Overnight Apple Pie Oats

It’s so true that when they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day! I used to be the girl who would starve herself until lunch and then make a head dive into a complete binge on all the wrong things when noon rolled around. I’m thankful that with age comes wisdom because this girl can not go without breakfast. I need fuel to keep me going and so do you!

It doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be simple yet delicious and nutritious……

Behold ……

Overnight Apple Pie Oats

1/2 cup oatmeal

1/2 to 2/3 cup water or almond milk

1/2 of granny smith apple ~ chopped

1 tsp coconut oil

1 Tbsp pure maple syrup

cinnamon to taste

Place oats, water, apple, and syrup in bowl

Mix well, cover and place in refrigerator overnight

Enjoy by warming a bit the next morning and sprinkle on some cinnamon, mix in coconut oil or you could even dress it up with some chopped nuts.

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The nutrition details

Calories ~ 275

Total Fat~ 8

Carbohydrates~ 47

Sodium~ 0

Fiber~ 7

Protein~ 5

There you have it a fast, delicious and nutritious breakfast to start your day off right!

It All Started When……..

Isn’t that how most stories start out? Oh wait.. no ..that’s Once Upon A Time but  this story will start out with It all start when…..

Yes …it all started when last year right around Fall I found myself in this funk that I just couldn’t seem to snap myself out of. I had changed jobs ,was feeling sorry for myself and in attempt to comfort my  bah hum bug feelings about upcoming holidays I found myself drowning my sorrows in good ole comfort food! For some reason the holidays were especially hard for me last year. Going through a separation and divorce within the last three years has definitely been a roller coaster ride that has had my hair flying back , stomach in knots all while I’m gripping on tight in fear to the seat in front of me at times. Whew ….get me off this thing!!!

So…… This January I found my clothes fitting a little tighter and me a lot grumpier! I explained away the tighter fitting clothes to me gaining some muscle weight and although that is true to an extent it was a lame excuse knowing that I been medicating myself with poor food choices.I had no alternative but to confront it!

I’m confident enough in saying I will never have a perfect body, be perfect in what I eat and I refuse the unrealistic idea that one must spend hours in a gym  or even have to take out a small loan to afford a personal trainer to achieve results. It quite simple really…. Eat right and exercise! Anything that is promising results without a change in behavior is only going to be temporary.

So this is how it started………

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Can’t you just see the joy shining through that face? :lol:

I absolutely cringe posting these pics on here and in my online accountability group but I have found it’s in being vulnerable that opens the door to truer relationships and only makes you stronger. I’ve also learned that putting the word Challenge  and Accountability out in front of me only makes me want to try harder at something. I need that …I think we all need that.

Here are some questions that I asked myself when I was considering joining the 21 Day Fix Challenge and the answers I got after 21 days.

  • Could I try this weight loss thing on my own? Yes but just as the many times before I wouldn’t have stuck it out without the accountability and structure.
  • Was I going to go bankrupt, have to sign a contract or sign my life away? No… my bank account is still intact.
  • Does it take a magic pill, formula , weird food or gimmicky product? No and if it did I wouldn’t have done it or be singing its praises.
  • Is it going to be easy? No but it was worth every ounce of time and effort I put into it.
  • Am I going to have to kill myself with strange and awkward exercise moves and go for hours on end? (because I am rhythmically challenged) Sweat? YES but I was able to do everything without a problem and when I needed to slow it down a bit there is a modification for every exercise.
  • Would the accountability and support really push me to keep going when I wanted to quit?  I wasn’t sure before I started but I quickly found my group to be very supportive and encouraging every step of the way!
  • Would it really work? Well I’m gonna say I’ve tried many things in the past and none have really delivered quite like this one. I’m pleasantly pleased and I’m not stopping now.

Everything about the 21 Day Fix from being apart of the online accountability and support group to the superb meal plan, exercises and those beautiful colored portion control containers this program has been my favorite by far! After all these years I feel like I finally have a grip on proper portion control and I’m not starving myself. Honestly there were even days I felt like I couldn’t finish my food allotment for the day and that’s pretty funny because I remember when I first opened the box my initial thought was…”I’m going to STARVE”. Nope not at all!

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So I guess now that you’ve seen the before pics you now want to see the after…….

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Thank you 21 Day Fix!

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Be you!

Forward March!

Do you have triggers? Do you have things like songs, places or just little things that will automatically trigger a past memory or bring back to mind something you learned? I have several but this year arrows have a special meaning to me.

At the beginning of this year I was listening to a sermon online and the pastor was teaching on this passage in 2 Kings. It’s the story of the prophet Elisha when he was on his death-bed and Joash, King of Israel, came to him for one last piece of advice because the Syrians were attacking the country. Elisha told him to take a bow and arrows and put his hand on the bow. So Joash did as Elisha said. “And Elisha put his hands on the King’s hands.” With Elisha’s hand on Joash’s, they shot an arrow out of the window and Elisha told Joash it was “the arrow of the Lord’s deliverance.

17 Elisha came down sick. It was the sickness of which he would soon die. Jehoash king of Israel paid him a visit. When he saw him he wept openly, crying, “My father, my father! Chariot and horsemen of Israel!15 Elisha told him, “Go and get a bow and some arrows.” The king brought him the bow and arrows.16 Then he told the king, “Put your hand on the bow.” He put his hand on the bow. Then Elisha put his hand over the hand of the king.17 Elisha said, “Now open the east window.” He opened it. Then he said, “Shoot!” And he shot. “The arrow of God’s salvation!” exclaimed Elisha. “The arrow of deliverance from Aram! You will do battle against Aram until there’s nothing left of it.”

The reason this story has come to mean so much to me is that it has taught me that when I’ve got my hands on the bow and arrows of prayer or a job that God has called me to do God then comes along behind me and places His hands over mine making them much stronger and more effective. After hearing this story every time I see an arrow I’m reminded that it’s not my puny little strength that enables me to do anything but it’s His and it’s also a reminder to keep marching forward!

Have you noticed that regardless of the arrow it’s always pointing you to go straight head? No turning, looking, or peaking back but chin up, eyes open…Forward march!

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When I’m out for a run that’s when my mind reels with thoughts and ideas and I’m shooting pictures of every kind just in case I need them!

These signs came in handy because they served to remind me to keep going forward even if the road winds or curves around do not look back but keep your eyes on the prize and to follow where God leads because nobody wants to end up here…..

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We can’t see everything ahead of us but if we will follow Him we do not need to fear dead ends! No dead ends for this girl…I’m going forward and hope you are too!

Today I’m moving myself forward right into the kitchen with my Uggs because it’s raining cats and dogs outside so I don’t for see a run in my future and Chalene has my legs feeling like jello after yesterdays workout! :shock:

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Now on to the concoction portion of the blog today. Who’s in the kitchen with Traci? Oh you know it’s that crazy blonde with those nerdy glasses again!  Wear your glasses when needed because following directions when cooking or baking is just as important as following the arrows of life straight ahead. ;)

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Sun-dried Tomato With Roasted Red Pepper And Zoodles

1 Large Zucchini

1/3 cup roasted red pepper (can be from a jar)

2 cups chopped fresh spinach

1 cup chopped mushrooms

1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

2 Tbsp chopped walnuts or nuts of your choices

*** 2- 3 shakes of red pepper flakes

2 Tbsp Olive oil

1 tsp minced garlic

Saute all of the above except zucchini until tender and set aside.

*** Please when using red pepper flakes BE CAREFUL! These things are hot enough to catch forests on fire. If you remember in my post..http://faithfulfoodiefashionista.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/sun-dried-tomato-muffins-with-a-kick/. My friend Deanna and I almost killed her boyfriend and now husband with a pasta dish we made for him! :)

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Now with a vegetable peeler slice the zucchini into “noodles”. This trick has helped me so much in curbing my craving for pasta! You could also you use a yellow squash or even a spaghetti squash.

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———–> Lunch Is Served! ———->

I’m “Shaking” In My Boots and The Review Is In!

Happy Friday and welcome to the weekend! Give yourself a high-five, a pat on the back and a fist pump for rocking this week like I know you have!

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This week, although busy has been a great week for me to get caught up on work things, experimenting with new concoctions in the kitchen, and even sneaking in some extra hours of Zzzzz’s…Nice!

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It’s been a week now that I have been using Shakeology and can I just say that I’m 100% SOLD! I have to admit I was and had been skeptical for a couple of years and that’s why I wanted to give at least a full week before I reported in about it. One of my dearest friends had been singing its praises for sometime and had even given me samples about a year ago but now having actually put it to the test I’m a true believer. This stuff has given me energy out the roof!

Here goes a little sales pitch….Ahem…. Shakeology is everything it claims it is. It’s not only the healthiest meal of the day packed with an extensive list of healthy and natural ingredients but this stuff truly does gives you energy. It’s not the jittery energy that you obtain from coffee or other stimulants but it’s the kind of energy that gives you the sense  you could quite possibly climb mountains with a great attitude while doing it! Those mountains may not be literal but for you they may be mountains of laundry, deadlines or even emotional things that you have to endure everyday I’m just here to tell you this stuff rocks! Not only does it have this energy infusing ability it tastes phenomenal and it’s very versatile  in the many ways you can prepare it. They also claim that it curbs cravings and it lives up to that claim as well. I don’t know about you but in the mornings I turn into this bottomless pit and even though I have a healthy breakfast I still find myself constantly HUNGRY throughout the morning but just after a week of doing a Shakeology smoothie for my on the go breakfast I can give testimony that it does indeed curb cravings and keeps me going until lunch rolls around. That in itself is a small miracle! I love it and I’m hooked! If you are interested in learning more just click on the link on my “About Page”! :)


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I don’t know when you get your workouts in but I love to get mine done in the mornings because for me it sets the tone for the day, allows me to clear my thoughts and gives me the opportunity to allow God to whisper in my ears His thoughts and dreams for me. Getting my sweat on in the mornings simply energizes me and gets my creative juices to flowing and I’m privileged to have access to a beautiful mile and a half private road in which only farm houses abide. The views are just incredible and I feel like I could run or walk for days!

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I find myself longing for long walks along a shoreline somewhere a lot during the Summer months but I truly am a country girl at heart! You know the saying…”You can take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl”. Give me a front porch, a glass of sweet tea while watching the lightning bugs light up my front yard in Summer any day and you’ve got one happy southern girl! ;)

It’s going to be a great weekend and hope you take the opportunity to honor you dad, get out enjoy some sunshine, be with the ones you love, and bloom where you are planted!

Shake It Till You Make It!

Dear diary it’s me again Traci. Ha….. How many of you had a diary growing up? I had several and I remember one that was pretty much dedicated to this heart-throb!……

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I was so in love with Keith Partridge that I was convinced at the ripe old age of about 8 or 9 that I was going to marry him someday and there was an entire diary to prove it! I thought Traci Partridge had a nice ring to it but it just didn’t happen and my love would prove to be fickle because I moved on to several other heart throbs that hung on posters up above my bed throughout my youth I had the tack holes in my wall to prove it! My how time flies!

Today I still have my crushes but thankfully I don’t write in diaries about them, doodle my name on notebooks with their last name placed after mine or have posters hanging above my bed. My tastes have matured and now my heart throbs don’t really don the movie screens or those silly heart throb magazines. Do they even still publish those? As crazy as it sounds you can find many of them on the Food Network! I know …sad..sad…sad! Give me a man who can grill, cook and bake anytime! ;)

The diaries I keep today are generally either logging my calorie intake or fitness and health challenges that I embark on. Diaries can be helpful when you are tracking any kind of progress whether that be for fitness, financial or personal. They give you insight, help encourage, and give you the ability to look back and see just how far you’ve come. Grab a pen and paper and just do it !

In my last post I mentioned that I’m now an independent Beachbody Coach and with that challenge I am starting Shakeology. In their description of Shakeology them proclaim it to be the healthiest meal of the day and just by looking at the ingredients I’m already impressed. They use the purest and most natural nutrients that are supposed to curb cravings and supply energy. I’ve only used sample packets in the past but now I’m putting it to the test for 1 month! I’ve loved the fitness programs I’ve used from Beachbody and can tell you how very much they have changed me not only just from a physical perspective but have given me confidence in being strong! So YES if you have not given any of their fitness programs a try I encourage you to pick from an extensive list that they offer and give one a try! You won’t regret it I promise. :)

Now on to this stuff….

5362_10151635460138879_2044590011_nI can’t tell you how excited I am about reporting back in 1 month and sharing with you just how awesome this stuff is and even getting creative and sharing recipes with you. I’m that confident in it already! You may even get a Dear Diary report every week!

Have an Awesome Thursday!

P.S I still think Keith Partridge is cute! ;)

Dear Chocolate, I’m Wholey Yours!

Day 12 of being on the Whole 30 has truly taken a turn for the worse. When I’m stressed I often turn to chewing gum or chocolate and well….today I caved! It wasn’t a total nose dive but I recently signed on to being an independent Beachbody Coach and this decision has me feeling a bit overwhelmed. I’m super excited about it but it’s just getting all my ducks in a row and pressing forward with it. In fact after all the research I did beforehand about this it’s really a no risk opportunity that you basically get out of it what you put in. I’m certainly going to give it my best because I’ve fallen in love with their programs and their products!

That being said it still doesn’t excuse my falling off the wagon but I decided that what I need is a no guilt option for chocolate when I feel the need for just a little taste whilst on this Whole 30.

Before I had my very first Larabar I had never given Dates a second thought. They used to even repulse me a little because I always thought they looked a bit like giant dried up bugs! My opinion of them has certainly changed over the years and now I use them all the time or enjoy them slathered with a little nut butter from time to time for a great energy snack. YUM!

So how do you mix chocolate and Dates? You simply throw them in your high-powered blender and create a delicious chocolatey spread.

You will need….

9 or so soaked Medjool Dates with pits removed

2 Tbsp cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla

2-3 Tbsp water

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Instructions are simple as tossing all above in blender and blending until smooth.

The results? A delicious Whole 30 approved (or at least in my book) sweet treat to enjoy on a piece of fruit or if you are like me just enjoy it right off the spoon!

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Enjoy!

P.S Healthy doesn’t have to be boring! :)

Pancakes With A Side Of Panic Please!

Ever had a panic attack? If you have I feel for you because they are not fun and can be downright scary!

I’m on day 4 of my Whole 30 day challenge and today was a little harder I must confess. I WANT GUM!!!! I don’t want a doughnut, cake or even cookies but oh I want my gum! Okay end of tantrum…moving on!

There is just something I love about a challenge. I think we all like them to some degree. It keeps us on our toes and pushes us to see and know what really resides on the inside of us and gives us determination to fight until we see the end results we are trying to achieve.

One of the things I’m loving about this challenge is the fact  that I’m not counting my calories, carbs or fat grams. That in itself  is a big obstacle for me to get over because I am consumed with knowing how many calories I’m putting into my body and obsessing over it. Calorie counting is not bad and I believe it’s beneficial in weight management but you can become a slave to it. It’s a miserable feeling and going into this challenge that’s what scared me most.

In the case of not counting calories I compare myself to my little dachshund Buck. He has the greatest way of looking at you from out of the corner of his eye to just to keep a watch on you.

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This is how I approached this challenge…I’m doing it but looking out the corner of my eye a little skeptical and with little waves of panic. We will see in another 26 days and I’ll report with a final review but I must say it is an awesome experience to be free from the slavery of that food calculator police that lives in my head!

Not only does this challenge bring new freedom it allows me to continue to be creative in the kitchen and that’s where I thrive. I love to take a vegetable and make a masterpiece out of it only most of the times they are only masterpieces to my taste buds and not necessarily to the eyes

This morning I decided to follow a Whole 30 approved recipe which was a breakfast pancake.

1 mashed banana

1 egg

3 egg whites

1 Tbsp ground flax-seed

Simply mash, mix and fry it up in a pan, add a little almond butter  to top it off and devour!

This is where my culinary skills go south very quickly. I have never mastered the art of creating pretty round pancakes. I think I become too impatient and attempt to flip them too soon and it always results in a flop.

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Someday …someday I will master the flipping of pancakes but regardless it was delicious and my taste buds could have cared less about whether they were perfectly round!

It is no easy task to let go of things that have held you in bondage for many years whether that be a wrong relationship with a the wrong person or with food related issues. Those words were spoken to my heart about a month ago and believe you me they are the sweetest words ever spoken and in the words of Gloria Gaynor.. I will survive!

Just remember that you are SO much stronger than you give yourself credit or permission to be! Trust me it’s in you to be strong and courageous!! I’ll leave you with these words to ponder when you are up against those challenges that seem to have ahold on you. Remember it’s okay to let it go because in letting go that’s where you find yourself the strongest!

“At first, I was afraid, I was petrified ..Kept thinking, I could never live without you by my side …But then I spent so many nights thinking, how you did me wrong…And I grew strong and I learned how to get along… I will survive!”