Monday, December 28, 2015

21 Day Fix and Cize Hybrid Calendar

21 Day Fix and Cize Hybrid Calendar
I hope everyone had a great holiday this past week. Time is really flying by again and as we get closer to the new year starting I wanted to share my latest Hybrid Workout Calendar. I used this version throughout the month of November and I enjoyed using two of my favorite programs. This combines all 7 workouts of 21 Day fix with all of the Cize workouts in an easy to follow 1 month plan. I think this is a great way to switch things up and still enjoy two different types of workouts. Enjoy and as always feel free to comment below with what you think. I love feedback and any other Hybrid workouts you would like to see.

21 Day Fix and Cize Hybrid Workout Calendar

 Click to view and print the Calendar:  PDF

If you haven't checked out Cize yet, follow the link below to find out more information. Please let me know if you have any questions!

Monday, November 23, 2015

90 Day Paleo Food Challenge - Results

90 Day Paleo AIP Food Challenge

Time for another update, I am a week late on posting! Last Monday was my 90 weigh in and results day and I am still losing weight and inches.  I cannot say enough about pushing through each day and sticking with your meal plans as much as you can at this point. Below are my results from Day 1 to Day 90

My pictures are getting harder to see on my post, so next check-in I will post my beginning picture and current weigh in. I also think I need to go back to the white background so you can see better changes. I will adjust that for next time.But, I must say as I take this journey weight loss is great, but my main overall goal was to feel better. And I have achieved that pretty well. I still have more energy than I have in a long time and my Endocrinologist appointment went well.

My doctor says my nodules and goiter are shrinking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (!!!!!!!!!) I knew they felt better but, I was amazed they were down in just around 60 Days of medication and my diet and exercise plan. I did not get the full measurement written down. But, right lobe is down from 6.6cm to 4.2cm and left lobe is down from 5.8cm to 4.0cm. This a big deal because I am more comfortable during the day and I don't think about my goiter. Also, the nodule on the left is no longer there upon exam and the right side is down too. Also, my doctor does confirm I have Hashimoto's so it is good to finally have a name to call my issues. I have felt like that fit for my problems, even though my blood work is not off the charts. We increased my Tirosint to 50mcg daily and I will recheck my bloodwork in 1 month.

Also, one thing I did not share in my beginning 30 Day post but I want to share this now. I was pre-Diabetic for a few years before I found this plan. No matter what I tried I could not get my A1C down. I was only 0.1 above the normal range at 5.7, but it bugged me and scared me. 3 weeks on this plan and my A1C dropped to 4.8. You can make the change you just have to want to change.

 One note about the past 30 days, I have had 3-4 meals not on my plan (Eeek! I am not afraid to admit when I am weak). And it went ok for me, I did have some side effects. My heart rate increased twice and my thyroid was tender each time. But, no real anxiety or flushing issues. I did not feel the need to eat whatever all the time after some cheat meals. I can still tell that bad foods do not fuel my body well or fill me up. It was in social situations where I was unprepared with my own food. Still no coffee though, I am determined to stay away no matter how tempting. Because I still see issues and will continue to push forward towards the 6 month mark for total reintroducing food groups. As I go into the Thanksgiving holiday I plan on being strong and sticking to the diet plan.

This has been a long journey for over 5 years. But, I am here to say this plan can help you. Do your research for your issues. And please if you ever want help or just someone to talk to I am here for you. Stay strong and know that you are worth being fixed and 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe

Fall is here and our family is enjoy the fall season of fresh vegetables that are available. Also, the weather and the fall foliage is beautiful this year in East Tennessee. This was our drive through the mountains this weekend. Where we live the colors are spectacular this year. I hope you have great fall foliage you are enjoying too. (Don't worry my hubby was driving!).

Fall leaves and scenary

One of my new favorite finds is the Acorn Squash. I walked into Whole Foods one day and they had a huge display of Butternut and Acorn squash for sale. My first instinct was to grab the Butternut, but I decided instead to grab 2 Acorn squash to try. I figured I could stuff them with something tasty for an easy dinner. The one thing was I didn't really pick up extra ingredients for the "stuffed" portion of the recipe. That led to an interesting first try at Stuffed Acorn Squash.

I will share two versions of this recipe, the more put together ingredients recipe and my use what was in the fridge leftover version. Both were very tasty and delicious. This is an easy go to meal for the middle of a busy week. For the apples in this recipe I used a small apple called a Lady Apple. They reminded me of a less bitter/tart McIntosh. I think that any fall apple will go well with this recipe, but I would not recommend a sweet apple. Also a few things to clear up on this recipe and AIP eating. You want to watch out for nightshades in your sausage that you choose. Most store brand sausages add spices and red pepper to their mix for flavor and you want to avoid these. I purchase a local source that I have double checked for their ingredients. When in doubt just make your own or ask the company or source for help with the ingredients. Also, I have come to find out pepper is not allowed on the AIP list of ingredients. This is new for me and I am making the change to this recipe and my food list I have provided in the past. I enjoy that fellow AIP followers are helping me out on my journey, thanks!

Stuffed Acorn Squash
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

Ingredients (2 servings)
  • 2 medium Acorn Squash
  • 1/2 pound Sausage (pork or beef and nightshade free)
  • 1/4 cup Onion, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 small apple, cored and chopped
  • salt and garlic to taste, or other approved AIP spices

1. Preheat oven to 400ºF
2. Cut Squash in half and remove seeds.
3. Drizzle your favorite Paleo oil and seasoning on the squash and place on a baking sheet.
4. Bake for 40 minutes, checking about 20-30 minutes to make sure it is not overcooking.
You want it to be tender, but still hold its shape.
5. Cook your pork or beef sausage and drain all but 1-2 tablespoons of fat from the pan.
6. Chop your stuffing ingredients and heat the drippings pan over a medium heat.
7. Add onion and celery to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until soft.
8. Now, add in your apple and cook for 2-3 minutes.
9. Add back in your sausage and cook for 1-2 minutes and stirring well.
10. Season with salt and garlic or other AIP spices and mix well.
11. Place large spoonfuls in each section of your squash. They will be full and almost overflowing.
12. Place the stuffed squash back in the oven and cook for an additional 20 minutes.
Powered by Recipage

Here is the printable version Stuffed Acorn Squash

Here is my leftovers = tasty stuffed acorn squash recipe.I had broccoli left over from a few nights before and the artichoke hearts were Trader Joe's frozen brand.
Stuffed Acorn Squash II
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

  • 2 acorn squash
  • 1/2 pound sausage (pork or beef and nightshade free)
  • 1/2 cup precooked broccoli, chopped
  • 1/2 cup thawed artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
  • salt and garlic to taste, or other approved AIP spices

1. Preheat oven to 400ºF
2. Cut Squash in half and remove seeds.
3. Drizzle your favorite Paleo oil and seasoning on the squash and place on a baking sheet.
4. Bake for 40 minutes, checking about 20-30 minutes to make sure it is not overcooking.
You want it to be tender, but still hold its shape.
5. Cook your pork or beef sausage and drain all but 1-2 tablespoons of fat from the pan.
6. Thaw frozen artichoke hearts and roughly chop.
7. Heat the drippings pan over a medium heat.
8. Add back in your sausage and add the artichoke hearts and broccoli and cook for 1-2 minutes.
9. Season with salt and garlic or other AIP spices and mix well.
10. Place large spoonfuls in each section of your squash. They will be full and almost overflowing.
11. Place the stuffed squash back in the oven and cook for an additional 20 minutes.
Powered by Recipage

Here is the printable version Stuffed Acorn Squash II
Why am I posting the 2nd version I made? I wanted to show you how versatile the acorn squash are. I think any type of ground style protein and veggies will work well with the stuffed acorn squash. I really liked my leftover version, while my husband said both were good but he preferred the more planned out recipe. Either way enjoy cooking and eating your acorn squash!

This recipe is featured on Phoenix Helix Roundtable 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

60 Day Paleo Food Challenge - Results

60 Day Paleo Food Challenge Results
My 60 Days on the Paleo Diet ended yesterday. And I am still seeing results and changes towards my first goal weight. Here are the current results compared to the last 60 days.


As you can see I am still seeing great results. I am still getting closer to my first goal weight of 190. My overall goal weight is between 150-170 for a healthy range for me. I am currently fitting into clothes I have not worn in a long time, over 6 or 7 years. My current size in clothes is a 12/14. Once you start to feel better and see results you want to keep going.

As I make my future goals, I am planning on trying this diet for a total of 6 months. That means possibly not adding back any of the food groups or items I have removed until then. I am still not drinking coffee, which is a big accomplishment for me. A fresh pot of Starbucks brewed coffee sits less than 5 feet from my desk at work. And I can say no to it! I am refining the recipes we eat each week as a family and what I eat for breakfast and lunch also.

If you are struggling with any auto immune or health issue, you can heal yourself with a better diet and exercise. It will take time, dedication, and yes even more dedication. But, just try it. Make a change for yourself. Start small with your changes if you have to, but COMMIT TO CHANGE!!! I have struggled for over 5 years and this is the best I have felt in a long time. I have more energy, I am sleeping well, my anxiety issues are more under control, and I just feel great. If I have a bad day it doesn't overwhelm me and I am learning to deal with daily issues rather than hiding from things. And you have to learn not to turn to food for comfort. I had a day a few weeks ago where everything went wrong. Work was rough and then I backed into someone's care at the bank. But, I couldn't turn to food for my bad day. I had to deal with things. And I made it through it, ok. That was a big step for me. Even when I wasn't eating badly earlier in the year, I would still turn to food for comfort. Now, I cannot do that so I have had to learn to just be upset and get through things. This has been a big step for me.

As for my thyroid, it is feeling better as well. My goiter is going away and my nodules are more tolerable on a daily basis. I think they will take time and being on the Tirosint (levothyroxine) to go down more in size permanently. As always, I will keep you updated on how my thyroid is healing.

My next Paleo update will be in 30 days, stay tuned and hopefully I will be closer to my first goal weight.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Weekly Meal Planning Guides

Today's post is learning how to meal plan for each week. For me, it is one of the most helpful things I have done for reaching my weight loss goals. I am not lost each day wondering what I am going to cook or eat for each meal. Or, tempted to just eat whatever is readily available. Although, since my diet change to AIP Paleo I am not as tempted to eat random things anymore.

I used to think I was pretty good at this without writing it down. But, I was wrong. Since I have been planning out the week I am seeing more and more progress in my health and fitness goals. Below are the two guides I use each week for shopping and cooking.

This guide is for planning your shopping trips. It is grouped by foods and other sections of the store you might need. It also has a weekly meal section so you can remember what food are needed in certain recipes during the week.

Weekly Shopping Guide printable

Here is the link to the printable version: Weekly Shopping Guide

The other guide I use is a full weekly menu planner for all three meals. Just think you only have to plan out 21 meals each week. And I know for myself and my family we have favorite meals that can be repeated on different days of the week. So, if you have a favorite breakfast or lunch don't be afraid to repeat it.

Weekly Menu Planner printable

Here is the link to the printable version: Weekly Menu Planner

I will post some examples of what I am eating weekly on the Paleo Diet soon. In the meantime, start planning your week and what you eat! It will help you stay on track and reach your health and weight loss goals. When you plan your food out, you are more likely to stay on track and not eat things outside your diet.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Paleo Waffle Recipe

Paleo Plantain Waffle Recipe

Paleo Plantain Flour Waffle Recipe ( AIP, Gluten Free )

Today I am sharing today my favorite recipe that I have created on my Paleo Journey. This recipe is for Plantain Waffles made with Plantain Flour. Are you ready to have your mind blown?!?! If you have tried other Plantain waffle recipes I am sure you know the pain and possible disappointment in cooking them. They have always turned into mush cakes for me. And no matter how long I cooked them they would not solidify.

Monday, October 5, 2015

30 Day Paleo Food Challenge - Results

30 Day Paleo

I finished my 30 Day Paleo Challenge on 9/21/15. I must say it was a very interesting 30 Days. I had times where I was sad I couldn't eat whatever, but I did manage to stay strong on eating on most of the plan.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

21 Day Fix Review - Paleo

21 Day Fix Review Paleo Edition

My Review of 21 Day Fix is finally here. I am Calling it the 21 Day Fix Paleo Version. I did the 21 Day Fix Program from 8/24 to 9/7. During this time I also started my Paleo Food Challenge. For my meal plan I used the Paleo List I have provided before, with a few changes for the container categories. Before starting, I had been struggling with losing weight and gaining muscle. But, with my dietary changes and the workouts I have been able to see changes in both.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Paleo Diet Food List

AIP Paleo Food Diet List

One of the things I have noticed about The Paleo Diet, is all the information out there! It can be overwhelming and just too much to take in at once. Hopefully, this overview will let you know what is involved in The Paleo Diet Plan.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

30 Day Paleo Food Challenge

30 Day Paleo Food Challenge and 21 Day Fix eating plans and workouts

30 Day Paleo

Since my last post, I have decided to try the Paleo Diet after some more research and reading. I finally got scheduled for my thyroid scan and blood work for this coming Monday 8/31. But, while waiting to hear from my doctors office last week I was still feeling bad and my thyroid was still swollen. So, that has brought about my own personal 30 day Paleo eating challenge! I started on Monday 8/24 and I have already lost 4 pounds as of today. So, what does this mean for you? 

Tomorrow I will post about the Paleo eating plan and all guides will be up next week. And I will post my weight loss and measurements at the 14 and 30 day mark.

And I promise that my 21 Day Fix review will be up on 8/31. I keep adding information to my food plan sheets and I want it to be perfect for everyone to use.

See you tomorrow with more information and printouts!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

My story and journey, so far

My story and journey so far: Getting healthy and healing my thyroid

 My journey towards being healthy started 5 years ago. But, I have spent a lot of time over the past 5-6 months trying to figure out what was wrong with me even more. After weaning my son from breastfeeding I felt like my body was out of control. I have dealt with thyroid nodules and goiter starting in 2009. By 2011 after being on levothyroxine and having scans and various blood work done I was still feeling the same and gaining weight slowly each month. My mother made a suggestion that I try to eliminate soy from my diet. I thought it can't hurt right?

After just ten days of the elimination diet I was feeling better and my goiter and nodules felt smaller. My endocrinologist check up proved that this was working and we made a plan to stick with soy excluded from my diet and no medication at that time.

The following symptoms disappeared or decreased with a no soy diet:

  • Thyroid nodules and goiter
  • flushing episodes during strenuous activity
  • Increased heart rate
  • Mood swings
  • Brain Fog
  • Painful menstrual cycles
  • Insomnia 

This worked pretty well for awhile. I did not deal with these issues, unless I strayed from my diet. My goiter and nodules were gone and things were pretty good. I still struggled with weight loss, but I was happier not having the above symptoms.

After being pregnant and then weaning things changed. I noticed in April that my goiter and nodules were back even with my soy free diet and fairly healthy exercise regimen. I was still hovering over the same weight range and I could tell I just didn't feel well. The goiter and nodules would were decreasing and increasing in size throughout the day and causing pain and pressure on my throat. I decided to eliminate gluten from my diet.

I did notice a difference within a few days. I lost 4-5 pounds pretty quickly and I felt an overall body change. I did not feel bloated and my overall body did not feel as inflamed and irritated as it had. I decided that I must commit to 6 days a week on exercising. If I am doing a program with 7 days of workouts I double up on one day a week. I tried the gluten free diet for 3 months and then decided to eliminate other possible irritants from my diet. I am now soy, gluten, nut, and bean free. I am not dairy free yet, but it is mostly eliminated from my diet. I have seen an overall success in decreasing my current symptoms.
  • Fatigue
  • Cold Intolerance
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Thyroid nodule and goiter
  • Muscle cramps and weakness
  • Irritability
  • Brain Fog
  • Decreased appetite
  • Hoarseness/trouble speaking loudly
As of this week, I was able to see my Endocrinologist after a three month waiting period. After my appointment she agrees that I could have auto immune issues with my thyroid. Hashimoto's is the name of the auto immune thyroid issues. I will labs and tests done soon to help confirm and discuss further treatments. I am sharing my journey in this blog to help others that are lost on their health journey and possible thyroid issues. Unfortunately, some medical professionals are not aware or up to date on thyroid health. Hopefully they don't mean to overlook our issues, or brush it off  that we probably aren't eating and exercising properly. I know for myself  I was down to eating 400-500 calories a day because food seemed to trigger my problems even more. I had my family doctor and OB/GYN not really sure how to help me or guide me and said just exercise more and eat more vegetables. I look at those moments know and just think that was the only thing they knew to say to help me. I also knew they weren't the right doctor to help in getting me healthier. Don't ever give up if you know something is wrong and keep fighting for help.

I am waiting to have blood work and a thyroid ultrasound done soon. My Endocrinologist agrees that I should avoid my dietary food triggers and work on adding in more calories to make sure I am eating enough. I range around 1000-1200 calories lately and find it hard to eat that much some days. I would like to be closer to 1500 a day for optimal health and helping in weight loss. My doctor said sometimes if you eat below a certain amount you may shut off your metabolism and not lose weight.

I am excited to change my blog around to incorporate more recipes, tips, guides, and still fitness and mommy information. I am here to help others in this journey of health and wellness whether you have certain health issues or not. I am focused on getting better and sharing what I have learned along the way. I hope my journey and story can help someone else and let them know they are not alone.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

I am still here! New posts next week


I am still here, although M.I.A. for awhile. Since my last post on here I had been struggling with some health issues. But, I will be back posting and sharing some of my personal story and still on the road to fit and healthy.

I am doing pretty well and it is nothing too scary on my health. I have actually struggled with my health since 2009. But,  my thyroid issues became worse in March/April of this year. I have come a long way and have a lot of new information to share that hopefully will help others.

Stay tuned next week for new posts, recipes, and many other new things.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Les Mills Pump Week 4 to 6

Les Mills Pump Weeks 4 to 6

As I continue through Week 7 of this program I want to share a review of the one new workout that is added to the rotation of Les Mills Pump.  When I have finished the 90 day calendar I will post a full review combining my individual weeks and workouts. I will also post the 3 phase calendar and schedule.

Pump and Shred is introduced in Week 5 and is 45 minutes long. It is broken down into 8 sections with a warm up and cool down. It focuses on Squats, Chest, Legs/Back, Legs, Shoulders, and Abs. This is in the group class setting again, which I prefer over a closed studio set. It helps see the workouts from different perspectives and levels. They do have a modifier in this workout again. I did find myself following the modifier more the first time I did this workout, but later on I tried moves with weights. This workout continues to build upon the other workouts and use the rep effect more each move. The tracks are 4 to 6 minutes long for each section. I enjoyed this workout and it is a sweat fest for sure! So far, my favorite is still pump and burn.

Coming Next Week: I have been working on my posts for my 21 Day Fix Meal Plan review and I am excited to share my progress and recipes I am using. I hope to have that posted by Monday or Tuesday.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Les Mills Pump Week 2 and 3
 Week 2 and 3

The days are flying by lately and I have to motivate myself daily to remember my workout routine. I unfortunately lost my workout space that I was using at work last year so I struggle to find time when I'm at home. But, I do strive to make it a priority to schedule in my own time. It may be 9 or 10pm and I may do two days worth of workouts on one day, but I try and make sure I take time for me.

Our son has been sick off and on since the beginning of the year. RSV, ear infections, and this past week he now has hand foot and mouth disease. He is so brave and strong though for just being a year old. I am amazed at how much they can deal with and still want to play and laugh. We have had lots of late night and early mornings, but they are all worth it. Dealing with these things I have definitely enjoyed taking 30 minutes to and hour for myself and working out. I am writing all of this to say that even when things get tough it feels EVEN more important to work on me and take time to get healthy. I feel like I can deal with the stress somewhat better and I am sticking to my diet and not turning to food for comfort.

Back to the workout review!  Week 2 and 3 of Les Mills Pump combine the same workouts as Week 1. The only new workout is:

Pump and Burn: This is a 35 minute workout that builds upon the basics and takes it at a faster pace workout. Also, it is filmed in a class workout setting which I really like. It helps to see the different camera angles for lifting and it makes it easier to use proper technique. It is broken down into 6 sections with a warm up and cool down. It focuses on Squats, Chest, Legs/Back, and Abs. This by far is my favorite workout. It pushes you to complete quite a few reps and has you sweating and feeling strong by the end. I must say my arms and abs felt stronger after this workout. The cool down and stretch is a great end to the workout. It goes through stretches for all the major muscle groups you've just used. Their is less time in between sections, but it leaves just enough time to change weights or get a drink of water.

(This preview picture is hilarious!)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Les Mills Pump Week 1 Review 

Week 1 Review

Restarting the Les Mills Pump program this week I feel much stronger about completing the workouts and I am able to enjoy knowing the moves and exercises already.  This program has days where you need to incorporate walking as part of your exercising, but I have decided to complete other workouts on those days. I am once again committing to the 90 Day schedule.

The following programs are included in the Week 1 schedule:

Pump Challenge: This is the introductory type workout that shows you proper technique for other workouts. The segments are broken down into 3-4 minute intervals and focus on certain muscle groups in each segment. The segments include: squats, chest and triceps, chest and back, lunges, and shoulders. Each segment talks about what weight size to choose and proper technique for holding the bar. I found that on the squats and lunges I had better technique and form not using weights for now and also a better workout too. Overall this disc is very helpful in setting up success for future workouts. The workout is 25 minutes long, but breaks are taken in between segments so actual length is closer to 20 minutes.

Flow: This workout is used to help you recover from the strength training days and is 20 minutes long. The workout consists of 4 segments: Sun salutation, warrior poses, and two segment of stretching including lotus, swan, cobbler, and side arm twists. I enjoyed this workout because it helps stretch out your sore muscles from the other days of workouts. Also, who doesn't enjoy yoga!

Hard Core Abs: This workout includes 3 segments and is approximately 15 minutes long. The segments include crunches, leg extensions, planks, hovers with leg lifts, and side plank with crunches. This workout starts out slow, but by the end I was feeling these! I know I will be sore tomorrow!

For the 45 minute walking sections I did 30 minutes of TurboFire and Les Mills Combat. It fit into my schedule better and also I felt that these workouts were more intense I burned more calories.
Overall, I really enjoyed the first week of workouts and I like that I broke up the days with other workouts.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Les Mills Pump and 21 Day Fix Meal plans

Hello again! I am happy to be back posting. It has been a long couple months as far as taking care of our son and weaning, but I am ready to focus on myself.

I will restart Les Mills Pump Week 1 today and I am also doing the 21 Day Fix Meal Plan. I decided to do a meal plan outside of Les Mills so I have a little more structure and easier planning now that I have more time in the morning.

Posts I will share this week:

Les Mills Pump Review of Week 1
21 Day Fix information and a review of containers
21 Day Fix Weekly Meals and Recipes

Stay Tuned!

Update 8/26/15- I will have my 21 Day Fix and Fix Extreme reviews up at the beginning of next week, Thanks for checking out my blog!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Let's Stay Connected

About Me

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I'm Heather from Knoxville, TN. I am a mom who is trying to succeed at balancing all aspects of life. My days are filled with working full-time, raising our son, and taking time to have fun and workout too! Welcome to my page, I hope you find helpful information on getting healthy and my adventures on raising our son. Please feel free to add me to your circle.

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