Let's get healthy together!

Whether you want to lose weight, want to gain weight (muscle), or want to maintain your weight, let's do it together!

Post whenever you feel like it, if you have an experience to share, a question to ask, advice to give, or just want to vent.

Email hizzeather@gmail.com if you'd like to be an author!

Whether you're an author or a reader, please add a button to your blog to help promote us. The code is available at the bottom of the blog. Thanks!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Looks good Heather, Now on to the business at hand

Oh I am so glad you did that Heather. It looks so nice.

I feel like I am mostly talking to myself on here. Not that I mind talking to myself but it would be nice if our contributors came up with some really cool recipes, healthy tips, or any face time whatsoever!

I hope everyone gets motivated for the new year.

So on to the business at hand.

For the past year I have been taking care of my mom. She has a few health issues and needed the help. When I first came I gave into her desires for munchies and junk foods that she should never really be eating anyway. It was hard to change her old habits and routines cold turkey so I eased her into them. By June I had been able to make major changes. She is now eating, less fat, balancing carbs with protein, adding more veggies, having smaller portions, more often with no constant available munchies and healthier snacks. Because of her health and stubbornness she has added no exercises. The result is a 23 pound weight loss since June.

Her doctor had never seen her dropping weight without a medical issues as a cause before so this was exciting for him and for us.

I hope we continue to drop pounds in a healthy way. Life is good!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Hello...is this thing on?

Hey guys...the old template I was using became troublesome, so I made a new layout and blog button (yep...for a blog no one really writes on or reads :). Hopefully with the new year and resolutions we can get this jump-started again? That might be hard with at least 2 of our contributors pregnant...or, we can have "healthy pregnancy" posts! Oh, and yes, I know that I NEVER blog on here anymore, so I'm talking mainly to myself. :)

Anyhoo, please add the new blog buttons to your blog, if you are so inclined.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cooling down

It is cooling down. I love the summer but I welcome the colors and cool of the fall. With cooler weather comes a better motivation to work out. I love getting back on track.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Too hot

It is too hot. I wonder if my health suffers with the heat too. Although I eat less and lighter in the summer. Heading for more fruit and salads but the exercise thing is just not happening as often or as much. Everything I do is at a minimum. Other than daily chores I find it difficult to want to do much else. I sleep less in the heat too. Any ideas?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Responding to Stress

First, I apologize for not posting on this blog in forever!

Second, I lost it! All of my baby weight is gone, and I've even dipped a couple of pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight! I lost it by working out with home video workouts 4-5 times a week. (Having a treadmill attached to my boob (aka breastfeeding) for the past seven months probably helped too!) My favorite home video workout is The Firm--I have their "CardioWeight System" DVDs. It is mostly dance style cardio with toning and strengthening exercises thrown in too. Jillian Michaels' "No More Trouble Zones" and "Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism" are killer workouts too. Are you a big home video workout junkie? Have you ever tried either of these workouts?

Third, what the title of this post is all about: responding to stress. I developed a bad habit a couple of months ago of responding to stress by eating. I noticed that I was doing this, so I'm changing my ways. Instead, when I'm stressed out by my adorable yet sometimes super cranky baby that I stay at home with and take care of all day, I do crunches. Do you ever respond to stress by eating? Do you have any healthier alternative ideas for responding to stress? Please share!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Why in the world am I soooo hungry lately!?!?! It's sooo annoying - anyone else having this problem this week?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

takin' it to the beach.

i've been meaning to post for WEEKS but, much like my dieting past (or lack thereof), just never got around to it. well, friends, the wait is over and here's the latest and greatest. i'm not brave enough to post pics like heather and her sister did awhile ago. sorry. but let it suffice to say that i weigh too much and i'm just not healthy enough. so i'm working on changing that.

i'm currently doing the south beach diet. AND...it's working! i started june 1 and i've lost 12 lbs. so far. how great is that?! for those of you that aren't familiar with the program, there are three phases. i'm still in phase one which lasts for at least 2 weeks, depending on how much weight you want to lose, etc. anyway, for the first phase, you cut out all bread, pasta and carbohydrates. ..including fruit. this is the time to rid your body of all the sugar and processed flour addictions.

it hasn't been bad. my energy levels are better and the sugar cravings have subsided! in fact, i cheated over the weekend with the most delicious hippo cookie from this bakery on balboa island but only ate half of it 'cause it was just too much. that's NEVER happened to me. usually, i'm shovin' five more of those babies right behind the initial treat. anyway, that's a big deal for me.

the best part about south beach is that i don't feel deprived at all. i'm eating at least six times a day, drinking TONS of water and even enjoying an occasional diet coke (i know, i know...it's my cross to bear). anyway, it's fab and i'll keep you posted on the progress.

what're ya'll doing to get healthy?

Is Anyone Paying Attention?

Today I was looking at this blog reading the previous entries and wondered if everyone gave up. Has everyone given up?

I am as guilty as the rest of you as as far as contributing goes. It took me forever to be brave enough to put keystroke to blog but I have.

One of my friends from church is a motivational speaker for Weight Watchers. I love her to death but just can't picture her standing in front of a crowd like that and being helpful until we talked. She was saying the reason programs like Weight Watchers work is the support. For many of the those who lose and keep the weight off it is the support of the group that helps them succeed. She said there people who go through the programs to lose just ten pounds or a hundred but those that stick around do it for the support. She says it is it the anonymous friendships that form apart and away from the day to day friends that bond the groups together.
They pay a lot of money for that support.

I know very few of the contributors. Most of the few I know I only know through your blogs or through Heather. That aside I will be your strongest supporter in working toward better health. Your anonymous friendship that will cost you nothing but a few keystrokes.

At this point I wonder if anyone ever even checks in. Gives this site a glance or a thought. We can help each other by talking about what's working and what isn't as well. We can share recipes, work out tips, products we like, or we can just check in with each other. Mostly I just wanted to say I am paying attention. Are you?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wii Fit Fans

I have loved the Wii since we got it. The idea of playing a video game on my feet while moving was novel. The idea of playing for hours and having my body ache and not my thumbs was awesome. But when we got the Wii Fit I found a new love of the game.

I try to work out every day and get bummed when time is at a minimum. Okay I'm not sure that some of the games due much to burn calories but they do make muscles I haven't felt in a while ache. A good ache.

My favorites are broad and not really shown when you go on to the favorites section. When I got the game I was doing what I could to open up more tasks which meant doing the easy ones over and over. I have found that while I can't always do the step ones they are my very favorite. Especially free step. I am able to do as little as 10 minutes and on a really good day 20 or even 30. It is nice to be able to just switch to a TV show on my Tivo while I am doing my steps. It goes so much faster in my head than if I were watching the clock.

I usually hold weights while I workout.
Moving my arms with the weights as I go. I'm not even sure adding the weights does much if anything toiimprove my workout but I feel better doing it anyway. My arms hurt a little the first time which leads me to believe it is doing something.

Then I was thinking when and If I were better pain wise I could put the step higher for an even better workout. Who knows how many possibilities there are in changing things up.

If you do something different that works for you let me know.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Looking back

Looking back I see that doing a few little things can make a big difference.

About 25 years ago a couple of guys were walking in our neighborhood passing out these new long lasting light bulbs that at the time they claimed would last 7 to 10 years. Mine lasted about 8. Years later when I started seeing similar bulbs in the stores they were about 5$ a bulb but when I could afford it I changed out the bulbs in my house as the old bulbs burnt out. Now they are cheaper and I have them all over my house saving tons of energy. I see them all over now. It is nice to see other people catching on and catching up. Who would have thought changing a light bulb could save energy and help the environment?

Nearly 23 years ago I was working full time and pregnant with my third child. As a matter of necessity I began doing the prep work for a weeks worth of cooking every Saturday morning. We could not afford to eat out and I had limited time and energy so cooking needed to be quick and easy. I'd check the sales and make a menu. Then I'd make a shopping list for the foods we planned to eat. After we got home I began to do as much prep-work as I could. I'd chop, peel, grate, boil, steam, brown, parboil, mix, blend, and create everything I could in advance. For instance if ground turkey was on sale we'd have three or four meals with ground turkey like tacos, turkey meatloaf and a casserole. If the sale was really great I'd buy and cook enough for even more meals and save it for a future week. The meatloaf casseroles and meat in general can be precooked, seasoned and frozen until the night before you plan to eat it. Just warm it up and serve. The whole process took about an hour or two including shopping.I later learned keeping a full and well used freezer uses less energy than and empty freezer and actively eating this way means you never look at that frozen chunk of freezer burn and wonder what it might have been as you throw all that money away. I never felt bad about not affording to eat out since we saved money. We were able to eat fresh healthy food every night in as little as 10 minutes. Who would have thought trying to save money could mean eating better and reducing energy costs?

A little over 15 years ago I became the single parent of my five awesome kids. We had a power mower that quit on me and I could only afford a push mower. I discovered I liked to be able to go out and mow in the very early hours of the morning and not wake my kids or disturb the neighbors. Soon I discovered I was not having to wait til I could afford a gallon of gas and some oil to be able to mow. On reflection today I think of not only all the fossil fuels I have saved and the pollution my mowing did not emit but the calories I burned by doing it the old fashioned way. I still use a push mower. Who would have thought mowing the lawn could have so many benefits?

If we all did just a little thing here and there to change our lives we could potentially have an impact we never even imagined.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I am choosing to be healhy

Hi everyone! I was reading our blog the last couple of days. I've been a part of this blog from the start but only a watcher and not the contributor I should be. This last nine months or so I have been taking care of my mom who is in bad health. Watching her struggles has been an eye opener for sure. I have begun taking steps to improve her health and mine. She and other members of the family are resistant but we are getting there.

I am choosing to be healthy.

I have taken on a new goal to workout hard (working up a sweat) for 30 minutes a day as many times a week as I can but no less than 4. I have made similar goals before but it was too rigid. Say I'd plan to workout 5 days a week for 30 minutes and found that it was easier to give up when a busy week or bad day made me skip a day here and there. In leaving the number of minutes, times per day and days per week open has left my mind open. In the past a few busy or lazy days would mean the end of my good intentions. I no longer think that a bad day or a busy week is a reason to give up. I know I can pick it back up when I can fit it in. So what if I can only get in a 15 one day I know I can maybe put in an hour or even more. I realized that squeezing in what I can when I can is working for me. For the last month I have been doing very well. I am averaging 3 - 6 days a week and whenever possible I put in extra time or more workouts per day. The goal is not to lose weight although that would be a nice secondary benefit the goal is to keep moving and get healthy. I was injured nearly 12 years ago and have decided to work through the pain in hopes of lessening the pain.

Over the last year I have changed the way I cook and eat. The secondary benefit to this is that I cook and everyone in the house benefits. I cut down on my use of oils and changed to good oils if I need to use oil. I moved to whole grain everything I can (bread, pasta, tortillas). I incorporate more fruits and vegetables every day. My choice of meat is always lean and generally white but has been for years. Snack foods in the last few months have been carrots, fruit, celery, nuts and an occasional piece of dark chocolate. (Nobody is perfect, lol.) I don't say never to anything but any splurge is watched, not criticized and in moderation.

I want to be stronger, have more stamina and maybe drop a few pounds along the way. So why are you choosing to be healthy?

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Okay ladies what can we do to make this blog better and more useful to each other?

I want to really utilize this as a good healthy blog but it's not getting much action.

What can we do to make it better?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Down 32 lbs!! So excited!

Monday, April 20, 2009

I'm not losing any weight!

I think I'm going to lose the contest...I'm working out, eating healthy, trying to do everything right, but I'm staying the same weight. Maybe I've lost inches. Hopefully. Maybe I'm just upset because I'm on my period right now and bloated. Yeah, that's probably not helping. :)

I am happier though...I feel better and have more energy. And I have discovered some awesome recipes.

Here are three of my favorites, with our modifications for how we like it -

Taco Salad
(called "Skinny Dip" on Hungry Girl's site)

4 cups shredded lettuce
4 oz. fat-free sour cream
1 cup canned black beans; drained and heated
10 oz (about 2.5 cups) butternut squash cubes
2 cups cherry tomato, chopped
1 cup diced onion
4 oz. roasted red peppers (not packed in oil); chopped
1 pouch (4 oz.) ground meat substitute (Boca or Morningstar)
1 oz. shredded veggie shreds, or soy cheese shreds (aka fake cheese)
3 and 1/2 tsp. taco seasoning
Optional - lime juice, salt, pepper, cilantro

Combine half of the tomatoes with all of the onion. If desired, season to taste with lime juice, salt, pepper & cilantro. Microwave squash until tender. Mash squash to a pulp and mix in 1 and 1/2 tsp taco seasoning. In a skillet combine "meat, remaining tomatoes, remaining 2 tsp. taco seasoning, and red peppers, until thoroughly heated. In a dish layer all items in this order - lettuce, butternut squash mixture, tomato/onion mix, sour cream, black beans, "meat mixture, and "cheese". Serve hot or cold.

Serving size - 1 cup (approx 1/8th recipe)
Calories - 100
Fat - 1g
Sodium - 400 mg
Carbs - 18 g
Fiber - 4g
Sugars - 3.5 g
Protein - 7 g

Only 1 WW point!

We crumble up low-fat, baked corn chips and have a taco salad or put it in a low-fat tortilla...very yummy, excellent flavor, and it tastes just like the real stuff!
Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Feta & Cabbage Slaw
(Thanks to my friend Deanna's blog & epicurious for this one!)

1 15 oz. can black beans, drained
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
6 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 tbl. fresh lime juice
2 cups coleslaw mix (we just use shredded cabbage)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 low fat corn tortillas, white or yellow
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
hot sauce

In a teaspoon of olive oil, saute onions until clear. Meanwhile, place beans & cumin in a small bowl and mash. Add them to the onions and mix together. Leave on low heat to warm. Mix 2 tsp. olive oil and lime juice in a medium bowl. Add coleslaw and cilantro and toss to coat. Season with salt & pepper. G=Heat remaining 3 tsp olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tortillas in a single layer. Spoon 1/4 of bean mixture onto half of each tortilla; cook 1 minute. Fold tacos in half. Cook until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Fill tacos with feta and slaw and hot sauce to taste.

Per serving: 232.6 (kcal) calories, 40.0 % calories from fat, 10.3 g fat, 2.7 g saturated fat, 11.1 mg cholesterol, 28.7 g carbohydrates, 5.0 g dietary fiber, 1.5 g total sugars, 23.7 g net carbohydrates, 7.5 protein

We make mexican rice and a steamed vegetable to go with this and we LOVE them! So tasty and healthy!!!

And for dessert, this gem from my friend Rachel -

Healthy Peanut Butter Balls

1 cup oats
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 scoop protein powder (or powdered milk)

You can play with the ingredients until you get a good consistency, and even add flaxseed powder for more benefits. When you've got it right, roll into small balls and place on a cookie sheet. Pop it in the fridge or freezer for a bit to harden a bit and you have a guilt-free sweet snack!

My "Mii" and my Wii Fit calendar...a stamp every day that you do it. I'm doing pretty good!

I have been doing Wii Fit...I love it! It weighs you and lets you track your progress...I've gone up and down a lot but stay around 199-200 pounds. I always "gain" weight when I do it in the evening and "lose" weight when I do it in the mornings. I try to just do it in the mornings, but when I don't have time, I feel it's better to do it in the evening rather than not at all.

I'm thinking about doing The Master Cleanse...Cody says he'll do it with me if I do. Has anyone done it before? Any advice or tips or warnings? I wonder if I can even do it...I have very little discipline! :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

It's on like Donkey Kong!

My SIL's stats are in! The battle has started. I'm on day two of my diet and not doing as well as I wanted to, but I will be better. I didn't do my video workout today (no time), but I tried to compensate by being as active as possible. Naomi is doing better...she's good at dieting and she took this picture right after working out at the gym. Plus, she's breastfeeding...she's a total cheater! :) I've got to step up my game!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Big Fat Loser

Yeah, so I created this blog awhile ago to motivate me to be healthier...that didn't work. I finally realized why...I hadn't posted any "before" pictures or set real goals to be accountable to. So here ya go blog...nasty pictures of me in all my glory. :) Gah-ross!

My sister-in-law and I are putting a friendly wager on a contest to lose the most weight. If she loses the most weight in four months, I have to baby-sit her kids all weekend. If I lose the most weight, she has to pay me $50 and gives me vouchers for some massages at her friend's place. I'm sure after eating less and exercising for four months, I'm gonna need those massages, so good luck to me!

My plan is to eat less calories than I burn, and exercise to burn more. I'm currently doing Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred. It's a doozy. I'm already sore. I'm also going to keep a food diary, drink more water, and walk, walk, walk.

Naomi, my SIL will be sending me her "before" pix and stats, so I'll put them on here soon. If anyone else wants to join in our friendly competition, please do! It's easier when we do it together.

I'll be posting occasionally on my progress, successes and failures. The big winner will be decided July 11 (my brother, her husband's birthday!). Although it will be a great b-day present to him to let her win...I'm not going to! :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Hello all. It's been awhile since anyone has posted, and I've definitely been out of the blogging world for awhile, so it's time to get back.

Here's my update. I am forever grateful to my friend Debbie, who some of you know, because she introduced me to the couch-5k plan. I think I put it on here already, but SERIOUSLY! It's the best thing ever for me. I am about to start my 5th week of the program tomorrow, and I am already up to 35 minutes on the treadmil and covering just over 2.5 miles.

I have been more seroius about getting into shape this year than I have ever been, my entire life. Something just kicked in a few months ago. I don't know what it was, but I'm so glad it did! I find myself sad when I leave the gym and can't wait to go back the next day. I am motivated by the fact that a pair of jeans fit me better than they used to, and that my mom told me today I looked skinnier. But mostly, I feel so much better. I have more energy and I am happier. I am drinking more water (which of course is soo good for you) and I am eating healther. All because I am working out more. I had a bowl of ice cream last night (it's been a month or so since I've tasted ice cream) and honestly I had two bites and I was done. It just didn't sound good to me and it made me feel sick.

Hope everyone is doing better on their plans! Any secrets to share? I am just so excited that I'm actually doing what I've always wanted to do. Plus...I want to have a baby soon. And I want to be in the best shape beforehand. I heard it helps with giving birth and the recovery.

So here's to getting back (or er, getting into) shape!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Food Variety

(Sorry if you read my personal blog; this will be almost a repeat, but I felt it was worth posting on this blog.)

I've been working on expanding my food repertoire lately by purchasing and cooking a greater variety of foods. I was inspired by a book I'm currently reading by renowned dietitian Ellyn Satter entitled Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family. I previously read parts of it for a nutrition class in college, but now I'm going chapter by chapter. I'd highly recommend reading it because she calls for a return to normal eating, which is what I try to do. Because I'm slightly overweight since having my baby, I've considered dieting a couple of times, but it's just not for me. So I'm simply exercising regularly, eating a variety of foods, and trying to obey my hunger, appetite, and satiety signals. (That--obeying your hunger, appetite, and satiety signals--is what is meant by "normal eating," i.e., eating mostly only out of physiological hunger (of course there will be slip-ups and times when you eat just to eat), eating what you really want to eat, eating a variety of different foods from all the food groups, and not using or manipulating food to achieve a desired outcome such as to console you or to make you thin.) Anyways, I guess it's working because I've been wearing my pre-pregnancy jeans for a couple of weeks now, and I am so happy about it!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Okay, I've been gone way too long. But it's been a successful hiatus as far as eating healthy goes. I had a little set back yesterday and today, so let's not talk about that. Let's talk about the positive success!
A couple of weeks ago The Biggest Loser started up again on TV. Does anyone else love watching that show? It is so motivating to me, and let's be honest I have gotten a little teary eyed some times. I'm a sap, it's just what happens.
After watching the premiere I thought to myself....I need to do more! I do not weigh 300 pounds, but I sure have some weight to lose. I'd like to lose 5-10 pounds. The next few days I talked healthy ideas with my friend Debbie and she got me started on this "couch to 5k" running plan. Have you guys heard of it? So I started it, and I'm starting my week 3 tomorrow. I also started following some of the rules of the south beach diet. Not all of them, but just the ones that make you eat way super healthy. I eat sooo many vegetables I'm going to burst. And I lay off the fat and starchy foods. I have a treat if I want it, but for the most part I avoid sugar.

I had a doctor's appointment 2 days ago, and they always weigh you before you go back. I stepped on the scale and I kept waiting for the number to go up, but it stopped and I couldn't believe it. The nurse wrote the number down but I wanted to say, wait - that's not right. That's not what I weigh! Oh my goodness I had lost weight! So let's just say I am TOTALLY motivated after seeing my new weight last Friday. I still have a few pounds I want to lose and I want to work out and be tone, but I'm not stopping now. Once I see an improvement it's easy to keep going.

I just have to say, way to go Tara for losing 9.5 pounds! Wow that's awesome! And if anyone hates running but wants to start, the couch to 5k plan is the best. It starts super easy and builds slowly. By the end I'll be running a 5k and I already feel myself becoming strong and it gets easier and easier to run for longer.

Plus, doesn't it feel so much better to eat healthy? I have more energy and I just feel fantastic. What a difference!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I wish...

more people posted and contributed to this blog! It is so lonely!!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

I am super hard core on my new healthy eating etc

I am very happy to say that I have lost 9.5 pounds and this is just the beginning! I am so happy!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Darn those last 15 pounds!

Six weeks after I gave birth I'm still wearing my maternity jeans with 15 pounds left to shed. I haven't eaten very heathily over the holidays, but now it's time to really get serious. I got a couple of Christmas gifts that will help me get in shape if I diligently do them. My husband bought me The Firm cardioweights workout which I really wanted. It includes handweights and 4 exercise DVDs that each last about an hour but also include express options that only last 25 minutes for your extra busy days. And my brother-in-law gave me an exercise ball and web with an instructional DVD. Thankfully he included a note on it that said, "I don't think you're fat. Love, David." (My husband didn't need to include any sort of note. : ) ) So where do you start when you're trying to lose weight? Do you make a plan or goals? Place encouraging notes by the fridge?