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Health, Weight Loss

How To Turn The Outdoors Into a Gym

July 15, 2014

If you think the only way to burn fat and gain muscle is with a gym membership then let me set the record straight for ya, it just ain’t true. I’m sorry if I burst your excuse bubble but if we can lose weight and gain muscle tone without ever stepping foot in a gym, so can you! For the first year that we started on this journey we didn’t have the extra money in our budget to workout at a gym. We knew we would have to use will power and a little creativity to accomplish our goals. When I wrote my post on How to lose weight without a gym membership, I laid out all the ways you can significantly get results at home through free online video’s. Charlie, who’s main goal has been to gain muscle had to get a little more creative as the weights we had bought for home use just weren’t cutting it.


Charlie has been running for the past 4-5 months. On one of his runs he ran by the factory here in Franklin. He saw an opportunity to get an extra burst out of his workout by using some of the old trains. Burst exercising is 90%-100% of your maximum effort for 30-60 seconds in order to burn your body’s stored sugar, followed by 30-60 seconds of low impact for recovery. This causes your body to burn fat for the next 36 hours to replace your body’s vital energy stores. This signals fat burning enzymes and aids in muscle mass development (Burst Training, Dr.Axe)

Charlie turned this old train scene into a few intense burst workouts.Talk about an awesome lower & upper body workout and a serious sweat feast.


Jumping jacks and push up’s if done with full effort is an excellent way to burst exercise and can be done anywhere!


You don’t have to spend money on workout gear for your house. Look around your home surroundings and there is a good chance you can find things like a pull up bar or even weights made from cinder blocks. A lot of parks with walking tracks have built in workout bars sections.


If there is a will there is certainly a way. This is a scene that we see a lot at our house. The kids love taking turns to be daddy’s weights. You would be surprised how much of a workout the extra 20-30 lbs gives.


Utilize the resources around you, parks, buildings even the corner of your kitchen counter can be turned into an arm workout! Check out free workout program’s like Fitness Blender, start running, kick boxing etc..! Just move!! Don’t let anything get in the way of accomplishing your goals!

Health, Weight Loss

New Season, New Challenge

July 11, 2014

I have entered into a new season of working out and I’m pretty darn excited about it. I am still exercising with HIIT and Tabata style routines through Fitness Blender‘s free online workouts but my new found adventure and challenge has been running. Even more exciting is that I have a workout buddy!! In the past, I never really enjoyed running but with the help of Insanity and HIIT routines I have built stamina and endurance that has made it so much easier. I have been exercising alone for the past year and I can’t tell you how thrilling it is to have my very good friend Heylee joining me in this new venture!


Yesterday we completed our first 5 mile run together and we were quite proud of this new milestone. We keep each other accountable to get up, meet and encourage each other to keep going during those last miles. I’m thrilled at her desire to make changes in her personal health and excited to see her reach her goals!


Working out isn’t only about weight loss for me anymore. When I go without I feel a physical difference in my daily performance. I’m addicted to the chemical reaction that I have from sweating,raising my heart rate and releasing endorphins. I am more productive, effective and ready for my day as opposed to the days that I don’t move. My attitude and behavior are significantly different when I get up and workout. For the first time ever I am setting goals that I never thought I could achieve and even more exciting is that I get to encourage Heylee in the same way and celebrate over our victories together.


Working out alone this past year has solidified my commitment to health and exercise. I realize now the important role it plays in my life. In the same way that I understand diet to be crucial to a healthy lifestyle, moving and raising your core temperature, sweating out toxins, bringing in new oxygen and burning fat is simply how God has created the body to function. We have been given amazing vessels that can be fine tuned to perform for us! I have never felt better in my life!


Health, Weight Loss


June 16, 2014

I am the queen of splurging. Even after a year of revamping my diet and discipling myself to live differently and intentionally about how I eat, I still can go wild and consume food like the world is ending. This month has been particularly hard for me because we have had lots of reason to celebrate, like my birthday, Father’s day and usually that means eating…a lot.

This past weekend we spent the majority of our meals eating processed junk. I’m not really excited to admit that but we did. The one big difference about how we eat now compared to before is that at some point we always get back on track.

I have learned to become pretty in tune with my body, especially when I can tell I am building up some toxicity after eating processed food a few days in a row. Some of the clues that our bodies begin to give us warning signs are with symptoms such as:

  • Sugar Cravings
  • Low energy
  • Bloating or gas
  • Mood swing
  • Brain Fog
  • Fluid retention
  • Migraines or headaches

Going out to eat makes it incredibly hard to control or know the quality of food that you eating. Which is why when we splurge and eat out a few consecutive nights in a row, I begin feeling my quality of life diminish.

Bloating and sugar cravings are usually my first warning signs. Here are some ways I jump back on the band wagon, enable detox, and kick the sugar cravings.

I first start my morning when I’m suffering with heavy bloating with activated charcoal.

“Most toxic substances in your gastrointestinal tract, like the chemicals in processed foods, carry a positive charge. One of the main benefits of activated carbon is that it has a strong negative charge that literally draws these chemicals, traces of heavy metals and other undesirable contaminants into its structure. It has even been shown to absorb and trap hydrogen sulphide, also known as ‘rotten egg gas’ for good reason. Importantly, activated carbon is not metabolized in your body in any way. It passes through your digestive tract like a million microscopic vacuum cleaners, hoovering up toxins as it goes. However, since it’s so good at it’s job, it’s necessary to take it only at certain times and in a certain way.” (Health Ambition, Activated Charcoal

It is important to note that charcoal will absorb everything in your digestive tract. Take activated carbon on an empty stomach with a large glass of water, well away from meals, supplements and particularly medications.

A couple hours after this I normally begin feeling tremendous relief from bloating or gas. I then will make a shot glass of apple cider vinegar. It’s benefits are amazing and numerous and will chase away any left over bloating sensations. ACV help slow digestion of starch which is the cause in blood sugar spikes after meals. Apple cider vinegar also, works as a detox and will help to break down fats, and improves bowel workings.

To make this shot glass use 2-3 Tablespoons of ACV, dilute with purified water to your liking, add raw honey or stevia and cinnamon to help cut the vinegar taste.

I am usually reset at this point and can make healthy decisions about what I eat and much more inclined to have motivation to do a high intense workout allowing me to sweat out more toxins.

Give your body breaks and rest especially when you go on a splurge. Splurges are inevitable but try and reduce the consistency and get back on track quickly after!

Today I begin my deflating and jumping back on the bandwagon. Just because we get off track momentarily does’t mean all is lost! Getting back on is one of the greatest ways to encourage you that you are much more disciplined than you realized!


Non-Microwaved Popcorn: Pop it Like it’s Hot

May 21, 2014

For the past 2 years my family has lived life perfectly fine without the use of a microwave. I rather like that I keep my food in its original form rather than change it’s chemical structure most likely turning it into a carcinogenic. Read more about the dangers of microwaves HERE. Heating food is quite simple on your stove top. Yes, it may be a little longer than in a microwave, but i’m happy practicing patience than blasting radiation on my families food.

Popcorn is such a great snack! My oldest daughter Norah is normally in wind down mode when she gets home and this is great for her to grab quickly while she chats about her day!

A sweet friend of mine shared with me her recipe of using coconut oil in her pan, giving the popcorn a slightly sweeten flavor. Not to mention, this a great way to get good fat in the diet. Since we just moved we have been out of a lot of our essentials, including coconut oil. So I grabbed my olive oil and decided to share today’s post with you

Olive Oil Popcorn

2-3 tbs of oil on the bottom of the pan

1/2-1 cup of kernels (GMO-free)

a slab of REAL butter (We use RAW from our local farmer)

Sea Salt

1) Heat the pan with oil and add the kernels

2) Close the lid and from here you will shake your pan often to ensure that the kernels are being covered in oil and not sticking to the pan. You will shake until the popping starts.

Like this:

3) While your kernal are doing their thing, take a slab of butter and put it in a pot on the stove top and let melt.

4) After lots of vigorous shaking you will start to hear the popping. Mine almost always overflows…but I secretly like it that way…. You can use less kernels to keep from overflowing.

5) Transfer your popcorn to a bowl and add your melted butter and salt

And last but not least…ENJOY!!!

Health, Weight Loss

The Insanity is OVER!!

April 16, 2014

I am so glad to be finally finished with Insanity. It was an amazing 60 days and I’m so proud that I did it! Overall, I feel strong and my body has really changed. I am beginning to see so much more toning and Improvement in my endurance.

I have hit a hard place in weight loss. I would love to shed these last 10 lbs and I still hope to reach my goal but as I get closer to that number I am noticing that it is taking much longer than in the beginning! During Insanity I only lost 5 pounds but I also realize I have gained muscle.

But overall I am so thrilled at my progress! Working out has become a part of my ritual. It’s like my coffee in that if I don’t do it my day feels off. When I began this crazy weight loss ride almost a year ago I was shopping for XL tops and wearing 14/16 size pants. It still takes me off guard when I see small’s and mediums in my dressing room and now wearing size 8/10 pants.

My 8 month progress:




8 months of hard work…


I have not only made strides in my physical appearance but also my overall health. To me this is even more important than what is shown through my physique. My goal is to continue to alkaline my body, rid myself of toxicity and achieve optimal health through eating raw whole and clean foods.


I am no one extraordinary. I’m just a mom with 3 kids trying to do my best to achieve great health. This all started with a decision and a plan. I’ve had up’s and down’s along the way, I’ve messed up or had to alter my diet. But overall, my greatest success was that I never stopped moving forward. I didn’t allow one cheat day to mess everything up and get off track. I continued to focus on the prize ahead. I’m closer now that I have been in a very long time. Every sacrifice has been worth it in the end. This is not a diet, this is my life. I am confident I will continue to move forward.


Activated Charcoal is My BFF

March 6, 2014

One of my favorite natural remedies that I am sure to always have stocked in my home is activated charcoal. Activated Charcoal is a form of carbon having very fine pores. It is well known as a antidote as it absorbs most organic toxins, chemicals and poisons before they can harm the body. The easiest way to describe it’s function is it acts like a sponge that moves through the GI tract absorbing toxins and eliminating through the bowls.

We have been using charcoal since we got married 10 years ago. It is my go to remedy for bloating, gas, and a upset stomach. I had forgotten how effective charcoal can be with gastroenteritis. During my kids most recent stomach virus episode I started showing the early signs of nausea and stomach cramps. I began taking charcoal through out the day until all symptoms relieved and subsided and didn’t have any further issues. My husband also had the early symptoms of the stomach virus and began taking charcoal and was able to avoid getting sick.

Charcoal has even more remedies like whitening teeth, healing bee stings and other bites. I highly recommend reading these post to learn more about it.  Here & Here

It is important to state that because charcoal absorbs so effectively that you must not combine charcoal with any other medicines. The charcoal will absorb anything and will render anything else taken useless.

Activated Charcoal is not the same thing as what your put on your grill or ashes from burning wood so please don’t try and use those. It is important to buy a high quality charcoal. You can purchase HERE. 

If you want to learn more about the historical uses of charcoal for medicinal purposes check out this very interesting article! 

We love our charcoal and are thankful of it effectiveness to bring relief quickly!


For the Love of Ozonated Olive Oil

February 20, 2014

Ok this is going to get personal. Maybe a little much for some and for that I apologize!  For any of you who have experienced child birth you may still be suffering with some of the trauma our bodies go through to get those babies out. One of those after effects personally have been hemorrhoids. The pressure from the uterus combined with pushing in birth just makes them inevitable. If you suffer with hemorrhoids you know the discomfort and constant battle of having to deal with them. Sometime they go away but most of the time they do not. We don’t talk about them because it would be an incredibly awkward and embarrassing conversation but I would be robbing others of healing and relief if I choose to stay embarrassed.


My dad is a naturopathic guru amongst other things. He has been my bouncing board and has been educating me on holistic remedies for as long as I can remember. While visiting him a few years back I was watching him pack this clear solid cream IN not ON his foot. My dad suffers with poor circulation in his legs and as an outcome a deep hole was forming on his outer foot. It caused him tremendous pain that even made walking difficult. So I began to investigate what this cream was that he was so diligently filling the hole with (Sorry, gross I know) It’s called Ozonated Olive Oil.


Ozonated Olive oil is made with high quality, organic, extra-virgin, cold pressed olive oil that is put through a process of “ozone injection”, which is bubbling ozone into the liquid for an extended period of time. There are many tremendous benefits to OOO (best abbreviation ever) most commonly used for conditions of the skin and external body,  As a massage paste, the ozonide acts as an antioxidant, allowing lactic acid and toxins to be released from the pores of the skin other benefits include:

  • Stimulation of growth for skin cells
  • Speeds up healing-time for skin wounds and ulcers
  • Cleans and sterilizes the epidermis
  • Reduces swelling and redness
  • Calms the nerves and reduces the amount of pain in skin conditions
  • May increase cellular function and cellular memory
  • Acts as a free radical scavenger on harmful toxins
  • Acts as a moisturizing facial conditioner (leave on for 20 minutes and promptly remove)
  • Aids in healing processes and reduces scarring
  • Promotes healthy skin conditions
  • Good for removing makeup
  • Good for animal wounds, as it is all natural, and can be licked
  • Sunburn of the skin
  • Insect bites and stings
  • Infections of the sebaceous glands (sweat)
  • Can be used as a natural under arm deodorant
  • Hemorrhoids – One of the best natural remedies
  • Sore muscles (rub as a massage paste)
  • Cellulite Reduction
  • Wrinkles
  • Ringworm
  • Bed Sores
  • Cuts & Burns
  • Skin Yeast
  • Carbuncles
  • Diaper Rash
  • Tinea Versicolor
  • Dermatitis
  • Psoriasis

I have had incredible relief from hemorrhoids from using Ozonated Olive Oil. Any discomfort that I may have is resolved by using this cream. There has been a dramatic decrease in size and using OOO regularly is healing my body from having them at all. This is a great holistic product to have in your home. Especially as a parent we all deal with diaper rashes, burns, and other skin related issues!

Of course like all products not all are created equally. You want to be sure when purchasing OOO to ask the company if they are using a coronal or cold plasma unit. Ozone is a reactive gas and is very hard to stabilize, but by passing it through the oil, contained within an ozone resistant container, the ozone gas begins to interact and stabilize within the oil. As it is continually processed, the ozone slowly begins to turn the liquid form of the oil into a off-white colored paste.

You can purchase the OOO I use here.  (HERE) Feel free to contact me with any personal questions or usage!


Maximized Living

January 8, 2014

Among the many health concepts I have been learning one of the most effective to mine and my families life has been our chiropractor. Many people are unaware of the significant role of maintaing the nervous system through spinal correction. Honestly, I never clearly understood the importance of having my spine adjusted until now being under the care of a maximized living chiropractor. One of my favorite aspects of living a holistic lifestyle is finding health professionals who are aligned (no pun intended) the same way. From our families first visit we were challenged to become educated and take responsibility for our spinal and overall health.

We don’t only go to the chiropractor because our backs are sore and for a long time this was my understanding for this kind of care. We go because our health depends on the stability and performance of our central nervous system. Here is it defined from the maximized living site.

The brain is effectively the first organ to develop while in the mother’s womb. Our brain is the main command center for the rest of our body, and uses our spinal cord and nerves from the beginning to create every cell and organ. From development onto death, this command center is in charge of the flow of “power” along the spine and through the nervous system, controlling all function and healing within the body. Therefore, attaining overall health and wellness is directly associated to maximizing your nerve supply.

The nervous system is so essential to your body that it is covered within a well-built, bony structure to keep damaging elements away from the sensitive nerves. This bony structure consists of the skull, which guards the upper brain, and the spinal column, which shelters the spinal cord and nerve roots. When this spinal column is not well taken care of, it may shift or rotate out of place, interfering with your body’s ability to create maximum nerve supply. The condition of your spine then influences both your physical and mental health—making it essential to optimal performance. Developments in modern medicine have allowed chiropractors the capability to make defined measurements of the spine, giving them the resources to make precise measurement of both the damage done to your spine and nervous system, as well as the accurate recommendations for care.

The benefits of full spinal correction are not just pain relief, but also greater neurological health, maximized organ function, prevention of spinal degeneration, optimum range of motion, high performance, and a far greater resistance to injury.

Since we have been consistently going to “the back doctor” as my kids call it we have noticed a huge difference in our overall health. I have been downright impressed with our immune systems and it’s ability to combat sickness. We either have completely avoided falling ill or recovered and bounced back in rapid time. This has been a huge victory for us since the past 2 years we have dealt with constant sickness.

I have noticed my body healing and my ability to use my hips better during exercises. Moves that I could hardly attempt due to stiffness from pregnancy are starting to gain mobility. Ada’s minor ticks during concentration have vanished, Norah, partially vaccinated, has had the poorest immune system. She is also in school and in contact with more germs than any of us but hardly has been sick since her weekly adjustments.



(Using head weights after an adjustment to strength the neck and yes we take many silly pictures to help ease how ridiculous we look)


(Miles playing Chiro)

If you have never heard the benefits of spinal adjustments then I highly recommend educating yourself and finding one in your area. I specifically encourage anyone to find a maximized living chiropractor. The care and education you receive is tremendously different from our traditional practice we were a part of before. You can go to the maximized living website I linked above and they will help find one in your area.


New Year New You

January 6, 2014


Remodeling your diet can seem incredibly overwhelming. Especially when you have created habits of consuming particular foods it can feel impossible to think that you could change. I have had so many discussions with friends about particular bad habits and the result is always “It’s just too hard to give up” attitude. I completely empathize with this way of thinking because I too have been under this same spell of disillusion. Our American culture certainly doesn’t make it any easier with all the alluring advertisements and convenience of fast food. Even with the huge hype on “Clean Eating” and focus on raw foods, the majority is still trapped in their addiction to fake food.

I was able to break my bad habits due to miserable allergies. If i hadn’t been so uncomfortable the changes I have made would have seemed impossible. However, when I look back to the beginning of my transformation I realize that my process of eliminating foods was done in baby steps. I get a lot of questions about my process of weight loss, juicing, and healthy lifestyle and I find myself always giving the same advice. Take. It. Slow. I won’t water it down or make it seem effortless. It does takes commitment and incredible determination to battle your personal will but with all good things it takes time perseverance.


The other side of the battle that I find many, including myself, dealing with is trying to decide “Is this all worth it”? I too use to think that I wanted to enjoy the foods I ate and not feel that I was on some strict diet and completely unhappy. I was quite content with Dr. Pepper, runs to sonic, or any foods that were served to me through a little window, as my kids called our fast food runs. Never mind the fact that I was overweight, couldn’t control my portions, gassy, had little to no energy, laughed at exercise, struggled with allergies and stayed sick all during the winter months. I wanted to be happy even if that happiness lasted a short duration. In my mind attempting to eat healthy didn’t seem worth it.


But on the flip side of the equation, even as I write this, I can see where my failing health was taking me. I felt out of control and was only guided by my cravings. Continuing with no change my future would have held a handful of health issues and continued lack of desire for change. But In just 6 months I have lost almost 40 lbs, completely rid myself of allergies, have energy and focus, rarely suffer with digestive issues, I have a stronger immune system which allows me to avoid or bounce back fast from sickness and has empowered me to make other disciplined decisions like working out that I would have never been able to make before. I have never felt better in my life. It empowers me as a mom and gives me the ability to dream and do things i have wanted to do, like start a blog. For me, it’s absolutely been worth it! Disciplining this area of your life affects your behavior and your ability to make healthy decisions. Eating fake food not only takes a toll on your physical well being but also your mental and spiritual. I don’t miss soda’s and fast food. My taste buds have changed immensely and I am no longer addicted or controlled by my cravings.




So where do you start when your in over your head like I was? You start small. Take one addiction, one bad habit and put all your focus on it. For me, it all started with sugar. I focused on eliminating sugar from my diet. While this is a large hidden beast it is one that will jump start beating your addiction to fake food. Educating yourself on the effects of sugar can be truly motivating when you realize the effects it has on you.

Start your new year with a new commitment to live your life to it’s fullest. Don’t be controlled by fake food. Challenge yourself to new goals that you thought were impossible. Improve your health and realize that disciplining yourself grows every facet of who you are.

Health, Weight Loss

Snack Attack

December 10, 2013

I have been receiving quite a few messages asking what i am doing to loose weight. I talk so much about juicing that most assume that i am juicing exclusively. While i love juicing and try to incorporate it often if not daily, buying a hefty amount of organic produce on top of our families regular grocery needs can be financially taxing. To give our family financial breaks instead of juicing i can buy less and just eat the fresh fruit and veggies.

Being a mom to little ones i often feel that feeding myself is at the lowest priority. It can be a challenge to sit down and eat which is why i have become a great snacker. Snacks are convenient, fast and easy to grab on the go. I needed a fast food approach to my snacking and wanted to share what i do throughout my day to keep fueled, energized and nourished. I workout 5 days a week doing HIIT and Tabata style routines. I use Fitness Blender, a husband and wife duo that have created free workout videos on you tube. It is a similar approach to Insanity and can be streamed from your computer, ipad, iphone or laptop. Since i am working out my body starts throwing warning signs if i don’t put food in my mouth so i have become much more aware of eating throughout the day. I try and have snacks prepared for the day to take out any guess work. Here’s a sampling of “my chews”



Raw Carrots

Low sodium organic popcorn

organic apple


Nut Mix; Almond, raisin, cranraisins with a sprinkle of organic chocolate chips

Celery; peanut butter + raisins 

Brown rice cakes with peanut butter and jelly or honey

home made Granola bars

For Lunch a quick sandwich paired with fruit or a green salad and I am set for the day full of energy



This is my daily diet and how i am loosing weight. I love eating and i get to eat a lot. I try to incorporate more veggies of course and we eat a plentiful amount of grains and legumes (beans) for dinner. I am trying to focus on water intake these days. I don’t drink enough and need much more. Water is not only excellent for weight loss but for restoring cells, removing toxins and keeping your skin and body hydrated. You don’t have to starve yourself to loose weight but eating real, fresh, live food allows your body to do what it needs to function and operate the way God designed it!