Sooooo not much happening and a new book club!

Hello my long, lost friends.  Since no one has inquired as to why I have not posted since June I am sure that just Rob and I are reading this blog.  Hi Rob! I know its boring but what can you do??  (#vegasbritney2015)

Bored Britney

Not much to report in the way of weight loss but I have not really done much.  I did complete one week of the 21 Day Fix and I love the workouts but hate the containers.  I will be better about posting updates soon.

Also,

I started an online book club on Facebook called Ladies Night.  Which is basically a revival of one my friend Briana invented a long time ago. Bottom line, it helps me keep organized and guarantees that I will read at least one book a month.  This is the link to join the group on Facebook –> Ladies Night Book Club.  The book for October 2014 is Orange is the New Black. The Netflix show is based on the book.  As I have been walking around with my nose in a book the first reaction has been, “oh they made a book??”  Um, no they made a show.  So far the book is pretty good.

ORANGE

The November 2014 book is going to be Pines by Blake Crouch.  Fox is creating a new series starting in January and its “supposed” to be really good. And, if you like the first book you can read the other two because of course its a trilogy. For those who don’t read I will give you an update on both books at the end of their respective months.

Pines

Go HERE to see the trailer for the new Fox show and read about the book series and author.

What are you reading?

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A Call To Action

Today is a F-U-N day… first of all it is National Running Day* and secondly I have some exciting news! One of my close friends has recently become a Team Beachbody Coach. I have signed up with her to start my 2014 transformation. It is really only six months behind schedule.   I regret not starting in January.  Even a little progress is better than no progress, but I have been busy.

With This

connor luv

And This

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Baby takes up every minute of my free time and I am okay with that most of the time.  I would be lying if I said little ones are EASY!  :)  He is not an excuse but rather an explanation of what I have been doing all year.

But, back to my friend.  She is truly an inspiration and she definitely knows how hard it is to lose weight and stay fit. Let me intro her now:

Meet Sabrina!

picture sabrina
Now Meet Sabrina’s Guns. (These are serious people. )

sabrina guns
Here is her 100% REAL AND AUTHENTIC TRANSFORMATION.

 Sabrinas Transformation

100% Hard Work

There is no Photoshop here just plain old commitment, dedication, sweat and more sweat. (Probably even more sweat then we care to realize.)
She has shown me that it can be done and that it takes time and motivation and accountability! If you are interested in learning more about her services and offerings check out her page here.

Let’s be realistic when I say my transformation goal “after photo” is her “before photo” but I don’t want to be negative today.

Ha!  Also note, I was not compensated by Sabrina or Beachbody and I did not get anything for free.  I bought of my own free will.  I thought I would share her story and page as a CALL TO ACTION for those of you who need a push.

gtfo

She sells everything Beachbody offers from all their fitness programs such as P90X, Insanity, T25, Turbofire, Slim-in-Six etc. to all the extras like gear, supplements and nutritional drinks like Shakeology. If you are interested in any Beachbody products it is WAY better to purchase through a coach. You almost certainly get a discount and sometimes you get extras like additional DVDs or equipment like resistance bands. Which I did get when I bought this:

21DayFix-whatYouGet_ibk3og

Obviously, I am not expecting to look like Autumn Calabrese after 21 days but it is definitely a start.  Beachbody stuff can get pricey so I had to ask the hubs before I pulled the trigger but he is so supportive he said DO IT!

Sabrina is starting a challenge group June 7th. Check out her Facebook page here for more details! I will be doing the 21 Day Fix, starting Sunday (DVDs are in the mail) which I am considering as a great opportunity to jumpstart my goals. I bought a sample pack of the Shakeology since it definitely on the pricey side and I DON’T  love shakes/smoothies. I will post reviews on all of them when I try them.

This is the 21 Day Fix in a nutshell –> eat better food, eat smaller portions and workout for 30 minutes. Um, I think I know this routine.

duh

What’s different then you ask? Sabrina! She and the challenge group will be there with me and offer that personal extra push I NEED. I am still going to use MyFitnessPal to track my weight, measurements and workout progress but mostly because I already have it set up. Find me and add me if you want my id is FITKIST!

I encourage you to like her Facebook page even if you don’t want to buy anything, she is highly motivational and just a really fun girl!!
Join us on our journey to awesome! I am sure it will suck to miss out on food, drinks, fun but it will be worth it.

NO SAID IT WOULD BE EASY AND ANYONE WHO TELLS YOU DIFFERENTLY IS LYING!

sabrina sign

You don’t have to buy anything but it’s a great, NEW group that will probably help you stay motivated and accountable. Which we need if we are not naturally good at eating right and working out (read Melissa).

What motivates you to get going to the gym or complete a workout every day?

*PS. I wogged a 10K last weekend – I will post about my adventure on Friday.  But, I had to note that today is NATIONAL RUNNING DAY!!  Thanks to Corey for reminding me!  You can make your own badge here!

Running Day Badge

 

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Meatless Monday Recipe

So, I have not written in a while – been super busy with baby, husband, and life – all the things everyone has. I am sure you have your own super busy list. One of my goals for 2014 is to get my blog back in action and so it can be something I can share and be proud of!  I am currently working with a consulting firm to get the look and feel I want and I hope to unveil something beautifully fun very soon!

Lightning Date Night

Lightning Date Night

Connor

Baby Connor

I recently started meal planning and it is really helping us to stay on track, spend less, try new recipes and definitely eat better. Plus, it helps us avoid the “What’s for dinner tonight?” debate.   I have only been doing it for one week and it’s been good so far. It takes some time to plan each recipe and time to make sure you have (or buy) the needed ingredients, but I think it’s worth it.

Meal Planning

This week’s menu:

Monday – (Meatless) Skinny Cheese and Veggie Baked Penne with salad

Tuesday – Chicken with Red Wine Sauce and Baked Sweet Potato

Wednesday – Salmon for Rob and Veggie Sushi for Me

Thursday – Orange Roasted Chicken, Broccoli with salad

Friday – Saturday – Sunday – unplanned since we are not sure about weekend plans just yet!

Sorry about the poor picture quality this go around. I was too lazy to dig out the Nikon. LOL!

Skinny Cheese and Veggie Baked Penne

 

Ingredients

  • ½ box of Ronzoni 150 Calories Penne (Tastes the same! Yes, I will take 25% fewer calories please.)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1 small bell pepper (any color), chopped (1/2 cup) (I use frozen when I am in a hurry!)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or Tastefully Simple Garlic, Garlic
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced and quartered
  • ½ can whole black olives, drained
  • 1 jar (14 to 15 oz) tomato pasta sauce
  • 1/2 cup Reduced or Fat Free Ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup shredded Reduced Fat Italian cheese blend or mozzarella cheese (4 oz)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

     

    Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Spray glass baking dish with cooking spray. Cook and drain pasta.
  2. Heat large skillet with cooking spray and cook onion, bell pepper and garlic 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the zucchini quarters; cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in olives and the pasta sauce. Heat until bubbly.
  4. In a separate bowl mix ricotta cheese, egg, Parmesan cheese (optional) and 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese.
  5. Place penne in baking dish. Pour half of sauce mixture over and then dollop ricotta mixture around the dish. Layer again with penne, sauce, cheese – reserving about a cup of sauce mixture to spread over the top. Sprinkle remainder of cheese on top. This is skinny so it won’t be drenched in cheese like Nona’s lasagna. J
  6. Cover well with foil and bake 30 – 35 minutes. Bake uncovered 5 to 10 minutes longer or until bubbly and cheese is melted. I also broil on high for 5 minutes to crisp it up but that is up to you.
  7. Enjoy!

     

    What is your favorite meatless dish??

 

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Friday Fun and a Giveaway!

Happy Friday Friends!

Sorry I have not posted in a while, I have been very busy working on Baby C’s room. I have a million blog ideas to share and just not enough time to carry them all through to fruition! So, message me if you want to guest post!  We still have not come up with a name but we have finished building all the furniture! That is a huge accomplishment. Other than baby stuff … life has been pretty calm.

My usual Saturday night… (I won $7)

Wild Saturday

My new PUMPKIN SPICE love…

Pumpkin Spice M&Ms #fitkist

My mission to find Baby C a name…

Names

Since, I have no new fitness information to report today, I wanted to share with you my new love of canvas prints.  AND A GIVEAWAY!!   A while back another amazing blogger shared her resource with me and they sent me a trial print for review. The site is called Easy Canvas Prints.

photos
photos on canvas

I decided to use one of the pictures from our wedding and include the little one on the way as well.  If he was here already I would have definitely printed one of him.  I will say the process of ordering was easy and the site walks you through all the options. Even the novice computer user will find the process simple.

Here is the final product… notice Baby C’s picture in our canvas print is on the table too!

Easy Canvas Print

The end product was delivered quickly and packaged amazingly! I really do love it. I must admit that in this case ‘size does matter’ and I would go for the biggest one you can afford. The 8 x 10 that we received is amazing but we just didn’t have a place to fit it on the wall.  As a result I mounted it on a stand on one of our foyer tables. It really is cute and I highly recommend you check out their site.

Plus, they have generously offered to give away a FREE 8 x 10 print to one lucky winner. Just enter on the Rafflecopter giveaway below.  Ends 9/20.

Everyone who enters will also get a 60% off coupon for entering. (US mailing addresses only) It’s definitely worth it! You could even get one of your favorite race or workout accomplishment!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you ever bought a canvas print? Did you like it? Where did you put it in your house??

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Mini Recap and FITBIT Guest Review!

Hello Fitkist Friends!

Not much to report on this side of the world… I have been getting much slower as the days go by but I have so much to do! I am running out of time it feels like. We are less than 8 weeks away from meeting our newest family member!! I am certainly anxious to meet him and I wonder everyday what his days are like and what he is thinking of my food and exercise choices. They say babies can taste what you eat and as such their food tastes are influenced. If this is the case, Baby C (yes, still no name) will love trail mix and Cocoa Krispies.  Also, I would like you to meet Petey, Baby C’s BFF I hope.  I love Petey and I can not thank Lindsay enough for getting it for me him.

Fisher Price Glow Seashorse

Unfortunately, I do not have any new fitness updates, although; I have been trying to incorporate this video into my life:

Prenatal Workout Video

What to Expect When You Are Expecting – The Workout DVD (about $10)

It is a great little DVD but with all the cleaning, prepping, planning, crying and trying-to-sleep I have been doing I just don’t seem to find the time. Mary over at Food and Fun on the Run says you should make an appointment to workout. I need to start doing this, especially now when its so EASY to say “eh, I am pregnant I don’t need to workout.” (PS. Let’s congratulate her – she’s expecting too!)  Click here for Mary’s information on getting the most out of your workout.

So since I have no real Fitkist news, as a bonus for all the readers, my friend Olivia generously offered to write-up a review on her newest fitness gadget, the Fitbit Flex. This is just one of many fitness trackers out there aimed at helping users track and modify their activity and sleep patterns. She really seems to like it so far.  The average price is $99.95 and this is the version you wear on your wrist. Please check it out, we would love your comments or questions!

Fitbits

Fitbit Flex Review By Olivia:

So, I had been thinking of getting a fitness tracker for a while now, but there are so many choices out there I wasn’t sure which one to go with. After doing a little research on the Internet, I decided on the Fitbit Flex. I have been using it for about a week now and I have to say I am pretty impressed. In addition to just monitoring steps, you can log your calorie intake, set activity and weight loss goals and even set silent alarms. I also love that it syncs with my phone so I can see my progress immediately and track my calories on the go. It’s comfortable to wear and waterproof so you can keep it on when swimming or showering. My favorite Fitbit feature has to be the sleep tracker. Now I know why I am always so tired every day!

It’s not perfect of course. For example, I wish the band was a little easier to put on. I think Jawbone has it beat on that one. I also wish the phone app was better. I had a hard time adding friends on the app and it doesn’t let you view too much about your connections either other than an overall goal. You need to go to the dashboard online for a better view and more functionality.

I think what is most motivating about these type of products is the ability to connect and share activity with friends. It adds that competitive factor to it and helps keep you on track. So if you are deciding which brand to go with, take into consideration if any of your friends already have a certain brand. If not, try to convince them to get one with you. They won’t be sorry. All in all, it was the best price of all the brands I researched and in my opinion was worth the money I spent on it. I highly recommend this product.

Olivia is amazing when it comes to new technology and she really gives an honest and well researched review, she may have convinced me to get one of these things! This post was not sponsored.

If you decide on a Fitbit One there is a 30% off coupon code I found ACT20FB… you can use it here but I am not sure about the expiration of the promo code.  Happy Shopping if you choose!

Do you have a fitness tracker?  Which one and how do you like it?

 

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Feel Good Friday

Hello Team!

Not much to report on my end of the fitness world.  I am very busy preparing for baby’s arrival.  Which includes Rob going through a MEGA nesting phase.  We are upgrading, painting, cleaning and out doing ourselves.  But, he loves his projects so I will let him do it even if it kills me.  Tomorrow is the first of my baby showers (I am a lucky girl)  and I will be attempting to make candy moustaches tonight.  Similar to these:

Baby Shower CandyI just hope they turn out better than the Great Fourth-of-July Donut Cake Pop Disaster of 2013.  I will never attempt those bastards again.  Ever.  Pinterest can either make you look like a kitchen rock star or a mud pie baker.  I will post the candy results next week.  There are not many how-to candy tips on the Internet.  Trust me I Googled.  A lot.

Also, last week Rob found this adorable outfit for Baby C.  That’s his name until we can think of something more appropriate for a job application.

SAY ALOHA TO MY LITTLE FRIEND!  Thank you Old Navy.

316

Anyway, one of the things that makes pregnancy different then “normal” life is the fact that you are limited on your beverage selections.  You can’t have alcohol, caffeine, artificial flavors or sugars and you should limit your juice and soda intakes as well.  So, that leaves you with good ole’ H2O.  My cheaply edited infographic explains some of the benefits of water to your body.  (Please Pin It)

Water Super Hero

1.  Obviously, it hydrates your body efficiently and without the use of chemicals or calories.  It improves skin tone, organ function, eye lubrication and on and on.  Basically, it balances your body fluids and keeps your system flowing.

2. It can energize you quickly and provide a mini boost any time of day.  It minimizes muscle fatigue because hydrated muscles work better.

3. It improves and aids in digestion and can help keep you regular.

4. It can be a calorie controller when you are trying to maintain or lose weight because it is calorie free, it can replace high calorie beverages and can fill you up leaving less room for food.

5. It can really help keep your skin moisturized and fresh.  It won’t reduce wrinkles but it will help you look refreshed.  It is the natural BB Cream.

6.  It can boost your immune system by keeping all your organs in peak condition and functioning properly.

But, given all its benefits water can get boring.  I have been adding real juice (about half and half) to it over ice and that helps.  I also love sparkling water – to me it’s like Sprite without the sugar.  I add a lime or lemon wedge and this really brightens the drink.  When we are out I have been known to drink a Shirley Temple but only one because they are SUPER sweet.  I have taken on my role as a water drinker rather well but I am looking forward to coffee and champagne when it becomes appropriate next year.

Given that you are supposed to drink 64oz plus a day, how far away from your water goals are you?  Any tips to help others get enough in?

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Coconut Water Review

I’M BACK! 

After a few month hiatus perhaps you are wondering what I have been up to.   The last race I participated in was Iron Girl – Clearwater back it April.  It was a tough one but I am so glad I did it.  I suffered a little dehydration after but more than anything I LOVED the pancake bar!  I am mini-germ freak so the self yourself sloppy bananas and strawberry toppings was a little freaky but still really tasty!

Also, a few months after the engagement we found out we had a little surprise bundle on the way!  It’s A BOY and we have no idea what to name him, so I welcome your suggestions!   And, we had a mini marriage ceremony in Charleston (just the three of us) in June.   Just a little preview picture.  Since our ceremony was so short we don’t have that many.  :(  We are planning a church wedding in 2014 since we did not get to celebrate with anyone – not even our parents.  Sorry!

 Melissa_and_Rob (63)

 5 Months Pregnant Tummy

 

Many people have encouraged me to start blogging again even though my fitness goals have been put on hold.  So, I am back! 

For now, I will blog about healthy choices and mini fitness accomplishments I can make while still pregnant.  It won’t be hardcore but I hope to make it interesting.  I am not going to guarantee a pregnancy free post every time but don’t expect a full blown baby takeover either!

Back to the review, my family comes from a country with a tropical locale and as such I recently heard a story about when my parents were dating, after they had a fun night of partying they would buy coconut water right off the street and drink it to replenish and refresh.  Allegedly, it was amazing!  In response, I decided to research and taste this new hyper-trendy beverage.

Benefits have been reported to include:

Benefits of Coconut Water

I have read some articles where professional athletes swear by it, often replacing their engineered sports drinks with it.  I have even heard it helps with a hangover.  But, nothing is really 100% guaranteed.

Either way I had to give it a try.  I tried Vita Coco pure coconut water, you get around 11 ounces for $2.  I was excited to try to adopt a new post-race beverage.  One that was all natural and like a superhero for my liver! They do an excellent job marketing it and I love that it does not come from a coconut concentrate.  There are three ingredients, the first of which is you guessed it:  Coconut Water!  Ultra Natural!  (I bought the bottle myself, they did not sponsor this post in anyway.  This is just my opinion.)

IMG_20130722_130931

(Insert sadface) I did not love it.  I didn’t like the smell and although the taste was not bad by any means it was not something I would want to chug after a long workout either.  It didn’t have the suntan lotion coconut flavor I was hoping for.  I had a taste test around the office and the reviews were certainly mixed.  Some people did not mind and some just down right hated it.  But, for me I think the taste was just so-so.  I don’t think I would buy it again.  I think if you are a recreational athlete then just plain ol’ H2O should work for you.  I do suggest if you are curious to buy yourself a single bottle and do a little taste testing of your own.  The most you’ll lose is $2 or so and maybe you will love it and have a new sports drink replacement.  The fact that its natural should spur you to at least try it.  I wish I could have loved it more.

I am glad to be back and would love to hear from you!

Have you ever tried coconut water? 

Did you like it and how often do you drink it?

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