Sunday, March 31, 2013

Looking back on Happy Easters...

Happy Easter Sunday!

This year....
I'm hoping to catch Lance at the dinner table again with his over the top cheesy grin. Wondering how Landon and his cousin will do when they each spot the same egg. And praising the heavens I got away with only having to bring deviled eggs to Easter lunch. (which I still haven't made!)

I hope you find yourself surrounded by those you love in rooms filled with laughter and yards filled with eggs. Our family has always enjoyed this holiday for it's truest reason, much like Christmas. And then there's the egg hunt, can not leave out the egg hunt. fingers crossed for a no-rain day. The youngest of our group are now old enough to understand the fun in Easter. I can hardly wait to watch them fill their baskets!

Much like the collage of Halloween, I spent some time digging up pictures from Easters gone by. As much as I talk about looking forward and setting goals, I couldn't help but get lost these pictures. It's truly a blessing to spend holidays with family and friends. Hope you don't mind the photo dump ;)

From VA to Hawaii back to VA we've spent Easters covered in snow, sunshine and sand. To see Lance grow through these years along with his cousins made my little heart melt tonight. Check out his surfer hair from Hawaii days!! What's more fun is his face at the dinner table. Not much changed in 5 years. Apparently Lance is one happy kid at the dinner table or us adults take far too long cooking the meal?! Landon's first Easter was in his own home. You can barely see him in the picture, he was just days old! This was the first Easter celebration I threw for my family. I don't know what got into me that year but somehow I pulled it off, and yes, Lance will never be too old for an egg hunt!

Last year we were able to spend the holiday at my sister's beach house. My brother and his family had since moved to Nevada but were able to fly home for the Easter weekend. I can't even describe the happiness my parents felt this week. Really, we all did. My sister, brother and I are the best of friends. Our children are close in age and love each other like best friends too. The 15 of us spent a long weekend together counting it verses, Carova horses, eggs, kids, seashells and our blessings.

Happy Easter loves!
See you soon with a weekend recap and more fitspo!

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Love Me a FRIDAY!

Sugar jelly beans are going to be the death of me! That's if pastel colored M&M's don't get me first...
Easter hasn't even been mentioned on this blog but you must know that I'm excited for it to be here!
Now that us ladies in the family have sorted through the urgent matters of "who's house" and "who's cooking what" we can focus on fun things like the egg hunt and what we're wearing!

Wishing you all a wonderful Easter holiday and if you don't celebrate the holiday I still send you wishes for a wonderful weekend :)


H54F, Heart Shaped Sweat

1// I'm in love with this quote! Life is so much easier when we don't waste any time dwelling in the past. With our eyes set on the future - looking towards our goals and all that they mean to us - it frees us from any hindering weight. When working toward your goal with "the new" being your only focus you might even find that you surpass the level you had once set to achieve.

2// Little Easter candy binge.... empty your bags of candy into fancier dishes! It may stay aware of your intake. orrrrrrrr it may just entice you more.

3// I broke down. I bought a bauble style necklace. Truth be told, I bought two.
Damn Very Jane emails.

4// He understands Easter egg hunting this year! How much fun are we gonna have on Sunday?!! I love to hear him squeal "HOP" when he sees a bunny. And I love even more to watch him try to hop like a bunny. He's quite proud of his first handmade Easter basket. His daycare got crafty with brown paper bags, some construction paper and let the kids do the stamping and gluing of one cotton ball.

5// My corner at work. I've finally situated myself and my family so that I can drop to working only two days a week. People, life has never, ever been this way. I spent years working two jobs and attending school back when it was just me and Lance. Once I married Lucas I dropped the second job and school but I always worked full time. I don't know life without a full time job, 5 days of work. I've always enjoyed work and never thought I'd want less. Something changed when my second was born. And here I am, ready and able to finally be keep my youngest home with me and walk together to meet my oldest at the bus stop, 3 days a week. I am beyond excited about this!!

Take a moment to reflect on the big and small things that make your week more beautiful.

Any Stay at Home Mommies want to throw me some TIPS? I'm all ears!

To all who joined me in the 30in30 challenge, you ALL are awesome!! We kicked some serious butt and logged 30 miles this month! 

QUESTION: Any of you Foam Roll? I've read so much about it recently and want to give it a try. Would love your advice!

P.S. Did you meet my March Sponsors? Check them out on the right or here in this post!! They're each so beautiful and fun :)
Today's the last day to enter the giveaway!!

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Just Missing the Stars and Stripes...

These white jeans have been calling my name. And that red sweater hasn't been worn once this winter. And the denim? I'm sucker for any outfit I can squeeze my denim shirt into. yes, it screams Red, White, and Blue...but isn't just too cute to deny? Let's just call it "classic". wink,wink. It felt fun and casual...perfect for errands and lunch this past weekend.

Plus, hubs loved it. So I stuck with it.

He's been a sweetheart taking all my "outfit" pictures. Kidding. He's not a fan of taking pictures and only recently did he even become a fan of being in pictures! I totally rely on the 10 second timer and a super cool bendable tripod. Seriously. Why do I do this?? I don't really have a good reason, other than the challenge AND a love for being a part of what I wore. My blogger picture, in case you haven't noticed, is me in a workout tank. I could literally live in workout clothes. But I also LOVE to dress. Sometimes it's a complete fail, other times I like to think I get it right. Most times it's fun to share what I wear and other times I'm a nervous wreck about posting. Above all, I love to bounce around and see what the rest of you are wearing. Everyone has such unique spins on fashion and it's so inspiring! But I must say standing before a flashing light waiting for the shutter feels a bit vain. And once that feeling hits...I set the timer one more time and walk away, hence ending most my style post with this.

sweater and booties//Old Navy - Denim Top//Target - Jeans//Marshalls
this look was totally pinspired from polka dots and leopard pin

Did you catch wind of my March Sponsor Giveaway??
Go enter for some free ad space and starbucks!

Or this one over at A Mile In Her Boots?
How about the Coach bag up for grabs with Hooah and Hiccups?
Have you caught up with the one at Living In Yellow?


Here's one more...because we love your hair as much as you do!
I've sponsored Ashley at ABpetite this month in fell in love with the idea to giveaway It's a 10 hair products!
These products sound amazing...I want in on them too!!

// 2 A Mile in Her Boots // 3 Never the Same Spice Twice 4 Coco In Magnolia // 5 Heart Shaped Sweat

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for entering and good luck!

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Have a Look! {Giveaway}

The best of the best featured for your enjoyment! Stick around and get to know the ladies I've been so fortunate to have with me this month. They each have the kind of blogs you can snuggle up to and get lost within. I'm more than excited to introduce them to you and offer you a chance at winning TONS of AD SPACE and STARBUCKS ON US!

Have a look!

Meet Niki of Glossyy Blonde! A lover of all things fashion and glossy! She's simply classic in red, edgey in neon and leather, and able to warm up the whitest of winters. She nails the girl next door style because she is just that! Niki's a sweetheart and a little Miss Betty too. Set your eyes on these S'mores Cups or this batch of White Chocolate covered Oreo's and tell me you won't skip past the Stuffed Shells straight for dessert! As if these aren't reasons enough to drop by her blog she also airs a monthly favorites review. Subscribe to her You Tube channel here or just be sure to follow along and get the inside scoop on all products trending, old and new!

Meet Kim of Diary of a Jewell! Kim has a bit of everything within her blog, a little something for everyone. I was new to her just a month ago and quickly fell in love. She's pretty much my stand in recipe book. Sister kills it in the kitchen! Need a dip for the party? Want popcorn that taste like birthday cake? She really won my heart with her breakfast on the go recipes. For a single, travelling girl she knows her way around the kitchen. Speaking of traveling you can bet she knows a thing or two about saving and budgeting. Kim motivates and organizes ways to save with her weekly savings tips posts. Besides all this she's a DIM genius and can get you in the right direction with her Last Thing Thursday posts.


Meet Dani of Footballs and Rainbows! This gal is getting hitched in just a matter of weeks! Her engagement pictures are so sweet and pretty, I can only imagine how wonderful her wedding album will be. When she's not busy creating her wedding pinspirations you might find her traveling. From festivals on the streets of Texas to capital monuments of DC, she's on the go, a queen of hot spots with her son and fiance in tow. I think it goes without saying but I'll say it anyways, Dani loves her some football, the Houston Texans to be more specific. Be sure to stop by her blog for all things happy, wonderlust, and football!

Meet Rekita of Her and Nicole! I feel so honored to have met Rekita early in my blogging journey. Not only is she a master at all of her hobby's, one being beautiful blog designs (and here) she is also a fellow mil. spouse. Her and her soldier have 2 boys together and are expecting their first girl! She's a busy bee between her home life and blog life. And, she handles it all with grace and gratitude. Rekita host a weekly blog hop every Thursday called A Lovely Blog Hop. The hop has grown tremendously over the last few weeks//months, it is the place to be! Each Sunday she blesses us with a fab series on blog design and throughout the week she'll keep you laughing with post like this and this. Get over to her blog and say Hi!!

Meet Gayle of A Gayle Force! An editorial assistant with restraint on humor. No really, Gayle's writing always has a way of cracking me up. Her SorryI'mNotSorry post is a great example of this. Her Facts About Me post gives us a glance into her daily life. A bookworm by nature, holding a degree in English and literally has a pet hedgehog! She hearts chips and salsa, and isn't afraid to bust a move on isle 8 of the grocery store. Maybe more importantly, she's a bargain-holic, Target shopping fanatic. Like any of us women she throws in the occasional cheesy, delish recipe and is on a mission to have 6pack abs, a challenge she's following for the month of March that will undoubtedly get you in top shape! Swing by her blog and hola!

Meet Danette of All My Love for All my Days! She's beautiful, speaks truth and delivers inspiration. Whether you're looking for your next craft and decorating project or soul searching for a deeper purpose in life, Danette's your girl. Her faith is strong and it reaches out far and wide. To speak of what's on your nightstand is mere child's play when in comparison to what happens at the bedside. She teaches how to act in love, not be judgmental and stop the circles of life. Discusses fearing your dreams, being naked and defeating limitations. Many of her post, leave me speechless. She lives in love with life and shares life through her love for Christ. Danette has also launched her new site Perfectly Pear. A place that showcases plus sized fashions and healthy living. Have at it ladies, you'll love her! Stop by her blog and drop a line!

I'd love to help promote your blog and have you join the Heart Shaped Sweat family!
See here for deets or send me an email :)

Giveaway Time! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Weekend Shenanigans...

I'll admit...I do have the hardest time spelling Shenanigans. Sorry Sami, I'm one of those!

*note to self....chin down, chin down when taking pictures

Four days off in a row and I only went shopping once. Hard to believe but that's what happens when your husband is off those same 4 days too. womp, womp! Would you believe we are still "celebrating" St. Pats Day? We were lucky enough to have warm sunny skies as we sipped beer and barely escaped the delicious smells of funnel cake and (omg) fried chips drenched in cheese sauce without caving. Some things just aren't fair. Neither is pushing a jogging stroller weighed with a 30 pound toddler through the crowd as the front tire deflated. How and Why must this happen? Couldn't it at least been one of the back tires? And couldn't I have had just one of those fried chips?

1// yes, it was Thursday nights fun but technically that started our weekend.
2// killer workout! Got myself back into TRX mode and polished off a WOD w/ hubs.
3// pretty and simple, spring outfit for Saturdays festival.
4// Beer drinking in front of St. Patrick's church is only normal one weekend of the year.
5// And that's how Landon feels about his flat tire and empty ice cream cup.
6// But at least he can now hang with the big kids in the bounce house.
7// Busted bracket. Sorry Wucas, now you can go back to wearing Hokie gear....
8// Made Cranberry Orange and Almond Energy Balls, easiest recipe ever!
9// spring blooms on the trees. BUT as of Sunday - covered in snow :(

As for my March fitness goals linked with March Madness hosted by Shanna!
I have...
Met my 30in30 challenge by this evening!
Worked out 3+ times per week.
Much closer to gaining sponsorship for fitness instructor classes!
Still need to...
Set PR for 10K that's only 3 weeks away!
Sign up for a Barre Class and another race!

I've got a week left to this month to get the last of my goals accomplished and I'm proud to have checked the other three off my list. Spring is near which means summer is close. These TO DO's are getting DONE! A big thank you to Shanna for getting us all together to help each other stay accountable!

And, that's a wrap!
Schools out today, so home with the kids, yayyy for now a 5 day weekend!

It's March Sponsor Giveaway time! 
Lots of Ad Space and Starbucks $$ up for grabs :) 
Meet the FAB ladies that have been with me this month and 
enter to win!!!

And to not let the GIVEAWAY fun end there....I'm participating on a few more this week!
Hooah and Hiccups (Coach bag!)
In Her Boots (11 giftcards)
Living In Yellow (giftcard galore and boats of Ad Space)

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Balls of Energy! A No-Bake Recipe for you...

I'm always looking for a great new recipe. When I find one that boast only one dish and doesn't require stove top or oven time, I know I've struck gold. What makes a recipe like this even better? A boost of energy!

Let me introduce you to Kim :)
Kim blogs at Diary of a Jewell and while her blog is filled with all sorts of tips and tricks, I die for each one of her recipes. I'm excited to have her here sharing a recipe that requires no baking, one dish and gives a HUGE boost of energy! Needless to say, it's a healthy one too!

Diary of a Jewell, Kim

I could not be more excited to be posting here on Heart Shaped Sweat!

I only recently started following Kristine’s blog but I kind of feel like we are already friends. We’ve never met (in real life) and she lives in another country, across the continent…that’s not weird right? In fact, I think it is completely normal and considering we both love the same things, I think the friendship is definitely warranted.

It is pretty obvious that I have pretty big shoes to fill today, so I wanted to create a recipe that not only fit well on Heart Shaped Sweat, but was also easy and really good for you. In the Fall I was using pumpkin in pretty much everything and I adapted a recipe to create these delicious, nutrient packed pumpkin energy balls. Now with Spring on the horizon, I have been craving something a bit sweeter, so I created another variation of these energy balls to include fruit. Not only did they turn out delicious, I think these energy balls fit right into Kristine’s busy lifestyle, and hopefully they will find a place in yours too!Enjoy!
Cranberry Orange and Almond Energy Balls

Cranberry, Orange & Almond Energy Balls

Yields about 20 Balls

¼ Cup Rolled Oats
¼ Cup Protein Powder (I use vanilla)
¼ Cup Almond Flour
¼ Cup Dates
½ Cup Almond Butter
½ Cup Craisins (Dried Cranberries)
4 Tablespoons of Orange Juice
4 Tablespoons Agave Syrup
½ Cup Coconut – for rolling (optional)

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Add all of the ingredients, except the coconut to the food processor.
snacks for energy

Pulse until the items are well combined.
If you find your mixture is too thick add more orange juice until it is the desired consistency.

snacks for energy

Portion and roll into individual balls.
I like to use a small cookie scoop, but a table spoon will work just as well. The mixture will be very sticky (which is why I choose to roll in coconut). Don’t be concerned, the balls will set in the fridge.
snacks for energy

Roll in coconut and set on the cookie sheet. Refrigerate overnight (or at least 8 hours) this will allow the balls to set and all of the flavors to combine.

These will keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks but will last as long as 3 months in the freezer. I like to keep about 10 out and then freeze the rest. You can take them out as you need them, they thaw quite quickly and are the perfect snack to grab when you're on the go!


ummmmm, isn't she great! Little balls of energy in a NO BAKE recipe! That's the best of both worlds!
I'm eager to give this recipe a try, I'm sure you are too. She couldn't be more right, this fits right into my busy lifestyle. I'll definitely be adding this to my list of healthy snacks!

Be sure to stop by Kims blog and say hello!
If you've enjoyed this recipe let her know! 
Take a few minutes & browse through her tips and other recipes too!

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Love me a FRIDAY!

This past month, I've been cruising along in the slow lane. The life's slow lane lets you focus on the NOW. The moments are treasured a bit longer and feelings are a bit sweeter. But, then there are times you feel like you better get moving! You look ahead and see there is so much going on that you're not quite ready for. Over the last few days, I've put my blinker on - just waiting for my pass into the fast lane.  You may already know but if you don't, we're reporting to Fort Carson in August. This means our house will be packed and shipped by June! As a mother (and an army wife) there is an incredible amount of things to consider and accomplish between now and the start of summer. Last nights break from reality and this mornings workout gave me the boost I needed to swerve over into the fast lane. I think I've envisioned enough to finally sit down and pen out my plan. I want to be sure I cross every T and dot every I, ensuring that we're really ready for this big move. If we do it just right then the last two months between movers and a cross country drive can be spent vacationing and hanging with family and friends, putting us back in the slow lane of life :) Now just wish me luck!


heartshapedsweat, h54f

1// amazing! Miss Carrie Underwood did not disappoint. Such an incredible voice and exciting performance. She's living proof that risk are worth taking, hard work pays off and dreams can come true.

2// and that would be the most delicious slice of pizza ever. Hubs and I stuffed our faces with salad and gluten free, spinach and mushroom pizza.

3// uh, the obligatory "we were there" picture.

4// you can go into your workout as pretty as you want BUT you best come out a sweaty hot mess!
* up to 25in30 in my 30in30 challenge! woot!woot!

5// can't even measure my excitement when I saw this new piece of equipment!!! Hubs took me to a new gym this morning and holy sweat drops this thing is a beast. After a mile run and TRX, we created our own WOD's and pretty much killed it. Felt great. And even though I was shaking from head to toe after we completed our workout I seriously feel 100 x's better today than I have all week. I promise you sometimes all you need is one hell of a workout to get back to feeling awesome.

Take a moment to reflect on the big and small things that make your week more beautiful.

What has been your all time favorite concert?
And, what's been your favorite workout lately?

Hope you all have plans for a fun weekend! 
There's a fun giveaway in store for you next week :)

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Acceptable for Work

...I took these pics during my lunch hour and you could say that cardigans are necessary to my job.(freezing office!) If it's not a cardi or sweater, it's scrubs with an over sized scrub jacket. Which do you call worse?

gingham shirt, work outfit

Seriously, there wasn't a single cloud in the sky and temps were near 70. Absolutely beautiful day in which I did not want to return to work from my lunch break. This kind of sunshine also dilutes the fun pinkish, coral hue of the gingham but that's a more than fair trade off!

gingham shirt, work outfit

Just 24 hours ago there was snow on the ground? how is this normal for VA? Or, really anywhere? It may not have been much but it was snow and ice. wait, is this a weather report? whatever, today marks spring!

gingham shirt, work outfit

Until I can wear this button up with cut offs and golden legs...I'll be crying. It's really the whole reason I own a shirt like this. Sure it looks fab layered under a sweater or tucked beneath a cardigan but all in all...I can't wait to be wearing it with shorts and flippy-flops, open with a fun T showing! I'm totally "one of those" that whine for summer just as soon as spring starts ;)

guess who's finally using those Carrie Underwood tickets?
this girl! It's tomorrow night, I'm so excited :D

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Chew on This

*note...this may not make much sense to you until you read my Food for Thought post. It was my most shared post, created countless conversations and spurred many to join in the cleanse with me! It's also where you will find the exact cleanse I followed. 

We all know what healthy eating means. Sure, there are questions about chai seeds, sprinkle flax seed where and omega who??? But generally speaking we have an understanding for how to eat healthy. We're taught from weeee ages the main food groups by reference of a triangle visual, emphasizing the importance of eating fruits and vegetables at an abundance. So, while knowledge is power in the realm of all things, healthy eating becomes successful more often by motivation and understanding our own bodies. Each of which is different for everyone. It is important to feel in control of our eating habits instead of feeling like our cravings control us. To conquer this, we must be motivated by something and we must have understanding and respect for how our bodies react to food.  I found motivation in the last bite of my second batch of cookies. I found motivation in the uneasy feeling in my favorite pair of jeans. Motivation comes from a desire to be better. A desire to reach a standard set by oneself. Be careful not to gain motivation solely after what others have, that my friends is pseudo. I thought I understood foods pretty well but I came out of this cleanse with a few ah-ha moments that helped me understand so much more.

review of the eat your heart out cleanse, tips for cleansing
The cleanse I chose worked wonders for me and my family. Considering how many have already asked, yes, we did loose weight. Lucas and I both lost 7 pounds. But again, we weren't in it for the weight loss. And I promise you, you will most likely gain back any weight lost as soon as you return starchy, white foods to your diet. At least I did. In just 4 days, I gained back half the weight lost. This cleanse eliminates all grains, bread, pasta, nuts, cheese, and shelf life snacks, pretty much anything starchy or loaded with carbs. When balancing your diet between all food groups, your body will find it's happy weight. I know my number is not less than 7 pounds. The next popular question involved applying this cleanse to a paleo diet. Yes, absolutely. Once you hit day 4, the paleo diet would require you to use soy based products. It's surprising how many appetizing products have been made for those to consume without taking from animals.

tips for eat your heart out cleanse, tips for doing a cleanse

basically eat the rainbow and eat as much as you want. The night before wash and cut all purchased fruit.
Prep baggies and containers for the entire day so you can grab and go each of your snacks and meals. Think convenience. You will feel hungry as this is the first day of the cleanse and while fruit offers loads of nutrition and hydration, the calorie count is relatively low leaving you with constant reminders of an empty stomach. Get creative. Try spices and seasonings such as nutmeg and cinnamon to kick up the flavor in simple fruits like peaches. For dinner consider spaghetti squash. We found spaghetti squash to be rather satisfying. It's an easy meal, ready in an hour. Omit any and all sauces for this "spaghetti" instead use a dash of salt and pepper. If cooked just right (which is easy) spaghetti squash offers a sweet taste and nice change to the many little bites you've had all day. We used this recipe. Shoveling fork lifts fulls of spaghetti squash weighed us down enough to fall asleep without any nagging hunger pains. (banana's and tomatoes are not allowed this day, zucchini and squash are indeed fruits)

vegetable cleanse

Pig out on celery, carrots, spicy cucumbers (we used this recipe), pickles, asparagus, bell peppers, and salads w/ the smallest amount of dressing. Again, prep for convenience. It's an understatement to simply say you'll be ready for dinner by 10am. Holy melon balls, I was hungry, almost felt delusional. We chose stir fry for dinner and the pan did not heat up fast enough. Munching on edamame while dinner simmered made life better. Once served, we practically grabbed fistfuls to fill up our seemingly empty stomachs. We do stir fry often but didn't miss the regular heaps of lo mein or rice. Overloading the stir fry with a huge head of sliced cabbage was an excellent substitution. The one allowed starch of the week was included in tonight's dinner. A potato. The best potato I've ever had. And it was served PLAIN. We noticed achy, crampy muscles from our workouts today. (obvious result of slashing food groups and calories)

fruit and vegetable cleanse

You will enjoy the ease of this day. After two days of only having one type of food to pick from, this day feels much more "buffet like". You think I'm kidding? no way. We had salads for lunch, this time using a warmed avocado for the dressing.  Having the choice between fruits and veggies teaches you a valuable lesson. You will learn in this day what foods can replace your junk food cravings. For dinner we snacked on edamame (we love those things!) and repeated the spaghetti squash with a side of snap peas, green beans and mushrooms all sauteed with garlic//onion. Yum! It really is quite amusing that a dinner like this was so satisfying.  I would have never made this for the family but now we've enjoyed it twice in one week. Do I think we should go vegan or vegetarian?  Heck no, I went to sleep dreaming of day 5.

This was hell for me. I knew it would be. Hubs suffered hanger back on day 1 and today it hit me hard. Banana's hold 100 calories. Most greek yogurts boast servings of only 100 calories. Considering you have an entire day to share 8 of each, it feels as though you're running on fumes. After my crappy morning workout, I felt wiped out. My body simply did not have it's usual calories and fuel to keep me going. I literally performed at only half my typical level. An hour later, I kid you not, I still couldn't bend over without feeling dizzy//lightheaded. The frozen yogurt I had planned for dinner hour was immediately consumed. I wrestled with the idea of making a huge sandwich but instead threw two banana's in the freezer and stuck to the rules. Once the banana's were frozen I sliced them, dumping them into the blender with a cup of yogurt. I gulped that smoothie like a slurpee on a hot summer day. Then cursed the 8 banana rule, took a deep breath and reminded myself, it's only one day. We went to bed early on this day. Like really early. (you may swap the yogurt for skim milk)

cleanse, chicken and tomato dinner

Finally, some meat! And you know what we chose? Rotisserie. yes, rotisserie chicken. Considering we had been eating our hearts out on all things fruit and veggie, the chicken seemed like a gift from above but it actually made us both feel the way you feel after Thanksgiving dinner, full and bursting at the seams. Perhaps this cleanse gave us a bit of insight on better portion control. opps! Your body can easily tolerate fruit and veggies in abundance but meat is another story. Your body will also tell you when it's hungry, something we don't often get the notion of due to senseless snacking and munching. Eating 8 tomatoes in one day is a hard rule to follow. It's recommended that you drink a glass of water with each tomato to reduce reactions with their high acid content. The chicken may be exchanged for turkey. Obvi, lunch meat is not recommended. (P.S. I hate tomatoes, aside from seasonings, this is all in all a boring food day)

cleanse, chicken and vegetable stir fry

At this point, the newness has worn off, old habits//new habits are in place. Those who "juice" can easily start any veggie day with a tall glass. We don't, so we ate on chicken. I'm sorry, do you know a way to eat chicken or cook veggies for breakfast minus the hollandaise sauce? I sure don't, nothing appetizing about starting a day this way. By now you've had enough time to remind yourself that healthy eating is yummy, however the challenge is for 7 days. We had promised ourselves to stick it out til the end. I went on my morning run, dog and kid in tow, and came back full blown "rangry". I scurried to the kitchen, locking tot in highchair, and got to cooking. Veggie and chicken stir fry was ready in 15 minutes flat. Kale chips made for a nice afternoon snack. Later that evening, we found plenty of vegetables and chicken at our friends housewarming party. I'm still impressed with hubs commitment to the cleanse, it does not allow alcohol and that man loves a cold beer, especially on nights out. Speaking of, water only for these 7 days!

miracle soup, eat your heart out cleanse

This soup consists of....nothing. It's runny and smelly and I believe that's what it intends to make of you. Before agreeing to this cleanse I scoured the reviews and read that if you dislike the Miracle soup, repeating day 6 was recommended. After the first spoonful of soup, which even the dog turned a nose to, we chose to drain most the liquid from the soup and eat it as a side to chicken left over from day 6. I also allowed myself fruit. Now, if you're in this to drop some LB's then yes, you should do the soup. I'm pretty certain you would find yourself reading magazines and draining your cell phone battery in the smallest room of the house, all day long. If you are dedicated to this cleanse for the pure reasoning of gaining back a healthier lifestyle then I see no wrong in combining all the days into this one.

tips for cleansing, detox cleanse, weight loss cleanse,

Best advice for this cleanse? 

plan ahead, shop ahead, make it convenient and plentiful.
Success is in preparing snacks//meals the night before and making sure you have plenty to pick from.
Be ready to chop and cook. Use seasonings, think outside of the box.
Do see food as a reward during this cleanse and journal your cravings, if you want.
Focus on your goals, your reasons for doing this.

Are you hungry during a cleanse? 

yes. is it bearable? absolutely.
could guzzling water take away hunger? yes.
Validating the idea that sometimes we confuse hunger with thirst.

Tips from me to you when cleansing....

-do not I repeat, do not go into a grocery sore. It is a brutal experience.
cans, loafs, and cartons will be talking evil smack to you.
-do not open your cabinets//pantry unless you know exactly what you are going in there for.
cans of tuna will look very appetizing. animal crackers will suddenly entice you.
-do not enter a Walmart or a Walmart parking lot.
rage will enter your bones like never before. you're guaranteed to cross paths with every living idiot.
-do not expect the same level of "can do" in your fitness routines.
it just isn't so. due to low amount of fuel you will need to adjust your routine to your bodies reaction.
-do not praise the heavens if your scale shows you a number you haven't seen in months//years.
weight loss can be temporary. only permanent decisions towards healthy living will deliver permanent weight loss. as some of you commented in this post, a cleanse is only a quick fix to unwanted pounds.

Want to try it? Within these 7 days, I promise you will appreciate food in a different way. You will appreciate the ability to eat as much as you'd like without any guilt or heavy gut. You will appreciate the benefits of eating foods that come box free, bag free. Choosing raw and fresh and cooking with, is a challenge to incorporate into your daily living but it's a rewarding one. Eliminating the idea that everything must be dipped, everything must be wrapped in bread or that bread must be drenched in condiments is a healthier way of being and not as hard as once thought. If you're in a rut, considering a healthier lifestyle,  then yes this cleanse//diet//fast//detox (whatever you call it) is a healthy option for breaking free.

Trying a cleanse for the first time, at a 7 day span was the change I needed. I focused on the good, I focused on my reasons for doing this and not all the "can't haves". I made it through the 7 days and was successful. Success is measured differently for each person. There isn't always some universal spectrum of "you did it and you failed". Each one of us sets our own standards which sets our own spectrum of success. You may not want to reset all of your eating habits. You may just want to loose weight the quick, healthy way.
This cleanse will help you achieve either goal in mind.

Woot! Woot! You made it to the end!!!
:) Thank you for all your support & interest!

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Because it's Annie's birthday this month she and a few of us are giving away $80 Target shopping spree! 
Get over there and get in on the chances of winning that sucker and wish her a happy birthday too :)

Linking with Just Because, Tell Me Tuesday, Tea on Tuesday
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