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On Turning Forty

forty

Turning forty.  Age is just a number.

Today marks a day for me that most people seem to dread; I’m turning forty. I haven’t dreaded it at all. I feel better than I’ve ever felt. I’m more fit than I’ve ever been. I don’t plan for that to change because of a silly number! I can only hope that you, no matter your age, don’t hold back because you think it’s too late to get fit…IT’S NEVER TOO LATE! I didn’t start until I was 36 years old. There are many, many women older than me who are SUPER FIT and don’t let a number stop them! Join the group of STRONG women who are all equally as busy as you are. We are all given the SAME 24 hours each day. Each of us decides what’s important enough to spend those hours doing. Carve out a “weeee bit” of time for yourself!

As I embark on a new decade, I want to share 40 reflections and lessons I’ve learned over the last few years…

  • My thirties have been my best decade yet. I plan for my forties to be EVEN BETTER!!! Let’s get this party started! I celebrate turning forty!
  • A number doesn’t define what I can or can not do.
  • When I was 30 (or 20 or 15 for that matter), I couldn’t do one pull-up. At age 40, I can do pull-ups for reps and even weighted pull-ups with birthday balloons attached!
  • When I was 30, I didn’t know what “for reps” meant. Now I do. 😉
  • There are a number of things I can do besides pull-ups that my 30-year-old self couldn’t have imagined my 40-year-old self doing…. lots of strict push-ups, heavy military presses, heavy squats, running sprints, working on flexibility and stretching (that’s never been my strong point which is WHY I need to keep working on it!), and much, much more!
  • One thing I can do is snatch heavy kettlebells. Today, on the morning of my 40th birthday, I snatched a 40 pound kettlebell for 40 reps. Woot woot!! That’s a PR for me!
  • My body is worth honoring through my lifestyle. I’ve been given only one body to take care of. If I want to be able to live and serve others to the fullest capacity, I must take care of my body.
  • When I started making changes, I wanted to make sure I was a mom who was able to get down on the floor and play with my kids. I wanted to be able to run around at the park without feeling tired or out of breath. Mission accomplished! Now, I look MANY years down the road and want to say the same when I’m a grandma (Did I just say that??!!??).
  • Fitness is based on “lifestyle choices” not based on how old you are. I started my fitness journey at age 36….only 4 years ago.
  • My fitness journey has evolved. What I do and how I do it has changed over the last 4 years. I expect it to continue to change. Change is GOOD! (S/O to my friend, Brandi, who got me motivated to start 4 years ago! S/O to all of my coaches and mentors for all of their inspiration and guidance over the last couple of years!)
  • I can give myself the gift of health by eating good food and exercising. This is NOT selfish. It makes me a better wife and mom and sets the right example for my children!
  • With that said, I don’t have hours a day to do cardio, so I do my best to workout in the most efficient way possible. My goal: the least amount of effort for the maximum amount of results. Finding that place has been great!
  • It’s fine that I don’t have hours to do cardio. Running actually hurts my knees, makes me hungry, and doesn’t change the shape of my body at all.
  • Once you start working out, it’s hard to NOT workout. It becomes a habit just like taking a shower or brushing your teeth.
  • Being strong and healthy is different from skinny.
  • No matter how hard I workout, the excess skin from having babies will always be there. It’s a side effect from pregnancy that’s very much worth having!
  • Making this change for me was a CONSCIOUS choice. Lasting change doesn’t happen by accident.
  • Just start. Start somewhere, anywhere. If you don’t know where to start, ask for help.
  • There is nothing wrong with asking for help. No matter how much you know, there is always someone who knows more.
  • Accountability at some level is helpful for me and for most people.
  • Finding sustainable ways of eating and exercising are important. If I can’t see myself doing what I do in 5 years from now, then I need to stop. It won’t last anyway.
  • Body change victories go WAY BEYOND the scale. The scale is a liar.
  • Fat loss foods don’t have to be boring.
  • Although many people believe I deprive myself by eating healthy, they are wrong. Every morsel of food I put in my mouth is DELISH!
  • If I can’t eat a food responsibly, I HAVE to keep it out of my house! (ahem…almond butter!)
  • Life is about finding balance in all things…even in the way that I eat. I’m not a perfect eater 100% of the time.
  • Fat loss (body re-composition – more muscle, less fat, higher metabolism – WOOT!) and weight loss (less fat, less muscle, LOWER metabolism – YIKES!) are NOT the same things! Fat loss comes from proper nutrition and lifting heavy weights. Heavy weights don’t make women bulky. Body fat makes a woman bulky (See my “before” photo below taken before I knew that I needed to lift heavy!)
  • Sleep, recovery, and stress relief are just as important as diet and exercise.
  • MINDSET is the KEY to change.
  • Don’t complain. Take action and make changes.
  • Overcome fear and live out your dreams.
  • Failure is important for success. Henry Ford once said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again. This time, more intelligently.”
  • Negative self-talk does me NO GOOD! I continue to practice self-compassion, throwing myself a bone, and giving myself (and others) the benefit of the doubt.
  • Be me. I’m one-of-a-kind and am the only person on this earth that has my exact experiences. What I offer the world is TRULY unique to me!
  • Collaboration is always better than competition – in business and in life in general. There is enough success to go around for everyone! (S/O to 2 or my mentors Jill Coleman and Jillian Teta for those wise words!)
  • Getting out of my comfort zone is truly where the magic happens.
  • I’m doing my best to let go of what other people think. Old habits die hard! (Work in progress on this one!)
  • Being kind is more important than being right.
  • Dreaming BIG is important.
  • Having gratitude is MORE important!
Before turning forty

Lifting heavy doesn’t make a woman bulky. Having this added layer of body fat makes a woman bulky. Case in point….

 

I want to share with you what I looked like at age 36….25 pounds heavier than I am right now. Seeing pictures like the one to the right and the one below is what made me DETERMINED to make a change for the better. I wanted to look better and FEEL better! Now I do! 🙂 I only hope that I can inspire just ONE busy mom to make a change for the better. You’re worth it! Find a mentor if you don’t want to go at it alone. The results of making a positive lifestyle change include confidence, empowerment, strength, motivation beyond what you can imagine, and GAINING HEALTH! If you want it, start today. Pick one new thing to change, and JUST DO IT! 🙂 Make the choice.

turning forty

Just before I MADE A CHOICE to start making a change

turning forty

This is how I looked at 40… Bout to run hill sprints! 🙂

I choose to make the rest of my life, the best of my life. ~Louise Hay

p.s. Are you looking to improve your health? Join the FASTer Way to Fat Loss program next round! I’ve been through the program twice with Coach Amanda Tress and LOVE IT!!


Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your program pricing does not go up, but if you register through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!

 

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EIGHT Tips for Getting LEAN in Time for Summer

Ahhhhhhhh summer….. I love it! I don’t know about you, but I’m dreaming of a BEACH vacation. I can feel the warm breeze and smell the salty air already!!

Girl-on-a-tropical-beach-with-hat

This summer will be a very special one for me – I turn FORTY and celebrate my TWENTIETH wedding anniversary! With all those special dates coming up on the calendar, I want to be in the best shape of my life come summer. I like to make sure to stay pretty lean all year around, but this summer, I’d like to be leaner than ever with all the important occasions I have on the horizon! I’ve put together some tips that I will use to get LEANER for summertime! I wanna show everyone that age is JUST A NUMBER! 😀

Making good choices and creating good habits NOW, will ensure that you and I are ready for summer and sporting all of the cute tanks and sundresses out on the beach!

~ EIGHT Tips for Getting LEAN in Time for Summer ~

1. Make protein a priority at every meal. This will help keep your hunger, energy, and cravings in check. Protein also helps to build muscle and has a fat burning effect.

2. Sneak in your veggies wherever you can. I like to put spinach in my smoothies (you can’t taste it, I promise!), eat salads, roast veggies, steam them, eat them in my scrambled eggs and omelets, and, of course, eat them raw.

3. Get your carbs from fruits, veggies, and complex carbs. Fruits and veggies are always great! Also, eating oats, brown rice, and sweet potatoes will help you reach your goals, unlike bread, pasta, and sweets.

4. Drink your water! I shoot for a gallon a day, but even making 2 liters your goal will help you with fat loss. Many times, the brain confuses dehydration with hunger and will send the wrong signal to the body. Drinking water will, therefore, decrease hunger. Water helps to naturally detoxify your body, and it helps flush retained water from your system. It’s good stuff!

5. Be proactive by planning ahead. It’s a good idea to sit down each week and plan your menu. This is a great tool to keep you on track. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail! Along the same lines, prep food for the week so that you always have a healthy choice ready. Making eating for fat loss the EASY choice is KEY.

6. Sleep like it’s your job. Sleeping 8 or more hours each night has been shown to reset your hormones. This is great for fat loss as sleep lowers fat storing hormones and raises fat burning hormones. It helps you detox, it helps you recover from your workouts and build muscle, it enhances your mood, it gives you energy, and it slows the aging process. Are you convinced to try to get in your 8 hours of sleep yet??

7. Find ways to de-stress. Sleep is the #1 way to de-stress, but other ways are to relax by taking leisure walks, doing restorative yoga, taking a bubble bath, getting a pedicure, and reading. De-stressing lowers cortisol which helps with fat loss.

8. MOST IMPORTANT: Get your mind right! Try not to think of fat loss as an all or nothing venture. There are ebbs and flows with it like anything else, AND it takes practice. You must be willing to stick with any plan longer than a few days or a couple of weeks before deciding it doesn’t “work.” Create good habits, be consistent with them and be patient. This is the formula for success. With this mindset of controlling only what you can (which is your own behavior and choices), you’re able to let go of the uncontrollable (the outcome). Once you control your own choices and practice making good ones, results will soon follow.

Implementing these EIGHT tips will help you be summer ready!

If you would like more specific guidance, join the next FASTer Way To Fat Loss Program coached by my friend and top coach, Amanda Tress!

She will teach you how to effectively burn fat by helping you implement the following:

  • Eat the right nutrients, at the right time, for the right reasons
  • LIFT heavy to develop lean calorie-burning muscle
  • Engage in fasted cardio and HIIT/metabolic training
  • Maintain the proper mindset

    Summer Tips

    Coach Amanda

FASTer Way To Fat Loss Program is designed to help you consume carbs at the right time to build muscle, burn fat, and take control of your hormonal imbalances. Amanda’s online boot camps fill up in a matter of days, so don’t miss out! Once the program is full, she will close the doors until the next round. So, grab your spot today, before they’re all gone!


Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your program pricing does not go up, but if you register through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!

 

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Have a hankering for Thin Mints?

After soccer practice the other day, I drove by the local Arby’s restaurant and saw the sign for a “Mint Chocolate Swirl Shake.” It caught my eye. I’m a chocolate lover to the core and do love a good mint chocolate flavor! I decided I’d buy both of my boys a Jr. size shake as a special little treat hoping it would taste like a thin mint shake. 😉

Before I handed the shakes back to them for the ride home, I snuck a little sip (You know, to taste test so that I could make my own version and help out all of my kind readers!!). I immediately placed peppermint extract on my grocery list and decided I would experiment for Saint Patrick’s Day. My experiment turned out GREAT on the FIRST try! When does that ever happen??

This shake tastes much like a Thin Mint. Some have even said it’s like an Andes chocolate mint candy. Make it and decide for yourself!

 

thin mint shake

 

Here is my delicious concoction – Thin Mint Shake:

  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I used PlantFusion – a non-soy plant-based protein powder
  • 1 heaping Tbsp of baking cocoa
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 6 drops or about 1/8 tsp. of peppermint extract
  • stevia to taste
  • ice and water (for consistency)
  • a pinch of xanthan gum (optional – makes shake thick and creamy)

Directions: Place ice in the bottom of the blender. Add a little water. Add all dry ingredients. Add peppermint extract and almond milk. You can also add a little extra ice if you like a thick (ice cream-like) shake. Blend and ENJOY!

Both of my boys tasted it and couldn’t believe how much it tasted like the shake at Arby’s! My 10 yr old exclaimed, “How did you do that!?!?” 🙂 Kid tested. Mother approved.

For fun, I decided I wanted a make green shake for Saint Patrick’s Day… a shamrock shake! It turned out great, but my affinity for chocolate always wins out. I’d rank the shamrock shake an 8.5 on a scale of 10. The Chocolate Thin Mint shake is an 11! 🙂

IMG_20130315_133058

 

Here is the Shamrock Shake recipe:

  • 1 scoop vanilla bean protein powder (I used PlantFusion – a non-soy plant-based protein powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 drops of maple extract
  • 6 drops or about 1/8 tsp. of peppermint extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • a handful of spinach (I promise you can’t taste it, but that’s what makes it GREEN)
  • stevia to taste
  • ice and water (for consistency)
  • a pinch of xanthan gum (optional – makes shake thick and creamy)

Directions: Place ice in the bottom of the blender. Add a little water. Add all dry ingredients. Add extracts and almond milk. You can also add a little extra ice or 1/2 of a banana if you like a thick (ice cream-like) shake. Blend and ENJOY!

—–> Be sure to sign up for some free goodies plus MORE protein shake recipes! Once you confirm your subscription, you’ll be emailed my top 9 favorite shakes.

Comment below or on my facebook page if you have a favorite shake recipe to share! Hope you enjoy the thin mint shake and shamrock shake as much as we do. 🙂

Enjoy! -Jill


Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your pricing does not go up, but if you purchase through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!

 

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{Recipe} Delicious Protein Pancakes

Who wouldn’t want to celebrate National Pancake Day with some protein pancakes!?

When I awoke this morning, I didn’t even know today was a day worthy of celebration. I quickly got to celebrating, though, after being informed via facebook. Isn’t that how we all find our news these days, or is it just me!?

Protein Pancakes

Just because you are one who wants to get lean or stay lean, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a little celebration in honor of PANCAKES! I tweaked a recipe I recently saw just a little bit to adjust for the ingredients I have on hand and amounts that work for my needs. Here’s what I came up with:

Fat-Loss Friendly Berry Protein Pancakes – Serves 1

Place everything except the berries in a blender and pulse a few times. Pour a portion of the batter into a skillet that has been preheated on medium and sprayed with cooking spray. Divide the batter into about 5 small to medium pancakes. As the pancakes cook, place a few blueberries on each one. Once the pancakes start to bubble on top, flip them and cook on the other side until fully cooked to a golden brown. After you plate them up, sprinkle the remaining berries on top.

I added a drizzle of Maple Grove Farms sugar-free maple syrup to the top as well. (Note: I don’t normally “do” artificial sweeteners as a habit, but I will for times such as these! Having freedom in my nutrition plan to have a few things I don’t normally indulge in like sugar-free syrup helps make this lifestyle sustainable for me. It’s all about moderation.)

I have seen many versions of fat-loss friendly pancakes and waffles… the sky is the limit! You can use protein powder, cottage cheese, nut flours, nut butter, cocoa, and many more foods to make pancakes or waffles that are SUPER YUMMY and fat-loss friendly. Eating for fat loss doesn’t have to be boring!

If you haven’t already celebrated National Pancake Day, then celebrate with breakfast for dinner tonight!

Nutrition Facts:

Calories – 325
Fat – 3 g
Total Carbs – 44 g
Dietary Fiber – 15 g
Protein – 31.5 g

Enjoy!
~Jill


Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your pricing does not go up, but if you purchase through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!