Clean Eating on a Budget!

imageSeveral days ago I posted a photo to Instagram and Facebook of my groceries for the week. I asked if anyone would be interested in My opinion and tips on how clean eating can actually be more affordable than traditional, over-processed fare.

 

The hr response was a little overwhelming. SO many people wanting to know how I do it that ice put off his post for far too long in hopes of perfecting it.

 

So, let’s just get this out of the way right now. I’m not perfect. Groceries are still expensive. There are foods we buy in bulk that help keep our costs low. And yes, I still buy some of that processed junk occasionally- especially in the summer!

 

In my post I mentioned that this was groceries for a family of six for two weeks, and cost only $150. Please know that we have a freezer full of pork that was raised by family, buckets full of flour we stock once a year, and tons of other staples in the pantry, such as brown rice, quinoa, and oatmeal, which we buy bulk only a few times each year. We do make weekly stops at the store for a few fresh staples such as melons, bananas and salad.  If we had to buy these pantry items weekly the cost would change drastically. But what you see in the picture was indeed all we needed for two weeks with a family of six, along with our food storage.

With that being said, I’ll give you my grocery list and ideas of how I use each item in our menu.

*I was also asked how I can get my kids to eat so much produce, but that’s a topic for another day. Don’t worry…I’ll get it posted soon!


Meat, Poultry & Fish

Tilapia, about 3 lbs – We use this for fish tacos, or coconut crusted tilapia

Chicken – this was four packages of thighs and legs that were on sale for $.88/lb. I divide them into four meals for our big family and we grill them with various seasonings and a salad on the side.

Al Fresco Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage, 4 pkgs – we LOVE these for breakfast! Dice hem up and Waite with veggies for an omelet or scramble, or sauté them whole with sliced peppers and onions

Deli Meat, 1 lb – We don’t buy a lot of deli meat, but when we do it’s the high quality, whole meats, not the pressed, processed stuff. We just watch for specials on our favorites, like this Black Forest ham. Use it for sandwiches or tortilla rolls at lunch, wrap it up inside a lettuce leaf with other veggies, or make hot sandwiches in the oven with your favorite rolls, meat, and cheese.

Bacon, 1 pkg – Bacon is also rare. I only buy it as a topping for a big Cobb salad, soups, or other dishes. We never use it as our main protein.

Eggs, 5 doz – we eat a LOT of eggs in our house. Breakfast, hard-boiled for a snack, lunch, or to top a salad… We rarely go a day without eggs and probably go through three of these big cases each month.


Dairy

Cottage cheese, the big tub – My kids go through cottage cheese like its candy. I usually buy it to use in some recipe, or as a quick protein for my snacks or lunch on a busy day. Typically, this big run lasts no more than two days once my children discover it. Try it with tomatoes, salt and pepper, or peaches and cinnamon. I’ve also been told it’s amazing with grapefruit but haven’t been quick enough to actually try it.

Plain Greek Yogurt – I typically use this in recipes that call for mayo or sometimes sour cream, but it’s not my favorite. Lately I’ve started to enjoy it alone with some vanilla, cinnamon, and stevia. SO delish!

Cheese! We enjoy cheese a LOT in our house and use it often to jazz up a boring dish. Feta cheese is a regular salad topping. Cheddar or Monterey Jack are our go-to for most dishes. We grate a bit into a bowl of soup that’s a little too spicy for the kids. Mozzarella cheese is for the lasagna or pizza nights! Sometimes we slice up the cheese with Rotz crackers and ham to make our own lunchables–that is a huge hit with all of the kids!

Go-Gurts – No, I don’t recommend them for a healthy eating lifestyle. But we’re being real here, and balance is important. I buy a box very rarely as a treat (bribe) for the kids. They are loaded with sugar so I avoid them as much as I can.

Milk – I didn’t buy milk this time but wanted to include my tips because I know it is a staple. We were the family who went through five gallons each week, and it was SO expensive. We have cut back our consumption a LOT after realizing how much extra calories it was adding to our diet. Now we usually have a gallon of 2% in the fridge for an occasional drink or for use in creamy sauces. I also buy unsweetened almond milk which we use in our smoothies, and hot cereals.


Pantry Items

Olives – We buy olives on the regular to jazz up our pizzas, salads, tacos, or nachos.

Whole tomatoes – We by a lot of canned tomatoes for various sauces (spaghetti, pizza, lasagna) and to put into or soups and stews. I learned recently that the best tomatoes are used in the whole canned tomatoes, while the lower quality are chopped up for the diced, stewed, or sauced tomatoes. I put it to the test, and the flavor is SO much better when using whole tomatoes! It adds an extra step of cleansing or mashing the tomatoes but it’s well worth it for the added flavor.

Refried Beans – I prefer to make my own, but occasionally I buy a can for a quick meal, usually just 7 layer bean dip.

Broth – I’m a pretty picky cook, and broth always taste better than bouillon. I spring for the good Swanson’s broth for the reduced sodium. We use it for soups, stews, sauces, and meats.

Coconut oil – yes, it really as good as they say. Coconut oil is a super heathy fat to add to your diet and is even used as a supplement. We use it for cooking, put it in shakes occasionally, and even use it to create healthy candies.

Mac n Cheese – Ick. But yes, it’s summer vacation and I buy a few boxes each payday for days when I REALLY don’t want to deal with feeding my kids lunch. 😜

Corn tortilla chips – These are pretty much a staple in our house. We use hem for nachos or 7 layer bean dip, or as a topping for tortilla soup.

Tortillas, corn and flour – Tortillas are another staple–we love our Mexican food! I can’t convince the family to go whole wheat with tortillas, they just aren’t very good yet. We use flour tortillas for tacos or quesadillas, & corn tortillas for fish tacos.

Yeast – I love making our own whole wheat, whole grain bread! I buy a lot of yeast!

Whole wheat noodles – I have successfully switched my family to whole wheat noodles! Spaghetti, lasagna, or whatever we come up with, we buy whole wheat. If you’re struggling to convince your family to make the switch, I recommend going 1/2 and -/2 for awhile before switching completely to wheat.

Salsa – This is a super good way to spice up any dish, though when I say spice, I really don’t mean it because my family is a bunch of gringos and we buy super mild. We use it on our breakfast burritos, tacos, nachos, etc.

Himalayan salt – You may have heard of this or seen the pretty pink salt in the stores. There’s a good reason for its popularity. Basically, all the BAD things you get from salt are the GOOD things you get from Himalayan salt. It has so many health benefits that it is used as a supplement and has been used in the native villages where it originates. I have replaced table salt with this and buy it bulk from my grocery store.

Dates – Dates are a fruit that get overlooked a LOT. I have recently discovered them during my sugar-free adventures, and use them to make a TON of treats that call for sugar. Blend it up into a paste and use it for pancakes, breads, desserts, jams, etc. I buy them bulk in my grocery store.


Produce

SO much produce! It’s too much to list here in this post, but just know that if the store sells it, we buy it. I will try to post more of my recipes and ideas for fresh produce and link to them here in the near future. In the meantime, if you have any questions about a particular produce and how to use it, store it, or convince your kids to eat it, please feel free to message me on Facebook or email me at kandice_mcdermott_fitness@gmail.com

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Tropical Asian Salad with Coconut Crusted Chicken

My seasonal food habits are demanding all things tropical lately. It’s easy to get bored with salads, but this delicious combination of tropical and Asian flavors mixes things up and let’s you have a little fun.

The chicken can take a little longer if you’re feeding a large family, so if you have an extra large skillet I would recommend it. You could also make it gluten free by using coconut flour. It is SO delicious though, and it would even make awesome chicken strips for lunch one day.

The vinaigrette is still a work in progress. This was tasty, but I’d like to find a way to have a creamy dressing without adding a ton of calories. We’ll see what I come up with.

In in the meantime, give this a try and let me know what you think! image.jpeg

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Ultimate Reset Final Results {Cleanse Supplements Weight Loss Nutrition Whole Foods}

Woot! I did it! Did you hear that? I DID IT! I have a really hard time sticking to things, I get bored and like to hop around. So the thought of spending money to NOT be able to eat any of the foods I love…well, let’s just say it’s no wonder it took me almost two years to decide to do this thing.

But…I did it! Yesterday was day 21 of my Ultimate Reset  , and I can honestly say I gave it everything I had! Does that mean I was perfect? Heck no! Did I cheat on my nutrition? Heck yes! But for the most part, I was pretty disciplined (a lot more than I’m used to, that’s for sure), and I got the results to prove it.

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So…you wanna hear how I did? 🙂

Energy

Before the Reset, I was SO tired all the time! It didn’t matter how much sleep I got, I couldn’t drag my butt out of  bed and I could hardly keep my eyes open after 3 pm. I was having frequent power naps in the afternoon because I just couldn’t stay awake. It was awful!

As with most cleanses, the instructions for the Reset warn you that you may feel more tired than usual during the first or second week. Considering the state I was in before I started, I was prepared for two weeks of being absolutely

To my surprise…my energy was through the ROOF! Almost within the first 24 hours my energy levels were improving, and they continued to improve throughout the entire program. There were a few sleepy days, but those usually followed a later-than-normal bedtime. It felt SO good to finally be able to function normally!

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Complexion

For about three months before the Reset, I was dealing with the WORST case of teenage-style breakouts. GROSS! I am well into my 30s, I should NOT have to put up with zits! It was SO frustrating! One of the possible side-effects of the Reset is a major breakout, due to the toxins being released from your body. I was more than a little nervous! Before the first week was halfway over, my skin was clearing up, and I hadn’t had ANY new breakouts. CRAZY! I had one minor breakout at the beginning of week 3, but it was gone in a day and my skin has been clear since.

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Cravings

Before I started, I was not only craving the crap NON-stop, but I was NOT liking the idea of any of the healthy stuff I needed. Vegetables were grossing me out, and most of the time I wasn’t even hungry. Unless there was cake. Or brownies. Or ice cream. Now THOSE made my tummy rumble! But put a plate of yummy salad in front of me and I would almost have to hold back the gag reflex. Not exactly ideal when you have to feed a family of 6 and preferably, feed them healthy.

I won’t lie and tell you I didn’t get tired of vegetables even during the Reset. After three weeks of 80% vegetables, I think most people would struggle. But, I can say that I am back to loving my veggies and getting hungry at all the right times again. If I’m hungry, it’s because it’s mealtime, not because there’s a cake in the house. And I found some AWESOME new recipes in the process that will be a regular addition to our menu. Sweet potato nachos are bomb, and this quinoa salad is so yummy and versatile!

 

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Discipline

Have I mentioned how hard it is for me to stick to something? For real, I have always struggled to follow-through with something I’ve committed to doing, so the idea of committing to 21 days of healthy eating and supplements…well, let’s just say I was skeptical.

There were certainly days where I caved and added some chicken to my vegetarian meal, or sneaked a few licks of my toddler’s ice cream cone (cause it was melting, of course!), but for the most part, I was able to restrain myself and discipline myself like I’ve never done before. And bonus? I don’t even really WANT to go hog wild now that the Reset is over. I’m pretty content to allow myself a small treat here and there, but I don’t feel like I need to get in the kitchen and bake up a huge batch of brownies.

So, there you have it…that’s my results from the Ultimate Reset. All in all, I would say it was well-worth the investment AND the efforts, because I’m feeling better than I have in months! Thanks for stopping by to check out my results! Feel free to share this with anyone who is considering a cleanse system of any kind. Many of the “easy” cleanses out there (juice, anyone?) can do more harm than good, because you’re not providing your body with the most essential nutrients. Ultimate Reset takes care of you by providing all natural supplements to support your body while ridding it of toxins, so you’re not doing more damage. So if you, or someone you know, is considering a cleanse, shoot me an email at kandie_mcd@yahoo.com and we can talk in more detail about the Reset.

Kandice

 

What’s that? You wanted MORE? Oh, you wanted to hear if I lost any weight? Shoot, I forgot that part. 😉 Let me just say that being a Fit-Minded Mama is about FAR more than the number on the scale. Being fit is a journey, and it’s a feeling. It’s not an image. Yes, I want to lose weight, and yes, I want to look amazing. BUT, it is far more important to FEEL amazing and be able to keep up with my kids on all our summer adventures. It’s priceless to have the knowledge that I can do hard things and that I CAN complete something I’ve set out to do. So while weight loss is exciting and super cool…it’s not the whole picture.

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That being said…I did lose a LITTLE weight. Not a ton, mind you, but enough to make me happy. Who wouldn’t be pretty pleased to lose eleven pounds in twenty-one days? 🙂

If you would like to know more about the Ultimate Reset, or you would like to make ME your free coach so we can work on your health and fitness goals, just fill out the form below and I’ll get back to you ASAP!

Ultimate Reset Week 2 Review {Beachbody Ultimate Reset Cleanse Review}

Well, week two is DONE! I am freaking PROUD of all that I accomplished this week. I managed to survive a camping trip. I don’t know about you, but camping is synonymous with s’mores, licorice, candy, chips, cookies, and any number of other treats/snacks that are definitely NOT allowed. My mom and I planned all our meals around what we could eat and it worked out great! I even managed to avoid having even a single lick of my kids’ square ice cream cones!

Success? I think so.

I even survived the end-of-soccer pizza party last night, to which my boys convinced me to bring dessert pizza for the treat. OREO and COOKIE DOUGH dessert pizza from our favorite pizza buffet. That was a pretty big test!

But… I did it! Not a single bite.

And you know what? I wasn’t even all that interested!

So, here’s a quick-ish, rambling, probably a little annoying, video, reviewing my week and talking about my plans for after the Reset is done. In ONE WEEK! Check it out!

 

So, there you have it! Week 2 is done, now on to week 3 and completion of one of the HARDEST things I’ve ever done! What’s the hardest thing YOU have done lately?

Kandice

**If you want more info about the Reset or 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme programs, just fill out the form below and I’ll get back to you ASAP!

Sweet Potato Nachos {Healthy Clean Eating Family Ideas Free Challenge}

So, after almost two weeks of eating very little other than TONS of fruits and veggies…I have to admit, I’ve gotten a little bored.

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But you know…there’s nothing better than boredom to fuel creativity! It has been super fun to branch out from the recipes in my Ultimate Reset guide book and find something else that will work. Today I decided to *finally* try a recipe that’s been floating around for awhile…with my own modifications of course. (Have I ever told you that I refuse to conform to recipes? I’m kinda a rebel that way.)

Wow.

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For real, this was so much better than I ever imagined. I didn’t even miss the normal, salty tortilla chips. I liked it so much that I’m most likely going to have it again tomorrow…after I go to the store for more sweet potatoes.

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So, since I’m coming up with some pretty freaking amazing new recipes, I think it’s high time I share them, don’t you?? 🙂 I’ve decided to host a FREE 5-day clean eating DETOX group on Facebook this week! We’re going to DETOX from all the CRAP we eat and fill up on all this delicious, whole food!
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Have you ever done a clean eating group? It’s awesome! I’ll provide you with a complete meal plan, shopping list, weekend survival tips, and tons more. We will help each other stay strong through the 5 days and celebrate our successes when it’s done!

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Wanna join us? Shoot me an email at kandie_mcd@yahoo.com OR fill out the form below and I’ll message you ASAP. The group starts Wednesday, so don’t wait!

 

Kandice

Ultimate Reset – Week 1 Progress {Beachbody Ultimate Reset Cleanse Progress Transformation Results}

So, I mentioned it in my post yesterday, but wanted to elaborate a bit more. I’m doing a 21 day cleanse called the Ultimate Reset. Might just be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done! But, it’s working! I feel so freaking good I can’t hardly believe it!

Today is day 8, so the start of week 2. I wanted to give a little more info about what I’m doing, and share my results. Check out my vid, cause that’s a whole lot easier than typing it all. 😀

Crazy, right? SIX pounds! I’m so dang excited to see what this next week brings that it’s making it a ton easier to be good. Today is the first day I haven’t had an afternoon snack (which is optional) the whole time!

And because I promised…here are my before/progress pics. This is just right before I started and today. I can’t tell you how hard it is to share that first pic. First of all….gross! Those shorts are nasty. 😛 I do NOT have a booty-short-body yet. BUT, it shows my shape well and helps me to see the progress. Still have a ways to go, but I’m happy to see the muffin top disappearing!

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All in all, I’m pretty happy with my results so far. It’s a dang good thing, cause I’d probably quit otherwise. 😛 I don’t know about you, but I need RESULTS to keep going! Stay tuned for more results as the time goes on. Two more weeks to go and I’m done with this and hopefully back to healthy habits that will get me through all the crazy summer food! Thanks for stopping by!

Kandice

If you are interested in knowing more about the Ultimate Reset, or would like MY help to keep you accountable to your health and fitness goals, complete the form below and we’ll chat!

 

Quinoa Salad {Healthy Family Lunch Ideas}

***Disclaimer: If you are currently attempting any kind of a healthy diet, and if you like chocolate, you probably need to skip past the entire post as quickly as possible and just get to the recipe at the bottom. Trust me.***

If you learn nothing else about me, you should know that chocolate is at once my nemesis and my best friend.

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I can’t get enough time with my buddy chocolate. Doesn’t matter what mood chocolate is in. Chocolate cake? YES please! Chocolate candy bar? Well…twist my arm. Milk or dark? I’ll take both!

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I’ve even gone so far as to eat an entire bag of chocolate chips over the course of several days because I enjoy hanging out with chocolate so much.

But when we hang out, chocolate has this bad habit of stabbing me in the back. Every. Dang. Time. Idaho Spud candybar? BAM! Two pounds gained. Chocolate cake for the kid’s birthday? Well HELOOOO flabby belly.

And if that’s not bad enough…well…let’s just say that chocolate isn’t exactly getting along with my belly anymore…on the inside. ICK. I do NOT like the way chocolate treats my belly!

Normally, I have a decent amount of self-control, and I can limit my time with chocolate while making plenty of time for my veggies and other healthy friends. Lately though, my self-control is shot. I cannot stop myself from indulging in LOTS of chocolate in all forms…all in the same day. And the effects were getting worse. Belly aches, stress, constant exhaustion, tight clothing, acne breakouts, and a ridiculous loathing of all things healthy. Not only was I eating too much junk, but I could not stomach the healthy stuff. What the heck is going on around here???
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So, it was time to take the plunge. I finally decided to take the Ultimate Reset challenge. 21 days of very strict diet, supplements, and other new habits to help cleanse the toxins from my tired body. I’ve been curious for over a year about this system, but terrified to spend the money on it and completely bomb the whole thing. I knew I had to take a dramatic step away from my former  best friend (chocolate) this time if I was going to reverse the course my body was on. So…Ultimate Reset it is!
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The first few days were pretty good. I was actually really looking forward to the fresh food. New recipes and ideas made it more appealing, and the fact that I just felt so icky I was ready to feel good again. Then came the weekend. Yikes. Let’s just say…it was hard, and imperfect.

But…today is day 7 of the 21, and I’m still here! Vegetables are starting to get boring…I need more variety. So today I finally got around to trying a recipe for a quinoa salad from my Ultimate Reset book. Have you tried quinoa? What do you think?

This particular salad turned out to be freaking incredible. I could eat another plateful if I weren’t so darn full! And let me tell you…feeling full is a beautiful thing when all you’re eating is pretty much fruits and vegetables. 😛

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Wanna try it? I decided to share the recipe here, with some adjustments made to fit what I had in the house.

Quinoa Salad
1 serving

1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 TB EVOO
1 TB fresh lemon juice
amino acids (to taste)
1/2 large cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 Roma tomato, chopped
5-10 pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
1 TB fresh mint leaves, thinly diced
1 TB fresh oregano leaves, thinly diced

That’s it! Mix it all together and enjoy the best freaking salad you’ve had in a LONG time! Give it a try and let me know what you think! Now…wish me luck on the next 14 days!!!

Kandice

If you are interested in making me your personal health and fitness coach for FREE, or if you would like to know how YOU can build a home-based business inspiring others to lead healthy lives, fill out the form below and I’ll get back to you ASAP! 

Cooking with Kids: Zucchini Boats

As my kids are getting older, they are getting more and more insistent that I teach them how to cook. For most moms, this is super exciting and a ton of fun. Don’t get me wrong…I love being with my kids and I most definitely want to teach them ALL how to cook for themselves.

But…I was raised by my mother, who does not like to have other people in her kitchen. She’s a genius in the kitchen, she knows how it needs to be done to be perfect, and it drives her crazy if we don’t get it done right. I am exactly the same way! I go a little stir-crazy when the kids are in the kitchen with me, while Brett is pretty laid-back and easy-going about it.

But I’m working on it! We were trying out a new recipe recently from one of my favorite recipe books, and as I was thinking about it I realized it was the perfect recipe to get the kids involved and not feel like it was all out of control.

We made these awesome little “zucchini boats” based on the recipe for “Stuffed Zucchini” in the first Our Best Bites recipe book. Seriously…LOVE their recipes! If you’ve never heard of them, hit up their website…STAT! Of course, I very rarely follow a recipe to a “T,” preferring to tweak and twist recipes to make them my own. This particular recipe is SO versatile to any of your family’s preferences, so give it a try and get creative! You should also know that I very rarely measure when I’m cooking, so this isn’t so much a recipe (you can get that from the book) as a general guideline/explanation of the process.

Check out our little “trailer” video showing some of the steps to creating these fun little finger foods! These were our entire meal (we added some home-canned peaches and pears on the side) or slice them into large chunks and serve them as an appetizer!

For the filling, we used elk sausage because we have a freezer full of it, and because it’s pretty dang healthy stuff! You could use turkey sausage, pork sausage, or ground beef…whatever strikes your fancy! We went for an Italian flavored theme. Our filling included the sausage, chopped zucchini flesh, tomatoes, red onion, garlic, basil, and Parmesan cheese. You could also do a Mexican filling (ground beef or shredded chicken, tomatoes, green chilies, black beans, Cotija cheese, etc), Asian filling (shredded chicken, garlic, ginger, broccoli, almonds, etc), or whatever flavors you want!

Super simple steps:
1) Slice zukes in half lengthwise without cutting off blossom ends.
2) Scoop out seeds (great job for kids!)
3) Scoop more of the flesh out to make a bigger “boat” and save the extras to chop up into your filling.
4) Rub both sides with EVOO or coconut oil (great job for the kids!)
5) Grill cut sides down for about 5 minutes.
6) Carefully fill boats with your filling, then top with your cheese of choice and some bread crumbs (another great spot for the kids to help).
7) Grill another 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

SO delicious!

 

 

 

Is This Real?

So…I started a new workout program on Saturday. It’s called the 21 Day Fix Extreme. Have you heard of it?
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Every time Beachbody releases a new program, I start it as soon as I can so I’m better able to recommend the right program for my challengers. So I started this the day after it arrived in the mail, with almost no clue what I was getting myself into.

I finished my first workout and thought, “Dang, that was awesome!” I was able to do the whole 30 minute workout (ONLY 30 minutes!) without quitting, which is a big deal for me. I struggle big time with cardio. And I really didn’t feel very fatigued.

So I thought…why not do more? I popped  in a Piyo disc and prepared to do a quick 20 PiYo_logo_COO_1024x1024minutes of Piyo to stretch my muscles out and prepare for an early Valentine’s Day dinner date with my man.

Yeah. About 3 minutes into the warm-up, my legs started to tremble and shiver. It was like a giant earthquake centered in my kneecaps. Clearly, Piyo was not happening.

 

Still, I felt pretty dang good. For completing the first workout in what was being proclaimed as a VERY advancedMAX30_Logo_low_res
workout, I felt pretty dang good about myself.

Now, keep in mind…I’ve just completed the ENTIRE 60 days of Insanity: Max 30. If you know anything at all about Insanity, you know this was a huge accomplishment. 21 days of Fix Extreme should be a piece of cake, right? Right?!

Then Sunday came. Help.
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As the day progressed, I realized I was in extreme peril. Stairs became like Mt Everest and the toilet…well, let’s just say I’m happy there were no witnesses.

Leg-Day

The schedule for this deceptively destructive new program called for yoga on Sunday, and I knew it would help me. I put it off, and put it off, and very nearly said “No way!” But I knew the next day was going to leave me paralyzed in pain if I didn’t stretch out those muscles.

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Luckily…yoga was 30 minutes of sweet relief. Did my legs stop hurting? No. They did just started hurting in download (1)different ways, taking my mind off the pain of the previous day’s workout. Yes, if you  had been me, you would have called it sweet relief too.

 
Monday came and I was feeling pretty determined. I even prepared to do my workout BEFORE taking the kids to school, which is unprecedented for me. I knew I had to bust it out quick before the day took over.

Open the schedule.

Plyo Fix.
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Crap.

Have you ever done a plyometrics workout? If you haven’t, you should. You really should become familiar with a form of cardiovascular exercise that is disguised as a fun, upbeat workout and in truth hides something sinister. Pain. More pain.

Still. I pushed play.

And I did the work.

Trembling legs and all.

For about 15 minutes. download (2)

Then she said the naughty B word: burpees.

I was done. I couldn’t do it. I hate to say it, but my weak and feeble mind overpowered my body.

Which must actually mean that my body is far more weak than I had assumed.

Now…a very large part to a successful round of 21 Day Fix or 21 Day Fix Extreme lies in the nutrition. Both programs come with a very specific nutrition guide in which you use color-coded portion control containers to dictate how much of which foods you can eat in a day. Generally, I really love this plan. It takes all the guesswork out of planning a healthy meal, and totally eliminates the need to count calories.

But Sunday is family day. And since my family decided to make the trek to Grandma’s house…I was weak. And I ate. And ate some more. And maybe a teensy bit more. No bueno.

Then, after my utter defeat yesterday, I allowed myself to be wooed into enjoying the treats for Family Home Evening. Not as bad as Sunday, but still…I caved. Sugar. It is my arch nemesis, my saboteur; sugar is the foe, the attacker, the opposition to all things healthy and fit in my world.

So this morning, as I stepped on the scale (I know, I know…the scale doesn’t tell the whole story.), I was more than a little petrified. Would all my hard work be for naught? Pointless pain? Useless suffering?

Here goes nothing…

Huh.

Would you look at that.

Is that right? Try again. It IS right!

Guess what? Down three pounds. In three days. After being attacked not once, not twice, but THREE times by the merciless mercenary disguised as sugar. And still down three pounds.

Whoa! This program is LEGIT! And I don’t use that word lightly, because I feel like an imposter. But for real…this program is doing EXACTLY what it was advertised to do. Burning fat, building muscle, only 30 minutes (or less, in my case) each day with simple nutrition. Wow.

I’m back in the game. Completely committed to finishing the next 18 days, and now I cannot WAIT to see my results!

Join me? YOU can do this. You  can choose from the new Extreme, if you’re more advanced in the world of fitness. Or you can start with the original 21DF…which ANYONE can do.

Join me for a 21 day health & fitness workshop, in which we’ll focus on your nutrition, add in focused workouts, and share delicious recipes that will convince your body you are NOT eating healthy, when in fact, you are!
RenewIGFill out the contact form below, or email me at kandie_mcd@yahoo.com for registration information. Can’t wait to hear those fat cells scream!

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If I Can Do This….So Can You!

I’ve had a lot of people asking me lately why I closed my photography business in favor of this new life as a coach. And even more people who consider the option of becoming a coach themselves, only to say, “No, that would never work for me like it has for you. I’m just not that into fitness.”

Um…no. It’s not like that.

I’m not the crazy, athletic, super fit girl you remember from high school. I’m the girl no one remembers because she always had her nose in a book, because she turned down the head coach on his offer to join the girls’ basketball team  (because I was tall) in favor of…well…laziness.

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And yes, it was more than laziness…I am SO shy. Most people who know me don’t believe it, but I’ve come a long way from where I was in high school and shortly after. And I still have a lot of anxiety over new places, new experience, and new people. I remember when I was a kid, I had pretty well determined that I was not ever going to college, that it just wasn’t something I wanted. Because I was TERRIFIED of doing something I’d never done before. I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom…because I was too scared at the thought of getting a job.

Here’s something vulnerable…but maybe it will prove just how timid I really am (or was). In 3rd grade I was given the opportunity to participate in a week-long cheer camp, offered by the high school cheer team. I was SO excited about it, but SO terrified. TERRIFIED. So terrified, in fact….that I wet my pants right in the middle of the first class.

scan0002  That. Was. Awful. THIRD GRADE! It’s something I’ve always remembered with a sick feeling in my stomach because it was so embarrassing. But I was THAT nervous to be in a new place with people I didn’t know, without my parents or anyone I trusted around me. Terrible.


Enter: Adulthood. I chose to enter adulthood cold-turkey and got married just three months after my high school graduation. It’s not something I would ever recommend to any other teenager, because it was HARD and I missed out on a lot of growing experiences.

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But it’s also not something I regret, because it was right for me. How do I know? Because we’re still happily married almost 14 years and 4 kids later. It was the right choice for us at the time.

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But it was hard! We stayed close to home, but even still…I stopped going to church (I was VERY active in my church and it killed me slowly to stop going.) just because I was terrified to go to a new ward for the first time in my life by myself (my husband was not active at the time). For two years I was inactive because of that fear. Ridiculous, really.

Then we did something that would change me forever. We moved away. I did NOT want to do that. I did not want to leave the security of our hometown, our families, and everything we had known our whole lives. But it was necessary for my husband to get the best education in his chosen field…so move we did. Luckily, we moved to the same area my husband’s older sister lived in with her family, so I clung to them like white on rice. Melodie helped me so much with that transition, and I’ll always be grateful for that.

Slowly, over the 2.5 years we lived there, I was able to come out of my shell. Slowly. But it helped me to become independent of my parents, which has helped me in many ways to be a stronger individual. And it helped us grow closer together as a couple, which is probably a big factor in our happiness today.

I didn’t completely overcome my trepidation during our time away, however. As soon as my husband graduated college, I begged and pleaded until he chose a job close to home, despite the major decrease in income and the need to sell our first home.

We moved back, and over the first few years I came to realize just how much I had changed. I didn’t really NEED to be with our families as much. I could feel that independence I had gained taking over. We chose to live 30 minutes away from our families, and it was the perfect combination of independence and closeness. Now we can enjoy a close relationship with our  family while still being our own family unit.

Still, even with all these advancements in my own confidence, I was still terrified at the thought of new places and experiences. I was literally sick to my stomach the first day I had to attend college courses on campus. I was 25 years old and had two children, but I was terrified to the point of being ill. And it was like that EVERY semester when I started new classes.


Okay, so what does all this have to do with coaching? Just this: If I can do it…you can do it.

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Seriously. Did you read all that ridiculous FEAR that I blabbed up there?? I was and still am terrified by new places and experiences. I still  hate talking on the telephone because I never know if I’m interrupting something or who’s going to answer, etc. I’ve come a long way toward being more confident…but that fear still remains when I encounter the need to do something new.

So, want the nitty gritty details of why coaching can be possible for anyone, including a timid introvert like me?

What can it do for me? 

There are three main areas of “influence” to coaching…at least, that’s what we’ll call it for the purpose of this discussion.

First, personal development and growth. I know…it sounds hokey. I was one who would be handed one of those “self-help” books and think it was for the hippies. SO weird, no thanks. But, as part of our training and growth in this business, we are encouraged to read at least 10 pages in a personal development book each day. For most of us, once we get started it turns into an hour or more a day because we love it so much.

The result? You learn a great deal about yourself, your areas of strength and weakness and how to improve in both. You learn how to deal with other people in a more friendly, positive way, irregardless of their behavior toward you. You learn how to take charge of your life and your destiny (yes, one of those hokey words) and choose what is in your future rather than just letting it happen. In short, you get put back in the driver’s seat of your own life. It is an incredible, empowering experience, and one that I would recommend to anyone…coach or not.

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Second, there is a huge personal accountability that comes with this business. When you are helping other people with their health and fitness goals, you can’t NOT keep up with your own. You can’t surround yourself daily with people who are striving to lose weight, tone up, and be healthy, without having it influence you for the better. I never would have lost as much weight as I have or stuck with any of my own programs without this accountability aspect.

And third, of course, are the financial benefits. This is the part most people want to know about right from the first. They want to know how much money they will make. Well…it’s not like that. It’s not a JOB where you are given a salary or hourly wage and you always know how much is coming to you. This is a business, and it’s going to be different  for everyone. For some, they jump in with both feet and take off from the first, and their income shows it. Others are less consistent, more hesitant to trust it or really give it their all…and their income shows it. This really is a case of “You get what you give.”

That being said, I can tell you that I have replaced the income I was earning as a photographer. I built my photography business over a period of more than 3 years. I’ve only been a coach for one year.


That’s it in a nutshell. That’s my PROOF that you can do this. I don’t CARE what your personal weaknesses are. I guarantee there’s another successful coach somewhere in our organization who has dealt with something similar and overcome it. The point is that this business offers a new life, it offers hope for those dreams you gave up on long ago. It offers an opportunity for you to change who you are and become something you CHOOSE to become, rather than just letting life happen.

If I can do this. . . so can you.

If you would like to learn more about coaching, head over and fill out this quick form so I can get to know YOU a little better. I’ll get in touch ASAP and take the time to answer all of YOUR questions! This is not a journey you will ever have to take alone!

I DARE you to consider this. I dare you to dream a little more than you have in years. I dare you to believe that there is something incredible in your future.

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