Saturday, August 31, 2013

Grandma's Way

Today marks a year that my Grandma has been gone. So, a part of me really doesn't feel like blogging today. However, when I do think about today (as well as this being "Shakeology Saturday") it kind of makes me laugh because I think about how Grandma always used to get after us kids to eat our fruits and vegetables. When she cooked her magnificent meals, she always made sure she hit most of the food groups. She also used to ask me what "vegetable" I had with my meal whenever I would tell her about the things I cooked for my family lol. Grandma always wanted to make sure everyone was eating well!

I can't remember if I ever shared with my Grandma about Shakeology. Though, if I had, I would have kidded with her that I was FINALLY getting the fruits and veggies that I needed for the day. More than likely, she would have made a comment that my generation is so weird and has things so easy. Grandma always worked tirelessly to prep and serve all her food. She probably would have scoffed at Shakeology because she wouldn't want to believe that it could be healthy AND filling. She always wanted to make sure we were full lol. No doubt, she would have been like "what's that?" if I were holding my Shakeology cup. I am smiling just thinking about how she would probably say her piece and shake her head.

Grandma's way was always the best way; no matter what new and improved things there were out there. All of us kids knew that (and still do). Yes, my generation is busy, spoiled, and has no time to mess with doing things "Grandma's way". I'm grateful for Shakeology lol. Though, when I have time, I always try to cook and do things the way she would have (though it NEVER tastes the same). I miss her so much!!

Grace and peace to you, my friends!! If you would like to read the post that I wrote last year (which includes the bit that I shared at her funeral) you can click here. It's full of memories and stories of her and how special she was. She taught me so much; and more than just about food. Her faith and her heart continues on in each nd every one of us that knew and loved her. We remember and miss her terribly and Grandma's ways and lessons still carry on! We'll never do everything as well as she did, but we sure will try! Perfectionism was also Grandma's way lol. ;) May we all keep striving to be and do our best! Be infused! God bless you!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Mini Breakfast Frittatas!

Here's a quick and easy thing to make (and freeze for later!). These mini breakfast frittatas look like a GREAT way to start the day! It's a smart idea for getting some protein and veggies first thing in the morning! Yum!!

Grace and peace to you, my friends! I hope you have a great weekend! Be infused! God bless you!!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Served Up!

Serving sizes. Just what constitutes a proper serving size? I don't think many of us know! We live in a society where food servings are huge and out of control. We don't even realize just how much we are consuming!

If you want to know about how much a serving size REALLY is (and want to get control of it) read this article! It's fairly easy to estimate even when you're dining out. You don't have to carry measuring cups with you! ;)

I know that scaling down isn't always fun or easy. However, we can train ourselves to be satisfied with less. In fact, we sometimes eat so much so fast that we don't have time to realize that our body IS already satisfied until we are so full that we regret it. We really do need to scale down and slow down!

Grace and peace to you, my friends! Be mindful of your serving sizes and serve up good food and nutrition to yourself! Take your time, eat slowly, and enjoy your food! Learn to be satisfied even with smaller portions and savor whatever it is that you're eating. Be infused! God bless you!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

When You Don't Feel Like It

When it comes to working out, there are a lot of days where I don't feel like it. In fact, I would venture to say that I don't feel like it at least 80% of the time. That being the case, it's a wonder I ever workout at all! I think I would also venture to say that there's probably at least that high of a percentage out there that feels the same way!

Most people say that they aren't motivated to work out. They wait and wait until they "feel like it" before they decide to do it and commit (which often never comes). Generally speaking, people are so ruled by emotions and feelings that there are so many poor decisions that we make (or don't make) just because the feeling isn't there.

The true power is in choosing rather than feeling. Feelings are so fickle and you cannot trust them or bank on the fact that they will lead you in the right direction. Go with what you KNOW! That's how I look at it every day when I workout (and in regards to life in general). Therefore, I CHOOSE to workout even though I don't FEEL like it because I KNOW that it's the best choice. I also know that sometimes I "feel like it" once I finally make the choice to just DO IT and get it done! One thing is for absolute certain; I've always felt like the choice to workout was a good one vs. the choice of deciding not to.

One thing that will make it easier to choose to workout is choosing the right workout in the first place. If you hate your program, of course you are liable not to stick with it. But, if you do something that you enjoy, you'll  follow through a lot easier! I found that out the hard way over the years. I did LOTS of workouts that I hated and I always abandoned them eventually because I got bored. Usually, it was because I had chosen a machine. I had an elliptical, a gazelle, ab gadgets, and things of that nature. I finally realized I'm not a machine person and once I figured out that I really loved things like Turbo Jam, Turbo Fire, Hip Hop Abs, I had a LOT more success! I started really enjoying my workouts. Even if I didn't feel like exercising, I usually ended up feeling that way by the time I got started!

Grace and peace to you, my friends! Please, don't hesitate to talk to me about what program might be right for you so that you can do something you enjoy and get results! Exercise doesn't have to be a chore! Fun and fitness CAN go together! Even when the workout is tough, just remember that choosing to do it and get through it will always make you "feel" better when you're done! Be infused! God bless you!!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Eating Right...Did You Just Roll Your Eyes?!

I know that everyone has heard the "eat right" lecture before. So, I'm sure you might be rolling your eyes right now (even I do that sometimes lol). Eating healthy can be difficult in the kind of society that we live in where we are so busy that drive-thrus are more convenient than self-preparation. Yet, everyone knows that in order to lose weight, proper nutrition is the biggest factor. Even if you exercise, it's not going to equate to very good results if you're still eating junk and too many calories! That's why it's important to eat what Dr. Phil calls "high-response cost, high-yield nutrition" foods. Obviously, those include a lot of fruits and veggies and things that aren't heavily processed. For a seven day sample menu, click here! There is also a fourteen day meal plan. Also, be sure to check out his other book: The Ultimate Weight Solution Food Guide.

Are you groaning yet lol?! Yeah, it takes more effort than we are willing to give sometimes! However, there is at least one way we can be assured that we get what we need at least for one meal of the day (and that will help reduce our cravings and appetite for junk food too). Yep, you knew I was going to say it, Shakeology! I'm not kidding, people! I'm not trying to be a broken record, but I wouldn't promote something that didn't work! Whenever I'm drinking it every day, I notice a BIG difference in myself and have amazing success! Not only am I getting my protein, nutrients, antioxidants, pro-biotics, and digestive enzymes, but all the benefits that goes along with it! I'm regular, sick less often, and even my allergies don't seem to bother me! I don't have crazy sugar cravings or a raging appetite either which results in better portion control as well. My hair, skin, and nails also look better too! The benefits are endless! I love it! It's the smartest and easiest way to get what you need without having to go to a lot of trouble! Shouldn't your life be a little easier?!!

Grace and peace to you, my friends! I know that eating well can be a challenge, but you CAN learn to choose well! You can do it! You'll feel so much better about yourself and transform your health from the inside out! You're worth it and God is with you every step of the way! I'm here to support you too! Be infused! God bless you!


Monday, August 26, 2013

Stealthy Nutrition!

Not everyone likes their fruits and veggies (or eats ENOUGH of them). Of course, Shakeology is an EXCELLENT way to help you get what you need, but there are also some other ways to learn to eat good food (especially for kids and even adult picky eaters).

Many of you have probably already heard of this book. It's called Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food. Granted, you want your kids to learn how to eat good food without having to be "sneaky" about it. However, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do until they get to that point!! In this book, you'll find a month's worth of meals that kids will love (like a new and healthier version of macaroni and cheese). It certainly is a good way to get kids to eat healthier foods while still getting to eat their favorite things!

Grace and peace to you, my friends!! Here's to hoping we can all learn to eat better and infuse our bodies with good nutrition!! Be infused! God bless you!!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Simplicity and Necessity of Rest.

If it's one thing that has been on my mind this weekend, it's the fact that sometimes we just need to REST! Our lives are so busy and we do SO MUCH that we forget to just stop and "be" for a little while. I have been on the go so much this weekend that I felt rushed and crunched for time in regards to posting my blogs on here. I felt bad for not sitting down to take as much time to work as I usually do, but then I also reminded myself that it's ok. Life pulls me in all different directions and it's not always possible to get everything done how I want. Sometimes, I just have to give myself permission to not work so hard and cut myself some slack so that I can invest my time in other people, things, and in resting in it all.

With all that being said, I'm going to leave this post at that. Just ponder the simplicity and necessity of rest and of taking the time to purposely slow down and refocus. Take a break from the demands of life; even if just for a few minutes. Think on this verse and let it sink in:

He says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. - Psalms 46:10

Grace and peace to you, my friends! On this Sunday, this day of rest, remember that God created a time for rest on purpose. Not only are you rejuvenated and better able to resume your busy lives after you've recharged, but you open yourself up to hearing from God when you rest in the quiet and stillness of just "being". You'll hear His voice and know Him better! Watch the video below and listen to the song by Sonicflood in which the lyrics talk about that very thing! Be infused! God bless you!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Glass Full a Day Keeps the Doctor FAR Away!

You've heard me talk about Shakeology plenty. You've read about my own personal success and are hopefully seeing just how worthwhile it is! However, maybe you're still not convinced. Maybe, a doctor's recommendation is what it would take for you. If so, watch the video below to see what real doctors are saying about Shakeology and the benefits it provides. If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, I wonder what a whole glass full of goodness truly does?!

Grace and peace to you, my friends! I hope you're having a great weekend! I sure am!! Be infused! God bless you!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Creamy Grilled Strawberry Sandwich!

Usually, I post a recipe that's a main entree. However, I thought it might be nice to post a dessert. When I saw this one, I thought it was interesting! Who doesn't love antioxidant-rich strawberries?!! It's definitely something I intend to try at some point (and just a small update, I DID make the stuffed peppers recipe that I shared a while back; and they were DELICIOUS)!

Grace and peace to you, my friends!! Have a wonderful weekend! Be infused! God bless you!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Putting One Foot in Front of the Other

One of the biggest questions everyone has when they decide to commit to a healthier lifestyle is, "How do I get started?" Often times, it seems overwhelming because you sometimes feel like you have to change everything at once.

The best way to start changing your life is to take it one step at a time. Think about your ultimate goal, and then break it down into smaller ones. Think about the things you want to change and then make a step-by-step game plan. Evaluate your habits and identify patterns. Figure out what is and isn't working for you.

Make simple changes and work your way up! Take the broad goal of "eat better" and start with "today, I am going to choose a salad instead of a burger" or "I will drink water instead of soda." Then, see if you can turn it into a "streak". See how long you can drink water instead of soda each day! Clean out your fridge and cupboards and stock them with good things for your body. There's all sorts of things you can start doing little by little; adding them to your life gradually. Even with exercise, you don't have to start out by working out an hour a day seven days a week. How about just five or ten minutes today; even if it's just a walk? Just get moving SOMEHOW for a least a few minutes each day and work your way up!

Grace and peace to you, my friends! As you begin to make more and more choices, you will notice how much better you look and feel inside and out. Keep it up and be patient with yourself!! You can do it!! Just put one foot in front of the other (remember the old Winter Warlock lol!). Just step forward and start moving! Also, remember that I'm here to help you too! Sign up for a FREE Team Beachbody account and be a part of Infusion 413 so I can be your official coach and help you do whatever you need to do to reach your goals! Be infused! God bless you!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Focused, Fired, and Beastly!

Wow! This day really got away from me! Usually, I have my blog posted a lot sooner, but I dropped the ball today! Therefore, for this workout Wednesday, I'm just going to simply remind you about the two workout programs that are on special this month. There's only 9 more days to take advantage of the challenge pack deal (which is the workout program PLUS Shakeology all for one great price!. Turbo Fire, Body Beast, and Focus T25 are the featured challenge packs!! Don't miss out!!! I have done Turbo Fire and I LOVE IT! I am also loving Focus T25 right now and am getting AMAZING results in combination with the Shakeology!! Seriously, peeps, you gotta try this!!

Grace and peace to you, my friends!! As always, if you have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to contact me!! Be infused!! God bless you!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What Are We Learning?

If you've ever watched Veggie Tales, you're probably familiar with the "What We Have Learned" song. It's played at the conclusion of each Veggie Tales lesson (and in various styles; much to the dismay of Bob who dislikes the song for some reason lol). It's a simple and catchy song that reminds us to think about what we have learned and how to apply it to our lives.

So, what have we learned? Well, yesterday we learned a humorous but important lesson from Cookie Monster about impulse control; which is one of Dr. Phil's 7 keys to weight loss freedom that I have been sharing over the last few weeks. Dr. Phil says: "There's only one reason why you haven't changed the bad stuff in your life. You're getting something out of it. I'm not saying that you're getting something healthy or positive, but people do not continue in situations, attitudes or actions that do not give them a payoff. This key helps you identify those payoffs, unplug from them, and replace bad habits with healthy behavior."

How much did that lesson sink in? I think it's a very vital one because without self-control and discipline, there's no way that we're going to succeed! What are our habits (whether good or bad) and what are we getting out of them? What are our payoffs? We need to evaluate our behavior patterns and determine whether or not they are truly beneficial to us or not. If they're not, we need to make the necessary changes in order to get positive results in our life. As Dr. Phil would also say, we don't "break" habits, we "replace them with new ones." It's not enough just to stop a behavior. You'll go right back to it if you don't have something else to do instead. Even Jesus warns against vacancy like that. Once you clean house, you better fill it up with good things or the bad is going to creep back in and be even worse than before (Matthew 12:43-45). That kind of explains why a person can lose weight and then gain it all back and THEN some, doesn't it? Think about it!

Grace and peace to you, my friends! I hope that this blog is helping all who are reading and that it's being applied in your lives! I would LOVE to hear from you! Please, don't ever hesitate to comment on here! I would love to have this blog become a place where people interact and support one another! Be infused! God bless you!

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Cookie Monster Syndrome

I've always thought Cookie Monster was cute and hilarious. As a child, I found it funny that he always seemed so clueless and crazy. Seeing him absolutely lose it every time he saw a cookie was the funniest thing ever! However, as I got older, I remember having a change of perspective. It dawned on me that Cookie Monster really has an impulse control problem and a lack of self-control. If Cookie Monster were a real person, he would probably weigh hundreds of pounds at the rate he eats. He's a big glutton!

Now before some of you get your feathers ruffled and say I'm bashing Sesame Street, just hold on! That's not what this post is about (even though I do feel that Sesame Street has become more and more liberal over the years and isn't the same show I grew up with). Rather, it's just about drawing attention to the fact that sometimes, we don't really think about how much we eat or the fact that we eat whenever we feel like it. So many times, we just see food and eat it without thinking about if we SHOULD be eating it (or if we're even remotely hungry). We need to be a LOT more self-controlled if we expect to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Apparently, even Cookie Monster realizes this. In the video below, he parodies Icona Pop's "I love it". Cookie Monster says, "Me Want It (But Me Wait)". That's the same approach we need to have; to not eat ravenously all the time and to wait until we're hungry. Also, we need to say "no" to those impulses that we need to change. Cutting out certain foods (or at least limiting them and having some moderation) is a really good idea. If Cookie Monster can do it, so can you....well, at least until the end of his song he can! Ok,'s still pretty hilarious. I still laughed lol!

Grace and peace to you, my friends! Remember, self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. It's not something that we can do by ourselves. If we are to be disciplined, we need to rely on God to help supply that self-control. Feast on His Word, pray, and concentrate on filling yourself up with good things (including healthy things like Shakeology which DOES suppress the appetite and helps with craving control)! Here's to hoping that we all can learn to control our inner monsters and conquer the Cookie Monster syndrome; and not just with food, but with any addiction! Be infused! God bless you!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Focus + Change = Transformation!

Changes; I've been making a LOT of them lately. I can't begin to list them all, but there have been lots of shifts in my life; both big and small. For the most part, it has all occurred due to a deliberate change of focus. I've been bettering my life physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Physically, my fitness and nutrition has improved since drinking Shakeology consistently and doing the Focus T25 workouts. Mentally and emotionally, I have been purposely thinking and acting in a positive manner and concentrating on the good things of God's Word. I've been feeding my spirit with God's messages (which has also included listening to Christian music again) to fuel me and reshape my heart and mind; which has led to the better spiritual condition I've been in. I've also been actively searching for a new "church home" (I haven't been plugged into a church for quite a while).

As I reflect over the past couple months, I see how I've been transforming so much! More and more, I feel like I am becoming the person I am meant to be. These past three years have been the craziest and hardest three years of my life. It has been all the more difficult because I allowed my faith to dwindle and have gotten away from the kind of person that I used to be. Now, I feel like I'm truly rebuilding and beginning again. I have refocused on what's most important: God and Kingdom work!

Kingdom work. That's the thing that's been standing out in my mind and heart the most recently. I've thought about it all the more since visiting the church that my parents attend. They have had testimonies (particularly from the youth) where they state their name and that they're a "Kingdom worker." Every time I have heard one of those testimonies, it inspires and fires me up inside to be the kind of servant that we are all called to be (and the kind I always used to be). I am truly blessed by the kind of huge heart this church has for loving and serving others! There is such a sweet spirit of servanthood, ministry, and outreach to both the local and global community! Tonight, for example, they are having a community block party! What a great opportunity to serve and have fellowship with the community! I am going to take the kids!

I couldn't end this blog without talking a bit about the message at church today which was all about axing the excess in our lives. It fit just perfectly with all the changes I'm making in my life right now. It serves as an encouragement and affirmation from God that I am headed in the right direction. Pastor Sprinkle talked about focus and cutting out the excess in our lives that distract us from God. Whether it's having too much emphasis on our stuff, our activities, entertainment, or whatever else, we need to take a moment to shift our attention back to where it needs to be. That's something that I've learned in my workouts too as I've been doing Focus T25. Never before have I been so concentrated and focused on what I was doing. When you remember just how intentional you have to be in what you do, you get so much more out of it! I have been applying that not just in my workouts, but in all those areas of my life that I mentioned. I am AMAZED at just how more content, happy, and purpose filled I feel now! Focus + change = transformation!! It's awesome!

Grace and peace to you, my friends!! If you have been wanting change in any area of your life, you CAN achieve it if you really focus on it! Cut out distractions, commit to making changes (even small ones, which can ultimately result in big ones!) and really concentrate on what you're doing! Eliminate all the excessive things in your life that need to be cut out so you can devote more time to the most important things. Think about the limits and boundaries you need to have and redirect your time and energy to the things that matter most! As you can see, I have been pouring a lot of time and energy into Infusion 413 because I have a passion for helping people and sharing things from my life/heart that I feel God will use to minister to others. That is why I use my writing talent to blog, post statuses to encourage, and want to interact with people so they know that their coach cares about them! "My name is Melissa and I'm a Kingdom worker!" How about you? Be infused! God bless you!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Best Decision of Your Life!

Every day, we make hundreds of decisions; from the simple to the complex. We are constantly making choices that are going to shape our day and ultimately our lives. Therefore, it's important to make the best choices possible so that we can live the highest quality of life possible.

One of the most common and frequent choices that we make each day is what we're going to eat for each meal. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner (and of course there are probably snacks thrown in) we have the option to fuel our body with things that will help or hinder the functioning of our internal system. These days, I don't think many people think too much about what we're putting into ourselves. As a result, we are often slowed down and not living up to our potential.

The choice to be at optimum health is the most important choice we will ever make! If our health is poor, then our quality of life (and the duration in which we get to live it) is shortened. I don't know about you, but I want to LIVE! I don't want to just "get by", exist, and feel mediocre. I want to be the best I can be; not just for me, but for my kids, family, friends, and to be able to serve others. My life has purpose and if I am to live to fulfill what God has planned for my life, I have to take care of myself if I'm going to have anything to offer the world.

In the video below, Carl Daikeler (CEO of Beachbody), explains why Shakeology is the best choice you'll ever make. Yeah, there's other nutrition drinks out there. Sure, you could spend all day eating fruits, vegetables, and swallowing vitamins all day. However, do you really have TIME for that? How about making a simple and easy choice. Drink Shakeology! Not only do you get your protein, vitamins, antioxidants, and all your fruits and veggies, but you get the pro-biotics and digestive enzymes that your system needs to keep you healthy, fight illness, and keep you regular. Then, there's that added benefit of feeling satisfied (instead of crazy hungry all the time) and not craving sugar and fatty foods all the time. Oh yeah, and the weight-loss is the biggest bonus. Did I mention that all those anti-oxidants make your hair, skin, and nails look good too? You're talking to a girl that usually has dry skin, circles under her eyes, allergies, and mild pimple breakouts. All of that is virtually non-existent when I'm consistently drinking Shakeology. My body is looking good inside AND out! Drinking this every day is the best thing I could do for myself; and I'm worth it! You are too!

Grace and peace to you, my friends! If you've been pondering whether or not to take a chance and try Shakeology for yourself, I encourage you to just do it! It's guaranteed and it's the best choice you will ever make for your life! Be infused! God bless you!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Turkey Stuffed Peppers!

Now this looks like a tasty and flavorful entree! Turkey stuffed peppers! Lean ground turkey is always a good meat choice (and full of protein). You'll get some good veggies in this dish too! Click here for the recipe (you'll have to scroll down a little). This sure does look delicious!

Grace and peace to you, my friends!! Have a great weekend! Be infused! God bless you!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

How to Get Through the Tough Stuff!

Anyone who does a workout program (especially a very intense one) knows that it's not always easy to get through it! Sometimes, you're tired, sore, or just plain don't feel like working out. So, the question is: "how do I get through a tough workout?"

This is a question that's always in the back of my mind. There are so many times where I wonder how in the world I'm going to make it through my workout. When I feel like that, the first thing I do is pray. I can't stress enough how important it is to remember just how true Philippians 4:13 is (which is, of course, the meaning behind Infusion 413). You CAN do all things THROUGH Christ who gives you the strength to do it! Don't EVER think that you can't do something! BELIEVE that you can because that's the promise that He gives! Tap into it! Let Him infuse you!

In addition to prayer, there are a few other tips that can really help. For one, make your workouts a priority and something that is built into your day (that's what the calendar/scheduler in your Team Beachbody account is for!). I can attest to the fact that when I've got things scheduled, and I know I'm on a program that tells me which workout to do every day, I want to stick with it because I want to finish it. If I miss a day, I get REALLY annoyed (probably part of my "all or nothing" personality as well). The longer you stay in a routine, the more apt you are to stick with it as a new habit.

It also helps to have specific goals. Don't be vague! If you're just trying to "eat better, exercise more, and lose weight" that isn't a very detailed game plan. Break down those bigger goals into smaller ones. Think about the nutrition habits you want to change, the workouts you want to accomplish, and how much you want to lose. Maybe you'll have a goal to cut out soda and drink water instead or replace a trouble food with a healthy substitute. Maybe you'll want to start a specific workout program and finish it within a few months. Maybe you'll even want to set a weight-loss goal of 2 pounds a week. Whatever the goals are, narrow it down and shoot for it!

Encompassing all these things is ATTITUDE! Check your thoughts, feelings, and focus! Talk positively to yourself and challenge your excuses! Don't say, "I'm too tired and unmotivated." Instead, say something like: "I am getting stronger! I will get through this! I will feel AMAZING when I'm done and I will keep doing this so I can fit into my skinny clothes again!" Visualize yourself succeeding and then DO IT! Set out an outfit you haven't worn in years and work towards fitting into it again!

Last but not least, accountability! Workout with someone (or at least have someone to support you and cheer you on). Tell people about your goals and ask them to help you stick to it! Be willing to accept a little tough love from them when you're slacking and also be fueled by the friendly "competition" if you are working out/doing the journey together! That will really help!

Grace and peace to you, my friends! Remember, NOTHING is too tough; no matter if we're talking workouts or something else! Even if you struggle sometimes, be satisfied and content as long as you know you gave it your best! Your best effort is always sufficient and you should be proud of yourself! You can overcome and conquer anything! Be infused! God bless you!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Beauty or a BEAST?!

Well, August is almost half over already! Where has the time gone?! Kids are going back to school and everyone's routines are getting back to normal!

Speaking of routines, now is the time to get BACK into a workout routine (in case you were too "busy" this summer!). The holidays will soon be upon us and that's when a lot of people gain a few pounds! That doesn't have to be your fate! You can prevent that before it even happens by getting into healthy nutrition and fitness habits NOW so you won't be having to deal with a bunch of fresh new year's resolutions LATER!

I mentioned last week that right now, you can get everything you need in order to reach your nutrition and fitness goals with a Team Beachbody challenge pack! The ones that are on special for just a little bit longer are Turbo Fire, Body Beast, and Focus T25 (which is my current program and I'm getting GREAT results!). If you have been thinking about purchasing one of these packages (which includes Shakeology) what are you waiting for?! August is almost over and soon, the savings on these programs will be too!

You've heard me talk about Turbo Fire and Focus T25 (which are two of my all-time favorite programs and highly effective). However, you probably don't know much about Body Beast. That program is, well, a BEAST lol! If you are serious about bulking up and building up some muscle (particularly guys) then you'll definitely want this program! If you've already done some of the intense programs (like P90X) and want to take it to the next level, then this is for you! This is also ideal for skinnier guys who have a hard time gaining weight/muscle. Body builders will also LOVE this because it's an effective workout program you can do at home without having to go to the gym.  Also, don't forget to get your base shake, M.A.X. Creatine, Fuel Shot, and Super Suma if you want to maximize your results! These are specially formulated supplements that are designed specifically for Body Beast and will help you achieve your desired goals!

Grace and peace to you, my friends! Whether you're a girl or a guy, there's a program for everyone! You can now be a beauty or a beast as a result of one of these amazing programs! Time is running out to take advantage of these prices! Don't let August pass you by and then wish you had taken advantage of your chance to save on the program that will transform your body and get you to where you need to be! You're worth it! Go for it!! Be infused! God bless you!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Control Your Food Enviornment

Yesterday, I shared two videos regarding the topic that I'm going to touch on today: environmental control. This is key number three in Dr. Phil's 7 keys to weight loss freedom.

Simply put, you have to set yourself up for success. Dr. Phil reminds us of the simple fact that, "You can't eat what's not there." Whatever your "problem foods" are, they won't BE a problem if you don't buy them and have them in your home, office, car, etc. If you don't want to have to look at an empty bag of chips or ice cream carton after a mindless binge, then don't bring those things into your environment! You KNOW what trips you up, so don't set up your own traps! Click here to take Dr. Phil's environmental audit. Be honest and start thinking about how you are either helping or hurting your efforts by what foods you keep around.

Grace and peace to you, my friends! Hopefully, this key will be a big help to you. It certainly was for me! I do a LOT better when I just say "no" to my "trouble foods" and don't welcome them into my fridge or cupboards! Instead, say "yes" to the things you SHOULD be putting into your body! Be infused! God bless you!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Setting Yourself Up for Success

Are you setting yourself up for failure or success? That's the ultimate question behind the choices we make each day. Are our choices getting us closer to or further away from what we want in life?

In today's media Monday, I am featuring two videos. You might be familiar with the first one. It's one that most of us women can relate to and it comes from the movie "Confessions of a Shopaholic" (one of my faves lol). Rebecca has just finished splurging at a sample sale. Afterwards, she surveys the aftermath and  her face says it all: "Oh no, there's so much stuff and I spent way too much money! How did this happen? What have I done?!" Yeah, ever felt like that?

The second video is of a woman who decided to share her regrets about her food purchases. I know all of us can relate to that too. We all end up buying more than we intended when all we meant to do was buy one thing; that and we buy things we KNOW we shouldn't be bringing into the household to gorge on.

The common thread with both videos is the fact that both women knowingly set themselves up to fail. Rebecca knew that putting herself in that shopping environment would bring about the overwhelming temptation to buy more than she should. She tried to rationalize it by saying that she would only buy what she needed and nothing more. Of course, it didn't happen that way. She lost all self-control and it could have all been avoided if she had just stayed away from an environment that she knew would get her into trouble. Likewise, the woman who bought all that junk food KNEW she was making a bad choice. She complained about how frustrated and angry she was with herself as she was showing off the food when she got home, but she was aware even at the checkout line that she had "nothing substantial". Both women had a second chance to choose what was best for themselves. Rebecca could have walked away as she was waiting in line at the sale. The other woman could have put the food back instead of on the conveyor belt. Yet, both ignored their consciences and then wondered how they could have possibly gotten into the messes they were in.

Friends, don't make the same mistakes! Set yourself up for success! KNOW yourself and your weaknesses and then conquer them! No matter what it is, you CAN overcome it! Stay out of the environments that will trigger you (and don't bring those things INTO your home environment to trip you up either!). If you don't want to binge on your trouble foods, DON'T BUY THEM! Don't even go down the aisle that those foods are in when you go to the store! Audit your thoughts (and your shopping cart) when you're browsing and don't sabotage yourself! Make the best choices possible and stop making excuses!

Grace and peace to you, my friends! Remember to rely on God to give you the strength to resist temptation. Most of all, try to prevent temptation in the first place by keeping yourself away from the things that will trigger it. If that means you stop going to certain places, hanging around certain friends, or changing your routine, DO IT! Do what you have to do to change your life and be the best that you can be! Be infused! God bless you!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

No More "Sunday Blues"

The "Sunday Blues". That's what I used to call them. On most Sundays, for at least the past three years, I would usually end up feeling a little down. It was a combination of a lot of things; the past week, anticipating the week to come, and my life in general. More often than not, there had been a lot of busyness and lots of various issues to deal with. Most of the time, I felt like things happened so fast that I didn't have time to think about it until Sunday night when the week was over and I had a new week to wonder about. I can't even begin to tell you about the many times I would just sit and cry due to all the emotions that had built up over the week. I would just sit, think, pray, and feel sad, lonely, and overwhelmed; wishing that my life would change for the better.

However, the Sunday blues happen less and less often. There are a lot of reasons for that. Yes, I'm still busy and have a lot to deal with each week, but my attitude about it has changed. I am more focused, faith & purpose driven, and content. Why? Because I choose to be. It's all about choices! I've discovered over the years just how empowering it truly is to have the freedom and ability to choose to change your heart and mind for the better. Besides, I just don't have the time and energy to waste on the blues. Either I'm doing something productive, or I'm asleep. I don't have time for anything else lol.

I am amazed at my life's journey. Whether things have been good or bad, I've learned from it all and feel that I'm moving in the right direction. I'm finally seeing the changes I have always hoped for because I've done more than just "hope". I've taken action to make my hope a reality. Nothing occurs by just passively standing by. You have to actively pursue what results you're aiming to achieve! There's a lot of patience involved in the process, but it's worth it!

I'm enjoying being present and content in each moment. It's like what I wrote about a few years ago when I was initially in transition: I'm "living the dream"! If you don't remember that blog, you've got to read it! As I read over it myself, I see where I was three years ago compared to now. I see that my faith really has begun to rebuild and that I have overcome so many "bad dreams" on my way to these new dreams that are coming true in my life! Everything that I blogged about then has turned out to be true. I had to endure a lot of nightmares and things were really rough for a while. Now, that time has passed and the "good dreams" are on the horizon! I am a lot stronger, wiser, and more developed in my faith and character than I used to be. Through going through everything I have, I am now equipped to deal with (and receive) the new blessings to come! Praise God for His perfect timing and vision for my life! It was awful to wait and persevere through three tough years, but it was obviously necessary!

Grace and peace to you, my friends! Here's to hoping that you too can overcome any "blues" that come your way! Solomon said that there's a time for everything. If your time is a rough time right now, know that it won't be forever. That time (however long or short) will be over and you will have good times again. Maybe you feel like I did and that things will always be bad or be slow in  changing. Though, when that time finally ends, you will look back on it all and see the purpose in the grand scheme of things. That's what I'm seeing right now and I'm amazed! Live whatever dream you're in right at the moment and pray for God's strength to infuse you, help you be content, and persevere through whatever circumstance you're in. Be infused! God bless you!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

How to Make Your Life a Lot Easier

I don't know about you, but I think life should be easier! Though, you've probably been told at some point (as I have) that most things in life AREN'T easy. There's no "easy" button; well, unless you buy one at Staples lol! If you want anything worthwhile, you'll probably have to work for it. In order have success in your work, personal, and family life, you have to invest in it. You have to do whatever it takes to make it work; which means taking the appropriate action in order to make it happen. Idleness doesn't yield much. Eventually, the parts of your life that you're not putting any effort into will break down.

I'm sure all of this is not new news or rocket science. Yet, it seems like we live in a society where more and more people are trying to get more even if they're doing less. We're always looking for easier ways of doing things (or having things done for us) without having to put the blood, sweat, and tears into it. Though, as Dr. Phil would say, "How's that working for ya?"

Fitness and nutrition is one of those areas of our lives that is becoming increasingly harder to focus on. We are so busy (or just plain disinterested) in investing in it. However, we still want and wish we had the results that come with having an active lifestyle and a healthy diet. So, what if I told you that for once, there IS a better and easier way to fix that part of your life? What if you could get all the nutrition you know you need to be getting in something as simple as a drink? What if you could workout for a minimum amount of time each day but still get stunning results? What if it were that simple? Well, for once, IT IS!!

If you hate fruits and veggies, or just don't have the time and money to mess with all that fresh food hassle, then you'll be happy to know that you can get all that you need without having to go to all that effort! FINALLY, a rare loophole in life! You CAN get all the stuff that pesky food pyramid says you're supposed to have the EASY way! Seriously, NO EFFORT required and MAXIMUM BENEFITS! I should know because that's what I'M DOING! I do not have the time and money to buy and prepare a bunch of fresh fruits and veggies all the time (and not in the quantities a person is supposed to have on a daily basis). I prefer the easy way; drinking them (and no, we're not talking about juicing...which is also a chore and a bore!). I just drink one delicious shake a day and I'm DONE! My body does the rest! All those pro-biotics, protein, nutrients, antioxidants, and fruit/veggies that are crammed into one shake is all I need to be healthy, regular, energetic, and LOSE WEIGHT too! Sometimes, I just drink that shake and smile saying "this is just too easy...I cannot believe it's this simple!" The number on the scale (and on the tape measure) always says "believe it!" My body is telling me "thank you" for all that proper fuel by rewarding me with the results I've been wanting! Maybe there IS an "easy" button after all!

Well, there's your "easy" button for your inside! Now, how about one for the outside? I'm taking care of that one by pressing another button: the "play" button on my DVD player! My body is looking a lot better and feeling stronger these days because I have a great exercise routine! Twenty-five minutes a day, five days a week. Boom! DONE! Heck, if I only had 10 minutes a day, I could get it done in just that amount of time too! Fitness simplified! Working out doesn't have to take forever! You don't have to be like those people on "The Biggest Loser" who workout all day every day in order to lose weight! You really can have great results without making your whole life revolve around it! After all, we all have other parts of our lives that require our time too, right? So, why not make this one part of your life easier?!

Grace and peace to you, my friends! I hope that in taking just a few minutes out of your busy life to read this, you've learned how you can make the health and fitness part of your life just a little bit simpler! A fit and healthy "you" is a HAPPY "you"! Invest in yourself! You're worth it! You'll be at your best and ready to invest in everyone and everything else around you! The rest of your life will be that much better when you're in peak condition to give to it! Be infused! God bless you!

Friday, August 9, 2013

High-Protein Chicken Veggie Casserole!

I love Food Fridays! Who doesn't love food, right?!! Today is no exception! I ran across this recipe and I thought it looked amazing! It's one of the many recipes on my Pinterest board that I want to try lol! The great thing is, it's low in fat and high in protein!! That's always a good thing, because protein is what helps to build the muscles you need in order to burn away fat!

Grace and peace to you, my friends! Have a great weekend! Be infused! God bless you!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Midnight Munchies?

How do you overcome nighttime eating? That's a hard question to answer! For a lot of us, it seems to be an all too common snare and habit.

According to this article, there could be a lot of reasons (as well as solutions) for this problem. I can identify with many of them. In my opinion, I think a big reason is because we use food to occupy us and fill up our time; even in the midst of spending time doing other things. We often eat while we're watching TV, using the computer, or doing other tasks. Or, we just do it because we're bored and need something to do before we go to sleep.

There can be lots of reasons why we end up snacking at night, but we can learn to control it. The first step is becoming aware of our habits and then changing them. If you have the urge to eat when you know you're not hungry, do something else instead. Stop. Think. Evaluate your thoughts, emotions, and actions. Then, make a better choice!

Grace and peace to you, my friends! May we all learn how to be more disciplined and self-controlled! God bless you!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Fired Up for August!

Most of us know that August is one of the hottest months in the year (at least in Indiana where I live). Though, if you do live in Indiana, you're probably saying "not this year!" While it is true that this August has been rather mild, I have some news that is red hot!!

I am very excited to let you know that one of my favorite workouts is now on special for this month! Chalene Johnson's Turbo Fire challenge pack is on sale!! A challenge pack is where you get your fitness program AND your first month of Shakeology for a killer price!! If you buy the workouts and Shakeology separately, it would cost you a LOT more!! However, when you buy the challenge pack, you will save $70.00!! If you've been putting off getting a workout program and/or Shakeology because it was just too much, you can now have BOTH for a lot less!! This is the perfect opportunity to get everything you need and save a ton of money! As always, you have a 30 day money back guarantee (less s&h) if you're not completely satisfied. Their customer service is awesome; no hassle! They will go above and beyond to make sure you're happy (I know this from experience). 

Ladies, if you are like me, you will LOVE Turbo Fire (don't worry, guys use it and enjoy it too!). I'm a gal that LOVES great heart-pumping music and lots of fun moves and action! These workouts are FUN and effective (if you like Zumba, you'll love this!). Chalene Johnson is one of my favorite trainers! She is also the creator of Turbo Jam and ChaLEAN Extreme (I have done both of those programs as well). You won't be disappointed! 

Grace and peace to you, my friends! I hope you will take advantage of this August offer for Turbo Fire! Body Beast is also on special this month! Additionally, they have decided to extend July's challenge pack deal on Focus T25 (which is the program I am currently doing and having SO MUCH SUCCESS with)! However, if none of these programs apply to you, they DO offer other challenge packs; some of them are around the same price (or less) as the ones featured this month (just to name a few: check out Turbo Jam, Body Gospel, or Shaun T's Dance pack that has Hip Hop Abs AND Rockin' Body!). Awesome, right?! Are you fired up?! Good! Be infused! God bless you!! 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

From the Inside Out

Last Tuesday, I talked about the first of Dr. Phil's 7 keys to weight-loss freedom: right thinking. This week, it's all about feelings (which often go hand in hand with our thoughts).

It's really important to get our thoughts and feelings sorted out if we are going to have success in our weight-loss battle. If you think and feel negatively about yourself, you will sabotage any chance you have at success. That's why I have also talked about Joyce Meyer's book Battlefield of the Mind; as well as The Lord's Table. It's CRITICAL to get your mind and heart in sync if you want to achieve victory! I can't even begin to tell you how much these books have helped sort me out and put things into perspective!

Many of us are probably aware of the fact that we are emotional eaters (at least at times). If you would like to take the emotional eating test, click here! For me, I have had lots of emotional reasons to eat. Sometimes, it was for no real reason at all other than boredom or "just because". Other times, it was because I was sad and depressed (or even in "good moods" too). It really wasn't hard to find an excuse to eat. It wasn't until I really started becoming consciously aware of my thoughts and feelings that I realized that I was eating rather mindlessly. If left unchecked, that kind of behavior becomes so automatic and you end up packing on the pounds before you know it!

Dr. Phil always says that it's not "what you eat, but WHY you eat." We have to examine our thoughts and feelings and the ways that we are connecting them with food. Then, we've got to separate them from each other. If we can do that, and deal with our thoughts and emotions effectively, we won't use food as a tool to manage our internal struggles.

Grace and peace to you, my friends! May you be mindful and aware of what's going on inside your mind and heart! Journal those things, pray, talk with a friend for accountability, and even get professional counseling to deal with any tough issues you might uncover inside yourself. You are on your way to better health; from the inside out! Be infused! God bless you!!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Your True Hunger

A few years ago, I was in a small group at church and we did a study called "The Lord's Table". It was about strengthening your relationship in Christ and learning to be more dependent on Him rather than on food. It really puts food into perspective and helps you acknowledge the fact that gluttony is a sin just like anything else. To achieve victory, one must become broken and repentant to attain true freedom in Christ. If you truly want to overcome your weight-loss battle, this study is a MUST!

If you would like to read more about my thoughts on the program, visit this link to see the blog post from when I started the study. Also, if you would like to do the study for yourself, visit the website to take the course for FREE!! Or, if you'd like to do the study with a small group, you can actually buy the book and do it that way. Regardless of how you choose to do the study, you will benefit greatly from it and gain the self-discipline and freedom you have been searching for!

Grace and peace to you, my friends! Learning to feast on the Lord, and His Word, will be the best decision you'll ever make because He's what we're truly hungering for! Be infused! God bless you!!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

How You're Impacting Over 5,000 People!

Last night, my son was reading from his Goodnight Warrior Devotional Bible before we said our prayers. The story was from John 6:3-13. It's about the boy who shared his five loaves and two fish with Jesus so that he could feed a crowd of 5,000. I'm sure most of us have heard the story before. However, I think we've heard it so much that we forget just how deep that story is!

For some reason, it resonated with me in a whole new way. I paused to think about it in a more modern aspect for a minute. When we have holidays or special family gatherings, there is a LOT of work that goes into food preparation. You not only have to have money to buy all of the food, but you have to prepare it all and estimate how much you'll be able to feed. Having too much is always better than not having enough (and leftovers are usually a plus). Now, imagine that you have to prepare food for more than just a small family. Think about having to buy and prepare food for several families; enough to feed a small city! In my case, that would be around HALF of my city (our population is roughly 10,000). It is mind-blowing to think of feeding that many people! I could never afford to buy enough food for ONE MEAL to feed THAT many people; let alone prepare it all! To do that would take an act of God!!

An act of God; that's exactly what happened in the Bible passage. The disciples were stunned at Jesus' suggestion that they should feed all those people! Philip told Jesus that it would take over half a year's worth of a person's income just to be able to buy enough bread for everyone to have a SMALL piece! Can you imagine the panic the disciples could have felt? How could they afford to feed the people? Would they even be able to find THAT much bread nearby to buy even if they could? It seemed like an impossible dilemma!

Of course, God always makes the impossible possible (Matthew 19:26)! Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, that a young boy unselfishly offered to the Lord, to feed everyone! What a kind act and statement of faith! Can you visualize opening your pantry and giving what sparse food supplies you had to feed half of your city? I wonder what went through that boy's mind. I wonder if he already had the faith to know that Jesus would do something amazing with it or if he just simply had an attitude of "well, it's not much, but maybe it will help." Either way, Jesus took it and multiplied it! Not only did everyone eat  until they were satisfied, but they had TWELVE baskets of food leftover!! That is BEYOND amazing!

When I let all of this soak in, I thought a bit more about how this applied to me. Sometimes, I feel like what I have to offer isn't "enough". I always find myself wishing I could do more for God and others. I think "if I had more money, I could give so much more to help" or "I wish I could donate more time or goods to worthy charities." What an apathetic attitude and a poor reason to maybe not even give at all just because we can't give as much as we would like! Where is our faith?! We have to remember that God blesses EVERYTHING and MULTIPLIES it beyond what we can see or comprehend! Every donation of your time, money, food and goods, and even your prayers, hugs, smiles, and every act of kindness MATTERS! He takes it all and does wonders with it! We have no idea how many lives we are touching and how many people are being blessed in everything that that we share! Jesus said that even a widow's two copper coins are worth more than the excess of the rich.

Grace and peace to you, my friends! Watch the video below. It's a classic song that reminds us all that everything we do unto the Lord makes an impact! We may not even know it while we live on earth, but in heaven, we will finally understand! I can't even begin to list all the "little things" that people have said or done for me that have meant SO MUCH and have stuck in my mind and heart over the years. They have no idea the degree of an impact they have had on me; even if I try to express it to them! Likewise, I may never fully know the kind of effect I have on others. I smile at people. I'm friendly and polite. I do whatever I can to make others around me feel encouraged and blessed (that's one of the many reasons I blog too!). Every time I have ever had someone say "I needed to read that today" or "thank you for the hug" or "your smile made my day" or I see that someone or something I've prayed for is improving, I feel so blessed inside! IT MATTERS to them and it matters to God! Do everything unto the Lord (Colossians 3:23-24)! Who knows how many people you're reaching (and the ripple effect it causes!). You could be impacting way beyond 5,000! Think about it! Be infused! God bless you!!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Experience Your Own Success Story!

I love Shakeology Saturdays because I always look forward to talking about something that has helped me so much! You might remember from reading my Shakeology story that I lost around EIGHT POUNDS when I tried it for the first time. Once again, I am happy to report that in this past month, Shakeology and Focus T25 has resulted in a SEVEN POUND LOSS! Praise God! My body fat is down by 1.5% and I have lost inches as well (and the program isn't even finished yet!).

I'm feeling healthier and stronger all the time as I work hard to get to my goal weight! I feel more confident than ever that I will succeed and get to where I need to be! Every ounce of progress that I make is an encouragement! I always feel accomplished when I finish a workout and when I deny my food cravings (if I even get them at all). Shakeology eliminates the insane sweet tooth that I used to have and I just eat less in general because I don't have a raging appetite or desire to eat constantly! Additionally, in the cases where I do feel that I want something that isn't the best choice, I feel like God is helping me to refocus and resist. I feel more disciplined, self-controlled, and stabilized. God is transforming me from the inside out in so many ways!

Are you ready to experience your own success story? What are you waiting for?! Don't let the cost factor scare you! Find a way to make yourself a priority and do whatever it takes to better yourself (consider becoming a Team Beachbody coach and receive an employee discount as well as extra income from helping others when they buy these life changing products!). Remember, YOU'RE WORTH IT and so are the people in your life who will benefit from a better and healthier you!

Grace and peace to you, my friends! I hope that my experiences will be an encouragement to you. Be inspired and realize that YOU can achieve your goals too! Please, watch the video below and know that with Shakeology, a little exercise (and prayer), you can and WILL get there too! Be infused!! God bless you!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Healthy & Easy Baked Chicken Fajitas!

Who loves Mexican food?! I know I do!! Here's a recipe for some baked chicken fajitas! It looks REALLY good (and healthy too!). It's definitely a recipe I would like to try! If you make it before I do, let me know how it tastes! :)

Grace and peace to you, my friends! Have a happy and healthy weekend! Be infused! God bless you!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

YOU are worth it!

"How much is it?" That's a question I hear a lot when it comes to the Team Beachbody products. Well, it all depends on what product you're talking about. The simplest way to find out is just to visit my site and see for yourself. Don't be afraid to browse and shop the store! ;) You'll always be able to see what you're getting, and how much it will cost, in the details of each product you view!

I mentioned yesterday that some of the programs are as little as $19.95. Others are a little bit more. It all depends on what you're buying and what all comes with it. Some programs include some extras; like body bands or a mat (or P90X Recovery Formula if you're getting the P90X Peak Results Package). Then, there's things like Shakeology; which is $129.95 for a MONTH supply (FREE shipping when you decide to get it automatically shipped to you each month).

For some, the prices may seem high. However, when you think about what you're getting (and what you're doing for yourself) it's MORE than worth it! You're getting a HUGE value and it truly is affordable when it all comes down to it. Though, in this economy, I totally understand that it's sometimes hard to afford what you know is good for yourself (believe me, I know!). Sometimes it's doable and sometimes it's not. Often times, it just takes some fiscal discipline to be able to spend your money on the things that you know would be a better bang for your buck. If being able to buy Shakeology means you spend less on drive-thru junk, I would say that that's a win/win for your finances as well as your health! I'd bet if we all budgeted and audited where our money goes, we would find more room to spend on our health and fitness needs (which would ultimately free up our budget more by spending less on medical bills later!).

Grace and peace to you, my friends! If you're thinking about doing something to better your health, find a way to make it happen! Yes, the programs and supplements are definitely worth it. But, more than that, YOU are worth it!! Take care of the body that God gave you and do what you can to be at your best; not just for yourself, but for your family and those you care about. Be the best "you" that you can be! Invest in yourself and you'll see how rich the rewards are! Be infused! God bless you!!