Thursday, February 27, 2014

Products I Love ~ Penzys Spices

I get a lot of questions about what brands of certain things I use so I thought I'd start a little series! The series likely won't happen on a consistent basis - but instead whenever the mood strikes! I tend to work better like that! So here is the first of the "Products I Love" series on my blog!

Have you heard of Penzys Spices? I was introduced years ago at my bridal shower. My Aunt Elaine gave me a gift box, not unlike the one below.

Just a few weeks ago a friend asked me why I bought Penzys Spices. I told her the real reason is because of how they smell and taste! When I first started using Penzys I still has some generic brands of spices in the cupboard and we did some taste tests! We almost always preferred Penzys. My ABSOLUTE my favorite item from Penzys - double strength Vanilla. It. Is. Devine.

My pile of Penzys!
When I buy spices that I know we will use a lot like cumin, cinnamon, and oregano I buy them in the bags because it is a better value. Penzys sells their glass jars of varying sizes in their stores so we have stocked up on those. I would direct link to each item but the Penzys website doesn't show their products in a way that allows that.
If you're interested in Penzys I recommend you go to their website and request a catalogue. The BEST thing about getting their catalogue is that you always get a free item coupon! This really helps us try new items from their store and once we're there....we always buy more. Very smart Penzys!!
February 2014 catalogue & Free Pizza Seasoning
Inside the catalogue are an amazing amount of ideas! There are recipes, full product descriptions, food pairings and much more!
I truly hope that you will give Penzys a try! We most certainly love them!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

snow day sweet snack!

Last week had a "lot" of snow...

safe sling activity - snow angel

somewhat safe snow activity - making snowballs.
until your husband throws a snowball at you.
for the record - I was already sitting down
When you're cooped up inside for 4 days because you're afraid to walk outside...and you can only use one arm...there's only so many things you can do. I employed my husband and I think it worked because chocolate was involved!
Chocolate trail mix bites.
I got the idea from the blog Undressed Skeleton. These were so ridiculously easy to make! We melted Moonstruck 70% cocoa chocolate in the microwave on Power 3 for about 3-4 minutes, stopping every minute to stir. Spoon 1 spoon full on to wax paper. Top with nuts & fruits. We used a mix of macadamia nuts, pistachios, almonds, TJ dried cranberries, sea salt.  Two 3.0 ounce chocolate bars made 16 double spoon full bites (the bigger ones) AND about 30 single scoop bites. We'll be making many, many more batches of these! husband was right {yes, you read that right}, sea salt makes all the difference!
I definitely plan on bringing these along with us on trips and hikes!

Do you have any toppings you think would be good on our chocolate trail mix bites?

Monday, February 10, 2014

2 year endocrinologist update!

Last week I went to my endocrinologist for my 2 year check up! I was seriously excited to go because I was proud to show off all the changes I had made.

I am in no way-shape-or form a doctor. This post is based solely on what my Endocrinologist and myself discussed. If you have health related questions please contact your own doctor. 

I am so proud of the woman I was...she started this journey.
I am so proud of the woman I am now...because I have been changing my life for over 2 years.
I am sure I will be proud of the woman I will become...because, well, I can't imagine my life any other way!

**January 2012 - Initial Endocrinologist Results**
Weight ~ 213 lbs
BMI ~ 38%
Hemoglobin A1c ~ 5.9 {normal range according to my Endo is 4.0 - 6.0}

**January 2012 - 2 year Endocrinologist Results**
Weight: 143 lbs
BMI: 24%
Hemoglobin A1c ~ 4.6 after 22 months on Metformin

July 2011
October 2012

July 2011
November 2012
When I first got my results back from the endocrinologist I was considered insulin resistant, they thought I had something wrong with my adrenal glands {turns out I'd just recently had a cortisone shot and sent my levels through the roof}, my Vitamin D level was 17.6 L2 {normal range 30.0-150.0}, and I was just in overall poor health.
My first tipping point was a Halloween party...but my boulder that catapulted me off the seesaw was getting my lab results back! It really shocked my system. I KNEW I was overweight, I KNEW I was unhealthy & unhappy but until those numbers were on the paper I didn't realize how bad it was. Nothing to me, at that point, was as scary as hearing that if I kept on the path I was I would have diabetes in a year. My endocrinologist was very blunt with me and for that I will be forever grateful. She was the FIRST doctor to tell me I was overweight and needed to change. Looking back that fact still shocks me.
Over the course of the last 22 months I did go on a few different medications that I believed help me. I started 500mg extended release Metformin in February/March 2012 and stopped one week ago. I have a follow up appointment in July 2014 to see how 6 months off of Metformin goes and I am so excited to see if the hard work I put in pays off. I admit it, I am nervous to go off the Metformin because I feel like it did help me get to me a little "looser" with my carbs because of my PCOS. But I am ready for the challenge of eating what I know my pancreas can handle. My goal is to only eat carbs at 2/3 meals in my day.
I am still taking Vitamin D {I mean, I like in Washington State so I feel like I'd need that anyways}, Singular, and birth control. Totally normal and totally unrelated to PCOS meds!
Fingers crossed {that my levels stay low}!!!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

a day in the life...

...of ME!

The day after the workout video I was in came out, a blog expose about me was published on the barre3 blog! Super humbling and super exciting!!

I was approached by Kait to help write the blog post and inspire people to live the barre3 life throughout their days. Everything I said on here, I truly do!!

6am: Wake Up
6:10am: Start a 10 minute workout. My go-to this early is Standing Energy Blast: Legs, Glutes, + Core because it doesn’t require anything besides my dresser and my glasses!
7-7:15am: Quick Breakfast. My favorite quick breakfast is the “Glass Half Full” Detox Smoothie, especially because I can prep it the night before.
8:00am: Arrive at school to teach my students—I’m a special education teacher at an elementary school.
12:00-1pm: Lunch! I always have leftovers & a salad. To save time, I prep my salads four at a time on Sundays so that they’re ready to go each morning. I also squeeze in some quick exercise on my lunch break. During the winter I do a workout on the barre3 App. In the spring and fall I walk a lap outside on the track.
3:30pm: Say goodbye to the kids and head to barre3 Vancouver for class.
4:15 – 5:15pm: This is my favorite time to take class. It’s always packed which gives me so much energy, but it lets me get home in enough time to cook and have dinner with my husband.
5:15-5:30pm: After class, I connect with the instructor and other clients. The face time I get in studio after class helps me stay on track and motivated. I also use this time to plug into Facebook and Instagram to share my workout and see how my other friends’ workouts went that day. I’m a member of a few closed fitness focused Facebook groups, and I love supporting others to help them reach their fitness goals.
5:45-7pm: Prepare dinner. If my husband is home from work, he helps me cook too. Our favorite go-to during the week is the DIY Salad or DIY Bowl because they’re so easy. We always make big batches of the meat and chopped veggies for leftovers during the week.
7:00-7:30pm: Dinner time. I love this part of the day because it gives us a chance to sit down and connect over a healthy, balanced meal.
8:00-8:45pm: Epsom salt baths are another highlight of my day. I take one each evening as part of my bedtime ritual. Baths help me to relax and calm down before bed.
8:45-10pm: Reading in bed, then sleep!

What really got me was the part of the blog post I was not involved in...

For a definition of “glow,” you could check out the dictionary, or better yet, check out Annie Eeds. Not only does she glow from the inside out, she inspires us all to embrace whole-body health through her own dramatic transformation.
Even though she’s lost 80 pounds since she started as a client at barre3, she isn’t fixated on a number on the scale. Instead, Annie coined the term “off-the-scale victories” to describe the successes that are most important to her. (It’s a term we’ve since adopted and embraced.) Some of Annie’s biggest victories include no longer being at risk for diabetes, having energy to climb the stairs, the ability to balance in Warrior III better than she ever thought possible, and inspiring her husband to take better care of himself.
Annie is so successful because she understands that being healthy isn’t just about the time she spends working out in studio and online. She focuses on self care all day long, and she inspires my team and I to do the same through her commitment and positive energy. She was kind enough to share her daily routine with us; read on to peek inside a day in the life of Annie Eeds.
I was SO honored to be featured on blog. I love sharing my story and reaching others. While I wish I'd said something on here about PCOS but there is a "special project" coming up soon that I'll be featured in and they said that my PCOS would be mentioned! That's been such a HUGE part of my journey.
I truly do love my Non Scale Victories. I'm not sure where I first heard that term...I believe it was on Instagram. It means taking time to focus on the positive things you're doing and not just the number on the scale. Sure, the number on the scale gives you information but it can fluctuate SO much!

My very favorite NSV is back in September 2012 when I first realized I was beautiful...when looking in a barre3 mirror.

Fingers crossed {that you can fit some barre3 in to your day today}!!!

Monday, February 3, 2014

light, camera, SMILE!

Years ago I couldn't imagine doing a workout video...much less being in one!

It's been almost a year that we've been talking about this happening! First, it was supposed to be the day after my 30th birthday {March 2012}. Then, in the summer, twice, but surgery foiled those plans. Finally...last fall we had a date for filming the workout!! I was just a few weeks shy of shoulder surgery 2.0 so I didn't use weights and was the modifier, which was fine by me!!

I was lucky enough to get to film with my mentor/idol Sadie and my fellow barre3 devotee Robyn!

Robyn, Sadie, Myself
We filmed down at the home office one afternoon. That meant I got to see my favorite photog, Zach, who is always so nice!! Thankfully we were only filming a 10 minute workout...just that was hard so I can't imagine filing a 60 minute one! We did it two time through and the second time was the one they used. In the first one I looked a bit like a deer about to get hit by a car.
It was a very surreal experience to be in a workout video. To know that thousands (if not more) people are going to view this, do this, and hear a bit about my story!! It's mind boggling.
A video of me watching the barre3 video I was in.
I was very emotional watching this - as you can tell by my quivering lip and labored breathing and I definitely shed some happy tears. It's very tough to put in to words what I was feeling and am feeling about this. Because I have been willing to be an open book I have had so many opportunities, many of them through barre3. I am thankful for each of them and am so happy that this amazing memory was caught on video!

Click on the link above to view OR DO my FREE 10 minute workout for barre3.

Leave a comment here if you do my video!!

Fingers crossed {that this might not be my last video}...