30-Day EC: Spotlight on Deborah

  Day 22 of The 30-Day Exercise Challenge brings Deborah to the forefront! A few days ago, I brought you an inspiring update from Estefanie from Arizona, and before that, Toni from Auckland, New Zealand. These girls bless my heart!  If you’re not a part of this group, now is the time. The new challenge begins on September 15…plenty of time to get prayed up before Jillian takes ahold of you. Bless her heart. Bless my heart. Bless all the hearts.

PIN THIS, y’all!


AinW: Hi! Deborah! Would you mind sharing the city where you live, your age, and a little about your weight loss/health/fitness journey before The 30-Day Exercise Challenge, including your fitness level before starting?

Deborah:
City: Adairville
Age: I’m 40 years old.
Fitness Level: Fitness level before the challenge was pretty low. I wasn’t doing anything before I started the challenge.

AinW: One of the things I love about this Challenge is that you can make it your own. Choose whichever program or plan works best for you! Which exercise program did you choose (i.e. 30-Day Shred, T-Tapp, other) during The Challenge?

Deborah: For this month’s challenge, I chose the C25K program but adapted it to where I could do it.

AinW: My next goal is to learn to run. I have heard good things about that program! What do you like about that program?

Deborah: I like the small challenges it has put before me. I tried this same program the first of the year 33lbs heavier than what I am now and wasn’t able to do any of it.

AinW: What do you hate about it?

Deborah: I don’t really hate the program, but what I don’t like is [getting frustrated with myself when I try to push harder and can't do it yet]. I am  learning I need to slow down and not rush it. It will all come in due time and over these past 3 weeks it has! My running has improved tremendously.


Pre-Order Messy Beautiful Love by Time-Warp Wife’s Darlene Schacht NOW!

messy beautiful love

Hope and redemption for Real-Life Marriages.


AinW: What are some of the obstacles or challenges you’ve overcome in completing The Challenge daily?

Deborah: I would rather do my walking/running outside (not as boring), but these past 2 weeks it’s been too hot and humid here for me to do it outside. That means either the dreaded treadmill, or as I’m learning to call it the Shredmill, or the track at my local rec center.

AinW: The Shredmill! :) What benefits have you reaped from exercising daily?

Deborah: I’m now able to walk and run and able to walk longer distances without being out  of breath, and it’s helped the scales start moving again. I’ve gone down another 2-4lbs since starting this challenge.

AinW: That’s great! What do you believe about yourself and your body’s capabilities that you maybe didn’t know/believe before beginning The Challenge?

Deborah: I’m learning to be more comfy with myself and learning as I’m losing weight and my body is changing to love myself more. Before, when I would workout I hated working out in front of people, and I’ve always hated running in front of people because of me being overweight….well, not anymore! Losing these first 33lbs, I’m loving myself more and becoming more comfy with myself. Now I could care less who sees me running etc.

AinW:  I love that attitude. I believe many women can relate. What are you hoping the second half of The Challenge will bring for you/your health and fitness?

Deborah: I’m hoping in the second half of the challenge to be able to jog/run at least 1/2 a mile or more and would like to lose at least another 7lbs which would put me at 40lbs gone. :)

 AinW: What kind of eating plan have you followed during The Challenge? Do you feel like it’s helpful in the process or not and, if not, what is your plan moving forward?

Deborah: I’ve been very loosely following Trim Healthy Mama plan.

AinW: Me, too…emphasis on “loosely”. What’s the one piece of equipment you could not exercise without?

Deborah: Hmmm, I don’t really use any equipment, but I guess I could say my phone for my music when I’m working out alone.

AinW: What has been the most encouraging or motivating factor in this process for you?

Deborah: The most encouraging thing during this challenge is that as soon as I started doing it, I had several ladies from my church jump on board with me, and now we all try to walk/run together as much as possible.  We are all doing a walk together in September and then a 5K in October.

AinW: That’s awesome! You’ve increased your influence! How has being a part of The 30-Day Exercise Challenge on Facebook spurred you on to persevere?

Deborah: Seeing the daily posts from all the other ladies is one thing that keeps me going.


And now this:

winner

Please join me in congratulating the winners of The Bolder Band giveaway!

Winner #1: Karen~”The only reason I’m exercising right now is because of this challenge!! It’s getting me out of bed early and I have so much more energy!! Thanks, Heather!!”

Winner #2: Alexis~”I’m encouraged by the fun vibe of the group. Whether it’s silly slogans, encouraging each other when it’s tough or having others comment on my posts. I love to see the results. I love hearing all the glory going to God. Xo”

Y’all PM me on Facebook for instructions on how to collect your prize!


Don’t worry if you didn’t win this time…there’s another giveaway coming up on Day 30, and this time I’m thinking jewelry…

30-Day EC: Spotlight on Estefanie

  We are now 20 days into The 30-Day Exercise Challenge…Level 3, here we come! A few days ago, I brought you a Day 15 update from our forerunner, Toni. Today, I give you Estefanie. Y’all wait until you see her pictures from just FIFTEEN days with Jillian! Unbelievable!  If you’re not a part of this group, now is the time. The new challenge begins on September 15…plenty of time to get prayed up before Jillian takes ahold of you. Bless her heart. Bless my heart. Bless all the hearts.

PIN THIS, y’all!


AinW: Hi! I’m so glad you’re in the group! Would you mind sharing the city where you live, your age, and a little about your weight loss/health/fitness journey before The 30-Day Exercise Challenge, including your fitness level before starting?

Estefanie:
City: Casa Grande, AZ
Age: 24 (turning 25 in about 2 months)
Fitness level, etc. before The Challenge: Before the challenge, I would go to a Zumba class about once a week sometimes twice a week if I woke up on time. I also tried another challenge and to be honest I didn’t get that motivated with it as I am with this challenge. So the fitness level I was at before this challenge was pretty much nonexistent.

AinW: One of the things I love about this Challenge is that you can make it your own. Choose whichever program or plan works best for you! Which exercise program did you choose (i.e. 30-Day Shred, T-Tapp, other) during The Challenge?

Estefanie: I decided to do The 30-Day Shred for this challenge. I’ve tried to do this DVD before but would always quit before I got to the 2nd level. I needed that push to finish this DVD once and for all.

AinW: What do you like about that program?

Estefanie: What I like about The 30DS the most is the fact that I can feel the burn instantly, and that I am working multiple muscle groups at once. I also like that you can actually see yourself get stronger, and gain endurance in matter of days.

AinW: What do you hate about it?

Estefanie: Does JM’s voice count? Totally joking. She scares me. I find that she is a bit on the nagging side on level 1, so I had to put the DVD on mute and just blast some music for my sanity. On level 2 though, she seems a bit more encouraging. No idea what level 3 is going to be like. Also, I don’t like the fact that the DVD makes you realize just how much you jiggle haha.


Pre-Order Messy Beautiful Love by Time-Warp Wife’s Darlene Schacht NOW!

messy beautiful love

Hope and redemption for Real-Life Marriages.


AinW: What are some of the obstacles or challenges you’ve overcome in completing The Challenge daily?

Estefanie: I think the hardest part for me was the motivation to actually get up and do the DVD. But then that is where this awesome group comes in. I would see a group of wonderful ladies just encourage each other to get off that couch and put in some work. I felt like I couldn’t let these women down! Because of them, and of course Heather for creating this challenge, I’ve made it this far.

Another issue for me was finding time. I have two small children in school, I recently started school again, and work 5 days a week, plus I have to take in consideration of my “other half” schedule as well. So to say I didn’t know where I would fit in a workout was an understatement. It made me really get down to business and get a schedule going. And turns out I HAD time, just wasn’t using it properly. As the saying goes: “If it’s IMPORTANT, you’ll MAKE time”.

AinW: I LOVE that! What benefits have you reaped from exercising daily?

Estefanie: I think the biggest benefit I found is that once I started working out, I wanted to eat healthier and make better choices when given the chance. Also I wanted to work out even more as time went on. I started going to Zumba 3x a week on top of the 30DS. And it makes you realize that your body CAN change. My lower body is my “problem area”, and I never thought that my legs, and hips would EVER go down in size, but so far I have lost a few inches in that area! It’s a small change but to know that it can change pushes me to work harder. I was even able to raise my “goal jeans” past my knees and it stopped right underneath my butt. Before I could barely get them past my knees. I am determine to fit in those jeans by my birthday!

Here are my results so far:

Bust: – 1 ½ (great…I already don’t have anything there…)

Waist: – 1 ½

Hips: – 1

  1. Thigh: – 1 (don’t know how that happened)
  2. Thigh: – ½ (don’t know how that happened either)
  3. Arm: – ½ (woo hoo on my way to Jillian Michaels arms, apparently one arm at a time…)

A grand total of 6 inches overall and down 2.4 lbs!!!!

AinW: WOW! What do you believe about yourself and your body’s capabilities that you maybe didn’t know/believe before beginning The Challenge?

Estefanie: I now believe that anything is possible. I can feel my body get stronger; I can feel my body being able to push itself harder than the day before. I can see my body starting to fit in the “skinny” side of my closet. I thought I would never see all those clothes again. Before the challenge started, I’ll be completely honest with you, I lost myself. I thought I should just accept the fact that I will forever be the fat girl. I hated myself for being fat. I never thought I would ever be able to lose weight and be happy. And this challenge woke me up. I believe I can do this. I believe that my body is capable of anything, and that it can get stronger, and most importantly it is beautiful.

AinW:  I am so grateful for your candor. I believe many women can relate. What are you hoping the second half of The Challenge will bring for you/your health and fitness?

Estefanie: I am hoping the 2nd half of this will bring me strength to be able to do all 3 circuits without stopping and feeling like I’m going to have a heart attack. And the motivation to. Just. Keep. Going.

AinW: What kind of eating plan have you followed during The Challenge? Do you feel like it’s helpful in the process or not and, if not, what is your plan moving forward?

Estefanie: I think this is where I had the most success out of this challenge. I started to count my calories, but ain’t nobody got time for that. So I gave up (I want to start counting again, it seems to help me lose more weight) and just started making healthier choices. I started to eat protein WITH EVERY MEAL. Plus I would have a protein shake for lunch most days. And a protein shake after working out. Those 2 shakes would give me a total of 120g of protein and not including what I would eat with my meals. I also raised my water intake. I live in Arizona, and I was already drinking almost a gallon of water a day, but now I drink that or more. I also try to eat salads, and wayyyy smaller portions. I still eat whatever I want but it’s all about portion control. I think by doing this, helped me with my bloating issues. I bloat up like a balloon very easily.

AinW: What’s the one piece of equipment you could not exercise without?

Estefanie: Right now I would say my weights. I want me some Jillian Michaels arms!! I am going to be buying a Polar F4 soon so that way I can start to see how [many calories] I’m actually burning during workouts. If only they would scream as they burned, I know I would be even more encouraged.

AinW: What’s the funniest thing that’s happened during The Challenge related to the exercise?

Estefanie: Does my thighs making clapping sounds of encouragement to push harder count? I seriously despise plank jacks and any other jumping movements.

AinW: Ugh! The jumping’s The. Worst. What has been the most encouraging or motivating factor in this process for you?

Estefanie: I think the most encouraging aspect of this process is having other people see a difference, and saying what a great job I’m doing. Only difference I can tell is in my face, other than that I don’t really see too much until I look at comparison pictures. So it’s nice to have some reassurance, especially from my other half who sees me on a daily basis.

AinW: How has being a part of The 30-Day Exercise Challenge on Facebook spurred you on to persevere?

Estefanie: I think it’s been about the accountability that this group has provided. I get a guilty feeling if I don’t work out. I feel like I let the ladies down. Everyone is so encouraging and it just makes you push yourself. Like I said before on question 5, it’s because of them and Heather that I made it this far.

AinW: Didn’t you tell me you had pictures to share with us?

Estefanie: I do!

E front

E side

E back


Estefanie, y’all! That’s LEGIT! Ain’t she a beaut? Can’t wait to bring you a Day 30 update on this lady!


Don’t forget to enter to win the Bolder Bands. Click here and scroll to bottom for entering instructions.

30-Day EC: Spotlight on Toni

I am BEYOND excited to introduce y’all to Toni, one of the over 800 precious women who have joined me in The 30-Day Exercise Challenge. Toni’s from New Zealand, y’all! I have a friend in New Zealand! That sounds so exotic from here in North Texas (read: I’m a dork.). We call her John the Baptist. She’s our forerunner. Because of the time difference from New Zealand to North America, where the majority of us are, she works out half a day ahead of us and loops back to tell us what’s in store for us.  By the time we’re working out, she’s fast asleep. Like many of us, she has faced obstacles to being successful in The Challenge but has persevered! She blazes a path for us to follow. I just love her, and I know you will, too. Here’s my conversation with Toni.

PIN IT, y’all!


AinW: Hi! You’re awesome, and I love you, but you already know that! AinW readers who aren’t in the Super Secret Squirrel Facebook group want to get to know you, too. Would you mind sharing the city where you live, your age, and a little about your weight loss/health/fitness journey before The 30-Day Exercise Challenge, including your fitness level before starting?

Toni:
City: Auckland, New Zealand
Age: 37 (38 one week after the challenge finishes)
Fitness level, etc. before The Challenge: Active enough to keep up with my kids (just) but probably among the first to get eaten in a Zombie Apocalypse.

AinW: You crack me up! One of the things I love about this Challenge is that you can make it your own. Choose whichever program or plan works best for you! Which exercise program did you choose (i.e. 30-Day Shred, T-Tapp, other) during The Challenge?

Toni:  I have been Shredding, walking and searching random workouts on YouTube to spice things up when I am bored. Does swearing at Jillian until I am out of breath count as cardio too?

AinW: You bet it does! One of our group members routinely calls her an Evil Cow. That sounds about right. :) What do you like about The Shred?

Toni: I do feel like I am getting a workout that pushes me (huh, you think?), but I can still do most of it (admittedly with all the elegance of baby bird in mud).

AinW: What do you hate about it?

Toni: Um, the exercising part.

AinW: Well, that makes TWO of us, sister! In week one of The Challenge, I went out-of-town. Talk about your obstacles! Then, my DVD wouldn’t play in my computer! Ugh! What are some of the obstacles or challenges you’ve overcome in completing The Challenge daily?

Toni: My husband left on a 6-week military exercise, and we have no contact with him, which is hard. He also kindly gifted us all head colds before he left. Did you know that puppy pee pads are great for catching nose dribbles when doing plank jacks? Just FYI!

AinW: How lovely of him! Be sure to pay him back when he returns to his skinny wife! :) What benefits have you reaped from exercising daily?

Toni: Well I haven’t lost any weight (in fact I put on a whole bunch, but I blame the emotional eating for that), but although I weigh a little more I didn’t put on any inches. I am definitely fitter already and stronger – I can now complete a level 2 Shred and not spend the next day having to lower myself onto the toilet by wedging my arms on either wall because I’m afraid that if I don’t the impact from my free-fall will break the seat! I count that as progress!


Pre-Order Messy Beautiful Love by Time-Warp Wife’s Darlene Schacht NOW!

messy beautiful love

Hope and redemption for Real-Life Marriages.


AinW: That first-week thigh pain is no joke. I was right there with you! What do you believe about yourself and your body’s capabilities that you maybe didn’t know/believe before beginning The Challenge?

Toni: I didn’t know I would be a “gym grunter” – you know those people that grunt or groan every time they lift a weight or get to the end of their set. *Facepalm* I am one of them!

AinW: What are you hoping the second half of The Challenge will bring for you/your health and fitness?

Toni: Some weight loss! Seriously those pounds and inches, or as we say here in NZ kilos and centimetres, can just take a hike. I won’t even try to find them again, and I won’t miss them even slightly.

AinW: I’d be willing to bet they’ll fall right off now. What kind of eating plan have you followed during The Challenge? Do you feel like it’s helpful in the process or not and, if not, what is your plan moving forward?

Toni: I have been following Trim Healthy Mama…well, I stayed in the Facebook groups and read the recipes posted (if only it were that easy) but didn’t do so great (who am I kidding? I sucked!) at keeping on plan in the 2 weeks before my hubby left. I have now started a 2-week fuel cycle to give me a boost. I’m on day 4 and proud to say no cheats!

AinW: Wow! That’s awesome! What’s the one piece of equipment you could not exercise without?

Toni: Ok there are a couple of things here depending of what level of Shred I am on…

Level one: a pillow. Seriously, I must have the world’s most pathetically weak knees! I know this because my pain tolerance is actually really, really high (the kind of high that involves stubbornly refusing to be put under and making the surgeon go ahead with your emergency C-section even though the anesthetic isn’t working because the specialist told you your baby might not be ok. I am that woman. Yes, it really hurts having your tummy cut open and, yes, my baby was fine), but when I wasn’t strong enough to do a proper pushup and had to resort to the “girly” kind, my pathetically pansy knees couldn’t handle it!

Level 2: a closed door. No-one should hear those sounds!

Finally no matter what level I am on: A good sports bra! These beasts ain’t “puppies” no more, they are full grown St Bernards, and likely to bounce up and black my eyes if they are not properly restrained!

AinW: Try not to frighten the children or black your eyes, would you? What’s the funniest thing that’s happened during The Challenge related to the exercise?

Toni: My daughter reacts worse to Jillian Michaels than most kids do towards Santa. It is like she stole Christmas or something!

AinW: She’s a mean one, Ms. Grinch! What has been the most encouraging or motivating factor in this process for you?

Toni: The Facebook group, and being the “forerunner”. Wow nothing like 800+ other people backing you up!

AinW: How has being a part of The 30-Day Exercise Challenge on Facebook spurred you on to persevere?

Toni: As above and knowing that when I have had a bad day, or not gotten the results I wanted there are others there in the same boat, feeling just as frustrated and annoyed but also willing to reach out to a stranger and urge them on. Aw, warm fuzzies!

AinW: I’m pondering future 30-Day Exercise Challenges. Any thoughts? Suggestions? Recommendations? Requests?

Toni: I am thinking of doing some kind of training that will allow me to do a charity run or triathlon type event….or survive the zombie apocalypse. Those type of things require stamina!


That’s Toni, y’all! Say, “Hey!” to her in the comments here! Told you she’s lovable!

Now, don’t forget about the upcoming challenge. This is a great time to jump in if you’re on the couch watching Rocky, eating ice cream, and feeling bad about yourself. Get up, get over it, and get on with your life!

Also, the GIVEAWAY! Entry closes on Friday, so y’all get over there and enter to win!

The 30-Day Shred: Day 15

“I ran three miles, staggered into the lobby, and took the elevator back to my apartment. No point to overdoing this exercise junk.” –Stephanie Plum
Janet Evanovich, Two for the Dough


You guys. Seriously. I’m not young anymore.

PIN IT, y’all!

The Shred

A few years ago, I completed The 30-Day Shred with Jillian Michaels. At the time, I was young. It did the trick, and the weight fell off.

Then, I had this. The King of (Ring) Pop(s).

cropped-dsc_1298-edited.jpg

Clearly, he wasn’t that size when he came out (*wince*). He’s become that size in the last few years (*sniff*). Anywho, by the time he hit two, I figured it was time to take what I’m referring to as ‘the baby weight’ off. So, I fired up The 30-Day Exercise Challenge on Facebook, and over 800 of my closest and dearest girlfriends from around the globe joined me, as my second trip through Shredville began.

Granted, not everyone is Shredding, but to each her own. Some are walking. Some are T-Tapping. Some are PiYo-ing. Bottom line: they’re doing something besides sitting on the couch watching Rocky marathons on AMC (my specialty). Last Friday marked Day 15 of The 30-Day Exercise Challenge and, in particular for me, The 30-Day Shred.

The 30-Day Shred consists of three levels at 10 days each. Each workout is less than half-an-hour long. I add at least a half-hour of cardio (read: swim with my children) most days. I’m halfway through level 2. I’m begging Jesus to make a quick return before level 3 begins. My shoulders would like to spend exactly zero more minutes in the plank position.

Here are my stats at the halfway point:

Neck: lost 1 inch (tips about managing newfound turkey neck appreciated)
Bust: lost 2 inches (of course…and down one cup size)
Waist: lost 2 inches
Belly: lost 2.5 inches
Hips: lost 1 inch
Arms: lost 2.25 inches for both
Legs: lost 1.5 inches for both

For those of you that don’t have A Beautiful Mind (me, either, but I’ve got a calculator), that’s a total of 12.25 inches in 15 days with The Heifer Otherwise Known as Jillian.

Oh, and I lost 6.4 pounds, too. Say what you want about her, but it works!

My 14-year-old daughter, she who really didn’t need to lose anything, has been Shredding with me (bless her heart!) and lost a total of 8.5 inches and 1.4 pounds, too! #proudmama

More toned. More flexible. More cardio stamina. More sweaty. More stinky. More laundry. More showering. More, more, more. But less hungry! All that exercise makes me somewhat more careful about what I eat.

I try to stick around 400 calories per meal (x3) plus a 200-calorie afternoon snack, but I’m not a stickler about this. Being a stickler makes my perfectionism act up, driving me to perfect overeating again. I also try to eat relatively low-carb and overall healthy foods. I suspect that, as I go, I’ll have to get better about this. And maybe back off the Chick-fil-A fried chicken sandwiches a bit. But, hey, as long as I can lose an average of 2 pounds per week and still have the occasional chicken sandwich, ain’t no shame in that game.

Here’s my Day 15 pictorial update. More pics forthcoming on Day 30, of course.

Day 1 to 15 before and after collage

If you can’t see a difference, besides the fact that I managed to paint my toenails in 15 days, please don’t tell me.  I’m anxious to complete this challenge and move on to the next one, so I can have some more obvious before-and-after pictures, which WILL be forthcoming on Day 30. Over.


SPEAKING OF THE NEXT CHALLENGE…

The next 30-Day Exercise Challenge is scheduled to begin on Monday, September 15! Y’all need to get in on this, even if you aren’t tracking with the particular exercise type that we’re doing. If you’ve joined the current challenge late, this will be the perfect time to be on Day 1 with us! Many, many are being motivated, supported and encouraged in whatever exercise they’ve chosen.

51AFniCXtYL__SL500_AA300_

The new challenge is Jillian Michaels’ Ripped in 30! This DVD is similar in style to The 30-Day Shred but contains FOUR workouts instead of three! If memory serves me correctly (and we all know that’s sketchy), level 1 of Ripped is worse, way worse, than level 3 of The Shred (even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus). I will be doing each workout for two weeks, meaning this particular challenge will last a total of eight weeks, ending on/around Friday, November 7, 2014. And y’all KNOW I’m already researching a plan for after that! Lord knows I’m gonna need to workout when the holidays (and their cookies and such!) roll around! Dang cookies.

Don’t worry about specifics for now, just make sure you have the DVD and your trusty hand weights. A sweat rag will be good, too. I’ll be posting printable calendars and weight/measurement sheets for y’all soon!

I call this one The-DVD-I-Never-Finished-Because-Morning-Sickness. Whereas, The 30-Day Shred the past few weeks was about getting moving, this one’s gonna be about redemption. I did level 1 of Ripped after I finished The Shred years ago. I remember going into it a little cocky after having killed level 3 of The Shred and, immediately, being humbled. It. Will. Not. Break. Me.

If you’ve been doing the legwork to prepare for The 30-Day Shred, here’s the link to buy it. You can start it on Day 1 with us and track right along with us at your own pace.

If you’re still preparing to even deal with The 30-Day Shred, Jillian’s come out with a new, Beginner Shred DVD. It’s on pre-sale at Amazon now in time for a September 2 release date. You can get it here.

{Affiliate links abound.}


NOW FOR THE GOOD STUFF!

Y’all. The sweat is becoming an issue. For reals. First, it starts as a little beading, then, the next thing I know, I’m wiping it out of my cleavage. I promise it comes out of my ears sometimes. It’s a thing.

For this reason, I knew, the moment I saw these beauties, that they were the one for me!

And now, I want TWO of you to have one of these for sweat-soaking purposes, so I’m giving them away! In order to enter, just leave a comment on this post telling what has been the most encouraging part of being in The 30-Day Exercise Challenge group, or, if you’re not in the group yet, how the encouragement of the group will help motivate you to meet your exercise goals. Then, get in the group, man. Not man. Lady. Ladies only, dude.

Rules, lady:
To enter, you MUST leave a comment answering one of the above questions ON THIS POST (not on the Facebook page)!
Enter only once, please.
Comments will close for winning purposes on Friday, August 29, 2014, sometime around dinnertime.
Winners will get to choose size and style of Bolder Band.
And this: I LOVE Y’ALL!


MY FAVORITE!!!

Some of the ladies from The 30-Day Exercise Challenge have volunteered to guest post here on AinW. I’m pretty sure it’s because of their great love for me, but whatever. Starting tomorrow, I’ll be sharing their posts with you! If they don’t inspire you, God help you.

Up first: Toni, from Auckland, New Zealand. We call her John the Baptist. She’s our Forerunner.


Get to commenting, Winners!

Guest Posting at The Homemaker’s Journal

Hey, y’all! This morning, I am over at The Homemaker’s Journal guest posting about my DIY Glossy Black Doors. I just love them.

DSC_0141 edited

So much.

Y’all head over there and check it out!

PIN IT, y’all!


Coming Up This Afternoon!

                                               A single post containing all of the following:

                                            1. My 30-Day Exercise Challenge Day-15 update!

2. The NEXT Challenge, so you can get prepped!

3. A GIVEAWAY announcement!

Whew! Mondays, man.

Heavy Drinker

“Surely a woman never looks prettier than when making tea.” ~Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Lady Audley’s Secret


photo credit: commons.wikimedia.org

photo credit: commons.wikimedia.org

 

PIN IT, Y’all!


Given what you know about my background as a strict, teetotalling, Southern Baptist (now a Recovering Baptist), it might surprise you to know that I am, in fact, a heavy drinker. My drinking “vice” is actually virtuous, though, as I drink over a gallon of water per day, and I have definite opinions about how it should be served. Shocking that I have opinions, I know.

photo credit: cleanwateraction.org

photo credit: cleanwateraction.org

Since beginning The 30-Day Exercise Challenge (Hey, Challenge peeps! Mama Heather loves y’all!), my water intake has increased dramatically. Add in the over-100-degree temps here in North Texas, and you’ve got yourself a two-gallon-a-day blogger here. Easy.

In the more recent past, I’ve added tea to my daily, heavy-drinking regimen.

photo credit: commons.wikimedia.org

photo credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Since I’m a Southerner, you might assume that I drink sweet, iced tea, but that is simply not the case. In fact, I can’t remember ever having picked Sweet Tea when given a choice. I know that probably shocks those of y’all that live somewhere that has snow or other inappropriate weather, but it’s true! Call me Uncle Si (he drinks unsweet tea, too!).

I do, however, want my tea, like my water, to be ice cold. That is,  unless I’m having hot peppermint tea. Or hot pumpkin spice tea. Or hot vanilla tea. Or…oh, nevermind.


Almost daily, I field a question or two about what kind of tea I drink, how I prepare it, where to buy it, etc. Currently, I drink the equivalent of four cups of tea per day (not including the ones I drink for ‘fun’), some of which is for weight loss, others for other health reasons.

Let me break it down for you:

1 cup equivalent of Roasted Dandelion Root Tea per day

1 cup equivalent of Decaf Green Tea per day

2 cups equivalent of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea per day

Before I go to bed, I use my favorite (hands-down), if-you-don’t-have-one-of-these-you’re-missing-out-on-life kitchen appliance, my electric tea kettle {affiliate link} to heat up a kettle-full of water to boiling. I lay out three coffee mugs. I put each type of tea into each mug ( 1 bag of Dandelion in one, 1 bag of Green Tea in one, and 2 bags of Raspberry Leaf in one), then I fill each with boiling water. I let them sit on the counter and steep overnight.

In the morning, I prepare them this way:

The Dandelion tea gets poured into two quart-sized Mason jars (half in each). Then, I begin to build my detox tea {recipe here} by adding cranberry juice and lemon juice to each jar. I add ice and fill the rest with water. I drink these two quarts over the course of the day. This particular version of tea is designed to pull excess water off of your body and, boy, does it work! Stay close to the bathroom, man. “They” claim you can use it to lose 5 pounds in 7 days. “I” say I’m just happy to have my eyes and hands not be so swollen and my headache go away. If bitter is not your thing (and I get that), you could add a little stevia, Truvia, or other natural sweetener of choice. This tea is naturally decaffeinated.

The Green Tea I drink straight. I’m hard-core that way. It’s supposed to aid in weight loss. I’ve used it in the past and had good results, and I need all the help I can get. This tea is very caffeinated but, since caffeine and my body are sworn enemies, I buy a decaf version. If you play well with caffeine, go for it. The caffeine should actually help your body burn more calories.

The Red Raspberry Tea is my favorite. I do drink it Sweet-Tea style. I pour the entire cup of two-bag concentrate into a third Mason jar, add stevia to sweeten, and fill the rest of the jar with ice and water. I usually drink it with my breakfast. What is the purpose of Raspberry Tea, you ask? It helps, um, female issues. The older I get, and all. The first month I started drinking this wonder tea, “that time” was like a night-and-day difference from the month before. No pain. No bloating. No moodiness. Other than the usual, of course. My family members call it my Uterus Tea. They want me to drink it and eagerly serve it to me in my Wonder Woman mug. For reals. This tea, too, is naturally decaffeinated.

These mixes could easily be doubled, tripled, or more to make a bigger batch for the week.


Here are Amazon {affiliate} links to the different tea varieties I use, in case you have trouble finding these specialty teas in your neck-of-the-woods. They are available at Target and Whole Foods for immediate-gratification people, but Amazon’s prices are actually better. And also this: free two-day shipping, people! Waaaay cheaper than a trip to the doctor and meds, in the case of the Raspberry Tea.

Amazon: Shopping for Introverts.

Buy: Electric Tea Kettle

Buy: Roasted Dandelion Root Tea

Buy: Green Tea (caffeinated)

Buy: Green Tea (decaffeinated)

Buy: Red Raspberry Leaf Tea


COMING SOON

Don’t miss the mid-point update on The 30-Day Exercise Challenge! Friday is Day 15 (that’s halfway, for the non-mathematicians in the house), and I’m excited to tell y’all what’s going on here and hear from you about what’s going on at your house with Jillian. Y’all didn’t kill her, did y’all?

Aaaaand, in plenty of time for y’all to prepare and recruit your friends and family, I’m announcing the NEXT 30-Day Exercise Challenge! One that will take us all the way to the end of October! And you know I’ve got plans for after that….mwahahaha!

Also, a SURPRISE GIVEAWAY for Challengers! Y’all do NOT want to miss this one! Or maybe two!

Subscribe to receive the emails every time a new post is published so you’re not left out. Also, join The 30-Day Exercise Challenge group on Facebook (women only!) to read the daily battlefield reports from over 800 Challengers! The encouragement and support is unbeatable and free! Free is in my budget.

See y’all there!

Cheesy-Garlic Chicken Biscuit Redux

Pinterest Photo

So, um, yesterday I posted a little ditty about these. Apparently the good people who run my server thought that it would be a good idea to do maintenance at the same time I was publishing this life-changing recipe. And also that not alerting me to this maintenance was a good idea. Therefore, many of my gracious and faithful readers were unable to gain access to the post.

That, my friends, is what we in the blogging biz call a travesty.

DSC_0003

I am writing this post to let you know that (a) you need this food in your life and (b) all server maintenance people are on punishment.

Cheesy-Garlic Chicken Biscuits (Low-Carb/THM-S)

TCB,
Heather