Sunday, February 24, 2013

6 Weeks out from a Photo Shoot- Mind Hacks and Tips

So I am 6 weeks out from my next fitness shoot. This is where things can get pretty dicey, and to me it is a serious mind game.

People tend to do one of two things wrong when approaching a deadline- 1) overdo it- exercise or restricting diet too severely OR 2) freak out, sabotage themselves, and derail progress. I have done both! One thing that training for a half marathon taught me was to stick to the plan that was laid out from the beginning AKA trust the training. If it has been working so far, then what is the problem?! So there are some things that I do that I lovingly call- mind hacks.

Mind Hack #1 Counting Down your Deadline

Whether it be X's on a calendar or post it notes that you rip off your mirror in the morning, keeping a moving countdown to the day will keep you on track. I like to keep a weekly post it countdown on the tachometer in my car as I look there daily. You could also set an alarm on your phone or ipad to send alerts.


Mind Hack #2 Putting the Goal in your View

I just discovered that writing my goal pic weight on my hand keeps me on track with calories pretty well. I have to see it everytime I lift my hand to eat as it is written in Sharpie on the side of my index finger! Some other ideas are to put your picture on the fridge or pantry door. Or even just a post it on your mirror.

Mind Hack #3 Break it into Chunks

Telling myself that I have 6 weeks to go, so I can go ahead and have XYZ is a recipe for disaster. Instead I like to look at it in chunks of 3 weeks. This will give you a push for those 21 days.  You could do monthly or quarterly goals too, just depends on the end point. Give yourself a reward if you meet the goal- a message, a pedi, new top, etc. I have weekly mini-goals too which include calories and workouts. Those I track in a spreadsheet. #dork.

Mind Hack #4 Support Yourself with Like-minded People

April is another Venus who did VT5 with me; although she lives across the country, we keep in touch!

You may be blessed to live in area where other people you know pursue similar physique goals. My girls in my gym class help out a lot. I also have a few girls across the country that I text and email. This helps immensely with accountibility and 911 human contact!

What if you do not know anyone? April (above) is inspired by girls in fitness mags so she pastes them into her gym routines to see. I need to listen to Venus Index podcasts almost daily, especially past contest winners and the Censored podcasts. They keep me driven and pushing to the end goal of looking good in less than business casual attire ;) it is hard to do that if your friends all tell you that you look good already. This may cause you to be lax with your plan, and could get you off track!

These are just some ideas that work for me. Do you have mind hacks that work for you?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Low Cal Key Lime Pie

I am warning you, this stuff is goooood. Sweet and creamy but with a tangy lime kick! When I saw the recipe on Pinterest, it was actually aimed at Weight Watchers and I did not know what the calories were per slice until I read one of the reviews! 78 calories per slice?! Heck yeah! Which is 3 WW pts apparently for all you WW peeps! And it does not feel like you are eating anything "diet-ish" at all.
My 6 YO daughter helped me make it! She also made a mess!


Low Cal Key Lime Pie

Serves 8
  • 1 reduced fat graham cracker crust
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 package sugar free lime Jello
  • 1/2 8oz container sugar-free whipped topping
  • 2 6 oz containers lime flavored Greek Yogurt
Dissolve Jello into boiling water with a whisk. Whisk yogurt into jello mixture. Fold in whipped topping. Spread in crust and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

*Recipe inspired by a Pinterest post from

This pie was a perfect compliment to our Medieterranean Shrimp Foil Dinner Packets with Mango-Avocado Salsa that we had for dinner!

Nutrition Stats: (per serving)

Cals: 171 (6 WW pts)

Nutrition Facts
Servings 8.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 171
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5 g7 %
Saturated Fat 2 g9 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 4 mg1 %
Sodium 163 mg7 %
Potassium 38 mg1 %
Total Carbohydrate 25 g8 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g4 %
Sugars 12 g
Protein 5 g9 %
Vitamin A1 %
Vitamin C0 %
Calcium4 %
Iron2 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Mediterranean Shrimp Foil Dinner Packets with Mango-Avocado Salsa

I went on a little Pinterest dinner bender tonight and tried out a couple of yummy recipes that tickled my fancy! They were both a hit with the fam, so I knew I had to share on the blog.

 I do not know if I have mentioned this yet but the DH is a meat and potatoes kind of guy. Generally if it is green, it must be smothered in Ranch, cheese, or both. Yeah, and he stays trim and fit too. Do not get me started. The littles are miniatures of DH and I but reversed. My 8 YO son would practically vegetarian if it were up to him. He loves his veggies and fruit. He has his momma's taste buds! My 6 YO daughter takes right after her dad. She loves meat and pasta, anything green is generally one no-thank-you-bite and that is it! So needless to say with our competing eating philsophies, sometimes finding a menu that pleases the whole fam is somewhat hard to do.

First up- dinner in a packet. Took 30 minutes or less from prep to on the table! Yep- that is always nice in my book! Dessert was a low cal Key Lime Pie that you have got to try too!

Mediterranean Shrimp Foil Dinner Packets with Mango-Avocado Salsa

Serves 4
  • Vegetable Oil Cooking Spray
  • 8 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup couscous (uncooked)
  • 1 lb medium shrimp- shelled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup chipped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 3/4 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 large mango- peeled and diced
  • 1 medium avocado- diced
  • 1 medium tomato- diced (I bought 2 small)
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 jalapeno- seeded and finely chopped (I used a pablano to keep the heat at little kid level)
  • 1 TBSP fresh lime juice

Pre-heat broiler in oven or grill. Tear 4 strips of foil approx 18 inches in length and spray with Veggie Oil. Place 2 cups of spinach into the center of each foil piece. Mix couscous with 1/4 cup of water in small bowl, then divide evenly into each foil pouch. Toss shrimp with EVOO, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 cup of cilantro. Divide shrimp mixture evenly into the 4 foil packs. Bring short edges of foil together and fold twice on each packet. Then fold the ends toward the center twice to make the packet. Place in oven under broiler for 14 mintues or on grill for 10. They are done when the shrimp are pink.

While the pouches are cooking, prepare your mango-avocado salsa. In a large bowl, mix together your diced tomato, avocado, mango, jalapeno, and onion. Stir in the chopped cilantro, 1/4 tsp salt, and lime juice.

Serve Mediterranean Shrimp foil packets topped with mango-avocado salsa and enjoy!
*Recipe found on Pinterest from Self

Nutritional Stats (per serving)

Cals: 397
Fat: 10 g (1g saturated)
Carbs: 52 g
Protein: 25g

Serving up a low cal Key Lime Pie for dessert!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Contributing Author for Venus Index

You create your sculpture; you define your look

I am honored to announce that I will be writing articles for the Venus Index! My first article, The Creation of a Masterpiece was just published! The Venus Index workout is the strength training program that I exclusively use and have gotten phenomenal results from, so I am thrilled that I can give back and support this excellent company.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Greek Cheesecake

This is my new go to treat! So easy (3!!! ingredients) and satisfying, it cures my sweet tooth. The nutritional stats are not too shabby either.

Greek Cheesecake
*8 oz Greek Yogurt
*1 TSBSP Sugar Free Jello Pudding Mix- I prefer the cheesecake, chocolate, or vanilla flavors
*0.5 pint strawberries, hulled

Mix your greek yogurt and pudding mix until the lumps are gone. If you can stand it, place the yogurt in the refrigerator for about an hour. This is where the magical texture will come from. Top with strawberries and a little whipped topping. Go to town! It tastes a LOT like cheesecake!

  • Total Cals: 184
  • Protein: 24g
  • Carbs: 22g
  • Fat: 1g

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Healthy Crockpot Peach Cobbler Oatmeal

Oh my word, this stuff is SO GOOD! Like dessert for breakfast good. Humm, that is an idea! I think I might start having it for my nightly treat sometimes! And guys, it is so easy. Seriously easy, just dumping stuff in your crockpot!

Healthy Peach Cobbler Oatmeal

Serves 3
  • 1 bag frozen no sugar added sliced peaches (454g)
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats (160g) (I like to use half steel cut and half old fashioned oats also)
  • 3 cups water (or milk of choice, for a creamier and richer taste) (720g)
  • 1/4 cup zero calorie sweetener (I prefer Splenda or granular stevia)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 12 oz plain Greek yogurt (I prefer Fage 0%) (340g)
Spray crockpot dish with nonstick for easier clean up. Pour the frozen peaches in the bottom of the dish, sprinkle oats then sweetener, salt, cinnamon, and lemon juice evenly over the top of the peaches. Cook on low for 4-8 hours. (You can also bake at 350*F for 45 min). Top with 4 oz greek yogurt for each serving.

*Inspired and adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie's Peach Breakfast Bake

Nutritional Stats per serving:

Calories: 298
Carbs: 53
Fat: 4
Fiber: 7