Thursday, July 5, 2012

SkinnyGirl On The Go Bars

I absolutely adore Skinnygirl, Betheny Frankel, so I am super excited to hear about her On-the-Go Bars that have just been released. I have everything from you book, her vitamins, alcohol (for those special occasions). Betheny is real and fun and a true inspiration to women every where. 

Skinnygirl has introduced their on-the-go bars, which are available in two delicious flavors, Banana Oatmeal Dark Chocolate and Dark Chocolate Multi-Grain Pretzel! I can not wait to try the Pretzel one. It is hard to believe that these are going to be good for you and taste amazing. I have such a hard time trying to satisfy that sweet tooth that I have occasionally and I am hoping these will be perfect. Skinnygirl has place two 100 calorie portions inside the package to make portion control easier throughout the day. However, once you eat one portion, it is going to be very difficult to try to resist the other one.

Skinnygirl On-the-Go Bars are all natural, vegan and Kosher, and contain 4 grrams of fiber per bar to keep you feeling full and satisfied longer. The Banana Bar contains 3 grams of protein per bar and the Dark Chocolate Pretzel contains 4 grams of protein. For a snack attacke when you are on the move, these will do the trick.

Keep these bars in your purse, gym bag or your desk drawer for a quick healthy pick me up during the day instead of grabbing a fattening candy bar. These are nutritious, guilt free and just yummy. I am placing my order today. Stay tuned for my Sparkling Review!

Summer Smoothies

Warmer weather is upon us, and eating cooler is the thing to do. Starting off the day with smoothies is a great way to adapt to the climate change. Personally I love starting my day off with a smoothie.  Some staples in every single one I make in the morning is Spinach, flax seed or chia seeds and protein. You can definitely change it up depending on what you are craving for the day.

Freezing bananas for future smoothies (or banana soft serve) every time they are about to go bad is a fantastic way to prevent food waste. **Tip: before you freeze and store your bananas, make sure to peel them!**

I love smoothies any which way, but if I am looking for something more substantial, here are some of my favorite ways to “beef” up a vegan smoothie. Feel free to add ice to your desired consistency if the fruit you are using isn’t frozen:

Tropical Delight:
-Frozen Banana
-Coconut milk or coconut water (depending on desired flavor)
-Organcic Oryzatein Silk Sprouted Brown Rice Protein (I like Z Natural Foods)

Citrus Green Smoothie (courtesy of Vega One- their site has a whole recipe guide!):
-Vega One Natural
-2-3 Cups Spinach
-1/4 Cup Frozen Mango
-1/2 Cup Orange Juice
-Handful of Ice
-1/4 Cup Water
-1/2 Squeezed Lemon

PB&J Smoothie:
-1/2 – ¾ Cup Strawberries (Substitute Raspberries or Blackberries if you like)
-1 Frozen Banana
-Almond Milk (Add until desired consistency)
-2 TBSP Almond butter
-1 Scoop Pea Protein

Chocolate Greens:
-2-3 Cups Spinach
-1 Frozen Banana
-1 Scoop or Packet Chocolate Sunwarrior Raw Vegan Protein

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Healthy with Scentsy Week 7 Day 50~The Closet Door

The morning trip to the closet is NEVER any fun for any female who thinks they have gained weight. It usually ends up with a battle field of hangers, clothes every where, tears and a frustrated lady face down on her bed screaming that she has nothing to wear in a time when she is already 30 minutes late. Sound familiar?

Every single day that is the portrait that is painted  in my world. If you can visualize a mean looking closet door with a bright glowing light behind it and the most evil sounds coming from it, well than you just entered the mornings at my house. Sounds a bit funny as I type it but we all know we go through it. We all have an entire closet of nothing to wear.

Today, I walked towards that glowing closet door as it growled and grumbled in my direction. I shamelessly walked towards it fearing what I go through every single morning. But today......."Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor started playing in my head. I yanked open that closet door and thought, "BRING IT ON!!"  YES!!! Today would be the day. I pulled out a pair of dress pants that haven't fit for a year now. I put them and and not only do they fit. THEY ARE LOOSE! Heck ya! after 7 weeks and 2 days, I am finally starting to see some positive changes. That was enough for me. Just a little dose of motivation has me more driven than ever to keep going!

The fact is you need to prove to your body and your mind that you are in control. If you want something bad enough, you have to work for it. It is painful and emotional and just plain horrible some days but I can honestly say that the satisfaction I got this morning from those pants sliding on was simply amazing and worth all the sore muscles, all the pools of sweat and all the tears.

Week 7 Day 50! A glorious moment! Now let's see what else you got body. What else is in that closet? Fact is it doesn't matter how fast you go, just don't quit and eventually your body and your mind WILL give you what you want the most!!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Healthy with Scentsy~Week 7 Day 49 SHUT UP & SQUAT

Another week of no missed gym days. And so we start Week 7. It is funny, not only are you exercising your physical self but you are really putting your brain through a work out. Tonight is my Progress Picture night. I usually work pretty hard at the gym on Monday nights knowing I have made it my night to take pictures. Unlike most of my co-consultants, I am not seeing drastic changes still but I really feel like I am suppose to be getting my brain in shape first and my body will catch up. It does get frustrating know how hard I am working but I figure I abused my body with bad food and bad habits for 10 years so it will probably take a little bit to shock my system into believing that this is how I am going to be.

One of the biggest reasons I won't quit at this point is because I don't want to start over. I figure I am on week 7. There is no way I am starting over on Week 1. Don't get me wrong, I do feel tighter and my stomach feels less bloated. We shall see tonight on the Progress Pictures. No I am not posting them yet. Trust me it is a goal of mine to definitely post them all. It is another reason I don't want to quit. It bothers me to try these different things and then never continue blogging.

I definitely need to get more sleep. I think that is really affecting my work outs so this weeks goal is to get into the gym and home so I can relax, read or work on Scentsy before bed. I have come to grips with this is going to be a year voyage until I get to where I feel great, look great and get my mind where it needs to be. I think 12 weeks gave me false hope of some miraculous change. Time to regroup and start thinking long term.

It is time to............Shut up and Squat LOL. Right when I get frustrated and down, I just need to push through it. 7 Weeks strong is an accomplishment. I just need to keep going because I may only be seeing tiny changes but it is better than no changes sitting on my butt. : )

Until tomorrow keep on Sparkling. Thank you for traveling with me on this journey. More to come..

Brand and Market Yourself, NOT your Direct Sales Business

When marketing your business online, YOU must stand out. Hundreds of people are probably joining your company or the one you are considering every single day. You have to put a plan in place that maps out what is going to make your business different. And then, the day comes.

You did it! You have finally started your own business so you can work from home. You have received your start up materials, great tips to launch your new business from your sponsor and you are excited and ready to go!
You have a grand opening launch event and even made your first few sales…you are on a roll! You have big goals and an even bigger vision knowing you can expand your business by using the internet to market your business online.
So, you take all the training you’ve learned from your sponsor and company and use it online armed with your beautifully designed company replicated website. And then…

You Make the BIGGEST Direct Sales Mistake Most Representatives Make…

You start promoting the “H.E. double hockey sticks” out of your company products and business opportunity.
You post to your Facebook page (and every other social network you belong to) informing everyone you started a new business.
You also let everyone know you are in a “challenge” to do “( you fill in the blank) ” and have a goal to complete it by (date) and would like to know who wants to “help” you complete the challenge.
Or better yet, you want to share this month’s amazing ‘Special’ with all your friends and followers.
Does this sound like you? Are you wondering how in the world do I know all this? Well, it’s because that used to be me too. It took a rude awakening for me to finally realize what I was doing was not working at the capacity I had hoped. But, that’s a whole other story.
Now, before you get all mad at me, I want you to understand that I’m not telling you NOT to promote your business online, what I want to share with you is that there is a much more effective way to go about it.
That way is to Brand & Market YOURSELF!
I want to give you a few tips to help you actually start to reap the reward of all your hard work and effort online. Before you apply these tips, I want you to grasp the fact that you are an INDEPENDENT business owners. You may promote someone else’s products but this business model requires you to build an independent business, aside from the company you represent.
With that being said, you have to learn how to brand yourself based on your skills and talents, to attract customers and clients who will in the end, benefit from the products you recommend. Trust me when I tell you, the harsh reality is…no one really cares that you are an XYZ Rep with such-and-such company.
Ask yourself a few questions: What makes YOU different than every other Representative of your company? Why should someone buy from YOU instead of another Representative? What will people learn about YOU when visiting your company website other than the products you sell?
If you are constantly offering the same promotions that everyone else is…what makes you unique? Nothing.
Tip # 1 – Consider your skills in relation to your business. More than likely you partnered with your company because you feel a connection to their mission and love the products and services they provide. So, if you are with a cosmetics company, what are you most passionate about that attracted you to the company? Do you value skin care? Have a love for color?
Take that passion and share it with others about skin care or color. Build Brand YOU.
Tip # 2 – Stop identifying yourself as a rep of your company. Shift your focus to marketing what you do for others instead of what you sell. Start introducing yourself to people as someone who can help them achieve a desired result. Whether that is to get clear skin, have a chemical free home, or lose weight naturally, you have to start letting people recognize you have the answers or solution to their problems.
Become a source of knowledge and information. Build Brand YOU.
Tip # 3 – Show prospects the benefit of working with you. If you are looking to build your team and leverage your earnings, help potential prospects see the value of partnering with you in business as opposed to starting a business with your company. Direct Sales is a people business and people do business with other people – ones they like, respect and trust.
Be willing to teach others how to do what you do. Build Brand YOU.
Tip #4 – Be consistent, passionate and committed. This is a big one. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your Direct Sales business. Work your business every day by setting attainable goals and building quality connections to start experiencing network marketing success. Be fully present by consistently building ONE business to the point you are making a steady and growing income…which is easily achievable by following tip # 3 – building a team and mentoring them along their journey.
Commit to your business growth and gain credibility online. Build Brand YOU.
Tip # 5 – Create your own platform to market yourself. Having a company website is great but before you send people there, build a relationship with them first. You can do this by building a blog for your business. As an independent business owner, you have to build a network of prospects on a regular basis, your blog is a way for you to 1) Build your brand 2) Share your expertise 3) Establish credibility in your industry, and 4) Create a network community of dedicated followers and loyal customers.
Set yourself apart to display your expertise. Build Brand YOU.
When you begin to learn how to brand and market yourself online by aligning your passion to serve others with the products and services you offer through your direct sales business, you will find this to be a more effective avenue of creating the kind of income you desire.
If by chance your company was ever to close up shop, you can rest assured you will still have the ability to sustain a thriving and solid business because you took the path to building Brand YOU.
More Reading 
When it comes to building business, I not only share Scentsy with people, I share everything I am involved with from social media, branding, nutrition, fitness, etc. I may not be the expert in any single one area, but I can certainly offer to help people in a variety of things that surround Scentsy. It is important to set yourself apart and offer people what you are good at, share your time and build relationships. Making a difference in people's lives will make you special and make YOU a brand that no one can duplicate. People buy you and then your product. When you need something, you don't buy from people you don't like, you buy from someone you connect with.
Here are some of my favorite ways to brand yourself.
1. Show what you are experienced in as much as possible.
2. Help other people in your industry such as bloggers, tweets, anyone who asks questions, etc.
3. Be helpful by sharing links and resources.
4. Create a personal blog besides your business blog.
5. Have an email signature
6. Select the right social media outlets for you and master them. Don't just sign up for everything just to have them and then become inactive on them.
7. Make sure these social media outlets are branded the same.
8. Leave helpful comments on other blogs.
9. Interact online. Then Stick to the websites and communities that will help you reach your goals.
10. Be Yourself.
These are just a few ideas to help you get started. Create Goals. Start Small and have fun. People are buying you, not your products.

Friday, June 15, 2012

My Current Meal Plan and Grocery List

I have posted quite a few foods the I recommend but I wanted to do a complete list.  This list is what I normally buy any given time when I go to the grocery store but this week I have started a more strict meal plan cutting out most of my carbs, fruit and bread.

My Meal Plan will consist of:

7:30 Protein, Egg Whites and Spinach
10:00 Protein, Spinach
12:30 6oz of Chicken Breast and Broccoli
3:00 Tuna, Dijon Mustard and Greens
5:30 6 oz of Chicken and Broccoli
8:30 (Post Workout) Protein Shake

As I have wrote about in the past, I have really messed up my metabolism by skipping meals and then just picking foods all day long. I need to shock my system, so I am going all out with only protein and veggies. In my cooler I will keep a container of brown rice or a sweet potato and for extreme emergencies, an apple which always picks me up if I am tired.

Here are the foods that I recommend for a healthy clean eating diet. Obviously you should not try to get them all at the same time. Try not to keep fresh fruits and veggies in your fridge for over a week. They will lose all of their nutrients. So buy small and buy often, unless you have a huge family and you can eat things up really quick. I usually go to the grocery store twice and week and buy in three day increments.

You can print this out and take it with you to the grocery store. I love whole foods and all the farmers markets. I also shop at Asian food stores for special veggies and things I can not find else where.

Green Beans
Baby Carrots
Romaine Lettuce
Organic Green Mixtures
Baby Spinach
Red Onion
Mushrooms (All kinds...MY FAVORITE)
Sweet Potato
Frozen Edamame

Any that are in Season
No Dried fruits..too much Shooga (as Coach Lee would say)

Old Fashioned Oatmeal
Steel Cut Oats
Ezekiel Bread
Brown Rice

Eggwhites ( I buy liquid)
Chicken Breast
Tuna in a can or packet
Black beans

Ground Flax Seed (if whole, must grind them up)
Unsalted pumpkin or sunflower seeds
Unsalted almonds
PB2 (powered pb..IT ROCKS)
Almond Butter

Dairy & Dairy Substitutes
Low Fat Cottage Cheese
Non Fat Plain Greek Yogurt
Almond Breeze unsweetened Almond Milk

Vanilla Whey Protein - any is fine but I find one that is low in carbs and preferrably no sugar. Each scoop should have atleast 20 grams of protein

Extra Flavor and Sauces
Salsa in place of ketchup and great for Salsa Chicken
Sriracha-I love this stuff. I add it to my tuna fish. Nothing wrong with a little spice to make you drink more water and rev up your metabolism right?
Mrs Dash Seasoning
Tabasco Sauce

Ground Cinnamon
Agava Nectar


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Getting Healthy with Scentsy Week 6 Day 45

Late night work outs are never my favorite but there I was last night at 10:00 pm at the gym. I think at this point, I am afraid that if I miss I might stop going. Deep down I don't think that will happen, after all I am already almost on Week 7. I definitely do not want to start over on Week 1. 

My body feels smaller in some areas, but even though I said I wouldn't I checked last night and I am gaining. Darn scales can really mess you up, but I just want to see when the decrease starts happening so I can log it. I am sure I am going through what many people go through. You really have to drill into your head that muscle weighs more than fat. I know some people who have gained 10lbs before they actually started losing.  I keep telling myself, I just need to keep going.

The training is going well. I believe I have my calories in check. The hard part now is getting in water. I do well a couple days and then I slack off. Today I just keep starring at the water jug and just don't feel like drinking it. Isn't it funny how something is right there in front of you and you know you have to do it and you just don't. Water plays such a huge part in all this. It flushes out all the bad stuff and takes away bloat.  After writing that, I just took a drink. My gosh, just drink it already. LOL. 

These blog posts are to track how I am doing and kind of help people relate. Every day is a new obstacle, but habits are usually adopted after 21 days. I am well past 21 days now so if I can just control the thoughts that keep trying to get in my way in my head, I know that clean eating, working out and drinking enough water will become once again a part of my every day life. 

People give up so easily. I have given up so easily in the past. I mean I have always ran and eaten ok but I am really taking it to the next level now. I keep all my fruit and carbs before 1pm. I log everything I put into my mouth. I love It is so easy and free to log everything. This definitely helps you know exactly where you are calorie wise. How much protein, carbs, fat and sugar you have taken in. It is amazing how that one cookie or one spoonful of something can add up. Logging everything helps me not take those extra bites. Besides the fact that everything white, sweet, processed etc is completely out of the house.

I have to say KoKo FitClub really makes staying motivated easy. I do not dread the work outs any more. They are clear and precise. The computer tells you what to do, how to do it and you don't waste any time. I love that. I don't dread going, or the actual work outs or anything, I actually enjoy them. 

Almost end of Week 7. Still going strong. I feel stronger. I feel like I have more energy. I feel less bloated. I just have to keep going. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Getting Healthy with Scentsy Week 6 Day 43- The Calories

Reduce Calories and workout. Yes most of the time, that is the simple answer to losing weight and being healthy but if you have been starving yourself for years, skipping meals and making your body think that you aren't going to get enough food, this becomes not so simple.

You must start eating every 2-3 hours. It truly becomes a hassle. After all that we eat, we would think we would welcome eating that often but when you start eating clean, you really are eating a ton of food and 2-3 hours goes by very fast. Still after working out almost every day for 6 weeks, my body had not changed a whole lot until this week. This week, I have started to feel stronger, less tired and my stomach has felt much flatter. Last night after my work out, my arms felt very very tight. This gets very frustrating. We all want to see results immediately so I started really getting back into the measurement of how many calories I needed to have, while burning 500-600 a night to lose weight. If you do not get enough calories, your body is going to continue to think you are starving and hold on to the weight.

You see if you only consumer 1500 calories, but then burn 500 during your workout, your body is only getting 1000 a calories a day. That will not work to burn fat. Based on my height and weight, I need about 2020 a day to start burning 1.0-1.4lbs a week. There are a ton of calculators so that you can figure out exactly what you need based on your activity level. I use or Both are great for figuring out what your daily in take should be. I will point out that you really need to make sure you choose the correct activity level. Your daily intake must be precise in order for you to lose the weight that you want and keep it off.

Last night, I ended the day with about 1800 calories. I burned about 550 at the gym, so my intake was low putting me at 1250 for the day. I am sure this is better than I normally get but I really need to get this right in order to see the results.

As far as the results, I have vowed to stay off the scale and only to take pictures each week. No, I will not be posting them yet. They do motivate me to keep going to see the changes each week and now what keeps me going is that I am already on week 6 so if I quit, I will have to start at week 1. No Thanks,

As I change my program I will post about it. Currently it is as such:

Gym: Koko Fit Club

Cardio 15 minutes of Incline Interval Training  Calories burn average 150

Strength 1-2 30 minute Strength Session on the Koko fit trainer: Various Full Body Workout
Average Calories burned 250 for each one.

Cardio: 15 minutes 1-2  Elliptical Internal Training Sessions, Average Calories Burned 180 for each

Meal Plan
6-7 Small Meals a day starting at 7:30 AM

7:30: Protein Shake
10:30 Green Monster Shake with Protein, Almond Milk, Egg Whites, Steel Cut oats, Spinach, Flax and Bee Pollen, Blueberries
1:30 Organic Greens with Chicken and Sweet Potato or Whole Wheat Pasta
4:00 Cottage Cheese and Veggies
6:30 Chicken and Broccoli
7:30 Workout
9:45 Protein Shake

Water Intake
At least 1 Gallon of Water a Day

Today I feel great. I have finally started to get over the 2:00PM Hump where I have felt exhausted. The eating every 2-3 hours really keeps your sugar levels where they need to be so that you don't crash. I haven't been drinking coffee or needing anything sweet to keep me going at all.

Something to remember. If you body has been accustom to not eating at all and skipping meals. You don't want to just add 1000 calories a day all at once. Slowly add 100-200 calories a day until you are at the desired about.  When you have your cheat days or days where you don't follow your eat clean pattern as you normally would, go no more than 200 calories over or under.  Also change up the source where the calories come from to make your body use different energy source. You should also change up your workout routine and on the days where you eat more or cheat, make sure you push yourself. Give your body a reason to use those calories.

Lastly, remember, there is only one way to gain body fat-by eating too many calories consistently for too long. The days when you eat more than normal can be psychologically challenging, and can sometimes lead to binging. Be sure to stay focused on the goal and don't use a cheat day as an excuse to go crazy and pig out. It is to have those things that you crave so you are not keeping everything from yourself. You'll find that once you get started with Eating Clean, you won't even want the cheat days.

Make a decision to commit to eating clean forever. It sounds scary but once you get use to it, you won't be able to imagine how you ever ate any other way. If you do this, than the word "diet" is forever gone from your vocabulary. The roller coaster of starting and stopping can really have an effect on a person. I know I have been there. This is the longest I have committed to going back to eating perfectly clean in a very long time. I am going on my seventh week and I feel great. My skin is looking better and although I don't see everything that I would have wanted to in the first month, I know I am getting stronger and changes are happening. My moods are better. I feel energized after the work outs and in the morning. Ultimately, I can make my work outs as short as 15 minutes at KoKo fit or as long as 2 hours. Either way, I have been there every day for the last two weeks and still going strong.

Stick with me to watch the TRANSFORMATION!.
Until next time.....Keep on Sparkling.

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