Update : photo progress!

Hi gals and guys!

This is hard for me to do since I have always kept a very private front on the internet and in “real life”.

Like I said, I am working on sharing – so here goes. Here is a sequence of photos from where I started and where I am now. Actually my journey started about three months before the first photo was taken. After I my pregnancy I continued to gain weight. It was a product of careless emotional eating. The demands of raising a little girl and growing our little family were hardcore to say the least. Our daughter was born with two heart defects and I didn’t realize then, but I do now, how different my introduction to parenting was compared to most new mothers. And I admit, I made myself feel better with food. My esteem was so very low that I refused to take photos. I was an inflated 155 lbs – maybe more. With some hard work and dedication we have the following:

Transformation progress pic!

With that said, my original goal was to reach 55.0 kilos by the end of this month. I am currently 57.2 kilos. Likely I won’t reach 55.0 kilos in a few weeks because my goals have changed. My focus is now on building muscle and losing fat. It’s about BEING STRONG – not skinny. So from this point forward the weight loss may or may not be slower. Anyways – I have so much to share…so much further to go.

Have a great day !!!

Until next time!



Bringing it with you! Tips for staying on track while on the road!

I always wondered why vacation was an acceptable reason to go off track of a health and fitness regime. I fell into that mind trap, time and time again – the belief that just because you are on vacation (or traveling away from home) you will gain weight and eat unhealthy. Because I believed it – I lived it. Take heed of what you believe, because it is very influential on the reality that you experience.

Starting over sucks.

I have been working for so hard, for so long and did not want to start over. So.

I decided to change that belief system this time and I set my mind to believe something different. Something more powerful and supportive of my fat loss goals. I believed that with preparation, intention and thoughtful action that I would come back home with lost inches and maybe even poundage.

It happened. It was easier than I could have ever imagined.

Here are some tips and tricks that worked for me and could help you next time you travel away from home for work or pleasure.

Tips for success:

•    Food Preparation : Take some time to look at the week (or days) ahead and pre-cook/prepare your meals or just some key ingredients ahead of time. For example, I cooked about three pounds of chicken (at a time) and kept it refrigerated. If you don’t have access to a cooler or refrigerator, canned fish works really well. Handy storage containers make it easy to take food with you wherever you go.
•    Emergency Food: Keep things like protein bars (Quest bars are my current favorite), nuts, fruit (fresh and dried) and raw, pre-cut veggies with you at all times. When you get those pesky munchies, make the conscious choice of taking one of these choices out of your bag rather than purchase that candy bar at the gas station. It may take a while to get used to – but if you keep making the same choice over and over again – it becomes habit.
•    Pack a food scale and track your calories: I use Livestrong’s MyPlate to keep track of what I am eating.
•    Stay accountable: Bring a measuring tape with you and keep up with your weekly “weigh-ins” (or “measure-ins”). A body weight scale is a bit cumbersome to carry around.
•    Eat out! Control your portion size. Order your food cooked without oil and ask for any extra sauces on the side. If you have your food scale with you – weigh out your portions.
•    Have fun! You are traveling after all and one of the greatest things about travel can be the food in the region you are in. Taste it, have some – just keep the portions moderate and sensible. Experience it and do not over indulge! Have a cheat meal here and there.
•    Relax and know that you can do it!

These tactics may seem extreme if it is totally different than what you are doing now. Take this as an opportunity to reprogram yourself. Pick one or two of these tactics and go with it. Give it some time and before you know it, it will become habit.

If you are like me and sometimes wonder “Why on Earth am I doing this? Why do I continue to seek optimal health and fitness?”….step back and remind yourself of this:

Your body is the harp of your soul.
And it is yours to bring forth
 sweet music from it or confused sounds. – Khalil Gibran (1883 – 1931)

Beautiful, isn’t it?

Until next time…


Summertime Travel : Staying Fit and Eating on Plan

I can feel Autumn around the corner and boy am I happy. Autumn is when I thrive – like really thrive. It’s the time of year I feel the most alive.

Bring it on :-)!

We just got home from our two week long, epic road trip through Norway. Norway is, hands down, the most beautiful place I have visited and although I enjoyed basking in the power of mother nature…

Norway 1

It feels fantastic to be home.

Even though I was hell bent to stick to my health and fitness goals on this vacation…there was a part of me that was a bit shaky that I would go off track.

Self doubt – dang it! Why must you cramp my style?

The great news is that not only was I able to stay on track with my diet…

It felt easier than at home.

Because we were traveling in an RV with a refrigerator and kitchen (it even had an oven!) – I had ZERO excuses to falter. That combined with the fact that I have been eating on plan for over three weeks (it takes 21 days for a new behavior to become habit) – it was actually easy!

Because I didn’t have access to a gym while on the road, I packed two pairs of kettlebells and a bike with me. To keep my strength up, I did this EXCELLENT 500-rep kettlebell workout 2-3 times a week and rode my bike when I felt like it.

Norway sheep

My next blog post will be about tips and tricks for staying fit and healthy while traveling! There are so many things that we can do to empower our health and fitness journeys when sauntering away from home. Throw away the idea that vacation or travel = weight gain or falling off of plan. That’s old school limited thinking.

I have recently fine tuned my weight loss goals to focus more on tightening up
and reshaping my body through serious weight training and proper nutrition rather than on just weight loss.

None the less it is great to see that I lost another pound while on vacation. 🙂

If I can do it, anyone can.

The mind is a powerful thing.

Use it to do your bidding.

It ain’t all bad :-)!

“You are essentially who you create yourself to be and all that occurs in your life is the result of your own making.” – Stephen Richards

My plate now! 150 Calorie Chocolate Protein Cake!

I am so very grateful. So very blessed and grateful to have found the fortitude within to trough my way out of “the hole” and pave my way back towards great health.

You know how they say you don’t know what you have got until it’s gone? Yup…that’s me.

Never again.

I am so happy to have rediscovered that vitality, that spark, that will again. This evening I choose to celebrate. With one of the absolutely most delicious protein concoctions I have traversed upon thus far.


Oh my goodness. It really was so delicious and so yummy that it had to be enjoyed privately.

I had a pretty intense, yet excellent, workout today and needed my protein infusion for the night. Rather than make sludge (whey + water + peanut butter)  again, I perused the internet for some inspiration and found something special…very special!

Thank you Laura for sharing your magnificent recipe!

I threw all the ingredients together as instructed and could not have been happier!

Because I had a few extra calories to spare today, I topped my cake with peanut butter icing (1/2 T pb + 1/4 c fat free greek yogurt + stevia + vanilla)!

150 cal cake!

It truly satisfied all those “dessert” cravings – including the visual. Moist, sweet, plush, and satisfying while looking like a giant cupcake!

I was so happy to make use of my vegan protein powder sitting on the counter. I forgot how much I really enjoy eating that stuff.

150 calories never tasted so good.

Health never felt so good.

Now that I have it back, I’d be darned (and pretty damn stupid!) to let it go…

Until next time…


PS. I always feel a mood and energetic lift after eating vegan protein powder. There is something very good about this stuff. Just to let you know – and they do not sponsor or pay me or anything – I use Sunwarrior Vanilla (Vegan) Protein Powder. I really do think there is something about it that enhances the mind-body-spirit connection. Just sayin’…

My plate now! Strawberry choco-cheesecake “Ice-Cream”!

And did I mention that it is clean? It’s also sugar-free, gluten-free, lo-fat and high in protein!

Not to mention that this decadent “ice-cream” is a perfect evening snack especially if you have had a hard workout the same day! More on this at the end of this write-up.

It’s been a hard week for me guys. One of those weeks where I can feel the planets working against my every effort. This is why I decided to think about ice-cream. Ice-cream makes me happy!

Strawberry cheesecake

The photo does not do the protein concoction justice.

Did I mention that I LOVE protein powder?!?! Well if not…I LOVE WHEY PROTEIN POWDER!

The “ice-cream” also really tastes so very yummy. Especially to those of us with an affinity for protein powders (whey).

Here is what you do! It’s super easy!

Combine the following ingredients together in a blender until it is creamy and fluffy. Add a splash of  almond milk or rice milk if it is too thick. Put the decadent mixture into your favorite bowl, cover it (saran wrap works well) and put it in the transformative freezer for 45 minutes – 1.5 hours. Take out, sprinkle with some raw cocoa nibs (optional) and eat. Easy and yummy!


•    1/2 c low fat cottage cheese (2%)
•    1/2 scoop chocolate whey protein powder (Jay Robb Chocolate)
•    3 large frozen strawberries
•    stevia as needed

Calories: 168 kCAL
Fat: 2.0 g
Carbohydrates: 13.0 g
Protein: 24.0 g

Compare this with the nutrition of 1 cup of chocolate ice-cream. 246 kCAL, 14.0 g of fat, 40.0 g of carbs, and 5.0 grams of protein.

Adjust the ingredients as needed to meet your macros :-)! This recipe serves one! Double for a larger serving or triple to serve more people. Work your magic! You’ve got it!

Spice it up with a tablespoon or two of your favorite nut butter! Tastes great with peanut butter! Replace the frozen strawberries with some frozen banana slices. Have at it.

On the note of health benefits, there are so many primarily due to the protein combination that center around fat-loss and muscle-gain. This ice-cream combines both whey (fast-acting) and casein (slow-acting) and thus is excellent for an pre-bed snack on the evening of a hard workout.

Oh by the way, casein is naturally occurring in the cottage cheese!

Casein protein is the major protein found in milk. It makes up 80% of the beverage, with the rest being whey protein. Casein protein is a better choice than whey at bedtime due to its slow digestion and absorption rate. Your best bet is to use a protein powder that contains some micellar casein, an undenatured (unaltered) form of casein that will clump together in the stomach and form a gel, significantly slowing its digestion. This allows the protein to provide a slow and steady supply of amino acids to the body for up to seven hours, so it doesn’t have to take them from your muscles. And if you take enough casein before bed, the extra will go to your muscles for growth.

Yummy with a ton of benefits if you are working on losing fat and gaining muscle! Yummy if you just want a snack that is not going to add to your waist line.

If you ever find yourself with the night time munchies – this is a sure win-win.

Have a happy Sunday and until next time!


My plate now! Cheat meal – July 3, 2013!

And the long awaited day has arrived.

Before I get into what I ate during my cheat (meal) day, I would like to point out that I am really enjoying this lifestyle change (I really do not like the word diet) because the food I am eating is really good. I look forward to each and every meal. Not only that but my hunger is under control and I stop eating when I am full. Really. It was not like this before. I really owe this to meal-planning. Nonetheless structured eating at a deficit DOES get hard – mentally, physically and spiritually.

Cheat meals offer a mental break and a host of other benefits to eating consistently in a calorie deficit.

My cheats have evolved. They first started out as cheat days (way too much), then became cheat meals (not quite enough) – now they are cheat meals plus a treat or two during the day.

How do I choose what to eat during my cheat days? It’s basically what I feel like eating. Some people tend to think that this would be things like pizza, hamburgers, nachos…not anymore.

Highly processed foods (pizza, hamburgers, and nachos – for example) really wreck havoc on my digestive system. I feel so awful after eating them that I just do not want them anymore.

I almost always save my cheat meals for dinner time.

Here are my cheats for today!

In addition to my dinner cheat, I had a treat with my morning iso rasvaton latte (large fat free latte)…four fine and yummy truffles!

Iso rasvaton kahvi and truffles!

These truffles were so absolutely yummy – and worth every calorie and gram of sugar. Sugar is one of those things that my body has also began to revolt against – so I only have it in small amounts. It’s primarily for sensory satisfaction these days!

Wow !has my relationship with food changed…for the better!

I continued to eat my regular, healthy meals throughout the day. However rather than have my regular afternoon snack, I met my friend for a cup of coffee at the EMMA and have a “puolukka-kaura valipala” (cranberry oatmeal snack). The ingredient list was small and simple! Cranberries, oatmeal, soy yogurt and soy milk.


Then dinner time came and I picked up one of my favorite foods – sushi! Sushi is healthy and clean by design but what made it a cheat for me was the white rice. Lots of it. It was worth each and every bite.


Cause I was still a teensy bit hungry I followed sushi by eating one of my favorite foods.  1 c. fat free greek yogurt + 2 sliced strawberries + 1/2 scoop of chocolate whey protein powder + 1 T of peanut butter!!! I added this because I wanted something sweet and something that would keep me full. Whey protein powder does an excellent job of keeping me satiated. Definitely a “Top 10” of my fat loss tool kit.


Until next time remember this…

Life is hard.