Category Archives: My Ideas

Chopped Salads For All! :)

I LOVE the chopped salads at Subway… and NOW…. I can make them at home thanks to my new OXO Salad Chopper!




As soon as it arrived, I was ready to test it out! The only thing on hand was a salad kit!


It is super easy to use… and it didn’t take any time at all!



While we are on the topic of SALADS…. I wanted to share this other idea also…

I don’t know how many heads of lettuce I have thrown away in my lifetime. I was probably over thinking things in terms of how to properly store lettuce. Several years ago, I found out about the salad spinner and began using it to store lettuce for use during the week.  After washing and tearing lettuce into bite sized pieces, place it all in the spinner.

After spinning it for about 30 seconds to a minute… you are left with this…

Discard all of the juices and store your lettuce in the salad spinner.  It makes it really convenient to add lettuce to your meals throughout the week. Simple and easy! (Mine is the OXO Brand)

Click HERE to learn more about the Salad Chopper!

Click HERE for info on the Salad Spinner!

Give Up?

My son Kody loves to invent things… tinker with circuits… build… & use his imagination!



Last week, he took a seasonal Coke bottle from the grocery store and turned it into a “lighted globe”! I was so impressed! This was one of his most unique creations…..  We posted it to Facebook and smiled each time we got a “comment” or “like”! He loves to read what people say!



The next day… something went wrong with the circuit and it no longer worked. He tried to fix it over and over again, but the damage was permanent. Out of frustration he pulled it apart and crumpled the bottle. I could tell he was REALLY upset about it!



He had spent his own money on this project and he felt like he had WASTED $10. There wasn’t really anything I could do about the situation… but I tried to look for a teaching moment.



Because of my blog and my weight loss journey… my boys hear a lot about working out, losing weight, gaining weight, healthy recipes, cheat meals, etc… They’ve heard me talk about needing to “get back on track”…. or “my clothes are tight & I have nothing to wear”… etc. They are always the first ones to compliment me on my progress. They love me right now no matter what! They encourage me to keep trying and to never give up. So I used this opportunity to encourage him.

I told him how proud I am of him for always being so curious. For always thinking of FUN things to build. I told him that I recognize how hard he works to figure things out. I am so impressed daily by his imagination. I told him it would be REALLY sad if he quit. If he just gave up on himself. I know that he has it in him to fix this project. I told him Grandma wants a “lighted globe” for Christmas and I would help him!

I know it’s a simple story… and it’s not that profound… but I think there really is a lesson to be learned.

Sometimes “life” happens. You experience a setback… you get off course & things don’t go as planned. You get busy and distracted from your goals.


Remember this:




4 Fave Tools

These are the tools that I use to help me stay OR more recently get back on track.

First and foremost, the iPhone app dietSNAPS, my visual journal of the foods that I consume. Not only does it help me to want to eat more fruits and veggies, but it reminds me how important it is to eat every 3 hours. And I really do have to stop and think about what I am about to eat…. would I rather have a picture of junk food?? Or something healthy??



I’ve also started this new habit… I have a mini dry erase board on my fridge. In the mornings, I will jot down the foods that I want to eat for the day. As I go throughout the day, I will erase things as I eat them. It’s been kind of fun and different. I don’t always eat the foods in the order that I write them out… it depends on the time I have or the mood I’m in! And because I can erase them… I can change my mind if necessary! 😉



I’ve said this before, but I like to print out a calendar from HERE at the beginning of each month and tape it to my mirror. At night, after I brush my teeth, I will usually write in my work outs on the calendar and cross out the day. It helps keep things in perspective for me. This is a lifestyle…. I’m in it for the long haul.


Another tip is to write out some “go to” foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’m not saying that these are the only things you can ever eat… I’m just talking about the times when you are in a funk and you don’t know what to eat. Nothing sounds good. You don’t want to have to stress out about what you are eating…. In times like that, I will go to my cabinet and scan through the list to find something that sounds good and is easy to prepare.  Seems like no matter how long I have been eating this way, I still have days where I don’t know what to eat… This list helps. It reminds me of things I may have forgotten…. I think it’s a good idea to update the list from time to time.

Work Outs

I thought it would be fun to show you some of the work out machines I like to use.  I really enjoy working out… It’s especially fun when I’m able to do so with friends!


Cybex ARC Trainer

My old gym had the ARC trainer.  I have missed using this machine as an alternative to a regular elliptical.  It has a completely different feel to it….
(That’s not me in the pic…. haha… although I’ll take her arms!)


TRUE CS800 Elliptical

The elliptical is my “go to” for cardio at the gym.
I haven’t been doing as much weight training as I should.  I do take a Body Pump class once or twice a week.  Classes are great, I love them. It’s a great way to get a full body weight training work out.
Running With My Garmin
And then there’s regular running… which I really really enjoy!  I love exploring new paths and neighborhoods.  I really like to run first thing in the morning as the sun is coming up… usually I get started about 6:00am.  With my Garmin… I can go any which way I want… and it will keep track of my mileage and pace.
I’m pretty much open to trying anything new.  These are just the things I’ve been doing lately.


I have always enjoyed running as a form of exercise. When I was in high school, I remember our basketball coach encouraging us to always be conditioned to run 2 miles. For some reason, I remembered that and tried to incorporate running into my everyday life. Even when I was at my heaviest weight, I would go running. (okay … you may have called it jogging … haha!)
I always dreamed of running a full 26.2 mile marathon. It seemed impossible and unattainable. I never even knew anyone personally that had completed such a task. One year, a very close friend of mine trained for and completed a full marathon. I knew then that I wanted to do the same. Rumor has it that if you can run 3 miles… you can run a marathon. I was up for the challenge. I looked around online and chose a training plan to follow. After many months and as the race day approached… someone in our running group said that the most important thing to do is “Trust Your Training!” Running a marathon is very much a mental challenge. He reminded me that my body was conditioned and ready for the race… and I needed to trust it. I believe this same principle can be applied to anything!
What is it that you are trying to accomplish? Have you made your decision yet?
If it is something you truly want to achieve then get excited about it!! Believe it will happen! Focus on those positive emotions that you feel when you think about reaching your goal! What would your life be like if you actually accomplished it!!!???
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined!” -Thoreau
Find people who have accomplished similar things! Learn from them. What mistakes did they make? What things worked for them? Would those same things help you? What eventually brought them success? Experiment. Don’t be afraid to fail. As you try different things and ask questions… you may learn a new approach. Ideas may come to you and you might find a better way of doing things.
Jack Canfield said “Think of a car driving through the night. The headlights only go a hundred to two hundred feet forward, and you can make it all the way [home] driving through the dark, because all you have to see is the next two hundred feet. And that’s how life tends to unfold before us. If we just trust that the next two hundred feet will unfold after that, and the next two hundred feet will unfold after that, your life will keep unfolding. And it will eventually get you to the destination of whatever it is you truly want, [simply] because you want it.”
Things may not go according to your plan. But things will work out. I believe if you are truly passionate about your dreams and desires, and if it is in your best interest… it will happen.
I was listening to a talk by Brad Wilcox several days ago. He was talking to his wife about the fact that we all experience ups and downs. He asked her, “When will I just have a good day? When will life just level out? When will I make it through the day without all these ups and downs?” She, being a nurse said something that really made him think. And I think it was the perfect answer…
She said, “When they hook you up to the heart monitor- you don’t want a straight line. That’s actually the bad news. It’s the up and down lines that let you know you’re alive. It’s the up and down lines that let you know you are participating and not just observing. It’s the up and down lines that let us know that we are learning and progressing and not just vegging and existing.”
I couldn’t help but think of our weight loss charts!  All the up and down lines…  Those lines represent weeks and weeks of learning, experimenting, struggling, succeeding, failing, and ABOVE all…. not giving up!  Keep fighting the good fight…  you will succeed!
And in your biggest Texan accent…. “Trust Your Trainin’!”
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Your Mindset

Mindset… we change from the outside in.

Think of a Target. Imagine going from the outer rings to the inner core…

Our changes are measured from our:

Environment > Behaviors > Capabilities > Beliefs > Identity

It’s a good idea to think about each of these things and how they will affect you as you make changes. Starting out on your journey, you will be very aware of your environment… the foods in your kitchen, the rules you are trying to follow, counting calories, taking pictures with your phone for dietSNAPS, etc. You will learn to control your environment to the best of your ability in order to see success. Eventually, those things will lead to a change in your behavior. You will have to change the way you do things. You will practice making those changes… not making changes perfectly… but learning as you go along. You will have times when your behaviors will yield positive results…. and other times when you will fail. Be kind to yourself. You’re human and you are going to make mistakes, it’s how we learn. Over time…. you will start to recognize your capabilities. You CAN make better choices for yourself and take responsibility of situations. You don’t have to make the choices you used to make… You are capable of making better ones! And you will believe that! Ultimately your personal identity will change. You no longer think of yourself as overweight, miserable and out of shape. You are now fit and much more confident in your abilities. This whole thing is a process, but you will be so glad you have gone through it. You will be so grateful for the things you will learn about yourself.

Rid yourself of the labels that people impose on you.

Example: Stop saying that you are an “emotional eater” (if you have always believed that)… Instead, replace that statement with something like… I am a responsible eater! Believe in yourself. Be proud of your daily accomplishments.

“Things do not change, we change!” ~Henry David Thoreau