Friday, August 19, 2011

Super Quick Chili for Healthy Mom's

This week has been a busy one. Our family lost a great man Edward William Sherlock so things have gone a little of course. During this busy week we have adjusted our schedule a bit due to school beginning and trying to adjust to our new schedule of homework, baths, and bedtime.

Our family tried a new recipe from the Men's Health Muscle Chow book. The recipe is Muscle Bound Chili and it was delicious. The kids loved it and we ended up with two cups leftover.


  • 2 pounds extra-lean ground beef
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 medium sweet onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2 cans (14-15 ounce each) no-salt diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 ounces) no salt kidney beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (6 oz) unsalted tomato paste
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup red wine (such as cabernet sauvignon)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin


  1. Brown ground beef with black pepper, over medium high heat, drain and set aside once no longer pink
  2. In a large pot, combine the onions and garlic. Cook on medium high heat for 2-3 minutes or until onions are translucent
  3. Add the ground beef and the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally

Serves 8

Per Serving: 224 calories, 26 g protein, 17 g carbohydrates, 5 g total fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 4g fat, 130 mg sodium

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Does Lifting Weights Help Weight Loss?

There is a lot of misconception about women and lifting weights. When I tell women they should lift weights a minimum of three to four days a week they immediately think they are going to look like the lady in the photo. This is by far what I'm talking about. The chances of you looking like this women is one in a million. Women body builders like her probably take anabolic steroids which is a synthetic form of testosterone. These women also work countless hours to achieve this look. Fitness models like Jamie Eason, Nicole Wilkins Lee, and Ava Cowan are a few fitness models I prefer to see.

The benefits of lifting weights are great and they include but aren't limited to:

  • Reducing your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes
  • Increased metabolism (due to afterburn)
  • Strengthening your muscles and bones
  • More effective for losing body fat and changing the shape of the body

There are also psychological benefits as well and one of them is increased self-esteem. This is because once your body begins to transform you will feel happier about your looks and the way you feel.

The best thing I find about lifting weights is it's the only thing that really shapes your body. You can run on the treadmill or out on the road as you want but if you want to have nicely defined arms and the hour glass figure then you must hit the weight room.

What is afterburn? Afterburn is the sustained elevation of your metabolism after you stop exercising. Cardio exercises speed up your metabolism during the cardio session, the metabolism will drop once it's reached the basal level which is generally 30 minutes after the basal level is met. Weight training may keep your metabolism running for 18-24 hours after the workout. This is one of the great benefits of weight lifting.

What should you do? Lift three to four days a week for 45 minutes. Take a rest day between each lifting session unless you are doing a split workout where you split your workouts; back/abs, legs/abs, biceps/triceps/shoulders/abs.

If you don't feel comfortable putting together a workout or using the equipment; schedule an appointment with a personal trainer. Pay the $ 35.00, learn about the machines, and have them put together a total body workout you can complete each week. Once you become comfortable with program after four to six weeks then change your workout. Changing your workout is important because of muscle memory and plateaus.

If you have more questions email me at

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Why is it important to have a Why? What is a Why?

A Why is a story that you have to write for yourself, it goes along with your goals but it's the meat of the reason you set those particular goals? The Why is what drives you to achieve your goals; it's what keeps you motivated when others aren't giving you the support that you need and it's what you are passionate about.

Here is a story about me. At Christmas 2009 I received money as a gift from my in-laws. I decided that after the New Year once all the sales started I would treat myself to some new clothes. At this time I always shopped alone because shopping was a horrible experience for me and I always left disappointed. On this particular occasion I was not only shopping for myself but for my husband's birthday dinner and a night out with adults. I shopped at one of my favorite stores, I picked out some really cute jeans and I headed to the fitting room. To my surprise and disgust the size that I normally wore no longer fit. The sales lady brought me another size and they were too tight also the worst and most mortifying part was they were the largest size pants they carried. I was now going into a size 18! I was devastated and I sat in that fitting room and cried, I looked at myself in the mirror and I remember asking, "WHO ARE YOU"? What had I become? I was miserable with myself, I was so overweight that I couldn't stand for my husband to even see me, and I wasn't able to keep up with my children anymore because I was so out of shape. I was addicted to Starbucks, Chick Fila, and a binge eater who was so severely depressed and miserable that I had let myself gain 50 pounds in one year.

What was my Why?

Well my Why was and still is a lot of reasons.

  1. I believe my number one Why was to find the person I used to be.
    1. The strong, independent and confident girl I once was before.
  2. Lead my family by example
    1. My children and husband had become overweight
  3. Because I am a mother and I owe it to myself and my family to be healthy and live a long life with them
  4. Because GOD granted me life and I refuse to take advantage of his gift by treating my body poorly and becoming unhealthy again
  5. I feel healthier than I have in my entire life
  6. I love helping women reach their goals and losing that old weak, miserably unhappy and unhealthy person they once were
  7. I love setting new goals and challenging myself physically and mentally to reach them
  8. I am finally comfortable in my own skin
  9. I love not caring about what people think when I walk into a room. (Something I was extremely subconscious about)
  10. I enjoy wearing dresses and don't feel self conscious
  11. I love to inspire others


  • Do you still need help with your why? Here are some ideas that may help you write your Why story.
  • Do you want to wear certain type/size clothing?
  • Do you want to be able to do activities with your kids you cannot currently do?
  • Do you want to start dating?
  • Do you want to try running, boot camp, Zumba?
  • How do you want to look?
  • How would you like to feel?
  • Do you want to feel sexier when you are with your spouse/boyfriend?
  • Do you want to be able to tie your shoes without being out of breath?
  • Do you want to stop shopping in the plus size department?

If you would like to share your story with me then please email me at If you would like to share your success story I would love to hear it.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Skipping Meals

Do you skip meals and wonder why it doesn't help you lose weight? Well it's all about survival and what I mean is when you miss meals your body believes you are starving. How does the body compensate for the lack of nourishment you don't provide? It stores fat of course this is years and years of evolution and survival skills our bodies have mastered as far back as prehistoric days. When hunters and gathers suffered through long winters without food their body used the fat stores to survive until their next round of feasting occurred. Today we don't worry about when we will get our next meal instead we have the convenience of food all around us.

Missing daily recommended food intakes of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats will result in a negative outcome on your body. Some of the wonderful symptoms from missed meals include (sarcasm intended); headaches, poor concentration, low-blood sugar, fatigue, and mood swings. If you suffer from several of these symptoms it may be because you are not providing your body with the proper nourishment you need. The Mayo Clinic offers a calorie calculator to help determine your proper calorie intake based on your daily living. It is important to be sure you are consuming the proper amounts of food. My Fitness Pal is a great app for your phone to track your daily calories and with the convenience of scanning the barcodes on your food all you have to do is enter the amount you consumed.

Food is fuel! Instead of looking at food as a reward or enemy you need to change your mind set. Food is necessary for daily living and it is not for abuse. I know about abusing food because for several years I suffered from binge eating. When I was depressed, mad, or even happy I used food as my drug of choice. Instead of eating healthy foods I consumed mochas, sweet tea, pans of brownies and cookies, and whatever high sugar foods I could find. Only to still not be satisfied or content with the situation I was encountering at the time.

What meal skippers don't understand is when you miss a meal your blood sugar levels are thrown so far out of wake that overeating is bound to occur. So the next meal the body is offered is like a free-for-all. The body stores a fat hormone that is released and this hormone increases the hunger you feel. Because of this increased hormone overeating occurs and it is a vicious cycle.

Remember how I said food is fuel and it's not the enemy. Food can actually help you lose weight. Really! I consume six to seven small meals a day. What I am doing is continuously running the furnace in my body which is my metabolism. By constantly fueling your body with the necessary and correct portions of food at the appropriate times this allows for weight loss.

Here are some tips to help you learn to eat on a schedule much like an infant. Why we got away from our feeding schedule as a child I will never understand. Because this feeding schedule actually helps to control our bodies sugar levels thus eliminating the risk of diabetes.


  • Set a cell phone alarm to ring every two to three hours. This will allow your body to get used to refueling the furnace. After about a week your body will be able to tell you when it's hungry and you won't need the alarm.
  • Stock your office space or car with food.
    • Our office had a refrigerator and I stocked it with eggs, skim milk, fruit, vegetables, natural peanut butter and lean meat.
    • Cabinets were stocked with whole grains, oatmeal, bread, and wraps, as well as almonds, walnuts, etc.
  • Purchase protein bars- It's important to have food with you at all times. This way if time gets away from you during the day you have a backup plan.
    • Not all protein bars are good for you so be cautious
      • Look for 30 grams of carbs, 10-20 grams of protein and no more than 5-10 grams of fat
      • Look for bars containing alcohol sugars because these sugars go directly to the kidneys instead of causing sugar fluctuations like candy bars do.
  • Boil Eggs- for quick on the go protein
  • Apples- have at least an apple a day to increase your daily fiber
  • Carry a cooler- I keep a cooler in my car and it contains water, eggs, cheese sticks, almonds, and sometimes Greek yogurt.

Remember to always be prepared and don't let people make you feel strange when you carry food with you or a lot of water. (I carry a one gallon jug of water with me each day so I am sure I will consume enough water.) You are actually being prepared and being prepared will help you successfully lose weight. While others are starving and reaching for poor food choices you will be maintaining your cool and losing weight at the same time. Another thing is people that tend to have unhealthy friends usually are unhealthy themselves. If you want to become healthy but fear losing your friends then ask them to join you in a journey to become healthy. The Skinny Mom Challenge is offering a couples and friends a weight loss challenge. Check out to find out more details in our news section.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Food Journals & Photo Food Journals

Why is it important to keep a food journal? A lot of the time there is a huge discrepancy between what we think we eat and what we actually eat. How many times have you sat down with a bag of chips while watching television only to realize you ate the entire bag? A food journal magnifies these habits we're not willing to admit to or realize. Rob Carels, Ph.D. a psychology professor at Bowling Green Kentucky University explains the benefits of food journaling, "Almost everyone who does it is going to lose weight." The Kaiser Permanete's Center for Health Research also says, keeping a food journal can double a person's weight loss.


Keeping a food journal can assist a person by focusing on areas that may help or are hindering their weight loss success. By writing everything down you will be sure to notice if you are missing important foods necessary to support weight loss or if there is too many bad foods and beverages sabotaging your weight loss success. By keeping a food journal you can become conscious of;

  • Limiting Sweets
  • Limiting carbonated beverages
  • Eating more fiber, vegetables, grains
  • Limiting emotional eating
  • Avoid skipping meals
  • Overfilling your stomach
  • Eating due to emotions


By tracking the food and beverages you consume each day you become consciously aware of what you're actually eating verses what you think you are eating. If you have a half cup of vegetables write it as such and don't worry about the calorie counting. Acknowledge the portion sizes you consume each day.


Be aware of your surroundings. Where did you eat? Was it standing at the kitchen counter, in front of the television, in the car, or at your desk?


How did you feel at the time you were eating? Were you stressed, happy, rushed, etc?

Hunger Rating

How hungry were you before you ate and after?


M= Moderately Hungry

SL= Slightly Hungry

F= Full/Satisfied

TF= Very full and tired

ST= Stuffed, ready to explode and feeling sick

A food journal will make you aware of portions, environment, emotions, and hunger rating before your meal and satisfaction after each meal. All of these are important tools to help you successfully lose weight.

Another successful way to journal is by using photo journaling. Before you eat take a photo of your breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner. You can upload them to your Facebook for accountability or you can upload them to a notebook on your computer to keep track of just how much and what you are eating. Sometimes seeing it after is an eye opener. This is a great tool if you plan on eating out at a restaurant because they frequently give you double the serving size you should be consuming. Try food journaling or photo journaling for an entire week. Weigh yourself before you begin and after the week is completed and compare your results.

Good Luck!