Tag Archives: health

Half way point–The Zone

Lean challengeWe are half way through our #leanchallenge. I can’t believe it’s already been two weeks, but there’s one thing about time that I like to remind myself: it will pass. Why not do something valuable and life-changing during that time?

I’m so glad we took this challenge. It could be two weeks into September with nothing different. But we decided we wanted change, and change is what we got.

By now, I hope you’ve found what my sisters and I like to call “The Zone.” When we’re in the zone, we’re unstoppable. Results are driving our determination and there isn’t anything that can bring us out of the zone. The temptations that used to feel so strong a week ago seem to be losing power quickly. We realize the food we craved before isn’t worth it.

The zone is a mindset. The food hasn’t changed, but our thoughts toward it have. A mindset is a choice, a choice to make better habits for ourselves when it comes to food. It’s a choice that can be made any day of the year and doesn’t take a challenge to accomplish–although accountability helps.

I write this to remind myself that at any moment of any day I have the choice to make better decisions about what I’m feeding my body, and so do you. No matter if you started with us on September 1st, or if you’ve hit a few road blocks, or you’re just starting, make a choice today, that you have the power to decide what you put into your mouth. You and you alone.

I’m preparing my mind for when this challenge is over to continue to stay in “The Zone” so that my hard work isn’t disolved by useless calories.

Time will pass anyway, where do we want to be at Thanksgiving, Christmas?

The choice to continue is ours alone to make.

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Week One and My Favorite Snack

Lean challengeWoo Hoo! We completed week 1 of our #leanchallenge

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling great! We made it through the weekend without falling off the wagon, and if you’re anything like me that’s a big deal.

I like to weigh once a week to track my progress and I’m already down 5lbs!

When I do a challenge I like to make little adjustments along the way. I’m reminded of a book I read a long time ago, called “What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There.” I ask myself: how can I do even better this week? What can I cut out? How can I work harder to get even closer to my goal? Maybe it’s different for you, but it’s what I do to stay motivated and focused.

This week I am cutting my carbs even more and focusing on lots of cardio. What is your focus for week two?

I’m always on the lookout for new, yummy and healthy snacks. I don’t snack a lot, but that time between lunch and dinner is tough to get through without something. Here is my favorite healthy snack. I hope you’ll share yours!

Please excuse the ugly iPhone photos!


Found these at Sprouts. Only 7carbs per cake! Bonus: my kids like them too.


If you haven’t tried PB2, do yourself a favor and go get some. (Crest, Wal-Mart, Amazon) It’s powdered peanut butter so you add water and mix it. It cuts the fat down by 85%. Two TBLSP is only 45 calories!


I top mine with blueberries or strawberries and me-oh-my, it’s yummy!

About 100 calories/ 18g carbs/ 1g fat

What’s your favorite healthy snack?



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Five Lean Meats When You’re Tired of Chicken

We are on day 3 of our #leanchallenge. If you don’t know what that is, click here

What is it about day three that can sometimes make you or break you? Day three is like the proverbial test. If you pass you’re probably in for the long haul. If it gets the better of you, you might have a hard time sticking to whatever it is you’ve set out to do. At least that’s how it’s been in my life without accountability and community. Day three is a line drawn in the sand, on the mental beach in your mind, that says, “This might be like crossing an ocean, but I’m determined I’m going to do it.”

No matter if you’re struggling to stay the course, or have an iron-clad mindset you are on the right path to making a better lifestyle for yourself.

Here are a few ideas to help you even more:


If you’re like me, you get sick of eating the same things all the time. Trying new things is fun, but when you’re trying to eat lean it can be hard when fatty meats, starchy sides, and sugar are on the no-no list. Here are five lean meats to try when you get tired of chicken.



Bison $7.99 per pound  4oz: 128 calories/ 2.7g fat/ 24g protein

This is a bison steak. I usually buy ground bison to make bison burgers but it is more expensive. I was not impressed with the steak. It was hard to eat (might not have been cooked very well since it was on the grill for Labor Day with a ton of other stuff) Bison is dense and hearty, though expensive you don’t need a lot to fill you up or get lots of good, lean protein.



Ahi Tuna steak. 5oz: 225 calories/ 1.9g fat/ 30g protein.

Price varies based on where you buy it. I like getting the frozen pre-packaged kind from Sprouts. It runs about $4.99 for one package (5oz) serving, but can be as expensive as $12.99 per pound if/when you buy it fresh from the butcher. Ahi is also dense and you only cook it a couple minutes on each side. It’s best eaten rare with a bright pink center. Worth paying the extra cash!



Swordfish steak

4oz serving 300 calories/9.2 g of fat/ 50g protein. Sometimes you get lucky and find a piece of fish on its way out. $3.99 per pound! I’d never had swordfish before, but let me tell you, it was DELISH!! My husband and I split the steak and had about 4oz each! It’s a little higher in fat but look at all that protein! Cook the swordfish just until it’s cooked through. Add salt and seasonings.


Tilapia 1 fillet: 110 calories/ 1.5g fat/ 23g protein

You can’t go wrong with any sort of fish. Our favorite is Tilapia.



Turkey breast cutlets–$7.99 per pound 4oz: 120 calories/ .5g fat/28g protein

I’ve stopped buying the processed ground turkey. It just doesn’t work for me on my plan. If you do, that’s great! I’ve just had to phase it out when I’m being strict. It’s made of the whole turkey (white and dark meat) so the fat content is just too high for me to make it worth it. But I LOVE, love, love these turkey breast cutlets. Practically no fat and lots of protein. I got three meals out of these and one of those was for my husband. Dense and filling, so it’s worth the price.

One other kind of meat we like to buy is ground Elk for Elk burgers. When I don’t want to spend the extra money buying ground bison, I go for the Elk. (No picture, because we already ate it!) It is similar to bison, but has a little more fat content because it’s mixed with 3% beef. It’s also cheaper than bison, about $7.99 per pound compared to $10.99 per pound.

You can find all these meats in the frozen section at Sprouts.

When you’re serious about making changes to your diet, spending a little more for variety can go a long way in helping you stay the course and not go insane eating chicken and tuna all the time. I hope these will give you some ideas on building future meals!

Please let me know if you come across any other lean meats. I’m always on the look out to try new things!

Leave me a comment or share this post to help others.

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#TransformationTuesday-Why I’m Passionate About Health & Weight-loss


I was eighteen when I bought my first car. Paid for it with my own hard-earned cash. My life just getting started. The world was at my fingertips. What might I accomplish? There was nothing stopping me from the potential everyone said I had. Nothing that was keeping me from going after the dreams that burned so brightly within me. Nothing except my weight.

I can still remember the thoughts that went through my head. Pictures were no fun, mirrors the enemy. Both spoke poisonous thoughts in my mind, that spread like a slow-growing disease. I listened to these thoughts. They were so easy to hear.  The physical, outward weight was enough to make things hard, but the weight I felt inside grew with each passing day. Nothing satisfied. Nothing, except food. Food was the drug that made it all fade away. It hushed the berating tones of my own self-conscious who accused me of not living up to everyone’s expectations. It made me forget, if just for a moment, that I might be more accepted if I wasn’t so big. If I wasn’t overweight, maybe I’d feel more loved. By others. By myself. But no matter how many times I tried to lose the weight the words I told myself just never let me go: You’re fat.

I carried those words around for years. Wondering who else thought them. Wondering who else was saying them under their breath, or to a friend once my back was turned. Those words were the filter of most of my interactions with people. I was never really able to be myself, because in my mind the question kept bouncing around like a little fly needing attention: “Do they think I’m fat?”

It wasn’t until much later in life, that I realized I was living under a lie. No, the lie was not “You’re Fat!”–that was actually true. The lie that I’d been believing for years was that, “I’m fat, and therefore I’m not whole.” I’m missing something. There’s something wrong with me. I’m not a true person.–Those are lies.

Realizing that I was living under lies was half the battle but it took me another few years to find out how to overcome them…

As I think back on it now, I’m shocked at how my thoughts had such a strong effect on my actions. I believed I was fat, therefore, I would overeat, not exercise, or at least cut corners if I did.

My perception of myself became my reality, and I plunged down a destructive spiral that I felt powerless to stop.


Until I realized. I was not fat. I was merely stuck in a fat person’s body. Anna, the real Anna was not this overweight, depressed girl who didn’t see a way out. She was joyful, full of life, full of love, an encourager, energetic! But stuck. How was I going to push through? How was I going to become on the outside, what I knew I was on the inside?

The answer: TRUTH.

For too long, I lived in this lie: “You’re fat, therefore you’re not whole. No one likes you. No one wants to be around you.” I thought it was true, so it became true. But once I started changing my thinking, other things started to change as well.

I realized I was living a lie, so to overcome that lie, I had to find truth. And where better to find truth, than the Truth itself?

I dove into the scriptures, finding truths that directly countered the lies I believed about myself.

I’m fat, I’m ugly—> “The King is enthralled with my beauty, honor Him for He is your Lord!”–Psalm 45:11

No one likes me, no one wants to be around me—> “I have chosen you to be my special treasure.”–Deuteronomy 7:6

Any time the lie would hit, I would have a truth ready to do battle. It was hard at first. Sometimes it felt like I would take one step forward, and two steps back. But I trudged forward, knowing I had to change my thinking. Pretty soon, believing truth became like second nature to me. I walked in the confidence of His truth, and soon the lies slowly fell away, and with them, the weight. I slowly became on the outside what I knew I was on the inside. His truth changed me from the inside out! Now, I continue to walk in truth, doing battle against the lies that come my way.

What about you? Do you believe the truth about yourself, or are you spiraling down a deadly cycle you feel powerless to stop? Maybe you don’t even struggle with weight, like I did, but you face an equally difficult lie, an insecurity that holds you back. Do you want to be free? The truth will set you free.

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Weigh, Measure, Begin

Lean challenge

I’ve been in Tulsa the last few days and I’ve eaten horribly! I’m so ready to feel better. I swear all my clothes have shrunk! How does that happen?

September 1st lands on a Monday, which is awesome because I love starting things on Mondays, however, this September 1st is Labor Day and if you’re family is anything like my family you’ll probably be having a huge get-together with lots of food, hotdogs, brats, hamburgers, chips, cookies, beer and ice cream. I won’t be participating in the smorgasbord.

The way I see it, every temptation you overcome makes you that much stronger for the next one. Believe me, there will be a next one.


One of the greatest pieces of advice I’ve ever read about healthy eating and weight loss is to get rid of anything in the house that will tempt you to go off course. No, this doesn’t mean eat all the junk food before the challenge begins, it means throw it away, or give it away. When that craving hits, and you’re out of options, it only helps you stay on course. Get it out of the house!

If you’re like me, you have to mentally prepare yourself for the challenge ahead. I’m a self-professed food addict, so this is an important step for me. It is a mindset. If I’m in the right mindset, I will do great. If I’m not, I will hobble through with weak will power.

One word I’m practicing: NO. You’re going to have to use it a lot over the next month. It can be tough. Especially when you’re tired, frustrated and want to give up. But learning to use the word “NO” is vital in our success for this challenge. When you co-workers want to pick up Chinese for lunch: No. When your husband has a hankering for doughnuts: No. When you’re tired at the end of the day and want to pick up Papa Murphy’s: No. No, no, no, no. Stick to your plan.


Today I weighed and measured. I usually don’t measure before a challenge but I’ve found that sometimes it takes longer for you to see results on the scale, but inches are almost always changing when you make better eating choices.

I did my:

  • Waist
  • Arms
  • Hips
  • Thighs
  • Bust
  • Middle

You might not want to measure based on your goals, but if you’re going for weight loss I suggest doing it. There’s nothing like measuring again at the end of the challenge to see your hard work and dedication paying off.

What will you do with your last day? Start weaning yourself from all that sugar and carbs and fat, or have one last woorah with the food you’re kissing goodbye for the next month?

Praying for each of you who are taking this challenge. Share your journey.

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Stupid-easy Tuna Patties

As promised, here is my favorite go-to meal when I don’t want to thaw meat or have any left-overs in the fridge.

This is so easy, a cave man could do it.

Start with three ingredients:

DSC_0073Hello, flat belly ingredients! This is all it takes!



I open and drain the can of tuna and place it in a bowl. Add 1/4 cup overflowing of egg whites and 1/4 cup level oats. Mix well.

DSC_0076At this point you can add any number of seasonings. My favorite is a handful of fresh dill and green onions. I like the way the fresh herbs look in the finished patties, but since I didn’t feel like walking down to the garden, I just added salt, pepper, garlic and a little lemon zest.

DSC_0084Spoon two patties onto a medium/hot skillet. I spray non-stick spray so that, as the name suggests, it won’t stick!

DSC_0088Cook both sides until they are golden brown.

DSC_0092My favorite way to eat them is with a little salad and picked-straight- from-the-garden tomato and cucumber. (Yum! Thank you Mimi)

DSC_0093To keep the calories low, my dressing is simply red wine vinegar. The tartness goes perfectly with the tuna patties.

DSC_0095This was my first time to try them with the lemon zest and it gave it a whole new level of flavor!

A healthy, low carb, low fat, lean meal for only: 220 calories. And yes, it fills you up!

Leave me a comment and like the post! More to come.

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Stay Healthy on the Go…

Take Five!

I hear it all the time! “I don’t have time to work out!”

Maybe you don’t have an hour to spend on the treadmill, but you do have five minutes!

Take five minutes and do one of the following:

Pushups for five minutes (as many as you can)

Sit ups or crunches for five minutes (maximum reps!)

Squats for five minutes


You’ll be amazing what five minutes does for you. Don’t believe me? Try it!

Take five!

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Stay Healthy on the Go…

(I got this recipe along with many other quick, easy and HEALTHY recipes from this site. Check it out!)
Here is a great, easy, tasty recepie I made yesterday and today for breakfast! It’s easy and only takes about 2 minutes!

Pour 1/2 a cup of Egg Substitute into a mug

The Egg Mug Classic
The Egg Mug Classic

Cut up one wedge of Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cheese, into eggs and stir.

Put in the microwave for 35 seconds. Take out and stir.

Cook in microwave for another 35 seconds and enjoy! I know I did. I almost forgot to take a picture of the finished product I was so excited to eat it!

The Egg Mug Classic
The Egg Mug Classic
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Stay Healthy on the Go…

I haven’t been blogging a lot lately. My life has been a little busy over the last couple months. But I want to share some tips this week that have helped me stay on track even when life seems out of control! 

Bag It Up

I love fruit. Not only is it sweet and tasty it is an amazingly healthy snack that keeps me on track. Since I’m always on the go it’s hard to keep a variety of fruit close at hand, and easy to grab as I’m heading out the door. To fix that problem, I take the opportunity of a free night to do a little chopping. 

Buy a carton of strawberries and after washing them slice them into pieces. (Eat with yogurt for a yummy, healthy snack!)

Divide pieces into little baggies and store in refrigerator.

Do the same with a bundle of grapes. 

Add apples or plums or peaches and you have a nice variety of fruit to grab as you’re heading out the door! Bag It Up

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