Getting Motivated When You Don’t Feel Like Exercising

Getting back into an exercise routine can be a challenge. I know, because I’m right there with you! While I’ve been doing well on the healthy eating side for a while, now I need to work on the exercise aspect. Firming, toning and strengthening are my new focus. However getting motivated to just do the workout has been a struggle for me. I’m home alone for hours with my toddler, so if I’m not playing with her, I’m trying to squeeze in work. Exercise with a toddler around isn’t impossible – but it’s definitely becoming my latest excuse to skip the exercise!

I Just Don’t Feel Like Exercising

I’ve come up with some motivations to move me forward when I have no desire to workout anymore. Sometimes I want to exercise but I’m lazy, I’ll admit it! And I can come up with a million reasons NOT to do it. Tackling these motivators FIRST can set you up for success. I recommend writing things down, posting them somewhere prominent and reminding others around you to encourage you on your fitness journey!

I’ve included photos of me in this post wearing my new workout wear from Fabletics. Keep reading for a review on Fabletics and why I think it’s important to have cute and comfortable workout clothes.

How do you stay motivated to workout when you just don't feel like exercising? I share 9 tips for staying on a routine when you feel lazy!

I received one complimentary outfit from Fabletics. No other compensation was made. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Please note that I use affiliate links in my posts. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you.

1. Have a Reason Why

What are you exercising for? You have to know your “reason why” because that’s your ultimate motivator. Write your reason down, whether it’s to lose weight, firm up or get heart healthy. When you feel your motivation waning, put your reason why someplace at the forefront to remind you daily.

My reason? To firm up, yes. But also to be a good example for my children! We frequently exercise together, even if it’s just a long walk outside.

How do you stay motivated to workout when you just don't feel like exercising? I share 9 tips for staying on a routine when you feel lazy!

2. Know Your Excuses

I didn’t sleep well last night and today I’m too exhausted to exercise. I just can’t seem to find the time. My legs/back/head hurts. I don’t like the gym. I’m bored with my usual workout. I don’t feel like working out anymore!

Do any of those excuses sound familiar? Yeah, we’ll come up with a bunch of reasons why we shouldn’t work out. But it goes back to your “reason why” and all excuses need to go out the window. When you find yourself making excuses, remember your “reason why”. Your “reason why” you should be exercising will knock off all excuses.

How do you stay motivated to workout when you just don't feel like exercising? I share 9 tips for staying on a routine when you feel lazy!

3. Have a Workout Buddy

I’ve always found that having someone to workout with makes the “chore” of exercise more fun. You don’t want to let your workout buddy down, so you’re more likely to show up and keep the schedule. Here are some ideas on things to do with a workout buddy:

  • Make a standing twice weekly date on the calendar.
  • Go for a long walk with your kids – even if you have to bring their strollers.
  • Meet in the park with workout bands and kettle bells.
  • Screen a workout video at home to do together.
How do you stay motivated to workout when you just don't feel like exercising? I share 9 tips for staying on a routine when you feel lazy!

My workout buddy keeps me motivated!

4. Get It Out of the Way First Thing

I’ve been in the habit of getting up, getting dressed and eating breakfast. Then once I’ve dropped off the kids at school, I just don’t want to change into my workout clothes and that’s just another excuse not to exercise.

Now when I get up, I immediately put on my workout clothes. I find that if I’m already wearing them when I get back after school drop off, I might as well workout! If you can, tackle your exercise first thing in the day so nothing else can get in front of getting it done.


5. Squeeze It In

Okay, so some days you just can’t get the workout done first thing in the morning. But don’t let that be a reason to let the whole day go down the drain. Take advantage of small bits of time when you can squeeze in the exercise.

Here are a few things that I do at home when I have snippets of time:

  • When cooking dinner, I will stay in the kitchen while waiting for the food to be ready. This is a great time to do as many leg squats as you can or do incline push-ups against the counter or chair dips.
  • Before and after school drop off I’ll do a fast walking lap around the block.
  • When playing with my toddler, I’ll stretch, do crunches and planks on the floor next to her.

How do you stay motivated to workout when you just don't feel like exercising? I share 9 tips for staying on a routine when you feel lazy!

6. Develop a Routine

Having a consistent routine can push you through sluggishness. Go through your exercise routine step by step and repeat it. Maybe you always get up in the morning, get yourself into your workout clothes, put your hair in a ponytail, lace up your running shoes and fill your water bottle before starting exercise. Write down your routine and stick with it each day so you can fall into a pattern of repetition.

7. Have a Checklist

I’m all for checklists because it makes it so much easier for me to keep track of my time and routine. You can do a search on Pinterest for workout checklists or just write one yourself. Here are some things to keep track of:

  • Cardio days and weight days
  • Length of time you worked out
  • Reps and weight in pounds
  • How much water you drank

How do you stay motivated to workout when you just don't feel like exercising? I share 9 tips for staying on a routine when you feel lazy!

8. Anything Is Better Than Nothing

Just becasue you couldn’t work out for 90 minutes at the gym doesn’t mean you should skip your exercise completely. Do what you can, whenever you can. Maybe that means you park far away and walk briskly through the parking lot when running errands. Or you take the stairs instead of the elevator. All those little things really do add up when you’re counting your exercise!


9. Wear Workout Clothes That You Love

I recently received this set of workout clothes from Fabletics. After losing some weight, I was desperate for new exercise clothing. And for me, having something that is cute, comfy and flattering makes me want to wear it. And if I’m already wearing my workout clothes, I might as well workout, right?!

The Fabletics Salar Statement Powerhold Legging have four-way stretch for maximum compression that’s still comfortable. They are also moisture-wicking and quick drying. I love the wide, drawstring waistband. I hate when the elastic at the waist is too skinny because it tends to roll over. These pants totally stayed put during my entire workout.

How do you stay motivated to workout when you just don't feel like exercising? I share 9 tips for staying on a routine when you feel lazy!

There’s an internal waistband pocket to hold something small like a key. There are also slim side pockets along each leg for holding your device. The full-length legging was a bit long for me (I’m only 5’2″) – next time I’ll choose a short inseam.

How do you stay motivated to workout when you just don't feel like exercising? I share 9 tips for staying on a routine when you feel lazy!

Two side pockets on the leg – large enough to hold my phone.

I really love the design on the Fabletics Nicole performance tank. The Aegean blue color coordinates with the leggings and has pretty detailing along the sides. The top has built-in cups, though I still needed to wear a workout bra underneath for additional support. But smooth and flattering, not too snug at the waist or hips.

What are your tested ways to stay motivated to workout?

How do you stay motivated to workout when you just don't feel like exercising? I share 9 tips for staying on a routine when you feel lazy!

 

Choosing a “Word of the Year” – Will This Actually Change Anything?

In the few days before and after January 1st, all of social media is a-buzz with “Word of the Year” chatter. Seems everyone who is setting goals is choosing a word of the year. So naturally I started to think of what I wanted my word of the year to be. Oh, I came up with some great ideas but it kept coming back to the same word.

Choosing a Word of the Year – FOCUS.

I need this in my life. I’m desperately in need of focus because frankly, I’m a bit of a mess! Yeah, I’ve got four kids so my time is stretched pretty thin. My daily to-do list varies from blog posts, freelance writing assignments, doctor’s appointments, household budgeting, social media upkeep, grocery shopping and kid’s sports events and practices. On any given day, I might be coloring my hair, rotating 6 loads of laundry, making Pins for Pinterest, sending out emails for my blog, or going to Bible study. And I’ve not told you yet, but I’ve decided to go to night school for a medical career position. I’m still not sure where I’m going to squeeze in the time for all that entails.

That’s me, crazy hair to go with my crazy schedule!

But none of this is anything that causes you to blink because I know you’re all in the same position. Isn’t the real deal of being a mom is that we have a hundred things on our plate at any given time? Moms are supposed to do it all, right? I mean, that’s what we’ve always heard.

Multitasking is Life.

Sit around with a group of moms and bring up your schedule for the day. I can almost guarantee you that someone is going to “one up” by sharing their daily routine. There’s going to be a big one in there too, something you can’t even compete with, like a business trip or surgery. It’s going to seem like piling everything you possibly can with as little sleep as you can get by on is the norm. Must be why everyone is like, “But first, coffee”.

In the time that I’ve been writing this post, I’ve been everything except focused. I currently have open my Google Analytics for my blog, I’ve un-followed about a hundred people on Instagram, I’ve followed about a hundred people on Twitter, I’ve scheduled about 50 Pins in my Pinterest account, I’ve entered several online contests, researched two upcoming posts, checked my email dozens of times, updated two other blog posts, read a few articles I searched for on Google and I’ve had several Facebook messenger conversations.

Ahem…where’s the FOCUS and how do I get it?!

My struggle with doing everything is that I try to do it all at the same time. My free time is limited of course. I squeeze in snippets of work during the day while the toddler naps or during an episode of Sesame Street. I check email in the bathroom on my phone so I don’t have to hear my husband complain about me being on social media all the time. I stay up after my family has gone to bed so I can finish a post or send out a blog idea. And of course, I try to do everything at once.

Not possible to do it all at one time, I’m finding. At least it’s not possible to do it very well! It’s not only not getting done, things are sloppy and oft forgotten in my haste to “do it all”. With the upcoming addition of night school taking me out of the house for 6 hours each week and homework on top of that, I know that finding focus NOW is imperative.

Found this folder at Target…had to have it!

Is True Focus Available for Everyone?

I actually find it really really hard to do just one thing by itself. Multitasking!! All moms do that, don’t they? Is it just in my nature to be all over the place? Is true focus even possible?!

But what if all this multitasking means that I’ll never be able to gain the focus I need? Do I really need focus at all or can I continue to just get things done as I have been – willy-nilly, squeezed in work, flitting here and there until it’s completed at the last moment. I’m thinking that I’m going to need an overhaul in my thinking. I’m going to have to make some MAJOR changes in my routine to truly focus.

What Does Focus Mean to Me?

In my eyes, focus means I’ll be able to complete one task at a time to completion. Focus feels like a COMMITMENT. Seeing a single thing done and completed before moving to the next.

I imagine looking through a camera lens, when I depress the shutter slightly and what’s in view becomes crisp and sharp. I can’t see what’s outside the frame, I can only look at what the camera is pointing at. Nothing else matters, only what’s in that small box. Even the background in the shot is blurred. There is laser focus on that single thing and all else fades away.

For me, that means if I’m writing a post, I’m only writing that post. This might mean I wait to write until all other distractions are out of focus (kids in bed, dishes all washed, TV off). And not only am I using my Word of the Year FOCUS on just my work ventures, I’m wanting to improve my life all around. If want focus on my family, my spiritual life, my marriage and my home. Less overlap. Less multitasking. More full completion.

So how does one get FOCUS?

Oh, the million dollar question! How am I going to take a WORD and bring it into fruition? How do I amend what comes naturally to me (multi-tasking) and gain sharp focus instead?

After a Google search, I found these ideas:

  • Preparing yourself for the task
  • Understanding where you need to focus
  • Drink coffee
  • Doodle
  • Minimize multitasking
  • Take a 30 minute break
  • Turn on music
  • Meditate
  • Create a to-do list
  • Understand why you lose focus in the first place
  • Get organized
  • Visualize the results
  • Work on a particular project for only 30 minutes at a time

Some of these work for me and some of them don’t. I think that finding things that are the most appropriate for you, things that will help you stick to your goals are what matters. Personally I can see myself really being able to work for 30 minutes on one task before needing a break. Making a to-do is something I already do (I live for checking things off my list!) And knowing how and why I lose focus is important (hello, can you say constant interruption from little people?)

I’m excited to see how my WORD OF THE YEAR is going to help me towards my goals of FOCUS! Share your word or goals for this year.

Did you choose a Word of the Year? I chose mine, and here's how I'm working towards meeting that goal #OneWord #WordoftheYear

 

Dinnerly Review – Honest Review of Dinnerly Meal Subscription

Have you ever used a meal subscription service? I hadn’t, up to last week. My family and I prepare 99% of our meals at home. The thought of paying to have our food prepped and delivered has never been something we considered. Would trying Dinnerly change our mind? I was intrigued by the interesting recipes, the Dinnerly website photos and the lower-than-expected cost. Find out my honest Dinnerly review and whether it works for families. And does it really save time and money to order Dinnerly versus handpicking everything yourself at the grocery?

Considering a meal subscription services? My honest Dinnerly review shares if cost and time savings is worth it. Review of Dinnerly includes list of pros and cons, including taste review.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way. I received a complimentary family box from Dinnerly to facilitate this review. I received no other compensation and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

What is Dinnerly?

Dinnerly is a meal subscription service. Ingredients for three meals are sent weekly in either a Two-Person Box or Family Box. Dinnerly is targeted to those who like homemade cooking with fresh ingredients, but are busy and are looking to save time with shopping and cooking. Going on vacation or don’t need or want Dinnerly? When signing up, you aren’t locked in so you can choose when you want or don’t want a box.

I have never used a meal subscription service before so this was a new concept for my family. With six to feed, we are a frugal family. However we do opt to choose organic whenever we can. I agreed to review Dinnerly because the cost is in line with a “fancier” meal that we’d prepare at home (around $5 per person). And Dinnerly sends quality protein such as grass-fed ground beef and antibiotic-free chicken, items we already purchase ourselves. We were excited to try Dinnerly and this is my honest Dinnerly review!

What’s on the Dinnerly Menu?

I received the Dinnerly Family Box which includes 4 portions per recipe (intended for two adults & two children). Each recipe involves six or less ingredients. Subscribers are sent 3 recipes per week. Each recipe appears on the menu once per month for 2 months, with ingredients changing seasonally.

Considering a meal subscription services? My honest Dinnerly review shares if cost and time savings is worth it. Review of Dinnerly includes list of pros and cons, including taste review.

Inside the Dinnerly family box.

Past recipes include Grass-Fed Beef Stew with Black Pepper Dumplings, Meatloaf & Carmelized Cabbage with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Veggie Grain Bowl with Lemon-Goat Cheese Dressing, and Spicy Turkey Pizza with Crispy Kale.

A far cry from the usual “Taco Tuesdays”, right? It appears that at least according to the upcoming menus, one vegetarian meal is sent per box.

I received recipes and ingredients for the following dinner dishes:

  • Spicy Pork & Chinese Broccoli
  • Spiced Tomato Braised Chicken with Polenta
  • Fried Spaghetti Pie
Considering a meal subscription services? My honest Dinnerly review shares if cost and time savings is worth it. Review of Dinnerly includes list of pros and cons, including taste review.

You can opt to print your own recipe cards or just look at the recipes on your device (I chose to print them myself).

Preparing Dinnerly Meals

The fresh, seasonal ingredients arrived in an insulated box with a large chill pack inside. Recipe cards are not included so you can choose to pull up the instructions on your device or print them out (which is what I did). It was easy enough to sort out what ingredients went to which dishes. I bundled them together and placed them in the fridge for later in the week. You’ll need a few pantry basics, like oil, salt and pepper. Otherwise all the necessities for each dish are included in the Dinnerly box.

Considering a meal subscription services? My honest Dinnerly review shares if cost and time savings is worth it. Review of Dinnerly includes list of pros and cons, including taste review.

Everything I need for three big meals inside the Dinnerly box!

Spiced Tomato Braised Chicken with Polenta

Dinnerly recipes are touted as taking 30 minutes or less to prepare and cook. I found that some of the recipe times were a little off and required more time to cook than what was suggested. In the recipe for Spiced Tomato Braised Chicken with Polenta the recipe says to cook the chicken on the stove top for 6-7 minutes until browned but I found it actually took about 11 minutes. Not a big deal, a few minutes here and there aren’t going to put a kink in the dinner plans.

There are some instances where you’ll cook and then have to remove the food to a plate so you can cook again in the same pan. This is fine with me, as it means less pans to wash! I found the recipes easy to follow. It helps streamline things if you have someone else in the kitchen who can prep and chop the vegetables while you hop to the next step.

Considering a meal subscription services? My honest Dinnerly review shares if cost and time savings is worth it. Review of Dinnerly includes list of pros and cons, including taste review.

There’s a chicken drumstick underneath that generous pile of onion, carrots and sauce!

I made the spiced tomato braised chicken in my Dutch oven and the house smelled heavenly. Nobody in my family had ever tried polenta before but we all really liked it. And even though I’d never prepared it before, the recipe instructions were fool-proof.

How Do the Dinnerly Recipes Taste?

I was a little nervous that the amount of food included would not be enough for my family. While we do have six in the family, I didn’t expect that my two youngest (ages 6 and 20 months) would try any of these dishes. They are both picky and ended up eating leftovers or pb&j sandwiches instead.

Our two older children are teenagers and they each eat as much as an adult. The family box ingredients are intended for two adults and two children, but we found that there was plenty to go around, even with the teenager appetites!

Considering a meal subscription services? My honest Dinnerly review shares if cost and time savings is worth it. Review of Dinnerly includes list of pros and cons, including taste review.

Spicy Pork & Chinese Broccoli from Dinnerly had a kick but it was easy to adjust the spice to our personal family tastes.

Spicy Pork & Chinese Broccoli

When preparing the Spicy Pork & Chinese Broccoli, my husband was there to chop the veggies. He is extremely particular about his food but was very happy with the quality of the produce.

The Dinnerly box came with four packets of Sriracha so we could adjust the heat for taste. I only used three packets in the main dish and my husband put the last packet on his own individual serving. While very easy to prepare and with minimal ingredients, this recipe helped us to think outside the box with introducing us to new ingredients. Neither of us had ever made anything with Chinese broccoli or Sriracha sauce before. We both really loved this dish – There was even some plate licking on his part!

How Much Does Dinnerly Cost?

Dinnerly is priced at $5 per each serving. Shipping per box is $8.99, so be sure to work that into the cost breakdown. Dinnerly is the lowest cost of all the dinner subscription boxes on the market. While the Dinnerly Family Box is noted to feed two adults and two children, we found that there was an abundance of food!

For instance when we ate Spiced Tomato Braised Chicken with Polenta my husband, myself and my two teenagers each had one large portion (served with our own side salad). My husband had a second large helping. Then there was still enough for me to pack away leftovers for my husband to take to work the following day. This meal actually equaled out to about 6 servings for us, making this an even better price breakdown.

Considering a meal subscription services? My honest Dinnerly review shares if cost and time savings is worth it. Review of Dinnerly includes list of pros and cons, including taste review.

Fried Spaghetti Pie

The vegetarian meal for the week I received Dinnerly was the intriguing sounding Fried Spaghetti Pie. I can honestly say I’ve never prepared or eaten anything quite like this dish! A creamy sauce and grated Parmesan coats the cooked spaghetti, which is then lightly fried and baked to crisp. It’s topped with a tossed arugala salad. This was a fun twist on traditional pasta dishes and we enjoyed it a lot! The recipe even gave us some ideas on how to add protein, if we wished to.

Dinnerly Review Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Creative meals that got us out of a dinner rut
  • Healthful dishes with fresh ingredients
  • Truly quick and easy meals that seem more “fancy” than usual
  • Convenient to know that all the ingredients for dinner are on hand
  • Time-conscious meal preparation
  • Delicious! The four of us that ate the Dinnerly meals really enjoyed the flavors

Cons:

  • Only delivering to select areas of the United States at this time (check the site to see if Dinnerly delivers in your area)
  • May be a bit pricier than purchasing ingredients on your own (but definitely cheaper than eating out!)
  • Fancier meals may not appeal to picky eaters

Want to Try Dinnerly?

Click through to see what’s cooking on Dinnerly this week! You can see the menu for the month and sign up for a subscription.

My family had a great time cooking with Dinnerly! We thought the recipes were creative and delicious. We were actually excited to cook each night and try something new. In the past, I’ve liked trying new dishes, but I don’t like having to purchase special ingredients just for one dish (like an entire bottle of sauce or a large block of cheese). Dinnerly is perfect because they supply you with exactly what you need. And there’s no waste because you use just what they send.

I highly recommend trying Dinnerly and appreciate that you can sign up for the service without major commitment. There is a flexible subscription option so you can decide ahead of time which weeks you want to receive. And you can always skip a week if necessary. But why would you want to because the food is all really good!

 

Personal Trainer Food Review- Weight Loss Program Comparison

Maybe you’ve tried other weight loss programs. Maybe you’ve tried several other weight loss programs. You might have lost weight. But in many cases you’re left feeling frustrated by the high expenses of the program and unappetizing food. I’ve been following the Personal Trainer Food program and want to share my thoughts about the taste, convenience and cost compared to NutriSystem.

If you’re following along with my Personal Trainer Food Review posts, here are the previous posts in the series.

I received a complimentary box from Personal Trainer Food that included 28-days worth of meals and three butter sauces. All thoughts and opinions about this product are my own. Your results on the program may vary. No additional compensation has been provided. Please note that my post contains affiliate links. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

To be fair, Nutrisystem has a small selection of frozen choices on another menu. I did not test or compare their frozen menu items, the items tested were part of their largest selling food division of non-refrigerated items. Personal Trainer Food did send me the day’s worth of Nutrisystem for an honest comparison between the 2 meal plans.

8 lbs down after nearly 4 weeks on Personal Trainer Food program!

What Stalls Weight Loss?

Besides the obvious, like desserts, potatoes, breads, juice and pasta, what does Personal Trainer Food recommend that you avoid while in weight loss mode? These items may stall your results and are best avoided –

  • Milk, including yogurt, cottage cheese and sour cream.
  • Milk alternatives, like soy, rice and almond milk.
  • Peanuts, cashews and pecans (this includes nut butters of any type).
  • All fruit, except for one apple a day.
  • Protein bars and shakes (plus you’ll be getting enough protein in the foods you’re eating anyway).
  • Alcohol (even low-carb varieties).
  • Flour, oats and rice.

Nutritional Comparison to NutriSystem

I received a sample of a NutriSystem meal to compare with Personal Trainer Food. The NutriSystem food I received is shelf-stable and doesn’t require refrigeration. Those on the NutriSystem program are expected to supply their own fruits and veggies. When looking at the ingredient list of the NutriSystem foods, they are loaded with ingredients that actually could stall your weight loss!

NutriSystem shelf-stable foods

The NutriSystem breakfast is a very small (1.4 oz) Harvest Nut Bar with 7g of sugar, 22g carbs and 7g protein. Personal Trainer Food breakfasts include eggs and sausage or bacon. My favorite, the frittata omelette with breakfast sausage contains 1g of sugar, 2g carbs and 19g of protein. I have always felt full on my Personal Trainer Food breakfast for at least 3 hours before needing a snack. I can imagine how hungry I’d be eating only the tiny NutriSystem bar for breakfast.

NutriSystem Breakfast Bar

The NutriSystem Chicken Pasta Parmesan contained many unpronounceable ingredients as well as agave syrup and sugar! I’m not sure why a chicken and pasta dish would need 6 grams of sugar. It also contained 24g of carbohydrates and 15g of protein. There weren’t any vegetables included with this dish.

In comparison, the Personal Trainer Food Rotisserie Chicken Breast contained no sugar, 1g of carbs and 23g of protein. I was also able to choose my own vegetable packet that was shipped to me. Personal Trainer Food frozen vegetables contain a well-balanced amount of carb-loaded veggies like lima beans, corn and peas.

Personal Trainer Food Teriyaki chicken with green beans

The NutriSystem meal also came with a package of walnut chocolate chip cookies. At 7g of fat, 17g carbs and 7g sugar for about 5 small cookies. Also the ingredients contained wheat gluten, oats and sugar – all ingredients that may slow weight loss. As a side note, I did find it humorous that the cookies contained 8g of protein, which was more than the tiny breakfast bar!

Food and Flavor Comparison

The meals I’ve received from Personal Trainer Food are really great tasting food. Each dish is high in protein, contains good carbs and healthy fats with no heavily-processed food products. The food is cooked and flash-frozen to preserve freshness and flavor. Their products require no fillers, hidden sugars nor bad carbs. Meals are also low or no gluten.

My husband is really particular about what we eat at home and even he is totally sold on the Personal Trainer Food. He’s snuck them on occasion to eat for himself! Not only are they wholesome, good-for-you meals but they are also really delicious.

Personal Trainer Food Gluten-free breaded chicken breast with veggies

In comparison, the NutriSystem food that I received simply does not look appetizing. I refuse to eat the NutriSystem Chicken Pasta Parmesan because it just looks bad. I asked my mom, who has been on the NutriSystem program, and she said the shelf-stable foods do not taste good. She’s now on the Personal Trainer Food program and very happy with the food choices and flavor. It definitely makes it easier to stay on your weight loss program when the food tastes good, is filling and keeps you satisfied!

Cost Comparison

Many weight loss meal delivery plans can cost $600+ a month for food. Add in contracts, support costs and often hidden fees. With Personal Trainer Food, everyone receives healthy meals for weight loss, free support and free shipping with no hidden fees.

My mom went through the NutriSystem program on her own over the course of one month. At a cost of around $350 for the month, she lost no weight. She also had to purchase her own fruits and vegetables on NutriSystem. $350 for food that she didn’t like and no weight lost!

In contrast, my mom recently started on Personal Trainer Food and lost two pounds in the first week. I personally lost 8 lbs after four weeks on the program. The cost of three full meals a day on PTF is under $11 per day. They also frequently offer specials so sign up for their newsletter and receive email notifications.

Looking for Convenient and Fast

I’ve loved having the Personal Trainer Foods handy in my freezer. So quick to grab and heat – in just a few minutes I have a complete and healthy meal. I’m very happy that there is a program like this that is convenient but doesn’t sacrifice flavor and health! Check out the next post in my series- Personal Trainer Food – How Important is Convenience to Weight Loss?

Want to Learn More About Personal Trainer Food?

See their website for the latest sign up specials!

Considering the Personal Trainer Food diet program? Check out my honest review with details on the food, cost & how much you can lose #PersonalTrainerFood AD

Personal Trainer Food Review- Starting a Healthy Meal Plan (Week 1)

Sooo, it’s been one full week since I started on the Personal Trainer Food program. For this first week, I’m sharing my entire food journal. You’ll see how I used Personal Trainer Food as well as the provided guidelines for weight loss to eat other foods prepared at home. This is a healthy meal plan that does limit carbs and completely eliminates sugar.

Check out my first post in this series, Personal Trainer Food Review- I’m READY to Make Changes!

Keep reading for my Personal Trainer Food review, my take on the provided food on this program, how I feel, and how much it’s already changing my body.

I received a complimentary box from Personal Trainer Food that included 28-days worth of meals and three butter sauces. All thoughts and opinions about this product are my own. Your results on the program may vary. No additional compensation has been provided. Please note that I do include affiliate links in my posts. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

Pre-Program – Consider Fasting

Need a sugar and carb detox? Consider a fast to jump-start your fat loss. The Personal Trainer Food plan recommends starting the program with a 24 to 48 hour fast. I’ve never been able to go that long with fasting; I get faint and lightheaded, which is not so great when I’m taking care of four kids! I was able to fast 11 hours on the first day without eating before I caved – I still stuck to the program though!

It is suggested that while on the program, participants try an intermittent 24 hour fast to get past plateaus. Even an overnight fast of 12 to 14 hours from dinner to breakfast the next day can improve results.

Staying Hydrated

Drinking plenty of liquids will help the body detoxify faster and diminish cravings. I’ve been upping my water intake since starting the plan. The plan guidelines give the green light on flavor enhancers so I’ve been occassionally adding those to my water when I want a “treat”. I’ve also been drinking a few cups of green tea during the day.

And thank goodness diet soda is okay, so I didn’t have to give that up (I’m not sure I could have gone cold turkey on carbs, sugar and diet soda at the same time!) I only drink one max per day, but it is a indulgence for me. Let’s just say with all this extra liquid I’ve been staying close to the bathroom. Hoping my body adjusts soon!

Mix in Your Own Snacks

Recommended snacks are meats, cheese, nuts, veggies and one apple a day, spread out over two snacks. Approved nuts include almond and walnuts, which I bought, measured and bagged individually. Each of those bags contains 3 oz, which is actually a pretty large serving! Nibble on some during snack time and then sprinkle some on your salad. You may eat up to 6 oz of cheese (including cheddar and mozzarella) through the day. I eat half an apple during my morning snack, about 3 oz of cheese and a few nuts. This balance really gives me energy and keeps me satisfied till lunch. Another great snack that has been helping with salty cravings is salami and Parmesan.

You may also purchase the Personal Trainer Food plan that includes snacks, including sausage sticks, olives and packaged nuts. I found it was easy enough for me to measure and bag up the snacks on my own. I suggest purchasing a small food scale to help keep your portion sizes accurate.

A small food scale is very important when measuring foods into portion sizes.


Personal Trainer Food Review – WEEK ONE

Day 1-

For breakfast on day one I ate a frittata and bacon. I’m not a big egg eater so the thought of eating eggs everyday is a little daunting. However when ordering the menu from Personal Trainer Food, I was able to request only eggs that had cheese because that’s the only way I like them. The frittata was really delicious, with bits of sweet peppers inside. The bacon was paper-thin, but still tasty!

First week on Personal Trainer Food program. Find out the food, plan and how much I lost after week 1! #spon #PersonalTrainerFood

I chose to fast through lunch, supplementing with some warm broth and a cup of tea.

At dinner, my husband had made roasted brussels sprouts and asparagus so I ate the veggies along with my family. I added a butter chicken, which was flavorful (albiet a bit tough). I drizzled the veggies with the Garlic Butter, which then everyone at the table had to try. It was yummy!

Day 2-

I started the morning with a cheddar omelette and maple sausage. The sausage satisfied the salty-sweet combo I was craving.

My mid-morning snack was 2 oz of cheddar cheese and a few almonds. Later in the afternoon I ate my apple.

For lunch, I chose the Buffalo chicken sticks and mixed veggies. The breading on the chicken had a bit of kick, which added lots of flavor! I used a tablespoon of blue cheese dressing for dipping. The dressing has less than a gram of sugar, so it’s acceptable on the plan.

Will the Personal Trainer Food program work for me, a busy mom over 40? #sponsored

My husband made dinner that was on my program. We had grilled chicken kabobs with squash, red bell peppers and onions. My family also ate potatoes, which I skipped.

Day 3-

I was kind of all about the cheddar today! Breakfast of cheddar omelette & maple sausage again. This time I sprinkled a little extra cheddar on the top…yum!

My snack was an ounce of cheddar, almonds and walnuts and my apple.

At lunch, I went with the meatballs and capri veggies. I added a tablespoon of tomato sauce, approved since it was under 2g of sugar. It was like eating a nice Italian meal and I really didn’t miss the pasta.

First week on Personal Trainer Food program. Find out the food, plan and how much I lost after week 1! #spon #PersonalTrainerFood

Dinner was the leftover chicken and veggies from the previous night. My kids ate it with refried beans and tortillas. I reheated mine and sprinkled with cheddar.

After a walk I came home and put the baby to bed and my older kids each had a small bowl of ice cream. Normally I would have joined them but instead I gauged my hunger. I definitely needed a snack so I had some nuts, cheddar cheese and a few big glasses of water.

Day 4-

Today was my first real challenge on the program. I attend a weekly mom’s group Bible study and everyone brings snacks. It’s usually a free-for-all of pastries, home-made treats, fruits and veggies with dip.

I ate my Personal Trainer Food egg & meat breakfast at home before heading to the group (I would usually skip breakfast and then indulge in snacks during the group). I remembered to take my water bottle so I could drink and refill during the two hours I was there.

I did eat snacks during my group – I passed over the doughnuts, cinnamon rolls and coffee cake and dove into the walnuts and almonds, raw carrots, sliced Parmesan-Romano cheese and salami. I was happy there was something I could enjoy and not feel left out while everyone else was snacking! PS. I did bring a bag of nuts with me, just in case.

Instead of stopping for fast food at lunch like I usually would on this day, I drove home and made the gluten free breaded chicken with Venice blend veggies. The baby helped me to eat them!

For dinner I’d made the family pot roast with celery, onion, carrots and potatoes. I skipped the potatoes and was able to enjoy the rest of the meal. It wasn’t until later that I saw online that only raw carrots should be consumed and that cooked carrots are starchy and should be avoided in too much quantity. Ugh, hope I didn’t mess up too badly with the extra 5 bites of cooked carrots I ate. The veggie packages that Personal Trainer Food sends DO have small amounts of carb/starchy veggies in balance proportions. But Lesson Learned: Check the weight loss guidelines before eating!

First week without sugar & limited carbs - Find out the food, plan and how much I lost after week 1! #spon #PersonalTrainerFood

Day 5-

Frittata with bacon for breakfast. I was off to run errands, including getting an oil change for my car. In the past I would have stopped in at the local fast food restaurant for a breakfast sandwich (even if I wasn’t really hungry). But this time I took my bottle of water and a bag of almonds so I could snack while I waited.

Lunch was a Personal Trainer Food peppered chicken breast. I cut it up and served it on a bed of chopped romaine with blue cheese dressing and sunflower seeds.

My afternoon snack was an apple, walnuts and cheddar.

For dinner I made the kids pumpkin spice French toast and I made myself a Personal Trainer Food meal (Works burger with veggies). Later in the evening I snacked on a few slices of parmesan and salami.

Day 6-

Today I added broccoli to my egg and sausage breakfast, which helped to fill me up. Lunch was orange chicken and Venice veggie mix, which was tasty and satisfied the Chinese food craving!

Dinner was the very delicious Prime Rib fajita strips and Nantucket blend. It was a healthy portion of food and so good!

I saved my daily apple to have as an evening snack with some walnuts.

First week on Personal Trainer Food program. Find out the food, plan and how much I lost after week 1! #spon #PersonalTrainerFood

Day 7-

After my morning breakfast of egg and sausage, my 5-yr old son and I headed out to an early soccer game (he’s the player, I’m the coach!).

Came home and dined on Nantucket veggie mix and chicken bacon sticks which were so delicious, I had to share them with my son! I drizzled mine with some of the Sriracha butter sauce for a little kick.

Dinner was pork roast made on our smoker with steamed squash. I cut up my daily apple and put it in a coffee mug with a pat of butter. I sprinkled it with chopped walnuts and some artificial sweetener then microwaved it for a few minutes. Not quite like apple pie but still good!

Week One Results

Cravings & Habits

There were a few times during the week when I really had to pause before just randomly shoving food in my mouth! I was serving cereal for the kids and normally I’d nibble on the dry flakes. I stopped myself mid-trip to my mouth several times, I’m so used to eating without thinking. My family had bread during dinner so I sniffed it deeply instead of indulging in a bite!

I definitely had sweet tooth cravings on occasion this week. I saved my apple for those times so that I could have something sweet and crunchy. Willpower was strong though and I wasn’t tempted to cheat, even when my kids had ice cream!

Feelings & Mood

I’d read online how many who have done a Personal Trainer Food review that they suffer from headache, irritability or even a flu-like symptom, all a result of detoxing from the sugar and carbs. Fortunately I didn’t have ANY of these symptoms! I was actually extremely surprised because sugar and carbs were definitely my major food groups before starting this program.


Body Changes

I’m drinking TONS of water. At least 5x what I used to drink. Therefore I’m in the bathroom, a lot! Hoping this will balance out soon. Perhaps this is TMI but I think it’s important – I thought I might get some constipation from all the cheese and meat, however I’m actually having the opposite effect. I’m going once a day (usually it’s once every two days). Perhaps all the extra water and veggies are moving things along more than normal?

My clothing is fitting slightly looser. I’m chalking that up to loss of some of the bloat.

Final Results for WEEK ONE:

Weight lost – 4 lbs

Not sure if that’s mostly water weight at this point? But hey, 4 lbs off of me and I’m happy! On to week two…

Considering the Personal Trainer Food program?

Personal Trainer Food website – Check out the website and sign up for their newsletter to receive discount codes on the program!

Follow along with my Personal Trainer Food Review posts – here is the next post in the series.

Personal Trainer Food Review- I’m READY to Make Changes!

18 months ago I had my third (and last) baby. With home cooked meals, lots of veggies and moderate exercise, I was able to shed the “baby weight” and returned back to my pre-baby size within six months. However my pre-baby size is still about 20 lbs heavier than I should be.

After each of my kids, I was able to lose the weight I’d gained and have always gone right back to the same size. I’ve always just thought, “My body wants to be this weight!” I just can’t seem to reduce smaller than this, despite what I thought were good attempts.

But while I’ve tried diets that limit my caloric intake and increased my physical activity, I’ve never tried to eliminate some of the foods that are keeping the weight from budging. So yes, I fit back into my jeans, but I’m still not where I need to be.

Will the Personal Trainer Food program work for me, a busy mom over 40? #sponsored

At Disney World, April 2017. I’m the exact same size and weight now.

I received a complimentary box from Personal Trainer Food that included 28-days worth of meals and three butter sauces. All thoughts and opinions about this product are my own. Your results on the program may vary. Please note that my post contains affiliate links. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

My Usual Eating Patterns

My family and I eat 99% of our meals at home. I cook a good breakfast for my kids each morning, alternating oatmeal with apples, scrambled eggs with whole wheat toast or cereal with bananas. I might join my kids with this meal or just make an almond milk protein smoothie instead.

My kids eat lunch at school and I’m left to my own devices (which is not usually a very good thing!). Some days my lunch is yesterday’s dinner leftovers, other days it’s tortilla chips with guacamole, an apple with cheese and crackers or fast food that I pick up while I’m running errands.

At dinner, we always sit down together. Depending upon the day we might have grilled meat with baked potatoes and steamed veggies, nachos with refried beans, salsa and avocado or spaghetti with meatballs, broccoli, and a loaf of bread shared between us.

So most of the time I eat okay when I’m with my family. But left on my own, I make poor, simple carb-heavy choices every time. This body was built on pizza and doughnuts. I have the bad habit of wanting to end each meal with something sweet. Dessert, sweets and candy would be indulged in after each meal if I had my way. I’m seeing how the foods that I’m choosing are preventing me from losing the last 20 pounds that I’ve been carrying for over 20 years.

Personal Trainer Food Review Opportunity

When the opportunity arose to review Personal Trainer Food, I jumped at the chance. This seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to make some changes. Laying it all out there for my readers is a big incentive to stay on program and not to cheat!

Meals are high-protein, low-carb and high veggie. I received a 28-day box of food, which included breakfasts, lunch, and dinner as well as three bottles of special butter sauce. I’m on my own for snacks and I have a guideline of foods to follow.

Will the Personal Trainer Food program work for me, a busy mom over 40? #sponsored

I love that this program will be a no-brainer for me. Even when I’m home at lunchtime with the baby, there will be no question what I’m having for my meals. Just a minute or two in the microwave and I’ll have a filling, complete meal. I will be able to supplement with other “approved” weight loss foods for my snacks as well.

Receiving Your Box

Upon placing your order, you’ll receive an email that will tell you to make space in your freezer. They aren’t kidding! The 28 day Personal Trainer Food plan I received includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. This all needs to be stored in the freezer and it took up all but one shelf.

Will the Personal Trainer Food program work for me, a busy mom over 40? #sponsored

I separated my food, storing breakfast on the top shelf, meats on the middle shelf and veggies in the bottom bin and side doors. I’d suggest investing in some inexpensive plastic bins to hold it so you don’t have a frozen food avalanche each time you open your freezer!

Will the Personal Trainer Food program work for me, a busy mom over 40? #sponsored

One shelf left in the freezer…for my kid’s fish sticks & ice cream!

Pre-Diet Preparation

Before I started my Personal Trainer Food review, I wanted to get all those “cravings” out of my system. I happened to be on a press trip in the days leading up to starting my diet, so I ate quite a bit of pizza, warm chocolate chip hotel cookies and an occasional glass of wine. I knew that it would be a long time until I ate these foods again. I want to commit fully to the program so I do NOT want to cheat!

I also ate a big box of candy, which after the stomach ache kicked in, reminded me why I need to cleanse these foods out of my system. I was sluggish and sleepy. I know that my food choices are the reason why I just can’t get past this plateau and I’m ready to make the changes I need.

I’ve cleared out the fridge and cupboards of any of my temptation foods, so there’s nothing there that I might want to eat. With Halloween coming (and me being a candy fiend), I’m determined to avoid the mini candy bars at all costs. I’m looking forward to see how the Personal Trainer Food program works for me and can’t wait to share my reviews with you over the course of the next 4 weeks!

Follow along with my Personal Trainer Food Review posts – here is the next post in the series.

I highly recommend that you look at the Personal Trainer Food website and sign up for their email newsletter. There are great tips for weight loss as well as coupon codes to save you a lot on the program.

Just a Little Bit Crazy

I had a freak out this past weekend. I have a bad temper that only my husband and kids are “blessed” to witness. I’m ashamed to admit that. I yell. I throw things. I get over-the-top angry. I storm around, slamming doors and locking myself in the bathroom. Better to be locked behind a door with everyone else on the outside. I can’t hurt anyone’s feelings in there. I cry it out. I wash my face. My anger simmers down. And I come out, embarrassed.

I truly hate those angry flare ups. In the moment I’m certain that I’m right to have anger. It just seems to right. I have a point, damn it. Why do I have to yell, shout, cry and get MAD just to express myself?! I guess I don’t. Nobody HAS to get mad. But it feels like the right thing to do in the moment. Until afterwards, of course. When the dust settles and I realize that I truly freaked out and usually don’t even remember what it was that I was flipping out about.

A Little Bit Crazy

Sometimes I think I have a bit of a crazy streak and it scares me. Crazy tempers tend to run in the family. I’ve heard the stories and they aren’t pretty. My mom, wanting to break the pattern, used to scream, “Get out of the house!” when she was mad at me. She didn’t want to resort to spanking so it was better for her to make me leave. And I would, running out the front door to escape, letting the screen door slam behind me.

Knowing my mom now, the calm grandma who regularly has upwards of 5 kids in her house at one time, it’s hard to see the temper. I can’t remember the last time I saw her “crazy” surface. With time her temper has faded, with calm and patience smoothing over the crazy cracks.

I worry that the crazy temper has painted me in a unflattering light for my husband. He’s got a bit of the crazy in him (he’ll freely admit that, I’m not letting any skeletons out of the closet there). But it seems that when I’m around him lately every small slight becomes a major offense in my eyes. Every comment he makes to me is taken as a slap in the face. I’m challenged to breath deep and give myself internal time outs. But I’m struggling and it feels wrong to let everything go when in the moment, I’m hurting. In the moment, I feel like the wild animal that just needs to roar.

Why Do I Allow That Behavior?

I worry even more that my temper is becoming normal for my kids to witness. Would I ever let my kids stomp off, muttering unflattering words? Would I let my kids storm away from the table and lock themselves in the bathroom? Would I tell my kids it was okay to scream frustrations at the top of their lungs?

Nope. Not once would I ever let that sort of behavior slide from my kids. And yet, they witness Mom doing these things on the regular. It turns my stomach thinking about it and I hope it’s not too late. I pray that they haven’t picked up lifelong issues from seeing my temper flare in front of them.

I love my children. I love my husband. And I’m pretty sure that I’m not certifiably crazy. I’m totally able to control my temper when I need to. I don’t know why some days I’m a saint of patience around my family and other days I’m a caged tiger let loose, fangs flashing. Hormones? Pent up frustration? Who knows.

For many who know me and have never seen a speck of temper flare up in me, that’s proof – I am in control of my mood. So why do I feel so “comfortable” with my children and husband, those I love the most, that I would allow them to witness such a nasty side of me?

 

I’m ashamed to admit I let my temper go around the ones who love me most.

Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger. -James 1:19

Oh boy. That’s a hard one to take in. Nobody’s off the hook on that one – “Let every person”, He says. He doesn’t say anything about those who were offended, that it’s okay then to lash out. He doesn’t excuse moms who get mad when their husbands diss their cooking or the kids are misbehaving. He says, “Every person”.

Quick to Hear

Hearing isn’t the problem. I hear it all. I hear too much, in fact. I let what was actually said develop its own personality and twist into something totally different.

When I hear my husband say, “I saw some moms running together at the trail today”. What my brain processed was, “I saw moms running. Why aren’t you running? You should run, too. What’s stopping you from running? If you were running, maybe you’d be in better shape. Julie, I don’t respect you because you walk instead of run. Why did I ever marry a girl who doesn’t run?” My mind literally jumped from that simple comment to the commentary in my head and I could feel the burn of outrage flaring inside me.

Perhaps for me, “Quick to hear” should be hearing only what is said and not elaborating or embellishing in between the lines.

Slow to Speak

Notice “Slow to speak” comes before anger. Because if we carefully construct our words and take the time before speaking, the anger probably won’t develop at all. I feel like I very rarely stop before speaking. Perhaps it’s because I’m the mom of four and the chatter is astounding at times. I often feel like I’m having to talk above it, louder and faster to be heard. But I don’t think I’m being heard even with that tactic.

Perhaps not speaking at all will “speak volumes” instead? Maybe I need to learn to hold my tongue and let what it only truly mulled and processed release into speech.

Slow to Anger

I’m praying that by training myself on the first two points, anger will be slow to come or will not develop at all. I truly pray that the anger I’ve been feeling, that the madness, the crazy side of me fades into something that used to happen. And that all traces of “mom’s freak out” will be a thing of the past, not something that my children remember as life shaping.

I don’t think it’s too late to make amends on this. I don’t think it’s ever too late to make changes when you really want to. I’m so well loved. Even if my temper does flare occasionally. I’m well loved, even if I am a little bit crazy.

“This Time I Really Mean It” – The Good Health Snowball Effect

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and the Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #NourishOnTheGo #SnackWithPurpose #CollectiveBias

How many times I’ve said that phrase, “I’m going to get healthy this time, I really mean it!” Only to fall off the wagon as soon as a piece of chocolate cake crosses my path. Unfortunately chocolate cake seems to cross my path frequently and I’m off the wagon more than I’m on it! Now that I’m reaching my mid-40s and starting to see the effects that years of neglect (and too much chocolate cake) have done to me, I’m finally seeing the light. I’m making little changes for a big difference. I’m getting serious about my health and am pushing myself to finally make good on all the promises to improve my eating and exercise habits. This time, I really DO mean it.

These 5 little ways can help you meet your goals in a good health snowball effect. #NourishOnTheGo #ad

Odwall Chocolate Protein, a much better choice than cake!

Holding Myself Accountable

It’s easier to stick to my goals if I hold myself accountable. For me, that means choosing people I trust to lovingly nag me! Yeah, I probably don’t really want to hear the question, “Did you go to the gym today?” when I decided to skip going. But if I KNOW that someone is going to ask me every day, then I’m more likely to go. That way I can say, “Yep! Already went to the gym first thing in the morning!”. Opening up to people who can gently guide you towards your goals helps you to stay on track.

Healthy Living Tip#1 – Choose your inner circle of people whom you trust to lovingly ask you about your healthy journey. Choose one person for each task, someone to ask you about exercise, another to ask you if you ate a healthy breakfast, someone else to ask you if you’re drinking water. A text is good, a phone call is better and someone actually in your face is optimal (and not as easy to ignore!)

These 5 little ways can help you meet your goals in a good health snowball effect. #NourishOnTheGo #ad

Little Goals Are Still a Big Deal

Though of course I have the big picture in mind, setting smaller goals helps me stay focused. If I concentrate on losing 5 lbs at a time, this seems more “do-able” than the entire 25 I need to tackle. And if I remind myself that 30 minutes of moving is all I need daily, once I already have my gym clothes on I’m more likely to stretch that 30 minutes into an hour.

Healthy Living Tip#2 – Even if my goals are small, they’re still important to me. Set goals in manageable chunks so they seem easier to accomplish.

Make It Prominent for All to See

After years of breaking my healthy living promises, I don’t trust myself. It’s way too easy for me to hide the sweets and eat them all myself after everyone is in bed. It’s too easy to just let the exercise slide and soon enough, it’s been weeks since I put on my gym shoes. I’ve decided to make a checklist that I’m displaying on the fridge. Then everyone in the family can see it, good or bad.

Healthy Living Tip#3 – Sure, smart phone apps are handy for keeping track of this stuff, but it’s for your eyes only and too easy to hide. If I don’t have it on display for all to see, it’s way too easy for me to blow it off. Maybe you’re the same way? I have a check list on the fridge that outlines if I’ve exercised, how many cups of water I’ve had and my food log.

These 5 little ways can help you meet your goals in a good health snowball effect. #NourishOnTheGo #ad

Do the Same Thing Everyday

Getting into a healthy pattern takes practice. For me, it helps to do the same things day in and day out. Wake up and put on my gym clothes. Exercise before I can talk myself out of it. Eating a good breakfast is part of what I’ve added to my routine too. It’s easiest and most reliable for me to grab and go breakfast in the mornings. Having an Odwalla before I hit the gym ensures I have good nutrition in my body to sustain me for a workout.

Healthy Living Tip #4 – What are the things you can make routine? If you’re currently in a rut, how can you switch things up for repeat success?

The Good Health Snowball Effect

When I’m working out regularly I’m encouraged to eat better as well. I don’t want to ruin my workout by eating something that will cause me to backtrack. Having Odwalla on hand helps me to make the best choices when refueling.

These 5 little ways can help you meet your goals in a good health snowball effect. #NourishOnTheGo #ad

My local Vons has a large juice section in the fresh produce department with a fantastic variety of Odwalla 100% juices and smoothies, protein and almond milk shakes. Ingredients are non-GMO, have no added sugar and taste great. I had no idea there were so many varieties of Odwalla!

These 5 little ways can help you meet your goals in a good health snowball effect. #NourishOnTheGo #ad

Right now you can save on fresh cut fruit when you purchase any 2 Odwalla product at participating stores. I’m practicing good habits that have me reaching for fresh fruit instead of empty carbs.

These 5 little ways can help you meet your goals in a good health snowball effect. #NourishOnTheGo #ad

It’s so easy for me to stock up on Odwalla to have on hand. Then I just grab one after lacing up my gym shoes and drink it before my workout. 32 grams of protein in the Chocolate Protein Smoothie gives me long-lasting energy so I can push myself to meet (and exceed!) my goals. I’m eating better and exercising more; Which in turn makes me want to continue to give my body the good stuff (sorry, not sorry chocolate cake!).

Save $1 on your next purchase of in-store fresh cut fruit when you buy any TWO (2) Odwalla 15.2 fl. oz. (You’ll receive a print out coupon at the register.). Offer ends 10/31/2017.

These 5 little ways can help you meet your goals in a good health snowball effect. #NourishOnTheGo #ad

Teach Yourself Something New – What to Learn & How to Do It

I’m a learner. A figure-it-out-er. Not a school textbook kind of learner (sorry, Math!) but a hands-on, “I want to know how to do that” sort of gal. I believe it’s never too late in life to learn something new. And teaching yourself something new gives you the biggest emotional boost you can imagine!  You didn’t used to be able to do it but you took the time to teach yourself and NOW YOU CAN DO IT! Showing your kids you can teach yourself something is also a wonderful example for your children. Let’s talk about learning new things and how to go about teaching yourself something new.

Parts of this post originally appeared on my blog Painted Butterfly Studio in February 2012. Please note that this post contains affiliate links. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

Still Learning After All these Years

When I was about 7, the only bike I had access to was my dad’s rusty old bike from when he was a kid. It was a sturdy pink girl’s beach cruiser and Dad had used it to deliver newspapers. As the oldest of 8 kids, I’m sure he didn’t even care that it was pink, he had a bike!

And I didn’t care that it was rusty, had flat tires and weighed about 50 lbs. I had a bike!

I taught myself how to ride it in the backyard. I would lean the bike against the fence, climb up and perhaps get one or two pedals before I’d fall off. The bike was so large that I couldn’t actually sit on the cushion and reach the pedals at the same time. So I had to pedal standing up (I’m sure I had thighs like steel back then!).

I spent a full summer in the backyard, practicing on that old bike with the flat tires on the grass. Occasionally I’d call my mom outside to watch me.

For Christmas that year, I got my first new bike! It was beautiful. I remember that it was blue and had streamers from the handles. And a banana-seat! That morning my Dad was going to put the bikes in the trunk of the car and he said he would teach us how to ride them that afternoon at my aunt’s house.

“Dad, let me try and ride! I just know I can do it.”

He was hesitant. I remember my mom chimed in and said that I’d been practicing on his old bike in the backyard for months.

I swung my leg over the bike and took off pedaling. I remember how fast the bike was and how easy it was to pedal. After months of being on flat tires, this was it…I was riding!!

As I rode back towards my Dad, I remember his smile and how proud he looked. I’d done it. I’d put my mind to it and I’d taught myself, without anyone’s help. And that thought has carried with me my whole life.

What's the one thing you've always wished you could do? Here are practical tips & ideas on how to teach yourself anything!

Riding through the forest in the Czech Republic. Terrifying but glad I was able to do it!

Teaching Myself What I Want to Learn

When I wanted to learn how to knit, I got a pair of needles, some yarn and a book from the library and I taught myself. It was hard, especially because I’m a lefty and the book showed it from the right side. I had to reverse the directions in my head but I know how to knit a scarf!

When I want to try a new recipe, I buy the ingredients and I make it.  I took sewing lessons in high school to learn the basics. When I want to make an outfit, I tweak a little here and there on the pattern and I make it my own.

Practical Ways to Save Money on Groceries and Still Eat Healthy

As an adult and as a mom, I’m still learning, yes. And I hope that I’ll forever be learning. I know that there are tons of other things that I’d love to know how to do (play piano, bake bread from scratch and plant a garden). And I have many years ahead to learn them. NOTE  When I originally wrote this post in 2012, I’d written that I wanted to learn how to bake bread from scratch. I’m happy to note that I’ve since learned how to do this!

It’s just the start for my kids. I want to foster in them that they can be their own best teacher. That with determination, anything is possible. And I’m hoping that these little moments (like learning how to ride a bike) are the turning points in their life that it was in mine.­­­­­­­­

Teach Yourself Something New – What to Learn & How to Do It

Is there something you always wanted to learn? This is the time! Here are a handful of ideas on things you can learn NOW and tips on how to do it.

  • Playing the piano. If you don’t have a piano at home, start with a keyboard. There are online lessons or DVDs to watch that will teach you. Or if you need one-on-one, find a local piano teacher who can help you start with the basics.
  • As a seamstress, I hear from friends all the time that they wish they could sew. That’s easy – buy a simple sewing machine, some fabric and practice! There are plenty of simple, straight edged patterns you can follow (like pillowcases, tablecloth, elastic waist skirt or a blanket).


  • How to do a cartwheel. Or any gymnastics skill. Sorry to break it to you but as an adult, you’re more prone to injury if you aren’t already in tip-top shape.  I’m a tumbling teacher (I’ve been teaching at a local rec center for 20 years). You don’t want to just throw yourself around the living room or on the grass at the park to learn a tumbling maneuver. Your best bet is a local gymnastics school or YMCA that offers specific classes geared to adults.
  • Want to take beautiful photographs? You don’t even need the fanciest camera, just a few handy tips about lighting can help make a big difference. Find a book (I bought Digital SLR Cameras and Photography For Dummies)
  • Auto mechanic basics can not only save money, they come in handy during an emergency. At the least learning how to change a tire is a great thing!
  • I taught myself how to braid my own hair in high school but had a trickier time when it came to braiding my daughter’s! There are some really cool books and online videos with hair styling ideas.

  • Learning a new language can open up a whole new world! I’ve never been able to grasp languages myself but I had a friend who wanted to learn Italian so she took a class at a local community college.
  • Is there a kitchen skill you’ve always wanted to learn? There are so many fun cooking classes available that will teach basics like efficiently chopping onions! And of course a helpful cook book will help you expand your horizons and help you get creative.
  • Looking for enlightenment? Consider a Bible study at your local church, a small group discussion or find topics online that will help strengthen your spirit.
  • Always wanted to be an artist? If you make art, then you’re an artist! So grab a few supplies and start creating what comes to you. No need to obsess about perfection, just draw, paint or create what makes you happy (and don’t get wrapped up in Pinterest or a so-called “fail”!)


How to Learn

  • Ask around. Chances are you want to learn something and someone you know already knows how to do it. Perhaps you can trade skills?
  • The library is a great resource for books. They also sometimes conduct free classes.
  • Community college. If you can’t take a full course, many schools have weekend “crash” courses for a nominal fee.
  • YouTube and Google. The internet is your teacher. Type it in and you’re sure to find a tutorial or video.

What’s the one thing YOU’VE always wanted to learn? Share with me in the comments!

What's the one thing you've always wished you could do? Here are practical tips & ideas on how to teach yourself anything!

5 Back to School Season Routines Moms Can Adopt for Themselves

I was on Pinterest last night and saw a Pin description that caught my eye. It said, “How Moms Can ROCK Back to School Season”.

Naturally the post was about lunch packing tips, best school supplies to purchase and streamlining the morning routine. Pinterest Mom rocks the school year by making sure things are smooth sailing for the kids and that the home routine is awesome. You know, cutely cut sandwiches in the lunch box. Crock Pot meals ready by 5. Adorably coordinated outfits and sweetly braided hair.

And of course, there’s the opposing player to the perfect rockin’ Pinterest-type mom. That’s the mom who doesn’t give a damn if her kid doesn’t have lunch with each food group represented. She’s just happy her kid remembered to bring his lunch box home and it wasn’t left at the lunch table. Dinner? You realize that we just had breakfast and you want me to think about dinner already? No cute outfits here because the teen refuses to wear anything you bought her at the back to school sales and hasn’t styled her hair since she was 10.

How are YOU Rockin’ Back to School Season

Okay, so extremes aside, I think most of us fall somewhere in the middle. You probably have a little bit of both mom-types in you. Maybe you’re awesome with the dinner planning. Or packing precious Bento box school lunches makes your creativity flag fly. I’ve written a post about streamlining the morning school routine myself. (I’ll freely admit that I’m rockin’ the morning routine. No late kids on my shift!)

How can moms REALLY rock back to school season? Here are a few ways I'm taking back "back to" season for myself!

But the post got me thinking, “How can moms really rock this season?” Sure, it’s back to school time for the kiddos. But this season shouldn’t focus on just the kids. How can moms go “back to school”? What can we learn? What can this season do for us? With the return of routine, this is the perfect opportunity to refresh and revise your own routines as well.

Or maybe it’s “back to” something else? Something that’s been lost along the years, while you were cutting bologna sandwiches into stars. Back to work? Back to the side hustle? Back to reading novels before bed? What is something you used to enjoy, something that you need to be doing, that stopped.

And so, on the eve of back to school day, I’m sharing a five ways I’m getting reading for this “back to” season. But first, getting prepped.

Please note that I use affiliate links in my posts. Clicking through and placing an order helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

Prepping for “Back to” Season with New School Supplies – Just for MOM!

When I picked up the kid’s school supplies, I picked up something for myself too. I bought a pretty, colorful binder, clear page protectors and good pens. I’m hiding it all in my desk so nobody will nab it (because all the good pens seem to disappear!)

I skipped the store and ordered directly from Target online. And really, any time I can shop online and not have to take all four hooligans into the store with me, the better! Plus Target price matched in store and gave me the lowest price automatically. I loved just being able to pick up my stocked bags at the front desk and be on my way.

How can moms REALLY rock back to school season? Here are a few ways I'm taking back "back to" season for myself!

I’ve found a few practical printables and added them to my folder. My “back to” season includes keeping better track of my ME time. Because if I don’t take care of myself, I’m not going to be any good for anyone else. What are 5 things you’ll dropped that you’d like to pick back up this season. Here are mine:

1. Back to an Exercise Routine

I’m not saying I didn’t exercise this summer, but I certainly tossed my routine out the window as soon as the kids were out of school. I have goals and this time next year, I plan to have smashed those goals. Honestly the only way I’m going to do that is with regular, challenging exercise. Writing things down and sticking to the routine is important. So while my teens will be running the track at school PE, I’ll be working out at the gym or at home during the baby’s nap time.

Shared from Printable Crush on Pinterest (click to Pin)

2. Back to a Bedtime Routine

Kids have their bedtime…and so should I! My husband has been working nights this summer, which has meant I’ve been staying up later than usual to work. 2:00 am is okay when I can sleep in a bit. But not so great when the school day alarm goes off at 6 am. I know that I feel better, am in a better mood and am more likely to eat healthy and exercise when I’m well rested. I need to get to bed no later than 11 pm (the dark circles under my eyes told me so).

3. Back to Budgeting (Time and Money)

While my kids are budgeting their time to complete projects, I’m doing the same. I find that I do much better with getting my “to-do” list done when I write it all out and check off things as they are completed.

We had some fun day trips this summer but now it’s time to tighten the purse strings. I have two kids with birthdays and of course the holiday season to look forward to this year. Time to revisit the budgeting plan and get serious about savings.

From Chasing Foxes on Pinterest (Click to Pin)

4. Back to Healthy Eating

A friend cut cheese out of her diet this year and her skin cleared up. I’ve been breaking out and wondering if dairy could be the issue? But then, “No pizza?! No nachos?!” Another friend eliminated carbs. Again, “No pizza?!” No nachos?!” Can you tell what I’ve been surviving on all summer?

I’m going to start my food diary. I’ve done this in the past, logging everything I eat. I’ve been able to see exactly where I’m going wrong (too many late afternoon snacks) and what foods are giving me trouble.

I’m also getting back in to meal planning. I hate that last minute scramble for dinner that usually means nachos! I want to make sure I’m feeding my family healthy and well-balanced meals. Meal planning and conscious grocery shopping will help.

Shared from I Heart Planners on Pinterest (Click to Pin)

5. Back to Quiet Time with Meditation and Prayer

10 minutes a day. That is seriously not that much time to etch out but I always seem to forget until right before I fall into bed, exhausted. I’m adding prayer to my calendar this season. It’s important. It’s necessary. And it keeps me on track for all the other things I’m working on.

What are 5 “back to” things you’d like to incorporate this season? Share, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

How can moms REALLY rock back to school season? Here are a few ways I'm taking back "back to" season for myself!