Trim Healthy Mama Adveneture

Back in late 2015 I was introduced to the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle by a friend or two.  I was intrigued by this way of eating and decided to purchase the book and check it out.  I started Trim Healthy Mama (THM) between Christmas and New Years that year and lost 15 pounds by the time I left to run the Glass Slipper Challenge in February 2016.  I’m normally a turtle loser so this was a huge success for me!  What I liked most about it was not having to count calories, which I know works, but was always a huge struggle for me. I have a major sweet tooth so eliminating sugar was a huge help in reducing those cravings and the junk that I was eating.  I loved feeling strong and confident for the race weekend, as much as I loved having to size down in my jeans and SparkSkirts!

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Insert many life changes later and I found myself struggling to stay on plan with THM.  I’d hop on and off the wagon, but between time and finances I just couldn’t stay the course.  In reflecting on my struggles with running injuries I know that weight loss will help, as will consistent training.  Additionally, I know that the confidence I’ve been lacking lately, resulting in some struggles with depression, can be found in feeling better about myself and eliminating a lot of the junk and processed foods we rely on in a pinch.  So, I committed this week to getting back on track with Trim Healthy Mama and eating clean.  the keys to this are menu planning and choosing the right snacks for me.

For accountability’s sake, here’s my menu plan for this week:

Sunday:

  • Breakfast: Bacon, Eggs & Blueberries (S)
  • Lunch: Turkey & Cucumber Sandwich on Joseph’s Pita with Sugar Snap Peas (E)
  • Dinner: Ribs with Baked Asparagus and Steamed Squash (zucchini and summer squash) (S)

Monday:

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with banana and a few raisins (E)
  • Lunch: Leftover terriyaki chicken and squash (FP)
  • Dinner: Egg Roll in a Bowl (S)

Tuesday:

  • Breakfast: SweatPants Oatmeal with banana and raisins (E)
  • Lunch: Turkey Sandwich on Joseph’s Pita with Sugar Snap Peas and Grapes (E)
  • Dinner: Leftover Taco Soup (S) – I had frozen leftovers from a while back and we have a busy night!

Wednesday:

  • Breakfast: Bacon & Eggs with Blueberries (S)
  • Lunch: Turkey & Cucumber Sandwich on Joseph’s Pita with Sugar Snap Peas (E)
  • Dinner: Out to eat for hubby’s birthday – will try to choose an on plan meal

Thursday:

  • Breakfast: Bacon & Eggs with Blueberries (S)
  • Lunch: Turkey & Cucumber Sandwich on Joseph’s Pita with Sugar Snap Peas (E)
  • Dinner: Leftover Egg Roll in a Bowl (S)

Friday:

  • Breakfast: Egg White Omelet with Peppers, Spinach and Onion
  • Lunch: Turkey & Cucumber Sandwich on Joseph’s Pita with Sugar Snap Peas (E)
  • Dinner: Family Pizza Night (I will go off plan tonight for dinner so keeping my day low fat and calorie leading up to it.)

Saturday:

  • Breakfast: Quest bar before my run (S)
  • Lunch: Leftover pizza
  • Dinner: Steaks or burgers with veggies (It’s supposed to be gorgeous and I want to grill!) (S)

As you can see, I made a personal choice to go off plan Friday night for our traditional pizza and movie night.  I won’t always choose this, but I find that sharing in my family’s traditions and events is a priority for me.  In the past I’ve made my own pizza on a Joseph’s Lavash bread and I’m sure I’ll do this again in the future at some point, but for now I’m happy to make an exception.

The struggle, and what I’m going to focus on planning better for next week, is to make sure that I plan out snacks to have on hand.  Cut up peppers, turkey pepperoni, nuts, yogurt with gluten free granola, apples, pickles.  Incorporating protein into my snacks is hard for me since I don’t care for cheese much and that seems to be a common snack inclusion.  I have to research and plan for this.   I also need to take some time to prep desserts and/or snacks for these moments.

There you have it folks!  My plan for success for this week!  Hopefully I’ll feel better, have more energy and see some results!

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Back from the Dead?

Hey everyone!  I’ve been trying to figure out where this blog is going and what I’m doing with it.  Simultaneously I’ve been trying to figure life in general out as we’ve had a ton of changes in our family over the past year and a half since my husband retired from the Marine Corps.  So, here’s a quick recap of life:

  • Moved to PA from FL
  • Worked at Walmart for 6 months when finding a job in small town America was tough
  • Husband secures better job, which he is totally unhappy at, quits and we’re back to square one
  • Work at the YMCA for 6 months and leave to pursue substitute teaching
  • Still waiting on subbing months later
  • Get hired by VIPKid to teach English online
  • Continue booking vacations around the globe!

So life has been busy!  My boys are busy!  The oldest will graduate from high school in two months. (Someone hand me a tissue…)  My middle is busy with Scouts and baseball.  My youngest will go to pre-K next year.  He’s into everything and keeps me on my toes.

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But where does this leave me in achieving my goals? I’ve been reflecting a lot about what I want out of this life I’ve been blessed with and have come up with a few goals for the year:

  1. Focus on nutrition and eating right.  They say weight loss is won in the kitchen, but losing weight will greatly help my running goals as well.
  2. Consistently train for the Wine & Dine Two Course challenge at Disney World.
  3. Incorporate strength training into my training regimen.
  4. Establish a consistent student base with VIPKid.
  5. Be able to start subbing in the fall.

I think accomplishing these goals will give be the confidence I’m seeking and provide myself and my family the opportunity to enjoy life more through outings and travel.  (After all, we just booked our first cruise to celebrate my parents 50th anniversary so I need to look good in a bathing suit next summer!)

So there you have it.  I didn’t fall off the planet, but I did struggle with injury, training inconsistency and some major life changes.  Hopefully as we’ve found our new normal now I’ll be able to focus on achieving my goals and making 2018 the best year yet!

Norwegian Cruise Line Free at Sea Offer

Y’all!  Norwegian Cruise Line has the most AMAZING offer right now! Seriously, you do NOT want to pass this offer up!  $1 per person deposits now through March 5th only!  Not to mention you’ll get your choice of up to 5 FREE offers!  This deal is too good to be true!

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One of the best things about this offer is that you pay ONLY $1 PER PERSON DEPOSIT and can book through 2019 at least so you’ll have a year to pay off the cruise!   I love having a trip on the horizon to look forward to and save for. Whether you want to cruise Greece, Alaska or the Caribbean this offer is the perfect opportunity to get something on the calendar and make it happen!

Are you interested in taking advantage of the amazing Free at Sea offer?  Then fill out this quick form and I’ll send you a no-obligation (although $1 per person is a pretty easy “obligation” to fill!) quote for you to review.  Remember, you MUST book this offer by March 5th to take advantage of the $1 per person deposits, and the free offers.  Request your quote today and let’s get you set to sail with Norwegian!

Kid Box Boys Winter Box Review

I’ve recently discovered a love of Stitch Fix and enjoy getting a surprise in the mail once a month.  (As well as not having to drag kids around from store to store and into dressing rooms!)  My 7 year old has been jealous that I get a package and he doesn’t.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered a service that could do the same thing for him that Stitch Fix does for me – Kidbox!

Kidbox provides 5 seasonal boxes for boys and girls.  They offer a wide range of sizes from baby to size 14.  You complete a fun quiz, which Liam and I answered together.  Then a stylist will select 6-7 items for your child and mail them out to you.  There is free shipping both ways and no styling fee.  If you keep all items in your box it’s a flat rate of $98.  Or you can select to keep only a few that you love and pay for them “a la carte” at the special Kidbox prices.  The best part is that for every box kept Kidbox will donate an outfit to a kid in need.  This is pretty awesome!  (We donated to the fire victims in Northern California, but had a choice of four places to donate.)

When Liam took his style quiz he selected “City Cool” as his genre of clothes.  He then had some outfits to select from, could select to avoid colors or types of clothes, as well as anything in particular we were looking for like school clothes or tops or pants.  He was so excited for his box to arrive!  So excited he insisted on making a video!  (This is our first unboxing video ever so bear with us!)

First Liam tried on the Art + Eden Boys Square Print Sweatshirt.  This retails for $40.00 and the Kidbox price is $28.00.  We paired it with the  French Toast Joggers which retail for $24.00 and have a KidBox price of $18.00.  He loved this outfit and wore it to school Monday, when we received the box the Friday before.  While this top made me nervous and probably wouldn’t have been my first pick, he’s very happy with it and the outfit is very cute.

Next we paired the joggers with the Silver Jeans Long Sleeve Pocket Tee in Grey.  This tee retails for $24.00 and has a Kidbox price of $19.00.  This shirt is a very soft and a good basic t-shirt to add to his wardrobe.

Next Liam tried on the Andy + Evan Short Sleeve Polo with the Paper Denim and Cloth Straight Leg Jeans, Medium Wash.  The polo shirt retails for $39.00 and has a Kidbox price of $32.00.  The jeans retail for $50.00 with a Kidbox price of $38.00.  I think this shirt was an odd choice for a “winter” box, but since we’re hopefully getting closer to spring I think the piece will transition nicely.  The jeans are a little big, but they do have an adustable waist and a belt so he should get plenty of wear out of them!

Next he tried the DKNY Chambray Flecked Button Front Shirt with the Jeans.  The subtle detail of the multi-colored flecks is pretty cool.  I like that it has roll tab sleeves so it can transition from winter to spring.  This shirt retails for $42.00 and the Kidbox price is $34.00.

Lastly he tried on the Urban Smalls Deer Long Sleeve T.  This retails for $24.00 and the Kidbox price is $18.00.  Liam loves this shirt!  It’s probably his favorite item in the box.  It’s rather thin so not ideal I guess for as cold of a winter as we’ve had this year, but should transition to spring nicely.

Overall, Liam loved the box and the items in it.  He thought they were all comfy, cute and keepers.  At $14 a piece for the $98 box fee I think Kidbox is a pretty great deal!  I also love the fact that we’ll be able to help a kid in need by getting Liam some new clothes.  I know spring boxes are coming out soon.  I’m not sure he needs one, but I am definitely tempted to get him another box as we had a lot of fun opening this one together!

If you’re interested in trying Kidbox for your child, feel free to use my referral link!  You’ll get $25 towards your first box and I’ll get a referral credit as well so it is win win!  When you do, please let us know how you like Kidbox!

**This post is not sponsored in any way.  All opinions are our own.

Military Monday – Sandals and Beaches Resorts

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Beaches Negril

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you may know that I am now a Certified Sandals Specialist!  I spent a day last month being trained by some of the best from Sandals.  I learned about beautiful Sandals and Beaches resorts in the Caribbean so that I can better assist you in making your vacation dreams a reality!  (I know, life is tough when you have to spend a day drooling over phenomenal  Caribbean resorts, world class restaurants and bars, relaxing spas and exciting outdoor activities!)

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The most exciting news, however, is that Sandals generously offers a wonderful military discount.  Sandals and Beaches resorts offers this discount on top of any other discounts that they offer!   (And they have some AMAZING discounts right now in general!)  This makes Sandals and Beaches more affordable than ever!

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Sandals Royal Caribbean

Sandals and Beaches always have luxury included!  Want to stay in a beautiful Romeo and Juliet suite at Sandals Royal Caribbean like the Bachelor did, just say the word, and you can enjoy luxury included for a steal as a thank you from Sandals.  Whether you want to celebrate a promotion or return from deployment, Sandals and Beaches are the perfect place to honeymoon or reconnect with each other or the whole family.

What are you waiting for?  Contact me at gretchen@destinationsinflorida.com or 818-519-0777 to plan your luxurious Caribbean escape today!

Sunday Training Synopsis 7-24-2016

Another great week of training!  Well, besides all of my socks being MIA, despite doing laundry midway through the week!  Where do those socks get to?  This week I had three runs on my training schedule:

Tuesday, 30 Minute Training run  

  
 Thursday, 30 Minute Training run

 Saturday, 8 Miles (which I did today because missing socks!)

   I was dreading today’s run with the heat.  My weather ap said it was 68 degrees and felt like 75 at 5:30 am when I woke up, but honestly, the run was decent.  Not as fast as my 6 miles last weekend, but hey, you win some, you lose some.  All that matters is it’s done!

My knee is really sore after today’s run!  I had intended to tape it with KT tape, but forgot in my haste to beat the heat this morning and I’m paying for it now!  I think I might need to start taping it the night before a long run so I don’t forget in my hurry to get out the door and run!

Up next week I have a pretty easy training week with two 30-45 minute runs and a 3-4 miles maintenance run.  Looking forward to an easy training week!  What do you have on your training schedule this week?

Sunday Training Synopsis

Training is in full force here…finally!  With three half marathons on the calendar this fall, and possibly a fourth, being half marathon ready is more more than necessary.  Thankfully hanging that runDisney training plan on my fridge seems to be incredibly motivating for me.  Checking off each run is rewarding…kind of like little kids and sticker rewards charts.  Maybe I should get some stickers?   But I digress…

I am currently training for the following:

9/11 – Harrisburg Half Marathon

9/24 – Diva Half Marathon DC

11/5&6 – Lumiere’s Two Course Challenge (Wine & Dine 10K and Half Marathon)

I’m running Harrisburg with my hubby and Diva and Wine & Dine with my bestie Jan!  (I’m not sure if I’m more excited about running the half marathons, or having a girls weekend away????)

I started the week off with a 4 mile run on Monday.  Since I missed the “long” run over the weekend I just started my week off with it.  After all, it’s “only” four miles.  Seriously though it was the longest I’d run in a while!  LOL!

On Thursday I had the worst run of the week, and the shortest.  The humidity was horrendous!  So even early in the morning running was miserable.  It felt like Florida out there!


Then Saturday I did my long run of the week and ran a 10K.  I explored a beautiful trail, where I learned I need bug spray when I run there!  But I had a great run.  I felt strong, which was encouraging after such inconsistent training since I know I have to start amping my mileage up in preparation for the September halves.  The weather was decided more cooperative and I saw a better pace per mile than on Thursday’s humid run.

 All in all I was very pleased with my training this week.  After our move and all the changes our family has gone through this past month it’s nice to get back into my running routine.  I am in a decidedly better mood on the days that I run so I’m sure my family appreciates that!  Here’s to another week of training and meeting goals!  I can’t wait for my next race and the upcoming racecations with my BRF!

On the training plan for this week are 30-45 minute maintenance runs on Tuesday and Thursday and 8 miles on Saturday.  For daily updates, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!  What’s on your training plan this week?