Need a Chocolate FIX?

I didn’t know what else to call these. I could have gone with: “Super-food, Chocolaty Nut Balls”, or “Balls of Chocolate Goodness” (nah!), or maybe “Super-food Nutrition & Protein in One Delicious Little Bite of Nutty Chocolate”? Whatever you like to call them, they’re a hit at my house!

*TIP: Hide them if you want to keep them around for more than a day!

Chocolate Nutty Bites! 

  • 1 Cup old-fashioned oatschocolate_nutty_bites
  • 1/3 C. raw walnuts
  • 1/3 C. raw almonds
  • 1 Scoop Chocolate Shakeology
  • 1/4 t. cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1/4 C. honey
  • 1/4 C. applesauce



  1. Place dry ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend or pulse just until a course meal is formed.
  2. Transfer to a bowl. Add wet ingredients and stir.
  3. Wet hands and roll into rounded teaspoon-sized balls. You should get around 16 with this recipe.
  4. Put into the freezer to firm-up (about 10 minutes). Transfer to a Ziploc bag or air-tight container. I keep mine in the freezer and pop one out when I need a little something sweet.


78 calories & 4 grams protein




Busy Much?!

platesYikes! It’s been a busy couple of weeks for me! I am used to spinning multiple plates at a time, often while riding a unicycle, BLIND-FOLDED! But I have to say, I might have bit off a bit more than I could chew this time! So to my loving husband, who supports me and gives me sound advice out of love and concern for my sanity, etc. etc….You were right! I had a little too much ON those spinning plates, and a couple of things fell off while I was riding my unicycle! True story.

Everything was going along just fine until I realized that I had forgotten to do something important, that I had volunteered to do by the way, and had several people trusting me to do it! The lovely ladies involved all assured me that it was no big deal, but it was. I was embarrassed and horrified and just really upset with myself about it. All bad things. Mostly though, I was just down on myself for realizing that I can’t do EVERYTHING! I try though! Man, do I try! Always have. It’s in my nature to multi-task, and run around willy-nilly as a chicken does when it’s head goes missing…but once in awhile…I take one or two bites that I just can’t chew. My bad. This particular story has a happy ending though, thank goodness! Everything worked out, I was able to get done what needed to get done, though AFTER it should have been done. Forgiveness was granted, and I can once again sleep at night. Thank Goodness!

Also, you may or may not have noticed that I’ve neglected my meal planning routine! ARGH! What a pain that has been, too! “What’s for dinner tonight?” asks my husband. “I have NO f’n clue!” says me. I’ve been too busy to shop, plan, or cook well. I’m pulling ideas right out of my…refrigerator (ya, that’s it), totally last-minute and late half the time! The kids are all starving, hubby is shoving hand-fulls of pistachios in his mouth, waiting for what might be dinner at some point! It’s been ugly. Add that to the fact that summer months always pose a problem for me when it comes to planning and cooking. I never have much of an appetite by dinner time. When it’s hot and muggy, I just want a salad, or something light, and I certainly don’t feel like cooking anything! I gotta snap out of it though…for the sake of the family, poor things.

Now the good news! Sometimes good things come from my manic desires to do new stuff, better stuff and MORE stuff! For example, I graduated some Challengers from my June challenge group! And check out a couple of testimonials from participants in the group:

  • “I have absolutely loved being part of this group! The accountability is what drove me a lot of the time. Can’t tell you how many times I didn’t feel like working out, or felt like I wanted “just a bite” of something, but knew I’d have to mention it here if I did. Happy with my numbers. Now I’m going to continue with my next two circuits of Chalean Extreme.”


  • “I feel like I have learned about a new healthy lifestyle and not about a fad diet. That is what I needed. I am thankful for all of the support that I received and all of the new FB buddies that I met  I am very happy with my results and I can’t wait to continue! I am going to keep eating clean and rockin’ the workouts [hopefully at a much higher intensity when my darn ankle heals] All and all, I am a happy camper!”

*If you’re interested in participating in a 30 day challenge, click the link “30 Day Challenge” above.

In addition, my coaching internship is underway and going really well! I added 6 new coaches to my team who are all ready and excited to learn about what it is that gets me up in the morning, keeps me motivated and fuels my passion to help others…oh and earns my paycheck, too! 🙂 I’m having too much fun not to share it with others!

*If you’re interested in becoming a coach, you can get more information, ask questions, and learn how to participate in the 6 week internship by providing your contact information below.

All in all, I’d like to say that I’ve learned my lesson. *Note the phrase, “LIKE to say”. Time management is not my strong point. I’m working on it. I should  listen to my husband more often when he tells me to take it easy. Honestly though, I feel like I can’t help it. When you love what you do, you WANT to do more of it! Sometimes though…I guess there’s just too many plates!  🙂


Challenge = Change

ChallengeChangeAs I’m getting ready to open my eighth monthly health/fitness challenge, I’m struck by some of the results that I’ve seen come out of them! I’ve heard from a few previous challenge participants over the last couple of days and their results are more than encouraging! These kind of results prove that true change happens when you challenge yourself to replace old habits with newer, healthier habits. It’s the lifestyle change that sets these amazing transformations into motion! The purpose of these challenges is not to get you in the best shape of your life in only 30 days. Rather, it’s to learn how to take care of yourself, and find motivation that you never knew you had, so that you can continue on your journey beyond the challenge.

They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. I’ve seen it happen time and again. Once you get used to the idea of eating cleaner, healthier foods, and making your daily workouts non-negotiable, you start to tackle every day with a new determination and purpose.

These challenge groups work because they combine all of the crucial elements. You get to pick a workout that suits you. Not everyone is expected to do the same workouts, what fun would that be? You have to find something that you enjoy, so that you can stick with it! The good news is that there are MANY to pick from. I personally have done Turbo Jam (seems like a million years ago!), P90X (all 90 days!), Turbo Fire, Chalean Extreme, Les Mills Pump and now Insanity! Some people think that DVD programs would never work, or that they might get boring. That might have been true 10 years ago, but they have changed! You don’t just get one or two DVD’s, you get an entire folder full of DVD’s, each with different workouts, meant to be done on different days. Furthermore, there is a always program calendar to follow (usually 60-90 days) developed by fitness professionals that understand the importance of muscle confusion and well-timed rest days, etc. AND, there are usually some REALLY good tunes to work out to, which always helps me stay motivated!

The second part is nutrition. This was the game-changer for me. I always thought I ate pretty ‘healthy’, but I was definitely eating a lot of processed foods with labels like “low-fat”, and “sugar-free”, thinking that these things were healthy! Now, I’m not saying I don’t eat anything with those labels anymore, but I have switched a lot of it out for clean, healthy, unprocessed, whole foods. When I did, I started to see results like I had never seen before. I was so skeptical about Shakeology before I started, but honestly… now I can’t imagine a day without it! It is so satisfying, and full of nutrition! It curbs my cravings (especially the sweet-tooth cravings!), keeps me regular (if you know what I mean) and gives me enough energy to get through my very busy days! I drink it as one of my 5-6 small meals each day. Eating more often throughout the day, instead of 3 BIG meals, keeps me satisfied all day without the need to STUFF myself because I’m starving! You’ve heard the saying: “Abs are made in the kitchen”, and it’s true! You can work out everyday at high intensity, do crunches and planks galore, but if you’re not eating the right kinds of foods, you’ll never see what’s going on under that belly fat. I always share my meal plan, as well as some of the recipes that I’ve discovered along the way. It is NOT a diet, it’s a lifestyle change!  diet_over

The third and most important element is ACCOUNTABILITY! You can exercise and eat healthy all on your own, right? Well, when you have a group of people, who all have similar goals and expectations, and you report to them every day about your workouts, nutrition, victories and struggles…it just takes it to a whole new level! There’s just something about knowing that you’re going to tell people either “I crushed my workout today”, or “I skipped my workout today”, that motivates you to get it done! You’ll get to look forward to weekly progress checks and celebrate with the group when you’re making progress! Having that kind of support makes the process so positive and fun!

So without further ado, I’d like to share some of the results that have been reported.

  • Since I started, I’ve lost 22 pounds and about 16 inches. (Chalean Extreme, TurboFire, Les Mills Pump & Insanity + Shakeology)
  • Jen has lost 24 pounds and 21 inches! (Chalean Extreme & cardio + Shakeology)
  • Michele has lost 21 pounds and 23 inches! (Chalean Extreme, Turbo Fire, Hip Hop Abs + Shakeology)
  • Gretchen is down 27.5 pounds since she started a few months ago! (Turbo Fire & Yoga)
  • Barb is 62 years old and so far has lost 17 pounds and 19 1/2 inches! (Walking, body-weight exercises & Tai Cheng + Shakeology)
  • My mom, age 63, is down 7 pounds and 6 inches, and looks & feels better than ever! (Slim in 6, Turbo Fire, Chalean Extreme and running)
  • Lisa went from a size 14 to a size 8 and is down a total of 24 inches! (Chalean Extreme + Shakeology)
  • Jessica has lost 12 pounds and over 11 inches and is close to being as fit as she was when she was a college athlete! (Les Mills Pump & cardio + Shakeology)

And these are just a handful of the results I’ve seen! There are lots of reports of losing 10 – 15 pounds in the 30 days of the challenge, but it’s the results that go beyond that, that are SO incredibly inspiring. It makes me feel so good to know that the challenge causes a change in the way we think, eat, exercise and live! It works, if you do! Interested? Ready to start your own transformation? Check out the “30 Day Challenge” link at the top of this page.


Charlie Sheen is Doing It…You Should Too!

winningWhat on earth is Charlie Sheen doing that YOU should be doing, too? WINNING! We should all be winning every day! Because winning feels good! Just ask Charlie!

Don’t you remember when you were a kid how winning made you feel? Getting a blue ribbon, celebrating a big victory at a little league game, hoisting the team trophy, winning a game of checkers, even just racing a friend across the playground…you wanted to WIN! Now compare that with our adult lives…what do we win? Cleaning the dirtiest toilet best? Cooking dinner that most of your family will eat? Maybe…

In 2004 I ran my first marathon and quickly re-discovered what it feels like to ‘win’ again. Of course…I didn’t win the marathon, not even close. I think I finished in the top half though…so around 15,000th place! LOL! But you couldn’t have convinced me that I hadn’t won! As I turned the corner toward the finish line, and reflected on the last 4 months of training, and the 26 miles I had just run….I remembered all the early morning runs, the heat, the blisters, and leg cramps. In the last two tenths of the race I might as well have been all alone, running toward the tape. I was sobbing, in disbelief of what I had just accomplished. When my foot crossed the line, I WON! That’s how it felt. Even writing about it makes me well-up. It was an emotional as well as a physical achievement. And that feeling is most definitely the reason that so many people repeat the whole process again and again. I have run 4 marathons since then and ‘won’ them all! It feels good to win!

Of course the only person I won against, was me. The me that never thought I could do such a thing. The me that would rather sleep in on a Saturday than lace up, fuel up, gear up and go run for 3 hours. I beat the crap outta that me. She never even saw it coming!

I haven’t run a marathon since 2010, but I win all the time. Every time I start a new 90 day program, and see it through to the final day…I win! Heck, every day I choose my workout over an extra hour of sleep, or a t.v. show…I win! Every time (like this morning) that I take an extra 10 minutes to pack up my lunch and snacks for the day instead of feeling the temptation to stop for fast, convenient, junk food…I win! And I celebrate every little victory. It’s usually a quiet celebration: a smile, a sigh of relief, a skip in my step…but it still feels pretty damn good. In my head I’m spiking the football, doing a victory lap, pumping my fist and screaming at the top of my lungs…I DID IT! 😀 “In your face Old Me!” I’m a much more gracious winner now, than I was when I was a kid. I guess then I was a little more like Charlie Sheen.

*A side note: I wouldn’t necessarily recommend winning in the sense that Charlie was winning. Cause on the outside it looked a lot more like losing. But at least he felt good about being the best loser he could be! So in a sense…he WAS winning!

In short…find victory in the little contests of life. We face multiple battles every day, often with ourselves. Show You who’s boss. Put your game face on and be a winner! And celebrate your victories…it feels good! 🙂

My View from the Front Row

lift_spiritsSo, I posted this picture on Facebook the other day, because I liked the message quite a bit. The day before that I posted some pretty amazing results from a couple of my favorite challenge group members, who also happen to be my aunt and my cousin. I have a challenge group going with some of my cousins and my aunt and they have all been so gracious, kind and thankful ever since I invited them to get started. BUT, I insist that THEY are the ones who deserve all of the credit, and that I’m just fortunate enough to get a front row seat. This is truly how I feel about it.

You can’t get the results these ladies are getting without a strong desire to change. It comes from inside of you. You can be inspired by others, and motivated by things you see and hear, but until you flip that switch that’s someplace inside of you, at the right moment in time, nothing can happen. I just have to hope, that what I say and do connects with someone at just the right time, because that’s when the magic happens. Once you flip your switch, you’ll just start to get it. You’ll want it. You won’t stop until  you reach your goals. And then you WON’T stop, because it’s not something that has a beginning, middle or end. It’s a process. It’s a journey.  And if I’m lucky, I get to be there to see it…from the front row!

Losing weight and getting fit and healthy is so much more of a mental battle than a physical one. It’s a mindset. It’s taking the little steps everyday, knowing that this isn’t a quick fix, it’s a lifestyle change. If you don’t want the life-change, than it will never work. Let me say that again: If you’re not willing to change your life, IT. WILL. NEVER. WORK. You really can’t ‘dabble’ in health and fitness. There’s no sense in it. Why would you kill yourself in the gym for an hour, and then stop and get a cheeseburger on the way home? You have to flip your switch to ON. You have to commit to change. And here’s the good news: it’s totally, entirely, incredibly, unbelievably do-able! You can ask anyone of the challengers from my groups who have ‘gotten it’. They switched ON and it all makes sense now!

Here is the secret: Eat clean and exercise. That is it. There is no fad diet that will do what those two things will do for you. Will you have to change your habits? Yes. Will it be hard at first? You bet. Can you do it? I’ve seen people busier, older, more tired, with more physical restrictions, crazier work schedules and more excuses than you, and they’re doing it. How? Their switch is ON! That is all it takes. Because it changed their priorities, the way they use their time and their mindset. I have had a front row seat to see the journey they’ve been on ever since, and they are my motivation!

And here is the nicest thing anyone has said to me in a long time. When I insisted that THEY take all the credit for the hard work they had done, my cousin said this (I’ve copied it and saved it because it really meant the absolute world to me): “you definitely deserve some credit! Without you, I wouldn’t be where I am. I wouldn’t have started… We each have to individually and physically take responsibility for what we put into our bodies for fuel and for what exercise we do with our bodies, but because your heart is so strong (you lift our spirits so much!), you are giving others the strength and confidence to do this, when maybe they couldn’t/don’t do it on their own! Like I said… thanks is not enough. You have a gift and it is such an awesome thing to share with others! You are the greatest coach ever! And I am so glad you like the front row seats!!! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! ”


I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. I love this job! I am so lucky! And I can’t wait to help someone else flip their switch and see the results and the success that comes from the hard work, the time and the commitment to their own health and fitness. Is it going to be you? Spring is such a great time to get started, and if you’re ready…I am too! Get yourself signed up for my next 30 Day challenge. It will start April 1. Get the results you’ve been wanting for yourself. You can do it, you just have to want it! Go to the 30 DAY CHALLENGE link at the top of this page to sign up, or get more information. I hope I get to watch you from the front row, too!