30 Day Spring-Body Challenge

30 day spring body

I know my Ohio friends are all literally dying of cold and snow. This has been, in my opinion, by far the worst winter. ever!

I asked on my Facebook page what everyone would like to do as our next 30 day challenge. I got every body zone known to {wo}man! haha! It got me thinking… why not do a simple, whole-body challenge?! It’s perfect! {and if you really only want to focus on one or two body zones, then just do that!}

Soon the sun will be shining and we will all be out of this winter funk! So let’s shake off the winter blues, and get the endorphins flowing!

Happy March!

Happy soon-to-be-SPRING!♥

ENJOY!

♥Leanna

Twenty Question’s for Brynlee {3 years old}

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I pinned this idea on Pinterest when B was a baby and have been anticipating doing this ever since! She turned 3 in January.. I DO plan on making a little book of these. Each page (2 pages when opened up) will contain a picture from her birthday on one side and the questions and answers on the other! Her answers are so sweet and innocent and this will be SO fun to see how she grows and changes over the years!

Find the pin here {http://www.pinterest.com/pin/29343835041871313/}

Here we go:

1. What is your favorite color?  

“GREEN!”

2. What is your favorite toy?

“I want a green bear”

3. What is your favorite fruit?

“I like raspberries”    really, it’s strawberries.. lol

4. What is your favorite tv show?

“Mac en Wroooby” –-Max and Ruby

5. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?

“Orange!” –clementines 😉

6. What is your favorite outfit?

“Green dresses” – she owns none!

7. What is your favorite game?

“hungry hungry hippo’s”

8. What is your favorite snack?

“Grapes”

9. What is your favorite animal?

“Cow”

10. What is your favorite song?

“Green Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”

11. What is your favorite book?

“ Green Hello Kitty Book”  …its not green

…im sensing a theme here…. haha!

12. Who is your best friend?

“CHELSEY!”

13. What is your favorite number?

“green numbers” ….but really, it’s 8.

14. What is your favorite thing to do outside?

“Yellow slides”

15. What is your favorite drink?

“Milk”

16. What is your favorite holiday?

“Candy One’s, and a pumpkin too.. GREEN pumpkin!” …I think she means Halloween 😉

17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night?

“all my animals, and the cow animal to sleep with me”

18. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?

“cheese for lunch!”

19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday?

“purple cake” …we had spaghetti and meatballs which IS her favorite meal.

20. What do you want to be when you grow up?

“Like you mommy” …..OMG! melting my heart! LOVE HER!♥

Three Month Weigh-In {Paleo Style}

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WOW.

I just knew this was what my body needed. REAL FOOD! If you aren’t aware of my new way of eating, you can find more information here.

Right after Christmas I ballooned back up to 206lbs. I felt bloated, miserable, and hopeless. The “Just Eat Real Food” post explains exactly why I decided to give Paleo a real shot this time… and I’m SO happy I did! I started eating a paleo/primal based diet less than 2 weeks ago, right before the New Year. The first few days of my sugar cravings were at times.. brutal. I ‘relapsed’ (haha) into a jar of Nutella a time or two.. but it could have been worse! It was just a spoonful and technically nut butters are allowed but not with all that sugar!
Over the next few days I found that my taste buds were changing, my cravings decreased, and I had an overall feeling of contentment. I was always satisfied and I NEVER felt deprived!

Avoiding grains and processed food is super easy for me. When I’m full on good fats and real veggies, my body no longer needs a food ‘fix’. This is HUGE for me! I am in love with this was of eating. I just can’t stress this enough! I’m ridiculously happy!

So.. what do I eat?

Now, I am not ‘strict’ paleo. I eat some dairy, mostly in the form of cheeses and butter. I completely avoid grains, rice can be ok, but i tried that the first week and it didn’t really agree with my tummy. As far as gluten is concerned there will be times where i ‘indulge’ in a corn-tortilla chip (corn is a grain, but gluten-free). Thus far I’ve been content with veggies as my ‘dip vessels’. I switched to Almond milk. I use coconut oil like it’s my job! {you cannot be afraid of good wholesome fat on this diet!!! When grains and sugars are drastically reduced or eliminated from our diets, the body utilizes fats for GOOD. Good cholesterol, good brain health, good bodily functions, no heart disease, no diabetes, no cancer, and weight loss is effortless!} I’ve replaced pasta with spaghetti squash and zucchini noodles. I eat a sweet potato nearly every day! Eggs are for breakfast {{YOLKS TOO!! Nature isn’t stupid}}most of the time with lots of veggies (usually leftover from dinner). I use lettuce to wrap up tuna, lunch meats. I drink lots of water!!! And I drink my coffee with heavy cream and a few drops of liquid Stevia, sometimes I’ll even add vanilla extract or a dash of cinnamon! {cinnamon is a natural blood-sugar stabilizer} I eat plenty of fruit too! I have also eaten fast food and drank lots of wine {GASP!} At McDonalds I ordered a double quarter pounder with no bun, leaf lettuce on the side to wrap it up with, fries, and a coke-The only pop I’ve had in a couple weeks! The fries completely disagreed with my tummy. It was churning after a few bites. We ordered Jimmy Johns one night and I got their ‘Unwich’, and at chipotle I got a fajita burrito bowl, no rice, chicken and steak, lettuce, peppers & onions, guacamole, sour cream and salsa!
I also had a few Christmas chocolates one night with even more wine.

I’m not perfect. I never want to be strict. That doesn’t work for me. If it hasn’t been successful for me in the past 15 years, it never will be. This works. The beauty in it all? I’m free now of calorie counting and obsessing over every little bite! The weight is coming off! I’m nourishing my body! But I’m still living in a fast-food-chocolate-cheesecake-ice-cream-deep-fried-pickle-world!! So if I want a sugary treat every once in a while, I’ll have it! If I’m in a hurry and have no choice but to have McDonad’s, I’ll eat it- heck, maybe even with a bun! The point is, I’m not solely nourishing my body with these things like most Americans are. I’m replacing carbohydrates from grains with nutritious vegetables!
It’s genius! Haha!

I’m also trying to buy organic when I can. {No GMO’s} Local grass-fed beef, naturally raised chickens, and organic cage-free eggs. I’m taking baby steps here, it can get costly, but for good reason!

Here are my most recent food choices:

20140112-170446.jpg Roasted chicken, slaw, antipasto salad, broccoli & cauliflower.

20140112-170512.jpgSweet potato stuffed with pulled pork and green beans in the side.

20140112-170607.jpgRibs!

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Tuna and avocado in lettuce 🙂 so good!

20140112-170745.jpgAwesome! I use REAL maple syrup too 😉

20140112-170804.jpgBacon cheeseburgers

20140112-170827.jpgZucchini Lasagna

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20140112-170945.jpg I made an amazing butternut squash soup and never took a picture of the end result- this is it cooking before I puréed it. This was crucial to kick my sweet cravings! I put a little cinnamon in it and topped it with Greek yogurt- AMAZING!

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Spaghetti squash!!! 🙂

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All seems so indulgent huh?
Well all that yummy food lost me 6lbs in 12 days! I went to the gym only once! This may not be for everyone, but it’s a lifestyle that I’m loving and ready to take on forever!
Starting weight 12.30.13: 206lbs
Current weight: 1.11.14: 199lbs!!

I’m so enjoying my life right now!
💋Leanna

Paleo Pancakes

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My boyfriend is amazing and super supportive of my new real-food approach to my health! He found this recipe for me and I made these this morning. I was leery at first.. But I was desperate for a non-eggy breakfast! Yes, there are eggs but you can barely taste them and they are far from my usual over-medium over last nights leftover veggies! I did add pure vanilla extract to the mix and then topped them off with REAL organic maple syrup! None of that high fructose corn syrup crap! They were completely satisfying & easy, and I will definitely be making them again!
ENJOY!
💋Leanna

J.ust E.at R.EAL F.ood!

{I’m REALLY going to try to keep this short and to the point. I believe what I’ve read and researched and conversed with others…. and read some more… and researched even more. I’m not a scientist or nutritionist or dietician, and yes, I’m overweight…. But I’ve come to my own conclusion based on my readings and from past experiences. I KNOW this is how MY body functions properly and at its best.}

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I have been struggling so much with this journey these past 3 months. I’ve avoided posting on the Facebook page because I’m simply embarrassed that it’s not happening the way I want it to. How can I motivate others when I’m failing myself? I really thought I could eat whatever I wanted {in moderation of course} and with working out and my ACE, and lots of water that it would just melt off! Sadly, it doesn’t work that way. I wanted to prove that you can just live your life stress-free and eat and be merry while becoming fit and healthy. The thing is,I needed to figure out what was best for my body. Everyone reacts in their own special way to food. I’ve known for the past 3 years what my ideal ‘diet’ should consist of, but it was too much of a scary choice to actually follow through with. Now is the time to finally practice what I preach. {Deep breath in….}

About 3 years ago a good friend of mine blew my mind with her crazy way of thinking about food. For 26 years I’d know what everyone did about fat and how to be healthy. You were supposed to count your calories and eat a low-fat diet. Even the base of the food pyramid is founded on 6-11 servings of grain. The ‘whole grain’ revolution is everywhere! Study after study says that grains are good and fat is bad. We are SO WRONG! She never forced her opinion on me and actually never brought it up. I just noticed things about her health and how she ate (we worked at a restaurant together) and I started to ask questions- LOTS of questions! …and she answered them. She amazed me with a whole new perspective on what I had ever known about food and nourishment.

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Photo Credit: http://www.NerdFitness.com

She followed a Paleo-based diet. This is where you eliminate all grains and refined sugars, and eat meats, fats, vegetables, berries, and fruits. Dairy in moderation (or none at all). Basically what our cave-man ancestors ate as hunters and gatherers. She told me to watch the documentary “Fat Head” by Tom Naughton and from there I was mesmerized. We have all been fed a bunch of bologna!!! The documentary may be long but he’s a comedian and he makes it fun (and a little cheesy), so it’s easy to watch! He basically explains how and why people are overweight. He explains how our bodies process fats, produce insulin, store fat.. how ‘bad science’ has led to the modern day belief that fats are bad and grains are healthy. It also explains how carbohydrates from breads, pastas, etc… break down in the body as sugar. Sugar turns into fat. Sugar makes you fat, not fat!

{To FULLY understand I desperately urge anyone reading to please read and/or watch the links I’ve included within this post. These are just a small sampling of all the readings and research I’ve found over the past few years.}

I followed this way of eating for a couple months and felt full and satisfied and had incredible amounts of energy. My mood improved and I was sleeping better. I also lost about 18 pounds! Looking back, I honestly have no idea how or why I didn’t stick with it. It could have been any number of reasons. I was a new mom, I worked a lot, I had a partner who did not understand or enjoy the foods I was making. I had to prepare two meals each night. I think I felt overwhelmed. All of my carbo-favorite foods were readily available, my love for fast food took over.. it just didn’t work for me at that time in my life. I packed on the pounds and pretended that I could ignore the one thing that finally worked for my body!

So here I am, a few years later. Trying every other trick in the book to lose the weight. When in the back of my mind I know what to do. It was late the night before New Years Eve, I couldn’t sleep and I somehow stumbled back into the google-world of the Paleo way. I found this little gem that brought it all back to me.

This breaks it all down for you in the simplest way. It’s such an eye opener! Honestly, I felt really dumb that all these years it didn’t occur to me that human bodies were designed to eat REAL food. Think about it!!! Only over the past couple hundred years has ‘fake’ food, or “frankenfoods” as I like to call them appeared. And that is exactly when disease and obesity took over.

Here, this guy explains why grains are not meant for our bodies to digest in a short 2 minute video.

John Durant explains everything very well in this fundamentals of paleo video, it’s nearly an hour an not nearly as entertaining as Fat Head.. but its so informative!!

Lastly, are 2 awesome success stories I found.
http://www.grassfedgirl.com/my-little-sisters-weight-loss-success-story/

http://paleoparents.com/our-before-after-story/

What I’ve learned is that this way of eating improves all functions of our bodies. We can eliminate medications, cure diabetes, improve our cholesterol levels, heal our guts, improve our moods and eliminate depression, I once saw a video where a woman reversed the affects of MS on her body, and even cancer patients opting against chemotherapy and healing their bodies with food.. after all, cancer thrives on sugar {just *think* about it} and …so on and so on…… Why on earth wouldn’t you try it?! Even for just 2 weeks!? Start out small. You do not have to go strict-paleo. You can modify it to what works for you. Keep in mind a couple simple rules: Healthy fats are required {I cook with coconut oil and …GASP butter!!}, lots of vegetables, try to eat whole foods {not whole grain} but foods in their most natural, unprocessed state. Limit your sugar. The key is to keep your insulin levels low, so you don’t store unnecessary fat. I’ll say it one more time: Carbohydrates from breads, pastas, etc… break down in the body as sugar. Sugar turns into fat. Sugar makes you fat, not fat! Just do your own research. Go to paleo blogs and ask questions! I’m on my first week and it’s a lot easier than it was the first time around. This time I think I’ve realized that it’s not completely about the number on the scale but about my health! The weight loss will simply be an awesome side affect of a healthier way of living! Bryan is on board too (for the most part)! He supports me and knows that I’ve done my research. He even ate cauliflower mash for me tonight instead of the usual mashed potatoes! Haha!♥

Will I never eat McDonalds again? I don’t know. My hope is that eventually with a healed body, I will no longer crave those foods. I’m still realistic. I know that easy, fast, convenient foods are always going to be in this world. I will try my best to be prepared. Knowing what I know now… there’s no way I’ll ever eat the way I did before. Slowly my family will too!

I honestly could write a book, but I will stop here. This diet isn’t for everyone. Some people have adapted, my body can’t thrive on grains. Nutrient dense organic vegetables and fruits along with grass-fed beef, free range chickens and pork are the ideal diet for me. I’m really excited for my future! {Exhale…}

Here are some examples of my most recent food choices:

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Sweet Potato Hashbrowns
sweetpots and berries
Brynlee is having berries and leftover roasted sweet potatoes for breakfast!
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Scrambled Eggs with kale, tomatoes, & sausage♥
spaghetti and meatsauc
Spaghetti Squash! To DIE FOR! The happiest discovery for me. I’m Italian and I thought that replacing pasta would be a challenge. NO WAY! This is so much better!! I’m in LOVE! oh and the meat sauce was made with grass-fed beef 🙂
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She BEGGED for ‘different sghetti” the next day for lunch 😀
breakfast hash
Another amazing and satisfying breakfast. Free-range egg on top of roasted sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts.
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Here’s my cauliflower mash! with some lemon garlic baked chicken and roasted green beans.

Here’s to health, happiness and LIFE!

ENJOY!

♥Leanna

Two Month Weigh In

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Ugh.. Up and down, up and down. I hate the roller-coaster. I’m so sick of this!

I’ve been putting off this post.. On weigh in day {Dec 11} I was down a few pounds but short from my 195 lb goal.. The week before I had FINALLY made it to 199 and I was super pumped about it. I said to myself I’d never see the 200’s ever again.. ….

Boy, was I wrong!

It’s just frustrating. I know this will take time and I’m ok that. That’s why it’s my journey. Otherwise, it’d be called my ‘stroll around the block’. This is just part of the trip. I’ve tripped. I’ve tripped and fallen off the wagon. I was so proud of myself and for the first time in my life  I went 6 weeks straight to the gym. I’m still proud of that and I know that it can be repeated. With Bryan’s new work schedule, and me going back to work a couple nights a week, it got tougher for me to make it to the gym. I really LOVED my morning workout routine! It’s so much harder to commit to evenings. I’m a tired mom. The ACE has helped tremendously with energy, but I only take it as needed for a boost. Sometimes, after dinner, I just want to snuggle up on the couch with my family. I’m still searching for the balance I guess.. perhaps I’ll never find it. But I won’t stop looking.

Two weeks ago, I stopped doing my challenges. I stopped posting a lot on all of my Facebook pages. I stopped drinking my water. I stopped taking my supplements. I stopped going to the gym. I stopped eating well. I stopped making good choices. I just…. stopped. I have no idea why. Every day was a different excuse. Why is it that we know exactly what to do to get healthy and lose weight yet we are constantly sabotaging ourselves??

What I’m taking away from these two weeks is this: I’m ok with the stop and go as long as the ‘go’ outlasts the ‘stop’. Eventually, the ‘go’ will win and the ‘stop’ will no longer be a burden to me. I’m going to overcome this. I’m going to fight. I have to.

I started a couch to 5k program. I’m on Day 2! I’m really proud! I plan on going to the gym at least 2 more times this week. I’m going to try to do the 80/20 eating clean rule. Avoiding sugar is my biggest problem. That will be my focus this week and I know I can do this!! I have an online ‘dietbet’ I’m trying to win!!! We have a week left and I have to weigh in at 197!! YIKES! In December alone my weight has fluctuated NINE FREAKING POUNDS!!! I was 198 a few days ago… yesterday I was 207! seriously. What. The. Fuck?!

I need to remind myself that I just had a baby 3 months ago and a 2nd one at that. My body still has not fully gone back to normal, my hormones are still out of whack, my sleeping is not consistent, and my stress levels are elevated. All of these are stacking the cards against my weight loss. I just know that if i get through the next month or so of this struggle.. the weight is just gonna melt right off!

I’m so sick of this struggle but I know the end results will be worth it times a million! I’m staying positive, focused, and as motivated as possible.

Pray for me.

♥Leanna

Daddy is a …Dick?

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I just had to post this. My daughter loves to draw and color. What kid doesn’t!? She was so proud she came running to me with utter excitement! She said ‘look mommy’ and handed me the paper. I immediately saw a penis. I said ‘oh! …what is it?’ Just anticipating what could possible come out of her mouth. And then she said it. Loud and proud.. ‘IT’S DADDY!!!!’

I lost it.

It’s beautiful.

And actually semi-accurate. Daddy has been called a dick a time or two!

Hahaha!

❤Leanna

Paleo Sweet Potato & Cinnamon Hashbrowns

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I LOVE eating Paleo/Primal/Grain-Free!! I truly believe it’s exactly how are bodies were made to eat. This is something that I could honestly write a book about and have never really shared with my blog world friends.. Embarrassingly, it’s because I don’t practice what I preach. In this world, in my home, for me personally… It’s a hard diet to change to. I’ve TRIED!
Anyway, keeping it simple. It’s very healthy to keep your blood sugars low and stable so you don’t retain body fat. Carbohydrates (which are glorified chains of SUGAR) found in ‘white foods’ such as bread, cereal, bagels, pasta & other foods spike up your insulin levels and cause you to crave more carbs and sugar and keep you fat. Sugars makes us fat, not fat!

…look at me getting ahead of myself…
I guess it boils down to this. I believe in whole, REAL foods.
I wanted to make these for breakfast to change things up a bit from the egg routine. I’m not full on Paleo -yet!! But I’m slowly incorporating those foods and ideas into my diet more and trying very hard to avoid the bad stuff. I’m also realistic and my favorite food is spaghetti so…. yeah, that’s never going to change and even if I end up treating myself once a week or month, I’m ok with that!

Ahhhhh! Now for the damn recipe:

Seriously SO simple and delicious!

Shred up one sweet potato.

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Add one egg to bind and as much cinnamon as you’d like!

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Pull out your coconut oil {healthy FAT!!!}

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Heat up oil in a pan and drop spoonfuls of your mixture into the hot oil.

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Smash flat with a fork and crisp on both sides for about 4 minutes.
Drain and ENJOY!!

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Hope you love them as much as I did!
❤Leanna

Ab Challenge

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I know, I know… We are at the tail end of our plank and squat challenges, why on earth and I throwing another one into the mix?  WHY NOT??!!

I started this yesterday, as mentioned on my facebook page, and it just makes more sense to start Day 1 of a challenge on the 1st of the month. It was getting hard to keep track of all the different days!! lol.

PLEASE do this with me!! I cannot stress enough how just taking a few minutes each day to do something for yourself is so very important. I am the busiest of bee’s and if I can find the time, so can you! Honestly, Ty was taking a nap and B was eating lunch when I did them today. Right now, she’s playing in her room and I’m feeding Ty while typing this up on my phone. It’s just minutes of your day… and you know what???… I’m losing weight! Just today I put on my pre-Tyler jeans and they buttoned!!  

…and that feels awesome!!

♥ Leanna

Duct Tape Purse Tutorial~ By Tatum

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~My friend’s awesomely creative and talented daughter wanted to share how she makes duct tape purses!! They are simply adorable {and so is she!}~

Here’s all you need:
Fun duct tape, in your favorite prints, scissors, and a ziplock bag. {The kind with the zipper works best}

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What to do:
First, wrap main color of duct tape all the way around it.

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Then take a long piece of a second color and fold in half. This will be for your strap.

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Next, take a small piece of the first color and cut in half. Form a T on each end of the long handle piece and attach to the sides of the purse.

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Finally, take another piece of the strap color and fold in half, then pinch in the middle and wrap with another small piece of tape. This makes the bow, and can be attached to complete the purse!

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Super easy and FUN!

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Enjoy!
❤Tatum