Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summer Goals

Thank you to everyone for the kind words on in regards to my before and after pics from the Competition. It was a little scary posting pictures of myself in a bikini for the world to see! I am really happy with the visible results that I had and the way that my clothes now fit. To celebrate my achievement, I even picked up a couple pairs of size 6 jeans and a skirt!!!

On to my summer goals. Yes, I know that the summer has been here for a while… but with the weather that we’ve had in Minnesota, it feels like the summer is just beginning. Besides, in reality, summer has only been here for 9 days. So, with the start of the summer, I would like to set some realistic goals for myself for the next MONTH. A month doesn’t seem like a long time, just 4 short weeks, but it definitely is enough time to make progress on some of my long-term goals.

Here are the things that I would like to accomplish in the month of July:

  1. Eat clean 95% of the time (cheats will be wine, vodka/soda, or very dark chocolate)
  2. Eat all of my meals on time (every 2-3 hours)
  3. Workout 4 days per week
  4. Vary the types of workouts that I do: yoga, circuit training, biking, running, walking, and heavy lifting
  5. Embrace our organic CSA share (that should be getting more bountiful soon)
  6. Visit the Farmer’s Market more often
  7. Increase my Raw Food consumption and try to eat one raw meal every other day
  8. Read Making The Cut by Jillian Michaels
  9. Read an average of one Psalm per day, starting with Psalm 31 (I read 1–30 in the month of June)
  10. Cut wheat flour out of my diet, as it gives me tummy bloat & headaches (stick to sprouted and grain-based complex carbs)
  11. Embrace healthy fats like avocados, nut butters, and coconut oil
  12. Get 8 hours of sleep every night
  13. Start writing a Cookbook

Yes, you read that right. I have decided to write a Cookbook. I plan on filling the book with both recipes and organization/clean foodie tips, like I have on this blog. You may have noticed that I have not been posting as many recipes lately. This is because I have been busy in the Peters test kitchen experimenting with lots of different recipes, deciding which ones will make it into the book. Rest assured that recipes that do not make the cut will still be posted on my blog along with a few “sneak peak” recipes that do make it into the cookbook.

Do you have any suggestions of recipes that are currently on the blog that I should include in the cookbook? What are your favorites?

Friday, June 26, 2009

12 Week Contest Before and After Pics

If you have been reading my blog for the last couple months, you already know that I participated in a 12 week competition on the Tosca Reno Eat-Clean Diet forum. For more information on the competition, read this blog post.

Here are the goals that I set for myself in this competition and how I did at accomplishing them:
  • Pray for strength, courage, and determination every day - I have been praying a lot lately and definitely feel closer to God, reading the Psalms has been helping a lot with this
  • Loose 17.5 pounds and at least 18 inches - I lost 14.75 inches and 6.5 pounds, I am starting to realize that inches are much more important than pounds
  • Lift weights 2-3 days per week - accomplished, NROL4W is now over... what to do next???
  • Run intervals 2 days per week for 20-30 minutes - I faltered at this as the days became nicer, I spent more time outside with Allan and was biking a lot more instead of running
  • Follow Cooler 2 strictly, allow myself one cheat per week, usually a glass of red wine - with our busy schedule filled with lots of events, parties, and family outings away from home, I ended up having more cheats than one a week
  • Eat more high-water content vegetables instead of fruit - I added a lot more green smoothies to my diet and have been trying some new types of greens and really liking them (kale, chard, etc.)
  • Remember to take my multi-vitamin, omega, calcium/magnesium, digestive enzymes and wheatgrass every day - accomplished and added CLA to the list
  • Eat a variety of protein sources every day - accomplished
  • Stay positive - really working on this one!
  • Create an organization area in my kitchen for a vision board and menu planning - accomplished, just need to fill up the vision board a bit more :)
  • First note for the vision board: "Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken." Psalm 55:2

The following are my results from the competition:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Summer Has Arrived!!!

I don't know what the weather is like where you live, but today is going to be HOT and HUMID again! We went from rainy barely 60 degree days to a heat index of 105 in less than two weeks. The weather has been so crazy lately, that this morning that the power was out for over an hour.

Now that the 12 week competition is finished, I am working on setting some new short term goals. These goals will also include a new workout plan (as I only have 1 NROL4W workout left), strict Cooler 2 eats, and starting a new food related project, which I will be announcing soon.

Now on to some eats. Last week I made a super yummy pesto dinner. Here some of the ingredients that I used (I also added 1/2 bag of frozen sweet peas and 1/2 bag of frozen california mix):

Unfortunately, my camera died before I could take a good picture of the finished product, but it was delish!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Operation Beautiful!

I just read this post about Operation Beautiful and cannot wait to try it out! Will you join me?

On that same note, this post really moved me!

I <3 Quinoa

Today has been yet another SUPER crazy day! Work has been insane lately and keeping me more than busy.

I have been refueling on this devine Quinoa Mango Salad that I made on Monday. This salad was inspired by the Quinoa Mango Vinaigrette salad that I had at the Birchwood Cafe last Saturday.

Look at all of that wonderful good-for-you stuff that I crammed in this salad. It is definitely a meal in a bowl!

Also, has anyone else seen this? It's the first ever Raw Mom Summit featuring interviews with several knowledgeable speakers spanning topics from conception to parenting. I thought that some of you might be interested in signing up. The summit start on Monday and best of all it's FREE!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Some Very Yummy Food

After a week off from NROL4W I started up where I left off on Stage 7. I remember Stage 7 being difficult, but not THIS difficult. The circuit style of the workouts is completely different from the other stages in the program and my body is taking a little time to adjust to the pace... I can definitely feel the burn in my muscles while performing the exercises!

I thought that I would share with you one of my new favorite meals... I could eat this all day, every day!

nonfat plain yogurt cheese + Polly's almond butter granola + raspberries = heaven!

Speaking of Polly, she plans on sending out the first batch of her Yoga is Yummy DVD's this week! I am super excited to receive my copy. If you haven't pre-ordered a copy of Polly's DVD, click here to find out how!

Last night I purchased the Women of Faith version of The Message Bible and have been working on reading the foreword and introduction. I then plan on re-reading all of the Psalms up to this point (1-17) in this fun new Bible written in Contemporary Language. To find out more about The Message Bible click here. In addition, I plan on starting Jillian Michaels' Making the Cut after I finish reading The Eat-Clean Diet for Men.

I have been in the kitchen whipping up a lot of really tasty meals lately, so look forward to pics of those this week!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Competition is Over

Saturday marked the end of the 12 week competition that I participated in on the Tosca Reno forum. As of last night, all of the contestants' before and after photos are up on the site, feel free to pop over to the forum and check them out. If you are already a member, and have been since April 2009, you can vote for your top 6 contestants (3 for each category). Good luck to everyone!

I plan on posting my before and after pictures and results here once the judging is complete next week. Overall, I am really happy with how I did and hope that I place in the judging!

Allan arrived home on Friday night after a week of fishing in Northern Manitoba with his dad. It is so nice to have him home. It was the longest that we have been apart or not spoken to each other in the 5 1/2 years that we have been together.

We ended up having a really nice weekend together filled with test kitchen eats, my first real cheat meal since the beginning of the competition (pizza at the Leaning Tower of Pizza & homemade sangria by the fire!), a long bike ride, some cleaning, errand running, and a movie. Yesterday we went to a matinee of Up in 3D. It was one of the cutest, heart warming movies that I have seen in a while... I might even dare to say that it was better than Wall-E, which I also loved! It was definitely an all ages show that spanned a wide array of mature topics while still being completely suitable for young children. There were several scenes in the movie that pulled at your heart strings and made me well up with tears. What a treat! Thanks, Allan.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Birchwood Cafe and a Bike Ride

Yesterday Allan and I ventured out on a 15.6 mile bike ride along the river and to the Birchwood Cafe for lunch where we enjoyed the sun and a very nicely prepared Green meal. Their tagline is "Good Real Food" and it definitely was.

I enjoyed half of a turkey salad pesto sandwich, mango quinoa and hibiscus iced tea. Allan had a turkey burger, blue chips & salsa, and a Naked mighty mango smoothie.

Here are some pics from our outing, Allan gobbled up his lunch before I had a chance to take a picture of it.

My yummy meal!

Quinoa with mango vinaigrette, grapes, onions, green onions,
dried blueberries, dried cranberries, and carrots

Turkey salad sandwich with pesto

We waited to sit outside on the patio and enjoy the magnifent weather!

Even the To Go boxes were sustainable!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Challenge Yourself!

"There is only one success—to be able to spend your life in your own way."
—Christopher Morley

Isn’t the gift of choice amazing? I know that, at times, the overabundance of choices can seem overwhelming, but can you imagine living without them? God is so very good!

I bring this up, because this week I have chosen to make sacrifices in my diet in order to be successful. It has been challenging, but I am already half way there! I am glad that I can lean on God to help me through this season and make me the best that I can be!

How have you been tested in your life? Have you chosen your tests or have they been laid out before you? Know that with hard work and dedication YOU can accomplish anything through God who gives you strength! Keep your chin up, push forward and anything your heart desires can happen!

In my life, I have found that I am the most successful when I have a plan of attack. With one goal in mind, I can set milestones and prepare myself to rise to the challenge. This requires organization and dedication. Preplanning is the key to my weight loss journey and many of the other things that I have accomplished in my life. How are you organizing yourself to succeed?

Today is an excellent day to set goals and define achievable milestones along the way. Where do you want to be in 5 years? What will you do in the next week, the next month, and the next year to work towards this goal? How will you measure your success in the short and long term? What tools will you need in place in order to be successful?

Congratulations on your accomplishments so far and good luck in your future endeavors!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Spaghetti Squash

Today is Day 3 of Cooler 1 and I am feeling a little light headed, but not that hungry... mostly I have been really thirsty and have not had a difficult time drinking a gallon of distilled water each day. In addition, I am drinking 4 cups of dandelion tea per day. Dandelion tea is a natural detoxifier and diuretic and will help me with shedding water weight before I take my "after" pictures this weekend!

I have been doing a lot of reading on Contest prep and the different ways that people manipulate their diets and workouts prior to a competition. The plans are completely varied and it seems that what works to "pump up" the muscles of one person may leave another person "flat". The plans vary from carbohydrate depleting then increasing to a "high fat" day prior to the competition to eating sugar right before stepping on stage.

What to do? Well, here is my plan: I am sticking to Cooler 1 for the week and trying to get all of my carbs (oatmeal/quinoa, sweet potato and pear) into Meals 1-4 (I work out between Meals 4 and 5), I am especially concentrating on doing this near the end of the week. Also, I will start to deplete my water intake on Wednesday and increase my intake of dandelion tea. On Friday, the only liquid that I will consume is dandelion tea.

I will take pictures on Saturday morning after having a regular Cooler 1 day on Friday. The pictures will be taken before I eat or drink ANYTHING. Then I will have a regular Cooler 2 day on Saturday (5 veggies and 1 fruit) to add back in some more complex carbs/fats and take another set of pictures in the AM on Sunday. Then I can compare the two sets of photos to see if there is a difference in my pictures. Any suggestions?

I am also going to Mystic Tan twice this week (once on Wednesday and another time on Friday) to help get a coveted bronze glow on photo day. I am hoping that my new bikini's will show up before I take my pictures so that I do not have to wear a suit that is too big for me.

Here are my planned Cooler 1 eats for the day:

Meal 1 - 1/4 c oatmeal (dry) + 2 tbsp chia seeds + 2 tbsp wheat germ cooked in 1 c water + 3/4 cup egg whites + spinach + chicken sausage
Meal 2 - pear + 3 egg whites (one of my egg whites was water logged, so I didn't get to eat all 4 that I had planned to eat)
Meal 3 - spaghetti squash + tomatoes + tomato paste + extra-lean grass-fed beef (rinsed with boiling water) + fresh basil + oregano + chives
Meal 4 - Cooler 1 quinoa broccoli frittata + raw salad: cucumber + tomato + chives + sprouts + red lettuce + mescaline mix + fresh mint + lemon juice + balsamic vinegar
Meal 5 - brown rice protein powder + amazing grass greens + spinach + 1 tsp maca + 2 tbsp flax
Meal 6 - lemon thyme pepper chicken + sweet potato + green beans

Saturday, June 6, 2009


I am trying to make an effort to update my Twitter status a lot lately, especially this week as I finish up my 12 week competition on Cooler 1. Follow me here on Twitter or check out the Twitter feed in the right side bar of Simply Clean.

More Beautiful You Music Video

I found this video here on Lisa Barry's blog and I thought that it was something that I should share with all of you. Sometimes we all just need to hear this message. Have a blessed day!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Cooler 1

I am approaching the last week of my 12 week competition and will be stocking up on Cooler 1 items today at the grocery store. On Saturday or Sunday of next week I will take after photos and will be on Cooler 1 until the photos are taken! I am also considering purchasing distilled water and Dandelion tea to aid in "muscle popping". I will keep you updated on my progress and things that I am eating from now until picture day. I may even consider posting my before/after pics.

On a side note, I just ordered a bunch of new bikinis from Victoria's Secret! I am super excited to have some items that actually fit me! I am sick of walking around wearing clothes that are a size Large when I am a Small/Medium. YAY!


So, I have been doing some research on other workout programs and I think that I have found my new fitness program, drum roll please... the TRX!!!

You can even use it during pregnancy.

Has anyone used this program before? If so, did you use the home workout bundle or take a class at a gym?

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Everyone needs to read this Enviroblog post about BPA and Coke. There is some very scary stuff going on in Washington right now. Let's hope that the chemical companies do not win.

We, as a country, need to fight for tougher standards and regulations on the food and household/beauty industries to keep toxic chemicals out of our homes. Why is it that Europe is ahead of us on this trend? Why does the U.S. keep lagging behind them in regulation? Isn't our people's health more important than wealth? Apparently not.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

VW Jetta TDI Commercial

This is one of the funniest things that I have seen in a long time. Enjoy!

A Yoga Kind of Day

Here is a summary of my workouts and eats for the last few days.

On Monday, I did another set of Polly's Yoga is Yummy videos, this time I tried yoga for runners and yoga for arms. The yoga was very yummy. I could definitely feel the workout the next day in my shoulders. Thanks, Polly! Polly’s Yoga DVD is now available for preorder – you should check it out! I mailed my pre-order check today.

Yesterday, I did Stage 6, Workout B of the New Rules of Lifting for Women (NROL4W). I will finish Stage 6 this week and then move on to Stage 7, the last stage of the book, for 4 weeks. I have really enjoyed NROL4W. It has changed my body in ways that I never knew possible. I have strong, defined muscles that have completely reshaped my physique – which is very exciting. Although, I am looking forward to finishing NROL4W and moving on to a new program. Does anyone have a suggestion for a new program to start when I am finished?

I did another set of Polly’s videos this morning – this time I did yoga for triathletes and yoga for hips #1. I feel very long and lean!

I plan on making the fabulous looking Greek Salad from this month’s Clean Eating magazine for lunch and some of Polly’s Almond Butter Granola for a snack later accompanied by fresh berries and plain yogurt cheese.

Last night I made the Chicken Gazpacho from the new Clean Eating magazine along with Quinoa Pilaf. It turned out really nice and was a very refreshing meal.

My test kitchen will be open this week and next week as I try some new recipe ideas that I have stored in my head. Wish me luck!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Fairmont, MN

This last weekend, we went to the Fairmont area of Southern Minnesota to celebrate my cousin’s graduation, observe Memorial Day, and reminisce of my Uncle Lonnie. Both of my parents are from the Fairmont area and we still have several relatives from both sides of the family that still make the area their home. I always love visiting with my family and look forward to every chance that we have to spend together.

As some of you know, this last December, my dad’s brother, Lonnie, was taken from us after a short battle with a very aggressive form of kidney cancer that spread into his colon; the entire family really misses him. Lonnie was my dad’s closest sibling and played a large role in my life. He was the person that I could talk to when life just didn’t make sense and for a period in my life he was my best friend.

Here is a photo from this weekend of his wife and two sons:

This is a photo of my immediate family, in her usual form, Melissa is being silly and making us all laugh:
From the left: dad (Al), mom (Trish), sister (Melissa), me and Allan

On our way to the graduation party yesterday, we stopped at the Lakeside and the Welcome Cemeteries to visit both sets of grandparents. This is a photo of me with my maternal grandparent’s headstone:

The last stop of the weekend was in Sherburne, MN to celebrate the high school graduation my cousin, Miranda. Next year she will start taking medical secretary classes in Jackson, MN. Look at how pretty she looked!