Friday, July 20, 2012


I truly enjoy the benefits of eating a "back to the basics" "primal" diet of predeominately vegetables, fruits, and small portions of quality meats.  To some this lifestyle choice may sound restrictive, but in modern times (specifically during this internet era) amazing recipes and alternative food ideas emerge every second!  For many parts of the year I can maintain the level of fitness I desire and the figure (weight/bodyfat percentage) I prefer by simply being cognitive of my portions of these wonderful foods and my sugar intake from natural sources such as: honey, pure maple syrup, dried fruits, fruits,,,,,, but sometimes I lose track of my goals and grow a little careless with both my portion control and sugar consumption.

When this occurs I turn to the smart phone (I phone in my case) App, MY NET DIARY PRO.  In an effort to remain at optimal condition (based on my personal preference) tracking my macronutrients becomes an essential part of the day and this App has proven to be my favorite thus far.

There are countless"calorie counter" and "diet aid" App options for smart phones available to download. What makes MY NET DIARY PRO different?  In my opinion:

1.  It is the most user friendly App of its kind!  Not all calories are created equally.  Will you lose "weight" eating 1,000 calories of cake?  Yes.  Will you lose fat?  Perhaps a little.  Will you lose muscle tone and impair your health by sending your body into starvation mode?  Yes.  Now, ,,,, If you consume a proper amount of calories from plant matter and quality protein sources, will you change the composition of your body and improve your health?  Yes! This easy to navigate program enables you to track (and graphs) your macronutrients. 

2.  The analytics are easy to understand and informative.

3.  There is a barcode scanner and a 430,000 foods database.  Plus, you are able to create custom foods and recipes.

4.  Tracks your water intake, which is an INTEGRAL component to health, fitness and weight/fat maintenance.

5.  Gives you carb, fat and protein "budgets" with percentages to help you achieve your goals. 

If you decide to give MY NET DIARY PRO  a try please let me know!  I'd love to hear your success stories!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Me, Myself and I

These are the five questions for the link up party with My Crazy Beautiful Life! 

1)  What is your biggest phobia?  I am concerned (and lose sleep) about many important issues. . . but I consider phobias to be more trivial. . . After some contemplation I've come to the conclusion that crawling, flying, hopping, slithering creatures completely do me in for no logical reason! 

2)  If you could relive any day of your life, what would it be and why?  I hate to live with regrets.  It is far better to be content (but not complacent) with your life.  All of my decisions (to include the lousy ones) have lead me to today.   
3)  If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?  I'm so content right now!  36 feels pretty damn good!  Next year I hope to say the same thing,,,, and the next,,,, and next,,,,

4)  What celebrity do you get mistaken for?  Not mistaken for.... but I've been told on numerous occasions I look like Nicole Kidman (albeit a Nic with a little more meat on her bones).

5)  What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
  • Angel, Aerosmith:  my favorite song in 5th grade
  • High, The Cure:  my favorite band in high school
  • The Best, 2 Skinnee J's:  loved this band in college
  • Can I kick it?, Tribe Called Quest:  because I love, love, love, Hip-Hop/Rap
  • Midnight City, M83:  love this song; rocks my workouts
  • Come Pick Me Up, Ryan Adams:  haunting and raw; I love songs that reach deep inside
  • Apache, The Sugar Hill Gang:  simply because my twin three year old daughters know how to do the little lasso dance!

This was a really fun post to write! Thanks so much for reading! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Kicking Excuses in the A@$- Workout with my Gym Boss

My schedule the past two months has been INSANE.  Before moving from Virginia to North Carolina last month, I hit my gym HARD (miss you friends at Health and Fitness) knowing time dedicated to creative workouts would be limited during the transition.  Then I allowed myself one week to simply rest my muscles and allow them to repair.  That week could have turned into two, because my schedule was crazy:  setting up a new house, registering children at school, researching summer activities for children and enrolling them, researching and prepping for two huge parties and one smaller event, guests galore in town,,,,, the list could go on and on and on!!!! 

I could literally only spare a few minutes for myself.  In an effort to stay true to my goals (and to who I have become as a person) I turned to very short high intensity workouts.  TABATAs!  Have you heard of them? 

Izumi Tabata, a scientist from Japan, compared moderate high intensity training with high intensity interval training on two groups of athletes. His research revealed the high intensity interval training athletes improved their aerobic systems as well as their anaerobic systems while the moderate high intensity training athletes only improved their aerobic system and had little to no increase in their anaerobic system.

Current tabata protocol consists of:

  • 5 minute warm-up
  • 8 intervals of 20 seconds all-out intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest
  • 2 minute cool down

  • My hectic week lead me to the outdoors.  I needed open space.  So,,,, I packed up the three Bs (Brenden, Brielle and Bridget) and took them to the local track to kick my excuses in the a@$.  Now I'm hooked.  At least once or twice a week I've _got_ to feel the sun on my skin as I push myself to new levels of health and fitness with short bursts of energy.

    The Bs at the track!  Are they perfect?  No!  Do they interupt me?  Yep!  But I still can get a crazy good workout!

    Not one to follow protocol, I take traditional tabata workouts and give them my own flair!

    Tabata inspired workout I completed this week: 

    8 rounds of each pair:  20 seconds on followed by 10 seconds rest

    High Knees (20 seconds)
    Rest (10 seconds)
    Burpees  with 10 mountain climbers (20 seconds)
    Rest (10 seconds)
    {Burpee with mountain climber explanation:  Do a burpee; when in plank position rep out 10 mountain climbers}

    Jumping lunges (20 seconds)
    Rest (10 seconds)
    Pushups (20 seconds)
    Rest (10 seconds)

    Plank knee tucks (20 seconds)
    Rest (10 seconds)
    Low jacks (20 seconds)
    Rest (10 seconds)
    {Plank knee tuck explanation: in plank jump feet towards hands; jump in and out as many times as possible}

    I can tell you 10 seconds never felt so short and 20 seconds so long!  I followed up this workout with five minutes of stair sprints on the bleachers surrounding the track.  Then I grabbed up my kids (who were playing in the field in the center of the track) and walked a few laps around the track as a family!   

    This workout wouldn't have been as efficient without my GYMBOSS

    They are so easy to use.  Set up the interval times of your choice (20 seconds/10 seconds or.... 30 seconds/30 seconds- whatever you desire).  Select the number of rounds you wish to complete.  Press start.  Your GYMBOSS will beep and vibrate (in case you're rockin' some loud music on your Ipod) between each interval.  No need to stare at a watch or clock and disrupt your focus!  As you can see mine has seen some abuse! 

    Now get out there and kick your excuses in the a@$!

    Thanks for reading!

    Monday, July 9, 2012

    Versatile Blogger

    I am so grateful to be nominated for my second blog award!  Thank you Erin from Crafty Biggers for nominating me!  It is an honor knowing there are people out there that actually enjoy a bit of what I write.  Please take the time to visit Erin's blog page Crafty Biggers.  She has some adorable crafts posted!

    Here are the requirements for the award...

    1. Thank the blogger who nominated you for the award
    2. Include a link to their blog in you post, as well as the award image
    3. Give 7 random facts about yourself
    4. Nominate 5 other deserving bloggers for the award
    5. Include links to the nominated bloggers' sites
    6. Let the other bloggers know that they have been nominated for the award

    Hmmmm..... 7 random facts about myself:

    1.  My favorite vegetable is white cabbage. . . followed by raw spinach.
    2. My favorite television show is currently Game of Thrones on HBO.  Nerdy much?  Yes!!!  It is so well-written, well-acted and unique.  Can't wait for the new season later in the year.  If you know of where I can find a "Winter is Coming" tank top tell me now!  Ha!!!
    3.  I am a reformed beauty junkie (shhhhh.... but still adore all beauty products). 
    4.  I rode an elephant in Thailand.  Amazing experience until it decided to reach for leaves over the side of a cliff.  There are different security standards in Thailand.
    5.  I worked on Korean television for a year and was featured on billboards!  LOL!
    6.  My heart is far too tender, and I cry easily.
    7.  I have three strong-willed, precocious children with tempers, Brenden, Brielle and Bridget.   What does that say about me?  Hmmmmm....

    In no particular order here are five blogs I would like to nominate (plus 2 more because I'm a rebel: 

    Vegetarian Mamma - page dedicated to healthy choices... what's not to love?
    3 girls and 1 boy - a fellow military wife with tons of kiddos... gotta show her some love!Live, Love and Learn with Ms. Mommy HH6 - Household 6 (HH6) is a commander's wife call sign... fellow military wife... in her 30's... so much in common!
    Local Sugar-easily one of my favorite blogs.... Nicole is amazing.... you will want to move to Hawaii yesterday
    What Jean Likes - another favorite blog of mine.... Jean captures the most amazing pictures of Hawaii...
    Fit, Crafty, Stylish and Happy - Cassidy is all of these!
    Richly Middle Class - Smart, funny, diverse.... a must read....

    Thursday, July 5, 2012

    205 lbs . . . Before Picture

    I have been getting requests lately for a "BEFORE" picture.  I got my scanner working and found a picture of me about a week out from delivering my twin daughters.  I find that before and after pictures can leave readers feeling discouraged on occasion.  Sometimes the before resembles someone elses' goal.  Not one person can dispute my pregnant belly was beyond huge, however!  I had 14 pounds of baby ALONE in there!  It is hard to believe that less than four years ago I walked into the delivery room carrying twins at 205 + pounds. Now I write a health and fitness blog hoping to inspire other people to achieve their fitness goals, , , while working on my personal training certification.

    My life prior to striving to move forward with my fitness goals included: making excuses to avoid pushing myself to my fullest potential, succumbing to sugar cravings with bouts of binge eating, and living with a constant restlessness in my heart as I struggled to find balance.  I lost 60 pounds of my baby weight and worked out regularly, taking my body fat back down to “acceptable levels”, but nothing motivated me to continue to progress and make true fitness goals that inspired me to the core.

    The moment I decided to move forward with my life came when I reached a fitness plateau, became complacent, and stood by idly while my excuses grew:  you’ve had three children, your body will never be the same after having twins, multiple abdominal surgeries left your core weak, you’re no longer in your twenties. My body and my heart literally ached for a change!  I hired my first personal trainer in an effort to kick-start my new attitude on life, but this particular trainer didn’t fit my needs, leaving me even more unsettled.  I started to gain weight back and my motivation to be _truly_ fit waned. 

    It was time to take action toward with the new life I craved.  Enter my new personal trainer, Gary!  He took my inspiration to move forward and blasted it to new levels!   Gary challenged me to try things with my body I never thought possible.  I became that FIERCE woman at the gym- strong and lean who is confidant in my appearance and abilities.  If a trainer is in your budget, hiring the _right_ one can change your life!  If a trainer is out of your budget, stay motivated by working out with friends or following fitness fan pages and blogs for new material to keep your workouts challenging and interesting. 

    What is life like now?  I am proud of my body for the first time in far too many years.  I love feeling confidant in my appearance despite the c-section scar, hernia surgery scar, and the fact that the skin around my belly is not as taut as it used to be.  I sport my bikinis with pride- not because I have the best body,,, because I have finally come to peace with myself.  More importantly, however, I’ve never been physically stronger (I whipped out 14 pull ups the other day), and I’ve never been so determined to fuel my body with the healthiest food options available. 

    205 lbs. . .
    You can do it!

    Clean eating is key to your health and fitness!  Small changes to your diet add up to large successes!  I can't tell you the last time I used mayonnaise in anything.  I switched to stone ground mustard for everything.  Sound crazy?  It's not!!!  Mustard spices up tuna, chicken, ground turkey,,,,, everything. 

    Currently, I am loving Eden Organic Brown Mustard . With all natural ingredients and sugar free, it is the perfect condiment to liven up all of my dishes!

    Here is a quick little recipe to illustrate just how versatile and delicious brown mustard can be:

    Ground Chicken "Muffins"

    2 pounds ground chicken (turkey or lean beef can be substituted)
    1 cup cooked quinoa
    3 T brown mustard
    1 T rosemary
    1 tsp cumin
    dash of turmeric
    salt and pepper to taste
    Mix all ingredients.  Line a muffin tin with baking cups.  Drop spoonfuls of mixture into cups.  Bake 350 degrees or so for about 30 minutes.  This recipe is so healthy and incredibly yummy!  You can pack individual servings into lunches or enjoy them for quick snacks!

    --Featured Blog of the Week: --Cave Princess--

    Thank you Jean and Nicole for giving me this opportunity to shine!  The Aloha Friday Hop has just exploded these past two months, and that has everything to do with your amazing posts, engaging writing, generous spirits, and all around positive vibe.  I love being apart of this community and feel so fortunate to be the featured blog this week!
    It is hard to believe that less than four years ago I walked into the delivery room carrying twins at 205 pounds.  Now I write a health and fitness blog hoping to inspire other people to achieve their fitness goals.... all while working on my personal training certification. I chose to create Cave Princess to illustrate how being FUELED BY NATURE changed various aspects of my life for the better. I wanted to share a feminine perspective on feeding the body with plenty of natural food, and how a healthy relationship with food can facilitate a peaceful balance for the rest of your life.
    Please come see me at my Facebook page Cave Princess sometime!  I'm also on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.  I ALWAYS make it a priority to follow any guests back!



    This is all about sharing the Aloha spirit with other bloggers out there and helping each other to gain some exposure and find some awesome blogs to read!!!  You don't have to be from Hawai'i to participate!  In fact, we encourage and welcome people from all over the world to join us on this Aloha Friday Blog hop!

    What's neat about our Blog Hop:

    **Leave a comment with your blog address if you are new to our hop so we can follow you back**

    Happy Aloha Friday!

    Remember, if someone follows you, follow them back! Show some Aloha!
    If you want to embed this blog hop on your blog, click the link below where all the thumbnails for people's blogs are. It's called "Get the code here.."

    Enter YOUR Blog to be the next Aloha Friday's Spotlight Blog of the Week!!
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Thursday, June 28, 2012

    Blog Award. . .

    My first blog award. . . what a lovely surprise!  Thank you so much for selecting me, Jenny @ Cassandra's Corner. I have been following Jenny's blog for a few weeks after stumbling across her page,and since then have enjoyed a few laughs!  You should check her out sometime!

    So with this award comes some responsibility. Here are the rules:
    #1 Choose 5 up and coming blogs to pass along the Liebster Blog. Each blog must have less than 200 followers.
    #2 Show your thanks and appreciation to the blogger that gave you the award by linking back to them.
    #3 Share 5 random facts about yourself.
    #4 Post the award to your blog.

    This is me with my husband!

     5 Random Facts About Me

    1.  On average I have moved every two years of my life.  I'm 36 years old today.  Do the math. . . that's a lot of new homes!

    2.  I went to three high schools and five colleges (yet managed to graduate on time)!

    3.  My Nana passed away when I was a child, but I feel completely connected to her.  We're kindred spirits. In my heart, I believe her spirit watches over me.

    4.  My blog is centered around the philosophy of making the healthiest food and exercise options you can on a daily basis, but I struggle with a wicked sugar addiction!  I cannot be trusted with certain sweets in the house (i.e. quality cakes with superior icing, dark chocolate in most forms, chocolate chip cookies).  It takes incredible will power for me to avoid them.  To challenge myself and beat those cravings, I purchase dark chocolate bars and keep them in the pantry!

    5.  The pets I adopt/save turn out to be crazy (or maybe my family drives them insane).   Jolie (the cat I rescued while living in Korea) was the sweetest, most loving animal imaginable at the shelter but turned into a devil cat upon taking her home.  She'd howl at the corners of the walls, scratch people randomly, dive attack . . . Then there was Clancy, the sled dog from Alaska.  He escaped daily- while chained to a stake in a fenced-in yard!  He'd pull the stake out of the ground, hop a six foot fence, and run down the middle of the road with stake and chain trailing behind him... Now we have Rookie Belle, the Norwich Terrier.  She is gaining on two and yet still prefers pooping in the damn house! If you have any suggestions on breaking her of this nasty preference, I'm open to any and all ideas!

    *Bonus Fact:  If I die tomorrow... I die knowing I did three things right in this life:  creating Brenden, Brielle and Bridget.  They are my world.  Shane, my husband, knows I love him fiercely, but there is something so basic, innate and overpowering about a mother's love for her children!

    I try to do product reviews on Friday, but I had to put my review on hold for this post!  This week, I'm going to promote 5 blogs in leiu of my favorite product. 

    Blogs to follow:  I'm not sure if all them have less than 200 followers, but I really enjoy these up and coming blogs!!! 

    Vegetarian Mamma - page dedicated to healthy choices... what's not to love?
    3 girls and 1 boy -  a fellow military wife with tons of kiddos... gotta show her some love!
    Live, Love and Learn with Ms. Mommy HH6 - Household 6 (HH6) is a commander's wife call sign... fellow military wife... in her 30's... so much in common!
    Two In Diapers- hilarious... with some good advice along the way!
    Strawberry Snails Photography- amazing photos... and a lovely personality... an "old" friend of mine from middle school/high school in the very late eighties/early nineties... what???

    Thanks so much for stopping by Cave Princess :)

    Sunday, June 24, 2012

    This Post May Make me Unpopular Part Two

    Have you ever caught yourself mid-judgement of a fellow woman?  I strive to keep my thoughts about other people very positive; you never know what struggles life has thrown at them.  My post Unpopular: Part One centers around acceptance, so why do I find some female behavior so disturbing?

    I'm all for women embracing their singular sexuality and sensuality.  What could be a more feminist philosophy than accepting and revering that which makes us female?  We should be proud of our bodies and unafraid of displaying our confidence. 

    But, when does that confidence shift to a need for attention?  I applaud women confidant enough in their appearance to wear figure enhancing outfits.... and find absolutely nothing wrong with showcasing the beauty of the female form (there are so many amazing shapes and sizes out there).

    For the past week and a half I've been working out at various gyms on a military instillation.  Army bases often post dress code guidelines of appropriate gym apparel. For example, sports bras may not be worn alone and shorts must provide adequate coverage. Regardless of location, on a military base or in the civilian world, most women I have observed generally dress in the range of modest to tastefully sexy when working out in mixed company. It fills me with pride to see women of all ages, shapes and sizes looking strong, feminine, sexy, confidant and powerful on the gym floor, on the track, in a spin class, in a yoga studio, etc.

    One of the functional gyms (Crossfit oriented but very adaptable to my style of fitness) on the fort has quickly become my favorite.  I feel incredibly comfortable there and enjoy all of the equipment.  At night, it tends to house a younger crowd looking to impress (hey,,,, we've all been there at some point in our lives).  I've noticed Crossfit girls in trendy little outfits frequenting this gym.  I truly find them adorable and am impressed by their fierce abilities (I'm talking about multiple muscle ups), but sometimes these same girls feel the need to "cool off" by tying their tanks up under their sports bras and folding their short shorts down past the hip bone. Shortie shorts are fabulous.  I own and wear a few pairs, but I DO NOT DEADLIFT IN THEM!!!!  I HATE to be a critical person, but every time I see this behavior I roll my eyes.  What looks good for a photo shoot does not necessarily translate into an ordinary day at the gym.

    It is human to seek approval and enlightening to revel in confidence, but when does pride in your feminine appearance shift to pleas for attention?