Tuesday, November 27, 2012

TurboFire Review (thus far!)

It really didn't surprise me the moment I hit Play on my DVD player and started to grin ear-to-ear. Something about a new workout DVD gets me super excited (I know, so lame!)  Now, I was starting my third workout program in Chalene Johnsons's workout series, TurboFire.

I started my little workout journey with her first series, TurboJam and quickly fell in love. TurboJam was like a workout class that I always imagined in my head. If I could take all of my favorite things and mix them into one workout, at that time it would have been TurboJam. It had everything: Great music, up beat/motivating instructor (sometimes I feel like she is speaking right to me!), and a mix of kick boxing and dancing as if you were the only one home and your favorite jam came on the radio. I was hooked.

After TurboJam I dabbled in a few other workout series and found myself back with Chalene in July of this year for ChaLEAN Extreme (see the tab marked Chalene Extreme for more info on that one). Yet again, loved it! Everything I could hope for and more!

Now it's TurboFire. I feel like TurboFire is the big sister to TurboJam. TurboJam is great for beginners because it starts off at a reasonable pace, and offers many modifications to up the intensity. TurboFire starts of high intensity and keeps getting more challenging, but with the same kickboxing, motivation, instructor, and dance-like-your-favorite-jam-came-on kind of feel.  TurboFire fuels my need for increased intensity and challenge as now various aspects of plyometrics are added into the mix to give you one hell of a full body cardio workout. You will be left breathless for sure!!!!

I would recommend this workout to people looking to lose weight FAST. This is a 90 day program, but with Chalene's motivation and the included workout calendar showing you which workout to do on which days, you are SURE to drop the weight that you are looking for. See the tab marked "Transformations" for some awesome TurboFire transformations. This product has been used by many moms looking to lose the baby weight and has been a huge success!

Interested in learning more? Head on over to my site to see the various purchase options and get started today! Pair it with Shakeology for an added boost and even better results! www.beachbodycoach.com/nik4213

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRGTuvoEgdA  <---CHECK OUT A PREVIEW HERE!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Never Giving Up is Half the Battle

In life it is very easy to give up.  We give up on saving money, because we'd rather have what we "want". We give up on marriages, because they seem doomed and like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. We give up on our goals and our dreams because the road that leads us to them seems about as difficult as trying to climb Mt. Everest without climbing gear.

It is so easy to give up.

I always take notice when people refuse to give up. On my way home from work there is a donation station for charitable items. This is a rinky dink place that just opened up and from what I can tell, business is slow. Yet this man sits outside on a bench every-damn-day holding a sign saying "Clothing Donations Being Accepted Now". People just pass him by, or stare at him out of their car windows as they sit at the stop light (myself included). Some people, I'm sure, don't even realize that he is there. But he is there, every day. Every day he sits and he smiles and waits patiently for that one car to pull into the parking lot and make a donation. I have decided that tomorrow I am going to be that person. My couple bags of clothes and old board games might not be much, but it might be that small sparkle of hope that man needs in order to continue to sit and work for something that he has a true passion for. He wants to help others and he won't give up. No matter how many days go by that he gets no one, that day when he gets someone to donate makes all of those days worth it.

My mother is very similar to this man in her journey to spread the word of the Lord through being very active and dedicated to our church. Our church is EXTREMELY small; like 10 pews on each side small and has lost the majority of its funding. Weekly contributions sometimes do not break $300 and attendance is down. Attendance is so bad that we do not young adults to lead the procession of 3 choir members down the aisle or to light the alter candles. Funding is so low that we do not have a Pastor; instead, the church comes together and each person takes a turn preaching each week. And those that attend regularly, continue to attend. The church refuses to allow itself to give up, and it presses on as a church family week after week. My mother was the one chosen to preach on Sunday. Ironically enough she told the story of Hannah, a woman who could not conceive a child but that never lost her faith in Jesus and never gave up. Eventually, Jesus awarded Hannah a child. The message behind the reading was that we should not give up on things that we are passionate about, and that in time our goals will become realities.  Now, this amount of time might be very, very long or it could come with a stroke of luck. Either way, dedication remains the key to success.

Now, imagine if you lived your life with that kind of mentality day in and day out. It sounds draining, yet rewarding. If we never gave up on ourselves, imagine the things that we could accomplish.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Was there ever something going on in your life that you just HATED? I mean you really HATED it to the point where it completely consumed your thoughts, time, emotion, etc.? Even when it wasn't present, it felt like it was there!!!  It's like a visit from "that" family member..the one that just won't freaking leave!


You ever just want to scream?

I know I do.

Sure, this blog is about motivation, inspiration, being positive, etc. but let's face it-even the most positive of people have a day where they just throw up their hands and say, "THAT'S IT! DONE FOR THE DAY!"  We all have those days.

I'm currently going through one of these situations myself, and I have been complaining, whining, crying, bitching, moaning, and groaning about it for quite some time. I allow it to consume all emotion from me on some days, and carry it home with me on others. Yesterday, I decided to practice what I preach to others and do something about it.

In reading Anthony Robbins's book Awaken the Giant Within the other day on the treadmill, I came across a quote that ignited this little spark inside of me (which, sparks grow into flames, flames grow into fires, fires grow into infernos, etc.) The quote said, "It is not where you start out, but the decisions that you make about where you're determined to end up that matter." Isn't that the truth? Think of all of the decisions you have made in your life: where to go to college, whether to stay in school, who to date, who to marry, who to divorce, whether or not to have kids, which job to accept and how each of those have affected your life. It is crazy to think of the web that we weave for ourselves throughout our lifetime.

Now, in the same regard think of the other decisions that you make in regard to your emotions. Feeling angry, feeling depressed, sad, upset, etc. etc. and think of the web that those weave: You get mad so you yell at the dog, stomp around the house, your significant other is afraid to come near you, you take it to work, have a negative attitude surrounding your tasks, vent to your best friend, bring them down, they go yell at their dog and husband, etc. etc. Every decision we make spins its own web; some webs are positive, and others are negative. The funny thing is those negative webs seem to grow at a lot faster rate than the positive webs do!

I realized yesterday that I had this HUGE negative web branching out from me right now, and that is NOT something that I want anymore. The book also says that, "you have to set standards for what you consider to be acceptable behavior for yourself, and decide what you should expect from those you care about. If you don't set a baseline standard for what you'll accept in your life, you'll find it's easy to slip into behaviors and attitudes or a quality of life that is far below what you deserve." I realized that this negative thing in my life was literally controlling my life at this point. Tony says that we must TAKE ACTION, and sometimes we must take a massive amount to get what we want out of life. So, rather than sitting around bitching, moaning, and complaining (which I did sound off one last time last night) I decided that I was going to start taking action toward breaking down this negative web. The longer I let it go,the bigger it was going to get, the more work it would be to get rid of it.

So I started baby steps. I started taking that action toward something new in my life. I started exploring options, weighing pros and cons, and the funny thing is that every "con" that used to fuel my self-doubt got washed away when I set my standards for what was acceptable. Every "con" that made me afraid to make this move quickly vanished, because in the end it's not the money that's going to matter it's your sanity and at this point I'm about ready to be checked into a nut house :) It's time to move on (yes, I'm talking about my job).

So think about it. What in your life needs a change? What in your life is the center of this negative web (because we all have one somewhere). Take one step today toward changing it. Use the energy you would typically use to complain about it, and put it into a positive action to begin changing it.

If you are having similar problems in your life, I highly recommend you pick up Anthony Robbins book Awaken the Giant Within. I read a little bit every day and it is helping me find a voice and find the courage that I need to make my life what I want it to be.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Like the title of the blog states, sometimes you have to take what you're doing, and give it more. This can be in any aspect of your life. When you feel like you can't give any more....give it just a little bit more, then a little bit more after that.

A personal struggle that I suffer with is seasonal depression. I have dealt with this since I was a child and it seems to get more challenging as the years go on. It used to literally cripple me, keep me in the house all winter, sleeping over 15 hours a day. I would wake up, it'd be dark, and I'd figure, "Well no point in getting up now" and I'd just go back to sleep. There was no drive, there was no energy, there was no purpose as far as I could see. I was never suicidal with this...just COMPLETELY unmotivated to live any sort of fulfilling life. I know a lot of people can relate. It wasn't until I started opening up about this that I realized I am not alone in this boat of seasonal misery.

Every day is like an exhausting battle with myself. But that's a good thing! The battle means that I am giving it more, that I am not giving up, and that I am not giving in to this seasonal  pain in the ass. It means that I have refused to settle or accept what I am going through. It means that I am sick and tired of being sick and tired in the winter. It means that inside, I still want more. It means that I'm fighting.

Many people might say, "Maybe you should get on some medication." or "Maybe you should talk to someone about this." I disagree. If I am fighting, I'm fine (in my opinion). I have been on anti-depressants and I HATED the way that they made me feel. I also know that if I make myself (after much internal battle) get off my butt and do something that I feel better.

This is in no way a medical blog, just a blog of my personal experiences. Perhaps you feel the same way that I do as the winter months start to head in. Maybe you also do not want to go on meds because you feel that this is a manageable problem; if so, here are some of the things that I have been doing that seem to be helping elevate my mood on even the gloomiest of days:

1. Exercise. As Elle Woods proclaimed in Legally Blonde, "Exercise creates endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don't just kill their husbands!"  It's true. Some days it will take more exercise than others to elevate the mood. I had a day like this yesterday, but I would rather exert some energy doing something that is benefiting my body than wallowing in self pity under the covers and giving up.

2. Eat Clean. Again, this is not a medical blog, I am not a dietitian or a nutritionist, but the amount of articles that I have read lately about the crap that is in our foods is scary. Hormones are found within our foods that can alter our own chemical make up. Not to mention, there are some additives within foods that actually bring our  moods down. If you have ever watch the documentary Supersize Me, you will remember how Morgan Spurlock's mood was greatly affected as he ate McDonalds day in and day out. Yes, his situation was a bit on the drastic side, but as someone who does eat clean about 85% of the time, I can tell you that if I am in a situation that calls for repetitive fast food bouts, my mood changes.  When I eat clean, I feel clean. I feel light, I feel like my mood is better, I just feel more nutrient rich. When I eat like crap, I feel like crap. Not saying that this is the same for everyone, but for me this is how it works. So try putting more whole foods in your diets and see if that helps to lift your mood.

3. Go tanning. I'm not saying go every day and fake bake to the extreme. I do not tan to be "tan" (if you saw me you would know I'm definitely not tan), but I will go and lay in the bed for 10 minutes. It makes me feel warm, and cheers me up.  As a side note, I will not go more than 10 minutes. I do fully believe the tanning bed/skin cancer links and am one of those people when outside that wears SPF30+ (just didn't want people saying, "YOU ARE PROMOTING CANCER!" because, I'm definitely not!!)

4. Get outside. Whether or not it's cold, if it is sunny get outside and just enjoy the sun. Sunshine stimulates the production of Vitamin D. The sunshine and the outdoors can also help to raise your endorphin levels, cheer you up, raise your energy levels, and boost your mood.

5. Find a hobby that you enjoy. As lame as it sounds, I scrapbook all winter long. Looking at the photos from the summer and holidays passed helps me to remember that there is a ton to look forward to and that warmer/sunnier days are ahead!

6. Embrace the climate that you are in. This is the hardest for me, but I do try. I hate the cold. I hate the snow. I'm more of a palm tree and sunshine kind of girl; however, I do try and embrace the climate that I live in. I go snowboarding, and while I'm not very good at it, it is something that makes me smile. I also love ice skating outside, and there is just something special about running through huge snowflakes; it's like you are in a snowglobe.

Those are just some tips from me to you. Again, I'm not saying any of it is "scientifically proven" or anything like that, but it's working for me and I know I'm not alone out there.

If you have any additional tips that you would like to share about how you battle the "winter blues", please feel free to leave a comment below!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Awesome Santa Fe Chicken

So, one of the hardest challenges when it comes to a healthy lifestyle for me is finding a healthy way to incorporate my love for Mexican food. I.love.tacos.burritos.queso.

I can take down a bowl of queso dip and chips like Takeru Kobayashi takes down Nathan's hot dogs at Coney Island. It's not pretty...but you get the picture.

They I found a recipe that combines two of my favorite things: a semi spicy dish and my slow cooker

**And the heavens above open and sing!**

Without further torture, here ya go!!


24 oz (1 1/2 lbs) chicken breast
14.4 oz can diced tomatoes
15 oz can black beans
8 oz frozen corn
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
14.4 oz can fat free chicken broth
3 scallions, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
salt to taste


Combine all ingredients in crock pot, placing the chicken on top (I covered mine a little bit). Cook on low for 10 hours, or on high for 6 hours. A half hour before it is done, take the chicken out and shred it with a fork, then return it to the pot and let cook for the next half hour. Serve over brown rice with a small dollop of fat free sour cream and a dash of reduced fat cheddar

Servings: 8  Size: 1 cup Calories: 190 Fat 1.5g Carbs 23.1g Protein: 21g

For more great recipes like this one, head over to www.skinnytaste.com

Friday, November 2, 2012

Just a Little Thought...

While reading my Grandma's journal the other night, I found this cute little poem. I'm not sure if she copied it from somewhere, or if she wrote it herself, but I thought it was great and def. wanted to share.

Just supposing we started this very day
T live our lives in a different way;
Just supposing we vowed and constantly tried
To help those in trouble-
On life’s wayside.
If we showed by our doings a hint of His love-
Wouldn’t Earth be a bit more like heaven above?
Monday: Look for a smile today and return it with one of your own
Tuesday: Gather a thought, a kind one that’s sincere and deep, but be sure to pass it along for such are too precious to keep.
Wednesday: Forget yesterday’s old sorrow, mistakes, sadness, and pain. Lift your heart with hope and a song, as flowers to the sun and rain
Thursday: Offer a word of comfort and prayer to help someone in need. A little thoughtful gift, some flowers or a smile makes us all rich indeed.
Friday: You shall not pass this way again, so do any good you can do. Don’t put it off till tomorrow or the chance may be lost for you
Saturday: Today will soon be a memory so don’t let it come to an end without a smile, without a song, or just a word with a friend
Sunday: Don’t let worry and care depress you, or brush the day’s joy away, but rise and give thanks to God above for His love and another blest day.