Tricia Jones - Beachbody Coach and NASM CPT

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Repeat after me - Abs Are Made In The Kitchen

My Abs were made in the kitchen....

When I was younger I did countless crunches with Tamilee Webb of Abs of Steel. Never did I have the definition I desired. Today, while my stomach is not perfect- (I have my post c-section/pregnancy battle wounds) I am proud of the tone and definition I do have.  I attribute 80% of my success to cleaning up my diet. . . . thus why I firmly believe Abs ARE made in the kitchen.

In the past, I always thought that my idea of a perfect body would come from doing more cardio and exercising harder and stronger. I ran numerous 10 mile races, 2 marathons (trained for 3) and worked out consistently for years. I was fit but not as fit as I am now. My problem was that I thought if I worked out I could eat/drink whatever I wanted. I was 100% exercise 0% nutrition and as a result -I would only ever progress so far.  Fluctuating in weight was evident of how hard I was working out. The changes I made were never lifestyle changes and only ones I could maintain for a period of time.  

A flip was switched for me regarding the foods I was eating when my doctor told me I was gaining too much weight - you can read that story here.  That all started in April of 2012 and here I am in December of 2013 and still going strong. This is a lifestyle change and one that I know has benefited not only me, my family and extended family members and friends.

So what do you do? what do you eat? I was there. I knew I had to do something but I was overwhelmed with what and where and how to start. It took a lot of google searches and this is what ended up working for me:  

1. START SMALL. - I started to clean up what I drank. I use to have a really large glass of orange juice every day, I would drink diet soda most days at lunch and/or at dinner. I drank water but nearly enough. I started with weeding out sugar drinks and replacing all liquids with water. You can flavor water with lemon, cucumbers, fruit - it is not as boring as I once thought.

2. I weeded everything out but: LEAN Proteins. COMPLEX Carbs. HEALTHLY Fats. VEGGIES. FRUITS. I currently like to use this A-mazing site:  The Gracious Pantry. She has shopping lists from popular markets on here of clean foods! Shopping made easy! :) 

3. Portion Sizes: There are so many cute little ways to figure out portion sizes:  Measure the size of a deck of cards or ball or whatever! When I am hungry I can't remember what should be the size of what... SO, I look at my own palm (something I can easily remember) to eye up the right portion size when I am unsure. 1 serving = the size of my palm. 1 cupped hand for fruits & grains. 1 palm flat for meats.  Two cupped hands for veggies.  (a trick learned from Gracious Pantry)

4. I started to eat every 2.5-3.5 hours from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed. Now, I am trained to eat - I can almost tell the time of day based on my hunger level. :)

5. I started to track my foods in Fitness Pal iphone App - I was amazed at how mindless snacking adds up. We have 2 little ones and while feeding them lunches - a slice of cheese here, a few teddy grahams there - ADDed UP to unnecessary calories I did not need.

6. I committed to only eating for planned meals. Sorta linked with #5 - I stopped/"worked on" not spontaneously/mindlessly snacking. Anytime I would just snack I would choose foods that weren't the best. If I planned my foods they tend to be more healthly. I found when I ate lean proteins and complex carbs I was more fullfilled.

7. Slim down on Sugar Intake. I am a former sugar candyholic. I can't think about Twizzlers without my mouth watering. This was really hard for me but I started to watch my sugar intake! I aim to have no more than 25g of sugar a day. Sugar is in everything and so this requires learning to read food labels.

8. I follow people who inspire me. I read up on fitness news and nutrition (when I have time.)

9. I found what worked for me. I love Kale & Egg Whites. I would try foods that those who I followed loved and some of their suggestions I loved but some I didn't. By being true to what I liked (healthy options) -  I was able to be consistent. 

10. Find a great support system. Hint: I can be it. Have questions - ask away! or email:


Someone once told me this and I have found it to be SO very true:

You Crave What You Eat. 
Eat Junk, CRAVE Junk
Eat Healthy - CRAVE Healthy

Monday, December 2, 2013

10 Popular Diet Tips to Igno

10 Popular Diet Tips to Ignore

By Kara Wahlgren
If you've ever tried to lose a few pounds, you've probably been inundated with diet tips. But take them all with a grain of salt—some advice may sound legit but can actually derail your diet. Here are 10 tips you DO NOT want to follow:

BAD ADVICE: Choose fat-free or sugar-free foods
BETTER ADVICE: Don't believe the hype. "They usually use fat and sodium to replace sugar, and sugar to replace fat—or chemicals to replace both," says Denis Faye, Beachbody's nutrition expert. And Rania Batayneh, MPH, a nutritionist and author of the upcoming book,The 1:1:1 Diet, adds, "Removing fat from a food makes it less satiating, so you ultimately may end up eating more." Stick with the original versions, and watch your portions or better yet, eat more unprocessed foods.
BAD ADVICE: No cheating ever!
BETTER ADVICE: Relax your diet rules, and you'll be more likely to stick it out long-term. "If 80% of your diet is tight, then 20% can be a party," Faye says. "It keeps you from getting stressed—and stress is a huge obstacle in weight loss." Just plan your splurges ahead of time so you're not giving in to every temptation that crosses your plate.
BAD ADVICE: Stop snacking.
BETTER ADVICE: Choose snacks that offer a balance of protein, fiber, and healthy fats—like apples with peanut butter, or carrots with hummus. "A healthy snack can help maintain steady blood sugar levels, which keeps your appetite in check and your energy stable," Batayneh says. Skipping a snack can cause your blood sugar to dip, leaving you moody and famished—and more likely to overeat at mealtime.
BAD ADVICE: Don't eat fruit—it's full of sugar.
BETTER ADVICE: Let fruit satisfy your sweet tooth. "Yes, fresh produce is full of sugar and carbs," Faye says. "But sugar itself is not the enemy. Fruit is packed with vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals; it's also rich in fiber, which slows the absorption of sugar. I've never met a human being who got fat because of bananas." When you're craving sugar, there's no debate that a handful of grapes is healthier than a hot fudge sundae.
BAD ADVICE: If it's organic, it's good for you.
BETTER ADVICE: According to the USDA, organic food is produced without antibiotics, growth hormones, conventional pesticides, and synthetic ingredients.1 The problem is that many people assume organic foods are all low in calories, too, which isn't necessarily true. Don't get us wrong—we'd rather eat food that doesn't resemble a science experiment. But, Faye cautions, "You need to use common sense. If it's bad for you with conventional ingredients, it's still bad for you when it's organic." A cookie is a cookie, no matter how all-natural it is.
BAD ADVICE: Calories in, calories out—it doesn't matter what you eat.
 Salad with CakeBETTER ADVICE: What you're eating matters. Compare a 100-calorie candy bar to 100 calories of avocado—the latter is packed with nutrients and has healthy fats and fiber to keep you full. Or compare 50 calories of spinach (about seven cups) to 50 calories of ice cream (about two tablespoons). To feel full when you're cutting calories, look for foods loaded with water and fiber, like veggies or broth-based soups. Plus, "Hormones have a huge impact on our health. Junk food can trigger bad hormonal responses that, over time, can lead to all kinds of problems, including weight gain," Faye says. Occasionally, someone will pop up in the news claiming they lost a ton of weight while eating nothing but Subway®, Starbucks®, or Snickers® bars—but don't put too much stock in those success stories. "When you go that route, you're not educating yourself," Faye says. "It's like the teach-a-man-to-fish adage. If you give someone a gimmicky diet, they might lose weight for now; but provide them with knowledge, and they can be healthy for life."
BAD ADVICE: Try XYZ Extreme Diet—it works for everyone!
BETTER ADVICE: Find a plan that works for you. Gender, age, genetics, metabolism, and lifestyle can all play a role in weight loss—so even if a fad diet has worked for others, that doesn't mean you'll get the same results. "There's no single diet that works for everyone; our biochemical needs are different," Faye says. Talk to a dietitian or nutrition consultant to find a long-term eating strategy that is tailor-fit to you.
BAD ADVICE: When in doubt, order the salad.
BETTER ADVICE: Choose your greens wisely. Leafy greens and vegetables may be virtuous, but not if they're slathered in creamy dressing and topped with bacon, candied nuts, croutons, deli meats, or cheese. "Fatty fixings can add hundreds of calories to your meal, and sometimes contain more calories than that juicy burger!" Batayneh says. Salad can be a healthy choice, but order dressing on the side and limit the add-ons.
BAD ADVICE: Don't exercise—it'll only make you hungrier.
BETTER ADVICE: Get moving—an hour-long workout isn't going to make you suck down calories like Michael Phelps. "Exercise isn't just for losing weight—it improves your cardiovascular health and strengthens your bones," Faye says. You might feel hungrier while recovering from a grueling workout, but that doesn't mean you're going to pack on pounds. "As long as you're eating clean, your body is amazing at self-regulating," Faye adds. "It should crave the calories you need to fuel your workouts, not to get fat."
BAD ADVICE: Treat yourself for a job well done!
BETTER ADVICE: Rethink your reward system. After an intense workout, you may feel like you've earned a cocktail or cupcake. But splurging after every workout can quickly undo all your hard work. If you've been good all week, go ahead and grab a guilt-free beer on Friday. But, Faye says, "Don't let every workout become a Pavlovian thing where you need to eat cake afterwards." After all, the best reward for a killer workout is getting one step closer to the body you want.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Savor the season!

My sister & her family are in town from NC and my brother is in town from Florida. On Thanksgiving Day we will all be together with our parents, my Aunt & Uncle from Illinois and more relatives from PA! It's the feeling of everyone coming together in the house I grew up in that makes the holidays so exciting for me.

This time of year is a time I savor!! The excitement, the planning! I love it!! Everyday from now till New Year's Day, I love! 

This week is full of little activities with my brother and sister who are already in town. Tonight we had our family's  favorite crab cakes & homemade Mac & Cheese for dinner. I partaked! My method of attack was this: I stuck to my lean proteins, complex carbs and veggies all day.  My Shakeology shake really set the tone this morning to keep my cravings in check and my appetite in-line. I exercised hard this morning and so I was more than 100% comfortable (no guilt!) with indulging a bit tonight!  

My point? Eating clean is far from depriving yourself of foods. I eat a lot (every 3 hours that I am awake) and crave what I eat. At times like these where I want to have something out of the ordinary, I have it.  

When I eat clean & exercise consistently - I don't have to worry about falling off track. 

Cheers to a consistent & healthy lifestyles!

Friday, July 19, 2013


my motivation for becoming and staying fit: 

It is not being Vain. It is not being Selfish. It is the complete opposite. I am a mommy of a 13 month old and (almost) 2.5 year old. My life is CR-AZY. I have moments that only other mommies and daddies can understand. The past 2 years has been the most challenging part of my life as well as the most rewarding...and most don't even know the whole story. 

A switch was flipped in my brain before our little girl was even born. I knew a change was needed in how we were eating and also in how we (my husband & I) were not prioritizing working out. But it was finding that motivation within me to actually do it. I started with eating clean and making small changes to my diet but the biggest challenge for me was fitting in that exercise. I had the mindset that you needed to workout for hours in order to be fit. But I learned different and everything changed. 

Being Fit is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise! I can not tell you the relief I felt when I first read this about 1.5 yrs ago. (I was 7 months pregnant, already had a 13 month old and also had 0% energy and no time.)  I knew I could handle the 80% clean eating for awhile and I did... I think GOD kept us mommies in mind when he made us. Having being FIT achievable through 80% nutrition and 20% exercise is a Godsend. It is not easy (in the beginning) but its certainly a time saver in spending hours at the gym. lol

Eating clean will only get you so far - Exercise is absolutely necessary. There are crazy amounts of reasons why you need to exercise and for me - the biggest one is stress reliever. I have been working out since I was 15 years old as my stress outlet.  I had gotten into a bad habit of not exercising and this was doing more harm than good. Some may say - when you have little ones your not suppose to be thinking about working out. You should only be thinking about taking care of your babies. <<INSERT EYE ROLL HERE>> For me ... working out is a time I needed so I could take care of my babies.  Remembering this about myself I knew what I had to do and also knew the only consistent time I can get in my workouts are/is before "life begins" at 5am. It took me months to get to the point that when that alarm went off - I could actually get out of bed. but again - something changed...I got fed up with myself. enough was enough.

Once I was in the routine of getting up at 5am (in the dark winter!) I started to realize that the benefit of working out outweighed the 30-60 minutes of extra sleep I would get if I was to hit that snooze button. 

When I get up, I immediately throw on my workout clothes, sign in to my Beachbody account and log my workout. I grab water, my heart rate monitor and head out to our garage where we have very small home gym. I do cardio and weights for about 45 minutes (maybe an hour, if there is time).  I come in, make coffee for myself and husband, Jump into the shower and get dressed. By the time I am finished - my kids are anxiously awaiting my arrival to their rooms to start their day. I put in a solid 12 hours of non-stop activities with them and then a few more hours after they go to bed to do what I need around the house and on here. Like so many reading this days are long and exhausting. 

That time, I give myself in the AM has been the best gift I could have ever committed to.  My self-esteem in accomplishing my health and fitness goals has skyrocketed, my priorities in life have soared, I think clearer, I have more energy to run and play with my kids. I can "uppy" both of them at the same time! My son is 37 pounds and my little girl is about 22. I am fit. and my kids benefit from it.

My husband has also benefited from the happier, fitter me. We are closer than we ever have been. He's amazing, super supportive and my soul mate. I cook clean and help encourage him to take care of himself as well. We understand this life we have is a gift and we value what we have. We value it so much that we are committed to being the healthiest we can be in our own power. We do this for each other, for our kids. Dan is benefiting.  

But my passion has grown even stronger. I want to reach more than just my family. I want to reach other families. I think of those parents out there with the desire to better themselves but think they can't do it because of lack of time, energy - all those reason I have overcome. I think of their kids... I think we all have it in us to achieve our goals i - its just looking deep inside ourselves, figuring out what it would mean to us and committing to it. once you have committed it has got to be  your  "non-negotiable". you have to make being fit and healthy your protected priority. Because what you have to gain from it is so Beneficial.  Trust me.

So to help me better get this out there and hopefully inspire someone,  I enrolled with NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) and working towards earning my Certified Personal Training Certificate. I have also teamed up with Beachbody. They put out AMAZING workouts for home gyms (perfect for those parents with NO time) and a dense health drink called Shakeology. I believe both these platforms will help me motivate others in striving to live a healthy lifestyle and become fit. I also know, I am not going to stop with this. I have big dreams for my family and am going after them.

My motivation is much deeper than what you see ... Where is yours?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

So what is up with Super Foods?

I read so much about "super foods" and have decided to dig a bit deeper on some that were unfamiliar. 

What is a "Superfood"?
Superfood is the collective name given to the most nutrient-dense foods on our planet. Superfoods go beyond meeting basic nutritional needs; instead, they have high concentrations of multiple nutrients, such as antioxidants, phytonutrients, or adaptogens, that work together to support the immune system and help fight aging.

Examples of Superfoods are: 

Packed with fiber and cancer-preventing antioxidants

One of the most nutrient-dense foods available, it may help prevent cancer, lower risk of cataracts, fight birth defects, and build bone strength.

Chia Seeds: 
Chia seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and are allergen-free

*Coconut Nectar: 
When the coconut tree is tapped, it produces a naturally sweet, nutrient-rich 'sap' that exudes from the coconut blossoms. This sap has a very low glycemic index score and contains 17 amino acids, minerals, vitamin C, broad-spectrum B vitamins, and has a nearly neutral pH.

Flaxseeds are brimming with fiber and lignans, which are estrogen- and antioxidant-like chemicals. 

Goji Berries: 
Goji berries are filled with antioxidants, essential amino acids, and 21 other minerals. They contain very high levels of iron and vitamin C.” Benefits of goji berries include boosting the immune system, circulation, and eyesight.

Add spinach, kale, and arugula to soup, meatballs, and wraps to prevent diabetes and heart disease.

*Himalayan Salt:
Himalayan salt is a pink rock salt mined in the Khewra Salt Mines of Pakistan. According to information provided by the Natural Health International's website, Himalayan salt contains 84 mineral elements and benefits conditions such as irregular heartbeats, high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, low libido, high acidity, sinus congestion, kidney problems, poor muscle tone, and low serotonin/melatonin levels.

Medical research has shown that Konjac foods have many positive health benefits. Some of the benefits include: Control blood sugar levels, Reducing LDL cholesterol, Regulating the gastrointestinal tract, Weight Loss Properties, A Diabetic Friendly Food and Reducing Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Konjac fiber has very high water absorbent and expansion rate, it is very helpful for control blood sugar level, reduce cholesterol lever, weight loss.

*Luo Han Guo:
Sweet Fruit Used as Sugar Substitute and Medicinal Herb

This organic raw powder, sometimes called “Peruvian ginseng,” is known as an aphrodisiac. Perhaps that’s enough reason to add it to cereal, but it also boosts energy and helps eliminate hormonal imbalances. 

Here is the nutritional breakdown of Fresh Moringa Leaves: 7x the Vitamin C of Oranges; 4x the Calcium of Milk; 3x the Potassium of Bananas; 2x the Protein of Yogurt; 4x the Vitamin A of Carrots; and ¾ the iron of Spinach.

Moringa leaves when dried become a even greater, powerhouse of nutrition containing: ½ the Vitamin C of Oranges; 17x the Calcium of Milk; 15x the Potassium of Bananas; 9x the Protein of Yogurt; 25x the Vitamin A of Carrots; and 20x the Iron in Spinach. (WHOA!)

I will be highlighting more super foods soon . . . but there are some here that I was especially interested in. I was also reminded about the benefits of broccoli. I've been in a KALE craze and ready to switch it up again.

. . . Now for my shakeology plug: 
The super foods I have * are included in my beloved Shakeology. Shakeology is a meal replacement shake that acts as a vitamin. It provides me my daily dose of dense nutrition all in 1 meal per day.

My Testimony:
As a momma of two very little ones - I began drinking shakeology about 3 months ago. Within a week I noticed I felt more energy. Not the jittery kind of energy you get from 5 cups of coffee but more of the energy that you get from a really good night sleep. I average an 18 hour day so this was a huge plus for me! I also experienced more regularity (*blushing!). Since having 2 c-sections, my stomach seemed different and now I am back on track. Finally, I was in a weight-loss rut. I had been consistently losing weight and was getting frustrated as I stalled out at the same weight for about a 1.5 months. After a couple weeks on Shakeology, I noticed my weight coming down again. I am now very close to my goal weight! YEAH!!! So what Shakeology promises is TRUE. Cross my heart and I am that passionate about it that I risk being annoying with it. I just want to share it and shocked that more people have not heard of it.

Who can argue with a company who offers a Empty Bag Guarantee (copied directly from their site):

Empty Bag Guarantee: We're so sure that Shakeology will improve your health, we've created an amazing guarantee.Try Shakeology for 30 days. If you don't feel healthier, simply call Customer Service within 30 days for a refund of purchase price (less shipping & handling). Even if the bag is totally empty.

Thank you for reading! 

"Happy Day!"
xo, Trish

Friday, June 14, 2013

"but why?!"

I am a goal-oriented person, I like to have that "something exciting" that I am working towards and have little goals along the way to keep me motivated. 

I found writing my goals down and putting them where I see them everyday is impactful. I made this Goal Fitness page over a year ago when I started clean eating. I was toward the end of my pregnancy with Natalie and (sadly) feeling unhealthy  :( My doctor told me I was gaining too much weight....and it was true, I had been lazy.

My Goal Sheet
So I put on this page a list of things I wanted to accomplish by June 2014. I kept it somewhere private (hung in our closet) and looked at it most days while getting dressed. Some of my goals have changed and need tweaking (which is OK!), some of the goals I met and others I am still working towards.

I will say, I remember being a little uncomfortable with some of the goals I set. Some of them seemed a little impossible but they were things in my heart that I wanted to accomplish and so on the list they went. 

One goal that has changed was to work hard at building up my stationary business. . . I still make stationary but no longer desire to build it up and do full-time.  It is a great hobby and something I very much enjoy (I love cards!) but for now I love just making them for my family (when time permits). Your goals can change and that is perfectly OK.

Another goal on here is to get certified again to teach Pilates and/or Cardio. This goal, is still very much alive. I just want to take a different route this time and so this is a bigger goal I am working towards.    Finally, there are a number of goals that I have a achieved and very excited about them. :) 

My point in sharing all this:
You have to have a "WHY". What would achieving your goal mean to you? WHY are you setting this goal? Just don't say "I wanna loose 20 pounds" - know what it would mean to you when you achieved it.  I knew being fit would mean having more energy for my kids, feeling good about myself and having greater confidence (which my husband loves) and also being able to fit into clothes better.

I am currently talking about a goal and my "WHY" in another area of my life (not fitness/health) with a group of girlfriends and it is motivating. Know WHY you are doing something that is personal to you and give it the power it deserves. Write it down, dress it up and look at it every day and most important, take action!! I decorated this sheet with inspiring quotes, images and then laminated it. I enjoy making a goal sheet, as I am a dreamer and believe in Dreaming Big!! I plan to revise my sheet ASAP.

Someone recently told me that God doesn't give you a dream for nothing... I think a lot of us talk ourselves out of our dreams and goals. If you have that passion and dream about doing something - then why not go for it?  My dream to motivate others in fitness and health goes back to 2000 on a dream sheet I created just before college graduation and I am going for it.

Here are a few sites that help with how to set goals.
Lastly, this is the quote I put at the bottom of my goal sheet shown above: 

"Every decision you make takes you in a different direction . . . closer or further away from your goals. Life is a journey, the choice is yours."

"Happy Day!"

Monday, June 3, 2013

Baby Steps to Clean Eating

It amazes me how more expensive healthy food is compared to over-processed/GMO packed foods are. 

Recently, I have been researching healthier pancake options. We have pancakes on the weekends and sometimes during the week. I LOVE Bisquick brand pancakes. Especially the Supreme Pancake recipe on the back of the box; I could eat spoonfuls of the batter.  While once and awhile this would be a nice treat, I realize that it is not the healthiest option I could be providing my family and am seeking a change.

So at Shoprite (local grocer), Bisquick is is $3.99 for a 40oz box.  I use Fooducate App to quickly research how healthy a product is.  Bisquick is rated a C- so I looked into one of their recommended alternatives (an awesome feature of Fooducate) and many of them were double the price and for a smaller amount. Crazy! 

I am stubborn. I am not paying that. So I have begun to look into recipes I can easily make at home (which I sort of knew I would end up doing) that would be whole wheat and packed with more nutrition. 

Baby steps are key
When I saw the picture above,  it reminded me how my progress in eating clean has been comprised of baby steps. I am constantly reassessing what "healthy" is and incorporating new things. I have been at this over a year and I am still making changes to what I and my family eat (notice I did not use the word "diet"). I am always  researching, trying new recipes and discovering healthier alternatives to products I thought were already healthy. 

Incorporating small changes each week has given me and my family great success.
I believe that "Abs are made in the kitchen", "clean eating is 80% what you eat and 20% exercise" and I believe "you crave what you eat".  I roll my eyes at junk food. :)

...I will share that healthy pancake recipe soon.

"Happy Day!"

xo, Trish

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Before & After

I have referenced in previous posts about the power of the "before" picture and the impact it has had on my motivation to eat clean and workout consistently.

It is a bit scary for me to put this out there as I am not very comfortable sharing my body (with the world) but I believe this may help someone,  so here it goes . . .

It all began last September when I decided I was going to ramp up my efforts to get back into shape after having our 2nd baby last June. I signed up for a virtual eat clean / fitness 90 day challenge group. Part of the deal was to submit a "before" picture. (it wouldn't be shared unless I won).  It was going to be hard for me to take my own picture the way it was requested so I asked Dan (my husband) to take it for me. Even though I wore just a sports bra and shorts (no bikini) I knew this was going to be dreadful.

Dan took the photos and was very sweet about it. Once he handed me my phone and I scrolled through the front, back and side images I started to cry.  I looked so tired, out of shape and sad. I honestly did not recognize who I saw.  I asked him "This is what I look like?" Then I started to laugh because It was just that ridiculous to me (I guess I thought I looked better than I did!) and also I realized Dan might have been feeling a bit awkward. I was crying and laughing at the same time.  Like I said, Dan was very sweet and I remember him saying to me - "You can do it Trish, you'll get back into shape."

Here's the pic:

I completed the 90-day challenge and while I didn't win what I did win was priceless. I won the power of the "before picture" and motivation like none other.  I never expected how much I would consider this picture going forward. I looked at it when I was tired and just being lazy. I  thought about this picture while working out. When tempted to eat junk food, I thought about this picture again. I would remember how I felt when I saw it for the first time. I imagined what it would feel like to look at a picture I was proud of. A picture that wouldn't make me laugh and cry. Perhaps this is vain but I have always exercised and I just wanted to be back to what I had been. I wanted to feel good about myself and how I looked again.

So this before picture actually means a lot to me. It shows me, how far I have come, how hard I have worked and it proves to me that what I am doing is working! It reminds me that I can do it. No matter how frustrated I get at times with plateaus, and whatever - it reminds me of the bigger picture. I am on the committed road to health and fitness and plan to stay here.

I have not stopped taking pictures. Below, is my progress timeline. I no longer look at my pictures and feel bad. I see improvements I would like to make but I also see a healthier, happier, more energetic wife and mommy. I am happy with myself.
Please note: while I am not smiling in my April photo - I am much happier than I was in September. ;)

I plan to take my next "after" picture on the beach over July 4th weekend! :) This won't be my last picture either. I believe in the ever evolving "before" picture. I believe in eating clean as a lifestyle. I believe in working out and a good sweat session. Finally, I believe in doing whatever you need to stay motivated.  If you need motivation - how about taking your "before" picture?

I hope this helps just 1 person to get motivated and start making some changes.

You. Can. Do. This. 

"Happy Day!"

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Motivation Plugged In

I was reading about motivation recently and realized this is something, like working out, I will forever be working at. How do you get motivated and sustain it?

For me, just getting Fed Up with myself was enough to get out of bed in the AM and to start eating better. I firmly believe you just have to be ready to make the change. If I didn't want this lifestlye bad enough, I think I would have quit months ago. However, with that said - I do need to motivate myself on a hourly, daily, weekly, monthly basis (you get the idea).

In the hours and/or days where I haven't wanted to workout and wanted to pig out on Twizzlers and  have chosen differently, I found it really helpful to evaluate what triggered me to choose the workout or the healthy food. I have done this for months and now know my triggers and can more easily tap into them when I need to. In this self-discovery, I found these triggers or motivators can be broken down into multiple levels. I am a very outlined person - so I've laid it out below. I will say this outline pertains to working out, my clean eating motivators are slightly different but parallel this list. (I'll blog on this list later)

Big Picture Motivation
This is the big WHY I want to do all this. But typically not the Big Push I turn to in the moment of choosing between hitting snooze or getting out of bed. 

My Big Picture Motivators are:
- To have this be a lifestyle and end all to diets and fad workouts.
- To be healthy for my family and be of a positive influence to them and others.
- To be successful at coaching others via BeachBody.
- To fit into that bikini / or any new goal I set for myself.
- To be able to keep up with my kids and play with them.

Big Push (out of bed) Motivation
This is the "Big Push" motivation that does gets me out of bed thinking "alright! alright! I am going!"  or allows me to not make an excuse as to why I should not workout (ie: "I really should vacuum or dust now." - really?!)

- Prayer! I ask God to help me do this.
- My BEFORE picture. (more on this later)
- I remind myself of how cranky I will be if I don't do it.
- I remember the sense of release I will have once I am finished.
- I remind myself what I planned for my workout. Did I download new music or a new podcast? Is there a new Beachbody workout I am excited for?

In the Moment Motivation
This is what I tell myself when I am on the Elliptical, Running, or doing a Beachbody workout to make sure I get the most out of my workout & time.

- Make it count! Don't waste this time.
- How many days (AKA Workouts) do I have to reach my goal?
- My Before picture - and what I want to change.
- Anything that frustrates me. (pound it out!)
- How much Dan (my husband) will like to see me in that bikini. ;)
- Look at my previous log of workouts I have hanging up / Read my motivation board
- Simply listen to a good beat or podcast

Recovery Motivation
Once I have completed a workout I . . .
- Evaluate my efforts. Was it a good workout or could I have pushed harder? Why?
- Log my workout and plan my next workout. (This gives me a sense of accomplishment)
- Remember my Before picture and recognize how far I have come.

Maybe this is obvious to some but it has really helped me to work through all this and know my exact points of motivation. Yours will probably be different. All I can say is Do This For Yourself and plug in to what feeds your motivation. Write it down, Make it visible and stop making excuses!

I hope this is helpful.

"Happy Day!"

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

YOU eat THAT?!?!

I recently was encountered with a "Yooouuu eat that?!" or "You let them (my kids) eat that?!" 

Yes, I do.  

I have not been doing this clean eating that long (1 year) - so I consider myself a rookie in all this AND I am human. lol!

To eat clean is a commitment and lifestyle. It is a habit I am literally forming 1 day at a time and have the goal to do this forever with my family. With that said - I am going to have moments where a "non clean" food product reaches my lips or my kids' lips. I still love my frozen yogurt and will eat stuff like pizza, frozen yogurt and Oreos in moderation and when the moment is right. Keyword - Moderation. I allow myself a "cheat meal" (hate calling it that but whatever) every now and then. This "cheat meal" is a food of my choice in the correct portion. So I'll indulge in a slice of pizza or a cup of my favorite frozen yogurt from my favorite frozen yogurt shop.

They key to cheating is plan it! For instance, I know that this Saturday I am going out with my girlfriends so I am being really good this week. I will make the most of my workouts, maybe fit in some  extra cardio all so that I can enjoy a meal and perhaps a drink. I just plan ahead.  This is something I have always done - and has always worked well for me. 

With regards to my kids, I am creating the foundation for their eating styles. Sure they may waiver as they grow but I believe they will come back to how they were raised. So we eat veggies and fruits and I introduce them to all kinds of foods. So far, so good - my son loves Kale shakes. I have been really strict with them regarding junk food - just recently I have lightened up with my son allowing a treat after dinner and cake and some candy at special events. My daughter recently had a half of an oreo (not the icing side) because we were out of her baby arrowroot cookies. She loved every bite. But we stay firm with her and I'll ease up as she gets older.

So I share all this as I am not perfect and I don't ever expect to be. Just because you chose to eat healthy doesn't mean you don't treat yourself or your kids. You don't have to be perfect with clean eating,  working out or anything for that matter. Give it a good honest effort and you'll see the benefits! and if someone calls you out and says "You eat that?!?!" - Smile and say "Yep!!" :)  Let them wonder. 

You Crave What You Eat & Food is your Fuel! Keep up the good work!!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Get InTune!

It is amazing to me how much more in-tune I have become with my body over the past months. For instance, this morning I had a pretty hard workout. I don't mean I was able to push myself hard - I was struggling to get my heart rate up and keep it up. I hate when this happens but it has happened before and I have started to learn what it means and have found ways to embrace and fix it. 

God knows that if I am getting up at 5am - my workouts need to count.  Here is a list of things I have found were the culprit in the past for me

  • Not breathing efficiently. I sometimes hold my breath (its a weird habit) and this slows my heart rate. 
  • Not enough sleep. I have found I require 7-8 hours of sleep, preferably 8. Importance of Sleep Article
  • Over trained - muscle fatigue. I can normally feel this all over and recognize my body needs a complete day of rest from cardio and weights. 
  • Not eating enough - I can't believe this is even an option for me, as I love food. But its true! With working out and two little ones, there are days I can forget to eat or I had an awesome workout and require another smaller meal to make up some calories. Remember Food is your Fuel! (A good reason to track your calories)

I learned this all the hard way. . . I encourage the use of a heart rate monitor or check your heart rate regularly. 

"Happy Day!"

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Happy 1 Year Anniversary of Eating Clean!

This month I am celebrating 1 year of clean eating!

I started out very slow - but it was a year ago that I started to embrace it and make very small changes to my diet. I was 8 months pregnant and was told I was gaining too much weight. I needed something to do that would be healthy (no pills or crazy exercise) and something I could sustain after our little girl arrived. When I read that clean eating and achieving a lean body was 80% eating and 20% exercise - this was music to my ears! I could work on my eating during pregnancy and after while I waited to be cleared to exercise.  So this was perfect for me! With "clean eating" I didn't need to buy anything, join a club - I could start the very minute I read about it .... and I did.

What is "Clean Eating" - its not a fad diet. Its a lifestyle. You eat Carbs! yes, complex carbs. You eat Fat! yep, I said it. FAAATTT! and you eat Protein. You Eat, Eat, Eat and eat more. In fact, I eat about every 3 hours from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed. So that old mindset that I had that I shouldn't eat after 7pm (?!?!) was thrown out the window. I have a "meal" often at about 8:30pm every night.

My passion has grown and I am truly addicted! I am addicted because I have had great results and believe that not only have I lost most of my baby weight but I feel GREAT!!! I need as much energy as I can get to keep up with a 2 year old and a 10 month old and I truly believe that my food is my fuel. I am exhausted at days end but I can't imagine how I would feel if I was 40 pounds heavier and eating processed foods. I wouldn't be very happy. Neither would my husband and kids, lol!

So the following were/are huge motivators for me.... not personal motivators but rather people/resources I refer to for information, updated recipes, etc.
  • Kelsey Byers - is a fitness model that has inspired me from the very beginning. She is my virtual  BFF - as I follow her  blog, "friends" with her on FB and linked to her at She inspires me, as she too was transformed by clean eating. In fact, so transformed she is now a fitness model! amazing. Check her out:
  • Clean Eating Magazine - I eventually started my subscription but they have a great website with wonderful information and recipes. LOVE THEM!
  • Oxygen Magazine - When I was ready to start working out again I referred to this magazine for motivation. The girls in here have the bodies I want. LOL! So I am truly inspired by every female in here and the information is outstanding!
  • BodyBuilding.Com - this offers a ton of information on training. They have an App that is fabulous. I was new to weight lifting and the App walks you through each exercise.
  • Fitness Pal - this is where I log my food and exercise. This is a new one for me - as these final pounds I am starting to loose I am really digging deeper in my efforts. You'd be amazed - when you log your food, you are aware of how calories can add up. 
  • Fooducate - This is an App that is SO COOL! you can scan a product and it will rate it for you. I discovered my "healthy peanut" butter I was trying out (because it was cheaper than what I had been buying) is not healthy. LOVE THIS APP!
  • Hello Mornings! - This is a group of ladies that hold each other accountable in getting up early and starting their day with the word and encouraging morning exercise. This helped me and was another great reason for me to not hit snooze.
There are more but I need to go! LOL!  I hope this helps someone - I would love feedback. Or share any resources you use.

"Happy Day!" - XOXO

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Non-Negotitables

Happy Income Tax Day! 

My husband and I are those type of people that as soon as all our paperwork comes in we are off to our tax guy to get our tax returns done. So when it comes to today and you hear of everyone trying to get it done - I have no worries.  This is just an area I don't typically procrastinate. 

However, I have and do procrastinate in other areas of my life. Ie: laundry. I probably should be folding right now instead of writing.... :) But 1 area of procrastination that has been reformed is working out. For months I kept telling my husband, 'I am going to work out early tomorrow'.  To the point that he would actually laugh when I said it. It was funny, I admit it.  But a few months ago, I just got fed up with myself and the mental whining I was doing. d r a i n i n g.

I get up now and have been consistent with it for about 4 months. I take it 1 day at a time and I can say the mental torture I had been putting myself through is far more draining than getting up at 5am. I am happy to say that I am getting to the point that I don't think about it - I just do it. That didn't come right away - and some mornings are harder than others, but I just write it off as punishment for not getting to bed on time the night before. Despite how hard it is to put my feet on the ground (some mornings) I know that I will feel so much better if I do it and so that moment of "just sleep 5 more minutes" doesn't last too long.

Why am I telling you this?  Working out has become a non-negotiable in my life. It is something that doesn't have room for options. It can only be this way - otherwise, It wouldn't get done.

What are your non-negoitables? Hopefully you don't have too many  - I am not sure that would be good. But I can tell you this one is a good one to have. trust me.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

First Thoughts?

What are your first thoughts in the AM?  Like me, I wake up thinking about what I need to do ASAP and what I need to accomplish that day.  This morning, nothing was different but I took a special notice to my 2 year old. He's so transparent and I realized his first thoughts are his family. When he wakes up in the morning - immediately he starts talking on his "phone" (His hand up to his ear). I am not too sure what he's talking about - but I recognize that we - "Mommy", "Daddy" and his little sister "Nay Nay" are all involved in his "Happy Day!" plans. I am sure all kids do this but I couldn't help but think that maybe I should do this too -  in adult form, that is.

I always have heard, put God first in everything but I some how manage to jump out of bed, get whisked away in my day and sadly forget until night time. I am thinking if you pray for someone first thing in the AM - that day, may just be a little better. I don't know. For me, I am taking this as a gentle reminder to just take a few minutes and think about and pray for those so close to my heart.

Anyways . . .
Kids crack me up and I find their perspective on life amazing. There is simple wisdom that many   adults can learn from. This was on Facebook last week and I just loved it! I hope you do too.


Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker ‘s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.
Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ”I know why.”

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.

He said,”People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The Six-year-old continued,

”Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

Live simply.

Love generously.

Care deeply.

Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you’re not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.


Author : Unknown

Please share

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker ‘s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.
Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ”I know why.”

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.

He said,”People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The Six-year-old continued,

”Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

Live simply.

Love generously.

Care deeply.

Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

  • When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
  • Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
  • Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.
  • Take naps.
  • Stretch before rising.
  • Run, romp, and play daily.
  • Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
  • Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
  • On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
  • On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
  • When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
  • Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
  • Be loyal.
  • Never pretend to be something you’re not.
  • If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
  • When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.


Author : Unknown

"Happy Day!!"

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring Fever

I do not have a favorite season - I love each season equally for what they each have to offer. For instance, I love:
  • Smells (Baked cookies at Christmas, Christmas Trees, and fireplaces, Pumpkin & Cinnamon Spices in the Fall, Cut Grass and Flowers in the Spring and Suntan Lotion, Our pool and the Beach in the Summer)
  • Sounds (Children playing outside, Christmas Music, Music Festive, Fire Crackling, Birds Chirping, Thunder, Lawn Mowers, Football, Baseball, Ocean)
  • Celebrations (Christmas, my birthday, my husband's birthday, my kids' birthdays, all birthdays, Christmas again, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Weddings...I can go on and on)
What I love about Spring is the sense of renewal and new beginnings it gives me.  Flowers (my favorite) will be blooming and as things start to grow so will people's energy. The first few days of really nice weather, you'll see people driving with their windows down, music playing and people out and about - either exercising or doing yard work.  It always seem people's energy levels get a mega boost in the spring and I love LOVE LOVE  it!

Oh how great it would be to just motivate 1 person to get out and use Spring as their launch pad to get active and start living a healthier lifestyle. Is that 1 person you?  Perhaps you've been desiring to start exercising and have been thinking of all the ways you would do it. Or maybe your not sure where to start. I am here saying (screaming) JUST DO IT! Start today! Stop the Excuses! You don't need fancy gym equipment, just a pair of sneakers and your set!

Commit yourself by signing up for a race! yep! Try a 5K and aim for the race date to be about 3 months from today. You can vow to walk it or run it....whatever - just commit to finishing it. Get out there.  Google "Training for a 5K" and loads of information will come up to help you. If there is a will there is a way.

Side Story about motivation:
I ran for years, completing 2 marathons (very slowly) and about 10 10-mile races and numerous 5 & 10Ks. I wasn't fast, I never came close to placing (nor did I have the desire) - I always just completed what I started. I liked running, it kept me from gaining weight (though my diet wasn't great) and it was my mental ecape for many years.

It all started in 2001 when I went with my best girlfriend to sign her up for a 10-mile race. I thought she was insane for wanting to do it. 10 miles?! "I'll go and watch you run it" I told her. So the DAY BEFORE the race, I went with her to register and upon seeing a TON of really good looking guys and some convincing from my friend. I signed up! I totally got sucked in. What was I about to do to myself?! Looking back, I was a bit delusional and had came up with this daydream that I would meet my husband as I crossed the finish line - winning the entire race. (um, yea - that was FAR from what actually happened) but nonetheless, I committed to it and finished. In the end, my finish time was far from impressive, the next day I was crazy sore! I worked in the city at the time and had a hard time stepping up curbs on my 6-block walk into work; My big toe's nail turned black & blue and eventually fell off (Proper fitting running shoes are worth the $$) AND I did not meet my husband as I had fantasized. (It took another 5 years to find him) BUT! it did launch 10 years of running and educating myself about fitness. So I guess I am saying - find your motivation! Tell yourself whatever you have to,  to get your hiney out the door and your heart rate up!

By the way, I still workout  5x a week - During the week, I get up at 5 AM and do 30-45 minutes cardio and 20-30 minutes weight lifting - I am just taking a break from running for now.... My point in telling you this is that you have to start somewhere - light the fire! 

Sooooooo Com'on! Get the fever! Spring has sprung!!! Yipeeeeeeee!!!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Fed Up!

There is just so much going on lately...

I have recently started waking up at 4:50am to get some time for myself. I pray, workout, make coffee and shower! These are all huge personal successes as a mommy of a (almost) 2 year old and (almost) 9 month old. 

For MONTHS, I had been wanting to do this. Awhile back, I realized that if I was going to get into a routine of working-out again the only consistent part of my days was either really early before my kids wake up and husband goes to work OR at night, after the kids go to bed and we are finished doing a few things that need to be done each night. Nights are hard because I am typically drained and also just want to spend time with my husband. So I knew what I had to do.... I needed to wake up before everyone and take care of myself. However, this realization took me months to actually put into practice. For so long,  I was always telling my husband "tomorrow I am getting up early and working out" -  thinking if I said it aloud I would be accountable and do it....pft - that didn't work. It got to the point that he would just laugh when I would say it. 

The motivation? I got fed up with myself. 
I asked my husband to take a "before" picture. I dressed in shorts and a sports bra - it was after the kids had gone to bed so I was exhausted and in fact, don't think I had showered that day. When I saw the picture, I actually started to laugh and then I started to cry...and then I was laughing and crying at the same time. All the reassuring and nice words my husband said just didn't get the images out of my head. We took a front, back and side view and it was just so awful to see...But it has helped with my motivation and I can say getting up early for "me time" has been the best gift I could give myself.

So exercising is part of my "me time" and very important to me. It is one of my  non-negoitables (we'll talk about these later) - but during my early time - I have gotten into such a routine that I am able to pray, mentally prepare for the day ahead, make coffee and shower. These things are big accomplishments to me and in turn help me be a better mommy and wife. So if your feeling like you need this time just try it for a few weeks. It doesn't have to be to workout - the time can be used to organize your day, or read a book. Whatever makes you feel good! Yes, It can be challenging to put your feet on the floor at 5am but you just have to do it. Get fed up with yourself! :) seriously. You'll be happy you've given yourself this gift.  

Oh! ...and to help with getting up early, I have committed to going to bed earlier than I had been. If you currently go to bed at 11 or even 10pm - try getting into bed an hour earlier. your worth this investment! 


Thursday, January 24, 2013


My name is Tricia. Welcome to my blog, it is new and developing but I wanted to just start off introducing myself and what I believe to be the goal/purpose of this page.

My title "Living, Loving Laughing . . . .Be Fit" - comes from a few frames/decor in my house that references "Live Love Laugh". Over the past few years, I have really been drawn to these words and have incorporated them throughout my house - adopting these words as our family motto. . . I know a bit corny (to have a family motto) but whatever. I even have "Live Love Laugh" printed on our checks! So when coming up with the idea to blog - what the title should be was obvious to me.

My goal here is more an "out" for me - I like to write and figured I would just put it out there... I do have a few things I'd like to pay forward - so maybe this will be the means to do it. I don't know...

So if you found me and are reading this - I hope you come back. Let's get to know each other - I could use more friends, couldn't you?