There’s so much to talk about…

Hey Folks:

It has been a really long time since we last chatted and to
be honest, this year has been filled with lots of changes. Since my last post I’ve
changed full time jobs, sent a kid to college, turned 40, changed side gigs and
celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary. We’ll go through each of
those items one by one and I’ll catch you up.

As you may remember, I was pretty stressed out with work for
a long time. This stress caused me to really rethink what was important in my
life and whether or not most things were worth it. In the end, I decided to
apply for a position that was actually in my degree field, health and wellness,
and I got it. I’m now just one week shy of my one year anniversary. The thing
is, no job is perfect, and yes, while I have less stress in some areas, there
are other things that I am getting accustomed to. This doesn’t mean that I am
heading for the hills, but I am determined to never allow myself to get to the
level of frustration that I felt before. I’m grateful that I am able to work in
health and wellness and hope that I am able to impact lives the way that I
would like to.

My oldest daughter graduated high school and left for
college which meant that this year was filled with an enormous change in my
role as a parent. Now I try to be more of a “consultant” as she begins to
navigate adulthood. There are things that she does that I don’t necessarily
agree with, but it’s all part of her learning/growing phase, and I suppose it’s
part of mine too. She’s doing well and heading into her second year and I can
certainly say that I am so proud of the young woman that she’s turning into.

Turning 40 has been a complete and total whirlwind. There
has been something about it that I’m truly starting to like most everything
about it. I honestly think that my time leading up to 40 has put almost all of
the other major changes in my life in perspective and likely prompted a few of
them. There has been something about it that I can’t quite put my finger on it,
but I think it has to do with knowing what I’m about, knowing what I stand for,
and no longer being willing to accept less than I deserve. I’m giving myself
permission to dream again. And not little dreams either, big dreams. I don’t
want a big house filled with stuff (you have to clean it, or pay someone else
to), I don’t want a bunch of fancy clothes (I’m not a fancy person and while I
like to dress up on occasion, I don’t need all that, I’m not trying to impress
anyone), what I want is a life filled with experiences. The ability to go and
do the things that bring me joy without having to ask anyone for permission. If
you are someone who enjoys the big house and fancy clothes, go for it. I’m not
saying it’s wrong, it’s just wrong for me.

On the note of giving myself permission to dream big, I
chose to change my side gig. Initially I signed up to be a coach through
Beachbody for a few reasons, 1. It was in health and wellness, 2. It gave me
the ability to work on my own fitness while helping others, and 3. I saw it as
an opportunity to provide additional income and potential financial freedom for
my family. Fast forward nearly 2 years and I was never quite able to advance in
rank. I’m not blaming anyone but myself because I struggled to get comfortable
with approaching people about their fitness goals. Yes, I work in health and
wellness, but that doesn’t mean that I am able to easily walk up to someone and
chat with them about a fitness program. The other thing was that while I had
the programs and shakes available, many people chose to either order them
directly from Beachbody (ie, the infomercials with the special payment plans)
or they were getting stuff off of Amazon. All of that made me lose interest in working
that business. I believed in network marketing, I just couldn’t make it happen
with that particular product.

Fast forward to this February and I started seeing posts
from former team mates about wine and how they were in the WINE BUSINESS.
Eventually I asked for more information. When I reviewed the info and got on
the phone to discuss it further, I knew that it was a no brainer. This business
model and product just made since. Also, I am actually starting to have success
in this business because other people see where this can go. This is the one
business that I have tried that I truly believe that I can be successful at and
begin to free myself and my family, from the chains of financial bondage. This
is the business that with a little hard work, I will create a legacy for my
family. This is the business that I can use to help other gain their own financial
freedom.

My hubby and I celebrated our 20th Wedding
Anniversary and while the first 20 has been good, our plans for the next 20
will knock your socks off. A lot of it has to do with getting on the same page
about what we want and how we plan to obtain it. Now that we are mostly there, we
can begin to make the necessary changes in order to move towards the life that
we want to lead and to be able to Live Life on Our Terms. Again, the life that
we are working towards has nothing to do with adding more “stuff”, it is about
having the ability to live life to the fullest. I’m so glad that we want to do
this together and that we are creating a plan of action to get there. 

Jess

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Shrimp, tomatoes, and spinach pasta

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Hi Folks,

So today I made a super yummy dinner that was quick and easy. I’m thankful for easy because I am exhausted and just want to go to sleep. The next time I make it I’ll be sure to actually write down measurements because I tend to freehand everything and apply the little bit of this, little bit of that technique. It’s not good for sharing recipes  (because I typically don’t use one, or if I do, I alter it), but I’ll get better. I promise.

Ingredients:
-1 lb of shrimp, peeled and deveined
-Olive oil
-Butter
-Garlic
-Old Bay
-Tomatoes, I used a variety of cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
-Spinach
-1 pkg. of whole wheat pasta, cook according to package directions

Warm the oil and butter. Add the shrimp and garlic and cook until done. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside. Add tomatoes and spinach to the pan, cook until tomatoes create a sauce. Add shrimp back to the pan and remove pan from heat. Serve immediately with pasta.

Like I said, next time I’ll be sure to write down the particulars. My family always asks me if I wrote down what I did and I never do. I’ve got to start doing better.

Jess

Square Foot and Container Gardening

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Hi Folks

So it’s getting close to planting time for me! In fact, I am currently finishing up my garden plans for this year and will be ready to start putting some of the cool weather friendly plants and seed in the ground within the next week.

I’ve been gardening using raised beds for a few years and for a while I was using a blend of regular dirt and some garden soil blends, but nothing really fancy.  I chose raised beds because of their supposed ease of use.  I was promised no major digging, or having to turn the soil like you would if you were planting directly into the ground however this simply was not the case.  With the dirt blend that I had, I had clumps of rock hard soil that I had to break up just like I would if I had an in-ground bed.  My yields weren’t spectacular either so I was ready for a change.

I started to research Square Foot Gardening to see what it was all about based on something that I saw on Pinterest (yup, I’m one of those crazy pinners, lol).  I could find bits and pieces of information online but I didn’t get a lot of definitive information until I found the book “All New Square Foot Gardening” by Mel Bartholomew.  In his book he discusses everything from how to build the box (which I had), what blend to use, how many plants of any specific type you can out in any Square Foot (i.e. 16 onions or 1 pepper plant), when to plant, etc… This book gave you any little bit of information that you could ask for to start using a Square Foot Garden.

From my experience with this, especially when considering what I was using before, I LOVE IT!!!  SFG has completely revolutionized how I plant my garden.  I get a ton more in my yields, and as soon as I’m done using a Square foot I can immediately allocate that space to plant something else.  It’s so much easier to plant because I don’t have to dig in the ground; with “Mel’s Blend” I can just push it out of the way with my hand and plant.  No more digging, no more turning (I’ll use a hard rake to fluff it back up a little after this winter), I will be completely ready to go with little effort.

I have 6 beds, 5 of which are available to be used for SFG, the other one has strawberries and if you’ve ever planted them you know that they have a mind of their own and refuse to be confined to a mere square foot, J however I am debating on whether or not to take those out his year and use the bed for something else. Each of my beds is 3’x5’ giving me roughly 15 sq. ft. in each bed to play with.  My garden will consist of plants that I’ll purchase as well as items that I’ll start from seed.  The plants are always super easy to just plop down in the blend and let them do their thing.

This year I also plan to add more container planting to my mix. Doing this will allow me the flexibility to move plants around if I feel like they aren’t getting sufficient sunshine. My plan is to get some buckets and bins to plant things in. Will it be the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen in a backyard? Not at all, but my goal is not about having a backyard that is aesthetic beautiful, but instead, have one that serves a purpose. That purpose happens to be providing healthy, fresh, and yummy food for my family to enjoy for the summer, and if I have more than I can handle at any given time, I will share with friends and neighbors and learning to can so that I can enjoy MY food for a longer period of time.

Many people are really nervous about gardening but it’s actually pretty simple. Plants generally only need food, water, and sun. Nothing fancy, just simple things. The other thing is that by using containers, gardening is accessible to people who have very little outside space. In fact, fresh herbs can be grown indoors by a window.

I am, by no means, an expert at gardening, but many members of my family have grown food for many years. I can remember going to my great grandfathers and looking at his neat rows of food planted in the backyard. There was little to no yard (play) space, it was all allocated to the garden. My grandmother has always kept a small garden (which my brother has taken over and is very successful with). My mom has always had one too. The example that has always been set for me is that it’s a good thing to grow your own food and to have that connection with your food and the earth beneath you. My husband and teenage kids love going out to the garden and getting tomatoes or whatever else they want, when they want it. I definitely appreciate the lessons that I’ve learned from my family and the love and respect that I have for my little plot of land. It’s such a blessing.

Happy Planting!

Jess

What’s Going On!

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Hi Folks:

So let me start out by saying that I completely and totally apologize for being MIA for the last few months. Life has been filled with so many ups and downs that I’m just grateful that I’ve made it this far. Now I won’t say that all of it is over with, but I am starting to gain a better sense of clarity through all of this. This is the deal; I can’t allow all of the stresses from work or any other section of life make me so stressed out that I let it impact how I interact with my loved ones. Life is so precious and the time that I have with my loved ones is precious as well. I cannot and will not allow challenges to impact my family life. Work will be there and if something happens to me, I can and will be replaced. Heck, I could be replaced even if nothing happened to me. My family will always need me and it is vital that I give them the best version of me.

Needless to say, all of this stress has not been good, mentally, physically, and especially from a weight loss and nutrition perspective. Stress eating has been in overload mode and I absolutely have to figure out the best way to reign this in. Cold turkey won’t work because I will lose it in a week and end up in the middle of a pile of junk food somewhere. So where does that leave me? Trying to find a perfect balance between healthy eating and occasional treats. Will it be easy, nope! Will it be worth it, absolutely!

I have to give the very best version of me to my family, the people that I care about and those who care about me. My best version is strong, healthy, with clarity of mind, not stressed out and eating way too much. It’s done, I’m over it, I’m moving on. I have some things inside me that I really want to begin working on and all of the noise, all of the drama, and all of the nonsense that I continue to allow in is not leaving me room to do those things. No more! I am choosing to get my health right and work on my other things.

Prior to my 39th birthday I had a great deal of hope going into this last year of my 30’s, but as my birthday came and went, so did my zeal and my plan on how this year would be epic. I have just over 6 months until I turn 40 and I had a goal to make some things happen before then. I guess there’s no time better than right now to push for the life that I want.

Jess

Change of Plans

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Hi Folks:

So my original plan was to finish P90X3 then move on to The Master’s Hammer and Chisel in January, however I decided to go ahead and change my plans and start Hammer and Chisel on this past Monday. If you haven’t heard about it yet, this is the new Beachbody program from Beachbody trainers Autumn Calabrese and Sagi Kalev.

Why I chose this program:

Simply put, I enjoy a challenge! I love workouts that tax my mind and my body and push me to be my very best. I get bored easily so the daily variety is helpful. This program also includes portion fix containers and a meal plan to assist in the ever important nutrition aspect of your wellness journey.

I am a week into my program and I absolutely love it so far. Partially because of the short workouts but also because the nutrition is easier once you plan out your week and prepare ahead of time, limiting any surprises.

Beginning January 4, I will be hosting a 60 day accountability and challenge group to start the New Year off right. The group will feature the Master’s Hammer and Chisel plus Shakeology, however you can use any Beachbody program. I just want you to use the program that best suits you and that you can commit to completing.

This will not be a time to quit on ourselves, but rather a time to commit to our health and well-being. Taking the 30-40 minutes a day to workout is an easy way to begin to prioritize yourself and not allow the challenges of daily life to get in the way of you living your best life.

If you’re interested in joining the challenge group and want to get your copy of The Master’s Hammer and Chisel, click the link below:

http://www.teambeachbody.com/checkout/-/bbcheckout/challengepack/hammer-chisel?referringRepId=782033

Remember to order by December 14th to receive by Christmas (with standard shipping) and December 21st to receive by New Years (with standard shipping).

Jess

3 – Day Refresh – Day 3 Recap

Hi Folks,

Today, like yesterday was pretty good. My energy levels were higher and can’t complain at all.
Here’s what I ate:
Breakfast: Greenberry Shakeology with strawberries

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Mid morning: Fiber Sweep
Lunch: Lemon Pepper Cauliflower with 1/2 pear and Vanilla Fresh Shake

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Mid afternoon: no snack,  not hungry
Dinner: Vegetable stir fry with Vanilla Fresh Shake.

How I feel:
I’m feeling pretty good. Not as tired at all.  I’m sleeping well too, which I’m grateful for because that can be a challenge. I’m also happy to report that I’m down another 1.8lbs. Now just waiting to see my final numbers in the morning. 

Jess

3 – Day Refresh: Day 2 Recap

Hi Folks:

What a difference a day makes!

I’m so glad that today was so much better than yesterday. 

Today I ate:

Upon waking: Water

Breakfast: Vanilla Shakeology and 1/2 Apple

Mid-morning: Fiber Sweep

Lunch: Curried cauliflower, 1/2 apple with almond butter, Vanilla Fresh Shake

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Mid Afternoon Snack: Wasn’t hungry!

Dinner: Salad, no dressing, with Vanilla Fresh Shake (no pic, sorry)

I also drank a lot of water and some tea.

How I feel:

Today I feel great. No headache and my energy levels are coming back up. 

Total loss so far: 1.4 lbs

Feeling great!

Jess

3 – Day Refresh: Day 1 Recap

Hi Folks:

So day 1 of my refresh is in the books. I’m so excited that I started this and I know that as long as I can remain consistent and stay the course, the results will come.:)

First let’s talk about what I ate today:

Upon waking: Water

Breakfast: Chocolate Shakeology and 1/2 Apple

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Mid-morning: Fiber Sweep

Lunch: Lemon pepper broccoli, Vanilla Fresh Shake, and the other 1/2 apple

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Mid Afternoon Snack: Carrots and Hummus (forgot to snap a pic, sorry)

Dinner: Steamed Coconut Veggies (Carrots, Cauliflower, and Broccoli), Vanilla Fresh Shake, and broth

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I also drank a lot of water and some tea, in fact I’m not done so I guess I’ll be up tonight going to the potty.

How I feel:

Overall I’m feeling okay. I’m not feeling overly hungry which is great. I have a little bit of a headache, probably because of the lack of caffeine. I’m also a little tired and I’ll be doing a little bit of yoga as my exercise for the day. I’m not feeling as bloated as I did before. I’m really hoping that tomorrow is a bit easier and I can pick up where I left off on my exercise.

Feeling good!

Jess

My 3-Day Refresh starts tomorrow!

Hi Folks:

So with yesterday being a pretty busy day starting with picking out fixtures for my bathroom remodel, picking up a few last minute baking supplies for my cupcakes, baking more cupcakes than I’ve ever made before, and attending my daughter’s volleyball banquet I forgot to mention that I got my 3-Day Refresh in the mail.

I’m planning out my meals so that I can be successful on the 3 days and will be starting it tomorrow. I think that the hardest challenge will be the lack of coffee but I’ve been preparing for that by drinking half decaf in my morning cup so that I don’t experience an extreme decrease in my caffeine intake and get a headache. I will be having green tea, which does contain some caffeine, in it’s place.

Before we get to far, you may be asking what a 3-Day Refresh is.

The 3-Day Refresh is a program designed to help you kick start your health and nutrition efforts and help you make a break from your negative habits. For me this is important because I’ve been a bit off for a while and I need that extra push to get me going.

Check out this quick video about the Refresh:

http://beachbodycoach.com/esuite/home/JessicaMarie76?bctid=3591210905001

What do you get in the pack:

During the 3-Day Refresh I’ll be enjoying 3 daily shakes, a fiber drink, fruits, veggies, healthy fats and plenty of water. All of this is designed to keep you full and keep your energy levels up and metabolism cranking. The kit contains Shakeology, Fiber Sweep, and Vanilla Fresh (a protein rich shake). It also comes with an easy to follow guide that gives you step by step instructions for completing the 3 days and if you have everything that you need, there is no way to mess this up.

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For the next 3 days I will be completing the following:

Wake-up: Drink 8-12 oz of water

Breakfast: Shakeology + a fruit option

Mid-morning: Fiber Sweep

Lunch: Vanilla Fresh Shake + Fruit + Veggie + Healthy Fat

Afternoon Snack: Veggie + Healthy Fat

Dinner: Vanilla Fresh Shake + a meal from the dinner recipes + Organic veggie broth (optional)

You are encouraged to drink half your body weight, in ounces, of water every day to help with the increased fiber intake.

I will also be completing mild to moderate exercise during my refresh, nothing super strenuous.

I’m pretty excited about giving this a try and will be documenting my daily results here. Stay tuned!

Jess

Every. Single. Day!

Hi Folks:

Since becoming a Beachbody Coach a few months ago I’ve learned a few things.

  1. Just because I’m a coach doesn’t mean that I will automatically get “skinny”.

We live in a society that really loves the idea of instant gratification. Meaning, we love the idea of losing 40 pounds overnight. I say that in jest, but the reality is that we really do look for so many ways to short cut the process. I’ll be the first to admit that I would love for the process to go so much faster than it has, but without my struggle, I know that I won’t appreciate my changing body the way that I should. Yes, I fluctuate quite a bit, but I’m working towards being better, doing better, and teaching better on a regular basis, and I’m ok with that.

  1. Just because I’m a coach doesn’t mean that I will never crave sweet and salty treats.

I do crave sweets from time to time. This is usually a result of stress, hormones, or boredom. Being a coach doesn’t make me immune to these pressures, I just have to make a conscious choice to do what’s right for my body. It is ok to indulge from time to time, but that occasional indulgence cannot turn into a daily recurring activity.

  1. Just because I’m a coach doesn’t mean that every single day I’ll “feel” like working out.

There, I said it. I DO NOT always want to work out and there are some days that I have to literally force myself and others where it simply may not happen. That said, I try to limit how many days I skip workouts because it doesn’t benefit me in any way to sit and do nothing. Change doesn’t happen by wishing for it. I have to get up and do it.

  1. Just because I’m a Beachbody coach, I do have access to some of the most amazing fitness programs, nutrition and support.

Being a Beachbody coach has opened my eyes to the impact of home fitness programs. I used to not be able to motivate myself to push through a program and actually complete it. However, since becoming a coach I have completed 21 Day Fix twice and I’m chipping away at P90X3. The daily dose of nutrition that I get from Shakeology can’t be beat! I’ve tried a lot other shakes before and nothing compares to what I get and how I feel from using Shakeology. As far as the support, I’ve typically not been one to share a lot on social media but because of coaching, I’ve been way more active and guess what, people are cheering me on the whole way. Accountability is huge with Beachbody and I have met some pretty cool people that I would have never come in contact with if I hadn’t made the decision to start coaching. I also have access to great mentors who are helping me develop my business. The access that I have to people who are making it work is incredible.

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I named this post “Every. Single. Day!” because we are a direct results of our actions every single day. Every day we decide how we are going to respond to external pressures that try to come at us. Every day we decide whether or not to prepare healthy foods ahead of time or risk falling into the trap of fast food. Every single day we decide whether or not we are going to get up off the couch and press play!

A few days ago I shared on Facebook that I would be starting a 3-Day Refresh as soon as I got it in the mail. I’m not doing it to lose a few extra pounds in a few days, I’m doing it because my body needs to regroup and I need to recharge my metabolism. I’ve been stressed for a few weeks and because of that stress, I’ve indulged in more junk than I should have. Now that things are starting to normalize, it’s time to get my nutrition back in order and I’m using the Refresh to kick start that process. So, every single day through my Refresh, I’ll be sharing my progress and keeping you up to date.

Also, today is day one of a DietBet with a few other coaches. The goal is to lose 4% of my body weight by the end of the month (including the feast of all feasts, Thanksgiving) so that I can possibly get some cash. While I won’t post my daily progress for the month, I will be checking in weekly so that you can see just how well I’m doing. I’ll share what I feel like works and what doesn’t. I recently started the 2nd Block of P90X3 and I’m really enjoying it. Its 30 minutes of whatever torture Tony Horton decides on but I’m having fun. So much fun that I noticed that my weights were getting a little light so I had to go out and get some more. That’s what I love about these programs, you have to write down where you are and how it feels and if you need more, it’s easy, increase your weights. A little bit at a time is good, not jumping from 8 pound weights to 20 pounders, but gradual increases make a huge difference in how well your body responds.

I have a few other big things in the works for the month of November that I’m pretty pumped about, mostly because I know that I’m making the necessary changes to set myself up for success in the coming year.

Continually striving for progress and not trying to be perfect. Every. Single. Day!

Jess