’m not screwing them, I’m not doing anything malicious, and I’m trying to do the best I can – I will do anything it takes to make things like this write, I will even refund all of your money and send you your shirts for free… that’s how serious I am, and that’s how much I want YOU, you as the customer to be happy…

    Ok, back to shipping shirts, but I felt like I had to get this off my chest… thank you for being patient with me, and I swear, I’m doing the best I can to get shirts to you as SOON as possible…

    XOXO-

    Andrea

    my daily ship station

    my daily ship station

    photo (5)

    orders in and out the door in the same day…

  • I had a great time this weekend, and it included cheating on my "healthy eating"

    399802_766089878102_1066717430_nSO THIS WEEKEND WAS A BLAST!!!! HERE’S WHY – Well I fell off the wagon, ate like shit, drank like a fish and you know what I don’t regret one bit of it. I’ve been working my ass off being good, and you can tell but shit maybe once I’m gonna have a fun ass time. And especially at one of my best friends wedding! What’s life if you can’t live it?!? Do I want to lose weight? Yes…. Am I losing weight? Yes…. Am I eating healthy 28 out of 31 days of the month??? Yes….. but do I want to give up everything all the time for it? No. I thought to myself when I started this month of getting my shit together with my diet and drinking, I was like, you know what, I’m going to give it all I’ve got and I’m not going to drink like the REST OF THE YEAR….. YEAH RIGHT. Then I was like, NOPE, you know what, every once and a while, I’m allowed to have a good time… I’ve started changing my lifestyle and I am seeing results but if I want to go out, have a blast, drink the shit out some Vods And wads, eat a damn cookie, then god damn I’m doing it. I’m not going to gain all my weight back by having one sinfully delicious day…..

    Weight loss sucks, but once you’ve started really seeing a difference, it’s kind of awesome. It’s kind of all worth it – but honestly, I’m not going to just deprive myself of all the fun things… I’ve definitely learned that along the way there are going to be obstacles and things you’ve got to work through, but you find a way to do it, get through it, cope, without being miserable, and it’s great. I see so many people that are trying to lose weight that are on a “program” or just doing some extreme dieting.. but me, no way… if I’m miserable, why the hell would I want to keep losing weight? If I can lose weight, and not be miserable, I’m going to do it that way… workout everyday, eat right, and enjoy life haha, why not?!??!

    Anyways, this article I found, for me, is good hahaha – I’m always on the run and I always need something quick for lunch or dinner… etc… but how about this, haha – America’s Top 10 Healthiest Fast Food Restaurants.

    America’s Top 10 Healthiest Fast Food Restaurants

    Who hasn’t unwrapped a sandwich while driving down the highway or pulled a hard U-turn into a fast-food joint on the way home from a late meeting or soccer game? We practically live in our cars, so we need quick food, and please, we’d like it to be healthy.

    Well, guess what: We surveyed the nation’s 100 largest fast-food chains, as defined by the number of locations, and found many are creating menus that look more and more like what we’d cook ourselves (if we had the time)—from nutritious soups and healthy salads to fresh whole grains and sensible desserts. Even better: They’re offering good-news Mexican, Asian, and Mediterranean fare.

    Using criteria that was created with the help of our expert panel, we scored the chains on such factors as the use of healthy fats and preparations, healthy sodium counts in entrees, availability of nutritional information, and the use of organic produce to determine the 10 highest-ranking restaurants.

    One big surprise: A traditional fast-food chain, McDonald’s, cracked our top 10. Sure, it’s the home of the Big Mac, but did you know it also serves a mean yogurt-and-granola parfait? Here, the standouts that are making grabbed food healthy food.

     #1 Panera Bread
    Over 1,230 locations nationwide (and in Canada)

    This bakery-cafe-based eatery wowed our judges with a comprehensive menu of healthy choices for every meal. “Variety makes it easy for everyone to choose healthy,” praises registered dietitian and panelist Marisa Moore. What does that mean for you? For starters, you can pick from two whole-grain breads for your sandwich and have an apple with it instead of chips (though the chips are fine, too—they can be baked!). Half-size soups, salads, and sandwiches make it a cinch to control portion size. Also, most of the chicken is antibiotic- and hormone-free, a rarity for large chains.

    Panera also won top honors for kid fare, dishing out RD-approved crowd-pleasers like squeezable organic yogurt, PB&J (with all-natural peanut butter), and grilled organic cheese on white whole-grain bread.

    We love: Delicious, nutrient-packed combos like a half–Turkey Artichoke on focaccia bread with a bowl of black bean or garden vegetable soup.
    Danger zone: Sticky buns and cheese danishes are on display at the counter.

    #2 Jason’s Deli
    206 locations in the West, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, South

    How did this up-and-comer snag second place? Largely because of its devotion to organic food: About one-fifth of all its ingredients are organic, from blue-corn tortilla chips and whole-wheat wraps to field greens and spinach. Plus, its creative salads—like the Nutty Mixed-Up Salad with organic field greens, grapes, chicken breast, feta cheese, walnuts, dried cranberries, pumpkinseeds, raisins, and organic apples—make you actually want to order the greens.

    Our judges applauded the portion-control option: Reduced sizes of, say, a stuffed baked potato, are $1 less. Jason’s menu also highlights ultrahealthy sandwiches and provides the nutitional info.

    We love: Being able to build any sandwich on an organic whole-wheat wrap.
    Danger zone: High-sodium counts on some sandwiches; if sodium is a concern, stick to the ultrahealthy choices.

    #3 Au Bon Pain
    280 locations nationwide

    A pioneer in healthy fast food, Au Bon Pain serves up sandwiches, soups, salads, and hot entrees made with whole grains, veggies, and hormone-free chicken.

    New this year: Portions, a 14-item menu of nutritious small plates—from appetizers like apples, blue cheese, and cranberries to salads like chickpea and tomato—all of which are less than 200 calories. Another impressive feature: Au Bon Pain provides on-site nutritional information via computer kiosks, so before you even order you know each option’s calories, fat, and sodium. “It’s a great way to empower customers,” praises judge Amy Jamieson-Petonic.

    We love: Yummy low-cal soups, from Jamaican Black Bean to Fire Roasted Exotic Grains and Vegetables.
    Danger zone: The sodium counts can get high if you don’t pay attention.

    #4 Noodles and Company
    204 locations in West, Midwest, South

    Noodles and Company isn’t your typical greasy Asian food-court joint. In fact, it goes beyond Asian fare and cuts out the grease (only healthy soybean oil is used in sauteing). Here, you choose from three food types: Asian, Mediterranean, or American, then within each style, pick from four noodle bowl options. Lean proteins—hormone- and antibiotic-free chicken, beef, shrimp, and organic tofu—can be added, too.

    The result? Tasty combos like Japanese Pan Noodles with broccoli, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, Asian sprouts, and sauteed beef. Also key: “You don’t have to chow down on a giant bowl of noodles. You can opt for a small portion,” says judge Frances Largeman-Roth, RD, Health’s Senior Food and Nutrition Editor. The small Bangkok Curry bowl has just 250 calories.

    We love: The whole-grain linguine—usually hard to find when eating out.
    Danger zone: The desserts. The only options are two kinds of cookies and a Rice Krispy Treat bar that checks in at 530 calories and 19 grams of fat!

    #5 Corner Bakery Cafe
    111 locations in West, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, South

    What sets Corner Bakery apart? A fantastic breakfast menu, which is rare in the quick-serve world. We love the Farmer’s Scrambler: eggs scrambled with red and green bell peppers, red onion, mushrooms, potatoes, and Cheddar cheese. (It’s only 260 calories when ordered with egg whites.) There’s also Swiss oatmeal, a chilled European breakfast cereal made with rolled oats, green apples, bananas, currants, dried cranberries, low-fat yogurt, and skim milk.

    But Corner Bakery also has healthy salads, sandwiches, and soups made with whole grains, fresh, lean meats, and vegetables, as well as great portion-controlled combinations that make limiting calories a no-brainer.

    We love: Healthy oven-roasted chicken that comes on most pastas and salads.
    Danger zone: You have to go to their Web site to get nutritional info.

    #6 Chipotle
    800+ locations nationwide

    Buffet-style Chipotle gives every customer complete control over her burrito, taco, or salad. (Take that, Taco Bell!) And you get to build it with fresh, local ingredients. In fact, Chipolte won high marks for its commitment to organics, hormone- and antibiotic-free meats, and produce sourced from local suppliers, which is revolutionary in a chain this big. Many of its entrees can be low-sodium, if you choose add-ins such as the fajita veggies and green tomatillo salsa.

    We love: Burrito Bowls, which let you skip the tortilla—and the extra carbs.
    Danger zone: The dark side of a buffet is that you can go wild. So you have to go light on cheese and sour cream.

    #7 Atlanta Bread
    106 locations in 24 states (Southeast, West, and North)

    Someone at Atlanta Bread must be a Seinfeld fan: There are muffin tops (half the size of regular muffins) on its breakfast menu—the low-fat pumpkin muffin top has only 200 calories, compared with 320 to 640 calories for regular-size muffins. But this chain’s got more going for it than skinny muffins. This innovative bakery also features whole-grain bread, fresh sandwiches (including paninis), and hearty, healthy soups and salads. It earned high marks for great sides, too, including fire-roasted black bean and corn salad.

    We love:
     The entree salads like Salsa Fresca Salmon Salad: grilled wild Alaskan salmon filet on greens with fire-roasted black bean and corn salsa and a pineapple-mango vinaigrette.
    Danger zone: Pasta entrees at some locations are offered with bread 
 that’s a whole lotta carbs!

    #8 McDonald’s
    14,000 locations nationwide

    Among the big burger-based chains, McDonald’s is leading the way in overhauling its menu to offer more heart- and waist-friendly fare. Take the Happy Meals, which you can order with a side of apple dippers (with low-fat caramel) instead of fries and low-fat milk or fruit juice instead of soda. (Now the trick is just getting your kid to go for them!) And if you’ve gotta have fries, McDonald’s are made in a healthy canola-blend oil and come in at just 230 calories for a small.

    The Grilled Chicken Classic sandwich and wraps are healthy choices, too (just skip the mayo or sauce). So is the salad with Paul Newman low-fat balsamic vinaigrette. Registered dietician Moore notes that an Egg McMuffin, at 300 calories, is a smart alternative to other “calorie-laden biscuit breakfasts.” And our whole panel commends McDonald’s for spelling out the nutritional information right on the back of its tray liners.

    We love: The chain’s 260- to 270-calorie Snack Wraps (choose grilled chicken) for protein without a lot of unwanted carbs.
    Danger zone: Although McDonald’s made our list, this is still the land of supersizing and giant sodas. It’s up to you to request a small.

    #9 Einstein Bros. Bagels 
    649 locations nationwide

    OK, we all know that bagels are pretty high-carb, but slathering cream cheese or butter on them is what really gets you into trouble. No worries at this chain: Einstein Bros. offers healthier alternatives like reduced-fat shmears, hummus, and peanut butter—a great way to add healthy fat to breakfast (or lunch). It also serves a Good Grains bagel that has an impressive 4 grams of fiber.

    In the mood for a salad? You can order any in a half-size. For kids, our panel of judges gave a thumbs-up to the bagel dog (picture a Pig-in-a-Blanket with bagel-style bread as the “blanket”) and a fruit salad upgrade.

    We love: The high-fiber Veg Out on a sesame seed bagel.
    Danger zone: “Overstuffed” size sandwiches are a calorie nightmare.

    #10 Taco Del Mar
    270 locations in 22 states

    You may have noticed that Baja-style Mexican cuisine—think: fresh ingredients and fish instead of beef and chicken—is a growing trend. Whole grains are easy to get here, with whole-wheat tortillas available as an alternative in burritos. The chain gets high marks for its new 320-calorie chicken burrito, available at most locations. Our judges were also impressed that Taco Del Mar banned lard from its beans and bakes its fish and taco shells instead of frying them.

    We love: The 460- to 555-calorie Mondito-size burrito, which fills you up but keeps fat and sodium in check.
    Danger zone: The breakfasts. In particular, steer clear of the Mondo Breakfast Burritos, which are more than 1,000 calories.

  • Bathing Suit Shopping… The worst thing in the WORLD

    because-naked-first-date-flirting-ecard-someecardsSo… I’m going to vegas in a few weeks (actually 15 days to be exact…) and what do you do in vegas…..???? (besides drink and gamble?!!?) sit by the damn pools… the AMAZING, pools where you get a nice nice tan, you have a few drinks… yeah, it all sounds amazing, but unfortunately, you can’t wear workout clothes to the pool. Nope… so what did I have to buy? Yep, a brand spanking new bathing suit.. want to know the quickest way to get a nice hard shot to your self esteem? You guessed it, go BATHING SUIT SHOPPING! hahahah… I’m pretty sure there’s no women in this whole world that actually likes the act of finding something to wear in public where everyone will see what you think are you’re biggest flaws.

    I had that breakthrough when we were in North Carolina, when I was in the spa and I was like.. ok ok ok, I don’t look that bad. hahaha, but then I went to target, and tried some new suits on. Kill me now. Shoot me dead, I’d rather wear a parka to the pool. (maybe a parka that has a tanning bed inside so I can still get that nice perfect sun glow 🙂 ) It also sucks that all the “cute” suits look AMAZING on the models… size 0, 0, double 0…. ain’t gonna work on this real lady.. no sir… So pinterest didn’t help that, because of course the minute you put in bathing suit, all the victoria’s secret models pop up and all you want to do is drown yourself in a bathtub full of milk and oreo’s… I can’t wait to look good in ANY of these cute suits.. hahaha…

    this is what I look now, I'm getting there, but I'm totally going to look good in this bathing suit... RIGHT? hahaha

    this is what I look now, I’m getting there, but I’m totally going to look good in this bathing suit… RIGHT? hahaha

    Anyways, so I decided to go with this one here…. it’s cute, simple, I love the top of it, and I hopefully won’t look HUGE in it…. ugh, we will see what happens (because I TOTALLY ordered it online and didn’t try it on, I could’t do that to myself anymore…..and if it looks good on HER it’s totally going to look good on ME hahahahaha) The good thing is that I totally fit into a few of the cute dresses I didn’t used to fit into, and that’s going to to make vegas fun because I will at least feel like i look good! 🙂

    In the meantime, till then, I’m doing my best to NOT eat all of these desserts from below… they might not be the best, but they are better then eating, fully fattening, fully un-healthy desserts!

     

     

    9 DESSERT RECIPES FOR WEIGHT LOSS

    9. Chocolate Chip Cookies :

    190 calories, 8 g fat (5 g saturated), 28 g carbohydrates, 16 g sugars

    No applesauce, protein powder, or Splenda here. Just good, honest, truly delicious chocolate chip cookies.

    You’ll Need:
    8 tablespoons butter (1 stick), softened
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    2 eggs
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    2 cups flour
    1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
    Sea salt flakes (optional)

    How to Make It
    * Preheat the oven to 375°F.

    * In a mixing bowl, thoroughly mix the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until creamy. Stir in eggs and vanilla until well incorporated. Add the baking soda, salt, and flour and mix until the dough comes together, being careful not to overmix. Stir in the chocolate chips.

    * Drop the dough onto a baking sheet in balls about 3 tablespoons in size, leaving at least 3 inches between cookies.

    * Bake until the edges are golden and the middles are just barely set. Remove from the sheet, sprinkle with a bit of sea salt (if using), and cool on a wire rack. 

    Makes about 12 cookies.

    8. Crispy Apple Turnovers :

    200 calories, 8 g fat (1 g saturated), 32 g carbohydrates, 20 g sugars

    American as it may be, the caloric price of applie pie can be a steep one to pay. We’ve cut calories dramatically by packing all the appley goodness in a warm handheld vessel.

    You’ll Need:
    Flour
    1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted
    1 cup water
    1/2 cup sugar
    3 Granny Smith apples
    1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/8 tsp ground ginger
    1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
    Juice of 1 lemon
    1 egg white, lightly beaten

    How to Make It:
    * Flour a work surface. Roll the puff pastry into a 9″ x 15″ rectangle. Cut the pastry into six equal squares.
    * Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a saucepan. Peel and core the apples; cut them into 1/4″ chunks. Toss with the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and lemon juice, then add to the water and simmer until the liquid thickens, 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
    * Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spoon 3 tablespoons of apples onto each of the puff pastry squares. Fold the pastry over the filling to make a triangle and seal by pinching the edges.
    * Place the turnovers on a baking sheet and brush with the egg white. Bake until crispy and golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
    Makes 6 servings.

    7. Strawberry Shortcakes with Balsamic Vinegar :

    160 calories, 6 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 22 g carbohydrates, 12 g sugars

    To deliver flavor, restaurants rely on hulking scoops of ice cream, oversized brownies, and floods of molten chocolate. The home cook doesn’t need such waist-expanding, palate-blunting effects to make dessert memorable. Here, low-calorie angel food cake picks up the smoke and char of the grill and is topped with strawberries soaked in balsamic vinegar and black pepper, an irresistible combination.

    You’ll Need:
    2 cups sliced strawberries
    1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    Pinch of freshly cracked black pepper
    4 wedges angel food cake, each 1″ thick at the outside edge
    Whipped cream

    How to Make It:
    * Mix the strawberries, vinegar, and pepper and marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.

    * Heat a grill, stovetop, or nonstick pan until hot. (If using a pan, add 1/2 tablespoon of butter.) Add the cake slices and cook on both sides until caramelized and toasted. Transfer them to four dessert plates. Top each with a quarter of the strawberries and their liquid and a spoonful of whipped cream.

    Makes 4 servings.

    6. Grilled Apricots :

    170 calories, 7 g fat (2 g saturated), 22.5 g carbohydrates, 18 g sugars

    In many countries around the world, dessert is often as simple and satisfying as a single piece of perfect fruit. We’ve followed their lead but gussied it up a bit with yogurt, toasted nuts, and a bit of maple syrup. The result: a warm, cool, and crunchy treat filled with fiber, protein, and healthy fat. It’s about as good as dessert ever gets. (In fact, this is so healthy, we almost made it a breakfast recipe, which you can certainly do.)

    You’ll Need:
    2 apricots or peaches, halved and pitted
    2 cups plain Greek-style yogurt (we like Fage Total 2%)
    4 Tbsp chopped toasted walnuts
    4 Tbsp maple syrup
    The easiest way to toast nuts is to roast them in a dry pan set over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring once or twice as they toast.

    How to Make It:

    * Heat a grill, stovetop grill pan, or broiler until hot. Cook the fruits until nicely caramelized on the outside, about 5 minutes. They should be softened but still maintain their shape. Top each fruit half with 1/2 cup yogurt, 1 tablespoon walnuts, and 1 tablespoon maple syrup.

    Makes 4 servings.

    5. Espresso Granitas :

    170 calories, 8 g fat (5 g saturated), 33 g carbohydrates, 28 g sugars

    A trip to the scoop shop may set you back half a day’s worth of calories. Learn to make granitas, frozen desserts that are every bit as satisfying as ice cream and easy enough for a 6-year-old to make, and you’ll never need to go out again.

    You’ll Need:
    2 cups espresso or very strong brewed coffee, warmed
    1/2 cup sugar
    Light whipped topping
    1/2 cup shaved dark chocolate
    If you have the time and don’t mind the extra 50 calories, fresh whipped cream is best. Beat a cup of heavy cream in a cold metal mixing bowl with a tablespoon of sugar until soft peaks form.

    How to Make It:
    * Combine the espresso with the sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Pour the mixture into a shallow metal baking pan and place in the freezer.

    * After 20 minutes, just as the mix has begun to freeze, remove the pan from the freezer and use a fork to scrape the ice crystals developing on the surface. Scraping will help you achieve a light, creamy granita rather than a chunky, icy one. Return the pan to the freezer and repeat this step every 30 minutes until the granita is entirely frozen.

    * For each serving, place a small scoop of the granita in a chilled wine glass, top with a spoonful of whipped topping and a bit of the chocolate, then repeat with a second layer.

    Makes 4 servings.

    4. Olive Oil Ice Cream :

    240 calories, 18 g fat (6 g saturated), 20 g carbohydrates, 15 g sugars
    Studies show that a variety of taste sensations (salty, sweet, spicy) better satisfy the appetite than a single dominant flavor. Maybe that explains why it’s so easy to spoon your way mindlessly through a pint of super-sweet Ben & Jerry’s. This dish (inspired by Iron Chef Mario Batali and his New York restaurant Babbo) taps into that principle, contrasting the smooth sweetness of vanilla ice cream with the flaky crunch of sea salt and the rich, spicy notes of extra-virgin olive oil. The combination is elegant and strangely addictive, and a small bowl will quash your sweet tooth for less than 300 calories.

    You’ll Need:
    4 large scoops vanilla ice cream (we like Breyers All Natural)
    2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
    Sea salt flakes
    Unsalted cashews (optional)

    How to Make It:
    * Divide the ice cream among four cold bowls. Drizzle with the olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. Scatter a handful of cashews (if using) over the top.

    Makes 4 servings.

    3. Tiramisu :

    260 calories, 6 g fat (4 g saturated), 31 g carbohydrates, 23 g sugars
    We’ve traded egg yolks and mascarpone in favor of egg whites and whipped cream cheese, but you’ll never know the difference.

    You’ll Need:
    3 egg whites
    1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
    1/2 cup whipped cream cheese, softened at room temperature
    1/2 cup espresso (or 1 cup strong coffee)
    1/2 cup coffee liqueur such as Kahlua
    1/2 package (7 oz) ladyfingers or 4 cups cubed angel food cake
    1 oz dark chocolate, finely shaved
    Espresso grounds or cocoa powder (optional)

    How to Make It:
    * Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add the sugar and lightly beat it into the whites. Place the cream cheese in a large bowl and fold in half of the whipped whites. Once fully incorporated, fold in the remaining whites.

    * Combine the espresso and coffee liqueur in a small bowl. Place a layer of ladyfingers (or angel food cake, if using) in the bottom of four wine or martini glasses. Spoon enough of the coffee mixture over them to soak the ladyfingers. Divide the cream cheese mixture among the glasses, then top each with a goodly pile of chocolate shavings. Garnish with a dust of espresso grounds if you like.

    Makes 4 servings.

    2. Mango-Chili Paletas :

    70 calories, 0 g fat , 17 g carbohydrates, 16 g sugars

    Beyond the fact that they pack nearly a full serving of fruit for just 70 calories, the best part about these fruit-based frozen treats, called paletas in Mexico, is the fact that you don’t need a recipe at all. Any pureed fresh or frozen fruit will do, whether you have a glut of bananas you’re looking to get rid of, love blueberries more than your firstborn, or found a deal on honeydew at the supermarket. Just be sure to add a bit of sugar before blending.

    You’ll Need:
    1 mango, peeled, pitted, flesh roughly chopped
    Juice of 1 lime
    2 Tbsp agave syrup or sugar
    Pinch of cayenne pepper

    How to Make It:
    * Place the mango, lime juice, agave syrup, and cayenne in a blender and puree, adding a bit of water if needed to help it. Divide the mixture among four frozen pop molds and place them in the freezer for at least 3 hours. (Do not cheat by checking along the way, because the paletas won’t freeze properly.) To easily release the paletas from the holders, briefly run warm water over the molds’ bottoms.

    Makes 4 servings.

    1. Sundaes with Grilled Pineapple and Rum Sauce :

    290 calories, 11 g fat (7 g saturated), 42 g carbohydrates, 35 g sugars

    The bananas may be the sundae fruit vessel of choice, but the standard split formula (one banana, three scoops ice cream) is a recipe for a disaster. A ring of pineapple, on the other hand, holds one good scoop of ice cream perfectly, and when grilled, provides an irresistible counterpoint to the cold, rich vanilla. Throw in a rum drizzle and it’s a serious party.

    You’ll Need:
    4 slices (1/4″ thick) fresh pineapple, sliced
    1 Tbsp butter
    2 Tbsp brown sugar
    2 Tbsp dark rum
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    2 cups vanilla ice cream
    2 Tbsp shredded sweetened coconut, toasted

    How to Make It:
    * Heat a grill, grill pan, or large saute pan over medium heat (adding a small pat of butter if using a saute pan). Cook the pineapple rings for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until caramelized all over.

    * Combine the butter, brown sugar, rum, and vanilla in a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring occassionally until the sugar fully melts and the sauce is a uniform dark brown. Keep it warm.

    * Divide the pineapple among four bowls. Top each with a scoop of ice cream, a bit of rum sauce, and toasted coconut.

    Makes 4 servings.

     

  • I'M FINALLY HAPPY WITH HOW I LOOK. FINALLY, RIGHT?

    progress

    SCALE VICTORY!!! DOwn 47lbs, BOOOOYA!

    Well – we had a little NSV this weekend…. I know I posted last week my before and after picture of how my progress was going… it’s been going really well – I’m down 47lbs, (and thats an ACTUAL SCALE VICTORY, I must say… but anyways…) this isn’t about that.. this isn’t about the numbers.. this is how I finally feel. Finally, for once in my life, I’m feeling pretty.. yep I just said that… I feel pretty, oh so pretty… yeah, that’s a song I’m pretty sure.

    Anyways, I was so happy this week after just feeling GREAT about the progress I was making, that Saturday, when I was getting ready to go out for my friends bday, I was looking at myself in the mirror and I just started crying… how SILLY, but I just started crying.. I was like Andrea…. Andrea andrea andrea, you are pretty. AND OK I know, I know that other people may view me that way, but you know that feeling, once YOU finally find it in yourself that you are feeling that way, that’s a HUGE NSV… I literally was just like, I’m going to take a picture of this, I feel SUPER pretty, and I want people to know that… so I did.. I put this pic up on instagram with the caption: “I never do “selfies” but for the first time in about 15 years I’m finally feeling like I am “pretty”. Sounds dumb, but it’s the truth….

    this is my "im finally pretty" picture

    this is my “im finally pretty” picture

    IT IS, and was the truth.. and ever since then, I have this new feeling about myself.. this feeling of, what I’m doing is working, and how I feel is amazing, and I want to feel this way, I want to feel good about myself, and I want to keep doing it… that… THAT right there folks, that makes me keep pushing on…

    So then I went out that night and everyone was telling me how great I was looking and how I’m doing such a good job, and you know what, maybe this sounds horrible, but hearing that was AMAZING… hearing, oh hey, people notice.. people notice that I’m working hard, and it shows… I WAS SO FREAKING HAPPY. Right?!?!?!?!!?

    These past 3 weeks have been so hard, cutting out the gluten and dairy, not drinking, and just thinking like I was failing…. then I get all these great compliments, and all this great stuff I’m feeling, and it makes that hard time go away, and it makes me want to do all this stuff forever! It makes me want to BE HEALTHY, and workout, and all of that.

    photoIT’s funny because Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson posted this picture of his “cheat meal” the other day and i was like EPICCC OMG EPICCC I WANT ALL OF THAT.. but then I was like, oh WAIT no I don’t you TARD… I want to keep feeling this way 🙂

    You know what’s not fun? Bathing suit shopping?!!!! UGHHHH KILL ME NOW! (all this positive stuff, then I’m also bathing suit shopping…. MORE ON THAT TOMORROW)

    How about this… how about MYTHS ABOUT WORKING OUT THAT ARE NOT TRUE IN ANYWAY/SHAPE OR FORM:

    1. Lifting weights will make you bulky. False! Believe it or not, weight lifting is extremely important for fat loss. According to Katrina, building muscle helps your body to burn fat throughout the day because your body needs to use up more calories to maintain muscle than it does to maintain fat. Basically the more muscle you build, the more calories your body will naturally burn.
    2. The morning is the best time to train. False! While a sunrise workout might help to clear your head before the day starts, Katrina says that the time of day that you choose to sweat it out doesn’t necessarily matter. She said that the most important thing to consider when deciding on a time for your workout is making sure you can stick to it and that it works for YOU. Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, just make sure you block out a time that fits into your daily routine. That way, you can make exercising a habit. Katrina stressed that the most important part is being “consistent” and making your workout a priority. One of my favorite ways to stick to my weekly workout routine is to pencil it into my planner at the beginning of the week and check off each workout once it has been completeled. Not only does it feel great to look back on a week with 5 ot 6 successfully checked boxes (sometimes it’s 3 or 4), but I actually feel better too since working out reduces stress!
    3. Running is the only way to lose weight. False! Running is just one form of cardio that can do a body good
there are so many other ways to burn calories and build muscle! If you can get your heart pumping, get your muscles working, and fuel your body with healthy food, Katrina advises that you should start to see pounds melt away. Mix things up by trying a spin class, going on a hike, or swimming laps at your local rec club. Even taking a brisk walk on your lunch break each day will get you on track towards becoming leaner. Take a peek at the TIU Fitness section for more exercise ideas and be sure to check out Lauren’s favorite workouts in the Get Fit section, too.
    4. It’s best to workout on an empty stomach. Both! Katrina says “this is a broad statement” since there are a lot of factors to consider. “There has to be balance,” she says adding that when you eat and workout depends on your goals. “If your goal is to perform in a race, train for a marathon or for a sport, then you need to have adequate amounts of calories and electrolytes in your body to train hard. If your goal is to lose weight, then you will want to have enough calories and electrolytes in you to kick some serious booty, but you don’t need a big pasta dinner the night before and a bagel before your run. Ultimately, you don’t want your meal to weigh you down or upset your stomach before a workout so we recommend carbohydrates in fruit or grains before a workout and protein and carbohydrates after to help you recover.” According to Katrina, one of the best things you can do is something she and her Tone It Uppartner like to call The Booty Call. A Booty Call is basically waking up and doing some type of cardio for 30-minutes (or less) and having some coffee and half a banana or 8 ounces of coconut water. This is a great way to wake up your metabolism and get your body going! For more nutrition tips, head on over toTone It Up for the complete lowdown.
    5. Eating zero carbs will make you lean. False! One of the most interesting things I learned from Katrina was that “fat actually burns in a carbohydrate flame.” Our society has given carbs a really bad rap lately, and it’s just not fair. What it comes down to is that not all carbs are bad for you. Katrina and her training partner, Karena, say that fueling up on complex carbs (which come from the fibers in grains, legumes and root vegetables) is the right way to carb load. Your body needs some carbohydrates to function, so just make sure you’re choosing them wisely
 Think overnight oats, baked potatoes and roasted carrots. Check out Katrina and Karena’s post on nutrition for more of their expert tips.
  • Dove. Thank you for showing me how to see myself.

    OK WATCH THIS VIDEO FIRST…. IT MADE ME CRY.


    “I should be more greatful of my natural beauty… it impacts the choices in friends that we make, the jobs we apply for, how we treat our children… it impacts everything… it couldn’t be more critical to your happiness.” “Do you think you’re more beautiful then you say” “Yeah.”….

    “We spend a lot of time as women, analyizing and trying to fix the things that aren’t quite right… and we should spend more time appreciating the things that we do like.”

    You are more beautiful than you think…….

    Dove Real Beauty Sketches “Imagine a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety. They write…. “Women are their own worst beauty critics. In fact, only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful. Dove is committed to building positive self-esteem and inspiring all women and girls to reach their full potential. That’s why we decided to conduct a compelling social experiment that proves to women something very important: You are more beautiful than you think.

    I think we really ARE so hard on ourselves… I mean shit, I am so negative about myself in real life, and even in this blog… I don’t think I’m beautiful enough… I don’t know how others see me – and that’s hard for me… I always look in the mirror, and I know what I SEE, but what do others see? From seeing this, I think I have more confidence that maybe I shouldn’t be as critical on myself, and that maybe, my double chin isn’t that bad, and my “chubby cheeks” are actually cute and not seen as “chubby cheeks”….. thanks Betsy for showing this to me and showing me that maybe I need to stop.. maybe we ALL need to stop being so anxious… and critical… WE ARE MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN WE THINK.

    At the end.. one of the women goes… “I have some work to do on myself”…. yeah, that work, we need to stop thinking the way we think. Be more grateful for your natural beauty.

    LOVE YOU GUYS.

    XOXO site to DOVE REAL BEAUTY SKETCHES WITH THE FULL VIDEO HERE AND NOT JUST THE COMMERCIAL.

  • VGD BABY!!!! And Juan, how could you eat that in front of me?!

    So I have a serious VGD update… for any of you that don’t know about the VGD… you should know. You can learn about it, and why I’m so obsessed in my 2 last posts about it… VGD POST or search VGD on the blog haha and you’ll see where I’m talking about it.

    photo (32)

    Picture of the tiny VGD I am developing HAHAHAHAHHA – but man, I’m looking skinny!!! hahaha

    ANYWAYS…. I LOVE THE GAP AND I DON’T MEAN THE STORE!!!!! That’s right folks… We’ve had a mini breakthrough here in Thick to Thin land…. I think, I might be getting, a very small, even super tiny, but maybe you can see the light shining through, VGD. And yes, there is a picture of it to your left… Now granted, it’s a little over emphasized, just so that you can actually see the VGD coming through, on a nice sunny day, HAHAHA… but no for REAL. I put on these awesome coral pants that I haven’t been able to fit in for a WHILE now… and much to my surprise, I was like oh hey, wait, is this really happening? Is that a microscopic VDG??!?! HAHAHAHA… It really like made my day… I totally texted my friend Sara and was like OMG VGD UPDATE ITS HAPPPPPPPPPPENINNNNGGGGGGGGGG (like in a movie where someone gets really excited, yep, that was me.)

    SO yeah, that made this weekend pretty good for me HAHAHA… I’m starting week 3 of this amazing “APRIL” movement… I have been eating super clean all month, no booze, and haven’t cheated… Ok ok you caught me, I cheated, but NOT BAD. On Friday night, we didn’t have anything to cook, we were both starving, so we decided to go to ZPizza —- now Zpizza is pretty awesome because you can get a gluten free crust (which I did) and all their ingredients are all natural and healthier for you — so yeah, I cheated with dairy – there wasn’t a lot of cheese on there, so I didn’t feel so bad, but yeah, I’m human, and I caved, and I had a delicious gluten free pizza with cheese on it…. I’m sorry, but I had to. But other then that, I’ve been a saint. Everyone is like, I don’t know how you are doing it, how you’re not drinking, but you know what it’s not that hard! (well, I mean, kind of. HAHAHA what about if it’s 8:30am and all you want is a DAMN VODS AND WADS…. ugh who am I kidding, it’s hard :-/)

    photo (30)

    this is juan feeling guilty hahaha

    But you know what, with cutting this crap out of my daily life, I’m down another 10lbs… yep, just by changing the way I eat. I was SOOOOO ANTI changing the way I ate, but you know what, it’s the best thing I could have done. It’s a bitch, for sure, making sure every place you go has a gluten free menu, and just watching everything you eat like a hawk… and then it sucked this weekend doing the wedding expo with the tanks because clearly the concession stands didn’t have a gluten free menu – so all I went off of was nuts and water on sunday. THAT SUCKED. OH GOD it sucked even more when we finally had dinner yesterday, I had to have my usual protein and veggies (I added a potato because I needed some serious carbs) but THEN… god I love him, and he felt sooo super bad.. but Juan did the worst thing.. he got dessert, and not just any dessert, but an amazing, waffle strawberry shortcake dessert…… WAHHHHHHH i was so sad… but I couldn’t stop him. He LOVES waffles and I didn’t want him to not have it just because I can’t have it. He supports me, yes, but he shouldn’t have to suffer like I am! HAHAHA… and he will end up losing his weight in a month, instead of me who takes over a year!

    We did the bridal show at the Dulles Expo Center this weekend, and it was so fun talking to everyone about the tank tops – everyone loved them and I’m so glad! Getting in shape for your wedding day is probably the hardest thing to do, but I honestly think it’s the one time that people that were slacking, finally get it together… they are like, well there is no pushing this off till next month, I only have 9 months left… So that was really neat! We had a lot of fun, and will totally do it again!

    Ok it’s off to have the sammeeee damn thing for breakfast (that i’ve had for the past 21 damn days haha) and do some work! I hope everyone has a great day… oh and before I go – check out these fatty foods that “make you skinny”… wait, what??? HAHAHAHA I’m going to eat all of these things EVERYDAY!

    5 FATTY FOODS THAT MAKE YOU SKINNY

    5. #1: Grass-Fed Beef:

    Yeah, I know: grass-fed beef is a little pricey. But its higher ratio of good-for-you fats make it well worth the cost: A study in Nutrition Journalfound that grass-fed meat contains higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to reduce the risk of heart disease. And when it comes to your waistline, grass-fed beef is naturally leaner and has fewer calories than conventional meat. Consider this: A 7-ounce conventional strip steak, trimmed of fat, will run you 386 calories and 16 grams of fat. But a 7-ounce grass-fed strip steak is only 234 calories and five grams of fat—you’ll save more than 150 calories and your steak will taste better.

    4. #2: Olive Oil:

    Olive oil is rich in cancer-fighting polyphenols and heart-strengthening monounsaturated fats, and when it comes to looking lean, it’s backed by some pretty strong facts. A recent study from Obesity found that an olive-oil-rich diet resulted in higher levels of adiponectin than did a high-carb or high-protein diet. Adiponectin is a hormone responsible for breaking down fats in the body, and the more you have of it, the lower your BMI tends to be. Reap the benefits by making olive oil your cooking fat of choice and using it in dressings and sauces.

     

    3. #3: Coconut:

    Coconut is high in saturated fat, but more than half of that comes from lauric acid, a unique lipid that battles bacteria and improves cholesterol scores. And get this: A study published in Lipids found that dietary supplementation of coconut oil actually reduced abdominal obesity. Of the participants, half were given two tablespoons of coconut oil daily and the other half were given soybean oil, and although both groups experienced overall weight loss, only the coconut oil consumers’ waistlines shrunk. Sprinkle unsweetened flakes over yogurt or use coconut milk in a stir-fry to start whittling your waist.

    2. #4: Dark Chocolate:

    Good news for your sweet tooth: Chocolate can help you flatten your belly. Dark chocolate, that is. But to truly take advantage, don’t wait until dessert: A recent study found that when men ate 3.5 ounces of chocolate two hours before a meal, those who had dark chocolate took in 17 percent fewer calories than those that ate milk chocolate. The researchers believe that this is because dark chocolate contains pure cocoa butter, a source of digestion-slowing stearic acid. Milk chocolate’s cocoa butter content, on the other hand, is tempered with added butter fat and, as a result, passes more quickly through your GI tract. Because dark chocolate takes more time to process, it staves off hunger and helps you lose weight.

    1. #5: Almond Butter:

    Numerous studies have indicated that almonds can help you lose weight despite their high fat content. In fact, a study from theInternational Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorderscompared two diets over the course of six months. One group followed a low-fat, calorie-restricted diet (18 percent fat) and the other followed a moderate-fat diet (39 percent fat) in which the extra fat was supplied by almonds. The latter group lost more weight than the low-fat dieters, despite the fact that both groups consumed the same amount of total calories. Furthermore, the almond eaters experienced a 50 percent greater waistline reduction. How is this possible? Almonds contain compounds that limit the amount of fat absorbed by the body, so some passes through undigested. Try stirring almond butter into your oatmeal, spreading it on toast with banana slices, or eating a couple spoonfuls as a snack.

     

  • Why am I so hard on myself?

    So sad, but so true HAHA

    So sad, but so true HAHA

    So it’s beautiful this morning, thank GOD since it’s been, oh I don’t know about 90 degrees constant for the past 3 days… try running and working out in THAT CRAP! I guess we just decided to skip spring and go right into summer… anyways. It’s beautiful, and I’m sitting here, outside on my tiny porch, eating my gluten free oatmeal hahaha when all I really want is a baco-eggo-cheeseo hahaha (haven’t had one of those in a while) but I got to thinking…. what is going to make me finally stop being so hard on myself? I know as humans, we are our worst critics, but when does enough get to be enough?

    I think its totally hard for me because of growing up, always being told you’re not good enough, and you won’t succeed and every little thing that I did wrong was a big failure… and I 100% think that I think the same way about all this weight loss stuff. But why am I so hard on myself? I know I have come a long way, people make comments all the time, you guys make comments, Juan makes comments… it’s just “you’re losing so much weight” comments galore… but why can’t I see it, why can’t I believe it, what the F is wrong with me?!?! hahaha.. We literally notice every little thing that might be wrong with ourselves… from having an overgrown eye brow, (just noticed I have to wax those puppies) to having a small pimple, to gaining a few pounds, but why can’t we just overlook the small stuff? I know I do it all the time in life hahaha on other things… but when it comes to my physical appearance, the minute something has changed (for the worse) I notice it in a heart beat… How do I stop being like that? I feel like it takes way too much time and energy to think about these things all the time… Like right now, I’m really concerned about these birds flying over my head, one of them pooping on me, but I’m even more concerned about the hairs growing on my chin… I would MUCH rather NOT be pooped on than have 2 little hairs sticking out of my chin HAHAHA.. I’M A HAIRY PERSON DAMMIT!

    If I could go back in time, I would put it straight to my dad…. “listen dude, you can’t treat me like a boy and make millions of comments about my appearance or I will resent you for most of my life”…. when will I get over that and realize it doesn’t matter.. and there’s more to life than caring about what others thing and how I look… I wonder what would have happened if I was skinny my whole life? I wonder how I would feel – I would probably still have insecurities, maybe write a blog about them too, but I wonder if I would have been happier growing up? I guess you never know, and I’m not sitting here wishing anything were different, I just think it’s so hard being bigger today, and thats why I am so hard on myself… and that’s why I care so much…

    Ok – so I’m always busy and I found this article the other day on SparkPeople and it’s all about DIY Frozen Meals to make and store… I’m about to whip up a bunch of these this morning…  Full article is here

    graphic_frozendinners

    Create Your Own Frozen Dinners

    Healthier Meals that Save Time & Money

    You’re busy. Whether you work full-time, attend college, care for a loved one, run a household—or all of the above—you don’t always have time to make yourself nutritious meals. Like many people who want to eat healthy on a budget, you probably rely on those handy frozen entrees to fill the gap. After all, they seem like a bargain compared to going out for lunch every day.

    But if you do the math, you’re probably spending at least $60 per month for frozen meals that don’t taste that great and are processed, packaged, and preserved. Why not make your own frozen dinners and save the extra money? By using better quality ingredients and controlling the cooking method, you’ll always have a supply of quick and tasty meals on hand—foods you actually like to eat!
    Compared to store-bought, homemade frozen meals are:

    • Healthier. Many commercially-prepared foods are full of salt, artificial ingredients, preservatives and unhealthy fats. By making your own meals, you can control what goes into them and use quality ingredients like brown rice instead of white rice, organic vegetables instead of conventional, and olive oil instead of palm oil.
    • Inexpensive. While a frozen meal may be cheaper than a restaurant bill, it’s still more expensive than cooking from scratch. If you prepare your own meals with whole ingredients, you can save $100 a month or more.
    • Time Savers. Making your own meals doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Set aside one day a month to cook a few recipes and you will have enough meals to last for weeks on end. You can even make cooking a social event by inviting some friends and sharing recipes—you’ll get to try something new while you chitchat with your buddies.
    • Eco-Friendly. Frozen entrees are packed in plastic and cardboard that usually ends up in landfills. When you make and package your own foods, you can decrease your impact on the planet by using glass or plastic containers over and over again with little to no waste.
    • Full of Variety. Prepackaged frozen meals don’t offer any flexibility—what you buy is what you get. While you might like some of the ingredients in the meal, not everything is going to appeal to you. But by creating your own, everything will be up to your taste level and standards—and you can change the menu, ingredients, and combinations any time!

    The choice is yours. Preparing freezer-ready meals isn’t a difficult task. To get started, use these meal-preparation and storage tips.

    • The containers you use to store your meals in should be both microwave- and freezer-safe. Both glass and plastic may work well, if they meet these standards (all glass and plastic containers are different). Another option is large freezer bags. Certain foods will freeze well in a bag, and can then be defrosted in the refrigerator, placed in a microwave-safe container, and then reheated.
    • Before portioning out cooked food into containers, allow it to cool completely first and always leave extra room at the top of to allow for expansion of the food during freezing.
    • Make sure food is wrapped well and/or covered with air-tight lids to prevent air from getting in.
    • Foods with high moisture content (such as soups) tend to freeze better than drier foods.
    • Don’t turn your food into a mystery science project. Use a permanent marker to label each dish with a name and a date. For maximum quality and flavor, use each meal within a couple of weeks. Just like in a store, rotate your stock so that the newest meals are in the back and the oldest are in the front for easy access.
    • Vegetables should be slightly undercooked to prevent them from becoming mushy when you reheat them.
    • Be careful about bacterial contamination. Completely cool hot food before freezing it to prevent the growth of bacteria. Bacteria can grow when the outside of food freezes while the inside remains warm.
    • If you’re not sure a meal will freeze well, cook and freeze only a small portion the first time. If the quality is okay, then go ahead and freeze more in the future.
    • Read your owner’s manual to find the fill level that will keep your freezer running at peak energy efficiency. Certain freezers run best when completely full, while others shouldn’t be filled more than half-way.
    • Consider posting a freezer inventory list nearby to track the meals (and dates) of everything in the freezer. Check off each item as you remove it and you will know exactly what foods are available at all times. This also prevents forgotten foods from going to waste.
    • Freezing your meals is a great way to keep foods longer, but frozen doesn’t mean forever. As a general rule, fruit and vegetables will stay freezer-fresh for around eight months, fish and shellfish for up to six months, and meat and poultry for three. Trust your instincts and throw out anything from the freezer that smells or tastes “off.”
    • Don’t re-freeze defrosted foods because the taste and texture will decline and you could be risking bacterial contamination.

    As a general rule, the following dishes tend to freeze well: baked goods, burgers (sometimes uncooked will freeze better), burritos, calzones, casseroles, cooked beans, cooked grains, egg rolls, enchiladas, French toast, quiche, lasagna, manicotti, mashed potatoes, meatballs and meatloaf, pancakes, pot pies, poultry, roasted meats, sauces, sloppy Joes, soup, stuffed shells, taco fillings, tofu, TVP, and waffles. Foods that do NOT freeze well include: egg- and cream-based sauces, instant rice, salad, stuffed poultry, hard-cooked eggs and fried foods.

    If you’re ready to start making your own frozen dinners, here are a few healthy SparkPeople recipes to get you started with flair!

    Soups & Stews

    Breakfasts

    Sandwiches & Burgers

    Tacos, Burritos & Enchiladas

    Casseroles and Mixed Dishes

  • Totally Discouraged. Thanks to seeing my engagement photos!

    Ok ok ok – let me first start out by saying, my engagement photos, the actual quality of photos are AMAZING, and I love love LOVE some of them… I will show you the ones I like at the end haha – and our photographer, Cynthia Rose (or Cindy as she likes to be called) is AMAZING and knows how to take some amazing photos… but let me tell you.. first wait, let me set the stage for when I got the pics… haha so it was last night… about 10pm and I’m sitting in my house watching a corny tv show, winding down… it’s totally black and im sitting on my laptop – totally exhausted….. and i get the email from Cindy… the pics are up! WOOHOOO SO EXCITED… till I open the link.. I don’t think it helped that something super sappy was on the TV and I was like already crying at the show hahaha… ANYWAYS… open up the browser and right off the bat I’m like DAMN WHO IS THAT ELEPHANT! (I know, it’s not good to put yourself down, but I do it, I’m sorry HAHAHA)… Anyways.. yeah, so I was like OH MY GOD I’M SO UPSET hahaha.. That was the first impression… going through, pic through pic… no, no, no, double chin, rolls, ugh, no, no, no…. I mean we are our harshest critic right? The thing that stinks is that the photos are just so amazing, but the subject in the photo, especially the female subject, it just wasn’t working.. AND OF COURSE, it wasn’t even the outfit I wanted to wear, right before we went to do the photos I changed like 1000 times because I wasn’t happy, I didn’t want something too clingy, it was too cold for a dress… just ALL THESE DAMN THINGS. UGH.

    So looking over these photos I just start crying, and I’m just like, I thought I was doing so well, and then I look at myself and think, no, I’m not, I have to work harder, I have to do more… but it’s already so hard, how am I going to keep working so hard… Things like this going through my head just made me cry…. It could have been the long day, the long meetings, I don’t know what it was, but whatever it was, I was not having it. You know, you think you are doing so well, and shit, I know I am, and DOUBLE SHIT, what if I hadn’t lost any weight, WHAT WOULD I HAVE LOOKED LIKE THEN?!?!?! Oh god…. but just sitting there, I’m like ugh… soooo far to go… what am I going to look like on my wedding day, what am I going to do – I ALMOST ordered a pizza right on the spot… shit, I have dominoes on speed dial, and I was about to order a large meat lovers and eat the SHIT outta that thing… Anyways. looking at these photos, as much as I loved them, I was like, oh. my. god. I’m about to go to the no-eating diet and just workout 10 hours a day… ill be broke, but maybe I’ll be thinner?!?! hahaha….I KNOW I’VE COME ALONG WAY… I swear, it’s just hard seeing this stuff!

    Anyways, ok, picture time —- first the bad ones, and then the good ones.

    it's like oh hey, I've got more chins then a Chinese phonebook right here.

    it’s like oh hey, I’ve got more chins then a Chinese phonebook right here.

    I feel like I'm laughing here at the fact that I look TWICE the size of my fiance HAHA

    I feel like I’m laughing here at the fact that I look TWICE the size of my fiance HAHA

    what's up thunder thighs? I'm pretty sure my thighs are bigger than my head.

    what’s up thunder thighs? I’m pretty sure my thighs are bigger than my head.

    this one, juan's like, I'm... just... trying... to get... my arms... around you. hahaha

    this one, juan’s like, I’m… just… trying… to get… my arms… around you. hahaha

    Ok now the good ones: These I like because you can’t tell how big I am 🙂 HAHAHAHA and we look happy and in love and all that fun stuff!

    Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 9.54.06 AMScreen Shot 2013-04-09 at 9.32.14 AMScreen Shot 2013-04-09 at 9.29.09 AMScreen Shot 2013-04-09 at 9.30.21 AMScreen Shot 2013-04-09 at 9.33.35 AM

    I know I’m not drinking, but last night I was like, SHIT, maybe ill just drink ONE OF THE WORLDS HEALTHIEST COCKTAILS:

     THE WORLD’S 4 HEALTHIEST COCKTAILS

    4. The Rabbit Hole:

    3 oz fresh carrot juice, 1/2 oz fresh cucumber juice, 1/2 oz Cynar, an italian herbal liqeuer , 1 oz organic vodka, 1 sprig sage, , Combine the liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Top with the sage sprig.

    The Benefit: Lutein, which is found in carrots, can reduce your risk of cancer, says an American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study.
    Click here for all of today’s nutrition, health, and fitness news!

    3. Pepper Delicious:

    3 red bell pepper slices, 6-8 fresh mint leaves, 2 oz gin, 1 oz fresh lime juice, 3/4 oz simple syrup , (equal parts sugar and water) , , In a shaker glass, combine 2 red pepper rings and the mint leaves and press firmly with a muddler to pulverize the peppers. Add the gin, lime juice, syrup, and ice. Shake and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with the remaining pepper ring.

    The Benefit: A diet high in vitamin C, carotenoids, and lycopene (all of which are amply supplied in red peppers) reduces the incidence of chronic disease and death, according to a Spanish study of 41,000 people

    For tons of weight loss tips, tricks, and strategies, sign up for the FREE Eat This, Not That!newsletter!

    2. Beet Sangria:

    4 oz sugar, Pinch of salt, 11 oz beet juice, 1 oz fresh lime jiuce, 3 oz fresh OJ, 3 oz ginger beer (or ale), 8 oz red wine, 6 oz brandy, 1 oz Cointreau or other orange liqeuer , , Dissolve the sugar and salt into the nonalcoholic ingredients. Add the alcohol and stir.

    The Benefit: Folate in beets has been shown to lower the risk of coronary artery disease.

    10 Weight-Loss Strategies That Work

    1. Avocado Daiquiri :

    4 oz rum , (a mix of gold and silver is best) , 1/4 medium-ripe avocado, 1/2 oz half-and-half, 1/4 oz fresh lemon or lime juice, 2 oz simple syrup , (equal parts sugar and water), 1 1/2 cups ice cubes, , Combine the ingredients and blend until smooth.

    The Benefit: Researchers at Ohio State University have determined that avocados protect against heart disease.

    40 Foods With Superpowers

     

  • I blame it on my relationship……

    0744d729a1f98d05473e92bd6afea08fFace it – when you start dating someone, everything goes out the door – you work SOOOOOOO hard when you are single, to get in shape, get fit, look good, all that stuff, and then when you are in a relationship it’s all like…. “honey, what do you want for dinner tonight?” “I don’t know, I’m too lazy to cook let’s just grab something” “ok, Big Macs, Chicken Nuggets and French Fries it is…….” YEP THAT WAS ME! Always in my head I thought, pssshhhh I’ve got a boyfriend, who needs to look good anymore hahaha – the easy part is done, and I can go back to eating like shit, not working out, blah blah blah…. then you start getting bigger and you’re like, WHOOPS, maybe I should lose some of this weight… so for me, that meant, joining about 8 gyms, seeing which one had “the best class schedule” and then ultimately paying for something you never go to. FOR 7 YEARS STRAIGHT…. hahahaha… It’s funny that for me, it wasn’t till we got engaged and I was like, well, I think I am WAY overweight and I need to really fix this shit because A) I probably don’t look good for my significant other anymore B) I want to look good for everyone else on our wedding day or C) I feel like crap and the McDonalds runs and Dominoes deliveries need to stop. HAHAHA….

    But I mean, come on – I’m not the only one who knows what this feels like…… I talk to my friends ALLLL the time and they are like, yeah I haven’t been working out lately… hmmm I wonder why. It’s true, you think that person loves you, so why do you have to look amazing everyday? HAHAHA… Its WAY easier to not have to look like a super model everyday when you think someone “loves you for you” haha.. So yeah, I want to blame me getting into a relationship for me getting to the size I was when I started this whole thing! SO damn you relationship hahaha you’re the reason I’m all up in this mess! (jk jk jk love you juan! haha)

    yummy pasteles

    yummy pasteles

    Oh so this weekend sucked! This whole “lifestyle change” although for the better, is TOUGH! Like for instance… this weekend I had a brunch on Saturday where everyone got to eat yummy goodies, we had a dinner date on Saturday night where everyone got to drink some wine and vodka, and yesterday it was my future sister-in-laws birthday so we were at my in-laws all day and my future mother-in-law made these yummy bolivian pasteles, which is basically just fried dough with cheese in the middle, and powdered sugar on top- THEY ARE MY FAVORITE but I couldn’t eat any of them 🙁 wahhhhh… while everyone was chowing down, I was like ugh just one, just one.. then i thought about how horrible i felt trying to get through my body withdrawing from the gluten and dairy and I was like, nope, that’s ok – On top of that, for dessert his sister made coconut kahlua cream pie, and strawberry shortcake with homemade biscuits and fresh whipped cream… UGHHHHH FAT KID WAS SCREAMING NOOO WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS TO ME!!!! hahahaha…. it SUCKED… I hated it.. all that yummy good food – and I couldn’t eat any of it! I brought my own snacks, like my rice cake and peanut butter, talk about DELICIOUS people… (NOT).. boo, anyways… I mean I’m getting through it, and this isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle change that will help me be at the weight I need to be at, and then eventually I can add things like that back into my life, but not very often, and not a lot of them – so next time, instead of having 6 pasteles, maybe I should just have 1? HAHAHA

    374434_760954823792_324164526_nOne last thing, my friends came and worked out with me this weekend, and you know what, I loved that – I know I don’t really get out much anymore because I’m working so hard and trying to get this damn weight down, but I love it when my friends come workout with me because it means they care and they want to be a part of my new favorite thing to do in the whole world… aka workout haha – i guess it helps that the friends that came, also like working out haha but I love them for coming, trying CrossFit and liking it! 🙂 I hope everyone had a good weekend, I had a good one, and it’s finally spring so bust out those shorts and flip flops baby, BECAUSE THE SUN IS FINALLY SHINING!

  • A weight loss compliment is worth 1000 words.

    I saw this on facebook and totally thought it was true and wanted to share it...

    I saw this on facebook and totally thought it was true and wanted to share it…

    So yesterday I was at my seamstresses, trying to deal with the awesome bridesmaids dress situation I have – even they said JCREW bridesmaids dresses run like 100 sizes too small and to not be worried about not fitting into it! I checked that H&M dress that I was talking about in my post about the BM dress not fitting, and it was actually a 12 not a 14! SO BOOYA! If I can fit into a 12, I should be able to fit into a 16 RIGHT?!?!? Anyways, when I walked in and I was talking to them about the issues I was having with the dress, both my seamstress and the women that works at the bridal store were like GIRLLLLLLLLL you have lost some serious weight…. DO YOU KNOW HOW GOOD THAT WAS TO HEAR THAT??!?!?! Dudes, that’s the shit that makes me want to keep going – when people notice… Patty (my seamstress) was like when is the wedding again? October? OH YEAH, we are going to have to totally reconstruct that dress HAHAHA… I’m ok with that 😉 Anyways… honestly, that kind of thing makes me want to keep going, the fact that people can see and tell and that I feel better about myself when they do, that makes me happy. Makes me think that all this crap is worth it – and when I say crap I mean…. diet HAHAHA.

    What I want to know is why do we do this to ourselves losing weight and making it painful etc?!? I’m sure it’s not painful for everyone, but for me, IT’S A HUGE BITCH! I mean when you cold turkey all this stuff out of your diet, you get migraines that put you in bed for days, you feel like your head is going to explode, you deprive your body from things it used to have and it loved… why? All so that you can look better? Feel better??? I wish I could feel better and just be the same size without all the work – HONESTLY, I know that sounds weird, I like losing weight, but I just feel like for me, it’s been painful HAHA… nothing good is ever easy, I get it, but if I could just be healthy at my current weight, I would be content. Ugh…. I know I’m just bitching now and I know that I’m going to keep on going, I just wish it wasn’t so dang hard! hahahahaha….

    abaf41f78ba5422f69e0ec48ac446315Can I tell you one thing I thought was pretty awesome though? This week, my cousin who’s this 21 year old dude that works out all the time – big muscles all that stuff – he was hanging out at my house and I said, hey, you need to come to CrossFit with me and check it out – it’s a body weight workout so you can probably easily do it – i think it was: For time:  Run 800 meters then – 5 rounds of: 5 Pull-ups 10 Box Jump (24 In.)s 20 Push-ups 40 Air Squats 80 Jump Rope (Reverse) – then – Row, 1000 m…… well – that kicked his ass! And I got through it!!!! First of all, I was super impressed he did it – for not ever doing a CrossFit workout and to do a pretty plyo intense workout I was glad he tried it – but man… I was like, WOAH I just did something that my young, athletic cousin couldn’t do – I felt pretty good about that — all my hard work is starting to pay off (and not in the fact that I’m beating my cousin) but just in the fact that I’m gaining strength and endurance, and just becoming an overall better athlete – it’s pretty neat HAHA… Anyways, that was kind of cool for me, but then again, pretty much everything is “kinda cool for me” hahahaaha… someone could be like – dude, I kind of just totalled your car, and I would be like, oh that’s kinda cool! hahahaha retard I know.

    So since I am starting to lose more weight, I read this article about trying to keep it off…. so here are some good tips:

    5 Ways To Keep The Weight Off

    How to prevent gaining weight—one bite at a time

    Every spring, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics rolls out its annual education and awareness campaign encouraging everyone to “Eat Right, Your Way, and Every Day.” Their message is important because food and diet have such a direct impact on health—including healthy body weight. Being overweight raises the risk of serious diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, some forms of cancer, and more. Eating right is key for wellness and vitality, and for sure it puts prevention into practice.

    It’s a myth that eating sensibly is tedious and dull. In truth, a healthy diet contains plenty of delicious and satisfying foods. And for weight control, good food and healthy eating habits make it no big deal.

    Choose foods high in fiber
    Fiber is a dieter’s friend because it fills you up, boosts metabolism, and foods high in fiber taste great and are naturally low in calories. A study conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center found that women who doubled their fiber intake cut their calorie absorption by 90 calories daily.

    Combine fiber and protein at every meal
    Fiber and protein are the two nutrients that take the longest to digest. It’s this perfect combination that keeps your serum glucose levels steady, so you have sustained energy and no nagging sugar cravings.

    Spice it up
    Spices are a great alternative to salt and sugar, but there’s another bonus: spicy foods increase heart rate and body temperature, both of which help burn more calories. Did you know that cayenne pepper acts to strengthen the heart, arteries, and capillaries, and lowers cholesterol levels? A study published in the journal Diabetes Care showed that consuming a tablespoon of cinnamon a day helped to lower cholesterol significantly.

    More water
    It’s easy to mistake dehydration for hunger, so be sure to quench your thirst before reaching for a snack. It’s always a good idea to take a bottle of water with you when you’re out, and for variety, jazz it up with a powdered or liquid zero-calorie flavor enhancer.

    Dress your salad well
    Salads start out healthy enough, but the wrong dressing can turn it into a fat and calorie bomb. Avoid oil-based or creamy concoctions and opt instead for a splash of red wine vinegar and grated parmesan cheese. This combo is as tasty as vinaigrette but even with the cheese two tablespoons has only 55 calories. Lighter still, blend some good mustard with lemon juice or balsamic vinegar.

    Read more: http://www.prevention.com/weight-loss/weight-loss-tips/5-tips-keep-weight-gain-check#ixzz2PardlLr0